If you’re like me, you love building stuff out of wood. That’s what we do, we create, come up with cool ideas, build things that make awesome and practical gifts, etc. I get requests on a regular basis from friends and family for a new project they need me to make them. This is all fine and good, but what can I say, there just isn’t enough time in the day to crank all these out. I’ve got 3 kids and work a full-time job, so this is a ‘in-muh-spare-time’ kind of hobby. At first, I didn’t even consider making woodworking projects that sell. But eventually it starts to make sense.
If you can relate, then the idea of putting your hobby to work for you by making you some extra cash, well that kind of idea is really exciting – right! There are even people finding their niche and going full-time with this gig, quitting their day jobs and everything. That’s awesome, and really anyone can do the same.
So here’s the plan, if you’re looking for a good way to get into making some money selling your woodworking projects.
- Find a market you want to focus on, like gifts for children, home decor, practical furniture, gifts for women, etc…
- Then go thru the list on this page and get a few ideas for your market.
- Decide where you want to sell your items, and do some market research there (craigslist, etsy, your local venues…). This will help you determine pricing, and to learn what sells well in that market.
- To get the upper hand against your competition, you’ll want to do better than they do. Add features, colors, or package it as a group of items that compliment each other.
- Source your material – find the most inexpensive ways to build your projects (without sacrificing quality of course)
- Build a showcase product and take some high-quality pictures. Don’t skimp on this one. People like great pictures. Think backdrop, good lighting, no shadows, etc…
- Now price it, post it, and promote it. These topics are covered all over the interweb, so do some google research if you need help in this area.
Keep reading and hopefully you can get some great ideas to get you started!
Woodworking Projects That Sell – Make More Money With Your Hobby!
1. Floating Shelves
This is from Krista at Remodelaholic. She uses knotty Aldor in her tutorial and finishes with a gel stain. These are obviously options that you could change.
But the build is done right, with the solid and sturdy torsion box style construction. She basically is using a table saw to rip the pieces down to the right width, and joinery is all glue, screws, and a finish nailer. This makes for a simple project that is well put-together and should last a lifetime. I love it.
If you don’t have a table saw, you can buy certain types of boards at pre-cut widths, or you can have the guys at the store rip them for you. Then use your miter saw to cut the final lengths when assembling.
These are really popular right now and you shouldn’t have any problems selling them. I would scope out your competition on sites like Etsy and get some inspiration and ideas to make yours better than theirs.
2. Chalkboard Shelf Unit
Here’s a simple DIY knockoff build of an otherwise pricey and great-looking chalkboard shelf unit. The build was done by Scott at SawsOnSkates.
The joinery requires no glue, just pocket screws using a Kreg jig. But before attaching, he rounds over each board for this look. Metal brackets painted black wrap each corner for good looks.
After applying the stain and finish to the shelf unit, he cuts the chalkboard backing down to size with a circular saw and attaches it using finish nails.
Obviously, you can use different tools than mentioned here, as this is just a guide with his methods and his chosen finish, which can be anything you want.
I plan on trying this using pine 1-bys with a dark chestnut finish, as that would better match the other furniture I’ve built. Other than that I really like this style and I think Scott did a great job on this build.
3. Box Shelves
Built on the cheap and with superior quality, this great-looking box shelving unit was put together with a full tutorial with pictures from FamilyHandyman. He even offers suggestions to turn this into a more formal style vs the rustic look pictured here.
This is basically a collection of single boxes which he details how to build individually. Some you can put the backing on, others leave it off so the wall can be seen behind the shelf. The construction is done with glue and nails. Then stain or paint however you prefer.
When hanging, you can attach them all together with screws, and he offers his methods for hiding the screw heads.
This project, or most anything that falls into the wooden wall decor category, should do pretty well online.
4. Wood Framed Magnetic Chalk Board
Built with basic tools, from AnikasDIYLife, this interesting and handy magnetic chalkboard is sure to sell.
I would use a scroll saw, she uses a jig saw. Just use whichever you have, obviously, her tool of choice is less expensive.
She uses galvanized sheet metal for the back so it’s magnetic – and cheap! Remember this: to sell these craft projects online (or locally) you need to keep costs down so you still have a decent margin for profit while still pricing competitively (low).
You can get chalkboard paint that gives it the finish shown here. Very good and very cheap build and these sell very well online.
5. Cedar Chest
Here’s a well-built cedar chest, with full plans and 3-d rendered models of the build process over at MyCarpentry.com.
