Although the idea of making and selling craft items has been around for hundreds of years, the emergence of the Internet has made the craft business easier and potentially more profitable than it once was.
Not only does the Internet give you the capability to quickly search for and find the location of craft shows in your area (or anywhere else you’re willing to travel), but you also have online access to everything from craft supplies and craft kits to a free newsletter* for novice craft show vendors.
The Internet also provides access to other helpful resources and information, including:
- Craft fair ideas, such as the ones in this blog
- Craft tutorials and step-by-step instructions
- Craft show display ideas, shelves, folding craft tables, booths, signs
- Online access to wholesale craft outlets
- Info about craft supply stores near you
- Sources of cheap craft supplies
- Craft show websites where vendors can sign up online or inquire
- Websites offering leather craft supplies, wood craft supplies, wood craft patterns
- Sewing craft ideas
- Craft books (the old-fashioned kind and e-books you can download)
Ideas for Making Crafts You Can Sell
Although making and selling crafts at craft shows and through your own online store sounds like a fun business idea, it does require planning, good organizational skills, record keeping, creativity, talent, and a budget for startup and operating costs.
If you like making gifts, decorative items, and things people can use, then starting a craft business might be a rewarding experience for you — both monetarily and personally (Here’s how.*) As is the case with any business, there’s no guarantee you’ll make any money. However, if you approach it as a fun business that can be potentially profitable, then you’ll be more likely to get the most out of it.
There are hundreds of craft ideas and handmade products you can sell online, as well as at retail stores, craft shows, fairs, and festivals. Here’s a list of craft ideas to sell (in no particular order) that will hopefully help you come up with the best possible mix of products for your online store or craft booth.
50 Ideas for Craft Businesses, Artists, and Vendors
- Animal figurines and animal-themed gift items: pig crafts, penguins, elephant crafts, sheep crafts, turkeys, lion crafts, ladybug-themed crafts, butterfly craft items, monkey crafts, roosters, owl crafts, turtles, frog crafts , ducks, bear crafts, horse crafts, bird crafts, bumble bees
- Teddy bears and other stuffed animals
- Dream catchers
- Angel crafts
- Religious-themed crafts
- Buddha statues, figurines, sculptures
- Baby crafts and gifts for baby showers
- Bird feeders
- Craft items using recycled items
- Tote bags
- T-shirt crafts
- CD cases and holders
- Jewelry, such as earrings and bracelets, and beaded crafts
- Hand-made greeting cards
- Holiday crafts, especially Christmas crafts, autumn crafts, Halloween (including craft pumpkins), Easter, Valentine’s Day, Mothers’ Day, and so on.
- Wedding favors, decorations, keepsakes, and other wedding crafts
- Pottery: bowls, coffee mugs, plates, jugs, vases, pitchers, urns
- Wood crafts and craft furniture
- Retirement gifts, anniversary gifts, and gifts for other special occasions
- Engraved gifts
- Jewelry boxes
- Cigar boxes
- Craft magnets
- Craft mirrors
- Wind chimes
- Desk caddies
- Mason jar crafts and wine bottle crafts
- Place mats
- Serving trays
- Picture frames
- Baskets, bins, storage chests
- Gift baskets
- Candles, soaps, spa items
- Sea shell crafts
- Stone crafts
- Angel crafts
- Heart crafts
- Flower crafts
- Stained glass crafts
- Quilts, blankets, comforters, pillows, sweaters, knitted or crocheted clothing
- Woodworking projects like small tables, stools, benches, clocks, plaques, wooden toys
- Garden crafts which can run the gamut from planters and pots to stepping stones , garden gnomes, frogs, squirrels, and sun-themed sculptures and artwork
- Decorative kitchen cutting boards
Evaluating Your Craft Business Ideas
When you’re considering different crafts to make and sell, it’s advisable to ask yourself some blunt questions, such as “Are people really going to want to buy this type of item?” Sometimes it pays to ask family and friends whether they think prospective customers would want to pay for a specific craft item, handmade gift, or decorative knickknack. (Ask your family and friends to be brutally honest in helping you evaluate crafts you’re considering selling — and assure them you will not be offended!)
It’s better to have to go back to the drawing board and come up with more marketable crafts to make and sell, rather than wasting time and money on something that doesn’t sell or appeal to your prospective customers.
The challenge is to try and be objective about a craft idea that might seem to be cute or useful or have sentimental value to you, but, in reality, it’s not going to inspire people to open their wallets. Keep in mind that nobody is eager to part with their hard-earned money unless they feel a connection to the items you’re selling. It needs to catch their eye and strike a chord with them, in terms of value, beauty, uniqueness, usefulness, practicality, and other subjective qualities.
A Few Basic Marketing Tips
From a marketing standpoint, it’s always a good idea to have an ample supply of professional-looking, creative business cards available to hand out to new and prospective customers. Having a website, e-commerce store, craft blog, Pinterest page, or Facebook page can also result in more craft sales, potential referrals, and future business.
If you’re thinking of starting your own online store to sell handmade crafts or other products to a national or global marketplace, Shopify* can provide you with the necessary ecommerce tools to help get you set up and started quickly!
Try Shopify free for 14 days* (No credit card required!)
Thanks for checking out my latest entrepreneurial thoughts, marketing strategies, business startup ideas and — in the case of today’s blog post — craft business ideas.
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Business blogger, freelance writer, marketing strategist
Email address: Prowriter30years@yahoo.com
*Disclosure: I am a compensated affiliate of Shopify ecommerce services, as well as various digital products, ebooks (starting a business books), and email marketing software featured on this blog and on my website Marketing Survival Kit.