Wood crafts are all the rage for both the trendy home decorator and the business executive who appreciates fine craftsmanship. There’s no shortage of people looking for quality wooden products – and maybe that’s why you’ve decided you want to try your hand at selling them.
But can you actually make money doing that? Wood craftsmen can bring in a steady stream of income creating products like furniture, kids toys, pens, or even home decor and selling them on various platforms. The keys to success lie within the quality of the product and understanding different marketing strategies.
The process can be a bit daunting, so let’s walk through it step by step and dive a little deeper!
What Are Wood Crafts?
A craft is defined as “an activity involving skill in making things by hand.” And for the purposes of this article, we’re going to be focusing on those made with different types of wood.
Crafts aren’t just what you might think of as far as different art pieces. Wood crafts can include things like shelves, baby cradles, and even wooden pens.
Whatever you might be interested in making, there is a wide variety of different avenues to get into the wood crafting business.
How To Make Money Selling Wood Crafts
Making money selling wood crafts isn’t as simple as selling things like scrap metal. A lot more thought, planning, skill, and dedication are involved. Still, though, it can be broken up into four general steps:
- Decide on your niche and what you want to make
- Decide where you want to sell your crafts and research.
- Make your crafts
- Get paid
1. Decide on your niche and what you want to make
Before you go and start chopping up wood, you have to decide what you want to specialize in. You should take into account what people group you want to appeal to and what crafts you want to focus on specifically.
There’s no shortage of people groups you could target, so you’ll want to narrow it down. Think of things along the lines of:
- Single women in their twenties
- Middle-aged, white-collar males
- Married couples with young children
You’ll also want to consider the type of product you’ll want to make. These could be things like:
- Children’s Toys
- Home Decor
- Bird Houses
- Picture Frames
Once you’ve gotten a general idea, you’ll want to make sure the two categories mesh together. Single women in their twenties aren’t going to have a need for children’s toys, and middle-aged men aren’t going to spring for cute home decor.
However, a middle-aged man who works in the business class might appreciate the high-quality craftsmanship of a hand carved oak desk. And young women who just moved into her own apartment would love trendy wooden wall decor.
Either way, you get the picture: the foundations to success are knowing who your customers are going to be and creating a good product that matches what they’d want.
2. Decide where you want to sell your crafts and research
After you’ve decided on what you want to sell and who to sell it to, the next step is to figure out how you want to sell your wood crafts. There is a range of avenues you could take, including:
- Local flea markets
There’s upsides and downsides to each. Selling online on Etsy might be perfect for the person who wants to work remotely, but it might be a total bust for someone creating big furniture pieces.
Ultimately, you have to choose what your goal is long term. Do you want to sell internationally or become established locally? Do you want to interact with your customers face-to-face or over the screen?
These are all questions you should consider when deciding on where to sell your crafts.
And after you have confidently chosen the platform you want to utilize, you should do some research into your niche. Look around at the wood crafts already being sold on there, and see if you start noticing a theme in descriptions, pricing, and so on.
If people have already been selling crafts for a while on that avenue, chances are that they might have already found out the prime prices that convert to sales and the key descriptions that draw people in.
You don’t have to – and shouldn’t – copy what others have written or priced their products at, but it’s worth taking into consideration. Get some ideas and use that as your rough guideline.
3. Make your crafts
When you’ve nailed down all the specifics, the next step is the fun one: making your crafts!
You can take care of all the elements yourself and produce a finished piece, or you could let customers get involved by allowing certain customizations.
That can be something as simple as offering personalization by etching names or phrases onto the piece with a wood burner. Or it could be something bigger, like letting the customer pick out the stain on an unfinished wooden desk.
At the end of the day, though, it’s up to you to have fun, be creative, and create something that will sell!
4. Get paid
The last step is, of course, to get paid. This will be different based on how you decide to sell it.
For example, you probably won’t be getting handed cold hard cash on Etsy, and you might find it difficult to accept payments from PayPal at a flea market.
However, thanks to technology, you could accept card payments if you get a Square reader or other card processor that hooks up to your phone or tablet.
How Much Can You Make?
How much you can make partially depends on how saturated – and popular – your niche is. If you’re in a niche that’s very popular, but you have competitive prices, you might sell a lot of crafts. Whereas if you’re in a one-of-a-kind niche with less prospective buyers, you may not sell as much, but you could charge more for the uniqueness.
Another thing that can really affect how much you make is the type of wood you use. Certain types of wood hold more value, such as mahogany, while other woods are more common, like pine.
Ultimately, if you are focusing on creating high-quality pieces that are more expensive, you might make more money using higher-quality wood. However if your product isn’t meant to be the best-in-show when it comes to quality, but rather more competitive in pricing, you’re likely to find more success using more common, cheaper woods.
Are There Startup Costs?
There are startup costs associated with selling wood crafts, but how much of a startup cost can really vary depending on what you are selling.
If you’re making large pieces like furniture and such, you might need to invest in some quality tools, like:
- A Jigsaw: $60+
- Circular Saw: $75+
- Power Drill: $30+
- Orbital Sander: $50+
These are just some of the many tools you would need for large scale wood crafts. And while you can get some cheaper, you don’t want to sacrifice quality.
Each of those tools can easily cost well over $100, so you’re looking at at least a couple hundred dollars just in tools to get started.
But if you’re making smaller-scale projects, like wood burning, you would only really need a wood burning tool. Those can be purchased for $20 to $30, but like anything, higher quality means a higher price tag.
There’s also the actual cost of the wood that you’ll need to come up with upfront, but you should factor that into the cost of the product and make it back when you sell it.
As you can tell, there’s a lot of variety when it comes to the startup costs, but no matter what, there will be some form of upfront cost involved.
- Can be sold on a variety of platforms, giving you the freedom to choose the type of work you want to do
- Crafts can make a lot of money and bring in a steady stream of income
- Can be a steady side gig or turned into a full-on business
- Requires a large upfront cost
- Requires marketing know-how
- Requires skill and craftsmanship
Overall, making and selling wood crafts can definitely be a successful business venture – both as a side gig or a full-time business down the road.
However, there is a lot of startup costs involved, and you obviously have to have some level of skill with woodworking to make products that people will want to buy.
You’ll also find success, especially in the online marketing space, if you have previous marketing know-how. If you don’t, though, you’ll either have to spend a lot of time learning, or you might not want to give this a try.
If you’ve read this article and realized this isn’t for you, but you still want to make some side money with wood, you could always try your hand at selling reclaimed wood. Either way, hopefully this article has helped you become familiar with the ins and outs of this whole process!