from Home - arts and crafts to make money
Turn your favourite hobby or craft into
a profitable part-time business
If you can create something you could sell that's special
or out of the ordinary, then you could soon find yourself in demand,
such as supplying unique or customised Birthday, Christmas or Wedding
gifts. Craft sales have become more popular with the advent of eBay
- it's easier than ever to sell to anywhere in the world. So no matter
how unusual your product is, you're likely to find someone somewhere
who wants to buy it!
If you're already experienced in
a particular craft or hobby, you'll find it much easier to turn it into
a money-making small business, plus you get paid for something that
you're already doing for enjoyment and fun.
Research the competition
As always, the secret to business success
is to carry out research first to determine what kind of market exists
for your particular product or service. Ask around, talk to friends,
relatives and potential customers.
Look at who's in the market already and study your competitors. If you're
planning on selling at your local market go and see exactly what's on
sale there and discover how you can offer a better more competitive
Can you be better, cheaper, faster, friendlier than your competition?
Or can you fill a niche market with an unusual, unique product?
Think about how you are going to
sell your products - will they be best offered via friends and relatives?
Can you get a local retailer to stock them on a sale or return, or percentage
basis? Could you sell them at markets or car boot sales? Classified
ads? Online auctions? Or would a combination of everything be the best
approach? Getting noticed is the prime objective in the retail market.
How much can I earn money from crafts working from home?
With any part-time craft-based income, you're unlikely
to make a fortune unless you are very lucky, or very talented. Your
income will depend on a number of factors, such as the quality of your
work and the demand for it.
Despite the recession, lots of people are still willing
to pay higher prices for object d'art and collectible or 'designer'
items, so there is an opportunity to get a good price for many craft
items. Your income could be a good hourly rate, or you could regard
it as a way to practice your hobby at minimal cost and with great satisfaction.
Well crafted hand-made items can command a good price if they are unique
and of a good quality.
Working at home producing craft-related items is more
likely to produce a steady and useful extra income, rather than help
you to get rich quick, but it can be a very interesting and satisfying
way to earn a 2nd income. The thrill you get when you start to sell
crafts you have made at home is a real buzz, and you're earning money
doing something you enjoy!
If you're looking at buying kits to assemble or thinking
of doing craft work for someone else, please take a minute to read this
item on scams first as there are some dubious people out there.
Always be wary of anyone that wants money up front for working at home
Creative Art and Crafts ideas to make money from home
Appliqué and Embroidery
Appliqué covers a wide range of crafts, but basically means
applying pieces of fabric, embroidery, or other material onto fabric
to create a pattern, design or picture. Cushions, quilts, door stops
and draft excluders all lend themselves to decoration with appliqué.
Appliqué can be by hand sewing or by using a modern embroidery
machine. There are plenty of classes in this traditional craft, and
there are also lots of resources on the web, including videos on technique
Embroidery can be used for decorating cushions, clothes and soft furnishings,
with a popular earner being adding value to plain items with the addition
of appliqué or embroidered designs. Embroidery skills can be
used to personalise gift items, or to embellish simple clothes and give
them a unique look. There are lots of resources online for the home
embroiderer which cover sewing tips, techniques and 'how to' videos.
Art and Craft Supplies
If you have knowledge of a particular field of craftwork, you could
consider supplying materials. Many crafts require very specific and
hard to source materials and you could look at sourcing and supplying
these yourself, by manufacturing or purchasing from a wholesaler and
re-packaging. You could also consider selling kits of parts for projects
- either buy the kits wholesale or buy the parts and make into a kit
yourself. Selling is easy via eBay and similiar online stores. Dropshipping
is another option with sales of craft supplies. This is where you sell
the goods, but the order is fulfilled by a wholesaler.
