Top 10 Things to Make and Sell
Written by: Catalogs.com Editorial Staff
July 28, 2011
Filed Under Crafts
Contributed by Rosemary O’Brien, Catalogs.com Top 10 Guru
During this economic downturn, many people have begun their own businesses.
The more crafty among us have decided to make their hobby their business, eschewing the stuffy office or cubicle. If you’re considering the same, check out some of these craft-related ideas in my list of the top ten things to make and sell:
Bookmarks, especially foam bookmarks, are especially useful things to make and sell. Many people read books and are always looking for a scrap of paper to stick in their book until the next time they grab it from their night table or tossed on a comfy chair. Go to a good craft store online and take look at options for the general reader, for kids, even for Bible School.
9. Glass art
Glass making has come a long way since the seventies when stained glass swag lamps were all the rage. One of the newer glass-making techniques can be done in your microwave – no torch required! Fusible glass makes it possible to reduce colored glass waste and allows for more precision with smaller pieces. Handmade glass pendants are a sure hit for anyone who loves interesting jewelry.
8. Not your grandmother’s afghan
Yarn and needlecrafting items have gotten very popular in the last few years. The thing is not everyone wants to actually knit a blanket or a sweater, but they would love to have a handmade something. You could create Christmas ornaments using needlepoint techniques or even specialize in custom-made items. People who do not knit, crochet or do needlepoint will pay nicely for someone else’s handiwork, especially if you use unusual novelty yarns in the trendiest color combinations.
Remember when men would spend hours in the basement making things out of wood? These days, you don’t need a table saw or any fancy tools. Many woodcrafting projects come complete with everything cut out and ready to finish. This round scalloped tray set is one of the more practical things to make and sell, especially if you doll it up for a holiday craft fair or special occasion. Some people burnish photographs in the center and use them as a wall hanging rather than a tray to carry food or drinks.
6. Backpacks are in style
I don’t know about you, but my kids love these backpacks. Each year they look forward to the day at camp when it’s time to color their own backpacks. Now if someone does not happen to have a child at summer camp, they may just want one anyway, perhaps for a grandchild or young neighbor. Canvas backpacks are easy to take for a quick run to the market or even to the beach. Hand-decorated backpacks painted by an artistic person are especially popular with those who can’t even paint a wall.
5. Homemade cards and decorations
This is another one of those things to make and sell that will always be appreciated. In fact, handcrafted parchment crafts of any kind, such as ornaments, coverings for notebooks or even decorated clipboards for a teen’s locker, are easy sales.
4. Quilts are practical art
Who doesn’t like cuddling up under a handmade quilt in the dead of winter or even at a fireworks show at the beach? Quilting kits definitely require some specific skill sets, but if you have those skills, use them to your advantage. Give a little pizzazz to quilts, handbags or totes by quilting them with specially chosen fabrics. Even if you charge a little more, the cost will not compare to the popular retail versions because the buyer will know it was handmade.
3. Light up the world
Everyone enjoys a beautiful candle. Whether it is the flickering light in the corner of a darkened room or the scent wafting through the house, candles are always a good item to sell. Make them in different shapes or in different vessels such as teacups or fancy jars. You can also try your hand at creating floating candles. A rose-shaped candle makes a lovely gift.
I love scrapbooking, but I can’t tell you the number of people who think it takes a lot of time to put together a scrapbook of photos and mementoes. Unless you want a buddy at a scrapbooking crop, keep it to yourself how easy it can be and make them yourself. There are so many occasions and types of scrapbook albums, and those who cannot do will pay those who can. Sew in some pages, make a book out of paperbags, or just create a simple one filled with a client’s photos. The possibilities are endlessly simple or endlessly complicated. It is up to you. The more you do, the more you can charge.
1. Gifts of food
Every has to eat, right? That is what makes food items such a hot seller. If you sell food at a craft fair or church fundraiser, make sure it has the extra zing to it. The better it looks, the easier it will be to sell, but don’t forget taste. No one wants to bite into a beautiful cookie and taste cardboard.
There is no end to the homemade things to make and sell. Whether it be papercrafts, fabric or needlecrafts, or just some beautiful food treats, tap into your talents. Not everyone can make something from scratch and do it well. If you have a knack for handmade items, your handmade goodies will always find a market.