If you are a crafter, you'd love to get paid for doing what you do.
There are about 7.5 million sellers on Etsy. Many of them are crafters selling things they love making. You can thrive on Etsy too.
To get started, here is a list of the best craft items to make and sell.
10 Crafts To Make and Sell
Well-made bags are always in demand. Making bags involves some basic sewing techniques and heavy and intense sewing. Start by learning how to sew from books, online tutorials, and classes to hone your skill. You may also need to buy some equipment. If it is a thick leather satchel bag you want to sell, you may need a heavy-duty industrial machine.
If you do not want to sew, you can make bag kits with all the bag supplies like handles, bag feet, fasteners, pretty fabric cut in the pattern, etc.
There are many ways that you can market these bags.
Start selling to your colleagues or neighbors to see their responses. Or you could hire a small booth at a holiday craft fair. Then ask local shops to take your bags on consignment. Once you have a feel of what to do, start a website and sell.
2. Soft Toys
At one point, we had around 20+ soft toys in our house. Some were gifted, others my kids bought themselves, and others they inherited from cousins (and it was never enough!)
Start with teddy bears, a classic soft toy. You will need to buy some fake fur or plush fabric, teddy eyes, heart-shaped plastic noses, washers to go under them, ribbons and badges to decorate, and the pattern to sew the soft toy. Though fake fur is expensive, you do not need much to make one teddy bear. You can make a small teddy bear with a 17-inch square of faux fur.
3. Embroidered Bed Sheets
Plain bedsheets are getting boring, but applique-embellished personalized bedsheets with beautiful embroidery are in demand.
These days, soft pastel-colored solid bedsheets with self-toned embroidery are more popular than traditional bright-colored embroidery.
Monograms can look beautiful and meaningful on pillowcases. Imagine delicately embroidered monograms of the bride and groom on the pillowcases on the marriage bed – what a beautiful gift for a newly married couple! You can charge a premium for this kind of customized booking.
4. Bath Bombs
Bath bombs are addictive. They are mood elevators and hey, don't we all need things to relax in this stressful world? Bath bombs do that very sweetly.
You can make bath bombs easily at home with baking soda, citric acid, and essential oils. You can make them in various colors and scents.
You can target those with sensitive skin as your market for bath bombs. The usual over-the-counter bath soaps can be irritating to those with delicate skin. For them, meticulously made bath bombs with carefully researched ingredients can be a boom.
They are also a great sell to parents, as all kids love bath bombs.
You can personalize the bath bombs according to the tastes of your customers. Some may like the smell of lavender essential oil, another lemongrass, and yet another rose.
You can also sell them in a gift bag with assorted bath bombs through online shops or consignment stores.
5. Christmas Decorations
Christmas-related crafts can make the perfect seasonal product, but don't stop once you hit January. You can make crafts related to all kinds of festivals – there are so many out there!
For Christmas, go for ornaments to hang on the Christmas tree. From glittery balls to small stars, there are many things that you can make.
Other ideas for crafts to sell are Christmas tree skirts, stockings and stuffers, and Christmas-themed decor, including placemats, table runners, and cushion covers.
6. Art and Craft Activity Kits
Kids love arts and crafts kits. They will cherish them and use them to build their imagination and creativity. These include slime-making kits, book-binding kits, bead crafts, knitting tools, cross-stitch kits, jar crafts, tote bag-making, and tie-dye kits.
Parents love them because they keep kids from addictive online activities. Plus, they make great birthday presents (yes, even for adults!)
As a crafter, it can be great fun assembling the items needed for the kits. Testing them, packing them, and getting feedback from happy customers are rewards that a craftsperson will cherish more than the monetary reward of this business.
Check out craftymorning.com for ideas on what to include in these kits.
7. Party Kits
Party kits can include assembling party bags, party decorations, leaflets for organizing games, party hats, and other fun party activities like glitter tattoos and face painting. The kits can also include costumes for themed parties. And gift assembly and photo booths.
Party decorations can include decor items like candles, paper flowers, lanterns, gift tags, burlap decorations, napkins, and napkin rings. (I'm sure you can think of more!)
8. Painted or Printed Clothing
If you like painting but need the talent to be a professional painter, you can be a scarf painter. You can buy ready-made scarves in solid colors and paint them.
Silk painting is beautiful. Solid-colored scarves can be bought in silk or cotton and painted over with fabric paint with beautiful designs. If you use silk scarves, you can use silk painting, which is exquisite.
Another idea is to dye new clothes and sell them. You can sell tie-dyed t-shirts at craft fairs or near beaches. Learn how to tie dye here.
Printed t-shirts are delightful to design. There is a vast market for these t-shirts. Or, instead of printing, you can paint and embellish the t-shirts with studs, sequins, etc.
Jewelry-making can be as simple or as complex as you want it to be. You could use gold, silver, platinum, and gemstones to make premium jewelry or use just paracord and some fasteners to make simple things.
The jewelry market is very niche. You may have to cater to a particular segment of people – e.g., make jewelry for those who like alternate fashion with symbols like skulls. Or little girls who may like beaded jewelry or even friendship bands.
Religious jewelry like Christian pendants, charms, bracelets, earrings, and rings can be unique to a group of people.
Check out Craftsy.com for paid and free courses on jewelry making.
10. Wooden Products
Woodworking is a specialized skill requiring extra accuracy and costly materials and tools. But wooden furniture and accessories are always in demand.
You will need a circular saw, tape measure, clamps, and a good drill, preferably cordless. You can buy these for a few hundred bucks, but good wood can be costly.
You will need to practice on a lot of wood first to get to a stage where you can sell your wooden items. But once you are an expert, the things you make with your creativity can be much in demand.
Many woodworkers start making plant holders and lamp stands before progressing to benches and beds.
There is one thing you need other than the tools and the supplies – storage space. You can learn woodworking at thedesignconfidential.com or www.ana-white.com.
Make Sure To Know Your Market
Through the years, I have learned much as a failed crafter trying to sell things I made (but hey, failure breeds success!)
What you love and what others need may not be the same. Ideally, you want to sell crafts others need to be successful.
I once tried selling paintings. I genuinely thought others would buy my paintings. But I found after painting through 20 canvases that only my father thought they were any good. He still hangs a lot of them at home.
Enough to say that particular business was doomed from the start. I should've considered what my market wanted (it was not my paintings of the scenery outside my window).
What you make out of that toilet roll may not get buyers. Do your research and make things that your market wants. If you do, you can have a craft business.
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Sarina started the website sewguide.com as her own reference point for information on fabrics, clothes, and sewing. Today, the website offers many learning tutorials related to sewing clothes, choosing fabrics for sewing, decorating them, and maintaining them.