DIY Crafts to Sell

Rebecca Wiseman
Woman making jewelry

Whether you want to sell crafts as a hobby or a primary business, the right craft projects can be easy sales at the right time of year. Make your crafts to match the current or upcoming season to boost your sales.

Jewelry Boxes

You don't need to make handmade jewelry boxes completely from scratch. Find unfinished jewelry boxes at larger craft stores and online. All you need is the imagination and crafter know-how to turn them from unfinished to pieces of art. These are useful items people need, and they require common craft supplies, such as:

  • Craft paint
  • Mod Podge for decoupage
  • Sandpaper
  • Paint brush
  • Craft knife or scissors
  • Embellishments
    Jewelry Box

Wire and Bead Watches

Handmade jewelry is a big seller at craft fairs regardless of the season. You can make a nice profit from wire and bead watches. Watches are not much different from making a bracelet, and supplies are easy to find in most craft stores. To make a beaded watch, you need these supplies in colors and designs of your choice.

  • A watch face
  • Assorted beads
  • 20 gauge wire
  • A clasp
  • Wire cutters
  • Round nose pliers
    Wire and Bead Watch

Angel Ornaments

Handmade ornaments are always a big seller. Consider these angel ornaments for your next holiday craft fair. Supplies needed for this craft are things you may already have around your house.

  • A pair of old jeans
  • Burlap
  • Jute twine
  • Craft wire
  • Wood peg clothespin
  • Glue
  • Scissors and a ruler
    Denim and Burlap Angel Ornaments

Handcrafted Soap

Handcrafted natural soap can be a real money maker for those looking to get away from chemicals in mass-produced soaps. Some soaps are as easy as melting a base and adding flowers or oils while some can take weeks to finish. Depending on your time frame and the effort you want to put into it, soap making can become a business. Regardless of the method, you will need a few basic supplies:

  • A soap mold
  • Gloves
  • Kitchen scale
  • Glass, heatproof bowls
  • A spoon or wooden stir sticks
  • Additions such as dried flowers or herbs, fragrance oils and colorants
    Handcrafted Soap

Ribbon Yarn Necklace

Crocheted jewelry is a newer take on jewelry making. These necklaces use the basic chain stitch and are a quick craft to make. The necklaces can be easily customized to client's liking. Supplies you will need to make crocheted necklaces include:

Candy Wrapper Purses

Candy wrapper purses have been a fashion craze over the past few years. What could be better than to eat a bag of chocolates and end up with a purse? These are easy crafts kids can help make, and people enjoy how cute and colorful they are. You will need some basic crafting supplies besides the candy wrappers.

  • Scissors
  • Ruler
  • Pen
  • Old magazines and cardboard to reinforce the wrappers
  • A popsicle stick
  • Baby yarn or thread
  • Tweezers

Fimo Beads

Polymer clay is easy to work with and creating unique or custom beads can be a profitable craft when selling to other crafters who may not want to take the time to make their own beads. Polymer clay is also known as Fimo, and it produces brightly colored beads. You don't need any special pieces of firing equipment to make Fimo beads. All you need to make unique beads is:

  • Fimo or polymer clay
  • Your kitchen oven
  • A pasta machine or rolling pin
  • A knitting needle
  • A bead mold
  • A bead baking rack
  • Varnish
    Fimo Beads

Jigsaw Puzzles

You can easily make jigsaw puzzles from paper or a photo mounted on heavy paper or foam board. Since so many people enjoy doing puzzles, these are a great idea for craft fairs or as a home-based business since not everyone wants to spend the time or invest the money into a jigsaw puzzle cutter. Unique wooden jigsaw puzzles are highly sought after crafts for children and adults alike at craft events. You can easily make wooden puzzles with a scroll saw. If you are more high tech, you can make your photos jigsaw puzzles with a printable puzzle template. Whether you choose paper or wood to make your jigsaw puzzles, you will need:

  • A puzzle pattern or photo
  • A puzzle cutter or scroll saw
  • Adhesive for paper
  • Sandpaper for wood
  • A puzzle sealant or varnish
    Jigsaw Puzzle

Hemp Jewelry

Hemp jewelry is fashionable and fun for all ages. It is also an easy, inexpensive craft depending on the beads you choose. It is a durable and casual fashion statement. If you can tie a knot, you can make hemp jewelry. All you need to get started is:

  • Hemp twine
  • Assorted beads
    Hemp bracelet

Crochet Dishcloths

If you know a couple of basic crochet stitches, crochet dishcloths are quick and easy. They're functional and pretty items to sell at craft fairs. Many people make them with cotton yarn, but acrylic works just as well and will not shrink or fade like cotton. You can make them as big or as small as you want, and the dishcloths can double as hot pads if your yarn is thick enough. All you need to get started making a stack of crochet dishcloths is:

  • A skein of cotton or acrylic yarn
  • A crochet hook
  • Scissors
    Crochet Dishcloth

Scrapbook Pages

Some people love preserving memories in scrapbooks and albums but don't enjoy spending the time creating beautiful page layouts. Who has the time these days? Fill that crafting void by making page layouts people can attach photos to easily. This could be a highly profitable craft business with clients who either do not have the time or ability to make scrapbooks. All you need to get started is:

  • A variety of colors and prints of scrapbook paper
  • Embellishments, such as stickers and buttons
  • Small papers with witty sayings or quotes
  • Scissors or a paper cutter
  • Adhesive
  • Photo corner adhesive pockets
    Scrapbook Page

Knitted Hats

Knitted hats are a year round fashion essential among the younger generation. This makes them a big seller at craft fairs. Loom knitted hats are a quick variation to knitting using needles. School and team colors are easy money for fall and winter sports. This is an inexpensive craft that can pay for your tools with the first hat you sell. To begin your hat making, you will need:

  • A large round loom
  • A loom hook that should come with the loom
  • A skein of yarn
  • Scissors
  • A yarn needle
    Knitted Hat

Crochet Mittens

Mittens are another craft that can be a big seller during cold weather. You can customize them school or team colors and make them in all sizes. You will need to know a few basic crochet stitches before you begin. This is another fairly inexpensive craft, depending on the type of yarn you choose (cotton, acrylic, wool). To make crochet mittens, you will need:

  • A skein of yarn
  • A crochet hook
  • Scissors
    Mittens

No-Sew Fleece Blankets

No-sew fleece blankets, especially those made in child or baby sizes, are a quick craft popular at many craft events. You can make a better profit if you purchase fleece on sale. You don't need any crafting knowledge aside from being able to measure and cut straight lines and tie knots to make these blankets. Get your kids involved, as well. To make one blanket, you will need:

  • Two yards of fleece
  • Two yards of a complementary fleece
  • Pins
  • Sharp scissors
  • Ruler
    No-Sew Fleece Blanket

Handmade Cards

If you are an artist, consider making your own handmade Christmas cards or any occasion cards. Add a message on the inside or leave them blank. You do not need to be an artist, however. If you have rubber stamps, grab your ink pads and get to work. Sending and giving handmade cards lets people know you are thinking of them, regardless of the occasion. This can be a very profitable craft around Christmas. All you need to begin making cards is:

  • Cardstock
  • Scissors
  • Glue or glue dots
  • Markers, pens, pencils
  • Photos
  • Paper punches and assorted embellishments
    Handmade Card

Wreaths

Seasonal wreaths are a common sight at craft fairs. That is because most people have a wreath on their door at some point through the year. There are many kinds of wreaths you can make ranging from simple and easy wreaths with flowers to elaborate mesh wreaths. Items you need to get started are:

  • A wreath form - grapevine, wire, foam, straw
  • Flowers
  • Ribbon
  • Hot glue and glue gun
  • Floral tape and wire
  • Scissors
    Spring wreath

