Ideas for Making Money by Making Things Out of Wood

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Woodworker shaving a piece of wood with a block plane.
Woodworker shaving a piece of wood with a block plane. (Image: Andreas_Krone/iStock/Getty Images)

Woodworking is a skill that can line your pockets with some extra money. In fact, many woodworkers turn their hobby into a part-time or even a full-time job. Before you start your new adventure, however, you must consider not only what to make out of wood, but also to how to go about selling the items.

Home Decor

Take a walk through a craft show and you will see hundreds -- if not thousands -- of handmade wooden home decor items. Picture frames, signs, figurines, birdhouses, cutting boards, decorative boxes, walking sticks and toys are just a few wooden craft items you can make and sell. Keep in mind, however, that the market may be saturated in your area, so you will need to have unusual, one-of-a-kind items in order to draw in customers.

Furniture

People who know the value of high-quality handmade wood furniture will seek out the perfect piece for their home. Try making a farmhouse dinner table from distressed wood, shelves, a decorative chair out of an old wooden window, curios, end tables, bed frames, a hardwood bench, a rocking chair or a coffee table.

Niche Items

Creating niche items out of wood can help set you apart from the other woodworkers who are trying to sell their pieces. For example, you may want to make pet-related wooden items, such as doghouses, cat trees and pet plaques.

Find patterns for all types of wood projects in many different ways. Many woodworking magazines include the patterns for each item in the publication. You can also find patterns online for free.

Pricing the Items

Pricing your homemade items is a big decision that requires a lot consideration. Not only must you research the price of similar items in your area, but you also must calculate your base cost. The base cost is what you spend out-of-pocket on materials. Also consider how much your time is worth and calculate it into the base cost. After you have calculated your base price, figure out a profit margin on how much you will make on each wooden item.

Where to Sell Your Items

Craft shows are one of the most popular places to sell homemade wood items. These shows typically require a fee to set up and sell your items. Since each craft show is different, contact them directly to find out their registration fee and apply for a spot at the show. Alternatively, sell the items online. However, if you go this route, you must factor in packaging, shipping and any fees you have to pay for listing the item at your base price. However you sell your items, make sure to take advantage of social media to get the word out about your homemade wood products.

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