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How to Make Money Selling Crafts

Updated on June 1, 2013
Marye Audet profile image

Marye Audet-White is an internationally known food writer, food editor for Texas Living, cookbook author, and food blogger.

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Homemade Crafts Are Profitable

There is something about homemade items that people like. Not many of us have time to create things for ourselves anymore but still value the time and care that went in to a one of a kind creation.

If you are hoping to sell your own crafts then you want to evaluate it carefully. Take a critical look at your work. Is it really quality? If you have been spinning for a period of a few weeks then selling your hand-spun fiber is not going to be very lucrative, however if you make beautiful hand made papers, and have made them long enough to do it well and consistently you may have a product many people want to buy.

Consider the following questions carefully.

  • Are you going to want to make the craft numerous times over?
  • How are you on deadlines?
  • Are you thick skinned enough to accept criticism?
  • While you may enjoy knitting a few hours a day, how are you going to feel when your needles are flying and you have hours more knitting in front of you?

handmade diapers are still best sellers on many craft sites.
handmade diapers are still best sellers on many craft sites.

How To Charge for Homemade Crafts

You can't make money if you don't charge enough.

  1. First, take a look around at what others are selling a similar item for. You should be able to sell yours at a profit for a similar price.
  2. Figure up how much time it will take to make the item, electricity, materials, and other incidental costs and then price the item accordingly.
  3. Do a web search to see what that item is selling for across the Internet.
  4. Look at the pictures of items like yours and be sure you are offering a product that is as good as or superior to them.

Craft and Antique Malls

One way to market your product is to rent a booth at a craft mall. Small booths rent for about $60.00 a month in my area, with the mall keeping a small percentage of sales.

Iowa's I Have a Plan site reports that crafters do make money at local craft fairs as well. These are often seasonal and may be run by schools or churches.

This is beneficial in that you get to know your customers personally. You can walk through the mall and see what is selling and what is not, you can talk to people and they can talk to you. That brings a personal touch to your item, it helps your customer to value your product if they know the face behind the product.

Different craft and antique malls have different rules. Sometimes the crafter has to work so many hours per week. There is a contract involved. Be sure that you visit as many as possible and decide on the best one for you. Read the fine print in the contract very well and make sure you understand everything that you sign.

Selling Crafts at Home Parties

I knew a homeschool mom about fifteen years ago that sewed and she sewed well. She made adorable prairie style dresses and bonnets. She began sewing them in many different fabrics and sizes and had a party at her friends house. She almost sold out the first night and came home with many orders to fill.

Tupperware does not hold the copyright to home parties! If you have a product that is easily transported and that would work well in a party type setting, and if you are the outgoing type then a home party may be the way to go. Plan on taking several things and then taking orders for items you sell out of. Be sure and fill the orders promptly!

Home parties should be fun so plan some prizes, and give away items. Try to book the next party while you are there. It is traditional to give the hostess the gift of one of your products for hosting the party.

This would work especially well for handmade books, papers, and candles.

Make Money with Crafts

Whether you are trying to make a little extra to pay for a vacation, or looking to start a home business, crafts are one way that people make money at home. It takes time to get established but once you do the benefits are many.

Dealing with Skeptics

There have been some questions of my integrity and actual earnings back when hubpages success stories were written. These are shots of my paypal account.
There have been some questions of my integrity and actual earnings back when hubpages success stories were written. These are shots of my paypal account. | Source
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    • monicamelendez profile image

      monicamelendez 4 years ago from Salt Lake City

      Etsy is so awesome!

    • theownpet profile image

      theownpet 5 years ago

      great hub. i like your hub. it is very useful

    • danielleantosz profile image

      danielleantosz 5 years ago from Florida

      lots of information, esp interested about the newer sites that are up and coming. Thanks!

    • bigzorro profile image

      bigzorro 5 years ago from Germany

      Your hub about making money with crafts is very informative. I like particularly that you show us other places than ebay where we can sell our crafts.

    • GClark profile image

      GClark 5 years ago from United States

      Interesting and useful Hub! You have provided some additional resources and great advice that should be extremely helpful to anyone wanting to market a handmade product. Thanks for sharing. GClark

    • lpanfil profile image

      lpanfil 5 years ago from Cleveland, Ohio

      Nice hub. There were some sites listed that I had not heard of. I also like your advice about asking yourself if you would REALLY enjoy making a 1,000 of something – anything.

