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Thanks to the popularity of craft-focused online marketplaces like Etsy, starting a craft business can be a lucrative endeavor for creative types. And depending on your bandwidth, it’s certainly possible to turn any of the following DIY business ideas from an entrepreneurial hobby into a full-time venture.
How To Start A Home Based Craft Business
If you’re inspired to take up a new, potentially monetizable hobby—or if you’re one of those talented people whose artistic talents span multiple mediums—then consider one of the following craft business ideas.
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These 10 DIY business ideas involve a variety of materials and skills. But all of them require relatively little upfront and overhead costs, they’re completely viable home businesses, and there’s a market for all of these products, making them ideal if you want to get your foot in the door.
Refurbishing or flipping furniture is a great craft business idea for people with carpentry, upholstery and furniture stripping and painting skills (and a garage or basement that can double as their home studio). A general ability to fix crap is important here too, as updating old furniture often involves refurbishing or replacing broken handles, legs and drawers. However, it is quite possible to learn these skills simply by looking for tutorials on YouTube. However, make sure you understand how to properly repair antiques and other fragile furniture before you dive in.
For this side hustle, your main initial cost will be the furniture itself. Look for inexpensive vintage or used furniture at antique shops and thrift stores, garage sales, flea markets, and eBay. You won’t know what materials you’ll need to buy until you pick up the furniture and assess its condition, but you can find basic cycle tools and supplies (like paints, stains, and sprays) relatively inexpensively online.
Whether you enjoy working with beads, precious and semi-precious stones, charms, metals, or other unconventional materials like rope, leather, and resin, there is a market for every style of jewelry you want to create.
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When you’re just starting out, you can buy materials and basic jewelry-making equipment relatively inexpensively at craft stores like Michael’s. Use these preliminary parts to “test run” your designs and processes. At this point, you can ask your family and friends to wear your pieces and provide feedback on their comfort, construction integrity or strength, and any other helpful tips.
Once you’ve evaluated your aesthetic, brand, design, market, and materials you enjoy working with, you can purchase the highest quality materials from wholesale suppliers. And when you’re ready, consult our guide on how to start a jewelry business for step-by-step advice on how to turn your craft into the perfect business.
In this context, “printmaking” can refer to several mediums. Platforms like Printful and Society6 allow illustrators and designers to print their designs on virtually any product you can imagine: quilts, clothing, tapestries, laptop and phone cases, yoga mats, stickers, mugs, pillows… the list goes on. Of course, you always have the option to go traditional and go with framed wall art. Both of these services handle the shipping and fulfillment processes as well, which cuts out one of the major lifts involved in running your own craft business.
A knitting business is potentially the lowest-priced venture on this list, as your material costs are essentially limited to yarn and knitting needles (although we’ll assume you already have the latter). If you’re already a hobbyist, we can also safely assume that you know where to buy high-quality yarn, potentially in bulk, so you don’t have to spend time trying to find a vendor.
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For starters, focus on making simple, small things—more hats and beanies, fewer sweaters and blankets—so you can produce, sell, turn a profit faster, and get feedback from your customers to shape your offerings and branding accordingly. As a supplement to selling your crochet products, consider creating your own knitting patterns and selling them along with instructions.
If you have a talent for lettering, illustration and calligraphy and are interested in the printing process, consider using your unique skills as a stationery and greeting card designer. (Bonus points if you love a good pun, too.)
Spend some time doing market and industry research so you know how to customize your design and brand and how to market your design. Take some time to create your own preliminary designs in a variety of formats, such as custom stationery, wedding and other event invitations, and several types of greeting cards. Also check out some materials and colors. In addition to your design materials such as papers and pens, you will also need to invest in stationery tools such as paper cutters and scissors.
When you’re just starting out, you can probably print your own artwork with an inkjet printer. But ultimately, you’ll likely need to find a reliable printer that can print larger volumes of your designs. Look at both local printers and online printing services and request sample prints from both. Work with a service that prints your artwork on time, to your standards, works within your budget, and can answer your questions about the printing process (which can be complicated and difficult for people with no experience).
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To start a ceramics business, you will need a dedicated studio space with a sink, kiln, clay, forming and finishing materials, and glaze. A potter’s wheel is also incredibly useful, but it is possible to make pottery without a potter’s wheel. We recommend checking out Pinterest, Etsy, design blogs and magazines, and both small and large retailers to get a pulse on current ceramic trends and form your own aesthetic from there (without compromising your design values, of course).
In addition to creating custom and ready-made flower bouquets, floral designers are responsible for displaying and designing greenery at various events, in stores and restaurants, and potentially in people’s homes as part of a holistic interior design strategy.
It helps to have a network of potential clients, so people with home or interior design experience, or those who have previously worked in flower shops or landscape design, are likely to find the most (or fastest) success in this field. That said, if you have a natural talent for floral arrangements and a good eye for design in general, it doesn’t hurt to start by designing for your family and friends and letting them talk about your skills in their networks.
Either way, consider taking a floral design class, either in person or online. These classes will teach you how to properly handle several types of flowers and plants, basic design elements for floral displays, and how to tailor your designs to specific events and clients. Some courses specialize in starting a floral design business.
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You only have to look at Instagram, Pinterest or candles on YouTube to know that there is a huge demand for candles, especially those with delicious scents and design packaging. (Perhaps this is hygge, the Danish and Norwegian term for coziness, which has become a home decor phenomenon in the English-speaking world.)
Aside from learning how to make candles (which you can easily learn through your own research and handy YouTube tutorials), the first step to starting a candle making business is developing your scent and gathering materials. Buy a collection of fragrance oils and develop a few scents that you are happy with. Then, you can purchase your other materials—including paraffin, soy, or beeswax, as well as wicks, measuring tools, a thermometer, molds, and containers for your candles—from wholesalers or with ready-made DIY candle-making kits. We recommend the latter when you’re just starting out, then looking for wholesalers when you’re ready to do bulk orders.
To determine the price of your items, you need to determine your market. Candles run the gamut from $1 unscented tea lights to $85 luxury candles (check out Byredo for some serious candle envy). Your price depends on the quality and type of materials and ingredients you use, of course, but you should also base your prices on what your target market will actually be.
This craft business idea may require more overhead than others on this list because you will need to source and purchase several items and gift wrapping materials for each type of gift basket. But your offerings can be incredibly diverse, so your market may be less limited than the other craft businesses we’ve mentioned here.
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Most importantly, you need to develop your angle. Think about theming your gift baskets based on the occasion or event – back to school for college students, baby showers, bedtimes
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