Want to make money from home? One easy and fun way you can do that is to come up with items to make and sell from home.
This is a great way to add a little extra income (or full-time income in some cases!) by doing something you enjoy with fairly little start-up capital. Ready to learn more? Here are my top recommendations for the most popular things to make and sell from home.
15 Things to Make and Sell From Home
With the rise of artisans and small business owners, handmade items have grown in popularity over the last decade. Depending on your cost of supplies, there is undoubtedly the potential to have a lucrative business selling handmade items.
“Handmade” can refer to a massive variety of items, including crochet or knitted goods, printables, polymer clay products, leather items, body scrubs or handmade soaps, and so much more. You’re truly only limited by your imagination and creativity.
Here are the most popular things you can make and sell from home to earn extra cash (or possibly even a full-time income).
T-shirts have become a very popular product to make and sell online, most likely because you can start with little to no upfront cost.
Learn more about making money by designing T-shirts.
Of course, you can also use a local screen printer to create your t-shirts and sell them on sites like Etsy, eBay, or Amazon, but the start-up costs (and hassles) are considerably higher. And most concerning, you may be stuck holding on to any remaining inventory that doesn’t sell.
This market is one of the easiest to get into and make money from quickly because you don’t need to have strong design skills or even make the products yourself to make a great profit.
Plus, it’s easy to expand into other items such as tote bags, sweatshirts, mugs, and more.
Sewing is quickly becoming a lost art, so if you’re a talented seamstress, taking your wares online could be a lucrative prospect. Customers love handmade clothing and are willing to pay for it if the quality is high.
Children’s clothing is a popular sewn item, along with wedding dresses. But you can pretty much market anything you can create in an online marketplace.
Of course, if sewing isn’t your favorite pastime, you can sell clothing you knit or crochet. People love buying handmade scarves as gifts and fashion items.
3. Videos and Courses
These are great for content creators and small business owners who create their own products. Videos and courses are popular, and you can focus on just about any topic in which you have expertise.
The profit margin on these is usually quite good because you create them once and sell them again and again. Plus, you can create new videos or courses that expand on your original ideas (or make them based on customer feedback and questions).
4. Handmade Candles
People love candles! If you want to start an online craft business, candles are a great product to begin making and selling. All you’ll need to get started is a little know-how plus a few simple supplies like wax, dye, candle wicks, scents, and mason jars.
Then from there, you can expand your skills into adding decorative elements to create beautiful and unique candles your customers can’t find anywhere else.
Since candles make great everyday gifts and are a go-to for the holidays, you could easily have a year-round business just by making beautiful candles.
If this sounds like the business for you, check out this step-by-step guide for starting a candle business.
If you’re a natural-born writer, e-books are a popular product to create and can earn you decent money.
If you think this might be something you’d like to learn more about, check out how to create an ebook in one month with seven simple steps.
Whether you have your own website or sell on stock photo sites like Foap, photography is a profitable business.
You can also sell your photographs at art galleries, and many galleries also have websites for online sales. You can also sell custom portrait sessions for families, graduates, weddings, and more by scheduling online with social media or through your website.
Handmade signs have seen a surge in popularity over the past few years. Just look at popular home decor and design accounts on Instagram, and you’ll see a ton of them.
Whether you paint or use stencils, you can create signs from various materials, although wood is currently all the rage. What’s more, signs are usually quick to make, so you can promptly fulfill orders (or stock inventory), especially if you have a cutting machine like a Cricut.
Tutorials for creating signs are everywhere too. Check out Pinterest and YouTube if you’d like to learn how to make signs of your own.
8. Restored Furniture
This can be a bit tricky as furniture is expensive to ship. But who says you have to ship it?
If you love refurbishing old, neglected furniture pieces, you can still sell them online by running ads on Craigslist or listing them in Facebook groups, then meeting locally for delivery.
This idea may not be the biggest money maker simply because of the time it takes on a single piece of furniture, but there’s something to be said for creating a labor of love.
9. Handmade Soap
I’ve always loved soap. Call me weird, but when I was a little girl, I had a jar of all the different soaps I collected. Some were in the shape of animals, and others were like small flowers. I always loved the smell.
Now as an adult, I’ve seen some amazing homemade soaps created by talented soap makers. I’m talking everything from yummy scents to soap that looks so much like food you might be tempted to eat it!
Plus, there are homemade soaps so gorgeous I’d rather use them as home decor than use them to wash my body.
Soap can be sold online either on your own website or one of the many sites listed in this post. You can also easily sell your handmade soaps at craft fairs and farmer’s markets.