Wine Bottle Decorations

You can use empty wine bottles for more than flower vases. If you have to them, consider turning them into table decorations. Bottles containing LED lights are a big hit at craft fairs. They can be seasonal or everyday, and elaborate or simple. These are simple crafts that will command a decent price at fairs. To make your wine bottle decorations, you will need the following:

  • Empty wine bottles
  • Drill with a 1/2 inch diamond bit
  • Masking tape
  • Spray bottle with water
  • Ruler
  • Decoupage medium
  • Sponge brush
  • Epsom salts
  • Hairspray
  • A 35-count string of lights
  • Ribbon and floral picks
    Wine bottles

Christmas Yard Decorations

In any given community, you can find at least a few Christmas yard decorations. Whether they are fancy and lighted or simple painted signs, they are a part of seasonal decorating. Many people seek unique yard decorations at craft fairs. You can make them as fancy as you want. To get started, you will need:

  • PVC pipe
  • PVC pipe saw or jigsaw
  • Garden stakes
  • Duct tape
  • Paint
  • Measuring tape
  • Marker
  • Unpainted wood letters
    Christmas Yard Decoration

Christmas Bouquets

Christmas bouquets are a sought after craft as well, especially those that mix food and fresh florals. A candy cane Christmas bouquet is colorful, as well as tasty and easy to make. You will need a few basic supplies to assemble the bouquet.

  • A decorative container, such as a basket
  • Florist foam cut to fit container
  • Hot glue gun with glue sticks
  • Florist wire and tape
  • Candy canes
  • Flowers and greenery
  • Ribbons
  • Pine cones
  • Small ornaments
    Candy Cane Christmas bouquet

Handmade Candles

Handmade candles are time-consuming and can be costly depending on what wax you use, but they are highly profitable at craft fairs. The more unique they are, the more you can charge. If you intend to make it a business, offer a discount on their next purchase if they return the container. Regardless of the type of candle, in a jar or molded, there are a few basic supplies you will need before getting started.

  • Candle molds or jars
  • Mold release spray
  • Candle wax
  • Candle wicks
  • Double boiler
  • Fragrance or essential oils
  • Spoon for stirring and dipping wax
  • Popsicle stick, skewer or pencil to hold the wick
  • Candle dye
    Handmade candles

Ways to Sell Your Crafts

Once you've decided what craft ideas to sell, it's time to find a market for your work.

Craft Shows

Many communities host craft shows throughout the year. These events provide a great way for customers in search of homemade items to see your merchandise. However, many craft shows charge an admission fee, and competition can be quite fierce for certain types of items.

If you're interested in selling your work at craft shows, attend several events in your area to get a feel for what products are the most popular. You may also wish to see if you can find a few show participants to interview about their experiences.

Online Sales

If you are technologically savvy, selling your crafts online provides a flexible income opportunity. You can either build your own website or sell though eBay. Etsy is another great alternative for online sales. Although not as popular as eBay, it is easy to use and devoted exclusively to handmade and vintage items.

Partnership Arrangements

If you have gift shop in your area, consider asking the owner to allow you to sell your crafts. While you'll have to pay him or her a percentage of profits, this tactic ensures a steady supply of customers and a year-round market for your work.

Crafts and Copyright Laws

Before you begin selling your crafts, it's important to understand copyright law. After all, you don't want anyone to steal your designs, nor do you want to break a law yourself inadvertently. Start by using common sense, like making sure you double-check any patterns or material packaging to be sure you can sell it for a profit. Additionally, check licensing information if you plan to use another company's branded goods, images, or trademarks within your designs.

Whether you need to find out about copyright laws and card making or whether you can sell your batik wall hanging, the copyright information you need is likely to fall under the realm of visual arts. Discover everything you need to know from Circular 40 from the U.S. Copyright Office on Copyright Registration for Works of the Visual Arts. This six page PDF covers the basics, but you can also read the entire U.S. Copyright Law online if you have further questions.

Crafting Profits From Your Hobby

A small craft business may not take off right away. That's why it's important to make the crafts you love. With a little time and effort, you can craft your hobby into a nice side business.

DIY Crafts to Sell