The complete guide to Woodworking projects that sell

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If you like wood and have a hankering to start something new, why not begin learning woodwork, making small woodworking projects that sell is a great way to keep busy and make money from home.

Image of girl in woodshop with text diy woodworking projects that sell

There are 100’s of items selling now on Etsy made out of wood. Many of which have a high-profit margin and can be sold online or in person. Even Dad can try to work these brilliant ideas for woodworking at home.

In this post, we will discuss how to begin selling items and give you a few easy small wood project ideas.

*This post contains some affiliate links for your convenience (which means if you make a purchase after clicking a link I will earn a small commission. It will not cost you a penny more) Click here to read my full disclosure policy.

Get started selling woodworking projects

Firstly – you need to establish if there is a market for your product. To do this, you probably need to set aside a day to research your product, how much they sell for, and if it’s within your skillset.

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How do you research woodworking projects that sell?

Market research your wood project

Take a look at Etsy and eBay and see what is selling.

Often home items do well only because they are often unique and a talking point. You will need to put pen to paper and do due diligence here. I don’t mean looking at page 1 of each site and viewing just one item in one shop.

I suggest viewing shops, taking notes on what they are selling, and how much. Most often, Etsy shops do not show their sales, but take a screenshot of their sales today and come back in a few days and see how much they have sold. If only two items, well, you know their sales went in by 2 in a week. – Not rocket science

It is easy to fall down a rabbit hole at this stage as you will find lots of ideas, shop names, image ideas, etc. Take quick notes, but don’t let the competition deter you. Lots of people are now selling online, and there is room for everyone.

Make a note of what interests you – after all, you might need to make a lot of them. (Alone in a shed)

Niche down your ideas for Woodworking projects

If you are interested in selling wooden kids’ toys, keep your research in that area. Perhaps you have been inspired by something you have seen and know you can make it better.

Remember, your time is free – but it’s not limitless.

If you are planning to sell your woodworking projects locally – maybe they don’t post well, or are too expensive to post. Where will you sell them? – and indeed if you honestly like the idea of standing behind a table for six weekends in the summer.

Decide if you want to sell them online or in person.

Perhaps you haven’t yet got that far and are just reading this post because you want to make stuff, but don’t know yet.

Read on.

Why start selling woodworking projects

Woodworking projects have a significant advantage because not everyone can do them. Honestly, I’d be a danger using a Wood Saw – many people would run a mile seeing a Circular Saw moving. Let alone attempting to make anything serviceable like a shelf.

So if wood is your thing – you are already ahead of the pack.

Woodworking projects that sell are mostly cheap to make. Perhaps you can do some research and see if you can get free offcuts from somewhere local. Or you have a whole shed of scrap wood and are thinking of how to put it to use.

Either way – wood can be picked up cheaply, and so is relatively cost-effective.

If driftwood is your thing

Read on for a great project idea.

What should I build out of wood

Deciding on what to make out of wood can be a difficult choice. Know your limits. Don’t try to make something beyond your skill set. – it won’t sell for cakes if it’s not of good quality and you will be disappointed and give up in a few months. Keep your projects within your capabilities.

Here are a few more things to keep in mind when planning to sell small woodworking projects.

Think about the cost in the first instance

Be honest with yourself here. How much will those raw materials cost you? – Can you find those little knobs online and easily? – if you are thinking, Oh, I’ll just nip down to the DIY store and buy them. Stop.

Many of these shops sell beautiful things at inflated prices. You must source all of your required materials at the cheapest rates possible, even if that means buying things online in bulk.

I’m not suggesting you spend hundreds on sourcing that perfect pearl handle. Just be aware that profit will be a great motivator if you can get it right.

How do I work out the costs?

Go for a trial project and note everything you have spent, from each nail to electricity used.

Read on for more details

Tools required to make your project

Do you already have the necessary tools for your project? Is your shed full of tools you liked in the shop, but have no idea how to use them? Will your project require specific tools you don’t yet have? – make a note of these.

