These craft business ideas go beyond basic lists of different types of crafts to make and sell or different materials you could work with.
If you're a serious crafter, you're probably well beyond those types of lists. You already know which handmade crafts you can make artfully and with expertise.
The list is full of real handmade business ideas!
We'll look at 20+ ways to take craft skills you already have and turn them into a great business.
I'll start with some traditional ways to sell crafts, but stay with me. The list of craft business ideas gets more interesting and creative as you get farther into it.
We'll look at each option in more detail, but let's get started with an overview of the many easy ways you can start a DIY business from home.
Make and sell crafts with one of these craft business ideas:
Sell Your Handmade Items:
Sell Digital Products:
Sell Your Craft-Based Knowledge:
Expand Your Business With Trend Reports and New Markets:
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Selling a physical handmade product is the most traditional and familiar way to sell crafts. It's what most people think of first when they consider starting a home craft business, so it's a good place to begin exploring your options.
Here are several craft business ideas that make sense for people who want to sell physical handmade items.
I'm sure you've already thought about selling at craft fairs and markets. This craft business idea isn't exactly shocking. But it is an extremely popular way to sell handmade items.
Since selling at craft shows is such a popular option, I have many pages dedicated to this topic.
If you want to learn more about selling at craft shows, here's where to start:
1000+ Craft Booth Photos: I'm always adding new craft booth photos to this site. At last count, I had over 1000 original pictures. If you want to check out display booth photos for inspiration for designing your own booth, this page is the place to start.
Craft Tent Buying Guide: Buying a craft tent can be a bit overwhelming. This page has everything you need to know about choosing and buying the right tent for your craft booth.
General Craft Show Tips: Here's where you'll discover how to find good shows in your area, how to apply to juried shows, and how to make the most of your day at a craft show.
Maybe you've attended a friend's home sales party, where products are demonstrated in a fun, social environment. Maybe you've even hosted a party or two yourself.
Selling at home parties can be one of the easiest ways to test your craft business ideas without a lot of risk.
The cost for doing a home party, compared to other craft business ideas, is quite low. Plus, most guests will buy something at a sales party.
The downside to this business model is that it can be difficult to sustain over time unless you get creative. That is, once all of your friends have hosted a party, you may have difficulty booking more parties.
Selling at home parties can, however, be an excellent, low-cost, low-risk way to get your business started.
Learn More: How to Sell Crafts at Home Parties
Selling on Etsy is another craft business idea you've probably considered if you're a creative person — and with good reason!
Etsy makes it very easy for you to set up your shop. You can get started quickly and without a lot of help.
It is a well-known company that shoppers trust. This trust can make customers more comfortable sharing their payment information on these sites than they might be on your own website.
You will have to work hard to get customers to your Etsy store.
Popular craft marketplaces do have a lot of potential customers visiting the site. However, there are plenty of sellers working for the attention of those customers, so you'll need to learn how to stand out from the competition if you decide to sell your crafts on Etsy.
Selling crafts on your own online shop requires more work up-front compared to selling on Etsy, but it gives you far more control.
When you rely heavily on a third party marketplace for your business, you have limited control and ownership over that business. Customers are linked to that marketplace, not your shop. That fact alone can make establishing your own site worthwhile.
You will need to put a lot of work into promoting your own site. But when you own the site you're promoting, you are building your own business, not someone else's.
Learn More: How to Sell Your Crafts Online
Some people launch a business online through social media only. They don't have their own website, and they don't have a shop in a craft marketplace.
Sometimes, for example, a great Facebook page is all you need to launch a small craft business.
A friend of mine who makes very cute handmade children's capes launched her business on Facebook. She simply took a few great photos, created a Facebook business page, and invited her friends to follow her.
Shortly after she launched her page, we were talking about other ways to promote her business. She said she was already so busy with orders through her Facebook page, she couldn't look at other promotional options. She could barely keep up with the demand from her Facebook page.
I'm not talking about someone who is a social media maven with thousands of followers. This is a regular person with about 200 Facebook friends. She is simply posting cute pictures of her products, and of her kids wearing the capes, and she's extremely busy with orders.
Of course, the danger with building your entire business around a social media platform is the same as selling through a craft marketplace. You don't have full control over your social media account.
That doesn't mean you shouldn't consider launching your business on social media. It does mean you should be aware of how much control another company has over the success of your business.
Learn More: How to Promote Your Business with Social Media
Instead of selling finished goods to customers, consider selling craft supplies. You either sell supplies you purchase from a wholesaler, or you could create your own handmade items that are used in part of the crafting process.
For example, if you have a flair for jewelry making, instead of selling finished jewelry, you could sell handmade beads for other designers to include in their own creations. Alternatively, you could sell silicone molds you make using your own original designs for other crafters to use in their own projects.
Have you always dreamed of having your own retail store?
