Wood Lathe Projects that Sell

20+ Wood Lathe Projects that Sell (2023 Guide)

If you’ve been turning wood on a lathe for a while, you probably have quite a few pieces, and you might be wondering what to do with them all. Why not turn your wood lathe projects into cash!?

Selling your creations is just one great way to make money woodworking and it can be extremely profitable.

In this post, I’ll explore the top wood lathe projects that sell as well as some other wood crafts you can make with your lathe. Let’s dig in!

KEY TAKEAWAYS:
  • The best woodturning projects that sell include wood bowls, spoons, vases, serving trays, and even jewelry.
  • You can sell wood lathe projects at craft shows, online through platforms like Etsy, and as custom pieces on your own online store.

Best Wood Lathe Projects that Sell

If you’re going into the woodturning business, you want to focus on projects that sell quickly. Here are some of the best-selling woodturning projects.

Wooden Bowls

Every wooden bowl turned on a lathe is a beautiful and unique piece, and there’s almost no better way to show off the natural beauty of wood and its distinctive grain patterns.

People purchase handmade wooden bowls for use as show-stopping display pieces, and they can fit with any style of decor. They are also durable and functional as bowls to use in your kitchen, so many people give them as gifts.

The amount you can sell wooden bowls for will depend on the type of wood used, but there are many sets listed for over $80 on Etsy.

Wooden bowls for sale

Spoons

Wood spoons are an excellent beginner wood turning project, and they are a great seller because they aren’t priced as high as more complicated pieces.

More and more people are shying away from plastics and looking for quality kitchen utensils like wooden spoons. Wood is great to cook with because it doesn’t scratch pans, and heat doesn’t transfer to the handle.

Just like with other wood turning projects, the amount you can sell wood spoons for will depend on the type of wood you use, but I found some Rosewood spoons for sale for $84 for a set of 7 pieces.

Wood spoons for sale

Lidded Boxes

Wood-turned lidded boxes are a great way to show off your skill, and they sell quickly because everyone loves a box with a perfectly fitted lid.

A wood box with a lid works great for storing keepsakes and jewelry. Wooden trinket boxes, or saving boxes as they are sometimes called, also make excellent gifts.

To make your wooden boxes unique, try making some with finials made from different species of wood and use a specialized locking mechanism so you have to turn the lid to open it.

Stands and Bases

Many people never think about where the wooden bases for things like lamps, globes, and trophies come from, but you can make these quite easily, and they sell really well.

Wood-turned stands and bases are needed for things like wig stands, hat stands, and cake stands. Use pieces of wood with distinctive grain patterns on these wood lathe projects so they will sell faster and fetch a higher price.

Check out this hat stand on Etsy that sells for over $60!

Wood Hat Stand for Sale

Spindles

Spindle turning is fun, and you can make them in many different shapes and sizes. Just take a look at the cost of spindles for rails, table legs, and chairs, and you’ll see that there’s a viable market with a good demand here.

You can offer custom-made spindles and make them to your customers’ specified dimensions. Some woodturners partner with a furniture company to make spindles for them.

Pens

Wood-turned pens make great gifts for special occasions, and they are one of the best wood lathe projects for beginners. You can purchase wood pen kits, and they are easy to assemble.

You can also make a wooden box for your pen set and offer custom engraving for the lid. Use colorful wood with tight grains so that it’s more stable. Maple and cherry are some of the best woods for turning pens.

Candle Holders

Hand-turned wooden candlesticks are striking, making them one of the top wood lathe projects that sell. Best of all, you can make them out of any kind of wood, and they come out looking great.

Candlesticks usually sell best in pairs. You can make them in a variety of sizes, including extremely large candelabras. If you’re selling them online, consider the boxes that will be used to ship them because even a few inches can make a difference in shipping costs.

Just getting started with your wood turning hobby? Check out these best beginner wood lathes!

Cutting Boards

I don’t know about anyone else, but I’m more likely to buy a wooden cutting board than almost anything else because I know that it’s something that I will actually use regularly.

You can make cutting boards of all different woods and sizes so you can offer them in a large price range. The large beautiful cutting boards made from expensive wood attract customers, but the smaller ones are often the best sellers.

For example, check out this live edge wood cutting board that’s for sale on Etsy for $50!

Cutting Boards for Sale

Chess Pieces

Custom chess boards are more than just a game to many. Everyone from beginning players to chess masters will appreciate the beautiful details of wood-turned chess pieces.

You have a lot of artistic license in creating the chess pieces, and you’ll also want to include a custom chess board. If you’re selling at craft fairs, one of these set up at your booth will attract customers. Getting people to stop at your booth is half the battle of selling at shows!

