Most people do arts and crafts for fun, for stress relief, or for a creative outlet. They spend years honing their talent and skills, without getting any reward except the feeling of accomplishment after finishing a project. Well, what if you can earn from your hobby?
Craft making may not be the most fancy or greatest money-making business out there, but the industry itself is lucrative and valued at $44 billion in 2016, which has grown 45 percent from $30.1 billion in 2011. The interest is only going to grow in the coming years.
Starting your own craft business won’t require a huge capital, especially if you already have the tools. You won’t need to commute to the office, and there won’t be somebody breathing down your neck all the time.
Put your skills into good use, and make money doing what you love. Here are ten craft-business ideas to get you started.
An outfit isn’t complete without accessories. Earrings, bracelets, necklaces, and hair accessories enhance the appearance and add sparkle and character to an outfit. If you love fashion and have the vision and the skills, try your hand at designing and making accessories.
Accessory makers use a variety of materials, including wood, clay, metal, and gemstones. There are fashion or costume accessories and fine jewelry. Fashion or costume accessories typically use inexpensive materials and follow trendy designs (e.g., floral crowns and lace chokers). Fine jewelry, on the other hand, uses precious and semiprecious metals (e.g.,gold and platinum) and gemstones (e.g., diamond, emeralds, sapphire, etc.) and require more sophisticated tools and skills to create. You can always find inspiration in a lot of places, if not, create your own inspirational board to see which way you want things to go.
Choose your specialty based on your skills and the tools you have, and broaden your accessory line as your business grows. You can launch your own website or go to social media to sell your creations.
The market for bags is far and wide. Every day, men and women buy bags for practical or style purposes. If you venture into bag making, you’re sure to find a demographic for your products.
Moreover, you don’t have to be confined to one type and design. There are backpacks, sling bags, handbags, totes, and traveling bags. You can also work with different materials, such as fabrics, leather, vinyl, rattan, and rubber, to name a few.
Making Gifts and Cards
Nothing says thoughtful more than a personalized gift does. For those who have an eclectic set of craft skills, a gift- and card-making business would be the most ideal choice. There are countless things you can make and give as a present—a card, scrapbook, special portrait, painting, knitted apparel, etc. You get to explore the depths of your skill and try out exciting new projects.
You can also accept commissions to create invitation cards and programs for weddings, anniversaries, birthdays, and special occasions or sell pre-prepared greeting cards. You don’t need to make everything from scratch. You can customize blank pocket invitation cards to make the work faster.
Recently, interest in calligraphy has increased, especially among young people. Go to Instagram, Tumblr, or other social media platforms, and you’ll find lovely images of inspiring quotes written in pretty and elaborate script. If you have the skill, you may as well use it to start your own calligraphy business.
As a calligrapher, you can earn by accepting commissions to create various hand-lettered products, from customized invitation cards, to gifts, to home decoration. You can also sell premade works, like bookmarks, framed calligraphy, and greeting cards.
If you haven’t noticed yet, there’s a basket craze going on in the home improvement and DIY community, especially for wicker baskets. Wicker baskets are made using ash, cane, oak, reed, or willow, but there are also other materials used for different types of basket-weaving. These materials include grass, palms, New Zealand flax, tree roots and bark, and yucca, among others.
Baskets are popular home accessories because they are organizers that double as decoration. Aside from storing things, they give off a homey, quaint feel that no other accessory can replicate.
You don’t need many tools to weave your own baskets. All you need are your skills, raw materials, a knife, a ruler or tape measure, a weight, and a basket weaver’s bodkin.
Beads are used for various purposes, for jewelry, clothing, home decoration, and arts and crafts. You may notice a lot of beads in your everyday life—on a necklace around somebody else’s neck, on a pretty blouse, or on a table runner.
Decorative beads are made from different materials, such as clay, paper, plastic, glass, and wood. The process of making beads can be either simple or complex depending on the intricacy of the design and materials used.
You won’t need to create your own beads, though, if you start a beading business. The focus will be on designing, creating, and decorating pieces—bracelets, clothing, home accessories—with beads.
Candles are perfect for setting the ambience, whether you want something romantic, relaxing, or frightening. Scented candles are especially popular to use for meditating, inducing sleep, or unwinding.
Candles are easy to make. You don’t need specialized skills or too many materials. The main ingredients are candle-making wax (e.g., paraffin, soy wax, and beeswax), coloring, and fragrance oils (for scented candles). The ingredients are melted in a double boiler and poured into a mold with the wick then left to try.
With the discovery of electricity and the invention of light bulbs, people rarely buy candles for their old purpose (i.e., lighting dark rooms/places). If you are engaging in a candle-making business, it’s best to widen your range of products.
Clothes and Costume Designing
If you have a passion for fashion, clothes and costume designing may be the perfect home-based craft business for you. There are a lot of options you can explore when selling clothes.
You can create your own clothing line and make clothes from scratch. You can also sell printed clothes with original designs if you’re not keen on designing your own garments. Or you can go into clothes modification.
Fashion trends are fleeting. If you want to succeed in your clothing business, you should keep up with the times. Alternatively, you can find a more stable demographic so you don’t always have to adjust to the volatile market.
Starting your own home-decoration business is another way you can make use of your craft skills. There’s a large market for unique and customized home decors that you can exploit. Plus, you can explore varied work and projects since home decoration can be anything, from accessories to furniture.
Many of those who venture into the home-decoration business eventually go into renovation and remodeling. If you’re just starting out, you may not need to learn how to use power tools. But if you have any intentions to grow your business, it will help to gain knowledge and skills related to construction.
Starting your own home-based craft business is no easy task. But if you have the right inspirations, skills, passion, and perseverance to see it through, you can succeed in the business you choose. Don’t wait for the elusive right time to venture out. You don’t need a large capital or sophisticated machinery at the start. These things will come in as your business grows.