This was built entirely from fence boards, so it costs the guy nothing. If you actually do this with store-bought cedar-wood boards, you’ll be paying quite a bit, but can also demand a higher price when selling. Just keep in mind, shipping these larger projects adds to costs, so selling this locally may be more practical than selling online for some people.
The construction of this chest is entirely screws and nails, so it’s very simple and easy to put together.
6. Drink Caddy
Over at Dremel.com they’ll show you how to build this wooden beer caddy. It’s a pretty handy drink carrier that you can use when entertaining (or drinking heavily, if that’s your thing).
Their instructions would have you use their Dremel tools for every step of the process. But it’s pretty simple to figure out how to make these cuts and pieces using other tools, depending on what you have.
Final assembly of the project, which includes flat boards and dowels, will be with glue and nails, or screws.
7. Bedside Docking Station
Here’s a very handy charging station that Christine made over at pinspiredtodiy.com. She lays out the individual cuts required, angles, board thickness, and very good details on assembly.
Joinery is done with wood glue and a brad nailer using 1-1/4 in brad nails. Her entire process is detailed with high-quality photos and instructions. This is a fantastic tutorial.
This type of project pertains to just about anybody and everybody, which means while it may not sell for a lot of money, you can definitely market to everyone and make good profits by selling in volume.
8. Baby Gym
This baby gym is a very popular item in online markets (think Etsy). This one was made with a full tutorial with pictures over at Instructables.com.
It’s basically built with a miter saw, a drill, and a random orbital sander.
Just be sure that any finish or paints that you use with this project are food grade. And they use screws in the dowel, which I would advise against; that screw could work loose over time and fall out. This could be done with a small dowel glued in a hole drilled through the main dowel.
But overall this is an easy build and falls into the category of great woodworking projects that sell, as parents are some of the biggest shoppers online.
9. Toy Cars and Trucks
This kids-toy-set from TheProjectLady.com is a simple and cute little gift.
These kinds of toys can really sell well, you just need to make sure they look fun and colorful. They’re really cheap to make, so you wouldn’t be able to charge much individually. So it may be best to package them in larger sets.
While I know for a fact this would come out very nicely, and much easier, with a scroll saw… You can get away with using a jigsaw on these. If you’re using a jigsaw, I would take a couple runs at it and don’t get your hopes up until you are sure you want to deal with that much sanding. Whereas a scroll saw doing these cuts would leave a nice smooth finish if done properly.
10. Scrap Wood Wall Art
Here’s a simple project that was done on Fix This Build That (great project resource by the way), and this type of thing sells really well on places like Etsy. It’s a cheap project, which you can literally make from all scrap cutoffs you may already have laying around.
This one will require a bit more creativity since the layout and design will completely depend on the pieces of scrap wood you have. This can be a really good thing because each piece you build will likely be a unique, one-time piece.
11. Kid’s Toybox Step Stool
Here’s a really good PDF plan for a kids toy box from Chiefs-shop.com. It’s got full cutting diagrams, which is color coded which makes it very easy to follow, and uses pocket hole joinery.
You could probably charge more for this piece by adding some customization, like specific colors or stencil painting on the kids’ names.
Here’s a really basic project done by Timisha at Toolbox Divas. It’s put together with some basic hand tools and a hot glue gun. All you need, as far as material goes, is some square dowels and whatever kind of paint or stain you want to finish it with.
This won’t sell for much so it should definitely be packaged up with at least 4 coasters, or even group it up with other related products, like a tablet holder or a coffee table centerpiece. It could be a whole suite of coffee table accessories!
13. Event and Season Sign
This is an interesting and versatile sign idea from Amy at HerToolBelt.com. I love the idea she went with in this tutorial, and overall it’s a simple build, but use your imagination and create something similar for every season, or even for events. Maybe a birthday sign would sell well. I bet if you go with holiday signs, those could go on sale a month in advance and would probably do really well.
This uses very beginner-friendly, glue and nail joinery, and the cutout is done with a jigsaw. So it would be very easy to make a bunch of generic seasonal and event-centered signs, take some nice pictures, and post them online to sell. Then just build them to order depending on what the customers want.
14. Jewelry Box
Here’s a very nice looking jewelry box with a great build tutorial over on Popular Woodworking. It’s a bit more complicated, but it’s also a higher end product that can sell for at least $40 or $50 online.
This makes for a great gift for the wife, girlfriend, or daughter, and anything that works for many different age ranges as a practical and affordable gift, can do very well selling online.
15. Wooden Sand Box
This sandbox makes for a great gift for toddlers and even older kids. This particular build is from CalRedWood.com. Its a well done set of plans, and is designed very solid and sturdy, and should last a long time. Joinery uses cleats and screws.
