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Woodworking Projects that Sell in 2020

Who knew woodworking could be a fun and stimulating hobby as well as make you money at the same time? A lot of you may be thinking that’s a given, but even beginners and novice woodworkers can find a project someone may want to purchase. We’re going to preface this article by saying wood projects that sell are often ones that have functionality. For example, a wine rack, or even a coffee table if you possess the skill and know how. Below we have some suggestions, materials, tools and even books you can find on Amazon to fulfill your woodworking vision.

Top 7 Woodworking Projects for Selling – Reviews & Buying Guide

1 – 100% Pallet: From Freight to Furniture

To make the process easier, we found a very useful and handy how-to book on wood pallet projects. You can make use of a recycled wood pallet stand and other pieces of wood you may have lying around. Such projects detailed in the book include furniture you can add to all parts of your house including the kitchen, shelves, and much more can be found. You’ll have a great time with your children doing woodworking projects.

As we mentioned before, woodwork projects that sell are utilitarian, but that doesn’t mean they can’t be attractive as well. You can also find lots of shelves and shelf storage solutions that may even end up in you setting up your own Etsy shop!

We love how something that could potentially go to waste (the pallet boards) can become something beautiful in their new life.

With just a few basic tools and the guidance of this book, you’ll be able to create and sell unique DIY pieces loved by everyone!

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2 – The Complete Manual of Woodworking: A Detailed Guide to Design, Techniques, and Tools for the Beginner and Expert

This next paperback has a little something for beginners and experts alike looking for their next woodworking project. 

What’s great about this book is it comes with a ton of pictures (1800 to be exact), and instructions on how to complete thousands of unique woodworking projects. It even comes with a detailed and professional guide on the types of wood to choose. There are hardwoods and softwoods, which works best with your woodwork project and what tools to use are all outlined precisely in this guide.

Not only are woodworking techniques discussed here, but also laminating, jointing, bonding, fastening, and more! You can learn so much from the pages of this paperback or hardcover.

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3 – The Complete Book of Woodworking 

This guide doesn’t exist to give you ideas, but more so skills and techniques needed to come up with your own ideas. You can start from an easy item such as a box or trays or a set if you want. This book will provide you with the knowledge to graduate to more advanced crafts such as jewelry holders, elaborate photo frames, and even larger furniture.

Even though this book focuses on technique, there are a few ideas to help you decorate the indoors and outdoors of your house.

You may even be able to grow a business from a hobby by selling all your plans and finished products. A piece of wood can become a beloved item that cannot be found in a store. All it takes is some imagination, a little bit of love, and an idea or two. 

Seasoned woodworkers can brush up on their skills, while newbies looking to enter the industry will learn how to set up shop. 

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4 – Good Clean Fun: Misadventures in Sawdust at Offerman Woodshop

A New York Times bestselling book, Nick Offerman is a woodworker, actor and comedian who shares his journey and tips in this hardcover book.

HIs woodshop produces furniture, and even ranges to ukuleles and even mustache combs! In this book they detail some of their most popular projects and share the skills needed to create these works of art.

Go behind the scenes and understand what it takes to become a woodworker and all the work and effort that is behind these beautiful pieces.

The best part is you can find different projects for varying skill levels, which won’t leave anyone in the cold. It doesn’t matter if you are new to the game or have your fair share of projects under your belt, you will find illuminating yet informative knowledge from this book.

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5 – The Complete Illustrated Guide to Shaping Wood

Knowing how to shape wood is critical to any woodworking project. It doesn’t matter if you are making woodworking projects that sell, or just trying to create a new ornament for your shelves. While it’s easy to look for this information online, if you follow this detailed guide you will reap the benefits of learning how to bend and carve wood and manipulate it to your needs.

At the end of the tutorial, you may even end up with the building blocks to create wooden figurines (which are harder than they look). 

Techniques of all kinds are covered, and with tools including handheld and powered. There is a little something for all woodworkers with the pictures, drawings and photos will lead you down a path of passion for woodworking.

