Top 10 Wood Furniture Projects [Plus Tips to Sell Them]
With springtime and warm weather, you might be itching to get out in your shop and work on a new furniture project.
After all, there’s nothing more satisfying than turning out high-quality pieces you’ve been able to customize to your liking—and at a fraction of the cost of buying one at a furniture store!
To get you started, here are some top DIY furniture projects for you with links to plans and videos from woodworkers on the web:
- Floating shelf
- Coffee table
- TV stand
- End table
- Dining table
- Bed frame
- Patio chair
Or, you may be ready to take it a step further and start a business selling your furniture. What might have started as an enjoyable weekend hobby could become a side gig!
So after we look at the DIY project ideas, we’ll walk through six steps to selling your DIY wood projects.
Let’s get started.
1. Floating shelf
Want to keep your floor clear while also having extra storage space? A floating bookshelf is a great option! It adds a simple and appealing touch to any room, making an ideal home for books, photo frames, or some greenery.
Not to mention it’s easy to build and great for beginners!
Some projects require just one slab of wood, and others, like this floating shelf tutorial from This Old House, involve some simple cuts and joinery. You’ll need the following woodworking tools: a miter saw, drill, sander, screws, and wood glue.
2. Coffee table
A coffee table is an elegant piece of furniture for any living room. So, impress your house guests with one you made yourself!
And a coffee table is one of the easiest furniture projects. Simple plans usually entail some basic square cuts but no round cuts. And that’s the case with these thorough plans created by woodworker Ana White. She walks you step by step through the process of building a charming and rustic coffee table.
If you decide to turn woodworking into a business, keep in mind that items like tables and bedframes take up more storage space. Make sure you have a way to keep your projects safe from fluctuating humidity and temperature levels.
3. TV stand
Like a coffee table, a TV stand (or console table) is a central item in many homes, a place where people gather and spend a lot of time. The benefit of building one yourself is that you can customize its size and appearance for your space.
A TV stand is a fairly straightforward project since it only involves square cuts.
But the difficulty level depends on what you want the end product to look like. You could build a TV stand that has a square frame and hairpin legs. You could make one with an open frame and visible shelves. Or you could build it with doors to cover the shelves.
For a more beginner option, check out these plans for an X-leg TV stand. It involves cutting the pieces of wood with a miter saw and using a pocket hole jig for joinery. And even though it’s simple to build, you’ll end up with a professional-looking piece of furniture.
4. End table
End tables (or side tables) make an excellent addition to a living room, providing a place for lamps or decor. Positioned next to your couch, an end table is also a perfect spot for a mug of coffee or a good book.
And they make great merchandise too! Matt Outlaw from 731 Woodworks shares that end tables are among the top five handcrafted items that sell well for him. He makes them in a farmhouse style with various heights and sizes.
As you’ll find with these end table ideas, you can tailor them to fit the style of your home.
5. Dining table
Dining rooms are gathering places, and a beautiful wooden table can become a family heirloom where memories are made for years to come. Why not build one that meets your exact needs?
Ana White offers plans for a basic farmhouse table that can give that rustic feel to your home. And the project only requires a few essential tools like a miter saw or circular saw, a sander, and a nailer.
A nightstand is a perfect spot to put all those miscellaneous items you need next to your bed. Simple models will just have the tabletop surface, but more advanced projects include drawers. Again, choose the option most suitable for your bedroom and paint it to match your style.
Check out this lineup of nightstand plans to get started.
7. Bed frame
Looking for a bed frame that’s unique and stylish but doesn’t break the bank?
What about trying these plans by Sadie Mae for building a mid-century modern bed frame? For under $150, she made the frame with 2x2s and a simple pocket hole jig for the joinery. Her tutorial video shows how to use a die grinder to create a unique textured headboard.
With many more people working from home these days, owning a quality desk is a must. You may need one for your office space or your child’s bedroom.
As a woodworking project, a desk can be the level of complexity you’d like it to be. You can start with a simple table surface, but you could also go on to add drawers and shelves for more storage space.
In a YouTube tutorial, Brad Rodriguez from Fix This Build walks you through building a DIY desk with drawers. The base of the desk is made from plywood, and the top is cherry wood.
In the video, Brad demonstrates how to make tapered legs and cove molding, so if you’re wanting a project that teaches you something new, check it out! Some of the bigger tools you’ll need are a pocket hole jig, cabinet hardware jig, drawer slide jig, router, and miter saw.
Benches are simple woodworking projects that don’t require any expensive types of wood. However, be sure to apply a durable finish on the bench so that it withstands the outdoor elements.
If you’re ready to give one a try, check out this project by the Rogue Engineer. With a circular saw, drill, and speed square, you’ll have this bench finished in no time—and for very little money.
10. Patio chair
When the weather is warm and the evenings are light, there’s nothing like relaxing in your backyard, watching the sunset on your porch, sitting around a campfire, or barbequing on your deck. Make the experience even better by reclining in chairs you built yourself!
Family Handyman provides a step-by-step plan for building your own patio chairs that are easy to move around and comfortable to sit in. The back and seat of the chair come apart and nest together, making for compact storage.
The project is at an intermediate level and requires creating a template for the slats and using a jigsaw to cut out the pieces. Other than that, you’ll need some basic tools like a sander, drill, and table saw.
