If you want to start a crafty business, these wood lathe projects that sell well are the sort of thing that always make the Etsy bestsellers list and sell like hotcakes on Facebook groups.
Everyone is looking for unique items for the home or for gift-giving occasions and nothing beats a handmade wood turned item.
Although there are tons of awesome wood projects that sell, wooden items made with a lathe are great because they are quick and easy to produce for a profit.
Wood lathe items also make it easy to scale up your business and somewhat “mass” produce items to build up your inventory.
Below you will find 25 fun woodturning ideas to make and sell for a profit.
Most are perfect for beginners to get started with a woodworking business.
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Wooden bracelets are one of the easiest wood lathe projects for beginners. You can make them in just a few minutes and they look awesome unfinished or stained.
Most Etsy sellers offer wooden bangles in lots of 5 or 10 depending on the thickness but you can play around with designs and colors to see what sells best.
Kitchen Wooden Utensils
Wooden spoons and other kitchen utensils are a fun lathe project to make. Everyone has at least one wooden spoon in their kitchen and quality handmade ones make great gifts for bridal showers and weddings.
Wine Bottle Stoppers
Bottle stoppers for wine are one of the best wood lath projects for beginners to get started on selling their crafts.
You can produce a bunch of bottle stoppers in an afternoon.
They are the perfect gift to pair with a nice bottle of wine!
A really good quality pepper mill is one of those really adult things that people like to have when they get their first place or get married.
They are also one of the best selling woodturning projects on Etsy and go for around $30-50 when made with quality wood.
Although pepper mills are not a wood lathe project for beginners, it can be worth the time to learn how to make them and to purchase a kit for making them.
Succulents are all the rage and these tiny planters a cool wood turning project to do. You can experiment with different types of wood and planter shapes and sizes.
Hand Turned Wooden Bowl
A wooden bowl is one of the first projects many wood lathe beginners try and for good reason!
A quality bowl for fruit or for the coffee table looks amazing.
If you are looking for a bunch of wood lathe project ideas to do easily, you can switch up the sizes of bowls, make sets and bowls for all kinds of uses.
Tea Light Candle Holder
Candle holders are another lovely wood turning project for craft fairs and Etsy. They are not too expensive to make and sell well because they are a lower cost gift item to buy.
You can make different sizes and shapes and even consider adding engraving with a CNC machine.
Wooden pens are a really special, unique gift idea to make with a wooden lathe. You can purchase pen kits for all different kinds of wooden pen so the World really is your oyster.
What about pen turning profitability?
Well, I did some research on how much money you can make with wooden pens and I came across an interesting Reddit thread where people mention how much they make from pen turning.
One person made $3000 without craft fairs or Etsy!
Wooden egg cups are very modern and appeal those who love the Scandanavian look.
If you want to make wooden eggs too, you can create fantastic Montessori Rainbow eggs.
Pen Holder For The Office
If you get your hands on some quality wood like walnut, you can make some really cool wood lathe projects.
Another easy take on the hand turned wooden bowl is a small receptacle for pens and pencils.
They can also be marketed as make-up brush holders.
Wood Salt Cellar
A beautiful handturned wooden salt cellar is a relatively simple wood lathe projects to try.
Like bowls, you can repurpose these lidded wooden containers in many different ways (for spices, buttons etc).
Wooden Razor handle
Here is a truly unique hand turned wood project! A wooden razor handle makes a wonderful gift for him.
Wooden Christmas Ornaments
Christmas ornaments are really hot sellers in the run up to the holidays when everyone is looking for some unique gift ideas.
Hand turned Christmas ornaments are easy to make in bulk from cheaper woods and they turn a great profit.
Attach a simple eye hook to the top of your ornaments for hanging and consider staining or painting them in order to offer a variety of finishes to your buyers.
Wooden Spinning Top
Spinning tops are a classic children's toy that helps develop motor skills in your kids.
You can make them with natural wood and treat with an oil such as linseed or beeswax.
These unique toys are safe for children and there are no worries about lead paint or toxic plastics.
A simple jewelry or keepsake box is one of the best wood lathe projects for beginners.
Wooden keepsake boxes are an easy item to quickly produce and sell.
List them in your Etsy store making sure to add tags for all their various uses so that you appear in the search results.
Wooden drinking vessels such as goblets are a great project to get started on your lathe.
