The world of wood carving is a fun one, not only for purchasing but for creating. However, when it comes to making your own wood carvings, you may be wondering just how much your creation is worth. What exactly is the going rate for wood carvings?
Wood carvings are worth from $500 to $20,000 depending on height, square inches, the piece’s complexity, materials used, and how many hours the artist spent on the wood carving. Prices can significantly vary from one woodworker to another.
Through the rest of this article, I will be going over what factors you should consider when pricing your wood carvings, such as how much time it took to complete. I’ll also answer common questions about the cost of getting into woodworking. Let’s carve in!
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How to Price a Wood Carving
When deciding what to charge for your woodworking creations, there are a few factors to consider, such as the time you spent working on the piece, material expenses, how large the piece is, and how much detail has gone into it.
Each of these categories is important when deciding what’s an acceptable price to charge for your stunning woodwork. But in order to price your wood carvings at the best possible price, you must first understand the most common methods of pricing.
Charging Hourly for Your Wood Carvings
One of the most popular ways to price a wood carving is by setting up an hourly wage. Now, this type of pricing can get a bit expensive for some buyers, so you will want to think carefully about what makes sense for your work without undervaluing yourself.
When deciding your hourly wage, you will want to factor in the cost of your materials (i.e., your overhead) plus a fair hourly rate for your time. In addition, you will want to think about things like how detailed your carving is, how long it took you to hone your skills, and the current living wage in your area.
A good formula for pricing your wood carvings hourly is: (+10% for material) + (hourly rate x project hours).
For example, say you charge $35 per hour, and the project took you 48 hours to complete. Strictly charging for your time would come to $1,680, and upon adding 10% for materials, your total would be $1,848.
Ultimately, you should charge what feels right to you. For example, your overhead costs will be considerably lower if you can forage most of your materials, excluding your woodworking tools.
Whatever you decide to charge per hour, it should at least be over your area’s minimum wage. Of course, you can always adjust your prices if needed, so charge what you feel is best.
Charging per Square Inch for Your Wood Carvings
The next most popular way of pricing wood carvings is by square inch. If charging hourly doesn’t feel like it will fit your working style, perhaps charging by the inch will be a better choice.
Most woodworkers charge $1.50-$3.50 per square inch for their wood carvings. This pricing method is relatively easy to calculate. Simply measure your completed carving and multiply the square inches by your set price (i.e., $1.50-$3.50).
You should adjust this number to match your skill level and the demand for wooden carvings in your area. The idea is that the more extensive and detailed the art piece, the more it will cost.
Keep in mind that this pricing method may not make sense for every carving. For example, a small 5-inch carving with meticulous details may have taken a lot more time and effort than a larger but simpler carving.
Again, what you charge for your wooden artwork is entirely up to you. But whether you are creating wood carvings as a full-time job or just for fun, there is good money to be made in the wood carving industry.
Is Wood Carving an Expensive Hobby?
Now that you have a basic understanding of how much wood carvings generally cost and how to price them, it’s time to discuss how expensive it is to start woodworking.
Wood carving is not an expensive hobby, and you can get started with wood carving for as little as $30. In order to start wood carving, you will need a rubber mallet (which you probably already own or can be purchased cheaply) and a set of woodworking chisels.
If you haven’t already acquired woodworking chisels, I recommended the VonHaus Wood Carving Tool Set (available on Amazon). This chisel set is relatively cheap, comes with 16 different carving tools, and is specifically geared toward beginner woodcarvers.
- SET INCLUDES: 6x chisels 1/4", 1/2", 3/4", 1", 1-1/4", 1-1/2" (6mm, 13mm, 19mm, 25mm, 32mm, 38mm) 1x...
- HEAT TREATED: Heat-treated, chrome vanadium steel alloy blades with narrow side bevels
- ERGONOMIC DESIGN: Ergonomically designed handles for improved comfort and control
Last update on 2022-09-18 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API
Once you have acquired the necessary tools, you should be able to gather wood to carve fairly easily. You can forage wood in nearby areas, check local stores for free wooden pallets, and join local Facebook yard sale pages to watch for free scrap wood.
You might even want to consider reaching out to an arborist and see if you can get some of the wood from the trees they chop down before running them through a wood chipper.
Ultimately, the more creative you get with finding wood to work with, the cheaper your woodworking overhead will be. So don’t be afraid to spread the word to friends, family, and around your neighborhood that you are willing to take any wood scraps off people’s hands.
You will be pleasantly surprised by just how much wood can be acquired without spending a dime.
When it comes to determining how much a wood carving is worth, you’ll have to consider factors such as time, detail, square inches, and materials. It’s up to you as an artist to determine how you would like to price your carvings.
Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, so if you are thinking of creating your own wood carvings to sell, price your work at what you deem its worth.
Not everyone may be willing to pay your prices, but those that genuinely value your artwork will. Just remember never to undersell your work!
- Wood Is Wood: Woodcarver’s Guide: How Much To Charge Selling Wood Carvings
- Carvers Companion: Pricing Wood Carvings
- Treeline WoodCraft Specialists: How Much Should I Charge For Wood Work?
- Wood Carving Illustrated: Commissions How Much Do I Charge?
- Quora: How Do You Know If Something Hand Carved Has Any Value?
- In Depth Outdoors: Wood Carving Value
- The Wood Whisperer: Pricing Your Work
- Dictionary.com: Arborist Definition
- Make From Wood: Is Woodworking An Expensive Hobby?
- Hobby Ask: Is Woodworking An Expensive Hobby? (Full Cost Breakdown)