As you’re making more furniture projects, what if you find that you’d like to sell what you’re making? Next, we’ll cover some tips for doing that.
How to sell your wood furniture
Selling your woodworking projects goes beyond just throwing up some listings on Facebook Marketplace or an Etsy store. It will take patience and effort to establish your presence and build the confidence of buyers.
Andy from Andy Bird Builds says one of the key differences between those making seven figures on Etsy and those who aren’t is brand recognition. Successful business people create a brand that, over time, becomes familiar and desirable.
And anyone can do it! That’s because even those who are incredibly successful today had to start at the beginning.
Here are some steps to get you started.
1. Create a plan.
Your plan doesn’t have to be elaborate, but it should include some basic details: your target market, your products, and the tools you need.
Matt Outlaw with 731 Woodworks shares that woodworkers who want to sell their products should start by asking themselves three questions:
- Who are my customers?
- What do they want?
- Why am I in this?
Answering these questions will help you determine the products you’ll build, the tools you’ll use, and how much you’ll price your products for.
John Malecki also has some good advice for woodworkers as they decide what products to sell. He suggests specializing in a niche rather than spreading yourself thin trying to make many different types of products. Find something that will distinguish you from other woodworking businesses.
2. Test your product
If you plan to sell multiple products of the same kind or offer custom builds, you’ll want to test the products you offer. Build some for yourself and your home, and use the opportunity to work out the kinks in your process.
This also gives you the chance to take some quality pictures (tips on that below) and even document your process for your website or social media account.
3. Choose your selling platform
In today’s world, you have many options when deciding where to sell your products. You may choose to launch a website, use social media, or stick with a third-party marketplace like Etsy or Amazon.
Joshua Anders—someone who’s been building a woodworking business for the past ten years—shares that he’s found Facebook and Etsy to be the best.
It’s true that many people on Facebook Marketplace are “out for a bargain” and won’t appreciate handcrafted furniture. But he’s found that having a local business page and putting listings in selling groups has helped connect him with those who are looking for higher-quality items.
Along with having profiles on third-party sites, he recommends having a business website to link to. Some people will click on the link and purchase products directly from your site, saving you the fees on sites like Etsy.
Matt Outlaw has had a similar experience with Facebook. He’s found it particularly useful to post to Facebook groups in his area.
He also uses Etsy but points out that it takes time to get noticed there. And it costs more. For him, getting his business to pick up on Etsy involved buying ads and optimizing his descriptions and titles so that his items would show up in search results.
4. Decide on pricing
When setting a price for your handcrafted items, make sure you factor in all your expenses. In the video linked above, John Malecki mentions that people may think they’re making money when, in reality, much of that money is going toward overhead costs.
Consider the following factors in your pricing1:
- The price of similar handcrafted items in your area
- The cost of materials (keep track of your purchases)
- The amount of customization
- The time you spent working on it
- The cost of freight delivery (if you decide to offer delivery)
5. Create an attractive and informative listing
As you get ready to post your item online, write a detailed description of the item. Keep your target market in mind and emphasize the benefits that will matter to them. And don’t forget to explain the quality and craftsmanship of your item!
But no matter how great your description is, the photos will speak even louder. That’s why quality photos are one of Matt Outlaw’s power tips for selling woodworking products.
When you take photos, put the furniture piece in a room with good lighting and sufficient space. And don’t leave it bare. Stage the item with appropriate centerpieces or home decor so that “people can picture the item in their home.” Get photos farther out, closer up, and from different angles.2
6. Make your customer the priority
Your customer should feel valued and cared for, especially since they may be putting down a significant amount of money for a custom item.
Ultimately, it boils down to being fair, honest, and genuine. Each interaction you have with a customer is building your brand image.
From there, excellent customer service comes in many different ways.
If you make a mistake or your customer is unsatisfied, do everything possible to rectify the situation—even if it means loss for you.
This was the experience of Cam Anderson, owner of Blacktail Studio, a custom furniture business. He built a table with a white resin for a customer, but within two years, it turned yellow. When the customer reached out to him, he didn’t hesitate to own his mistake and make the situation right, offering her money back or a new table.
Another example of customer service comes from Matt Outlaw, who also builds custom pieces for clients. As he builds these items, he’s committed to providing project updates and pictures so that his clients feel involved in the build.3
And finally, John Malecki looks for ways to build relationships with his customers and go the extra mile for them. For example, he may use scrap wood to make a small item, such as a cutting board, that goes with the purchased piece of furniture. Or he might provide his customers with maintenance materials and hacks.
Each of these customer service gestures makes it more likely that you’ll have customers who return to you over and over again—and sing your praises to their friends!
Don’t miss this essential point when building wooden furniture
As you brush up on your woodworking skills and get ready for some furniture projects, there’s one detail you won’t want to miss. This detail could be the difference between long-term success or failure with your projects.
And that’s moisture testing.
Ensuring your wood is at the right moisture content for its final environment will prevent major warping or other damage. You’ll be able to enjoy your own handmade furniture for years to come and have peace of mind that your customers will too.
- “Top 5 Woodworking Projects That Sell,” 731 Woodworks, YouTube. (↑)
- “How to Sell Woodworking Projects and Woodworking Business Tips,” 731 Woodworks, YouTube. (↑)
- Ibid. (↑)