A LIST OF PROFITABLE WOODWORKING PROJECTS THAT SELL EXTREMELY WELL
Woodworking can be a time consuming process so you’ll want to make sure you’re only selecting the most profitable wooden crafts to build and sell when starting out.
To help you select the right product, this in-depth guide features 19 highly profitable woodworking projects that sell both online as well as at craft shows and markets.
CAN YOU MAKE MONEY SELLING WOOD CRAFTS?
Many people wonder if a woodworking business is profitable, and it absolutely can be. It’s easy to believe that woodworking is a dying trade, especially when you take a look at recent employment forecasting trends, estimating a decline of around 4% in jobs by 2029.
However, these figures don’t accurately reflect self employed or part time sellers. According to Payscale.com, the average hourly pay for a self employed woodworker is $30.52, with the average yearly pay ranging vastly from $18,000 to $60,000+.
The good news is that you can make as much or as little money as you like in your woodworking business.
How much money you make as a woodworker comes down to 3 main things; product selection, your unique selling point and clever marketing. I’ll go into detail about this later in the post.
WOOD CRAFT BUSINESS SUCCESS STORIES
Take a look at these success stories, all of these woodworkers have sold thousands of wooden crafts;
Note: These are rough calculations based on number of units sold on Etsy and average item cost. These sellers might have made much more than what is listed here.
- Craft Works Direct – Approximate Etsy shop earnings (without website sales), $76,164
- Warners End – Approximate Etsy shop earnings, $152,494
- MJD Fine Woodwork – Approximate Etsy shop earnings, $101,299
- Buy Mix Crafts – Approximate Etsy shop earnings, $48,903
19 WOODWORKING PROJECTS THAT SELL LIKE HOTCAKES
If you’re serious about starting a woodworking business from home, then you’ll need to know what wood items sell best.
To help you out, I’ve trawled through Etsy trends, Amazon homemade bestsellers as well as Pinterest buying data to uncover the most profitable wooden crafts to build and sell based on demand.
These are the best things to sell on Etsy, Amazon, craft sites as well as at traditional craft shows and markets.
1. Wooden Gift Signs
Wooden signs are highly giftable, especially when personalized with someone’s name or details.
Plus, they can be made for pretty much any occasion and they’re fairly easy to batch create the basic outline shape.
Wooden gift signs can retail for anything between $5.99 to $19.99+, depending on how intricate the work is.
2. Personalized Wooden Keyrings
Adding a personal photo inside a wooden keyring using a resin layer is a quick and easy wooden craft to sell. Perfect for beginner woodworkers.
Personalized wooden keyrings can retail for $10+, and often become bestsellers relatively quickly.
3. Personalized Home Decor (Plant Potters)
Wooden home decor sells extremely well on platforms such as Etsy, Artfire and Shopify. However, the reason these plant potters sell extremely well is because of personalization.
Potential customers know that if they went to their local garden centre, they wouldn’t be able to find plant potters with their family name engraved on them. Personalized home decor can retail well into $50-100+, depending on the item.
4. Personalized Wooden Spoons
If you’re searching for easy woodworking projects that sell, it doesn’t get much more simple than engraving wooden spoons.
Personalized wooden spoons are bestsellers on Etsy, and make perfect gifts for budding and amateur bakers.
If you’re not too keen on making the wooden spoons yourself, you could even buy the spoons at a wholesale price and simply offer an engraving service.
5. Children’s Doll House Decor
Whilst there are many children who would prefer a Playstation 5 to dollhouse decor, there are just as many children who love to pretend play with wooden figurines.
In January 2021, Google Trends reported global searches for ‘dollhouse mansion’, ‘IKEA dollhouse’ and ‘build your own dollhouse’ reaching ‘breakout’ status, which is brilliant news for sellers looking to branch out into this lucrative niche.
6. Children’s Wooden Toy Puzzles & Learning Aids
True woodworking moneymakers, children’s wooden toy puzzles and learning aids are hot sellers.
As a former educator and current Etsy seller myself, I see firsthand how more and more parents are searching for learning activities that involve less screen time.
It’s probably why this seller, BusyPuzzle, has sold more than 233,000 units of her simple, but colorful wooden toys.
7. Wooden World Maps and Wall Art
Catering to people’s hobbies and faith based interests, such as travelling the world or going to service, is a clever way to make woodworking projects that sell.
With some simple woodworking tools such as a power engraver and jigsaw cutter, world maps and wall art is an easy woodworking project for beginners.
8. Novelty Garden Furniture (Wooden Teapot Bird House)
When it comes to wooden crafts to sell, many sellers would assume a typical wooden birdhouse would sell.
However, the reason this wooden teapot bird house is a bestseller is thanks to its uniqueness and novelty value. Not only would it look amazing as a piece of garden furniture, but it’s also an incredibly easy wooden craft to make and sell.
