Making Crafts to Sell

Using your crafting talents to start a small handmade business can be successful. Typically the income is not spectacular, but the more unique and well made your items the better your chance of succeeding. Craft fairs, farmer's markets, and websites such as Etsy are some options for showcasing and selling your creations.
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Questions

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March 1, 2007

I am looking for crafts that will sell well.

Peggy from Charlotte, NC

Answers

By Katrina (Guest Post)
March 5, 20071 found this helpful
Best Answer

My Aunt used to make her living selling crafts she made. She would work all year, take everything she'd made to a Christmas craft fair and sell it all at once. She told me the trick is not in knowing what people will buy. It's in having good taste. When you see something that catches your eye, run with it. Use the concept or basic idea and then modify to make it your own. Make only a limited amount of a lot of different items, that way you are sure to have something for everyone. ""

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March 5, 20072 found this helpful
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Peggy, I think that it may be possible that it would depend on the area in which you live in.

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My friend and I have sold items at craft shows for a number of years and we changed things every year. Our big sellers were painted, dried gourds; they were painted to look like santas and elves. We also painted used lightbulbs to look like santa, elves, and reindeer. For the spring shows, we painted the gourds with outdoor scenes, flowers, and birds on them. We also painted clay pots that were stacked upon one another to make a base, and then the clay saucer (or dish) was set on top to make a bird bath: they were very good sellers but were heavy to carry to the shows. One year, the booth next to us had cut white birch logs, drilled one-inch round holes into them, placed tea light candles in the holes, and hot glued dried mosses and flowers to the logs. They sold tons of them! My friend and I were amazed how many people were walking out of the craft show with logs!

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I would suggest to anyone that wanted to make and sell crafts to start small. Make a few items in your specialty and sell them at a church bazaar or a school craft show. You can look around and see what other people are making and which items are big sellers, as well as, what your big seller is. One very important thing, price your items so that you are making a good profit; selling your items for too low of money is an expensive hobby! You need to make sure that you are making money, not just paying for supplies, to sell items, to buy more supplies! It would be best to find wholesale suppliers for your supplies because retail just costs too much and cuts into your profit. Also, don't buy items (especially on sale) because you think that you "could" use that someday. You just end up wasting your money and needing extra storage space to store everything! Only buy the supplies that you need to make the items that you are going to make and sell. Also, use freecycle to ask for supplies, free is best!

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By Lynda (Guest Post)
March 8, 20070 found this helpful
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You know, when I had extra money to spend I still was practical and always searched for an easier way to do something, a better mousetrap, a unique presentation, a way to save items easier. One of the best all time items I ever got was a simple address finder that pulled out from under my landline phone, with a pencil and pen that went through a hole in the ends to prevent them from walking off. I'll bet someone could come up with some streamlined wooden ones that would sell today?

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Metal bird cages decorated for Spring with tiny glued flowers, pods, mini-vines, moss and ribbons all over always caught my eye, until I saw the prices.

Miniatures are making a comeback and can be made, displayed, and stored VERY simply until sold. I noticed that mini musical instruments get big prices, and quality doll furniture/linens, woven rugs, etc. still sell.

Quality decorative leather pieces, like desk sets, which are different in design from "office supplies" are always in demand.

Well made silk flowers, like orchids, attached to quality ballpoint pens, stuck in moss covered styrofoam, all inside a small clay pot for a home office still go over well in TX.

Decorating ceramic tiles for around stovetops, sinks, doors, house addresses in frames and in wooden mailboxes still have room for improvement and innovation.

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Well thought out new silk-screened or embroidered designs for quality tee-shirts are always appreciated and in demand.

I love a cotton cardigan sweatshirt that has tasteful handmade designs "stamped" all over the edges.

I also saw a cleverly made sweatshirt with the middle front cut out and replaced with a thick lace insert from a kitchen window/valance fabric of the same color. It looked great. It had a busy pattern that minimized the "see through" effect, too.

I also saw on TV how one woman makes nice ladies blouses from vintage tablecloths with borders/prints/fabric patterns up the lapels, on sleeve and bottom edges. They seemed easy to make.

I love loose-fitting feminine cotton p.j.s in very washable colorfast fabrics/tiny stripes and geometrics. They must be generous in sizes, not too thin, and not too thick.

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Men still love poly/cotton plaid boxers, especially if the elastic is encased in soft fabric and the size is generous. My grandson suggested someone sew buttons on inside/outside of each leg to hold them down inside jeans better.

Remember that shadow-boxed/framed delicate children's clothing carefully placed/padded with poly, and dust- sealed on back, really are considered treasures and bring great prices.

I saw a husband/wife team on TV who found all the most comfortable soft/washable hats they'd ever seen for men and for women, and who took them apart and began making their own hat mfg. from the patterns of them in great fabrics. They said they were really doing well.

My grandmother and I used to make doll clothes from infant's clothing, and sell them in boxes trimmed/decorated in any remaining fabric. All cherished memories.