    • profile image

      brooklyn shields 5 years ago

      I'm only 11, but i really need money.. why?? cuz i want a cell next year... i'm selling these bracelets at school but i want to go a little bigger for selling they take about half an hour to make one bracelet , and 45 minute's

      to make a necklace the string costs a dollar (plus tax) for ate little bundles of string, how much do you think they would sell for if i had lets say a yard sale but sod these and other stuff too ... i sell them for 75 cents for a bracelet and a dollar for a necklace are thy worth more? or less message me please!

    • Dr Rockpile profile image

      Dr Rockpile 5 years ago from USA

      Etsy is an amazing venue. Hadn't heard of the others, besides eBay of course. Nice short and sweet Hub.

    • dagny roth profile image

      dagny roth 5 years ago from Neverland

      This article was very helpful and informative! I am linking it now to a craft article I just wrote! Thanks for the great tips!

    • profile image

      Nedra 5 years ago

      I have sold on etsy for a long time and it is a great site! The trick with Etsy is to list everyday otherwise your product just get lost in the masses of stuff people are trying to sell! Ebay always nickel and dime you with every listing 15 cent per extra pictures and so on! It's not easy These days to sell your handmade items Because I have found with the poor economy no one wants to pay the price for quality. They don't understand or care about the time and effort it takes to make an item. Sending your stuff to a store that promises to sell your stuff may or may not be a pleasant experience. Since you don't know how well these people will take care of your stuff. As far as your own web site that is probably your best bet but expect to not see any profit for quit awhile!

    • ktrapp profile image

      Kristin Trapp 5 years ago from Illinois

      I think another way to sell well-done crafts is to approach a local store or boutique and see if they will sell your product for a month or two on consignment. Give the store owner an agreed upon percentage of the sales made and offer to remove any unsold product after the time frame has been reached. It is a win-win situation because the store owner does not have to buy your product from you at cost and has the potential to earn without any financial risk. And you gain access to the store's customers and if all goes well a continued way to sell your crafts.

    • danielleantosz profile image

      danielleantosz 5 years ago from Florida

      Thanks so much for great info! I currently sell on etsy, but I did not know about the other sites. You can also look into local farmers markets, their booth prices are usually really cheap.

    • profile image

      Victor Bassey 5 years ago

      Thank you for this info.Here in Africa we still buy and sell craft.

    • viveresperando profile image

      viveresperando 6 years ago from A Place Where Nothing Is Real

      This is very informative!

    • profile image

      Business Model 6 years ago

      Always good to consider your business model as well.

    • profile image

      Anthony 6 years ago

      Great idea. Thanks for the Hub.

    • profile image

      cricut lite cartridges 6 years ago

      Thank you for the information. I actually sold crafting on ebay years ago and did pretty good. Now ebay is getting over crowded. I will try etsy and craft mall to see if I can make some money.

    • profile image

      jamil 6 years ago

      Hey Tommy if you have reported legitimate deductions with your 1099 status, there shouldn't be any vasoline or pain involved lol...

      You will owe self employment tax on your earned income (income minus deductions), but as far as all your deductions you should have no issues there if they are all legit. You have every right to deduct all business related expenses.

      nick bogus 11 months ago

      Hey I did not earn any money for 2009 should i file with the irs to tell them i made nothing?

    • profile image

      April in Ms 6 years ago

      Awesome post. Very informative!!! You have helped me so much with this post! Thank you!!

    • PaperNotes profile image

      PaperNotes 6 years ago

      If you have such creative talents and the time to make awesome craft creations, use it well and profit from it.

    • Silver Poet profile image

      Silver Poet 6 years ago from the computer of a midwestern American writer

      Everybody wants my crafts, but not everybody wants to pay for them. They go well when offered as prizes and are often chosen over other alternatives. Thanks for your tips on selling such stuff. One thing I would add is to keep the crafts clean. I have seen so many dingy, dusty things offered for sale at flea markets or swap meets. No one wants to touch a moldy doily, much less buy it.

    • profile image

      John from gas grill reviews 6 years ago

      Thanks for the great post. I am not really into crafts myself but my sister-in-law loves it and was mentioning the other day that she wishes she could turn her hobby into some extra cash. I'll pass this on to her. She has made herself 3 handbags already, so I'm sure she could make some good money from those. Thanks again. John

    • craftybegonia profile image

      craftybegonia 6 years ago from Southwestern, United States

      Very informative hub, thanks for sharing!