9. Name Crafts
Name crafts are becoming increasingly popular, with homeowners seeking ways to make their living space more personal to them.
Take this simple wooden name outline, it’s an Etsy bestseller and looks perfect on a bedroom wall, or even as a celebration accessory.
Wooden name signs, depending on size, can sell for anything between $15 to $35 a piece.
10. Personalized Wooden Gifts
Similar to the wooden spoons, offering a common household item that can be personalized with a special message or someone’s name dramatically increases the item’s value, and opens your business to the lucrative gift market.
This hammer is a perfect gift for father’s day for example.
11. Wooden Birthday Cards
More and more people are searching for ways to make special birthdays even more memorable. A wooden birthday card does exactly that.
Wooden birthday cards, whilst not widely known, do become bestsellers as is the case with this one, and can retail for $10+ per ‘card’.
12. Luxury Pet Beds
The global pet industry is estimated to be worth $202.6 billion by 2025.
Dogs are often highly catered for, so if you’re looking to standout in a less competitive niche, making luxury cat beds or beds for small animals and rodents could be just as lucrative. Remember to cater for all sizes of animals, be it dogs, cats or rabbits.
13. Raw Craft Materials
One thing’s for certain, if you can’t make the products, you can at least make good money selling the raw materials to other people who can.
Supplying raw craft materials can be an extremely lucrative business idea, especially on online platforms such as Etsy, where the bestselling category is raw materials and craft supplies.
14. Eco Baby Accessories
Baby items with wooden accessories are a growing market. Take this pacifier for example, the wooden trim and beads make this a perfect gift for new parents who are more eco conscious or prefer to use wood instead of plastic for health reasons.
Make sure to double check your country’s trading standards in relation to selling baby accessories.
15. Christmas Tree Ornaments
Christmas tree ornaments are always a hotseller from September onwards, with sales rapidly increasing in the first two weeks of December.
Whilst this is a seasonal item to offer, it’s important to note that the most highly profitable and successful woodworking businesses often offer at least 2-3 items year round, to prevent any seasonal trends dampening their profits.
Wooden Christmas tree ornaments can retail for anywhere between $5 to $15 a piece.
16. Wooden Buttons
Wooden buttons are a surprisingly lucrative business idea, especially in relation to children’s clothing and vintage fashion items.
Wooden buttons can be styled and customised to pretty much any look, and that’s what makes them so unique. Wooden buttons can retail for anywhere between $5-10 a set.
17. Wooden Shelves (Unique)
Doing a quick search on Etsy will highlight just how competitive this niche is. The key to selling lots of wooden shelves online? Discover how to make your shelves stand out.
How can you make your shelves different from those you can find in IKEA or other homeware stores? Can you offer a rustic looking shelf? A luxury one with gloss? A personalized children’s bookshelf? A vintage looking one on a budget?
18. Wooden Tray Caddies
There’s lots of room for creativity with wooden tray caddies. From bath tray caddies to breakfast in bed style caddies to children’s pretend play sensory bins, wooden trays are incredibly versatile and lend to lots of product customisation.
The good news? Wooden trays can be bought wholesale, if you prefer to source your materials pre-made.
19. Wooden Crates (Unique)
Wooden crates don’t have to be sold as wooden crates. In fact, I’d recommend not doing this. Why?
With some simple engraving tools, you can add a lot more value to your wooden crate simply by transforming it into something which can be gifted or given at a special occasion. Take this champagne wooden crate, it would make a perfect birthday gift.
HOW TO START A WOODWORKING BUSINESS FROM HOME FOR UNDER $1000
If you’re ready to start a successful and highly profitable woodworking business of your own, keep reading to find out how.
HOW TO SELL WOOD PROJECTS AND MAKE MONEY
- Find a Profitable Niche
When it comes to most business models, I’m not a fan of niches as they can prevent you from scaling your business, however, when it comes to a more labour intensive business such as woodworking, you’ll make more money by picking a niche.
By niche, I don’t necessarily mean sticking to just 1-2 items, but rather selecting 1-3 types of wood crafts i.e. children’s wooden puzzles, wooden Christmas ornaments and children’s wooden crates and then making multiple varieties of the same craft.
This way, you’ve got lots of items to offer your customers without the hassle of crafting too many base products. Busy Puzzle, a shop on Etsy, does this really well.
- Can I batch create this item?
- Can I personalize/customize this item for customers?
- Do I have the physical skills to make this a success?
- Find Your Price Point and Pricing Structure
Your pricing needs to factor in the time it takes you to make each item, expenses to make the item as well as any profit you expect to make.
There are multiple ways to work this out, but simple cost-plus pricing is a good place to start.
- Have I factored in the time it takes to create this item?
- Have I included all up front expenses in the item’s cost price?
- Have I included fixed cost pricing fees such as website hosting fees or tool rentals into my product’s pricing structure?