Once you log your first sold item, you will know all the long hours put in to perfecting your skills.

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6 – Relief Carving Workshop: Techniques, Projects & Patterns for the Beginner

Once you possess the basics on how to build easy furniture and accessories, perhaps decorating and styling the exterior are next up on your list. 

The book is equipped with all you need to know, including instructions, step by step guides, photographs and 11 project ideas for you! A great bonding activity to have with your kids is to learn a new skill.

One of the easiest projects you could start with are sign posts or address signs you can place inside or outside your house. After completing your projects, it’s imperative to give your sign posts a finish to make sure it’s weatherproof. You can find the necessary skills needed for that in this book, including how to prepare a wood surface.

All you need are a few sharp tools, a piece of wood and this book in hand and you’re ready to go!

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7 – Woodworking: The Complete Step by Step Guide to Skills, Techniques, and Projects

This is essentially a skill building and a woodworking project book to give you ideas and the necessary knowledge to improve as a woodworker.

Complete with 41 project ideas and other stuff, finding the type of project your whole family will enjoy won’t be difficult at all.

There won’t be anything to worry about since this guide starts from how to choose the proper wood piece, measuring, marking, and even how to cut  and all the steps that come after. Even if you have 0 experience, you can still succeed by following this step by step how-to guide.

Woodworking is a skill that is ever-growing with new knowledge contributed to the industry frequently you will never be bored trying to improve and develop your talent.

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Some Essential Tools to Begin Your Journey

Before you get started, it’s necessary to arm yourself with certain basic tools any woodworker should have in his studio. These tools include:

  • Planer – Used to cut wood into a designated thickness.
  • Circular saw – Useful to cut straight through wood.
  • Jigsaw – Useful to cut straight and curved lines.
  • Coping saw – While this isn’t necessary unless you are looking to detail your wood with different shapes.
  • Power drill – A drill is generally used to make holes, and the power drill is the same,
  • Hammer
  • Chisel
  • Nails and screws
  • Screwdriver

For smaller projects, this may be all you need. However, if you are looking to build elaborate pieces of large furniture, you might need to invest in something larger and more expensive, such as a hybrid table saw or a tabletop saw.

What Wood Projects Sell the Best?

Handmade objects, as most if not all wood projects are, and that’s what can help you charge a higher price for your efforts. Something that is practical and your clients can get a lot of use out of will also help drive up the price tag. Here are some of our suggestions of woodworking projects that sell the best. 

Pallet Shelf

Many of our suggestions of guidebooks above are centered around wooden pallet creations. We feel this is an economical, environmental and creative way to add something unique to your home. They are easy to build and do not require a lot of tools and effort. Not to mention, they are a fabulous addition to your abode.

Toys

Once you have perfected the skill of carving and shaping, you can then look into designing wooden toys your kids or other kids will love.

They young ones get many years of fun and play with these toys and when they have finally outgrown the toys they make great mantle pieces around the house.

They also make great gifts and come with many memories the whole family can share.

Holders

Now this is quite a broad category. By holder we mean something that literally holds something else. From toy holders, crayon holders, fruit bowls and anything else that comes in a box or half-sphere shape, if you add a unique touch, they could sell very well too. People are always looking for tools to gather miscellaneous items throughout the house. Having one of your works of art could help tidy up a household.

Wine Rack (or any other racks)

Anything to help organize the house and keep things tidy will be a hit on the market. You can even pick up some books that help detail what works and what doesn’t in terms of wood work projects. Wine racks are also easy endeavors to attempt for beginners.

Picture Frames

Although simple and readily available in stores, they can still be a money maker if you find some way to set your designs apart from the rest. Due to their low cost to make, you can also hike up the price to maximize profits.

Furniture

These might be the biggest money makers on the market but they aren’t at the top of our list for a reason. That reason being the level of skill and confidence it takes to create these pieces and sell them. You need to be sure of your capabilities before you tack on a price. Bespoke, customized and handmade furniture can sure fetch a pretty penny on the market though! They are rewarding to make and deserve the recognition if they are truly amazing pieces.