and Tie Dyeing
This century old craft is basically a technique where you put wax on
fabric, silk, cotton, wool, linen, muslin, paper or even wood and ceramics
where you don't want the colour to go and then dye the item. Synthetic
fibres are not suitable as they cannot hold dye sufficiently. For more
elaborate designs this technique is repeated using different dyes. The
wax is then removed. It is a good idea to learn this craft technique
in classes or a craft workshop, and there is lots of help available
Tie string or cord around an item and dye it, and you will produce
a retro 70s tie-dye look. Multi dipping allows complex patterns to be
created and the finished items have a unique look to them. Tie-dye can
be used for clothing (not just retro 70s T shirts), accessories, hangings,
soft furnishings and artworks. how
to tie dye
Even in the age of
desktop publishing, there is a steady demand for the work of the calligrapher.
Despite the ready availability of computer created graphics, there is
a requirement for hand-drawn items, such as presentation and commemorative
scrolls, certificates, awards, greetings cards, wedding, christening
and party invitations, business cards and books. Advertise your skills
locally with cards in shops, ads in local papers,etc.
Try creating home-made candles for special occasions, or simply creating
a special ambience - filling your home with a beautiful fragrance. Scented
candles have really caught on over the past few years, and people don't
mind paying a little extra for quality hand-made items.
Aromatherapy candles containing essential oils are very popular and
can promote an improved feeling of wellbeing with calming, uplifting,
energising and relaxing scents using natural ingredients, such as: lavender,
rose, geranium, ylang ylang, cinnamon, patchouli and sandalwood. Essential
oils are more expensive than basic fragrance oil, but if you have decided
to make quality scented candles they will give you a good result and
will command a higher price.
Taking a class in candle making before you start is highly recommended,
for your own safety and to perfect your technique. There are lots of sites
offering free tutorials, forums and advice.
You will need some basic equipment before you start: a double pan (double
boiler) with the inner wax-container sitting in a water bath and away
from the direct heat (wax and its vapours are highly
flammable), or wax boil bags, wicks, moulds, colouring, fragrance and
wax (paraffin, beeswax or soya). These items are available by mail order,
online or from craft shops.
Home-made cards say so much more personally than the manufactured variety.
Offer customised cards with pictures, calligraphy, scents, sounds or
a local interest. You could also make custom scrap books for birthdays,
anniversaries and retirements etc - a well-presented scrap book makes
a really special present. With the internet it is now much easier to
get reasonably priced quality supplies for card making at home, such
as unusual paper, stickers, beads, feathers, ribbons, decoupage, gems
and other embellishments. cardmaking
Caricatures, Cartoons, Drawing and Painting
If you have the artistic ability, then creating caricatures can be
a good earner. If you live near somewhere with a good footfall of potential
customers, you can set up shop and wait for the customers to arrive.
These days you can also work off photographs sent via email or post.
Don't forget to do some pics of famous people first so your potential
customers can see what they're getting.
Drawing and painting local attractions and beauty spots can be popular
in tourist areas. Talk to local cafes, restaurants, pubs and craft and
souvenir shops about displaying your work, and selling on commission
on a sale-or-return basis.
Ceramics and Pottery
This encompasses everything from pot planters to plates; if you can
produce eye-catching and attractive designs, you've got it made. Ceramics
is one of those things that everyone thinks they can do but very few
can do really well.
Sculptures can sell for hundreds, but creating useful one-off plates,
bowls and vases can be a good earner. You can create cups and bowls
on a wheel, or hand model them before firing in a kiln.
There are a wide variety of electric and and mains or propane gas-fired
kilns available for the hobbyist, but it's essential that you do some
research before you buy so that you get one that's suitable for your
If you need to find out more, there are many pottery courses available
and the instructor will be able to advise you further. Finally don't
forget to check ebay for used pottery equipment, as kilns generally
last well and can often be found on the second-hand market.
and Scent Making
Natural, hypoallergenic and organic cosmetics are always in high demand
and it's now easier than ever to source the ingredients you need to
make your own products. We are all becoming more aware of all the chemicals
that are added to our cosmetics and skincare products, and many people
want to use more natural ingredients on their skin and hair.