3. Market, Produce & Sell on the Right Platforms
There are many ways to market and sell your unique creations, both online and offline.
Setting up your business’ social media marketing, a self hosted website and a shop on an existing ecommerce platform such as Etsy or Amazon Homemade is the fastest way to start making sales without spending thousands of dollars.
- Have I found 1-2 social media platforms to sell my wooden crafts on?
- Do I need a self hosted website (think like a portfolio to showcase your products) or would I prefer an ecommerce site such as Shopify?
- Have I set up a shop on at least one existing ecommerce site such as Amazon Homemade?
HOW TO STAND OUT FROM THE CROWD OF SELLERS
Standing out doesn’t mean you have to completely reinvent the wheel. When it comes to marketing and selling your products, simple things go a long way.
Make sure to take these factors into consideration when starting your own woodworking business.
- Packaging. The look and feel of the item’s packaging surprisingly makes a huge difference to whether people purchase or not. According to a survey conducted by IPSOS, 67% of consumers agreed that they are influenced by a product’s packaging when buying, with 71% of consumers stating they would prefer paper or cardboard packaging to plastic or other materials.
- What is Missing? Take a look at what’s currently out there and figure out what is missing that you can offer. If everyone is selling rustic wooden shelves, can you test and offer a luxury version? The idea isn’t just to copy what’s working but rather put your own spin on it.
- Customer Service. According to Hubspot, 73% of consumers will stay loyal to a brand that had good customer service, agreeing they were highly likely to become repeat buyers even if the competition offered the same product at a cheaper price. Customer service is incredibly important, but you’d be surprised how many businesses overlook this vital aspect of running a successful handmade craft company.
- Personalization. It doesn’t matter what platform you sell on, be it Amazon Homemade, Etsy or Facebook, offering the customer the opportunity to personalize and customize their item results in much higher profits and more sales. Why? Because most people are searching for something they can’t find on the highstreet, and personalization does exactly that. Naturally, this service commands a higher price point so don’t underprice yourself.
HOW EXPERIENCED DO I NEED TO BE TO SELL WOODWORKING PROJECTS?
To make woodworking projects that sell well, you’ll need to have the physical skills to make such items. It’s better to make simple, easy woodworking projects that look amazing, rather than more intricate and detailed designs that look shoddy.
Customers will notice little details, especially when it’s a gift for someone else. It’s best to complete a skill assessment before choosing which wooden crafts to make and sell. You can always improve your craftsmanship as times progresses.
WHAT WOODWORKING TOOLS WILL I NEED TO USE?
The type of tools you need will depend on which items you choose to make, but these are the most common woodworking tools you’ll need to be comfortable with.
- Engraving Power Tool
- A Jigsaw Cutter
- A Power or Table Saw
- A Hand Plane
- A Sander
- A Driver
- A Mallet/Screwdriver
BEST PLATFORMS AND PLACES TO SELL WOODWORKING CRAFTS
- Etsy – an online marketplace with an existing customer base that specializes in selling handmade crafts and unique, not on the high street items.
- Amazon Homemade – a handmade spin-off of the ecommerce giant, Amazon. Only crafts allowed.
- Facebook Page/Marketplace – A place to build a dedicated list of followers. This will take more time to build, and a little advertising, but can be worth it.
- Artfire – a premier handmade marketplace to sell handmade items
- Instagram – A slower build, but with 1 billion active monthly users, it’s no wonder businesses are using Instagram to highlight their wooden crafts.
- Craiglist – an American classified advertisements website dedicated to selling items
- Self Hosted Website/Shopify – Your own website, which can be designed to sell items and take orders through it. You will have to learn how to drive traffic to the website via social media.
- Flea Markets and Craft Shows – Good old fashioned markets can be a great place to sell your wooden crafts. Keep a lookout for advertisements in your local newspaper or directory.
PROS AND CONS OF STARTING A WOODWORKING BUSINESS
- You set how many hours you wish to work.
- Your earning potential is unlimited.
- You can start a woodworking business at home with a low start-up cost.
- There are many ways to sell your crafts both online and offline.
- You can develop a loyal customer base, resulting in repeat buyers.
- You get to be creative and focus on a hobby you love.
- You get to take more holiday time off than a typical corporate job.
- You are responsible for the success of your business (some don’t like the pressure).
- There are upfront costs and sometimes unexpected costs which must be covered.
- You need to attract all of your customers yourself.
- It can be repetitive work.
- You are solely responsible for collecting and accurately monitoring taxes.
- It can take a lot of time to create wooden crafts and fulfil orders.
- Your product ideas can be stolen by other competitors (as with any business)
There you have it, an in depth to wood crafts that sell well both online and at craft shows. This list of 19 most profitable wooden crafts to build and sell is by no means exhaustive. There are many other woodworking moneymakers to consider as part of your overall business plan.
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