Today’s widely available resources make it possible for anyone to make wood crafts as a hobby, but did you know you can turn it into a profitable business? The only problem is it takes more basic woodworking skills to make this venture happen.
So rather than jumping head first, here are insights from our experts to help you determine if woodworking is profitable or not.
What is Woodworking? Can You Make a Living Out of it?
Woodworking is a lucrative industry where you can turn lumber pieces into items often seen in a typical house or office setting. In fact, the easiest woodworking projects you can make range from simple home decor, fruit bowls, and wine racks to custom furniture pieces.
Besides hand-crafted wood items, the woodworking industry also includes complex structures that require the help of power tools, like cabinetry, carpentry, joinery, and woodturning.
You can easily make money selling wooden crafts with the proper woodworking skills and essential tools. The tricky part is identifying the most profitable woodworking products to sell and finding your target market.
How Much Income Do Woodworkers Make?
Many woodworkers can reach a six-figure income or more by making and selling wooden products. While it will take some time for a small woodworking business to achieve this earning range, the possibility is high if you tap the right niche market. But where should you sell your woodworking projects? Check this guide next.
You should also have a woodworking shop and the proper tools to ensure that your wood crafts are of excellent quality. It will incur expenses initially, but you’ll make money as soon as you start crafting profitable woodworking projects.
Pros of Woodworking
Allows Working From Home
Believe it or not, you can start a small woodworking workshop in your garage, at home. You can even set it up in a small space to temporarily accommodate your woodworking projects, assuming it’s still a small business venture.
However, the moment your profitable woodworking business starts taking in large-scale projects, you’ll have to relocate the workshop eventually.
You Can Be Your Own Boss
Since it’s a home business, you don’t need to answer to a superior or manager. You consider yourself a boss when starting a woodworking business.
At the end of the day, this venture relies on your woodworking skill and good judgment. No matter which direction it takes, it’s in your hands.
One thing that makes woodworking profitable is the massive demand for lumber crafts in today’s market.
It’s a flexible venture you can shape according to your target demographic  and market. You must do your due diligence in researching because not all woodworking business ideas will appeal to the same consumer groups.
Unlimited Income Potential
Woodworking is profitable because it can increase your earnings continuously, especially if you continue to enhance your skill and knowledge of the craft.
As you transition to a professional woodworker, it will expand your network connections and give you leverage to invest in more advanced tools for your venture.
Cons of Woodworking
Even if you create the most profitable woodworking project, the harsh reality is you’re probably not the first one to sell it. The industry has become too saturated, so we advise finding a specific niche and offering something different to stand out.
Although profitable woodworking business ideas are limitless, the demand for these products isn’t consistent. Keeping your woodworking plans well-organized is crucial if you intend to make money with this craft all year round.
Running a woodworking business means you need to purchase materials and tools. On top of that, payroll also adds up to your overhead expenses if you have workshop employees.
Costs to Start Your Woodworking Business
Before woodworking becomes a profitable business, you must invest in it with tools like power drills, jigsaws, sanders, and other machinery.
Even handmade woodworking businesses will incur expenses on essential workshop materials like nails, screws, wood glue, measuring tapes, chisels, and lumber boards.
The price range for these materials depends on their quality. They’re more expensive than you think, especially if you’re buying from popular manufacturers. With essential tools alone, one grand is the smallest cost estimation you can get for your home business.
Tools and Equipment
Paint or Stain
Like it or not, woodworking is lucrative only if the final product is aesthetically pleasing. The workpiece should showcase a smooth and durable finish, which you can achieve with painting and staining.
The most profitable woodworking projects include cutting and gluing procedures. Because of this, clamps can be a support material when attaching wood pieces or keeping the board in place during the cut.
When running your own business, time is of the essence. You wouldn’t want to take so much time drilling a hole into a workpiece, so having an electric-powered drill is essential.
If your project needs a faster cutting action, jigsaws are better than traditional saws. They also offer cleaner cuts in corners and curves.
While a large-scale woodworking business will need a power sander, having extra sandpaper for smaller sanding tasks is not a bad idea.
Even if you’re handling an easy woodworking project, you must cut wood pieces in accurate sizes, and that’s where circular saws come in.