To keep costs to a minimum, after all, we are in the business of making money from home – Can you borrow tools for your first project

Below are a couple of basic tools you may need and the prices.

Dremel 2050-15 Stylo+ Versatile Craft Rotary Tool, Wood Carving Detail Tool, Perfect for Glass Etching, Leather Burnishing,...
  • VERSATILE TOOL FOR CRAFT PROJECTS: Glass etching, leather burnishing, jewelry making, polishing, woodworking and more
  • WOOD CARVING DETAIL: Use your creativity to create amazing woodcarving projects. Perfect for general & detailed woodworking crafts. Allows...
  • SLIM SIZE: Slim size allows you to get closer to your workpiece and provides maximum control in precision etching, engraving, polishing and...
Sale
DEWALT 20V MAX Cordless Drill/Driver - Bare Tool (DCD780B)
  • Compact, lightweight design of this DEWALT drill fits into tight areas
  • High speed transmission of the power drill delivers 2 speeds (0-600 & 0-2,000 rpm) for a range of fastening and drilling applications
  • Ergonomic handle delivers comfort and control for this DEWALT 20V MAX drill
Hudson Durable Goods - Woodworking Edition - Waxed Canvas Apron - Grey
  • Built to Last - Made from wax-infused canvas fabric, this work apron is liquid-resistant and heavy-duty. It withstands wear and tear and provides...
  • All-Day Comfort + Customized Fit - Bear the weight of your tools with more ease with its padded cross-back straps. Comfortable and easy to wear,...
  • Tool Pockets & Loops - Your work tools, gadgets, and accessories are within easy reach with its roomy and sturdy pockets. It comes with a chest...

How much time will it take to make your project

We think of our time as free, and it is if you are watching Netflix. But if you are using your time to make something to sell. Suddenly you are now working to make something using your time. Knowing from the outset that a small project takes 6hrs to make gives you a good idea of how much you are making per hour.

Remember, this is time you will not have to do your regular work – so can you fit this in around school pick up, or will you be in trouble if the lawn is 6ft high and you only have a wooden button to show for it.

Don’t believe me – I worked on my computer designing patterns for less than a 3Pence an hour. No joke. You can see other mistakes I made in my online business as well.

Which leads me to my next point!

Expected profit for Wooden projects to sell

Many people know how to price up their work. But if you don’t, here are a few tips.

Take the cost of all of your materials, everything from each nail to each piece of wood, and then multiply this by 4.

Why 4? – this is your profit.

If you spend 3$ on supplies to make your item, you can multiply by 4 to give you a good profit. Ensuring, whatever happens, you will get your money back.

Labour – if you want to make 20$ an hour while working and your item takes you 30 mins to make – start to finish, you now need to add on 10$ to your overhead costs.

Overhead costs are associated with running your business, but can’t necessarily be attached to a product.

  • Tools
  • Electricity
  • Photo props – (you will need to photograph your projects at some point)
  • Selling fees – Etsy charges .20c per item listing and 5% per sale. (This can add up if you are selling either a lot of cheaper items or costly items)
  • Advertising fees

You should add these up, and then divide them by the number of products you sell.
E.g, if your shed light bill is 200$ a month and you only make four items during that time.

Well, you can see it adds up.

I know for a first-timer – this can seem like, wow, I haven’t even made anything yet.
Don’t worry – it’s to keep you accountable.

Sourcing materials to make your woodworking project

Will your source your materials online? If so, then allow extra for shipping those items to you. Will you use scrap wood pieces you already have hanging around?

Do you need to buy a special polish or paint to complete your project which you can only buy locally? Can you contact a local builder who works with wood and ask them if they can help source items cheaper to get started. Remember – a lot of this is trial and error and might change over time.

You will need to adapt to the market as well. Some items will sell better than others.

Are your Woodworking projects seasonal or evergreen?

