Is woodworking your favorite hobby? What if we told you that
you can turn your woodworking hobby into your profession?
Yes, we are not kidding! It is not impossible to turn your
passion for woodworking into a profitable business and work on something which
you love, all day long.
A lot of people like working on woodworking projects as they
are fun and help in relieving stress. But most of them seem dubious about the
idea of turning their fun hobby into something more meaningful and profitable.
Most of the beginners or DIY hobbyists don’t even have a clear idea or
guidelines on how can they earn a few extra bucks on the side by using their
And people who do have the necessary resources and strategy
at hand are usually scared to start their business and find the idea
particularly cumbersome. They often worry about questions like who will even
hire them. Will anyone even buy the products built by them? Is there really any
profit in this work? And so on.
Luckily for you, we have actually put together a
comprehensive guide on how you can bank the most out of your woodworking hobby
and make some extra bucks. In fact, you can use this guide not only for a side
hustle but can also turn your woodworking hobby into a full-fledged business.
In this guide, we have covered all the steps, from finding a
niche to getting offline business, that you would need to follow to earn some
profits from your woodworking projects. We have also suggested a few
woodworking craft ideas for you to consider and some essential tips for selling
your crafts successfully.
So, let us not waste time anymore. Get ready to become
professional woodworker now!
Are You Ready
to Turn Your Woodworking Passion into Something Profitable?
Now, before we actually start with this, you need to ask
yourself if you are really ready to sell your woodworking crafts.
What do we mean by being ready?
Well, this means that you cannot suddenly decide to become a
professional woodworker if you don’t have proper experience in this field. Do
you have any skills or are you a total amateur?
If you wish to sell any basic craft, you need to have some
basic woodworking skills which will help you in these projects. But if you are
a total beginner in woodworking, then you need to be a few woodworking courses
to gather some essential skills.
Don’t worry, this won’t be a huge hurdle in opening your own
woodworking business. You can start by taking the woodworking course at a local
college or university or you can take the job of an apprentice at a local shop.
Being an apprentice is a great way to learn and hone your skills and you get
paid a little at the same time too.
Enrolling in a college is also a good idea as you meet other
people there who are interested in the same crafts as you. So, you can end up
helping each other and learning a lot which will be tremendously helpful in
starting your business.
One thing which you should definitely not do is to try to
learn woodworking on your own. It is not impossible to learn but it is
extremely dangerous to work with the woodworking tools without proper training
On the other hand, if you are a DIY hobbyist who has already
worked on a few small projects, you have the initial skills to turn your hobby
into a business. And the best part is that you are aware of your interests and
what kind of crafts do you prefer to make.
This is really helpful because you can choose a niche for
your business and work on those crafts in the beginning. And then slowly, with
time and practice, you can expand your woodworking skills to take up different
types of projects.
One thing to remember is that you should always choose
crafts depending on your interest. This will help you in making better projects
while enjoying the woodworking tasks.
And once you are experienced at the basic crafts, you can
move on to a few complex projects. Start with the easy crafts in the initial
days though because they are simpler, easier and quicker to make and can easily
be sold off in the market as well.
Turning Your Woodworking Hobby into a Profitable Business
Once you know you are ready and have the necessary skills to
start, you can follow the below steps to start earning from your woodworking
Design a Business Plan
In order to start your own woodworking business, you need to
have a strategy in place. A good plan can act as the solid base for your
business strategy and can help in things to really get going.
This plan can help you decide on your targets, keep a track
of them, determine your strengths and weaknesses, keep track of your expenses,
and becomes a blueprint of your successful venture.
Make sure that you prepare a plan for yourself as well once
you are done reading this guide. It will help you in getting started and
tracking your progress quite efficiently.
Below we have mentioned a few aspects of the business plan
that you need to focus on for the best result.
The first thing that you need to note down is the
woodworking skills that you are the most certain of. There are a lot of skills
like planing, cutting, trimming, sanding, etc. in the woodworking projects. So,
you need to select the ones which you are best at and write them down.
This identification will further help you in choosing the
right projects which match your skillset. Plus, you would know which skills you
need to improve in the future to expand your woodworking skill set.
Prepare a Budget and
Schedule for Your Business
Next, you need to identify how much time and money are you
willing to spend on your woodworking business. If you are just a beginner or a
hobbyist, you will definitely have some money and time constraints.
After all, making a finished product takes a lot of time if
you really wish to sell it in the market. So, you need to be real with yourself
and decide on how much time you can manage to give your woodworking projects.