Check out this soap-making article teaching you how to make soap if you want to learn.
If you’re a talented artist, consider selling your artwork online. The possibilities are endless when it comes to art-related things you can make and sell because it can include:
- Digital art
- And more
If you need ideas about where to sell your art online, check out this post on how to sell art online to learn more!
11. Handmade Jewelry
Custom-made jewelry has developed kind of a cult-like following in recent years. When people like a brand, they tend to stay with it and make future purchases from them as well.
People love to have products that are customized for them as it winds up becoming a memorable piece that they cherish and maybe even pass down to family members.
The handmade movement has been great for jewelry artists as customers are shopping at small businesses instead of big box stores.
Whether you enjoy making necklaces, bracelets, rings, or other items, jewelry is one of the best things to make and sell. And the market offers so much potential for you to use the materials you enjoy working with, from beading to stamping leather to silversmithing and more!
12. Digital Printables
Do you love creating planners? Or maybe designing activity packets for kids hardly feels like work at all. If so, this DIY project idea is one of the easiest things to make and sell online.
To sell digital printables, you only need an online shop (like Etsy or Shopify), a computer, and some simple design software to get started. Then have fun creating a wide range of products, from wedding or birthday invitations to birth announcements, planners, cards, and more.
You don’t need to maintain inventory, and you can even use sites like Corjl or Canva to let your customers personalize these items and print them out themselves so that you don’t have to do it or even ship the items.
If you want to know more about designing and selling printables online, check out this free workshop from Julie Berninger and Cody Berman. You’ll get printable ideas, tips for starting on Etsy, and tips for making sales online!
13. Homemade Dog Treats
The world of DIY crafts isn’t limited to sewing, ceramics, or jewelry. Believe it or not, even a (relatively) small niche market, like treats for pets, can make great side money.
People increasingly want to give their pets natural ingredients, but they don’t want to take the time to learn how to make them from scratch. Give the people what they want, I always say!
If this sounds like a fun business idea, check out this free workshop from Kristin Larsen. You’ll learn about popular dog treats, where to sell them, how much to charge, what you need to get started, and more!
14. Bath Bombs and Other DIY Body Products
Anyone who has shopped for these items (online or in-store) will verify just how pricey they can be. However, that’s terrific news for aspiring entrepreneurs for several reasons.
- First, bath bombs are easy things to make. They take a relatively small amount of time and little to no expertise.
- Second, the cost of goods to create bath bombs is low, and you can sell them for much more, making a good profit. You only need silicone molds and a few simple supplies to start.
- Finally, they’re in demand and easy to make multiple designs.
Create a happy customer, and they’ll buy bath bombs from you again and again (as well as other products you sell).
It’s also easy to expand this niche into other DIY body products such as bath salts, sugar scrubs, lip balms, and more.
Do you love decorating cookies for Christmas, graduation, or other holidays and special events? Similar to the homemade dog treats niche, the hand-decorated cookies niche is in high demand on Etsy and offers the potential to make a significant profit.
Now that you know some of the most popular items to make, let’s talk about some other practicals.
Where should I sell my items?
There are so many online marketplaces out there that make it easy to sell crafts and handmade goods.
The top platform for selling handmade items is no doubt Etsy (read more about how one mom is making money from her Etsy shop), but there are many others, such as BigCommerce, Shopify, and Storenvy, to name a few.
Want to take a break from selling handmade items online? Try the farmer’s markets, craft fairs, or holiday shows.
How do I know which items I should sell?
Deciding the right things to make and sell online depends on your goals as well as your situation. Let me explain.
If you’re a one-person show, you’ll want to choose something you know you can handle creating alone on a time frame (if you’re shipping items to customers).
But, on the other hand, if you have a small business or people who work for you, you might be able to up the ante a bit and scale your business a little bigger.
Start small, then scale up as you find what works for you!
Who is this a good career for?
This type of work is ideal for many people because the initial investment is minimal, and you can make your items when time allows.
From stay-at-home moms who want to craft during nap time to budding young entrepreneurs to retirees looking to supplement their income, the only limit to what you can earn is your creativity and drive.
Would you like to start a home-based business, but you’re not sure where to start? This post will walk you through the steps of starting an e-commerce business from home. It also contains a free business plan template, so be sure to check it out.
I hope this list of 15 things to make and sell from home has given you some great inspiration for craft ideas you can create to start a business, make some extra money, or both!
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Originally published on January 28, 2019. Content updated May 2023.