One can make a living off of woodworking either by working in a shop or setting up their own business. To set up your own business, you will have to make items that will actually sell and that you will profit from.
- What are the most profitable woodworking items
- Cheaper products vs Expensive products
- How do woodworkers get rich?
What are the most profitable woodworking items
There are two main ways that you can profit off of woodworking items. The first one is by selling a lot of cheaper, batch products. You will not make a huge profit form each item, but you will sell a much larger quantity of these items.
The second category are the high value, expensive products. You will not sell as much of these items because it may take you longer to make and your client base will not be as large. However, you will make so much profit from one piece.
- Cheap, batch products
- High value, expensive products
13 most profitable woodworking items
- Pet Items
- Picture frames
- Cutting boards
- End/console tables
- Coffee tables
- Floating shelves
- Outdoor furniture
Some of the most profitable woodworking items include..
1. Pet Items
Pet items in general are highly sold products. People just love their pets. Some of the high demand products include pet beds, indoor and outdoor homes, and feeders.
Generally this niche is in high demand, depending on the animal you are making products for. But for any product, you will need to find a way to distinguish yourself from the competition.
Planters are also a very popular product sold in woodworking due to the plethora of custom design option. I’ve seen some very unique planters and have even made a few myself.
I have seen animal shaped planters and planter steps. Creating planters is an easy way to distinguish yourself from the competition due to the vast array of design options.
With planters, you have the option of indoor or outdoor, small or large, grounded or floating planters. The amount of options in this niche are almost endless.
3. Picture Frames
Picture frames are another high demand item in woodworking because woodworkers can create custom pieces that are difficult to find in the store.
Picture frames are also easy to make in batches once you learn how to make them.
With picture frames, I would make something that I can sell for a slightly higher price and that has something to make it more valuable. That is because it will be very difficult to compete with the competition of making basic picture frames.
Picture frames can be very cheap, and if you try to compete with the Target, Walmart, or Ikea market, you will likely not make much profit if any at all.
Make something that causes your picture frames to stand out a little. However, if you go overboard, you may loose your market and drop out of the “cheaper, batch product category” and fall into the “expensive products” category. Which isn’t bad, but I will discuss the pros and cons of each later
4. Cutting boards
Cutting boards are really nice items that can be highly personalized. Cutting boards are in high demand and you will have a large client base.
Cutting boards are a great option because you can make a fairly good amount of profit, in comparison to some of the other items on this list. You can make a nice, hand-crafted cutting board and sell it online for a decent price.
Again, I would warn against trying to compete with big box retailers. You will likely not have any profit try to match their prices. Instead, focus on creating a product that people cannot find that these stores
5. End/Console tables
End tables and console tables kind of fall on the end of the spectrum in this category. While it is more difficult to create a batch of tables, your client base will still be fairly high.
Additionally, the tables that I am talking about in this category are not the highly crafted, luxury tables that you will see in the following section.
However, end tables and console tables are still a highly sought after product. You will get more profit per table that you make, in comparison to most of the other items in this category. However, that profit is slightly negated due to the decrease in amount of products that you can make.
6. Coffee tables
Coffee tables fall further on the end of the spectrum in this category then the end tables and console tables. However, your client base will higher due to the high demand.
Just like the end and console tables, the coffee tables that I am talking about in this category are not the highly crafted tables.
A minimalist table is a good example of a table that can be crafted fairly quickly to the high demand of customers.
With coffee tables, you will get more profit per table but, just like the other tables, you will not sell as many.
Storage options are a great product to sell, especially if there is more than one use. For example, a table with storage, floating shelf with hidden storage, and a wooden ottoman with storage.
The reason why storage options are so highly valued is because living spaces, especially in larger cities, are getting smaller. Apartments are getting smaller, and having an items that can serve as one thing that the client needs and be a form of storage at the same time is a win win.
8. Floating shelves
Floating shelves are an easy product to make in batch. I used to make floating shelves in batches in the past in my own personal workshop in my garage.
They are simple, quick to make, and easy to sell. Honestly, you can cut a 2×4, sand it, stain it, and wa-la you have a floating shelf.
You know what else people love, their kids (or grandkids). Not all toys fall into this category. Some of the most highly sought after toys are the ones that are beautifully crafted and can be sold to adult enthusiasts as well. For example, wooden cars.
However, you can create custom tic-tac-toe, Jenga, and other learning games that are simple to make.
Bookshelves are a great product to sell. However, I would resist the urge to try to compete with the big box retailers.
Woodworkers can create custom bookshelves, that are easy to make, and that others will not be able to find in stores. You can customize the spacing in-between the bookshelf and the bookshelf itself.
I’ve even seen tree, mountain, and piano shaped bookshelves. Your options are essentially endless.
Custom made, wooden lamps are so great because you can also distinguish yourself from the other competition. Even the competition of wooden lamps with the other big box brands are favorable.
If you look up “diy wooden lamps” online, you will see so many great ideas. Plants, people, trees, action figures and the list goes on. Some ideas work with the light and wood to cast nice shadows.
Honestly, just looking at some of the ideas made me want to create my own wooden lamp. I may honestly do it in the near future.
Custom made wooden clocks are a high demand product. You can make a minimalistic easy to design clock or a more custom-designed, unique clock.
13. Outdoor Furniture
In this section, outdoor furniture includes patio furniture, fire pits, and hammocks.