Utensils

Yes, we’re sure you have seen wooden utensils at all the big supermarkets and home furniture places. However, uniquely made pieces however common they are in brick and mortar stores can still be sold for steep prices. For something that comes into close contact with sensitive areas such as the lips, you better be sure you sand down, smooth and finish it off well.

Headboards

We got this idea from small biz trends and find it to be a marvelous idea. Headboards can be boring with the quilted designs of leather and fabric. Wooden headboards are much more traditional and rustic designs that leave a lot of room for customization. You can also charge higher due to the effort and skill it takes. The clients can even be a part of the design process by sharing their ideas, which can also drive a higher price.

Storage (shelves, trunks, etc)

Larger than a holder, storage trunks and shelves can also be made more unique with chalkboard backs, puzzle locks, customized engravings and names and much more! Anything that can be used for years to come that have a special touch are great projects that sell.

Drink Caddies/Food Trays

Certain practical tools that can enrich your everyday life are items that make daily living easier. Having a drink caddy for the bathtub and bed run the risk of making us lazy, but the convenience by far outweighs the bad! They can even be used as little work tables and hold your iphone or tablet when you’re having a soak.

Wooden Coasters

Our last suggestion are wooden coasters, something that adds a bit of originality and can stand the test of time. Carving beautiful and elaborate designs in the wood could take some time, skill and precision, but all of those skills can be honed with the books we mentioned above.

How Much Can You Make as a Woodworker?

This is a loaded question that doesn’t have a correct answer. It depends on many factors such as whether you are a hobbyist or serious professional. You can even invest a little bit to get help from those who have been doing woodworking for a while, like experts from WWGOA (Woodworkers Guild of America).

Do you work for others or are you an entrepreneur? Is this a side hustle or something you are willing to devote all your time to? Whether it’s something you are dabbling in or have been passionate about for a while, we’re sure if you are reading here, then you plan to make a little bit of money on the side no matter how big or small. Here are some tips to follow to carve out your own little side business.

How to Make Money with Woodworking Projects

Woodworking can be such a rewarding activity, especially when you see your clients and customers appreciate all your hard work. 

Find a Niche

Less is more in this case. You may have the skill to build a wide range of items, focusing on a specific category or niche is in your best interest. This is to help build your brand and a loyal following of customers that know what they are getting from you.

To narrow down and identify your niche, think about what you enjoy making the most and what you would consider your best project.

Customize Your Products

Do some market research. Who also specializes in your niche and what do they offer? How can you improve and thus outdo your competitors? This may take some time and effort to sort out, and you don’t need to settle on a definite answer yet. Just find some ideas and acquire some direction for your new business. We wouldn’t suggest switching your niche and product ideas too late in the process.

Aim to set your products apart from the rest by adding personal touches that define you as a brand. Add more colors, add more features, add accessories, anything that makes your product more special.

Marketing

Where and how are you planning to sell your products? Are you going to market your business online or are you planning to rent out a store? Great platforms for DIY artists include Instagram, Etsy, maybe even partner with local venues and set up a pop-up shop!

Market your products well. Before you can set a price, you need to conduct research into your competitors, your demographic (this is to help you understand what your clients can afford). WIth your product descriptions, you can also appeal to this audience since you know what they are looking for. Advertise the features of your product well! Make sure to mention all the good the item will bring to the buyer.

For example, a vacuum cleaner salesman would know his demographic would be housewives for example. The product description would then go on to mention all the time and energy his new vacuum cleaner model would save on and the energy costs as well. 

Production and Selling

Finally it comes to the actual creation of your product. Before you can do that, you need to source materials. If you plan on churning out a lot of inventory, you might need to head to a supplier for your pieces of wood just to cut costs. Look for inexpensive materials (without sacrificing quality) to build your inventory. 