"Treasure Boxes" for boys are unique and hard to find. They don't have to be like a Pirates booty box, but can be in good woods, stains, and have decent designs on them. They can be covered in leather, or
vinyls, or herculon washable fabrics, and could come with a matching coin/wallet/watch tray inside. Only companies like Buxton have a market on them but they are all in a rut and look alike.

Hope this motivates someone? I wish I were younger to do some of these things.

God bless you. : )

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March 9, 20070 found this helpful
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I make my living (not large) at art fairs... There is one thing you need to remember... TWENTY DOLLARS... Why you ask? Because people don't need to think about it if it's under $20... If it's more expensive, they will usually go home & think about it & decide if it's REALLY worth the money. If the item cost under $20 (or even better yet under $10 or $15) they will buy it on the spur of the moment... These low cost items are your "bread & butter" items... Things you can count on selling week after week.

Here's a URL for how to make a "LIVING WREATH"
these sell for more than $20... you can substitute the herbs for flowers & Ivy, etc. Once your reputation is established, you can just bring a few as samples & start selling Special or Custom Orders. These are WONDERFUL!

www.ehow.com/how_13838_make-living-herb.html

Everyone loves to buy things for their gardens:
A copper or wood trellis, wooden planters, etc.

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By Carol (Guest Post)
May 29, 20070 found this helpful
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Anything that has to do with babies or kids. Toys, scrapbooks, diaper cakes, baby shower stuff, changing pads, crocheted or knitted sweaters and booties, etc. People always know somebody who is having a baby.

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October 24, 20161 found this helpful
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These are all good things to consider.

My philosophy is "fast nickles are better than slow quarters". Which means if you pick something that is easy and cheap for you to make, it will also mean it's cheaper for the buyer. The economy is so scary now, even 9 years after you posted this, that people can't afford much.

You also might think of things that are flat. I know that sounds weird but if you can slip your craft into a padded envelope and send it for less, people will buy more. I hope those two tips helped.

PBP

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Answer this Question...

I am looking to stay home with my new baby and need about $200 more a month than my husband makes. I've tried at home businesses and really want no part of that. What I am looking for is a legitimate craft business where I can make something and send it in to the company. A few of my friends tried it but the companies they found weren't legit. Does anyone know of a real paying company? Thanks in advance!

New Mama

Answers

January 10, 20080 found this helpful
Best Answer

I'm an artist who makes her (very meager) living by selling my wares & skills at a local Saturday Farmers Market. You have to have a skill or Craft that you can sell. One that is different from others. Probably NOT jewelry, as there is waaay to much competition in that area, but something like candle making, soap making, home made bath products or mosaics. Do you sew? You can make dog clothes or baby blankets & bibs then sell them. Even lagre oe small quilts sell well. So does photography, especially if it's matted & framed! You usually have to sell crafts yourself (& not hire someone else) as the customers want to meet the actual artist. Also, this way you can do custom orders for people. To sell at any really good craft fair, you need to be "Juried in"... That means your stuff has to be looked at & "judged" to be good enough to sell at their fair, PLUS, they would rather have something unique & new at the fair. Come up with something original that you could sell & make & you can make $200 - $400 each Saturday.

* People just LOVE to buy things for their gardens like planter boxes, etc. You can also grow plants & sell from tubers or bulbs, or propagate easy things like hydrangeas & ivy, & banboo then re-pot them & sell them. The only problem with plants is they are heavy & hard to transport. You can also grow organic veggies (or fruit) to sell there!

---> You DO need a business license in most states, & sometimes a city license too, but sometimes the fair takes care of the city license. In our state we have to charge a sales tax from our customers then give that back to the state. I prefer to pay or barter with an accountant so I don't have to deal with the math. To get a business license is really no big deal, just call your local librarian & ask her where to go or look up "Business License" under "State" in your phone book. (They usually cost under $50)

There are 2 different kinds of "Art Fairs" or "Markets": The kind they have week after week in the same place, & the kind that is only set up once a year. Say for example, once a year we have "The Tulip Festival" or "The Bellevue Art Fair" These are once-a-year, big deal fairs & they cost A WHOLE LOT more that the weekly "Farmers & Artists Markets" type of fairs. Most weekly markets cost around $20-$40 per week, while the "once-a-year" Art Fairs cost over $200 & sometimes over $400 for a 2 or 3 day show!

---> To find a Farmers Market in your area, go on Google: & just type in your state then "farmers markets" or "craft fairs" Then contact the people who run the fair or look on their web site to check out the market rules so you can sell. Some markets are harder to get in to, but some are really easy to get in to!
* But, one things for sure! If you can get in to one, you can make that extra $200 per month you need to get buy!

You can write me here on ThriftyFun if you want more info about selling at Saturday Markets.

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January 11, 20080 found this helpful
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Hi- I notice you are a teacher - any chance you could do something like tutoring. For an evening a week, or a couple hours on a weekend - it would be a little time commitment on your part, but may be flexible enough that you would not need to find daycare. You might check with local colleges. My guess is that you would be able to set the schedule.

