The woodworking business is a highly profitable venture that can become your full-time or part-time gig. However, many beginner woodworkers are unaware that they can make substantial cash from selling their craft.
If you’re like me and want to monetize your passion for woodworking, let me share with you some insights on how to turn this craft into a profitable venture.
How to Make Money Woodworking
Woodworking can be a real side hustle and source of income if you have the woodworking skills and the required start-up capital.
The demand for premium-quality wood products and furniture is on the rise these days. So, you must make good-quality wood products and sell them to the right place and audience. You can definitely make money woodworking, so read on to find out what tools you need, how to purchase wood, how to make a sale, and other things you need to know about the process.
Tools You Would Need
To make money from woodworking or to make woodworking as a hobby, you would need to make sure you have the required tools. Tools tend to be expensive, so you need to ensure that your budget covers all the tools and equipment necessary to start. You don’t need a lot to create a woodworking project. Even a few basic woodworking tools would do.
As a beginner, you would need only these tools:
These tools including top-tier CNC routers can cost between $200 to around $1000 and take up little space, making storage easy.
You can purchase some of the tools on this list if you don’t have them yet. We recommend the Icon brand if you’re looking for high-quality yet reasonably priced wrenches and screwdrivers.
As a beginning woodworker, you can definitely create woodworking projects that sell with only a few tools. But although a basic setup works at home, woodworking experts may advise eventually upgrading to power tools as you make more money. This could include a jig saw for cutting interior shapes or making curved cuts, a circular saw for making straight cuts, and even a cheap miter saw for angled cuts.
Furthermore, I’ve found that investing in classes significantly enhanced my skills. By refining my techniques, especially when it comes to cutting and shaping wood, I was able to tackle more intricate furniture-style work. I can tell you firsthand that custom pieces such as coffee tables, cabinets, mountain shelves, and floating shelves are among the most profitable projects in our craft. They always have a market, and they sell quite well.
Where to Get Wood for Your Wood Projects
Knowing where to purchase wood for your woodworking projects is vital if you want to establish a business in this niche. Some excellent online woodworking classes will help you get through in knowing how to convert your projects into sale.
The type of wood you use will have a tremendous impact on your woodworking business and it is important to get the best wood for carving or woodworking. As a beginner woodworker, our experts advise that you buy wood that’s ready to be finished.
Buying lumber is easy, as it’s available in most big box stores like Lowe’s. You can buy plywood and they will also cut it for you.
Most wood sold at many lumber stores is rough lumber, with crooked edges and a rough finish. For most woodworking projects, this may not be perfect, as you’ll need an S4S lumber. This wood is great when touched up by a high-quality semi-transparent deck stain.
Read More: List of Woodcrafting Terms
If you’re hesitant about purchasing rough lumber, I’d personally recommend going for S4S lumber. I’ve seen them available at most hardware stores, specialty wood shops, and even those big box lumber stores. One of the most cost-effective choices is pine, a common softwood. Not only is it affordable, but its ease of use makes it a top pick, especially for those just starting out. Whether your passion lies in crafting small woodworking pieces or designing elaborate furniture, pine allows you to produce stunning work with minimal materials.
Another softwood you can consider is cedar. Raised garden beds and planter boxes are items you can make with only cedar boards, mainly because they’re rot-resistant. These are great projects for people who want to start a backyard garden. But if you want to make rustic dining tables, picnic tables, or benches, rough lumbers or framing lumber will get the job done. And for fine furniture, hardwood species are all excellent choices.
That said, pallet wood is a great starting point if you want to make money woodworking. You may be able to get free pallet wood from small businesses or construction sites, mainly because they are often discarded as scrap wood after shipping and transportation. However, the weathered appearance of pallet wood adds character to your products.
If you don’t want to buy wood and start from scratch, working with reclaimed wood is an easy and inexpensive way to make and sell an easy woodworking project. Search for some Craigslist finds and flip the piece into a brand-new item, and turn a profit that way. You may even find some solid hardwood furniture for cheap on Craigslist. With a few materials and some creativity, you can create a new project from an old piece and sell it for a much higher price.
How You Can Sell Your Woodworking Projects
One of the best ways to start selling your woodworking projects is to start local. There are so many ways to do this — craft fairs, local gardening groups, or even restaurants are great local sales avenues where you can sell your projects. I’ve known many who initiated their selling journey right from their garage or a backyard shed, and I’ve found it to be a brilliant starting point.
Additionally, you could partner with a local furniture store, home decor stores, or other locally owned businesses. For example, vibrant and colorful sola wood flowers in home decor stores is a good start to earn. Wooden birdhouses and rustic signs sell great, too. Spend some time to see if some shops are interested in purchasing your items and reselling them.
Many local woodworkers also sell projects in the flea market and farmer’s market. You can rent a booth or a space to display your works of art. However, you would want to ensure that these places have lots of shoppers or visitors. You might have a very little space and very little material to work with in terms of sprucing it up, so a little work and effort could be possible. Don’t forget to display your sign, too. Remember, a business without a sign is a sign of no business.