You can make most cosmetics in the average kitchen, and if you get
the packaging and marketing mix right too, the profit can be rewarding.
Selling at markets is a good first step to test how popular your products
are. Unless you have built a reputation it's more difficult to sell
'smellies' online, but a website or eBay shop can be a useful addition
to your off-line sales activities. Once you are selling regularly you
can approach shops to stock your goods.
Soap, hair products and bath bombs are all easy to make, but if you
need some help, there are lots of courses available. If you have the
nose for it, you might like to consider making your own scents too.
Essential oils, fragrance and aroma oils and other ingredients are now
easily available on-line.
organic and natural
Crocheting, Macramé and Knitting
is more than just knitting with a hook, and can be used to produce many
saleable items such as: doilies, tablecloths, blankets, bedspreads,
baby clothes, shawls, hats, toys, cushions and novelty items. Crocheting
is much faster than knitting and in no time at all you can produce beautiful
larger items, such as tablecloths and blankets. Crocheted clothes have
become fashion items once again, with waistcoats, ponchos, dresses and
bags being much sought after. 'How to' tutorials and patterns are available
online and from yarn shops.
learn to knit
Macramé is essentially making textiles by the use of knots rather
than knitting, and is great for making wall hangings, plant pot hangers,
bags, decorations, hammocks, toys, jewellery, shawls, rugs, curtains
and belts, etc. free
Once you can master 'casting on' and the two basic stitches - purl
and knit, you are off with your knitting project. There is always a
demand for hand-knitted items, such as jumpers, toys, gloves, mittens,
scarves and hats. You can quickly make a luxurious scarf with the basic
stitch, using the fabulous yarns that are now available. A beginner
can soon make wonderful mohair jumpers using big needles in no time
at all. There are also knitting machines that complete items faster
than by hand.
If you use your knitting skills to produce gifts for friends and family
and you are talented word will soon spread and you will find your needles
in demand. Again selling at craft markets can be the first step to building
up a reasonable second income from doing a hobby you enjoy.
hand knitting patterns
Houses, Furniture and Wooden Toys
Dolls' houses appeal to parents and grandparents who are looking for
an out of the ordinary present for a little girl, as well as adult collectors.
Dolls' houses vary from the simple two-up, two-down house to electrically
lit minature palaces that need a whole room to themselves.
Houses can be assembled from kits, or from scratch for the more skilled
amateur carpenter and hobbyist. Likewise there is a large market for
dolls' house furniture and accessories, ranging from tables and chairs
to miniature plates, pots and pans. Try selling at local markets and
If you are good at woodwork, you could also consider making wooden
toys. If you can make to a high standard, wooden toys
can command premium prices at the top end of the market.
Furniture Making and Restoring
If you have the right blend of skills, this can be a profitable business
- you'll need a workshop/storage area and a large estate car or van.
Although people are much more informed these days and there's virtually
zero chance of picking up a Chippendale chair from your local junk shop
or jumble sale, there are still good quality bargains to be found. Try
second-hand shops or advertise locally using classifieds and leaflets.
You can also look at making bespoke furniture if your cabinet-making
skills are up to it. Bookcases or shelves to fit a specific alcove are
popular items, as are cupboards and storage chests, and toy storage
boxes for kids' bedrooms.
Working as a Florist
Not all florists work full-time from a shop. If you have the necessary
artistic flair and skills, you can make and supply table arrangements,
bridal bouquets and wreaths, decorate weddings and other celebrations
and offer a service to local businesses supplying flower arrangements
for their premises. Advertise locally using classifieds, leaflets and
You could also sell cut flowers and plants from car boot sales, farmer's
markets and local markets. Many cities will have a wholesale source
where you can bulk-buy flowers or you can search online.
