Help with selling projects

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Forum topic by Jacob Fuhrer posted 10-07-2013 02:52 PM 5995 views 0 times favorited 5 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Jacob Fuhrer

16 posts in 2601 days

10-07-2013 02:52 PM

Topic tags/keywords: question resource arts and crafts rustic shaker modern traditional

I have been wood working for a couple years now in school and I wanted to have my own woodshop in my house. I’m making projects to sell to my community and make money to buy all these machines. Mainly all I need is a jointer and a router table. I’ve made beer cooler tables but nobody has that much money to buy them. So what I’m am asking is if anybody has any kind of idea what i could make to sell. Has anybody else had any success with some item in the past??

thanks alot, Jacob

5 replies so far

View Loren's profile


10684 posts in 4526 days

#1 posted 10-07-2013 03:26 PM

Think about who in your community does have some extra
money to spend on nice things. Affluent people with grown
children are mostly the people who have both the money
for and appreciation for nice handmade things.

If you want to make sellable work, in general it has to
be a bit higher grade than “oh I’ll have my dad/husband
make that for me.” type stuff. Look for ways to incorporate
artistic elements that show skill beyond basic woodshop skills,
unusual materials that are a little hard to get or learn to use
(gilding for example, salvaged metal parts, and so forth),
curved forms, traditional gift items that are a little tricky to make
like shaker boxes.

If you have local access to green woods, Roy Underhill’s
books are worth looking into for traditional sorts of country
items. You’ll sell more hay rakes or whatever if you
can set up at an open air fair and demonstrate your
craft. People are fascinated by creative commitment
and in part the reason they invest in the work of
local artisans is because they want to a feel part of
that creative commitment.

View Purrmaster's profile


915 posts in 2971 days

#2 posted 10-07-2013 04:33 PM

I have considered someday trying to sell some projects and I have similar questions. How do you go about finding customers? Do you take your stuff to a flea market? Advertise in media? Where do you find a venue for selling your stuff?

View Jim Finn's profile

Jim Finn

2848 posts in 3800 days

#3 posted 10-08-2013 02:57 AM

I make and sell lots of artsey craftey stuff year round. Toys always sell well. I sell at local art and craft fairs and festivals. My best selling item is a 11” x 8” x 2” deep cedar box with an image inlayed into the hinged lid. I also make them of oak and maple. Making and selling these items has funded my hobby for the past six years, paying for some tools and equipment up-grades. I also do some custom orders. I have sold a little intarsia also. I have made so many boxes with the inlay that now I can make them and sell them for $20 and still make a little money on them. The first ones I made I sold for $5 and I increased the price as my skills improved making them. As Loran suggested, I now specialize in doing this Inlay work and it becomes easy ,once you learn a few tricks in doing it. There is no one else in my area doing this. These are photos of my display at a street fair.

-- No PHD just a DD214 Lubbock Texas

View tefinn's profile


1222 posts in 3315 days

#4 posted 10-08-2013 04:35 AM

It really depends on the area you live in. You’re going to need to evaluate the region. Take into account income level, local interests, etc. Are you in an area where you could sell a lot of outdoor funiture? Tailgating games would fit a sports oriented or college town. Toys for kids are always good. Browse the projects on this site and see if something jumps out at you.

-- Tom Finnigan - Measures? We don't need no stinking measures! - Hmm, maybe thats why my project pieces don't fit.

View Monte Pittman's profile

Monte Pittman

30567 posts in 3217 days

#5 posted 10-08-2013 07:33 AM

First, look through my projects. Several do well for me.

Second, and more importantly, search for 2 series of blogs on this site by fellow LJ “huff”. They’re on marketing and selling your products. You can be successful, but you need to be in the right location selling to the right people.

-- Nature created it, I just assemble it.

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