Wayne Funneman woodworking

Wayne Funneman, of Teutopolis, makes a variety of items in his woodshop, including these popular cornhole games that he has for sale.

By Kim Jansen

News Report Staff

Santa’s elves are not the only ones who are busy in their workshop this holiday season.

Teutopolis resident Wayne Funneman has been busy working in his shop to fill orders for a variety of items, including corn hole boards, toy barns, toy boxes, doll houses and more.

Woodworking has always been an interest for Funneman. And after he had to retire early due to a back injury, the hobby quickly became much more once people saw the items he created.

“I started with woodwork back in 1970 with my dad,” said Funneman, who added his family owned a construction business where they built houses. “We had a shop at the home place, and I would piddle around in there making different things.”

Although Funneman had always planned to continue his hobby of woodworking in his retirement, he did not plan for retirement to come as quickly as it did.

“Five years ago, I had a back injury, and it forced me into retirement early,” said Funneman. “I had always planned to do this when I retired, but it just came sooner than I thought.”

Funneman loves to create new things, so his new job feels more like a hobby than work.

“I enjoy doing it,” said Funneman. “It is really a hobby, but I stay pretty busy with it. I like creating things, and I enjoy painting, too. It is my passion — painting and making things come to life.”

His favorite things to make are toy barns, which he customizes for his customer, including green John Deere barns and red Case IH barns.

Although making toy barns are more time consuming, he said knowing that they will bring joy to children makes it worth his time.

“It is always fun to see the kids’ reactions,” said Funneman, who added mothers will send photos of their children receiving items, so Funneman can see their faces light up.

Funneman hadn’t really intended for this hobby to turn into a business, but through word of mouth and Facebook, he has plenty of work to stay busy.

“It expanded more than I thought it would — more than I anticipated,” he said. But he quickly added that he doesn’t mind the work. “It is good just to stay busy. I personally don’t like sitting around, so this is a good way to stay active.”

Funneman currently works in his shop about 32 hours a week, but has to be careful not to overdo it with his back.

“If my back starts to hurt, I have to lay off a bit,” he said.

Popular orders this time of year include custom corn hole sets, which start at $140; toy barns, which range from $140 to $160; toy boxes, which start at $130; and wooden sleds, which are $70.

Funneman also donates several items to community benefits, including crosses he makes for the Cross Foundation that are sold at the Cross Visitor Center in Effingham.

“It is a fun thing to do and I am pretty proud of that,” he said.

Anyone interested in contacting Funneman can visit his Facebook page listed under Wayne’s Woodworking.  Many of his items also can be found on the local Facebook garage sale pages.