Looking for a creative side job? This list of 25 easy things to make and sell online can help you make money on the side or even start your own business! Find the perfect product to make and sell for profit!
Do you love crafts?
And I especially love when you can make extra money while being creative! If making things from scratch brings you happiness and DIY is your passion, you can start your own business on the side today!
Every now and then, you see news stories about someone who has left their high-stress, long-hour job to pursue a home business that achieves more success than they ever imagined. And you dream of being that person, of being able to set your own hours and spend your days producing something that resonates with you while still being able to afford to live your best life.
Yes, you really can do this, but to do so, you need to have a game plan.
And I am here to help. Let’s get started!
Table of contents
What Can I Make That I Can Sell To Make Money Fast?
This is the real question, right? When you start putting together plans to sell things, you want – and often need – to see a return on your efforts quickly. Unless you have a stockpile of already-made items, you’ll want to concentrate on things you can make fast and sell.
Don’t worry. There are many popular things to make and sell that are easy to create and require very little upfront investment.
Things like bath bombs, candles, gift baskets, sweets, digital printables, and even photos you already have are just some of my favorite things to start with.
What Handmade Items Sell Best Online?
Luckily, there is no shortage of handmade items with a vibrant market of potential buyers online, which fit the bill for attractive, fast, able to be made in bulk, and inexpensive to start.
Below are the absolute best things you can make and sell right now.
Top Easy Things To Make And Sell For Money
1. Bath Bombs
When it comes to homemade things to sell, bath bombs are a great place to start.
Once you have the molds, it’s super easy to turn out dozens of bath bombs per day even as a beginner. Plus, they cost pennies to make and can sell for $2-$10 or more! With a few cheap ingredients, you can make a base to which you can add essential oils, botanicals, cosmetic glitter, and beyond. Be unique; bath bombs come in an endless array of scents, shapes, and styles.
Don’t believe bath bombs can be an attractive business prospect? Just look at sisters Isabel and Caroline Bercaw. They started selling homemade bath bombs at local craft fairs before they’d even reached high school. Today, their company Da Bomb Bath Fizzers earns over $20 million per year, and the sisters have found their way onto Forbes’ prestigious 30 under 30 list.
Ready to get started? Check out this in-depth guide to How to Start a Bath Bomb Business from Home.
We all need to get clean, but when we choose a decadent, homemade, and outright gorgeous way to do it, bath time is just so much more fun. Unsurprisingly, handmade soap has become “a hugely popular artisanal endeavor,” and one of the most popular things to sell from home.
The best part about making and selling soap is that you can do it “even if you’re a kid at home cuddling a cat.” These were the words of 8-year-old Ava Heath-Williams, who learned how to make soap by watching YouTube videos, and turned the knowledge into an online business called Dancing Owl Soaps selling thousands of homemade soap products each month.
3. Natural Cosmetics
We all want to look our best, but the amount of chemicals and additives in many cosmetics is a little scary. No wonder there is currently a clean beauty movement taking place all around the world that moves away from mass-produced, chemical-filled products, towards the homemade, organic, and eco-friendly.
In other words, now is the perfect time to create some of your own natural cosmetics and get in on the movement!
This idea does take a little more time and effort, but this effort can add up to a very profitable home business.
Tata Harper, the woman known as the “Queen of the Green Skincare Movement.,” developed a line of natural skin products after her stepfather was diagnosed with cancer and doctors told him to reduce the amount of chemicals he was exposing his body to. Today, Tata Harper Skin Care generates annual revenues of over $25 million and counts celebrities like Gwyneth Paltrow, Kate Hudson, and Hillary Duff as fans.
Dip a toe in and learn How To Make Lip Balm and Turn It Into a Business
Honestly, is there anything better than relaxing while smelling a sweetly-scented candle?
No doubt, candles have become an important part of home décor. In fact, more than 1 billion pounds of wax are used in producing the candles sold each year in the US alone! They’re everywhere in our lives, and one of the most simple products to sell, so why not use some of that available market to turn a profit for yourself?
Personally, I love the story of Hannah Chapman, who quit her job in the corporate world – “because I just wasn’t enjoying it” (many of us have been there) – to launch Ava May Aromas. What started as Hannah making candles in the kitchen of her parent’s home has, in less than two years, become a company with 25 full-time employees set to make over $10 million in 2022.
A jewelry purchase is a distinctly personal decision; buyers want a unique piece for a unique person. What this means is that original jewelry is easily one of the best things to sell online. Even in a market that may at times seem saturated, there is always room for new sellers that can create something unique and personal.