This way, you won’t stress or burn yourself out and will enjoy the work at the
Another important thing is to invest some money if you truly
want to earn from your woodworking skills. Mostly, this money will be used in
buying woodworking tools, raw materials, machines, etc. A little of it will be
used in the operation and marketing. Plus if you are already a hobbyist then it
is likely that you have a lot of equipment and tools already for the
However, you still might need to purchase a couple of
machines to expand your business. And you will need to invest some money in
marketing as well if you want to earn by selling your crafts. So, keep a note
of all of this as this will be crucial in your business strategy.
Decide on the
Projects That You Will Undertake
Another thing which you will need to include in your
business plan is the products which are will be working on in the starting to
bring some money. You can choose to make simple crafts like wooden spoons,
toys, etc. or you can take more complex projects like baby crib, tables,
chairs, and so on.
If you stick to a particular set of projects, you will be
more productive as you will have a definite set of resources required for these
projects. Later, you can add more products as you improve your skills and
expand your woodworking business.
Make an Advertising
One of the most important steps in selling your woodworking
crafts is to properly market and advertising it. For this, you need to
shortlist a few advertising plans for your business.
And do put aside some money for advertising, it doesn’t need
to be a lot but should be sufficient for small marketing campaigns.
Determine how much
Profit You Wish to Make
Finally, you need to reflect and decide your monetary goal
from this business. Do you wish to earn just some extra money on the side? Or
do you want to earn enough so that you can leave your job and take up
woodworking full time?
Once you know what you want, you can manage your work and
time accordingly. If you want to really start your business and then expand it,
you would need to spend a lot of time and effort.
And if you have a decided goal, then it will become easier
for you to select the projects that will be perfect for your goal. Also,
deciding a number will make sure that you work hard to achieve it and even put
in more efforts on a couple of days.
Step 2: Get
the Raw Material Ready
After you have prepared an initial business plan, you need
to focus on getting the raw materials and resources for your woodworking
projects. One of the resources which you will need the most is wood. If you are
a hobbyist, then you might already be getting the wood from a trustworthy
But for people who are new, it is important that you
identify a source for getting the raw materials for your projects.
One of the simplest ways to get wood and other raw materials
is from a lumberyard or a local vendor. This way, you can choose the type of
wood you require and a lot of times the vendors can actually help you pick the
right supplier for your project. Plus, if you build a rapport with your
vendors, you can also score some discounts in the long run.
If you find a local source is too tiresome or confusing for
you, then you can always order your wood from online websites. There are
several online websites with a huge variety of wood collections so, you can
easily choose the best and most attractive one for your project. You can also
just purchase the wood according to your project design and it barely takes 10
minutes to place an order. Plus, you will know when the wood is arriving so you
can schedule your work accordingly.
If you are stumped about the online websites then do check
out woodworkerssource.com and onlinelumberstore.com for some amazing wood
collection and discounts.
On the other hand, if you wish to reduce the production cost
then you can always get rough wood for your projects. Rough lumber is cheap and
you can easily get the desired thickness by using the thickness planer on it.
This can be a bit of work but you do save some extra bucks on it.
Apart from the wood, you can easily order the woodworking
tools from an online website too. Amazon actually offers a variety of
woodworking tools in both new and refurbished state.
Make sure that you order your raw materials beforehand and
never run out of it when you are working on a project. So, keep your
woodworking shed stocked up.
Step 3: Find
the Right Equipment for the Projects
Once you have the raw materials sorted, you need to focus on
getting the woodworking equipment and machines for your project.
Here is a list of the essential woodworking tools that you
would need for most projects. We have described the use of each of these tools
and how much are they likely to cost.
But if you are hobbyist, then chances are that you already
know and own a few of them.
Router – An
important and versatile woodworking tool which has several applications, a
router can be used for making accurate cuts and trims on wood stock. You can
make a lot of adjustments with the help of a router so this tool is a must if
you plan to start your woodworking business.
You can purchase a router with 1.5 HP in the start which is
likely to cost around 150-200 USD.
Planer – This is
one of the most important tools for woodworkers who will be working with rough
lumber. You will be using a thickness planer to get the desired thickness of
the wood which is crucial for selling finished wood products. It can easily
cost you between 300 to 500 USD but you will have the power to transform any
piece of wood stock.
Although you can skip this tool, if you want to reduce the
raw materials cost then getting a planer is a must.
