Is Woodworking Profitable? — Projects to Build & Sell & Potential Income

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Crafting with wood isn’t just a fun hobby these days. With the abundant resources available, anyone can dive into it. But have you ever considered turning this passion into a profitable venture? 

Before you get too carried away, it’s essential to have more than just basic woodworking chops. Don’t leap without looking! Here’s my advice to guide you in determining the profitability of woodworking. Dive in and see if it’s the right fit for you!

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. 

woodworker using a hand plane

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. 

In the grand scheme of things, the outcome of this venture is ultimately dependent on your proficiency in woodworking and your wise decision-making. Whether it veers towards triumph or challenges, the responsibility to navigate and steer it lies solely in your capable hands.

Easily Scalable

One thing that makes woodworking profitable is the massive demand for lumber crafts in today’s market. 

furniture painted with Country Chic Paint

It’s a flexible venture you can shape according to your target demographic [1] 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

Crowded Field

Crafting a stunning woodworking piece? Awesome! But here’s the thing: even if it’s top-notch, there’s a good chance someone else has sold something similar. The woodworking scene is brimming with talent these days. 

So, my pro tip? Zero in on a unique niche and bring a fresh twist to your creations. That’s how you make waves in a crowded market.

Market Inconsistencies

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.

cutting wooden board with table saw

Significant Overhead

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.  

wood finish


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. 

Power Drill

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.

various types of sandpaper

Circular Saw

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.

woodworking class

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. 

Trust me, if you keep dishing out top-notch content, your audience is bound to grow. Before you know it, you’ll be earning a steady income from your channel. Stick with quality, and you’ll see the rewards!

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. 

furniture painted with latex

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. 

But should you start an LLC for you woodworking business? How recommended it is? Find out next. 

woodworker in his shop

Tip #4: Avoid Debt

Woodworking can certainly be a profitable venture, but it’s worth noting that it’s not always steady sailing. So, before you consider diving in with a business loan, think twice. It’s essential to ensure you’re in a position to pay it back. 

Remember, expertise in woodworking is one thing; financial stability is another. Make sure you have both before making significant financial commitments. 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. 

workbenches in a woodworking shop

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

From my experience, woodworking is an incredibly versatile field. Just like seasons change, certain niches within woodworking have their peaks and lows. So, it’s smart—and essential—to diversify your income sources if you’re diving into this crafty business.

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. 

Interesting Read: How Digital Collectibles Are Influencing DIY Projects

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.

painting furniture

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. 

painting furniture with black paint

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)

Navigating the world of online business has never been easier, thanks to platforms like Amazon and Etsy. To truly tap into the vast digital marketplace, it’s crucial to establish a strong online presence.

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. 

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

solid wood frames

Dipping your toes into the world of DIY? Let’s start simple. Picture frames are the perfect beginner’s project, especially if you’re working without fancy power tools. All you really need is a hand saw, some molding, a trusty hammer, and a piece of cardboard.

2. Customized Cutting Boards

Cutting Board

Crafting with wood is always in vogue, and even the simplest items, like cutting boards, have a market. If you’re thinking of leveling up, consider using solid wood. Not only does it scream quality, but it also allows for a premium price tag.

3. Wooden Clocks

Burned Wall Clock Design

Crafting this piece might take a bit more time and effort compared to other DIY projects, but trust me, it’s worth it. All you need is a clock mechanism kit, some leftover plywood, and a touch of wood stain. 

With a little patience and expertise, you’ll create a masterpiece that not only tells time but also tells a story.

4. Customized Furniture


Within the industry, these project plans have become the gold standard, largely due to their soaring demand. Talking about custom furniture, it’s not just about chairs but a spectrum that stretches from sophisticated cabinets to sleek drawers.

5. Planter Boxes

Wall Planter

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

customized coffee table

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

Adirondack Chairs

Every American porch seems to have these chairs, making them a woodworking sensation! If you target the right audience, you’re looking at a bestseller.

8. Picnic Tables

Picnic Table

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


Desks aren’t just functional workspaces; they’re an extension of our style and personality. If you’re looking to stand out in the market, infuse your desks with distinctive designs. It’s not just about wood—it’s about crafting a statement piece that resonates with the user. 

Make it so compelling that they can’t resist bringing it into their workspace. As an expert tip, remember: a touch of uniqueness can elevate a simple desk to a must-have piece.

10. Kids’ Toys & Puzzles

Wooden Toy

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

Wooden Spoon

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

DIY Wine Racks

Crafting wine racks is a delightful endeavor. With their straightforward design, you can effortlessly customize them into various sizes and shapes. Dive into this rewarding project, and soon, you’ll be showcasing your collection in style.

13. Birdhouses


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

DIY 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.  


In essence, woodworking can indeed be a lucrative endeavor. However, to truly thrive in this craft, you need to have an insatiable curiosity and stay abreast of the ever-evolving trends in the industry. 

While the allure of being your own boss is undeniably thrilling, success lies in meticulously overseeing every facet of your business for long-term growth and stability. Dive in with passion and precision, and the rewards can be plentiful.

Robert Johnson is a passionate furniture maker & carpenter, sought after for his knowledge on the craft.
You've probably seen his down-to-earth wisdom in USA Today, Bobvila, Family Handyman, and The Spruce, where he has shared commentary and guidance on various woodworking topics.

Robert is the brain behind Sawinery, where he aims to share tips, tricks, and a passion for all things carpentry.
Robert Johnson

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