36 Profitable Crafts to Make and Sell for Money
A lot of people today are looking for something out of the ordinary—to wear, to use as decor, or to give as a gift, among other things. Sometimes they search for items that fit a certain theme, such as a specific holiday, sport, or animal. You can make money by fulfilling their needs and wants simply by engaging in a craft you already enjoy. Alternatively, you can browse some of the bestsellers in the homemade category and choose those that interest you. A brief internet search will provide you with everything you need to know to begin creating. While some items require a particular talent, many do not, including a number of the current top sellers. Almost all the materials needed can be found at a hobby shop, but you can also shop the dollar stores and scour your local surroundings for free resources that will provide you with an even greater profit margin.
QUICK CRAFTS: The items below are quick to make, allowing you to produce a number of them in just a few hours.
1. Face masks
Not surprisingly, this is one of the current top sellers and requires minimal sewing skills.
Pillows of all shapes and sizes are popular. You can even make them without sewing a stitch. Use pretty dishtowels or cloth napkins and Velcro the pre-finished edges together.
Headbands are quick and easy to make. You can find some that require no sewing to construct; others require very little sewing. If you enjoy knitting or crocheting, you can put these skills to work to create pretty headbands as well.
4. Hair scrunchies
Hair scrunchies are still in vogue, and you can produce several from a single scarf you might pick up at a thrift store. You can also fashion scrunchies from an old t-shirt. No sewing required.
5. Microwaveable heating pads
Child-sized knee socks, white rice, essential oil, and minimal sewing is all that is needed to create these good sellers.
6. Fabric dog collars
Dog owners who are bored by the mundane offerings at the pet store appreciate something different. Like the heating pads, these fabric dog collars also require minimal sewing skills and take less than 15 minutes to make.
7. Rope bowls
These popular items are quick, cheap, and easy to produce. No sewing needed unless you want to get even more creative and embroider them, which will take more time, but may also provide you with substantially more profits.
MASON JAR CRAFTS: Crafts utilizing mason jars are extremely popular these days. Many use the plain jar, as is. Others paint the jars, sometimes incorporating a holiday theme, e.g., stars and stripes, shamrocks, hearts, and holly.
8. Mason jar mixes
Fill a mason jar with a variety of beans to make a bean soup or the ingredients to make brownies or cookies and attach the recipe to the jar with a pretty bow.
9. Mason jar bath items
Fill a mason jar with homemade bath salts, scrubs, or bath bombs and decorate with an attractive bow.
10. Mason jar candles
A mason jar can be used as the framework for a candle, or you might consider creating a pretty landscape in the jar to hold a replaceable tealight candle.
11. Mason jar tissue holder
This is one of the more unique crafts utilizing a mason jar. Cut a slit in the top through which the tissues will feed.
PERSONALIZED ITEMS: Any personalized item sells well. If you are good at embroidery, etching, woodburning/carving, or engraving, you might consider offering one of the following personalized items for sale:
12. Pocket knives
15. Wine glasses
18. Family name signs
21. Airpod cases
Customized airpod cases are popular sellers. There were some crocheted animal-themed ones listed for sale on one of the online sites; another seller offered cases etched with a name of the buyer’s choosing.
Stickers are popular with the college-age set, who use them to decorate their laptops, musical instruments, notebooks, and other items. You can either use your computer to print your own designs or have an online company like Print Place or NextDayFlyers print them for you. While stickers don’t command a high price, the volume you sell can make up for it.
Create a t-shirt design and submit it to an online company like CafePress or RedBubble that will produce t-shirts sporting your design, handle the customer service and shipping for you, and pay you a commission when a shirt with your creation sells. They will also put your design on numerous other items, such as stickers, mugs, bags, face masks, and wall décor.
Earrings, necklaces, ankle bracelets, and bracelets are all popular. Some are made of sterling, others of a cheaper metal, and still others are crafted from leather or cloth. If you live near a beach, consider gathering seashells to use for your creations. Dollar store plastic leaves can make rich-looking earrings when spray painted gold. Currently, initial necklaces and name-bar bracelets are hot items.
