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I'm always looking for new Glowforge projects to sell, but sometimes it feels like everything has already been done. I use my creativity combined with buying files (because I don't make my own at the moment) to create best-selling items my customers love. Bonus points when I can make profit off of scrap (trash!!) wood!
I've seen soooo many people throw away tons of scrap wood. I'm a slight hoarder, so we have a stack of wood we are working through. Maximize your products by using every piece of wood you possibly can.
Wood is much cheaper than vinyl, so that is my focus for these projects. However, there are also tons of things you can make with vinyl so don't limit yourself! 🙂 If you haven't yet, join some GF groups on Facebook. They're overflowing with Glowforge ideas and will help keep your creativity flowing.
If you haven't purchased a Glowforge yet, now is the time. Read my post on how I paid for my Glowforge and why it's my best money-maker to date!
How much does a Glowforge cost?
I talked about this in detail in my other post, but a Glowforge Pro costs about $6,000, or if you use my referral link, it is $5,495. That is a HUGE investment, but it pays for itself in no time. You can get a Glowforge Basic for $2,995.
Unlike a vinyl cutting machine (like a Cricut), everyone and their mother does not have a laser, so now is the optimal time to add a Glowforge to your business.
How much do Glowforge files cost?
A popular question, without a real solid answer! Glowforge files cost however much the creators sell them for. I've seen bundles for a few bucks and single files for more than $10. Higher-priced files are usually layered, or somehow more unique than the lower-priced files everyone is selling.
Note: Glowforge files are usually SVGs. However, unless the listing says “laser cutter” specifically, I always message before buying! Sometimes people sell SVGs for cutting machines (like the Cricut) and they don't translate well for cutting wood. It's always best to ask before you buy because digital files are non-refundable.
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Keychains can be anywhere from tiny charms to 3″ designs, in all shapes and colors. You can also use scrap acrylic to make them. I buy my keychain findings on Amazon.
Think about all the different people who love keychains!
- coffee lovers
- music lovers (specific instruments even!)
- car enthusiasts
- sports lovers (sports parents..coaches..etc)
- hobbies: hunting, fishing, sewing, dancing, skating
- fans of literally anything
Even if you're just using scrap wood, you can get dozens of keychains out of one piece after you've already used it for other projects and it's paid for itself.
So many customers in this niche locally and on Etsy! Nurses aren't the only ones who wear lanyards, but they're always the first ones that come to mind for me. Getting even more specific, think about medical specialties. I saw a nurse with this lanyard on this morning, and another with this one.
- kidney, liver, heart, lungs, basically any organ
Anyone who wears a name badge at work most likely has the need for a lanyard. I have some nurse friends who buy lanyards for every season.
You can make an entire business around earrings. The possibilities with your Glowforge truly are endless. Your best bet is going to be to pick a niche and stick with it – then expand as your business grows. Staying on niche is important on Etsy. While there are exceptions to the rule, most shops perform much better if they have a specific topic they stick with.
Want to make earrings out of scraps? Here are some popular ideas to get started with:
- food (avocados, sushi)
- best aunt/uncle/mom/dad/wife/husband
- hobbies (sewing, motorcycles, bowling)
Set a timer for 5 minutes and think of all the ideas you can for earrings. Then, head over to Etsy and see if you can find some files!
I know nothing about knitting or crocheting, but I do know custom stitch markers are super popular! Unfortunately, I couldn't find any files on Etsy for them but they would be easy to make. And, that could be another stream of income if you make the files and sell them. $$$
The famous “fuckflakes” of 2020 made several Glowforge owners thousands and thousands of dollars. One woman told me she made over $10,000 JUST from selling that ONE ornament over and over again. And, the ornament designers also made thousands and thousands of dollars. See more (below) bout being the middle man!
We skipped out on the fuckflake trend. Our best selling ornament for 2020 was the “Christmas in Heaven” ones.
This is another best-selling ornament idea that is SUPER simple to make. Offer customization for the ornaments you're selling, if you're able to. It can increase your sales and you can charge more… win win!
While biz cards are a little larger than some of the other items we're making out of scraps, often we will have a project that only takes up 3/4 of the board, so with the last quarter of it, we can squeeze in a few business cards. Let me tell you, people are SUPER impressed when you hand them a wooden business card – and they're less likely to throw it away.
I don't hand them out all the time but they are a huge hit at craft shows and fairs.
Pssst…! Hey, you! Yeah, you. 😉 I'd love to have you over in my free Facebook group. It's called Passive Income Pathways and it's where I teach you how to make money from home – without scams, spam, or bullshit. Hope to see you there!
I like to use the earring files to make necklaces. Be sure to seal all of your wooden jewelry well, so it isn't as affected by moisture. Never tell anyone your creations are waterproof – they will not be when submerged!
Adding a little extra pizazz (like these beads) to your creations will help them stand out. I love that these are earrings but I would turn them into necklaces for sure!
Pro tip: Be the middle
Being the supplier is golden. If you can use your Glowforge and wood scraps to create products other crafters can use in their business, you'll never run out of customers. Unlike with novelty items, supplies are being sold to others who are working hard to grow their business.
You can also create and sell simple files for Glowforge owners so they can continue to profit with new products, without having to stop production to create their own files. I hate creating files and would much rather buy them every single time.
Any time you can make a maker's job easier, or supplies more affordable, you're going to have a steady stream of customers.
Even though I was using scraps to create my DIY Biz Kits, I added value by offering a course to accompany the kit. My customers paid $150 for what cost me about $15 total, including shipping – but they also got access to a course that gave them everything they needed to be successful selling wooden earrings.
Think of anything you would need if you were running a business and didn't have a Glowforge. Then, make those things for your customers!
Sign making is a huuuuge industry right now. Sign makers who buy wood blanks but don't have a Glowforge buy hooks and things – why not be their supplier?!
Other crafters who don't use a laser cutter but still sell on Etsy need blanks. They will use the blanks you create, and add their own flair to them. Whether it's beads or painting or something else entirely, getting into the supply business is a great way to make continuous money with your Glowforge.
Makers who do wood burning can buy blanks and then use those to burn on, instead of having to invest in a $5,000+ machine. They'll keep you in business! 🙂
- keychain blanks
- earring blanks
- necklace blanks
- lanyard blanks
- biz card blanks
- and more!
Even Michael's is selling wood blanks at this point so we know there's a huge market for them! Don't feel like you have to compete with big store's pricing: learn how to price your handmade goods.
Sign making supplies
Back to those sign makers, because they keep our Glowforge busy! 🙂 Some of our customers buy wood blanks and then paint them, so we cut accent pieces out that they can glue onto their signs.
What kind of accents can you make?
- holiday themed
- season themed
- sports themed
- and more!
There are so many files out there, even if you don't have a creative or artistic bone in your body, your Glowforge can make you tens of thousands of dollars. The learning curve isn't bad, though I won't say it was EASY for me but that's probably because of the brain fog. 😉
You can start by selling locally, but don't forget about Etsy! As long as your SEO is on point and you create a unique product, there isn't a whole lot of competition yet.