I know of a few craft artists who have had success selling items in their own retail shops. Often they work with other local artisans and sell those items on a consignment or wholesale basis in addition to selling their own crafts.
Opening your own shop represents a much bigger commitment in terms of both time and money compared with most of the other craft business ideas on this page. Do be sure to do thorough research before you take on this degree of risk.
If you're in the United States, the Small Business Administration (SBA), which is a government agency that supports entrepreneurs, is a good place to start your research.
If you're outside of the US, look for a business development office in your area, or your local Chamber of Commerce to start your research.
Consigning your handmade products to independently owned stores can be a great way to build sales and promote your business.
You'll need to ensure you price your crafts profitably for this business model to work.
Learn More: Craft Consignment Selling
Focusing on building business relationships with wholesale customers can bring your business to a whole new level. Again, you'll need a good pricing method for this strategy to be successful.
You'll also need an efficient production process to make the larger volume of items needed to make selling wholesale profitable for you.
Production work — creating a specific range of products that you create over and over — scales better than selling one of a kind items.
Selling a defined line of products means:
For some people, the big drawback of any craft business idea that's heavy with production work is you have to create the same pieces over and over.
Some people love this way of working. It can be quite meditative.
For others, production work feels like drudgery, and they don't mind keeping their business smaller if it means they can work on new designs frequently.
Studio tours generally happen in the spring or fall.
Opening your own art studio to the public on these occasions can be a worthwhile way to build awareness of your business and possibly make some sales.
Art studio tours are typically organized by local art associations. So, check with them for details about tour dates, application closing dates, and rules.
Learn More: Art Studio Tour Tips
Some artists love the process of designing and creating one-of-a-kind items.
One-of-a-kind items take longer to create and to sell, so you'll need to be able to sell them at a higher rate.
Original products require significantly more work to sell online because you'll need to photograph, promote, and write sales copy for each new item. You'll also need to factor the design time into your prices.
With one-of-a-kind items, you'll end up selling fewer items overall, and you'll need to command significantly high prices to make this business model work.
It will be important to find ways to increase the perceived value of your pieces, so you can charge a premium for your work.
When people think about building their own craft business, they often don't often think of creating some type of service-based business. These types of opportunities do exist for people with certain types of creative and craft skills.
If you're a photographer, consider a business photographing clients or products.
If you have digital design skills, consider a service business creating beautiful memory books for families who have lots of pictures but don't have the time or skills to organize and assemble them creatively.
How about creating private label items for other businesses?
A private label product is a product that is developed and created by you, but it carries the packaging and branding of a different company.
For example, if you make luxurious handmade soaps and body lotion, you could partner with a local spa and create private label products for them — your products packaged with the spa's name and logo.
A beekeeper who sells fabulous beeswax hand cream at my local farmer's market told me he also sells the same hand cream to a nearby spa as a private label product.
The spa puts his wonderful hand cream in luxurious packaging and sells it at a much higher price than the beekeeper charges at the farmer's market in his own unassuming packaging. The spa reaches a different customer than the beekeeper does, so, with their branding, they can sell his product to different target customers and at a higher price.
4 Handmade Business Mistakes: Save yourself from these common pitfalls! Before you commit to any craft business idea, discover the four mistakes creative business owners make that can waste your time and money.
You might be surprised by the many ways you can use your craft-related skills to make a digital product to sell.
Compared to physical handmade items, digital products often take more time to create up-front. However, once they are made, you can sell digital products over and over as many times as you like.
These craft business ideas are less traditional, but they do scale extremely well. The startup costs for this type of business are generally quite low.
Selling digital products can be a good option for people who love to design handmade products but don't love the production process.
Instead of selling your actual finished items, consider selling instructions for making your items. Your own unique printable patterns or downloadable project instructions can be sold online on many marketplaces, including Etsy.
You won't be able to charge as much for a pattern as you would charge for a finished item. However, popular digital products can be highly profitable.
The cost to sell digital products is generally quite low. Plus, digital products only need to be created once. Then they can be sold over and over to many customers, leaving you with more time to promote your product.
Digital products also allow you to largely automate the sales process. You'll need to answer the occasional customer's question, but there's no need to deal with production, packaging, and mailing out orders.
Do you have a lot of valuable information that is unique and not readily available online? Yes? Then maybe a membership site, where customers pay a fee to get valuable content from you each month, makes sense.
A business like this requires real commitment because you'll need to produce exceptional, original material on a regular basis to keep your customers happy, but this business model can be quite financially rewarding.
Can the work you create be translated into some type of printable products that you can sell? That's what I sell on my own Etsy shop.
Not all types of crafts will translate well into this business model, but if you create any type of digital art, or more traditional art that can be translated into a digital format, then you may be able to turn it into a printable item to sell.
More Tech-Based Creative Business Ideas: Technology has opened up plenty of exciting new opportunities for craft artists. Check out these high-tech craft business ideas and see if one is a great fit for you.
