Welding is one of our favorite blue collar side hustles and can be pretty lucrative. Whether you are a certified welder or hobbyist this article offers great ideas for items to make and sell.
Making Money Welding In Your Garage
What you decide to create with welding will depend on your skill level.
Create Metal Art
Many metal artists create custom work on a commission basis or sell their art on their own websites. Some create small metalwork projects, while other independent artists may create massive sculptures.
Here are a few welders that have successfully turned their passion for metal into art:
- David Hayes was known for his amazing metal sculptures and his works have been seen and displayed in over 100 museums and institutions. He has also exhibited at roughly 300 locations across the United States.
- Barbie the Welder creates artistic sculptures from metal that she offers through her website. She also takes custom commissions as well, and with prices for sculptures on her website going for $10,000 per piece – with some showing as sold, it is very encouraging!
- Christina Sporrong is a welder with a focus on creating beautiful sculptures and architecture with metal while empowering women to embrace welding.
So, not only does this show welding is not “mans work” anymore, but that the opportunities to earn a great salary as a welder are a real thing for everyone.
How much can a metal artist make?
The amount of money a welder artist can make is almost limitless. When you sell your work as art you set your own prices. Many welders who create sculptures can see their pieces go for over $20,000.
Overflow Welding Services
Offer your welding skills as an overflow service for local businesses or even farriers. Some farriers prefer not to do welding and may outsource this part of their job. Check out how much farriers make to see if this a path you can take with your welding skills.
Some companies do offer opportunities for welders to do welding work from home.
If a shop does not have enough manpower, they might outsource work to freelance welders. Whether you work with sheet metal, MIG welder, scrap metal, or any other welding specialty there is an opportunity for you.
The best way to get into this kind of work is to head out to your local welding or machine shops and see if they can use your services.
How much can an overflow welder make?
Because you are working as a freelancer you can set your own rates.
But it is important to remember from that rate you will need to pay for tools, insurance, licensing, taxes, and more. So be sure to charge a rate that can offer a living wage and cover your expenses.
Skilled welders can charge $50-$100 per hour depending on the level of skill needed for the projects.
Sell Your Welding Products on Etsy
There are so many vendors who do very well with metal art on Etsy. If you can find a niche for metal products you can get started on an online business that can bring in a great income. You can also build your own websites on a platform like Shopify if you decide you want to do it yourself.
This is a great job opportunity for teens that can pay well too!
Below are some welders on Etsy that are doing very well with sales to give you some inspiration. Use these ideas to come up with your own welding fabrication ideas and be on your way to live a more inspired life as an independent artist.
MetalRelic has some of the coolest metal art we have seen. From roses to guitars and everything in between his shop is filled with surprises. He has over 1,600 sales at the time of this writing with a 5-star rating – so he is clearly well-liked and makes solid products that people love.
See more MetalRelic art on Etsy.
This shop offers less intricate work for those that may not have advanced skills. Their focus is primarily on creating handrails and with over 6,000 sales and a 5-star rating, they clearly found a winning niche. I am not sure I would have considered doing handrails, so this is just proof that if you have an idea – try it. You may be surprised at what people will spend money on!
Visit Theironsmith on Etsy.
15 Welding Projects To Make Money
Now that you have a few options – and can see the success that others have had on Etsy, let’s dive into the awesome things you can create from metal that people will buy!
Some of these are great welding ideas for beginners too.
As shown above, metal art is a super-cool way to create some side hustle. You can specialize in a certain niche or create a variety of options. Custom names and pet accents are incredibly popular with metal art.
From animal shapes to metal wind spinners, there is no shortage of metal yard art that people will purchase. Use your creativity and take note of what the people in your community have around their homes. If you are in the country, weather vanes or farm animals may be more popular. If you are in the suburbs, you may find wind spinners or artistic pieces may be more popular.
Crazy right? Well, not really! More people make their own barbecue grills than you may even realize, and those who have done it say it is not as hard as you may think. Something as simple as this log barbecue cooker will work. You can sell them online or at a local auction. If you can put a creative or artistic spin on it, you may sell more than you think!
If you live in a community that loves shooting, then you can do well-making metal shooting targets. The whole product can be welded, making it a bit easier than some other projects – but you will need to add those hinges so they can be flipped. Painting them can give you a fun and stylish edge.
Imagine creating a metal chessboard! If your skills are not super-advanced, then you can use nuts and bolts to create the chess pieces. If you are an advanced welder, you can create each chess piece. You can use a flat metal board or be creative to create something no one has ever seen! This chessboard on Etsy is a stunning example!
This is a super popular idea as people use gates indoors and outdoors. Wrought iron gates can be plain or intricate with their details so it is a good option for welders of all ages. You can do small gates that enclose a garden or larger gates that can be used as an entryway for a yard.
Metal Ramps can be used for so many things. You can create metal ramps for dogs so when they are older they can climb up onto furniture easier. Wheelchair ramps can help the disabled get into homes or buildings. You can also build car ramps that can be sold to consumers – or businesses. All of these can be pretty lucrative!
Fireplace Screen / Log Grates
Most homes with fireplaces use a screen to keep the kids out of the fireplace. With people caring about appearances, making a beautiful metal fireplace screen can be an easy money-maker. Creating the log grates for the inside of the fireplace is another option too – or you can sell a matching set!
Perfect for those retro-lovers! It can be used to eat on, or even as a decorative end table. Making it foldable will require a bit more skill, but you can create it with legs that do not collapse as well. You can also make them without legs at all and sell it as a “lap table tray” that they can use when sitting.
Super popular! Fire pits are more popular than ever and metal fire pits are a gorgeous accent to any yard. You can create beautiful artistic designs, or make the customizable for customers. There is no shortage of fire pits on Etsy.
Below are some of my personal favorites.
For people who love to grow plants, flowers, and even vegetables a garden trellis is a common item they use. This is definitely a more complicated welding project, but it can be pretty lucrative if you have a great eye and advanced talents.
Metal jewelry is highly popular – especially in the gothic market. If you have made skills, then creating jewelry pieces like pendants, rings, or even piercings can be a really great way to weld your way to success.
Business Card Holder
While we may not use business cards as often as we have in the past, there is still a market. If you can create a stunning card holder – you might just be able to find a little market that is not overly saturated anymore!
A brushed metal stove cover with a custom name can be a profitable item. These will make great gifts, and adding the customization will make it a super popular option for homeowners. Terra Timber Treasures creates stunning brushed aluminum stove covers – but you can use a variety of different materials and styles to make yours even better!
Whether you want a stool for indoors or out – or even for a shop, these can be a great option if you have the skills. While stools can be a bit more challenging, they can be pretty profitable. You can create stools that have wheels, or to keep it less challenging, just make them with metal legs. There is a market for both personal and commercial use, so it can be a really successful side hustle.
Things To Consider Before Welding At Home
First, and most important – if you work a full-time welding job, you should make sure they are OK with you taking side work. Some jobs may have you sign something that states you cannot take on any side gigs in the same industry. So, check with your employer and make sure you are able to take on the extra work.
Some of the work you may do may impact others.
You should be aware of the legalities and responsibilities you would have as a home-based welder. If you were to do repairs on a truck or metal component and someone gets hurt because of it when it is put into use – you may be responsible. There is so much to think about with this – and a lot will depend on how you are working.
Are you a freelancer? Do you have a legal small business? Will the company that is using you be responsible for these issues? If you are a small business you may want to get some kind of insurance.
So, now you have a few ideas to kick-start your metal project side gig! Or maybe, this can be a first step to starting your own welding business!