Workbench – Let’s
face it, for most woodworking tasks, you need a flat and smooth surface area to
work on. This is why you need to invest in a good and stable workbench. You can
choose to use a simple table built out of plywood that you made yourself or you
can get it ordered from an online website. Ideally, if you decide to make it
yourself then it will cost you 150-200 USD.
Jointer – Another
important tool to consider is a jointer which can help in complex projects and
works well with rough lumber. However, only invest in this tool if you are
planning to take big projects because this is an expensive tool at 500 USD.
Table saw – A
major tool to purchase is the table saw which is used in different cutting
applications of wood. With this tool, you can make precise cuts for your
woodworking project and you can easily get it for 300 USD when just starting
Table Measurer – For
making the measurements on the wood, you will need a tape measure. You can
easily purchase a metal one for just 10 USD.
Random Orbit Sander –
If you are going to be sanding your wood pieces for the projects then do invest
in a good orbit sander. It won’t cost you more than 100 USD for a decent model.
Jigsaw – One of
the most budget tools for woodworking, the jigsaw is the master of cutting and
you should definitely buy it for your business.
Hand Drill – One
of the most important tools that you definitely need to own is a ½-inch hand
drill. You can also invest in a more advanced hand drill which offers you more
customization options. However, if you are just starting then a basic model
will work too. A good Makita hand drill will cost you around 50 – 75 USD.
Hammer – Of
course, if you will be chiseling then you would need a good hammer to help you
with the task. So, make sure you get both the metal and the wooden hammer for
woodworking. It won’t cost you more than 50 USD for a good hammer.
Circular Saw – If
you are going to be working a lot on MDF, plywood, etc. then you need to invest
in a good circular saw. It has numerous cutting uses and it is likely to cost
around 120 – 200 USD.
Backsaw – One of
the most used tool, backsaw helps in making accurate cuts and costs between 30
USD and 50 USD.
Framing Square –
You would definitely need this item for making joints and cabinets so make sure
you buy this tool. It is quite cheap as well and doesn’t cost more than 20 USD.
Clamps – Another
item which you will need frequently in your projects is a clamp which comes in
different sizes. This is used in assembling the parts together and costs around
Chisels – Another toll which you will use a lot is a
good use of chisel for cleaning up the joins. You can easily a good set for
just 50 USD.
Vacuum – It is no
surprise that you will cause a lot of mess and dust when working on a
woodworking project. So, it is important that you buy a vacuum to keep the area
clean. If you can’t afford a dust collector then simply purchase a dry/wet vac
to keep the area free of dust so you can work smoothly.
In total, all these woodworking tools and machines will cost
you around 3000 USD which is a lot. But it will greatly help in your projects
and you will easily get the cost of it after selling a few of your crafts.
You can also start by investing in the important tools first
and then gradually get more equipment as your business expands. But you would
need all the tools that we have mentioned above.
Streamline Your Projects to a Few Niches
As mentioned above, it is essential that you select a couple
of niches for yourself and then take up projects for the same niches. This will
ensure that you aren’t distracted by different projects and you are able to
produce more items quickly and efficiently.
If you focus on just a few projects, then you would always
have the raw materials at the ready and you would have the entire process
memorized. As a result, you will be able to make the finished product quickly
and can actually focus on selling it rather than the operations process.
Importantly, make sure that you choose a niche which you
actually love. If you choose a niche which you don’t have any interest in, the
project might seem like a burden to you and you will lose your love for
So, choose a craft which you actually like to make. That’s
not enough though. You also need to find what products sell better in your
area. For this, ask your friends and family opinion and observe the buying
trend in your area.
For example, if people in your locality buy plywood
furniture then focus on making them. This way, you have a community to sell
your finished goods to. Apart from your locality, you can also join woodworking
groups on Facebook and other social media websites. This will give you a lot of
ideas on what all you can build which is popular among the consumers.
So, basically, you should select a niche for yourself and
then find products to build in that niche itself.
Step 5: Few
Woodworking Project Ideas to Consider
Are you confused about which product to choose for your
Don’t worry, we understand how difficult it can be to choose
the right product when you are just starting out. So, we have listed down a few
highly profitable crafts to consider.
If you make them properly and advertise your crafts smartly,
you can end up making a lot in the long run.
One of the most popular items among parents is wooden toys.
And you will find more plastic toys in the market than wooden ones so they are
always high. While this might sound like a cliche but it is definitely a great
way to make some profits with your woodworking skills.