If you are planning to sell wooden bird boxes – these might be seasonal items which are good because you can spend the off-season building and refining your designs and the high season promoting and selling your wood projects.

This method of working would work well if it isn’t your primary income source because you can invest several months creating your projects and pick up when other work was slow.

You might not know the actual sales potential unless you complete a whole season of selling.

Will your skill set be enough?

If you are going to make anything to sell, you have to be better than the next best person. It’s basic logic – unless you are only targeting local people, your item had better be the best it can be to sell anything at all.

I can’t say this enough.

I’ll be blunt.

If you make poorly executed items – they won’t sell. People just don’t want to buy low-quality items these days.
If you are short on skills set – don’t worry, everything can be learned.
(I know this, my husband flies a plane, but can’t put up a shelf – go figure)

I’m sorry – if you want to learn how to fly a plane, can’t help – but these books will help you learn woodworking.

Sale
Woodworking: The Complete Step-by-Step Guide to Skills, Techniques, and Projects (Fox Chapel Publishing) Over 1,200 Photos &...
  • Tom Carpenter (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 448 Pages - 05/13/2019 (Publication Date) - Fox Chapel Publishing (Publisher)
Sale
Woodworking Wisdom & Know-How: Everything You Need to Know to Design, Build, and Create
  • Taunton Press (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 976 Pages - 05/08/2018 (Publication Date) - Black Dog & Leventhal (Publisher)
Boxes to Build: Sturdy & Stylish Projects to Organize Your Home & Shop
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 152 Pages - 01/04/2022 (Publication Date) - Cedar Lane Press (Publisher)
The Whittling Handbook: 20 Charming Projects for Carving Wood by Hand
  • Hardcover Book
  • Benson, Peter (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)

Space required – map out your work area

You will need somewhere to work without going into battle every day. Do you have this space to complete your projects? I’m guessing woodworking doesn’t do well in the kitchen but is acceptable in the garden shed or garage.

Go outside now and see where you can work and store items. – don’t make this a stumbling block, many people have disused sheds and space they may be willing to allow you to use.

Done that – great.

Where will you sell your woodworking projects

If your items are small and not a local market, then the best place is online.

If this is entirely new to you – I would probably start on a platform such as Etsy. You won’t need to make a website for yourself as Etsy has built-in traffic and means you can get your feet wet without selling your home to find your store.

You might also feel that selling in person in only one place regularly is the best way to go.

Maybe you live near a lively monthly market you can sell at. Depending on your product, what your location is – will all have a bearing on this.

Who you will sell to?

Maybe an odd question – but knowing your market is crucial to your success. If you are a stay at home Dad and want to sell children toys – you know you will want to sell to Mums and Dads.

I have a large section on mapping out your customer in my Etsy planner here.

If you are selling outdoor bug houses, maybe your market will be broader.

Is it worth a quiet chat with your local garden center – to see if it’s something they might buy from you in the future?

If that is your idea – remember ideas will leave you and move to the next person if you don’t take action. So write this down and make a plan on when you will do this.

Take action – don’t procrastinate.

“Following-through is the only thing that separates dreamers from people that accomplish great things.”– Gene Hayden

How much profit can you make selling small woodworking projects

Profit will depend entirely on the items you have chosen to make. See above for a brief calculation.
But in round figures – you will need to take your materials and x 4. Add in your time and expenses (that which each item costs you) = Retail price

Let’s look at this a little closer –

  • Wood costs = 3$
  • Labour costs = 6$
  • Overheads = 4$

Therefore 3×4=12+6+4 = 22$

Now honestly look at your item and ask yourself if you can justify selling it for 22$. Keep in mind that if you are selling online – the buyer will need to pay for postage, unless you are will to absorb those costs yourself.

I know – this is all complicated when all you wanted to do was enjoy making Wooden baby toys.

But if you have got this far and are still motivated to continue –

Read on for more information about selling your woodworking projects

How to start selling my woodworking projects

It’s all fine and well, having a great idea. Knowing you can make them yourself and enjoy it. But how do you go about selling your woodworking projects?