Wood Toys and Puzzles

There are a lot of different kinds of wooden toys that you can make on a midi lathe. Try making a spinning top, baby rattle, wooden doll, or toy car. You can use your imagination to make your woodturning projects look like any kind of bird, animal, or insect, and kids will love them.

Puzzles are another wood lathe project that sells. If you’re ingenious enough, you can make woodturning magic happen with wooden puzzles.

More Fun Wood Lathe Project Ideas to Sell

When you’re looking for fun projects to make, try these. You never know what’s going to sell at a craft fair, and every time, it’s a little different. Some of these projects could turn out to be your top sellers!

Jewelry

Jewelry made on a wood lathe is unique and makes an interesting wood turning project. It’s a great way to hone your skills, too, because the pieces are smaller and more fragile.

Rings

You can make gorgeous wooden rings on a lathe. The best types of wood for making wooden rings are exotic hardwoods. You don’t need a lot, so it’s worth the extra expense to get the best wood.

Bangles

Wooden bangles are a fun project. Try wooden bracelets made from different types of wood, and use various colors of stains. Make both narrow and wide bangles because many people that wear bangles like to wear a variety of sizes.

Kitchenware

Wood lathe kitchen utensils are fun projects, and they make great gifts for family members. Go beyond the wooden spoon and bowl, and try these kitchenware items for fun, or add them to your online store to see if they sell.

Coasters

A set of coasters makes a great gift, and it’s a good project for beginners to learn about how wood moves as it dries and how unique grains show up in turned wood.

Trivets

For me, trivets are as handy as cutting boards. I use them all the time when I’m cooking. They make great beginner projects because they are simple, but they’re also fun for experienced woodworkers who want to experiment with different styles.

Serving Trays

Imagine a serving tray turned on a wooden lathe for serving your patio breakfast. That’s how you live in luxury! Serving trays can be used for special occasions, and they are a great way to show off your skills.

Rolling Pins

If you’ve never used a large, heavy rolling pin, you don’t know what you’re missing. I like my rolling pins at least 17 inches long, but honestly, the bigger, the better. Custom-made rolling pins would make a fantastic gift for the person in your family that likes to bake.

For the Garden

There are just as many uses for wood lathe objects in the garden as there are in the kitchen. Here are some more fun ideas.

Birdhouses

Putting up birdhouses is a great way to increase the biodiversity in your backyard. You can also turn unique birdfeeders on a wood lathe and put them in your yard to attract some feathered friends.

Flower Pots

Take your container gardening to the next level with wood-turned flower pots. Choose hardwoods that are resistant to decay, like mahogany, teak, and ipe. If you plan on using your flower pots outside, choose a wood that matches your handmade outdoor furniture.

Home Decor

There are limitless options for making home decor items on a wood lathe. Objects like Christmas ornaments and wooden apples are fun to try, but you may find more uses for things like frames and vases.

Frames

Woodturned picture frames are unique, and they can be used for more than just family photos. They are a great way to display needlepoint projects, glass art, and insect collections.

Vases

Wooden vases are elegant, and whether they are large or small, they can be used for holding cut flowers or dried flowers, and they look great either way.

Here’s a great video explaining wood lathe projects perfect for beginners!

Where to Sell Wood Lathe Projects

A lot of people who are artistic and crafty have a hard time selling their projects. That’s because it’s a different type of work, and you need a different mindset.

Know your products’ values, and don’t sell yourself short. Sometimes if your products are too cheap, they won’t sell as well. When they do, it’s not enough to cover your time and costs.

Etsy

Etsy is the best online marketplace for arts and craftspeople, and you should sell your wares on Etsy even if you plan on mostly doing markets and craft fairs. It’s just too easy not to do it, and since most people already know to look for handmade products there, you have a wide market to sell to.

Farmer’s Markets

Before you get too gung ho, contact your local market master to make sure there’s not already a woodworker in your area selling at the farmer’s market. If you live in a populated region, you may be able to sell at a few markets each week, depending on their schedules.

Craft Fairs

There are craft shows all over the country, and once you have a portfolio of products to sell, you can apply to sell at several of those. As a bonus, you get to travel a little – which I enjoy.

Final Thoughts

So what are you waiting for? Get into your wood shop and make something beautiful!

There are plenty of woodturning projects that sell so you can make money from your hobby.

A woodworking business can be a source of joy and inspiration, as well as putting money in your bank account, and you can even do it in your spare time or turn it into a full-time business.