If you’re only seeing a few sales since you started woodworking, you can try being more inventive. You can fill up your truck with your beautifully crafted pieces and park along a busy street to start selling pieces in very attractive prices. You can also participate in a local holiday bazaar and attract customers there. You could offer discounts or give a free item to a customer when you sell a project at a premium price.
Furthermore, you can focus on a specific woodworking niche. You can primarily sell kitchen tools or smaller plywood pieces. If small projects like picture frames are not your thing, having a few pieces of mid-to-large functional items like chairs, picnic tables, planter boxes, and shelves would cost more money — which means more profit.
While some of my fellow woodworkers lean towards traditional brick-and-mortar setups, I’ve found that an economical and consistent avenue for recurring sales is to set up an online store for your woodworking pieces. The beauty of this approach is the virtual unlimited space to showcase your products, unconfined by the dimensions of a physical shop. And believe me, getting started online and gaining momentum is surprisingly straightforward.
If you want to get started making money woodworking, online selling could yield unlimited profit margin for you. Selling project pieces like high-quality DIY wood signs online seems to be the best and most lucrative way of boosting sales. You can sell projects to millions of shoppers on e-commerce platforms daily.
One of the places where you can sell online is Etsy. Etsy is a hugely popular marketplace where you can sell handmade products and earn money. There are several categories where you can pitch your wood projects, although most woodworking projects can be sold here. You can have an Etsy shop — your own online store in the space. There’s very little competition on Etsy, especially if your business has a fairly narrow niche.
However, you should familiarize yourself with the site’s terms and conditions, fees, and other things before getting started. Have a business plan, know how to manage shipping costs, explore ways to collect payments, determine material cost, and consider any extra money required for the business.
Apart from Etsy, there are other online platforms where you can sell your woodworking projects, such as Facebook Marketplace, eBay, OfferUp, Craigslist, Amazon Handmade, etc. You need to ensure that you read the terms and conditions and the stipulated fee for uploading your products.
Whatever platform you choose for your woodworking business, there are great ways to attract interest and get the sales rolling. Offering customization options is always a huge seller. For instance, customized wooden signs, wooden utensils, wall art, bread baking supplies, and small crafts consistently sell as wedding favors, gifts, or just personal mementos. A customer can also spend money for exclusivity, so you can occasionally drop high-value items like bespoke furniture or unique project pieces in custom sizes.
Other Skills You Would Need to Sell
Taking Photos of Your Products to Sell Online
Taking high-quality photos is absolutely essential to selling your woodworking projects successfully. People appreciate the craftsmanship that goes into a project that’s made of real wood, so you want to show that in your listing photos.
To make money woodworking online, ensure that the photos you take stand out. If you intend to sell your woodworking projects as NFTs, having a good image of your product will give you a competitive advantage. This is because buyers love what they see, leaving them with a lasting impression on your products’ quality .
You should invest in a superb camera for high quality photos of every project. If you don’t know how to set up your shots, you can watch some YouTube videos for tips. You can also use newer cell phone cameras to take photos, as they usually have excellent cameras.
Promoting Your Woodworking Shop
In my experience, executing effective promotion for your woodworking shop is crucial to achieving success. I’ve learned that without a well-structured marketing strategy, turning a profit from your woodworking projects can indeed become quite a formidable task.
After signing your woodworking projects, our team of experts suggests that you promote them via online forums like Reddit and Facebook groups. Selling your woodworking projects in online stores like Etsy and Facebook Marketplace are also effective, as they have a lot of potential customers that would be interested in purchasing your project. These are all easy ways you can start marketing your products.
Besides, these e-commerce sites have tools you can pay for in order to boost listings, which is incredible if you want to make more sales. However, they come at a small fee, which is insignificant compared to what you would be making as a profit. You can potentially make tens of thousands of dollars and have a successful online shop.
Easy Woodworking Projects that You Can Sell
You may be wondering what kind of woodworking projects sell well. Depending on the project, some may require only a few materials.
As a beginner who wants to make money woodworking, you should keep things simple and focus on producing high-quality products such as easy but topnotch pallet projects. Determine the cost of materials for each, so you know how much the project would cost as well.
There are long lists of easy woodworking projects that you can sell, but here are a few of them.
Wooden picture frames
Basic Picnic table
If you are curious about how to make money woodworking, this article has provided all the tips on how to get started successfully. We’ve also provided a list of project ideas you can make and sell so you can start making money.
Woodworking is an enjoyable hobby, but it’s also a highly lucrative venture that you can do as a side hustle or a full-time job. Whether you choose to sell in craft fairs or on your Etsy shop, making money from it is a great opportunity. You can potentially earn thousands of dollars when you sell woodworking items — provided you have the woodworking skills, marketing skills, and start-up capital.
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.