You can take the concept of selling projects a step further and sell your knowledge about how to do a specific type of craft or work with a specific type of material.
Consider offering classes in your craft to build your business. You might partner with a local community center, or an art supply shop for the classroom space. Partnerships like this can also help you promote your classes.
Learn More: How to Teach Your Craft
If you can create exceptional, premium content that is better than anything available for free, and build trust with your online readers, then you can charge customers for online courses in how to do your particular craft.
You might offer courses through your own website, or you might build a following as a top instructor on a site like Skillshare.
How about putting all of your ideas into a book format and selling craft projects or craft instruction books?
You don't need a deal with a publishing company to make money as an author. Amazon makes this type of project surprisingly easy for independent authors.
It's a lot of work on the front end to write a fabulous book. However, if you write an excellent book that gets great reviews and covers a topic readers want to learn about, your book can make money on a site like Amazon for years requiring very little work from you beyond the initial writing and promoting.
Do keep in mind, Amazon's fees for publishing black and white print books are quite reasonable, but their fees for color print books are quite high. Once you explore their print pricing, you'll almost certainly come to the conclusion that your book needs to be in black and white in order to sell it at a price that is acceptable to readers and profitable for you.
Trend forecasts can provide great information to help you find the most popular products and profitable crafts to make and sell.
There's plenty of fashion and decor trend information available to help you discover what will be the most popular products or design styles.
You can also find all kinds of data that predict retail consumer behavior, so you can develop effective promotions and make the most of important sales opportunities like Black Friday and Cyber Monday.
Check out these forecasts to discover how to stay ahead of trends and make the most of all of your sales opportunities.
What's trending now in crafts?
Here are the most recent trend reports for the upcoming year, as well as the most recent holiday shopping trend reports.
Crafts That Sell Well in 2022: What will be the most popular and profitable crafts to make and sell in 2022? Use these 15 hot trends to create and promote handmade items that are in demand for the upcoming year.
2021 Christmas Trends: Here's what shoppers who buy handmade will be purchasing for the 2021 holiday season according to Etsy's search data.
Christmas Shopping Trends 2021: Trend reports aren't just about what people will buy. They can also give you important information about when and where people will shop and what will influence their buying decisions.
You can use all of that information to promote your business more effectively and sell more crafts!
Retail shopping trends have changed significantly in the past two years. The 2021 Christmas Shopping Trends report will show you what customers will expect this holiday season, so you can be ready to meet their needs.
Trending Crafts That Sell Well in 2020: Want to know what crafts will likely sell well in 2020? Here's what's trending in crafts for 2020 according to Pinterest and Etsy.
Christmas Shopping Trends 2020: Following an uncertain and unprecedented year, people will shop and celebrate the holidays in new ways in 2020. You can't simply rely on last year's marketing strategies to sell your crafts in 2020. This holiday shopping trend forecast will help you understand shoppers' plans, so you can meet their needs.
Most Profitable Crafts to Sell in 2019: Here's what crafts were popular and trending on Etsy and Pinterest in 2019.
DIY Christmas Trends 2019: Trending crafts and design themes that will be popular for the 2019 holiday season according to Etsy.
Best Selling Christmas Crafts (updated for Christmas 2019): Holiday retail trends for 2019. Discover what shoppers will be looking for this holiday season, so you can create promotions that resonate.
Best Selling Christmas Crafts (2018): Predicted Christmas shopping behavior for 2018. You might be surprised to find out what people are buying and what is one of the biggest Christmas shopping months.
Holiday Retail Market Trends (2018): I've analyzed several sources of retail market trends to help you better understand what shoppers are looking for over the holiday season, so you can create a marketing campaign that speaks to their needs.
Home and Fashion Trend Information Sources: I follow loads of individuals and organizations that provide trend forecasts for home decor and fashion. Here are a few of my favorite sources that can help you keep up to date with changing trends
Pinterest Trends Tool: Pinterest's free and simple tool helps you find the latest trends on Pinterest and shows you how popular keywords have been over the past twelve months. Discover what your customers want, and when they want it with this excellent tool.
Rather than thinking of your business as falling in the "handmade" niche only, think about other niches your business could serve.
If you make lovely handmade cat and dog beds, then you belong in the pet lovers' niche. If you make custom bridal jewelry, then you belong in the weddings niche.
The handmade niche will take you to some of the more obvious places, like craft shows, and Etsy. However, if you can find a niche based on the type of people who are passionate about your type of product, or who have a problem or need that is solved by your product, then you can find more opportunities to build your business.
You'll be able to go where businesses in your niche go, and find customers who are passionate about what you do and who want your product, not only because it is handmade and beautiful, but also because it fits with a part of their self-identity or fulfills an important need.
Learn More: How to Find a Winning Business Niche
Read on to see what readers have said about their own experiences as craft professionals...
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