    • sueroy333 profile image

      Susan Mills 6 years ago from Indiana

      Thank you! This is an excellent, informative, hub!

    • caceewalsh profile image

      caceewalsh 6 years ago from Montana

      Excellent hug!

    • dawnangelicgreen profile image

      dawnangelicgreen 6 years ago from Boise, ID

      This was very informative and helpful.

      Thank you!

    • profile image

      Melissa Jones 6 years ago

      Do you need any type of permit or license to sell your own crafts at a craft fair verses on the internet? Also, is it true if you tweek something (even something small) you can avoid copy rights?

    • profile image

      mlm business leads 6 years ago

      I love crafts and I love your tips on how to sell it. Keep up the great work. This hub is so useful.

    • MyInfo411 profile image

      MyInfo411 6 years ago

      Thank you for writing this hub. I love what you said about home parties: "Tupperware does not hold the copyright to home parties!" It never crossed my mind to have a party like that to show my arts and crafts. You definitely have given me some things to think about. :o)

    • adorababy profile image

      adorababy 6 years ago from Syracuse, NY

      Not only is selling crafts a productive way of earning money but a great source of self fulfillment as well.

    • profile image

      jennie 6 years ago

      Marye, I'm wondering if you need any type of permit or license to sell you own crafts in a home show?

    • angelaglancy profile image

      angelaglancy 7 years ago from Seattle

      Hi Marye --- You give a lot of practical advice in your hub, and thanks for the handy list of all the online craft outlets. Nice hub!

    • supermom_in_ny profile image

      supermom_in_ny 7 years ago from NY

      This is an excellent resource for those that are crafty! I didn't inherit that trait from my grandmothers: both entrepreneurs. They knitted, were potters, bakers and more. However, I do make money online through writing, internet marketing, link building, twitter, etc.

      It's all about taking the talents you've been blessed with and monetizing them...

      :)

    • Teresa Laurente profile image

      Maria Teresa Rodriguez - Laurente 7 years ago from San Antonio, Texas, U.S.A.

      Will share this with my daughter. Great hub. Thank you for sharing. More power.

    • Sharif Ishnin profile image

      Sharif Ishnin 7 years ago from Singapore

      Very well laid out article. Great tips to start selling items online.

    • iumer profile image

      iumer 7 years ago

      Very informative hub to get started to become a home based Entrepreneur.

    • Quilling profile image

      Quilling 7 years ago from Cary, NC USA

      Thanks! I actually didn't even know that people made handmade diapers...what a time saver and money saver! Thanks for the tips in this hub too but that just stood out to me right away!! Thanks!

    • profile image

      scottys thoughts 7 years ago

      Very Helpful, I wirewrap and have been thinking about selling them. Thank You

    • profile image

      Best Ways To Make Money Online Fast 7 years ago

      A very nice Hub a well presented. Lots of comments means you have created the interest

    • profile image

      Brandon 7 years ago

      My wife wanted to sell her crafts, but it just wasn't ptofitable. So I thought maybe a website would help her share her ideas so that others could learn yo make the crafts she was doing. I could use feedback on what people think I could do to be successful, while at the sametime enrich others lives who would like to make their own homemade crafts. Will people visit our site and give us some feedback or support to make this something worthwile. The website is the hobby barrel. There is a contact us page if you wouldn't mind giving us feed back.

    • profile image

      BookFlame 7 years ago

      You are right on! I am a sometime crafter and with a little diligence have always sold my work.

    • cashmere profile image

      cashmere 7 years ago from India

      Yabble Babble no longer exits!

    • prasannasutrave profile image

      prasannasutrave 7 years ago from mumbai( india )

      Nice and useful information.

    • RobertHassey profile image

      RobertHassey 7 years ago from United Kingdom

      Setting up your own site doesn't have to be expensive. A good two column blog template from Blogger, a free hosting site, is ok. But you're right in that you need a way to get better at search engine optimisation and marketing to drive traffic to your site. One way around this is to use you network of friends online. Think FaceBook. Think MySpace. And write good articles. :D

    • Pretty Model Girl profile image

      Pretty Model Girl 7 years ago from Tempe, AZ

      I love making and selling jewelry. This just gets me excited.