If you can mix concrete, you can make garden ornaments. Make statues,
gnomes, urns, pots, bird baths, sculptures and other ornaments using
plastic moulds and concrete. You should be able to make them a lot cheaper
than garden centres sell them for, so your prices should be competitive.You
can buy the moulds from specialist supppliers online and the raw materials
from any builders merchants or DIY store. Simply assemble the mould
and pour in the concrete - a day or two later, you've got a sellable
garden ornament. If you're the artistic type you can even create your
own moulds from a sculpture or carving and sell copies.
An easy-to-do craft for beginners, painting on glass produces nice-looking
results with minimal skill. Paint on all types of glass objects to create
saleable items such as window hangings, keepsake boxes, vases, candleholders,
portraits, gift cards, mirrors and lampshades.
You can get creative with your own designs or buy templates. You might
even want to try your hand at stained glass windows once you've had
a little practice. Glass painting is often taught at evening classes
and there are lots of tutorials, free designs, projects and art supplies
available for this hobby online. Craft fairs and markets are a good
place to start selling your creations.
painting designs and tutorials
and Handbag Making
If accessories are your thing, why not try and make hats or handbags.
Buy a kit and build a unique hat or handbag yourself. Buy a plain hat
and trim it with feathers, edging, flowers, embroidery, beads and you
have a fabulous item to sell. Buy a handbag and dress it with the same
accessories - make it different from the average bag on sale.
Markets and haberdashery sections in department stores hold a treasure
trove of goodies at reasonable prices. Look in charity shops for suitable
second-hand or vintage items for refurbishment. Vintage buttons are
worth looking out for as they can really make a jacket look expensive.
You can also freelance design once you have a little experience.
If you can't get enough of home makeover shows on TV and you've got
an eye for a good interior you might consider interior design as a part-time
possibility. Putting together a look, selling it to the client and project
managing the execution requires good organisational skills.
The hardest part is getting started, but if you do some cut-price
or free work for relatives and friends and ask them to recommend you,
you'll soon find possible clients. Look to establish working relationships
with furnishers and the tradesmen you'll need to realise your plans.
There are lots of tv programmes, magazines and websites that can give
you creative home decorating ideas.
design ideas from UKtv
and bespoke jewellery is always in demand, as evidenced by the popularity
of courses available on the subject. If you need to learn from scratch,
there are a variety of courses available offering everything from a
brief introduction through to quite complex techniques. Jewellery making
courses are often available at evening classes, so it's worth checking
with your local library on availability.
The kind of thing you make depends on your own preference and skill
level, but there are lots of kits for the beginner which can help you
get started before you move on to more difficult projects. Think about
supplying custom-made items to niche markets too - goths, bikers and
heavy metal fans for instance are great jewellery fans.
Belts, wallets and bespoke leather items are all very saleable. Again
think about niche markets, such as re-enactment groups, bikers (panniers,
saddles and toolbags as well as the usual clothing and accessories). Everyone
is always looking for a bargain or something different, so your design,
quality and price will determine how successful you will be.
It is worthwhile taking a leatherwork class to get you started, as there
are specific skills and tools required for this craft. Once you have learnt
the basic techniques of leatherwork, then you will be able to add your
own creative design to your work.
Mosaic is great way of customising or 'blinging up' everyday objects
such as mirrors, vases, picture frames, boxes and furniture. You can
buy plain objects and add loads of value by covering them with mosaic.
You don't even need to buy special mosaic tiles or glue - people get
great results with broken bits of mirror, tile and ceramic and ordinary
tile cement. Try selling at local markets and craft fairs initially,
and then if your work becomes in demand you can perhaps move on to taking
Picture Framing and Mount Cutting
The clip frame hasn't quite swept away all before it, there is still
demand for made-to-measure picture framing - not every picture is a
convenient standard size. You'll need plenty of room to work and keep
your stock in, and a mitre saw set-up to cut the frames to size.
An ideal service to offer with picture framing is custom mounting. For
example mounts cut in the shape of names, letters and numbers to commemorate
a specific birthday or anniversary can be popular. For the more complex
shapes, you can buy the mount ready cut and add the customer's photographs
before framing and selling on.