And right now, it has never been easier to get unique in your craft. Due to the popularity of the industry, gemstone crafter supply sources offer a wide variety of affordable gems, beads, crystals, wires, and settings, even the tools to put it all together, making it easy to produce professional-looking results at home.
Take the next step with this guide on How To Start A Jewellery Making Business
6. Personalized Gifts
These days the personalized gift industry is up and blooming.
Personalized gifts can mean anything from a date stamp on an item of jewelry, to monogrammed stationery, to socks with your face on them! Most people like to make their spaces unique with little personalized touches and are willing to pay for it, so when thinking about items to make and sell, definitely take personalized gifts into consideration.
Looking for ideas? Check out The New York Times’ 20 Best Personalized Gifts for 2022.
These days, it is honestly so easy to make and sell fantastic, personalized t-shirts for any occasion, style, idea, or business. And by using print-on-demand services like Printify, you can create and sell your custom shirts without the merchandise ever touching your hands – the customer orders, and the service prints and ships it for you!
Plus, who doesn’t like the idea of being a fashion icon? Just look at Lindsey Ferris. She lost the event production business she ran for over a decade when COVID hit. Locked down at home, she decided to start a print-on-demand store called FerrisBuilt. Only a few months after she did, Meghan Markle was spotted wearing one of her shirts.
Get started today: How to Start an Online T-Shirt Business
They’re everywhere! Teenagers love to put pins on their clothes and backpacks, and adults need pins to commemorate events. Magnets are a quick way to add a quick bit of kitsch to a kitchen, as well as to hold reminders of important events.
My favorite part about selling magnets and pins though? The profit margins! They cost almost nothing to make, can easily be created in bulk, and can be sold for $5, $10, or even more, making them one of the best cheap things to make and sell!
Why not design a few stellar examples and start selling your unique take!
9. Tote Bags
Not only are custom tote bags easy to make, with a plethora of blank bags available for reasonable prices, just waiting for your design to be stamped on, but considering even one can save hundreds of plastic bags from entering our environment, you’ll be selling a product that your customers can feel good about using.
19-year-old Maisie Crompton borrowed $30 from her grandmother at the start of COVID lockdowns to launch a tote bag business called TOTESFORYOUU. Using TikTok and YouTube to spread awareness of her brand, Maisie has already grown TOTESFORYOUU into a business earning $15,000 a day!
10. Sewn Items
If sewing is your thing, selling your projects online can be the perfect way to mix creativity with revenue. Think not only clothing, but curtains, tablecloths, aprons, dolls, and more. Right now, the most popular sewn accessory might be baby bows and ribbons (yes, it’s as cute as you’d think it would be).
Some sewn items can take a long time to complete, but bring a hefty price tag to the creator, while others are more simple, but can still be lucrative. Whatever your style, now is the time to turn that hobby into cash.
People love pillows and cushions. No wonder, swapping out pillows is a great, low-cost way to give a room a makeover. In fact, seasonal pillows are a thing, and there are lots of people who swap out their throw pillows to match the time of year.
So, when thinking about what to sell online, take a look into this one. Not only is it super simple to sew a pillow, but there’s also an endless variety of fabrics and patterns to choose from, making it easy to develop your own specialty throw pillows in no time.
For inspiration, take a look at Architectural Digest’s 29 Best Throw Pillows
Handmade coasters are a great place to start your DIY business. We’re talking wood, stone, ceramic, and even leather coasters for all styles and occasions. There’s even a niche market for personalized coasters for weddings and baby showers that double as a gift to attendees.
While creating these might be slightly more labor intensive than some of the other things on this list, customers will expect to pay more for unique products they can’t get anywhere else.
13. Picture Frames
These days, the frame is as important as the picture. No, seriously – people often spend more on framing than they do on the art.
Craft exceptional frames, and you’ll have clients knocking down your doors for the perfect accent to their much-loved artwork and portraits.
Pro tip: Master the art of picture framing, and offer customers both the frame and the framing. This will increase your earnings even more!
In 2021, the BBC reported that the slow, mindful craft of pottery is booming worldwide. No wonder. At a time when many of us have a desire to slow down, ceramics take the same time to make as they did 2,000 years ago.
No, this one isn’t so quick, but ceramics can be one of the most fulfilling products you can make at home and sell. And for customers, the appeal of quality ceramics is undeniable.
Plus, you can charge a premium for them.
Bonus tip: When starting out, check out local college and community programs which often share studio space and let you use the kiln and tools.
15. Holiday Decorations
The average American spends $269 on decorations every year during the Christmas season alone.
Everybody wants to make the holidays special. And what better way than with handmade or personalized decorations. Think ornaments, centerpieces, wrapping paper, wreaths, garlands, and more! And don’t forget other holidays – Thanksgiving, Halloween, the 4th of July; the opportunities are pretty much limitless!