    • Apepperson profile image

      Apepperson 7 years ago from Texas

      Thanks for posting the resources for the Web. I knew about ebay and Etsy, but not the others. Thanks a million, you have made me a happy camper today!

    • cashmere profile image

      cashmere 7 years ago from India

      My mom is an artist, I think I need to check out these sites and see if I can sell her paintings online.

    • profile image

      info dude 8 years ago

      one really great thing to make and sell is bookmarks. i made a lot of them and sold them for $0.25 reach and they sold good!

    • Karen Ellis profile image

      Karen Ellis 8 years ago from Central Oregon

      Good Article and even better info on places to sell crafts.

    • profile image

      Erick Smart 8 years ago

      The how much to charge has always been a big thing for me. I want to get enough to cover costs and make a little extra but I do not want to overcharge for the product.

    • HILLceo profile image

      HILLceo 8 years ago from RTP - NC

      Nice Hubpage! Crafttoys.com was one of the very first handmade toy stores on the web - starting back in 1997 I think (a friend runs it). They don't charge to be put on their catalog and they don't take a percentage but the handmade items have to be 1. - handmade toys, 2. - high quality, meeting the new federal toy guidelines and 3. - approved for inclusion by the staff.

      Since they are always looking for high-quality toys, it is worth a shot but the main thing now is tagging of handmade items according to the toy guideline requirements and disclosure about types of paint, stain, stuffing or cloth used for stuffed toys, etc. It was a pretty big issue for all crafters so, when you make items, be sure to check out how your items should be labeled for sale to avoid any problems with liability issues!

      I personally ordered a Name Train and Rocking Dory for my kids on the site and Beth said the crafters of those items have sold thousands of their products through the site (no wonder - crafttoys.com is # 1 in Google for "handmade toys"). So - these places are great for crafters! I'll have to tell her about this hub too!!

    • thelma harcum profile image

      thelma harcum 8 years ago

      Thank for the Hub! Some of these art sites for selling crafts, I've never heard of. Appreciate it.

    • myrydythg profile image

      myrydythg 8 years ago from Lynn, MA

      great hub! Kuddos!

    • CharmTheory profile image

      CharmTheory 8 years ago

      Great Hub! It's nice to confirm that I'm on the right track and awesome to pick up some new tips! Thanks!

    • livelovecoffee profile image

      livelovecoffee 8 years ago from Georgia

      Great idea. Thanks for the Hub.

    • RiaMorrison profile image

      Ria Bridges 8 years ago from Saint John, New Brunswick, Canada

      Very informative. Good advice for people who are thinking about staring a crafty home business but aren't quite sure how to start selling what they make!

    • AlbertMARKET profile image

      AlbertMARKET 8 years ago from California

      Woah, nice post! Keep it up, maybe I will get into hand crafted goods and sell it for plenty. :)

    • BeautifulBowls profile image

      BeautifulBowls 8 years ago from Oklahoma

      For those who create fine craft vessels, BeautifulBowls.com is also an excellent venue. Currently we work with artists on a consignment basis. Feel free to contact us with a little info about your work along with images (or url where we can view images).

    • SweetiePie profile image

      SweetiePie 8 years ago from Southern California, USA

      I guess it is just me then. I did not like cleaning the ones my nephew had for awhile. However, I suppose not everyone is meant to have kids. I guess I am not.

    • Marye Audet profile image
      Author

      Marye Audet 8 years ago from Lancaster, Texas

      SP- I don't think they are disgusting to clean. Eco-diapers are abetter than regular disposeables but still not as envirnmentally good as cloth...

    • SweetiePie profile image

      SweetiePie 8 years ago from Southern California, USA

      I have to admit I love crafting, but honestly I am not sure how people can still use cloth diapers these days.  These are very disgusting to clean, but this is just my opinion.  There are disposable diapers made out of recycled materials for those who are environmentally conscious.  I would rather stick to painting and making jewelry personally.

    • betherickson profile image

      betherickson 8 years ago from Minnesota

      Very good Hub! Really informative and useful. thumbs up!

    • TeriB profile image

      TeriB 8 years ago from Jeffersonville Indiana

      Great Hub! I'm working on one for home shows and will include a link to this!

