It’s never been easier to start your own side-hustle and bring in some extra money. Whether you’re looking to make some cash in the short-term or the long-term, crafting can be a pretty good way to do it.
Hand-made items have exploded in popularity in recent years, but what should you make? We’ve got a few ideas, and that’s why we’ve created this list of 20+ popular things to make and sell online. BUT, before you get started..
Here’s how to make sure you’ve picked hot craft ideas to sell! Your first step should be to figure out WHERE you want to sell your crafts. If the answer to that is at a craft fair, you can head out there and do a little spying to see which items are gone from people’s tables. This will give you an excellent idea of which products are moving in your area AND how much to charge for them.
If you’re looking for high-vaue things to make and sell on a site like Etsy – it gets even easier!
Sites like these allow you to browse past sales of stores and see exactly which products are duds and which ones offer great profit margins. Okay, now that we’ve got that out of the way – on to our list!!
Easy Things To Make and Sell For Money On Etsy
There’s a very good reason that t-shirts are the go-to merch item for every band on the planet – they have great profit margins and people love wearing them! But, even if you’re not a band – t-shirts can be a great way to make money! Though I should warn you, selling t-shirts is not as easy as many people make it seem.
For bands, or influencers it’s a bit easier, because they already have an audience that loves them and wants to support them with merch. But, if you’re just another person selling on Etsy, then you need to have some really clever designs that people just have to have. If you’re not sure what to make then choose a topic – something like “funny dog mom shirts” or “anti-valentine’s day shirts” – and see what kind of designs people are buying.
If you don’t want to jump in head first with a lot of merchandise – a print on demand service can be a good way to go. You can always print them yourself later on to increase profit margins and make more money once you’ve got some winners!
PS. If you’re interested in Print On Demand – I’d recommend Printify. They have some of the best profit margins around, and they make it a lot easier to turn a profit after Etsy takes their cut when compared to pricier POD services.
PPS. You can also use Creative Fabrica to get dirt cheap t-shirt designs for your Etsy business. They have a $5/month plan that lets you download an unlimited number of designs to test until you find a winner. However, there are some other places to get free t shirt designs to sell too.
Bath Bombs & Soaps
When it comes to diy products to sell online, soaps and bath bombs are at the top of people’s lists. They’re easy to make, fun, and you can generally make some pretty good profit margins on them. Of course, that also means you’ll need to compete with everyone else who is selling their own hand-made soaps online.
While this is not impossible, you should try to work out a unique angle. Offer some scents, colors, or designs for specific people or fandoms rather than taking an “everybody approach” will likely help you to get your first sales. You might also try making themed soaps for Holidays or events which could be popular and get eyes on your products.
Do you have an embroidery machine? If so, you could be using it to make a tidy profit online! Plenty of sellers create and sell their own designs on patches, hats, etc. but some customers want something truly unique – and they can get that through you! Offering to customize different items for them is cake for you if you got some good digitization software and it allows you to make nice profits on one-off items.
The products you can make are virtually endless! Think monogrammed towels for house warming gifts, hats & shirts for small businesses who don’t have enough employees to order in bulk, custom baby shower gifts, baby’s first Christmas with the year, etc.
PS. You can also download some FREE designs from our embroidery design library to use!
This idea actually works with a lot of other ideas – but it’s a clever way to sell more of your products! People spend a lot of time and money on planning their wedding, and it’s common to give your guests a little gift as a “thanks for coming”. Have you considered packaging your crafts up and selling them this way?
Wedding favors can be almost anything that the bride and groom like! This includes candy, soaps, candles, custom glasses, and even live plants! Chances are, whatever your specialty is – you can dress it up and turn it into a high-priced wedding favor. As a bonus, you’ll get big orders, because the average wedding size is around 150 guests. Wedding favors are easy products you can make at home and sell!
In many states, it’s okay to sell your home baked goods from home – even online! While you’ll need to research your own state’s specific cottage food laws, it can be a great way to make money if you’re a good baker. Many people just don’t have time to do it themselves, but they still love to have hand-made candy, fudge, cookies, dog treats, and more.
But don’t forget about special diets too! Are you a specialist in vegan cookies? Maybe you’ve got the best gluten free sweets around? People with specialty diets definitely want to buy them from you, because many stores still have a poor selection of these products.
You can also include holidays in your search titles when making your listings! Lots of people buy gift boxes of cookies or fudge to send as gifts to loved ones out of state for birthdays, weddings, anniversaries, graduation, etc. Making some special ready-to-go gift packages makes their job easier, and it makes it easier for them to click the buy button!