Depending on how and where you’re selling these, shipping won’t be the easiest. Ideally, you could sell to a local market, but if that’s not feasible, you would stand above the rest by offering such a product that most others don’t care to hassle with the shipping. You could probably build it in a way that would with “some assembly required”, that way you could stack the sections and box it up easier, and create a simple assembly sheet and include all the screws they need. Just pre-build all the big pieces so most of the work is already done.
16. Decorative Keepsake Box
Here’s a very nice decorative box with a great set of plans over at Canadian Woodworking. These boxes are gorgeous and would sell like hotcakes to the right market. The trick would be sourcing good quality woods at a low price, so you can crank them out for a lesser cost.
Joinery is screws, dowels, and glue. To finish you could use an oil finish, poly, or even spray on lacquer. Any way you go, if you use different color woods as shown in the picture, it should sell really well.
17. Treasure Chest Toy Box
This is a really fun idea for a toy box, from the awesome site, HousefulOfHandmade.com. She does really cool stuff over there, you should check it out (no affiliation).
Gifts and stuff like this made specifically for children can be really really successful as a business model in general, if that’s all you made and sold online. Once parents find good quality and fun gifts for their children, they come back for more. Why wouldn’t they, most parents have multiple times every year they need to buy gifts. Plus, they also spread the word. And parents tend to hang out with other parents. So if you’re creating a business idea for a craft store online, or even selling on Etsy, doing stuff like this might just allow you to quite your day job!
18. Storage Box
This particular style is definitely what I would consider higher-end, and the plans are well done by WoodworkingCorner.com. This style of box could definitely demand a higher price tag. It uses box joints and sports a customized name engraved with a router.
This stuff would sell, and you could make a good margin, as the build time is longer so nobody is cranking these things out very fast (which typically means fewer sold, and so the price tag is higher).
19. Vertical Planter Box
Here’s a great and simple build from the one-and-only Ana White, a great resource for any DIYer, or anyone looking for inspiration for woodworking projects that sell.
As usual, her plans are very well done and easy to follow. This could be put together with screws, glue and brads, just glue, or even a finish nailer. It would be an easy product to build in assembly-line style, so line up 4 or 5 sells and build them all at once. The only thing that will slow you down a bit is making them custom per order, depending on what numbers are needed.
This wouldn’t sell for very much but appeals to a huge chunk of online shoppers – women and homeowners. That means if marketed correctly, you may sell a ton of these planters.
20. Toy Stacker Blocks
Here’s another great option if your target market is going to be parents. The plans are from WeeFolkArt. This is an age-old classic children’s toy that I believe would do very well. Especially in the days of cheap crappy toys that we’re currently in; most of the fun looking exciting plastic toys found at major stores break after a week. I know, we go thru this every birthday and Christmas with our children.
People are starting to get wise of this and looking for fun, simple wooden toys that will actually last a long time. That’s where you can come in with this stacker block set.
21. Wood Toy – Jacob’s Ladder
Like the last one, this is another classic wooden toy. These plans are free from Wood Craft Arts. This is a simple build, and it’s a really fun toy. The current generation of parents and of grandparents will probably remember this toy from their childhood (as I do) and would love to buy these for their youngins. Because of this, I think it would really sell well if marketed to these parents and grandparents.
22. Bathtub Caddy
This is a very good tutorial over on Instructables.com. They’re using Walnut hardwood, which is not cheap (not where I’m from anyway). Joinery is glue and brad nails, and the finish they suggest is varnish.
They actually use biscuit joinery to make the panel, which is not necessary if you don’t have a biscuit cutter. You could just use glue, or skip the glue altogether and use pocket screws for a quicker build.
If you add some features these things could easily sell for well over $100. Look at what’s selling right now on Etsy to get some ideas.
23. Wooden Serving Tray
Here’s a project posted by The Kim Six Fix, and it has an interesting design that would probably sell pretty darn good.
She’s basically using two different colors of wood and creating an interesting cross-hatch pattern. All the pieces are just glued together. She’s using a quick set wood glue that will probably do the job, but this type of glue does not have a long shelf life. So for that reason, I would suggest using regular wood glue if that’s what you have.
24. Cutting Board
Here’s an absolutely beautiful Edge grain butcher block cutting board, with a great tutorial over on Instructables.com. Even though I’m not looking for projects to sell myself, I think I’m going to make one of these for my wife.
When selecting the type of wood to use, don’t just go with any scrap board you have lying around. On the web page for this build, you’ll find a link to an article about choosing the best wood for these projects.