You can test out various shapes and sizes on different woods.
I noticed that some Etsy sellers list their wooden goblets in unfinished wood while others offer a variety of food safe finishes.
Offering different colours and options is a good way to create several listings out of one item and to upsell your customers with personalizations and upgraded finishes.
Rolling pins made of a wood such as maple are one of the hottest items on Etsy.
Bakers love a quality rolling pin and they make wonderful gifts.
French rolling pins like the ones shown are great for pasta, pastry and lots more.
They are much smaller and lighter than conventional rolling pins which makes them a bit easier to sell online.
If you do want to sell regular rolling pins, watch your shipping costs as they are heavy and awkwardly shaped.
Wooden Tools For Kids
Wooden items for a children's play kitchen or sensory bin (a bin filled with rice or dried corn) make great gifts for a first birthday or Christmas.
Tools can include different sized spoons, scoops and bowls.
You can sell a set of 5 or 10 wooden tools at different prices and in different shapes.
Wooden Bud Vase
Little bud vases for wildflowers or dried blooms such as lavender are an easy wood lathe project that you can make in a variety of sizes and shapes.
Check out Pinterest for ideas and to see what is trendy nowadays.
Lots of people like grouping of three bud vases together, all similar in shape and height.
Honey stirrers are cute and can be made in all different sizes.
They make a great practice lathe project for beginners.
Consider selling sets of 3 stirrers in different size options to boost your profits.
Wedding Bands and Rings
There is a Facebook that I get constantly for wooden wedding rings for men.
They are one of the hottest trends in bridal fashion right now and are amazingly easy to make with a lathe.
As you might imagine, wooden wedding bands not only sell well, but the profit margin is amazing.
Most of the wooden wedding bands I saw on Etsy go for more than $100.
You can create rings out of all different kinds of wood and stain.
For a ring as long-lasting as the marriage, many couples are opting for .wooden ring that is lined with a metal such as titanium or stainless steel.
You can purchase the ring blanks from a craft store or Etsy and then turn your wood with to fit the correct diameter outside.
Sticking to the wedding theme for a second, another great wood turning project that sells great are personalized ring boxes for the wedding ceremony.
You can offer customized messages and linings to boost your sales or keep it simple and offer them plain.
Did you know that by far the hottest selling item on Etsy are beads and jewelry making supplies?
Unique wooden beads are one of the top searches on Etsy and make a really quick and easy wooden item that you can make and sell in bulk with your lathe.
Different sizes and colors will help you stand out from the crowd and rack up the sales.
Hand turned Wooden Candle Sticks
Sleek wooden candle sticks are a fun wood turning project that you can make quickly.
They sell best in pairs and can be made of most kinds of wood.
The candle sticks pictured are made of salvaged wood and look amazing.
So far everything on this list has been a functional items but don't forget about decorative items that you can make with your lathe.
Wooden apples made from an apple tree were the top sellers at a craft fair I recently hosted.
They sold for $10-20 each depending on the size.
How To Make Money With A Lathe
Wood turning is a safe and inexpensive craft hobby that you can turn into profit-making business.
The list above has many wood turning ideas for craft fairs or online marketplaces such as Etsy.
If you want to take your crafting to the next level, consider buying a laser cutting machine and checking out my list of laser engraver projects ideas to sell.
Etsy is a really popular site for unique wooden gift ideas and household items and is the perfect place to start if you are not ready to commit to a craft fair.
Selling Wood Lathe Projects On Etsy
It is so easy to sell your wood lathe project ideas on the Etsy platform. You can be up and running with your Etsy store in just a few minutes and then spend time listing your items for sale.
You can read my tutorial on starting an Etsy store successfully which includes a link to 40 free listings to get started (Etsy charges 20 cent per listing).
Aim for around 20-30 listings before you push your store live and make sure to include detailed descriptions of your items.
Good photographs are also very important in order to showcase your lathe projects. Make sure to photograph your items from different angles and on clean, bright backgrounds.
Final Thoughts on Wood Lathe Projects That Sell
If you love woodworking, there are many easy wood turning projects that you can make and sell online or at fairs.
This is a wonderful opportunity for a side business that you enjoy.
Although most hobby woodworkers do not make a full-time income, it is most definitely possible to make money selling wooden items that you make with your lathe.
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