Plant seedlings and cuttings
Okay, so you don’t really “make” this one – but if you’ve got a green thumb, then you can grow some money in your yard for practically nothing! If you’ve already got the plants you can grow from your own cuttings, and your costs will be negligible. (Just make sure to look into proper plant shipping procedures!)
But what kind of plants do people want to buy? All kinds! Some people even sell “mystery propagation boxes” which contain random plant cuttings to give people a surprise. Though your best bet will be with some harder to find plants, which may depend on location where they are available. You can always do a little searching on Etsy to see what plants are selling first.
Sewing Patterns and Art Templates
Are you a seamstress that knows how to make her own patterns? If so, you could turn those patterns into a steady side-income without much more work for yourself! Tons of people are looking to get new sewing projects to work on – both beginner and more advanced, and Etsy allows you to sell digital products. The best part being that these files are immediately sent to customers – leaving little work for you to do.
These products aren’t limited to just sewing either. Plenty of people sell all kinds of digital products such as: 3D printing files, sewing patterns, font files, planners, product label designs, virtual backdrops for photography, and many many more. If you’re looking for a more “hands-off” income source – this is definitely the way to go. The most profitable crafts to sell are the ones you can sell again and again with no additional work!
Etsy is well known as a great place to buy vintage clothing, but a lot of people don’t stop there. There’s also a market for custom items here, and if you love thrifting, you could make some profit by upcycling clothing. Upcycling takes a previously unwanted item and makes it unique and more desirable. The current trend is to do some Tye-die or acid washing, but you can go about it many ways.
The most desirable items to do this with are vintage band tees or older but still popular name brands like Levis, or Nike. However, you could get away with a more generic shirt as long as your designs are really cool. If you love thrifting, then up-cycled items can be very popular things to make and sell online for profit. Vintage has never been more popular, and vintage with a twist? Even more so! These are handmade items in demand.
Just like soaps and bath bombs, candles are popular things to make and sell for good reason! People love giving them for gifts, and they get even more attractive during the Holiday season when creatively themed candles will fly off the shelves. While Christmas is the big holiday for this, don’t forget about Halloween! It’s also a big holiday for candles and there will likely be less competition.
Want to sell more candles? Get creative! Offer scents and designs that you can get just anywhere. People love to splurge on holiday decorations or special occasions, so give them some unique decorations which are worth paying a little more than they would for a normal candle.
Looking for a quick and easy sewing project which can earn you some solid profits? Customized baby blankets are a great item to make which people will want to give as a gift. If your sewing machine has lettering functions, you can easily add names or initials to make it a truly special item which can’t just be purchased at a store too!
Baby blankets are the kind of keepsake items people want to keep forever – so they are okay with spending a bit more to get one they love. The best part is that some of these blankets can take you as little as 30 minutes to make.
If you’re looking for crafts to sell on etsy – you should consider jewelry. There’s a big market for handmade jewelry on sites like Etsy. People are tired of having the same boring things that are mass produced. They want unique items from artists instead now! So, if you’re great at making your own bracelets, necklaces, or earrings, you could be selling them online to your new adoring fans.
The kind of jewelry you want to make will depend on you, and there’s a market for all kinds of different things – including beaded jewelry, resin rings, custom metal items, leather bracelets, and more. Pieces made from recycled materials like computer parts, scarp wood, etc. are also really hot sellers, and you’ll be repurposing things otherwise destined for the landfill.
Custom Pet Art
Are you an artist? If so, you could use your skills to create adorable pet portraits for their owners! Some people purchase these as a memorial when they lose their pets, but other people purchase them for the people in their life who are just crazy about dogs or cats.
While this one does take a very specific skill set, if you’ve got that particular skill it’s a good way to make money doing what you love to do. Some portraits are more serious, but many of them are funny caricatures like the example above! Some people even make custom shirts with the pet’s name on it for the owner to show off how much they love their fur baby.
Another fairly easy sewing project you can make to make money are pillows. You can make these out of cool fabrics, add embroidery, or use transfers to make custom designs for your customers. Having something truly unique for themselves or a gift is what really gets the sales, though plenty people will buy cool designs as well.
The above image shows a super sweet gift! You can send a loved one’s shirt to this Etsy user and they will make it into a keepsake pillow cover. It’s a great gift for a memorial, or even just for someone who is homesick and living in another state or country.
Gift baskets are a great one, because they can either be used as a “value added” type deal for your other homemade items, or even on their own. Even if you don’t actually make anything yourself, people may still want to buy your baskets just because they are an easy gift! If you make themed ones which people can quickly have shipped to loved ones – it’s a serious relief for them.