If you decided to market online, plenty of high definition pictures with contrast and saturation that put your products in the best light. Give your clients and customers plenty to go on with as many different placements and decorations as you can. Try to spark their inner creativity through your photos.

How will you accept payment? For larger and more expensive pieces, will you accept payment plans? Think of a secure and fast way (for both parties) to lock in the money.

What Can You Make Out of Wood?

You can make virtually anything out of wood. All you need is a creative mind and a passionate heart to get started. Just by looking around where you are sitting, I bet you can see at least three items in your house that spark your imagination. A wooden frame for your TV? (because why not?). How about wooden cutlery and bowls for your kitchen? A wooden picture frame to go ontop of the fireplace, and special bookends for the office. The sky’s the limit really when it comes to what you can make. 

Platforms to Sell Woodworking Projects

To help you live up to the title of woodworking projects that sell, here are a few platforms that have spawned many independent businesses into thriving ones today.

Etsy

Etsy started back in 2005, as a platform for handmade creations. There are millions of users and billions made in revenue, all you need to do is tap into this wealth of resources to get started. Although the number of users and sellers are overwhelming, you will still have a good chance in the right niche. There are fees involved so make sure you look into those numbers and factor them into your business plan.

Facebook

This is where Facebook Marketplace comes in. People are on there selling pre-loved goods to handmade items to luxury brands. When your listing is tied to your profile, it does give you less privacy but more security when transactions are conducted. If you are looking to start something without having too much capital ready, Facebook marketplace is an easy platform to use that is free of charge.

Instagram

Instagram started out as a photography app, where people could share photos. It is a far cry from what it was today, with thousands of chances to promote and sell products and services. You need to gain a decent following and make good use of their hashtags to get your product out there, it could take some time as an estimated 1 billion users use this platform per month. You are able to link your product to your website (if you have one) or simply refer the buyers to your email or other form of communication to set up payment. 

Instagram is mostly free, but it does take time to set it up and gain a following. Your niche will matter more than ever here.

Craigslist

I wouldn’t say it’s old fashioned, but it is the oldest platform we have on here. Craigslist began in 1995 and is still a leading contender in online sales today. You may focus on more local customers and in that way you could reply more on word-of-mouth and spread the word. It is less secure in a way since there is no way to really guarantee the sale will go through. If the person decides to dodge your calls and not show up for the sale, then you just have to accept it as bad luck.

It’s still free to use and is locally based, which is a huge advantage in our opinion.

Your Own Website

If you are looking to save money, this is not the option we would suggest. However, if you are computer savvy and possess the know-how, then you can go this route. You will bring a lot more work onto yourself and it could also cost you time and money to build and pay for a domain name etc, but it makes you look more professional in the end. If you have your own website on your business card for people to link back to, it could give a wonderful first impression money can’t buy.

Amazon

List your product on Amazon. This E-commerce titan came out with Amazon Handmade, which functions similarly to Etsy. They do exact stringent standards and your products can only be listed after it has passed their screening and met their standards. This in turn guarantees quality for the buyers. Their monthly fee will cost you about $40, so make sure you factor that into your monthly overhead as well. 

Sell the Old-Fashioned Way

Next up are some ways to sell your products that allow your customers to come and see the items. Being able to do things the old fashioned way and actually feel and see what you are putting money into is still the preferred way for many (especially if it comes at a high price).

Try looking into flea markets, craft fairs, pop-up shops, booths and even farmer’s markets to get your foot in the door and your name out there.

Last but not least, you can go the oldest of the old-fashioned ways if you prefer, which is to rent out a storefront. If you have complete confidence in your products and you have some money to play with, opening in high traffic areas could bring a lot of business as well.

Conclusion

Not only have we provided you with the tools and guides needed to get you thinking about amazing things to sell, they also provide the skills you need to create amazing works. If you lack ideas or need to be prompted in the right direction, just read over our list to spark your imagination. After that, look through the methods of marketing and how to set up your business and pick a platform. Once you have established your budget and all the loose ends are tied up, you have the potential of a thriving business on your hands!

Robert

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