A lot of parents opt for wooden toys because plastic toys
have a chemical coating which can usually be harmful to the kids. If you sell
safe holistic wooden toys and market it to the parents, it can definitely help
you get a high price for it.
One thing to remember is to always use high-quality wood for
this craft. Don’t worry, you will be paid sufficiently because parents don’t
want to compromise their kids’ health for just a few extra bucks.
A classic item which never goes out of woodworking business
is a baby cradle. Parents always look for the best cradle for their baby and
make no compromises on this one.
So, if you know how to build a cradle which is supportive,
sturdy, and stable, then you can make a lot. Just use high-quality wood and add
a premium finish and can easily make a high profit from it.
Another item which is quite popular in the woodworking
community is a birdhouse. Since it is not easy to find a birdhouse, they tend
to be a little on the expensive end. But you need to find your audience first
before you start making these as not everyone owns a bird or is interested in
having a birdhouse near their house.
However, if you do find the right audience, you can make a
lot of profit. And the best part is that you have scope for a lot of
customizations and modifications depending on the clients’ needs.
Another item which has a low production cost but gives high
returns is a designer clock. You can make interesting patterns on your wooden
clock and sell it for a high price.
One of the easiest and simplest items to make is a wooden
picture frame. It can be a great option for beginners, especially if you don’t
have a lot of time to invest in the start. They are quite easy to sell as well
and you can just advertise them among your friends and family.
You can also collaborate with some shops and sell your
wooden picture frames there as well.
A bookcase is yet another item which is always in demand so
you will get a lot of buyers for it. And you can make a lot of customizations
or style it differently so that it looks unique and sells more easily.
You can do the basic design or you can come up with designs
for different customers. Honestly, you will make a lot of you have the
creativity to make a different style of bookcases.
Men have become quite self-aware recently and are now indulging
in grooming products as well. And one such product which is a novelty is the
The best thing about this product is that it has a low
production cost and if you add a pleasant smell to it, you can actually sell it
for a high price. Some beard combs in the market are sold for as much as 60 USD
Wooden Spoons and
Finally, wooden crockery is becoming quite popular among
households. So, if you can make wooden utensils, then you can easily sell them
to the interested customers. In fact, you can put them up online as well and
they are quite easy to ship to different cities too.
You can also add engravings on it for branding purpose and
the cost of producing such items is actually quite low.
So, these are few of the products which are perfect for
beginners as they are easy to make, have a low production cost, and sell
Step 6: Make
Your Business Offline
Once you know what you are making and have your production
area set up, it is time to make the sells. After all, all the hard work will go
to waste if you are not able to sell your products.
Many people find it difficult to sell their products or
market them which is a huge bummer. So, for beginners and hobbyists, it is
better to sell products offline so that they can network and get known for
Selling offline gives them a chance to connect with more
people and talk to the customers to understand their requirements. Here are a
few ways in which you can sell your products offline:
Talk to Your Friends
Now, you might not make a lot of profit by this method but
it is a great way to advertise your business. You can sell the products to your
friends and family at a discounted rate and get them to spread the news about
You can also ask them to leave reviews and testimonials for
your work so that potential buyers contact you. This word of mouth advertising
is a great way to establish yourself.
Promote the Products
in the Local Community
Another method would be to promote your products through
your local community. So, if there is a community hall, church, or event, you
can distribute a few of your products around to get some exposure.
This way, you might end up finding a lot of customers as
Showcase your Work in
Galleries and Shops
You can get more exposure and sales by contacting a gallery
owner near you. Most galleries have a lot of audiences so you will find a lot
of buyers and will make a lot of quick sales.
Sure, you would need to share the profit with the galleries
and the furniture shops but you get steady orders as well. And if you have a
good relation with them then you can easily get more orders and sales.
Join the Woodworking
You can also participate in the woodworking fairs which will
give a lot of exposure to your business. Also, you meet other woodworkers here
from whom you can end up learning a lot
Such fairs usually have a lot of gathering also so you can
get a lot of customers. You can easily set up a stall here to sell your
products as well. Also, you can participate in the competitions here which a
lot of people will be seeing so you get a lot of brand recognition here as
You can find information about such fairs online or in the
Finally, if you wish to sell more products then you can try
traditional advertising. Just post some flyers or newspaper advertisements and
check how other people are advertising in the woodworker’s magazine.
But if you are a beginner, don’t start with this
advertisement method. Instead, try out the other methods first and keep this as
a last resort.