The logistics of selling things you have made yourself

Packaging – If your items lend themselves well to gift options, don’t skip this part, it’s probably more important than ever. People are sending more and more gifts online, and packaging is a significant selling factor.

If you can supply beautiful packaging – you are almost certainly onto a winner. Everything from string bags to linen covers is trending right now. But a basic packaging strategy will serve you well.

25x Burlap Gift Bags With Drawstring 5x7.5” Small Party Favor Gift Bags + Bonus Gift Tags & String! Brown Bags Bulk Small Size...
  • ✔️BAGS THAT WON’T BREAK: No matter how cute the gift, it won’t impress anyone if it’s in a drawstring pouch that’s unravelling at the...
  • ✔️PERFECT SIZE AND COLOR: Some gift bags are just too white to look natural, or they’re too big or too small. Kona Kift bags are made of...
  • ✔️ONE BAG, SO MANY USES: We challenge you to find a draw string bag that’s so perfect for so many settings! Our customers tell us they use...

Are they dangerous? – It might seem obvious for small children – But it’s worth doing some research to ensure you are not selling something which can potentially harm someone. Use your judgment on this.

Can anyone help you? – You’ve made the perfect wooden plate – but it requires a stamp on the back. Can someone help you with this part?

Think of all the required steps needed to buy, make, and sell your items. If you are a bit shaky on any of it, can you get someone to help you?

Perhaps there is someone who would love to sell your items in a local shop or stall for you.

Don’t overthink this. Just be aware – some things are better left to others.

Are they customizable? – are you willing to accept commissions?
I include this because customizable items sell. And they sell well on almost any platform. People love items made especially for them, and yes, they are will to pay for it.
Can your item be made personal in some way? – Can you add names or places to it? E.g, selling wooden signs can make a lot more money if you can add personalization to it.

Test your market locally
Can you put a little sign outside your home advertising your wooden projects for sale? People enjoy buying locally – and if you can get some passing trade, it’s great to talk to customers and see what they want.
You can find great ideas on ways to improve, and direct feedback is the most valuable in any market.

Is the market already saturated
Once you have decided on an item – look to see what else is out there. Can you purchase one yourself – just to see the process? Nothing wrong in this, except it’s not a way to copy other people’s great ideas.

Just remember everyone, it has to be your idea – if the market is already the size of Canada, don’t bother. It’s virtually impossible to compete, besides there is probably a factory somewhere making 90 a minute.

I hope you are enjoying this article so far

Examples of woodworking projects to make and sell.

  • Doorstops – Every home should have one. Here is a cute one I have in my house. It isn’t made of wood, but I love it. You can find something similar
    Image
  • Office gadgets
  • Candles
  • Wall art
  • Jewelry
  • Signs
  • Ornaments
  • Toys
  • Garden items
  • Shelves
  • Storage
  • Stools
  • Games
  • Plant pots/holders
  • Boxes
  • Chopping boards
  • Magazine racks
  • Coasters
  • Bowles
  • Plates
  • Trays

Scrap wood projects to sell

  • Plant pot succulent holder
    You can work your skill set up with this pretty plant holder made from pieces of wood you can find anywhere. Nothing to say you can’t paint it and even a metal name tag from a garden center to jazz it up a bit—still a great project for beginners.
  • Easy Wooden footstool
    Simple but effective – pretty much every home has one in some form or another. Easy to add details or monograms, ticking that customization factor. So you can sell for more money. I’d love a cream one myself. 🙂
  • Diy Wooden frames
    Looking for something practical to make easily from wood? – No problem, check out these Wooden frames to make at home from a few offcuts of wood.
  • Heart-shaped candles
    From the instructions provided by The Nav Patch – you can make these easily by using old wood offcuts. Very practical and a great little project to sell. Many of these candle holders do well in garden centers – so it might be worth asking if you can sell yours locally as well. Perhaps customization options could be a letter in the middle instead.
DIY wooden candle holders with heart details
Image – TheNavagePatch
  • Wooden Star Ornaments
    Perfect for your DIY Wedding table decor. I can see these doing well also in garden centers and outdoor furniture sales. But it also can be adapted for the Wedding market. Why not make them for guests to take home afterward. Honest and straightforward for the first-timer. It can be jazzed up with paint or even gold paint maybe.
  • DIY Wooden Lanterns – Why not try your hand at creating these pretty Wooden lanterns for outside your door. Or make lots of them for a cost-effective Wedding table decoration like