I have found most of these make and send in craft jobs are by the piece, so to really make any amount you have to commit a lot of time, and space, and YOU have to purchase the materials, so there is an overhead.

I have been teaching in a continuing education program - one evening a week - and that has helped without taking too much time away from the family.

Best of luck to you!

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January 16, 20080 found this helpful
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If you make a craft and have a digital camera, consider making items to sell on Etsy.com, a craft e-store. There are are number of "How to sell crafts on Etsy" articles there, too.

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January 20, 20080 found this helpful
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sell stuff on ebay..i sell all kinds of stuff on there i make any where from 200 to 300 a week..and i only post ten items a week...any thing you can easily get at the store will sell for alot on ebay..any thing you have that is just lying around the house will sell on ebay..i have trahed picked items and sold them on ebay..its fun and interesting to see what people will buy..it costs 5 dollars to sign up and every one around the world sees your item..give it a try..good luck

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Answer this Question...

I am a housewife and I am very much free in the evening for like 5 to 6 hours. Sometimes I feel that instead of wasting of my time it is better to do some handicraft and earn some money.

Please advise me as to how I can do any handicrafts at home and sell those. I am not able to do even a part time job as my husband does not allow me. I am experienced in different fields, also hair and beauty therapy.
All of your responses are highly appreciated. Thank you.

By smile from Bahrain

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September 27, 2011

What crafts are selling these days?

By Annie from NH

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August 31, 2011

I want to make crafts out of recycled things and sell them. Everyone needs a little money now and then! How can I make things out of recycled aluminum cans, glass bottles, or bottle caps? Actually, I am interested in making things out of anything that is normally thrown into our great big American trash cans.

In Germany, recycling is just a part of life. I want to go green! I also need money for a little "nest egg", save, save! My goal is to recycle and help others. I need to make Christmas gifts too!

By Linda Gale from Pearl, MS

Answers

September 7, 20110 found this helpful
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Hi Linda,

I want to do the same thing you are! In fact, I ordered a book today off Amazon on metal crafting. If you would like, we could collaberate together and share what ideas we come up with, you can contact me at gypsygina@gmail.com. That goes for anyone else here who is an avid crafter like Linda and I and would like to fuel our imagination with creative ideas :)

One more thing, windchimes are a very nice craft that you can do with discarded items and make them come out very unique. I once made one from driftwood and silverplate utensils with beads interspered. Another time I made a large dreamcatcher about 12" and then had bought a bunch of old keys and strung all the keys into 5 different strings that hung down. Around the dreamcatcher I put buffalo teeth and feathers. It hung total about 3 feet. It was very cool and you would not believe how many compliments I got about it.

Anyway, hope to year from you and other crafty folks :)

Gina
Oklahoma City

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Answer this Question...

May 26, 2010

I would love some craft ideas to sell at markets.

By Jillian from Sydney, Australia

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I am looking for any suggestions for crafts that I can make and sell at my family's restaurant. I am a beginner, but any suggestions would help. Thanks.

By CRYSTAL from Zebulon, NC

Answers

January 25, 20100 found this helpful

I suggest to make & sell peanut brittle candy also make simple aprons & make some pecan butter as in peanut butter. It's very good, search online for more craft ideas, good luck.

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January 25, 20100 found this helpful

Look at the customers your restaurant gets so you can gear your items to their needs. For example, if you get more women, you could make and sell simple necklaces and jewelry. Cookbooks with some customer favorites might work. If you sew, you could make placemats and napkins, simple potholders or hot pads; or you could do cookie cutters with towels. Take a look around at some gift shops locally, or some other chain restaurants that have gift shops to see what your competition is like.

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February 1, 20100 found this helpful

Cards. I make cards all the time. I got a blog with blogspot and I follow all these other blogs that have challenges, ie make a card with that looks vintage, or is pink, white and green. It gives me ideas. I make the cards, enter them into challenges, and have won several times, then you can give them away or sell them.

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July 16, 2013

This is a page about selling handmade crochet items. Deciding to sell your handmade crochet items is only the first step towards successfully marketing your handicrafts.

Handmade Crochet Bag

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May 4, 2019

Whether you are selling retail or wholesale, you need to determine how much it costs you to make your cards. This is a page about selling homemade greeting cards.

A woman making homemade greeting cards.

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July 6, 2016

This is a page about "What are the best selling crafts this year?". Every year certain handmade crafts will become popular at shows and fairs. If you are a crafter, knowing what is selling well can help you improve your sales.

Couple looking at crafts at an outdoor market

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February 6, 2015

This is a page about selling glass block crafts. If you really enjoy making seasonal and other occasion crafts using glass blocks, perhaps you have thought of selling them.

Glass Block

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October 17, 2013

This page is about simple crafts for a church bazaar. Making items that sell will benefit your organization's charity.

Crochet santas at sale at a craft bazaar.

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July 16, 2013

This is a page about selling recycled bag rugs. Plarn is made from plastic bags and used to create crochet craft projects. Selling crafts made from recycled materials is currently quite popular.

pink and white bag rug

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