One of the secrets to my success on Etsy was finding a few woodworking projects that sell. Sometimes it just takes one or two items that consistently show up at the top of the search results to create a consistent stream of sales.
Part of this success was just from dumb luck of making the right thing at the right time. Another part was trying different woodworking projects until I found one that sold well.
Whether you are a beginner woodworker with just a couple of basic tools, a dedicated woodturner, or have a fully outfitted woodshop, there are a ton of great ideas for woodworking projects that sell.
Woodworking Projects that Sell
Coat racks are a great beginner woodworking project! Rustic designs can easily be made with just a miter saw, screwdriver, some paint or stain, and wood from a big box hardware store. Coat hooks are cheap to buy in bulk which makes for great profit margins on this project.
As we have written about before, name signs are an extremely popular item to sell right now. If you have a CNC machine then this is a great way to start making money fast. But even if you don’t this is a project that can easily be done with an inexpensive scroll saw or even a palm router.
If you’re new to your CNC or don’t want to spend time designing sign layouts then Etsy is a great place to pick up design files for extremely cheap.
Keepsake boxes are an item that sell for a premium and can be batched out quickly. There are plenty of variations that can be done to the boxes to add a personal touch as well! Adding interior dividers and marketing it as a tea box, using a CNC or laser engraver to personalize the lid or adding different lid options will all make your boxes stand out.
Charcuterie boards are always a great seller around the holidays. They can take on intricate designs with resin inlays and complex shapes. If you have access to a router table then creating a template can make batching out these boards an easy task. Another great option is to purchase some live-edge boards and keep them in their natural shape.
Wooden print holders are a great beginner project. These can easily be made with some box store lumber and an inexpensive Japanese pull saw. This is also a great project to use up scrap wood from other projects which might otherwise be thrown away.
If you’ve read our post on wood lathe projects that sell fast then you know we love making wooden pens. They are easy to make, can be made with an inexpensive bench-top lathe, and are easy to sell both online or to your network of family and friends.
It’s easy to get started making pens with a pen kit, wood pen blanks, CA glue for finishing, and a micro-mesh sanding set.
While we don’t sell pepper mills in our shop we do sell salt and pepper shaker sets. We recently started selling salt and pepper grinders in our shop and they have been a huge hit so far! Not only are they a great seller but they also bring in a TON of search traffic as online shoppers are always looking for these types of items.
Pepper mills are more expensive to make as they require larger pieces of wood and a pepper grinder mechanism but they can also be sold for a premium price. By using unique woods a single pepper grinder can easily sell for $100+!
If you’re looking for some great woodworking projects that sell locally then planter boxes are a perfect choice. They can easily be made with just a miter saw and rough-sawn cedar. Offering these up on local marketplaces in the spring and summer is a great way to bring in some additional income!
Integrating options like bench seats, raised planters, etc is another wonderful way to diversify your portfolio and make your work stand out with potential customers.
House Number Sign
House number signs are an easy woodworking project that can be modified with built-in planters, grain designs, or paint. There are a ton of metal number options for purchase on Amazon to give either a modern or classical look to the sign.
Floating shelves can take on a number of different styles from rustic to modern. This allows them to be built with a range of materials. A simple rustic shelf can easily be built with simple tools and dimensional lumber. More modern styles with a streamlined look can be built using metal mounting hardware and unique hardwoods or live edge boards.
Carving wooden spoons is one of our favorite woodworking projects to sell for folks that have very little space for a woodshop. You can literally make money selling spoons from wood found alongside the road and carved on your couch. A simple set of carving tools is really all you need to get started making your own spoons to sell.
The wooden wine caddy is one of those projects that seems to be at every craft show you’ve ever been to. That is for good reason though as these are always great sellers around the holidays. Packaged with a bottle of wine and two customized glasses they make for great corporate or real estate gifts if you are able to break into that market.
There are actually a few woodworkers we follow on Instagram whose entire business model is making items for corporate gift boxes or real estate agent gifts. We have actually been contacted a few times ourselves from professionals looking for unique items to give to clients and it can be an incredibly lucrative market.