Driftwood crafts to sell

  • Pineapple wall art
    These fab driftwood Pineapple wall decor are great if you live by the sea and want to sell locally. These are a perfect keepsake for a little trip to the beach and ideal for nautical decor at home. I love them.
Driftwood DIY wall art in pineapple
Image credit – Made in a Day
  • Driftwood Jewellery Holder
    What’s not to like? I would buy one of these in a moment – they are practical and useful for everyone. If priced correctly, I’m sure you could sell lots of these during the summer months. Wonderfull, I just love the simplify of these. Quick and easy – even I could make one.
Driftwood DIY jewellery hanger
Image – DIY CANDY

Other items which are already selling on Etsy

Sometimes it’s ok to look around and see what else is out there already. Can you make it better, cheaper, more customizable? Don’t dismiss these items as they often have several versions from different sellers. But one of them will always do better.

Your job is to seek out why and try to do better. Is it their photos, their overall feel of the shop, their branding, styling, the actual product.

Let look at a few more items already for sale on Etsy

Woodworking box with monogram on the front

Other woodworking project ideas to try

During my research for this post – I did find lots of practical items you can make and sell online.

A simple, beautiful Scrabble Message Board looks so effective here and perfect if you want to get practical and unique.

If you are interested in gardening and want to make custom products, why not take a look at these lovely Monogram planters. These seem perfect for the gardener and would sell well in garden centers in winter and summer.

If you love West Elm – why not try building these pretty West Elm inspired potholders. I love how they have used dark colors and white pots. Very effective. I love these too.

A kitchen chalkboard – a brilliant way to create something simple and useful for the kitchen. They don’t look homemade and are so unique; you can name your price for these. Perfect and practical.

Have you got the idea down yet? – hopefully, you have found something to inspire you today with this post on DIY Wooden Projects to make and sell. Do your research before you invest any money – know how much profit you will make and don’t underestimate the time needed to complete the projects. Just start.

Here is a rundown of all the things we have covered in this post again. Click on the links to take you there.

  • Getting started selling DIY easy Wood Projects
  • Research your Woodworking project
  • Niche down your ideas
  • Why start selling DIY Small Wooden projects
  • What should I build out of Wood
  • What tools will I need
  • Time is money when you work for yourself
  • How much money can I make
  • Finding materials to use
  • Selling year-round items
  • Are my skills enough
  • Do you have space
  • Who are my customers
  • How much money can I make selling Wooden items
  • How to start selling online
  • Example Woodworking projects
  • Scrap Wood projects
  • Driftwood Crafts
  • Wooden projects that already sell on Etsy
  • Conclusion on Woodworking projects that sell

I hope you enjoyed this post on woodworking projects to make and sell. Please pin to your favorite Pinterest board. That would be fab.

image of man woodworking with text Get Started Wooden projects that sell.

Other helpful posts around Etsy you might find helpful.

Open an Etsy shop

Ways to make money from home

Do let me know in the comments if you have started selling Wooden items online – or if you need help with Etsy.

Wooden tools with text DIY wood projects
Easy woodworking projects to sell

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5 Comments

  1. Hi there, all is going sound here and ofcourse every one is sharing data, that’s in fact excellent, keep up writing.

      1. adrienne terrell says:

        Thank you so much. This has really helped me.

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