6 Most Profitable Woodworking Ideas
1. Building Custom Pieces
If you’ve been in local stores, chances are you’ve seen custom workpieces on the shelves. Spoiler alert; you can sell yours too. You can customize picture frames, wine racks, etc., and sell them on e-commerce websites like Amazon or eBay.
2. Building Other Wood Projects
You don’t have to be extremely creative to earn extra cash from woodworking projects because you can opt for general pieces.
It will generate less money than making custom pieces, but you won’t have a hard time selling typical outdoor furniture like patio swings and planters.
3. Teaching Others About Woodworking
If you have no time to embark on different woodworking projects, you can choose to teach the craft in local colleges or groups.
Woodworkers with enough woodworking knowledge and skill can also consider offering their classes on online learning platforms like Coursera or Udemy.
4. Starting a Woodworking Blog
Another modern way to make woodworking profitable is through blogging. You can monetize tutorial content and project plans on your website. It can also be a platform to advertise and sell your handcrafted workpieces.
5. Starting a Woodworking YouTube Channel
You can create a video guiding woodworking beginners in doing a specific project and post it on Youtube.
As long as the content you’re releasing in the channel is of excellent quality and value, we don’t doubt that your viewership will grow and eventually become a consistent income source.
6. Flipping Furniture
If you have a small capital, you can flip furniture pieces by buying old ones and restoring them. After that, you can sell the workpiece at a higher price, assuming you have updated its aesthetics to modern standards.
13 Tips & Tricks to Make a Living Off Woodworking
Tip #1: Have a Clear Plan and Think Outside the Box
Besides materials and tools, a woodworking business will incur expenses on digital marketing, labor, licenses, and other crucial legwork. Because of this, we suggest setting a budget for this venture.
It would help if you also had a checklist of the viable market options you can enter. It will be best to draft an accurate business plan on what niche you want and how to reach the right audience based on that.
In woodworking, you have to offer something different from your competitors. It’ll take time, but brainstorming ideas will hone your skill in the long run.
Tip #2: Start Small and Build Your Brand
Yes, woodworking is profitable. However, you don’t need to start with a large workspace or a wide range of tools. You wouldn’t want to spend more than you’ll earn, so stick with the essentials until your venture grows.
Tip #3: Decide on Your Business Structure or Form the Right Type of Business
Any business owner will recommend going through the registration legwork for legal purposes, and choosing a company structure is the first step. You can choose to be a sole proprietorship or limited liability company (LLC) for ease of management.
Tip #4: Avoid Debt
No matter how much money woodworking can generate, this industry isn’t the most consistent. Due to this, we don’t recommend taking out even a small business loan if you don’t have the means to pay it back.
If you don’t have the funds, you can make woodworking profitable with smaller projects that aren’t as expensive as others.
Tip #5: Build Your Workshop
Although you can use the garage as a temporary workshop, it’s not the ideal location for woodworking machinery and materials. If you want this craft to be your bread and butter, you must set up a shop to make your workpieces more visible.
Tip #6: Know the Expenses and Keep Your Accounting in Order
Not all project expenses are the same. Some workpieces cost up to $10000, while others range under $1000. It’s vital to keep tabs on these expenses to determine how to save money.
You should also monitor your accounting statements to track where your expenses are going and how much profit the shop generates. By doing so, you can make more informed business decisions.
Tip #7: Look for Multiple Income Streams
As we mentioned earlier, woodworking is a flexible business venture. Some niches are seasonal, so it’s only reasonable to find different income streams in this industry.
Besides selling custom pieces, you can also consider advertising your project plans, teaching classes, or blogging.
Tip #8: Forget the Hobbyist Mentality
Before you get excited about how much money woodworking can offer, you must know that it’s no longer a hobby as soon as you intend to earn from it. Since it’s already a business, your hobbyist mentality should go.
Tip #9: Understand the Market and Turn Potential Customers into Advocates
If you want to sell well, the key is to research your target area. You should identify what your consumers will likely buy and what they won’t glance at.
Your potential customer can turn into loyal consumers with proper techniques like discounts, promos, events, and loyalty programs.
Tip #10: Find Your Niche and Know Your Competition
You don’t need to excel at everything, but you have to pick a specific niche. The choices in the woodworking industry are endless, so you wouldn’t want to waste time working on projects you won’t excel at making.