25. Wooden signs
You’ve no doubt seen them in a number of places—wooden planks or pallets bearing a clever or inspirational quote to set on a shelf or hang on a wall. You don’t have to be a calligrapher or even have decent handwriting to create these yourself. You can use stencils, some of which are already designed with a motivational message, or create your own design using your computer and Microsoft Word and transfer it to your painted board using an easy-to-learn pencil transfer technique.
Candles of all shapes, sizes, and scents are always good sellers.
27. Placemat and napkin sets
These can be very profitable items, particularly if you hit on a theme that is all the rage.
As noted earlier, personalized mugs are popular, but mugs with unique designs and clever sayings are also good sellers.
29. Purses and tote bags
Shoppers are always looking for something unique to accessorize their outfits. Crocheted, knitted, macraméd, or sewn, a functional, creative design should sell well.
Handmade quilts and crocheted or knitted afghans are high profit-margin items, but they do require a large amount of time and are not cheap to produce.
Crocheted or knitted beanies are popular items.
32. Decorated wine glasses
Buy some cheap wine glasses at a thrift store or a dollar store, and paint a pretty design on them.
33. Flower vases
You can do something similar with vases you can purchase cheaply.
If you enjoy creating things from wood, birdhouses are a popular item.
35. Wooden serving trays
This one is also for the wood craftsperson. You might even consider adding personalization for a higher profit margin.
Create handmade notecards using watercolors, stamps, or whatever other medium you prefer, and sell them in packages.
Where to sell your crafts
1. CafePress and RedBubble
As mentioned earlier, you can submit your design to an online company like CafePress or RedBubble and have them reproduce it on any number of items, such as mugs, stickers, t-shirts and other apparel items, and wall décor. They even take care of the selling and shipping processes for you, paying you a commission when an item with your design is purchased. As you might expect, the amount you will receive will be far less than if you handle more of the details yourself, but these venues do provide you with some passive income if you are too busy with your day job to be bothered.
2. Local Farmers’ Market
Many towns have a farmers’ market. Contrary to what some might think, these markets do not just offer produce and food-related items for sale. This can be a good place to sell your homemade items although you will probably want to use other means as well since you won’t reach as many customers as you might like.
3. Arts Fairs
An arts fair is also a good place to sell your creations. These fairs are similar to farmers’ markets, but generally occur only once or twice a year in a specific location. They tend to attract more traffic, however. Be sure to have professional business cards to hand out to paying customers and browsers alike.
You can also list your products for sale on the Craigslist for your local area.
5. Your Blog
If you already have an established blog, this could be one of the best places to market your crafts. If you use WordPress, get WooCommerce, its e-commerce plugin that enables you to add your product image, description, and price. This allows you to cut out the middleman that some of the other alternatives we discuss involve.
Etsy is a well-known online global marketplace for homemade goods. It’s easy to begin selling on Etsy. Simply click “Sell on Etsy” to register your account; create a name for your shop; provide shop details, e.g., native language, country of origin, and currency; and stock your shop with at least one item. The site suggests that 10 or more items is better, and shops with 100 or more items get priority. You can upload as many as five pictures of your good. The listing fee is $0.20 per item, and Etsy charges a 5% transaction fee when the item sells. Its charge for processing payments varies with the location of your bank account, but processing is free if you use Etsy Payments.
Shopify is similar to Etsy, and the site is currently offering a 14-day free trial. As with Etsy, you begin by setting up a shop. You can use one of the professional store themes available with their storebuilder tool and customize it. Basic Shopify costs $29 a month, and there is a 2% transaction fee when you sell an item unless you use Shopify Payments. The site provides educational marketing material and will calculate the shipping costs for you. You can also print discounted USPS labels, which the site says will save you up to 40% on postage.
Aftcra is unique in that it lists only American handmade goods. The site does not charge a listing fee. Your listing remains live for six months, after which you can relist it for free for another six months. When your item sells, you pay a fee equal to 7% of the selling price. Before you can list an item on this site, you must register with the site, which requires that you have an established PayPal account. After your registration is completed, you create your seller profile and begin selling.
9. Amazon Handmade
You have to fill out an application to qualify to sell crafts via Amazon Handmade, and the application approval process can take four to six weeks. It costs $39.99 a month plus selling fees to sell on Amazon, and you pay a 15% referral fee when your handmade item sells. While Amazon probably provides you with the largest customer base, it’s obvious that only high-ticket items are worth the fees charged.