A lot of people enjoy creating crafts and art but haven’t figured out how to monetize these hobbies. If you’re creative and crafty and you have space plus time, there are many craft items that you can create and sell for an extra income.
Building a business out of your crafts is an excellent way to make money from home as well as share your passion and receive accolades for your creations. But, before you start, you should also consider how you’ll deal with business administration tasks like bookkeeping, finding suppliers, filing business taxes, and generating customer receipts.
That said, here are the pros of starting a home-based craft business:
● Make money from home and from your hobby
● Nurture the creative part of you
● Choose your working hours
● Innovate whenever then your current production becomes too routine
● Sell both online and offline
If using your creative endeavors to make money from home sounds exciting, here are ten crafts that produce and sell for a tidy profit:
1. Soap/Bath Products
Hand-made bath products and soaps are very popular, especially when they are made of organic ingredients and gentle to sensitive skin. You can make bath salts from simple recipes to complicated formulations that need preservatives and emulsions.
There are plenty of online tutorials from which you can learn how to make soaps, bubble bath, bath bombs, lotions, and many other beauty products. But in beauty, packaging and branding are critical, so consider hiring design and branding talent.
● Keep your inventory light – natural ingredients in soap such as essential oils can expire, and fresher bath bombs are fizzier.
● Use skin-safe and beauty-grade ingredients – it helps if you understand the fundamentals of chemistry.
● Comply with health regulation standards.
2. T-shirts and Other Printed Merchandise
Merchandising is a maker business for non-makers. Your original creative idea can be stamped into various items like mugs, t-shirts, tote bags, bandanas, and distributed directly to customers. This makes it a great hands-off business with low barriers to join.
● Printed merchandise and t-shirts can be excellent additional products for existing businesses. For instance, music bands, charities, and gyms can sell branded products to their current audience; this will also bolster their brand.
● If you’re not a designer, you can still turn your vision into design by hiring and collaborating with design talent from sites like upwork.com and Creative Market.
Quality hand-made jewelry is quite popular because of the uniqueness of each item. The advantage of the jewelry business is that the items are small and easy to pack and ship as well as to carry to craft fairs.
Creating jewelry can be a low-tech and simple affair (say, woven bracelets or necklaces) or a high-skill trade with special tools (say silversmithing). It’s, however, a crowded market. So do your research before you dive in – is there a market for your items? Do your designs and artistry standout?
● Validate your idea – check out fashion blogs, influencers, and Google Trends before you dive into production.
● Visual representation is critical. But it’s hard to get good photos because of the reflective nature and size of the jewelry. Invest in professional photos. You can cut costs by collaborating with complementary clothing brands and sharing the costs of the lifestyle shoots.
4. Subscription Boxes and Curated Gifts
If you aren’t much of an artist or craftsman but you have the talent for curation. A subscription or gift box business can be a fantastic idea for you. The assembly can be tedious, though. But still, the business has advantages. For instance, you only need to pack subscription boxes once a month in similar sized boxed. This simplifies the shipping process.
● Evaluate your storage needs. Can you store and assemble at home, or do you need a larger space?
● Persuade customers to make an upfront commitment. Offer substantial discounts to those who subscribe upfront.
The US candle industry is valued at 2.3 billion dollars. Within this vast market, there are several niches you can explore: birthday, religious, beeswax, novelty, eco and natural, and much more. The production methods are simple (melt and pour), and so can start even if you have little prior craft skills.
● Use safety labeling and get the right insurance. Candles can cause fire damage or burn injuries, and so you should shield your business from lawsuits by taking all necessary precautions.
● The candle market is crowded, and so to stand out, specialize on a niche
● Candle ingredients are pretty much the same, so it’s your branding and packaging that’ll help you stand out.
Sugar can be baked, dissolved, and spun into endless products that you can make and sell; cookies, chocolates, candy, jams, baked goods, and many others. However, this category presents unique complications in terms of labeling legalities and shelf-life and thus demands a bit of creativity and innovation.
Some of the markets you can tap into include catering, custom, novelty, holidays, special occasions, and gift baskets. But do you market research before you settle for a product line; are there refrigeration and fragility barriers to shipping?
● Have a good grasp of your value chain. What’s inside should be what’s in the label.
● Consult a food inspection agency or a lawyer to ensure you meet local regulatory requirements – allergy warnings, ingredients, and nutritional content.
7. Art and Prints
There is a huge appetite for quality and unique art that people can appreciate and display in their homes and offices. Art isn’t necessary a painting; it can be photographs, wall stickers, fabric wall hangings, and more. So you don’t have to be a starving artist. You can create all sorts of art and sell it globally.
● Work with both offline and online galleries, whether it’s your local art galleries or digital galleries like Shopify’s Spoke Art. This will help you access a wider audience.
● Visual presentation is critical to your success. Collaborate with professional art photographers.
● Consider expanding your product line by reproducing your art in other formats like prints, t-shirts, cards, and mugs.
8. Digital Products
There are multiple digital products like Photoshop actions, wedding invitation templates, website templates, and webinars that you can create and sell in various marketplaces. This type of business is hands-off; you only need a bit of up-front work. There are little overhead costs or other hustles like inventory and shipping
● Choose an effective delivery market.
Enamel pins are still quite popular. And a lot of businesses like to buy personalized pins, buttons, and magnets to give away to partners and potential customers. Typically, you’ll have to work with a manufacturer during production, but you still have control over the design component. You can design hire a designer.
● Ask your manufacturer the right questions: What are the material options? Can they give you physical samples before they start producing? What are the packaging options?
10. Traditional Handcrafted Goods
Wood carving, leather tooling, embroidery, and pottery are some of the traditional crafts that now have a thriving market. There is a growing disenchantment with mass-production that’s shifted trends back to artist craftsmanship and bespoke goods.
These disciplines demand a certain level of competence, but you can hone your craftsmanship through local workshops, trial and error, and online tutorials.
● The appeal of crafted goods is largely hinged on their back-story. So create your own legend and weave it into your packaging, product pages, and About Page.
● Figure out how to scale. If your product takes off, you’ll have to produce in large quantities while maintaining the integrity of your ‘hand-made’ production process. Can you hire contractors? Can you outsource part of the production process and then finish by hand?
How to Sell your Products
Here are tips on how to sell your products profitably:
1. Price for profits: Factor in the cost of materials and the time spent in creation into your sale price
2. Brand your crafts: Include your name, website, and contact information so that customers can access you.
3. Target specific customers: For instance, sheepdog owners want to get keychains, tees, totes, and other stuff with sheepdog pictures on them. Customizing for such a niche is more time consuming, but the buyers are also will to pay more for personalized items.
4. Take advantage of holidays and special occasions: Depending on the type of items you make, holidays like Christmas and special occasions like birthdays can bolster your sales.
Where to Sell your Crafts
Other than the big-name marketplaces like Esty and Shopify, there are many other online platforms where you can sell your homemade crafts, including:
1. Hand-made at Amazon
Do your research and find a marketplace that works for you. You can also build an e-commerce site to complement your marketing activities.
You can also sell offline in places like craft fairs, bazaars, farmers’ markets, local consignment shops, and local events. The great thing about one-on-one selling is that you get to interact with your customers. This gives you access to instant feedback, you get to know what they like (or don’t like) about your product, and you can solicit ideas from customers on what they’d like to buy.