    • nancydodds1 profile image

      nancydodds1 8 years ago from Houston, Texas

      Hi its very nice hub. Its really good work you had done.

    • vwalden profile image

      vwalden 8 years ago from Chicago

      Thanks for the additional info! I knew about etsy, but not the others you mentioned. I'll check them out...

    • nkrohini profile image

      Kavitha Rajeev Kumar 8 years ago from India

      Very nice Hub. Informative too.

    • profile image

      multimastery 8 years ago

      Great hub Marye! This hub is jam-packed with helpful resources & information. I personally do not make crafts myself, but I know a lot of people who do and I will surely refer your hub:-)

    • profile image

      London Particulars 8 years ago

      Hi,

      Great Hub and a really interesting article!

      I only knew of Etsy and Ebay so its really cool to see some alternatives.

      Many thanks!

    • JohnKhoo profile image

      JohnKhoo 8 years ago

      Geat info.Nice to know there are other options to sell crafts online other than EBAY.

    • profile image

      dabblingmum 8 years ago

      Good job. I'd also recommend always getting a return receipt or at least delivery confirmation on each order. It protects you from those who "claim" they never got the order when they did.

      I'd like to make people aware of Craigslist. It's a wonderful place to get some free advertising. But sometimes you run into unscrupulous (sp?) people who try to "steal" by basically giving you a cashier's check that is more than the price listed and asking you to refund the difference or do some other weird thing with it. Don't do it. They've been known to contact the bank and cry "fraud", get their money back, you owe the bank, and they keep the product.

    • caspar profile image

      caspar 8 years ago from UK

      Thanks for this informative hub Marye - some great ideas.

    • gardener den profile image

      gardener den 8 years ago from Southwestern, Pennsylvania

      Hi Great Hub and information on selling crafts. I make Christmas Wreaths. So I think this will help me sell them?

      Gardener Den

    • sheryl c profile image

      sheryl c 8 years ago from canton ohio

      Thanks my husband makes pictures frames baby shoes and several other out of paper Tnanks for the info.

    • gr8archer45 profile image

      gr8archer45 8 years ago from Pakistan

      hi, This is a gr8 hub. Thanx for the wonderful tips & the websites you mentioned. I am a jewellery designer & really want to sell my craftwork. keep up the good work!

    • C.S.Alexis profile image

      C.S.Alexis 8 years ago from NW Indiana

      You have provided a lot of good info here, Thanx.

      C.S.Alexis

    • GoogleCashMoney profile image

      GoogleCashMoney 8 years ago from Mumbai, India

      beautiful hub and nice information

    • profile image

      nipul 8 years ago

      i am also a craftman of double ikat patan patola and we also make antique items,your hub had given very good information to me

    • quiet tracer profile image

      quiet tracer 9 years ago from South-Asia

      Very beautiful information! great hub

    • Bassey profile image

      Bassey 9 years ago

      Your hub on how to make money selling crafts is really wonderful. It has been very educative for me and i really appreciate it

    • Sandilyn profile image

      Sandilyn 9 years ago from Port Orange, FL

      Handmade items are becoming more porfitable as less people have the time, nor make the time to do them anymore. How are you doing, money wise, doing this? I hope well. Have you set up a website to sell them or do you sell on other places? I am an artisit, as well as a business person. One day, when I have time, I will do a show, they have them online now too.

      Sandi

      http://letusgetitdone.info

    • peachtron profile image

      peachtron 9 years ago from Reading

      Great hub! Thank goodness you posted this information. I'm up to my eyeballs in crocheted blankets and scarves...gotta get rid of them somehow! :)

    • magickshop profile image

      magickshop 9 years ago

      There is also Dawanda - it is growing fast in Europe!

      http://en.dawanda.com/

      There is also a French and German Dawanda markets.

    • profile image

      Tiddledeewinks 9 years ago

      I want to own a farm someday and I do homeschool and love sewing crafts. I plan on using Etsy soon.

    • Moondrops Way profile image

      Moondrops Way 9 years ago from Greensboro, NC

      very informative...another great homecrafts site is hyenacart.com

      i'm a WAHM and just recently started an Etsy shop but haven't even heard of the others, so this is a fantastic resource. thanx

    • singingmommy profile image

      Candace Green 9 years ago from OKLAHOMA

      That was a wonderful hub!!!! It really helped me get new ideas for marketing my passions. Thanks!

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