Hobbies that make money are the best kinds of hobbies. So, if you’ve got a knack for arts, crafts or general DIY, you could turn your skills into profitable ventures – here’s how.
If you spend your spare time doing crafts and just about anything creative, the chances are you’ve already got what it takes to start earning money by making and selling things online.
The key to earning money from your arts and crafts is to focus on selling things that are quick and easy to make, but really lovely for people to buy. You’ll need to be able to replicate your homemade items in time to keep up with online orders, while making sure the standard remains consistently high.
Fancy making things to sell but not sure where to start? We have plenty of ideas for things you can make that are simple, fast and can earn you a nice bit of extra income.
Looking to make extra money? Here are the best and easiest things to make and sell from home:
Handmade cards are among the easiest things to sell. They should be fairly easy to design, cheap to make and quick to reproduce.
To make and sell cards for money, you’ll need to have pretty good drawing skills. You could either do drawings and paintings by hand, straight onto the card, or you could design them digitally and print them out – whichever you feel most confident doing.
Offering customers the option to have their cards personalised can help you earn a bit more money, as you could charge slightly more for the service.
Just bear in mind that, particularly if you’re making them by hand, it could become a little time-consuming to personalise each card, so consider whether it’d be worth the extra cash, or if you’d rather charge less and keep the designs generic.
Overall, you should be able to sell handmade cards for around £5 if they’re high quality.
If you’re comfortable using a sewing machine, we’d definitely recommend making cushion and pillow covers to sell online.
For a standard cushion cover, you can expect to need two pieces of fabric – one for the front and one for the back. You could also consider adding a zip, but if you’d rather avoid this, try an envelope cushion cover instead.
There are loads of tutorials online to help you make a cushion cover, so have a look on YouTube and craft blogs for step-by-step guides.
And, to sell your handmade cushion covers online, we’d recommend also buying some cushion pads to go inside. They shouldn’t cost too much, and they will help to make your products much more marketable.
For a full cushion with padding, you may be able to sell it for £10 – £20 online.
It’s safe to say, there’s a pretty high demand for face masks right now.
Public Health England have some handy advice on how to make face coverings – it’s worth having a read of this if you intend to make masks that can minimise the spread of viruses like COVID-19.
Once you’ve got the hang of making masks that are safe and effective, you can try using fabrics in fun colours and patterns. Then, you could give shoppers on your online store the chance to pick their favourite style and design.
Face masks are low-cost to make, so they don’t generally sell for much more than a few pounds each.
To successfully make and sell gift hampers, presentation is key. Shoppers will pay for beautifully packaged hampers, that look neater and more professional than they’d be able to achieve themselves.
Once you’ve decided on the theme of your gift hampers – perhaps chocolates, cocktail ingredients, soaps or candles – you can get together some nice items, along with a hamper basket, tissue paper and some ribbon to go around it all.
You can then take good, clear photographs of an example of a finished hamper and put it up for sale on sites like Etsy, eBay and/or your own website.
While the easiest way to prepare hampers is to buy the items from elsewhere, if you’re able to make each thing within the basket as well, this would be perfect.
Selling homemade items in a gift hamper should make it cheaper to produce, but also worth more as it would be unique.
The price of your gift hampers would depend on what items are included, but you may well be able to sell them for £20+ each.
It might take a bit of practice at first, but once you become more experienced at making them, you should be able to sew tote bags together pretty speedily.
You’ll need a sewing machine, as well as fabric for the front, back and handles of the bag. You can play around with different fabrics, and could also consider decorating the bags with appliqué, embroidery, sequins or anything else you fancy.
Tote bags are great items to make and sell for cash as they’re simple to make, yet generally really popular among shoppers online who are looking for sustainable handmade fashion products to buy, often selling for about £5 – £10 each.
If you’re a bit of a seasoned pro at sewing, you could create your own pattern pieces for the bags, depending on the size and shape you’d like to go for.
But, if you’re new to sewing and you’re unsure how to get started, don’t worry – have a look for tutorials online and you’ll soon get into the swing of it.
Handmade bookmarks are really simple to make, and are great items to sell online.
It might be small, but there is so much creativity that can go into a bookmark. As long as it fits between the pages of a book, the style of your bookmark is completely up to you.
For example, depending on where your skills lie, you could maybe paint a design on a piece of card, embroider a piece of fabric, or even create a thin one out of metal if you have the right tools and experience.
You can set a price for your bookmarks relative to how intricate they are, and how long it takes to make them, but we advise pricing them below £10.
Selling your art prints is an ideal way to make money if you’ve got an artistic eye and you’re talented at drawing, painting, printmaking, photography or any other form of image-making.
If you’ve already created artworks that you’d be happy to digitally scan and sell online as prints, you could start making money really quickly.
But, to increase the price tags of your art, you could create a series of prints with the intention of selling them as handmade limited-edition pieces.
For example, if you have the skills and resources to make high-quality prints (e.g. screenprints, woodcuts, lithographs, etc.), try making the limited series, with each individual piece signed by hand and marked with its number in the series.
How to sell your own art
To find buyers for your art, we recommend creating an art account on Instagram, along with a portfolio website that showcases all of your prints that are for sale.