You’ll basically be cutting the strips of wood roughly to size, liberally gluing them together, then squaring it up and molding the edges. For a finish, they recommend using food safe mineral oil and beeswax. Very well done, and would probably sell for $50 or more.
25. Chess Board
Chess boards seem to sell really well online, as any chess player appreciates a custom-made hardwood chess board. This particular one was built by Jay’s Custom Creations.
He does fantastic work and has a very thorough tutorial on his site. If you sell this with the chess pieces as well, it would easily go for a $150 or more, I do believe.
26. Wooden Play Kitchen
Here’s another great tutorial from AnaWhite.com. This is an essential toy for all children. Kids absolutely love these, and they make great gifts. That means they will probably sell really well.
I would suggest finding a way to make yours stand out and be unique, without adding to the cost of the build. That’s what I would do if selling a project like this.
27. Kid’s Picnic Table
And yet another project from one of my favorite DIY sites, AnaWhite.com. Here’s a simple build for a small picnic table, which makes a great and practical project.
Because these are so basic and there will be competition, you’ll want to find a way to make yours stand out, or find a way to build it very cheaply without sacrificing quality. That way you can price it more competitively to get an edge.
28. Crayon Holder
This is a fun and easy idea from Suncatcher Studio. The tutorial is well done and comes with decent plans.
I would build a few of these and see how they sell, then come up with similar ideas for other styles and patterns. Not every kid likes a piano, but maybe an alligator?
29. Toy Rubberband Gun
Here’s a fun crafty project from RunnerDuck.com. This wouldn’t sell for much, but it wouldn’t take hardly anything to build it either.
You may want to find ways to make it more interesting or colorful. Maybe add features so it holds additional rubber bands, or build in a way so 2 rubber bands can be loaded at once. Just remember, doing these projects in any way that makes them stand out from your competitors will really help to sell more.
30. Backgammon Set
Here’s another good build from Instructables. Apparently, a good backgammon set can go for quite a bit at online craft stores. So even though I don’t know how to play the game, I think this could be a great project to sell.
With projects like this, you’d want to create some jigs so the intricate pieces can be cut faster and more accurately. By keeping your build time minimal, you can be more competitive.
31. Farmhouse Picture Frame
Here’s a simple but very interesting idea for a wooden picture frame. This was done over at HerToolBelt.com.
Picture frames are being sold everywhere, so you’ll have to stand out if you want to sell these. Using interesting styles like this one here is a good example of what you DO want to sell.
32. Toy Building Blocks
I’m a big fan wooden toy blocks for children. They’re easy to build, and they last a lifetime. This particular set is from BillPentz.com.
There’s definitely a market for wooden toys for children. If you’re looking for woodworking projects that sell to parents and grandparents, you should definitely have this in your arsenal. But because these block sets are so basic, you want to have other toys to offer as well.
33. Desktop Organizer
If you haven’t come across Woodworking for Mere Mortals yet, you need to go check him out. Everything he does is awesome. This project he did is a very practical and great looking desk organizer.
After looking at desk organizers on Etsy, I would guess you could sell this for $60 or more.
34. Ladder Quilt Rack
This is a very standard wooden ladder-style quilt rack done by Remove and Replace.
If you want to sell it as shown in the tutorial, you’ll have to find a way to make it cheap so you can keep your costs down and stay competitive.
However, I would suggest using this guide to learn how to put one together, then design one that is unique and stands out from the rest. This will help it sell better online.
35. Traditional Blanket Rack
Just like the ladder quilt rack, this traditional style will sell online. This model was done at Wayne of the Woods.
But like the ladder rack above, you’ll want to spruce this up a bit and add some design features to make it stand out.
36. Cornhole Set
This is a great tutorial done by diynetwork.com. They use plenty of photos to show you every step of the project.
But for woodworking projects that sell online, something like this will have a lot of competition. You’ll want to incorporate some unique designs and really make it stand out. You want this thing to look awesome and fun, and colorful!
37. Washers Set
Here’s a simple walkthrough for a washers game set done on Instructables.com.
Like the cornhole set, you’ll want to make these in a way that they really stand out if you want to sell them anywhere. You may add some design features to the paint job, install astroturf flooring, or maybe package them with a fun and practical scorekeeping board / cup holder.
38. Wine Rack
What can I say, people love their boos. Minwax knows this, and they created this great tutorial on their blog.
This type of decorative and functional project sells like crazy online. You may want to scope out your competition first to get ideas of how the successful ones are doing it. Come up with any additional features you can incorporate to make yours better than the rest.