Don’t treat your competition as an obstacle to your success. Instead of unhealthy rivalry, look at their accomplishments and try to understand the factors that make them successful. By doing so, you can make a blueprint of your game plan.
Tip #11: Focus on Quality and Don’t Undersell
Although selling more workpieces means more sales, not prioritizing quality is a guaranteed recipe for the downfall of your woodworking business. As much as possible, your product must offer high (if not the highest) quality. It’ll secure loyal customers in the long run.
It would be best if you don’t sell the workpieces at a price lower than their market value. It may be enticing to get more sales, but remember that the item cost is also compensation for your skill and effort.
Tip #12: Utilize Digital Platforms (Market or Sell Your Products on Multiple Platforms)
Reaching potential customers is more straightforward than before, mainly because digital platforms like Amazon and Etsy exist. We recommend establishing your online presence to utilize digital websites at their maximum potential.
Besides online media, you can sell your products at physical locations like flea markets, yard sales, or market fairs.
Tip #13: Get Your License and Insurance
Although licensing takes a lot of effort and time, it’s an essential part of your business. Besides legality, it also allows you to claim government-related services and loans.
We also urge you to get insurance policies for your business for unexpected instances like workplace accidents, robbery, or natural disasters.
Start Earning Money With These 14 Woodworking Projects
1. Picture Frames
If you don’t have any power tools, picture frames are great starter projects for your workshop. To create this piece, you only need a hand saw, molding, hammer, and cardboard.
2. Customized Cutting Boards
Any customizable wood products will sell well, even a simple cutting board. You can also make it with solid wood for a higher price range.
3. Wooden Clocks
Although it requires more time and procedure than other projects, you can make this piece with the clock mechanism kit, scrap plywood, and wood stain.
4. Customized Furniture
These project plans are the most common in the industry because they often come in high demand. Custom furniture pieces can range from chairs to cabinets and drawers.
5. Planter Boxes
These are traditional home items, so it’s not surprising why many woodworkers choose them as a starter project for a business. You can target homeowners with gardens and sell them some wall planters.
6. Coffee Tables
If you want to sell a more expensive workpiece, coffee tables are the project you must consider. You can sell them with a $1500 price tag, but making them will only cost you around $300.
7. Adirondack Chairs or Rocking Chairs
Anyone with a porch in the US has these chairs, so it’s a woodworking product that will sell like hotcakes if you tap into the right demographics.
8. Picnic Tables
You can make picnic tables with softwood species like redwood and cedar. They also come in various types, so the best you can do is craft different designs and sell them at reasonable prices.
9. Wooden Desks
Another sought-after wood product is desks. Since these are typical workpieces, you should add unique designs to improve your selling point.
10. Kids’ Toys & Puzzles
Wooden toys are perfect gifts, considering their unique aesthetics and eco-friendliness. You can craft and sell them in the form of cars, puzzle games, animal figures, and many more.
11. Wooden Utensils
Besides wooden toys, one of the smallest projects you can consider is wooden utensils. These workpieces only take half an hour to make. Plus, they don’t sell that cheap.
12. Winery Racks
Wine racks are simple project plans, so making them in different sizes and shapes is not complicated.
You can put a creative spin on birdhouses if you want something different. Try to apply different paint colors and stains to make it unique.
14. Wooden Signs
These workpieces can be home decorations or gifts, so these are items you can customize for any season or occasion.
Find Crafts in High Demand: Here’s How!
Scroll Through Etsy
Try to type your niche in Etsy’s search bar. From there, you’ll discover what other woodworkers are selling. You can also use the platform to find inspiration for your new project.
Check the Trends Online
You can use software or online tools to check the trending items related to your niche. These websites will show you how many competitors each project idea has online.
What woodworking project is most profitable?
The most profitable woodworking projects are wooden toys and coasters made of pallet wood. Utensils, bowls, and picture frames are also items high in demand.
To sum it up, it’s clear that woodworking is profitable. The catch in pursuing this venture is you must be willing to learn continuously and follow the changing industry trends.
Although it’s exciting to be your own boss, we recommend keeping close tabs on every aspect of the business if you want to do it in the long run.
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