A lot of these items will require more material than just wood. Fire pits, for example, can be made out of wood, but you will need a fire proof insert because wood burns. Additionally, outdoor furniture can be pretty seasonal.
Other than that, outdoor furniture is a high demand product that will easily sell.
These products are the ones that will fall into the high value category. The key to these items are that you will have to make the items worth the price you are selling them for. These will have to be items that are excellently well crafted and something that will be very difficult to find in the store.
The downside is that you will need to be a highly skilled woodworker to create these top of the line products.
5 ways to increase value in your woodworking projects
- Live edge wood
- Well-crafted joinery
- Expensive/Rare wood
- Other materials like marble
Some of the features that these products can have include..
1. Live edge wood
Live edge wood is expensive. Well crafted, live edge wood projects are more valued than it is expensive. Live edge wooden tables, shelves, and cutting boards are very common.
People who are in the market to buy live edge wooden projects are looking for a well crafted product. It is also going to be difficult to create a sub-par product and sell it cheaper because that client base is not in the market for live edge wood.
The people who are in the market for live edged wood are willing to pay for it. Through craftmanship, excellent design, and structure, you will need to justify the price that you are selling it for.
Epoxy is another expensive material. It also takes a lot of additional materials to properly craft it, shape it, and to let it dry.
Clear coat epoxy is cheaper and can be used in regular woodworking products. Casting epoxy is more expensive, however.
The amount of epoxy that you will need for a simple project will add up quickly. Additionally, the amount of time and materials that are needed to allow the epoxy to properly sit will limit the amount of products that you can make.
3. Well crafted joinery
Well-crafted, advanced joinery is another good selling point in products in this category. The key to selling based on the joinery method is to allow the joinery to be visible.
Well crafted dovetail, mortise and tenon, and miter joints are good and will sell. However, to really create high value products, you can more advanced joinery like some forms of Japanese joinery
4. Expensive wood
The type of wood that you use can increase the value of your product. The rarity or color of the wood can be a driving price factor.
5. Other materials
The incorporation of other materials like marble, glass, stone, and concrete can create wonderful products
Cheaper batch products vs Expensive products
Cheaper Batch products
- Easy to get started
- Less skill needed
- Cheaper materials
- Larger client base
- Less profit per product
- More competition with other woodworkers
- Harder to distinguish differences between big box brands
- More profit per product
- Less competition
- Great market, if you have the skill
- Can be difficult to justify cost
- Requires more expensive materials and tools
- Smaller client base
- Time consuming
How do woodworkers get rich?
You may be wondering, how do woodworkers make money. Woodworkers make money by either working for a shop or by starting a business. Some people have asked me, “do woodworkers make a lot of money” and “can you get rich from woodworking”. Honestly, getting rich from woodworking without being very skilled is extremely difficult.
- Sound business plan
- Business skills
- Highly valued product
You will need to be extremally skilled, and high valued to get rich from woodworking by working in a shop. Another way to get rich is by starting your own business. With starting your own business, you will need to incorporate business skills no matter your skill level.
Woodworkers get rich from having a sound business plan, business skills, and a highly valued product.
Sound business plan
As a woodworker, you will need to find your market and client base. Having an overly broad market can actually hurt your business. You will need to make a product that will provide benefit to the users
Woodworkers make things out of wood. Businessmen make money. No matter your skill level, you will need to have the essential business skills to gain clients, handle finances, market, and run a business
You need to get your business out there. You can be an excellent woodworker, but if no one knows about your products then you will not sell anything.
You can learn marketing skills yourself or hire a professional to do the marketing for you.
Social media makes marketing a lot easier and you can reach people across the globe easily. Common sites that you can sell your products are Etsy, Facebook marketplace, amazon, and eBay.
Accounting and Finance
Your business will need to properly handle your finances, bookkeeping, and taxes to keep you out of legal trouble and to manage your business.
The skills that are learned in this section can be difficult. People go to school for 4 years to master these skills. I would recommend to hire an employee or another professional to oversee the finances.
Highly valued product
It is difficult to make a lot of money selling smaller, cheaper items. Your profit is going to be a lot less and you will have to sell much more items to make a good amount of income.
The key to making money from selling custom-made woodworking products is to sell expensive products.
Selling an expensive, well-crafted product increases the amount of profit that you make per product. You will sell much less products because each one will take much more time. However, the amount of profit that you make will negate lesser amount of products sold and the increased amount of time to create.
Cheaper batch products
Lets say you sell custom-made wooden cutting boards for 55 dollars. It takes you 25 dollars to make, 5 dollars for packaging, shipping, and other costs. You will make a 25 dollar profit.
Lets say you sell 35 a week for 25 dollar profit, you will make a little over 45,000 a year before taxes. While that can be a full-time income, it’s not necessarily rich.
Lets say you sell an expensive table that is well crafted and takes you 15 hours to make. It costs you 250 in materials to make and 80 dollars in packaging, shipping, and other costs. If you sell it for 1,500 dollars your profit will be 1,170 dollars.
Due to the decreased client base, lets say you sell one every week. But you have more free time so you can sell something else in the same price range and that costs roughly the same. If you sell two items every week you will make over 120,000 before taxes.
In this article we learned about the top 13 most profitable woodworking items, how to bring value to your woodworking items, and how people get rich from woodworking.
Thank you so much for taking the time to read this article and I wish you luck on your woodworking journeys!
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