Step 7: Make
a Business Website
Once your business starts picking up, you need to make an
online website for your business as well. In today’s world, having a digital
presence is crucial for a business. And there are two ways to make your website
to promote your work.
First, you can buy a domain name and build a website listing
all the products that you make along with the pricing. For the domain name, you
can either choose a unique name for your business or you can use your own name
and build the website.
For building the website, you can easily get a web designer
to build your website. However, since you would be just starting out, you can
simply make a WordPress website and improve it as your products increase.
Apart from the website, you should also create a page on
Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and other social media websites for your
business. This way, you get a lot of exposure to your business brand and you
can use these social media sites for advertising as well.
To sum it, you need to have an online presence of your
business to attract more customers.
Step 8: Start
Selling Online as Well
After establishing yourself offline, you can start selling
your products online as well. Here are a few best ways to sell your products
One of the easiest and simplest ways to advertise is by
using the Facebook ads option. You can make targeted ads, based on demography
and age. But for this, you need to have a personal website.
How you can use this?
Well, for example. You are trying to sell wooden toys. In that
case, you will target females in the age range of 25-40 as they are likely to
be with a baby. This method can bring a lot of sales if you have your website
is working properly.
You can also promote your crafts on e-commerce websites like
Etsy, eBay, etc. You end up selling a lot of products and have an online
presence due to these platforms.
A trusted platform, eBay sells an assortment of items
including wooden items. You can easily generate sales through Google Ads and
A website more suited to furniture woodworkers, you can also
post your products here to make quick sales. Currently, they have thousands of
products on their website so you don’t have to worry about the website being a
Etsy is the top website for selling and buying handmade
crafts. So, you can easily list your products here and make a lot of sales. It
has a customer base of 54 million people and it handles the logistics
completely. You just need to take care of the shipping.
Also, you can promote your products on Etsy in two ways:
- Etsy Seller Advertisements
They offer an advertising platform to their users which can
help in getting a lot of sales. You just need to set up an Ad campaign for your
For example, if you set up a campaign for selling baby
cradles then every time a user searches for baby cradles, your product will be
shown at the too. Plus, your ads will also come up on the search engines.
You can also set up ads on Facebook where you will list your
Etsy product page. This way, people will go on Etsy product page to buy the
Through Your Own Website
Finally, the best way to sell your products is directly
through your website. But for this, your website should be up and running and
should also have the option of adding the products to the cart and making
payment online. If this is done, you are ready to sell your products and ship
the products without any 3rd party seller.
You can also use the Facebook advertisement method to get
more sales as described above.
Another option is to make your website search engine
optimized. This way, your website will rank on the first page and show up at
the top if anyone is searching on Google where to buy the wooden products.
This entire process can be slightly overwhelming to do on
your own. But if you have the budget then you can hire a digital marketing
expert who will take care of all this website stuff for you.
Upgrade to Complex Woodworking Projects
As soon as you start making some profits from your initial
set of products, you can upgrade to complex projects. But this entirely depends
on you. If you are happy with a small side business then stick to your
products. But if you wish to grow and expand your business then start working
on some complex projects.
You can opt for complex projects which have a higher return
as well. But for hobbyists, it might feel a little daunting which is where the
woodworking plans come into use. You can find woodworking plans which include
detailed instructions on how to make a product which you can follow and
replicate in your workspace.
You can also contact professional woodworkers to learn. Get
a part-time job with them or just shadow them on a few projects and you will
end up learning how to make new products.
And finally, you do have many woodworking courses which are
absolutely free and can help you tackle complex projects with great ease.
Focus on Scaling Your Business
Finally, if you wish to go full-time in woodworking business
then you need more resources to help you out. So, you need to hire a couple of
people and expand your working space.
You would also need to spend more money on advertising and
marketing. And remember, once you start scaling up your business, you would be
spending more time in the managerial role than the constructor role. So, if you
don’t wish to do that, you will need to hire a manager for your business as
well. This way, you can spend more time doing what you love.
Scaling is also a slow process and might take a long time if
you are just a hobbyist now. But once you start taking complex projects, you
will feel your business expanding.
In this guide, we have tried to give as much detail as
possible for beginner woodworkers to start their own business.
But this guide is useless unless you actively decide to turn
woodworking into a profitable venture. There is a lot of information which can
be confusing at first. But if you are determined and motivated, you will easily
be able to follow the steps and make your dream come true.
Start by making a plan and deciding your niche. After all,
whether you choose to start with picture frames or designer clocks, the
important thing is that you have taken the first step towards earning from
doing something that you love.