Making craft can be a way to earn some money from home. It may be something you do while caring for children or a side hustle to supplement the money you make from working in an office or other place. Some home based craft ventures end up being very successful and bring in a considerable amount of cash. However, to be realistic and honest, the majority don't make much money. However, any extra cash can help the budget and provide a creative outlet for the artist.
Benefits of selling homemade crafts Benefits of selling homemade crafts include:
Outlet for your creativity
Way to make new friends
Way to become more involved in your community
Way to use up extra craft materials after you have made enough items for yourself and presents
Ways to recycle or upcycle materials and save them from becoming landfill
Where to sell your crafts Crafts can be sold through various outlets including:
Internet sites specialising in selling craft
Community art galleries
Cafes. Keep your eyes open for the occasional cafe that sells crafts as a sideline.
Word of mouth
Advertisement in local newspaper or newsletter
A craft party at your home. If this is successful friends may want you to hold a party at their place in exchange for discount on goods they buy from you. Check if there are laws governing selling from home.
If you also work part time in an office you may be able to sell craft to colleagues. Keep this low key so as not to interfere with your paid job or that of others. It may be wise to limit any sales to before and after work or during your lunch break.
Years ago, I made necklaces from gumnuts, jacarandah pods and pieces of suede. I sold a few to work mates and made enough money to go out to lunch from time to time during a period when I was strapped for cash. The few extra dollars made a difference to me.
Jacarandah pod necklace made during the eighties. Would they sell now? Image by Marie Vonow
Types of craft There are many types of craft you could try selling including:
Toys (Make sure they are safe for children. Provide a warning if there are small parts or other risks for very young children.)
Wind chimes made from upcycled items
Items made from fabric
Craft something you enjoy making Image courtesy of Pixabay
Expenses Before you start trying to make money from your craft, make lists of the expenses involved. This will vary from one situation to another but make sure you aren't going to be paying out more than you make.
Expenses may include:
Materials to make your craft
Purchase of large table and other furniture such as a filing cabinet
Storage for your crafts
Shipping if you are selling online or through advertisements in magazines or newspapers
Stall hire at market
Remember if you sell through someone else's shop you pay a commission
Challenges of selling homemade craft Many people who give selling craft a go find it frustrating and make little money from it.
Challenges may include:
Your type of craft may involve lots of time and you may make very little money per hour.
The materials for your craft may be expensive or difficult to source.
You have to pay upfront for materials and it may be many months or even longer before you recoup your outlay.
With a craft like pottery, if you have to pay to have items fired you have outlayed quite a bit before your craft is ready to sell.
You need space to store your creations before selling them.
It may be difficult to find somewhere suitable to sell your craft.
Is your craft in fashion or has it had its day? Something that would have sold twenty or thirty years ago may not sell now.
General tips A few generic tips are:
Make something you love because you will be devoting much time and energy to it
Promote yourself and your craft
Hand out business cards whenever you talk to people
Use social media to promote your craft
Be professional in how you interact with customers
Present your craft in an attractive way
Wrap any fragile items
Keep up with current trends
Even if you are not selling through the internet, create a website or blog so people can learn more about your craft business.
Consider sharing a site at a market to keep costs down. This also means someone is there to watch your stall while you take a quick break.
Keep careful records of your costs and profit and loss. Keep relevant receipts. Make sure you declare any earnings to Centrelink and/or the tax office.
Consider doing a course in running a small business to make sure you get it right.
Build a support group.
Utilise social media to promote your business Image courtesy of Pixabay
If you decide to make craft from home for sale, give it your best shot and be positive. You never know where your venture could lead you. Even if it doesn't end up being a viable money earner, you will have the satisfaction of having given it a go, instead of always wondering how it would have worked out.