Kids Step Stool
Kids step stools are a great CNC project with a variety of plans readily available so you can get started quickly. Advertising on local marketplaces or Facebook groups dedicated to parents is a great way to start showcasing your work.
Flatpack designs like the one above also make shipping a more affordable option. Large, bulky items can certainly be shipped but also require a lot more care and packaging materials which can add up quickly in price.
Wooden coasters are a great scrap wood project to use of some of the wood we all have laying around the shop.
I personally have a corner near my main workbench area that is stuffed with scraps that are mostly too thin for many other projects. Unfortunately, my full-time, stay-at-home dad status means my time in the shop is limited, so branching out to new items like coasters means the scrap pile will only continue to grow. Ha!
There are a ton of variations you can take in this space to make your work stand out. Wood cookies, slices of wood cut from a branch or log, make great rustic coasters. You can also add in inlays or epoxy as well to make your work shine.
Now we’re getting into the big money category here. The stakes are certainly higher as slabs and epoxy are not cheap but a well-designed and finished slab and epoxy table can easily sell for upwards of $10,000!
Epoxy tables are an extremely popular item right now though and it’s a great niche to build a market.
Bathtub Caddies make a great way to show off some of those beautiful pieces of wood you’ve been saving for the perfect project. Whether you choose a simple design like the one above or a more elaborate layout with dividers for candles, tea or wine these items always sell well.
Staging and photos are key for selling bathtub caddies so make sure to invest in a good camera and lighting to get this part right.
Spring and summer is a great time to batch out a few picnic tables to sell locally. A simple roadside stand near our old house selling simple picnic tables and Adirondack chairs always seemed to draw a crowd.
The best part about making picnic tables is they can be made from readily available dimensional lumber and the only tools needed are a circular saw, speed square, and power drill.
If you’re making picnic tables to sell then adirondack chairs are a great add-on. While they require a few more tools the pieces can be quickly batched out and these chairs are always a great seller. They look great and are always popular for backyard seating.
Anyone who has spent any time in their lives woodworking has probably made a cutting board or two. They are easy to make, extremely functional, and probably the most requested gift from family and friends. Every time we end up with a pile of scrap with similar dimensions we’ll throw together a board to give away or use in our own kitchen.
There are A TON of guides available on Youtube on how to create some stunning boards that will really make your work stand out. If you plan on batching out cutting boards, especially end grain boards, then a planer and drum sander are pretty much a necessity.
Blanket ladders are another great option for folks who are new to woodworking and may have limited tools available. They can easily be made with pre cut wood from big box hardware stores and wooden dowels.
Adding options like copper rungs and unique color options will help your ladders stand out in this market.
Because items like blanket ladders can have large shipping dimensions it pays to shop around to find the best price. Going directly to the post office will usually result in the highest price for large items. Setting up accounts with Fedex or UPS will often yield the best prices and they also offer pickup at your home which saves a trip into town.
Console tables can be, for many, their first foray into furniture building. This is for good reason as a simple console table can consist of as little as a single board for the top and a set of hairpin legs which are readily available online.
These tables are a great way to show off a highly figured or live edge board. They can also be upgraded with a small, built-in drawer, epoxy inlays, or custom wooden legs.
Rolling pins are a staple in any kitchen and a custom made rolling pin from a beautiful piece of hardwood stand out from anything available at ordinary kitchen retailers.
Best of all, rolling pins come in various shapes and sizes, which allows for plenty of options to fill out your online shop.
Final Thoughts on Woodworking Projects that Make Money
Woodworking is a fun and potentially profitable hobby. By finding your niche it is easy to carve out a few hours per week to pay for new wood or tools or even create a profitable business. We have leveraged our woodworking knowledge to create a profitable Etsy shop. This has allowed us to spend more time at home with the kids and away from the 9-5 grind.
What projects have you made that sell well?
Derek grew up woodworking in his father’s shop and has since gone on to start up a successful woodworking business on Etsy. In his spare time, you can find him mountain biking, skiing, or writing.