See under photography jobs
What started as a cheap way to cover the floor has become an art form
in its own right with hand-made rugs, as something to look at and admire
rather than just stand on! The old style 'rag rugs' are as popular as
ever, giving a warm and cosy feel to any room.
You can make rag rugs using old material such as 'T' Shirts cut up into
narrow strips and threaded through a hesssian backing. For more complex
designs, it's possible to buy backing cloth with the pattern already
printed on it. This is an easy way for the beginner to get started,
as you can buy everything you need as a kit and then progress to more
difficult projects as you gain experience.
of rug making
It's curtains for you (and all your friends) if you get into making
soft furnishings. Windows have a habit of coming in odd sizes so there
is a steady demand for curtains, pelmets, drapes and hangings. This
is another Work from Home idea that can take up a lot of space, so ideally,
you'll need a dedicated room to work in and of course a good quality
Woodwork and Wood Turning
Woodwork as a term encompasses a whole range of crafts from carving
and whittling, right through to cabinet and furniture making. Wood turning
is the use of a lathe to work or 'turn' wood to create things such as
cups, bowls, furniture and even wooden
hats. Again, if you're already doing this as a hobby, it's quite
an easy thing to monetize, but it can be expensive if you have to set
up from scratch.
Sellable items include rustic style fruitbowls and small 'luxury'
items such as keepsake boxes, lovespoons, and candlesticks, etc. Craft
fairs are a good place to showcase your wares initially, and you can
also sell on sites like eBay.
If you need to get some help with the techniques of woodwork, a course
or workshop session is a good idea to start with. There are also lots
of resources on the web - tutorials, projects, woodworking forums and
tool reviews. Whether you are a beginner or a more experienced craftsman
or woman looking for help, it's easy to find online.
Getting started with Work at Home crafts
of the ideas to earn money at home listed above are 'traditional' skills
that have always been in demand, such as sewing and dress-making. If
you are skilled at these then you can easily start to offer your services
to a wider audience with leaflets, newspaper ads, putting cards in shops
and word-of-mouth recommendations.
If you're flexible and efficient and able to turn out work quickly
in an emergency, then you'll find that your customers will be more than
happy to recommend you to their friends and family.
Don't forget to call and talk to any local shops and dry cleaners
to see if they will consider using your services, recommend you or allow
you to display cards or leaflets.
Selling arts and crafts - where to sell
Almost all of the 'crafty' ideas lend themselves to selling at local
markets and online. The more 'niche' or exclusive that your product
is, then the better it will generally sell online. People are much more
likely to buy online if your product is unusual or hard to source -
especially if you have taken the trouble to set up a secure online shop
(there are lots of simple solutions to doing this available online -
you'll be surprised how easy it is).
Many people sell crafts via eBay, which offers security and reassurance
to buyer and seller, and allows easy and secure payment via Paypal.
You can sell at auction in the usual way, or set up a complete virtual
craft shop. You can also sell on specialist craft sales sites such as
If you want to sell locally, then there a number of options:
Car Boot Sales
Craft Markets and fairs
Sell pictures in a restaurant, pub or cafe
Rent a stall at an event (search for events in your area where you think
you could sell and contact the organisers)
Talk to local shops and galleries about buying your stuff, or selling
it on commission
Tell everyone you meet
Classified ads in your local magazine, free newspaper,etc
Leaflets and cards in local shops, newsagents, etc.
If you're selling from a stall or other face-to-face environment, don't
forget the importance of packaging and display. People are much more
likely to buy something that's well wrapped or packaged in a presentation
box. Also if you're trying to get retailers to take your products, an
attractive display stand and publicity material can make all the difference.
If you need to brush up on your skills or learn
some new ones, don't forget that there are often affordable or even
free classes in all kinds of arts and crafts as well as lots of online
support and advice.