You can print up some cute images or messages like the example above, fill it with candy or other treats from the store and ship gifts for your customers. They look very nice and gives the recipient the gift of something they love! Not sure what to fill the boxes with? Think things like: candy, beauty products, beef jerky, coffee, tea, etc.
If you have some design skills and the capabilities to make some cool typography or artwork – selling art prints could be a great way to make some money. Even if you’re not the best artist, it’s still very popular to make and sell nice framed quotes from celebrities or historical figures.
Some prints for sale don’t really even require design skills at all! For example, the above print for sale is a very popular public domain image of Teddy Roosevelt riding a moose for a campaign stunt. There are tons of great public domain images people would love to have prints of but they have not been made available. It’s perfectly legal to sell these as long as you make sure your chosen image is truly in the public domain.
You can either sew these yourself, which can be pretty easy to do, or you can simply print or embroider existing ones with cute designs. Re-usable shopping bags are all the rage, and many people want to do their part to limit plastic waste by switching. Decorating some quality totes with sayings, or images is a great way to make some sales too.
Don’t forget to make some for holidays as well! Your bags can double as trick or treat bags, or as bags your customers can stuff with Christmas goodies and give as a gift. The options for these are wide open, and it’s a great project for both beginner and amateurs when it comes to sewing.
PS. Got a Cricut machine? These sites have FREE SVGs with commercial rights you can use to make some totebags.
Are you a whizz with ceramics? Then you’ll be glad to know that there are a LOT of people on Etsy who would love to buy custom mugs, vases, and other home decor items from you! Many people don’t have the equipment, materials, or skills to do this themselves – and they’re perfectly willing to pay an artisan like yourself for quality handmade goods.
You can, of course, sell your ceramics separately or package them with other items as gifts to up their appeal. For example, you could make some custom mugs and pack them up with a couple honey sticks and tea bags for a value-added tea lover’s gift set for the holidays. These items are cheap to add to your offering but make it look like a much more valuable bundle to consumers searching for gifts.
Rustic Wood Signs
Do you enjoy working with wood and paint? If so, you could make some diy products to sell with scrap wood! The benefits of this are, of course, that most of your materials are free – giving you an excellent profit margin, and you can re-use things which would be discarded otherwise. Rustic decor is big and farm house signs are a great item to sell.
We showed off an easy to make pine board Christmas sign in our wooden Christmas crafts to make and sell article, and we’ve got plenty more holiday wood craft ideas you could make there too! Check it out for more ideas if you’re into wood crafts.
It was always part of our holiday traditions to buy a new ornament for the tree every year, and I always try to get a really interesting or unique one! I think a lot of people are this way, and that’s why selling handmade ornaments or decorations could be a really great way to make some profit during the holiday season.
While Christmas is the most obvious one for this, don’t forget about Halloween! People go all out on this holiday and spend a lot of money making spooky displays or haunted houses. We’ve got a few great ideas in our DIY Halloween arts and crafts article which you might be able to sell as well.
Coasters are easy to make but can be a super cool item to add to your table decor! You can make them for holidays, or just general decorations. The materials can also vary depending on your skills too, with coasters being made from: wood, resin, fabric, stone, and many other materials.
You can also customize existing coasters with messages or images through methods like embroidery, wood burning, or vinyl transfers – making this craft very friendly to people of all different skill levels and capabilities.
Mason Jar Crafts
Mason jars are another big rustic decor item and you can do a ton of different crafts with them. You can paint them up and turn them into cute flower vases, or stuff them full of candy and turn them into gifts. It’s also a great idea to make them into candle holders either for holidays, or just for general purpose use throughout the year.
In the above, you can see that a clever crafter has turn them into some super cute tissue holders for fall! However, if you do a quick search for “handmade + mason jar” on Etsy, I’m sure that you’ll be able to come up with tons and tons of other ideas.
Need a high-profit craft that’s super easy to make? Magnets could be the ticket! Similar to the coasters example, you can make magnets out of a ton of different materials, including: ceramics, clay, glass, metal, fabrics, and wood. Then all you need to do is glue a magnet to the back and you’re good to go on your adorable fridge decor.
When deciding what kind of magnets to make, think about the customer you want to attract. Are they crazy about cats? Do they love farmhouse decor? Maybe they are the country living types? In any case, specializing, at least at first, can help attract a loyal customer base! Think about what YOU would want on your fridge and find people who like the same things. It’s definitely the easiest route for picking winning designs.
Tanya is a stay at home mom who blogs online to earn a bit of extra income from her hobbies. She also loves working on projects which she can involve her two kids in and teach them the valuable life-skill of sewing.