10 Things You Can Make and Sell for Extra Cash

Turn Your Crafts Into Income

Woman creating small craft items with wire and yarn in a home office or studio
••• Hero Images / Getty Images

Doing enjoy arts and crafts? If you’re crafty, there are a variety of items you can create to sell for extra money from home. In fact, you can build a complete home business from your creative skill.

The pros of starting a home-based craft business include:

  • Make money from your hobby
  • Nurture your creative spirit
  • Work whenever you want
  • Change up your inventory if you start to get bored
  • Many options for selling your goods online and off

There may be a few downsides to a craft business, such as:

  • Making crafts and having an inventory is time consuming
  • Between time and overhead expenses (materials, packaging etc), it may not be the most lucrative home business idea.
  • If you're state has a sales tax, you'll need to collect it from buyers and pay to the state.
  • The repetitive nature of making the same item over and over may become tedious.

If you're still interested in making money from your creativity, here are 10 ideas on crafts you can sell, plus tips on how and where you can sell your good.

1. Jewelry

Quality home-made jewelry is very popular because each item is usually unique. An advantage to jewelry is that it’s small and easy to pack to take to craft fairs and/or ship if you sell online. Materials for jewelry can vary to include polymer clay made beads, stones, metal, crystal, leather, and more.

2. Art/Décor

People enjoy unique works of art to display in their home and office. Art doesn’t have to be a painting. It can include photographs, wall hangings made from fabric, or other items, wall stickers and more. Further, it doesn't have to hang on a wall. You can make decorative items that sit on a mantle or bookshelf.

3. Soap/Bath Products

There’s nothing like a good soak in the tub. Handmade soap and bath products are popular, especially if they’re created for sensitive skin and made with organic products. You can make regular bar soap, or get molds and dies to create shapes and colors. You can add scent to your products as well. Beyond soaps you can make bath bombs, bubble bath, wash clothes, and lotions.

4. Candles

Similar to soap, you can make candles in a variety of shapes, colors, and scents. Further, you can use different unique items to house your candles such as mason jars, teacups, and shells.

5. Sewn Items

If you know how to sew, there are many things you can create and sell, such as purses, coin pouches, and bags, pillow covers and blankets, pot holders and aprons and more. You can sew clothing, such as costumes, children’s dresses, or doll clothes.

6. Organizers 

People need help storing and organizing their everyday household and office items. While a coffee cup or plastic bin can do, many people like to buy unique decorative items. Ideas include wood or painted glass utensil holders, pencil holders, decorative boxes for storing files or photographs, and more.

7. Decorative Dishes, Cups, and Glasses

Are you handy with a paintbrush? Painted dishes, cups and glasses, especially wine glasses are very popular. Or perhaps you can etch on a beer stein or mason jar. Instead of paint or etching, you can use decoupage to decorate kitchen items. Decorative dishes, mugs and glasses make great gifts, which makes them a great item to create.

8. Magnets/Pins

Many people in business like to buy personalized magnets, buttons or pins to give away to potential customers. Or you can make your own unique item and start a trend (remember bottle cap magnets!).

9. Pet Goods

People love their pets. And they love to spoil their furry friends, making a home business in the pet market a good idea... Items you can make for the pet market include pet beds, clothes, and collars. Plus you can create decorative items, such as art or a locket with the pet’s picture.

10. Paper Goods 

One advantage to creating paper goods is that in some cases you can sell them digitally. You can create the planner, checklists, stickers, etc and they can be delivered as a digital file that the customer can print on their end (they can buy sticker paper at the office store.) 

How to Sell Your Items

Once your items are created, you need to get them ready to sell. Here are some tips turning your items into income:

  1. Price your items for profit. While you don’t want to overprice your goods, you want to be careful that you cover not only the cost of materials, but your time as well.
  2. Brand your items. Find a way to include your name, business name, website or other contact information on each of your items. This can be a sticker or home-printed information on business card paper. If your customers want more, they’ll be able to get in touch with you.
  3. Consider targeting a specific type of customer. For example, many authors seek out unique swag items that have pictures of their books on them such as earrings, charm bracelets, and more. Customizing your goods can take more time, but you can also charge more.
  1. Tie into the time of year. While many of your items can be good at any time of year, you can boost sales by offering seasonal items such as Christmas décor or gift items, or Fourth of July decorations. Or consider making special occasion items such as wedding favors or birthday decorations.

Where to Sell Your Items

Once you have your items created, you need to sell them. The good news is you have lots of opportunities to sell your goods, and in some cases, you don’t even need to leave home.

Online Places to Sell Your Crafts

Etsy is probably the most well-known resource for people to sell their homemade goods, but there are many other places you can list and sell your items online, including:

You can set up your own e-commerce storefront alongside or instead of using one of the online craft resources listed above.

5 Offline Places to Sell Your Crafts

Online isn't your only option to sell items. Plus, selling in person means no hassle of packing and shipping.

  1. Craft Fairs
  2. Bazaars
  3. Consignment in local shops
  4. Farmers Markets
  5. Local events that allow vendors