And if you’re selling original works of art and limited-edition prints, it’s also worth reaching out to commercial galleries, as well as applying to sell your work on sites like Artfinder and Artsy.
The price of artworks vary a lot, but please note that at the beginning of your art career, it will be difficult to sell your work for really high prices. As a ballpark figure, a limited edition print from an emerging artist could sell for around £50.
Pompom garlands look amazing, but are ridiculously easy to make – the perfect combination for any handmade decoration that you’re hoping to sell.
To produce them yourself, you can get pompom making kits for £5 – £10, and these should last you a fair while. Individual garlands may sell for a little less than this, but you wouldn’t have to sell too many before you start making the money back.
Cross stitch kits
Cross stitching is not only a really great way to unwind, but it’s also a potential way to make money.
Once you become familiar with cross stitching, you should be able to start designing your own kits.
To do so, stitch an example version of your design so that shoppers can see what the finished version is like. Along with this, make a colour pattern that explains where each stitch needs to go, and write out some instructions.
Then, you’ll need to also get some stitch fabric, embroidery thread in each necessary colour, a tapestry needle and a cross-stitch hoop.
You should be able to save money if you get each item in bulk. And, depending on how much each thing costs you, you can then set the price of the kit accordingly so that you can still earn a little profit (keeping P&P prices in mind too!).
For inspiration, have a look at these cross stitch sets on Etsy, which can often sell for around £5 for smaller and simpler kits, and can go up to £20 for more complex ones.
There will always be a market for handmade jewellery – and the best part is that there’s so much flexibility regarding what designs to do, what materials to use and what forms of jewellery to create. You can be however creative you like, and could be able to sell your items for £10 – £20 each.
To start making and selling jewellery, you’ll need to get your materials and tools. And, once you’ve started building up your collection of jewellery pieces, try starting an online store on Etsy or eBay.
We have tips for selling things on eBay and on Etsy to help you get started.
Making and selling candles is a great craft business idea. You can buy wax, wicks and fragrance oils in bulk, then earn the money back plus a profit by selling lots of high-quality and visually-appealing candles.
Be careful not to overdo it with the fragrance oils – you should aim for a scent that is subtle, and just strong enough to be noticeable when the candles are lit. If you add too much, the smell could be overpowering and a bit sickly.
The presentation of your candles is also really important to help you sell them. Have a look on Wilko’s site for some nice jars that you could use, and perhaps consider adding decorative touches to them like ribbons and hand-painted patterns.
Candles can sell for around £5 – £10 each, so try to spend a bit less than this on the materials, jar and decorative items to ensure you still make a little profit.
Hairbands, clips, ties, scrunchies, barrettes, ribbons: there are a lot of hair accessories to choose from, making them really fun and creative things to make and sell.
The easiest way to make hair accessories is to bulk-buy things like hair grips and plain headbands, then customise them into really striking pieces which you can then sell on.
But, if you’re keen to make your hair accessories completely from scratch, a good place to start is cross hairbands, made of fabric. There are lots of handy tutorials online to help you make these.
While the price will vary for different types and styles of hair accessories, you can generally expect to earn around £5 (or maybe less) for them, but premium products can sell for more.
Ties and bowties
Whether you go for simple and sleek, or silly and quirky, ties and bow ties are some of the best things to make and sell.
This is especially the case as the pattern pieces are pretty simple, so once you’ve chosen your fabric and decided on your design, you can closely replicate it each time you make it.
Just make sure the quality of your sewing is as neat as possible and your pattern is correctly aligned (wonky patterns are not a good look on ties), then you should be good to start selling your items online!
If made to a good standard, ties and bow ties can sell for £10+ each.
Fabric jewellery rolls
Fabric jewellery rolls are incredibly cheap and simple to create, and can sell for pretty good money on sites like Etsy – we’ve seen some on sale for £15 – £20.
The design is up to you, but ensure the fabric pieces are wide enough to allow them to be comfortably wrapped up.
Inside, you could consider adding padded strips that would hold rings – make sure these are attachable with velcro or buttons to allow people to get their rings on and off.
You could also add zipped pockets and pouches for bracelets, necklaces, earrings and watches, so that consumers can keep each type of their jewellery separate and neatly organised.
Then, add a ribbon so that the jewellery roll can be neatly and nicely tied up.
Keyrings come in all shapes and sizes, and can be made in just about any material and style you fancy – their only requirement is that they attach to your key chain.
With so much room for creativity, keyrings are a brilliant craft idea to sell. They shouldn’t cost much to make and, depending on their style, handmade ones can sell for £5 – £10 each online.
Granted, it’s quite a crowded market, but if you make high-quality keyrings that are attractive and unique, you could stand out among other products on sites like eBay and Etsy and hopefully make a nice little profit.
Any lover of sewing knows that a good needle cushion is essential. If you’ve got the skills (which we’re sure you do), you could start making these and selling them online to other sewers.
They vary a lot in price on online stores, but they can sell for £10+.
It’s essential that the pincushions are high quality. They’ll need to be stuffed and sewn together tightly, so make sure the seams are secure and no stuffing will come out.
To sell your needle cushions on for higher prices, you could consider making them in complex shapes like cakes, cacti and anything else you can think of – the more unusual and eye-catching, the better.
To earn more money from your skills, why not start a craft blog? We know of loads of ways to make money from blogging.