This is one option where you can really get inventive and creative! Chocolates, cakes, cookies, and candies are always in demand, and many people today prefer eating homemade over mass-produced.
Consider catering to special needs like gluten-free or vegan, and think about niche markets like holidays and weddings to amp up your client base.
In fact, the latest niche craze is low-sugar sweets. Take a look at the story of recovering sugar addict Tara Bosch. After quitting sugar in 2015, and realizing how much better it made her feel, Tara dropped out of university and launched her own no-sugar dessert company, SmartSweets. By 2019, the company had become a leader in the low-sugar sweets market, with yearly revenues exceeding $40 million. Talk about a sweet deal!
Learn more with the ‘Ultimate Guide’ on How To Start An Online Food Business
Note: Regulations surrounding edible goods vary from country to country, and state to state. Make sure to check your local regulations and required permits.
17. Homemade Pet Treats
We love our furry best friends, and sometimes, commercial pet treats can be a little scary. You can help owners ensure their beloved pets stay in great health with natural, homemade, good-for-them treats, and you’ll have a client base as loyal as the pet.
In 2021, Americans spent $44.1 billion on pet food and treats.
Need inspiration? Check out the story of Michelle Bateman. At 61, her contract as a software trainer wasn’t renewed. Struggling to find work, she decided to follow her passion and start selling the healthy, homemade treats that her own three dogs loved so much. Today, well, she isn’t looking for work. Instead, she has a successful business selling WOOFS treats online.
Think this might be for you? Check out this amazing course on How to Start and Grow a Thriving Dog Treat Bakery.
18. Pet Accessories
Remember how I said Americans spent $44.1 billion in 2021 on pet food and treats? In addition to that, they spent almost $70 billion on everything else for their pets – toys, supplies, fashion, care, and other services.
People are always looking for unique ways to treat their furry friends, and they spend big money doing it. This is where you come in. You can make clothes and collars, portraits and personalized items, toys and travel bags, and so much more.
How wild can you get with pet accessories? Take a look at Buzzfeed’s amazing list of 40 Pet Products That Must Have Been Designed By Geniuses.
19. Gift Baskets
Let’s face it, gift baskets will never die. That doesn’t mean that we have to make do with the standard sausage and cheese offerings though. Today, custom gift baskets can contain pretty much anything – there are even gift baskets for pets! – so don’t skip this option when thinking about things you can sell online.
Pro tip: Target businesses. They use gift baskets as a way to grow relationships with clients, and are willing to spend big money doing so!
20. Curated Gifts or Subscription Boxes
What started as a service for clothing and cheap razors has exploded into everything from snacks and drinks, cosmetics and self-care, toys and puzzles, and beyond. These days there’s a subscription service for just about everything.
You might sell items that customers use regularly – think candles, sweets, pet treats, or cosmetics. Customers will subscribe to receive a certain amount of your products each month.
Or, you can sell curated boxes of related products – think about a snack box, a self-care kit, or a fashion package. Customers subscribe to get a new curation of their favorite things each month.
Check out Business Insider’s 51 Best Subscription Gifts in 2022.
21. Digital Printables
Digital printables are products customers purchase, then download and print themselves. This can include resume templates, chore charts, stationary, and even photo albums or coloring books. Note that planners are especially popular right now.
The best part about selling digital printables is you only have to make a product once, then you can sell it forever, and in any quantity! This means digital printables can become an excellent source of passive income. Plus, no inventory to keep, and no shipping costs!
Need more ideas? Take a peek at The Most Profitable Digital Products to Sell.
22. Art And Prints
It has never been easier for artists to get their work in front of potential customers through the wonders of technology. Nearly a quarter of art buyers today – and nearly half of art buying Millennials – find new works of art via social media.
But it’s more than that. Today, more artists than ever are taking their craft digital, selling printable wall art and small-scale prints, logos for websites and social media, graphics, and labels for businesses, and more.
I love the story of Joana Galvão. At 22, fresh out of college and straight into the corporate world, she, like many of us, dreamed of a more flexible, exciting lifestyle. So, she decided to start her own graphic design business, hoping to cover her salary with something where she could be her own boss. Within the first ten months, she’d made $100,000!
Get started with the ‘Ultimate Guide’ on How To Sell Art Online.
As a freelance photographer, it is so simple to sell prints of your photos online. Yet, maybe the best way to make money selling photos is through stock photo sites like Shutterstock or iStock.
Businesses, bloggers, newspapers, educational institutions, website designers, and so on, all need images for their work and their brand. So what do they do? They buy stock photos online!
As the photographer, you will earn a commission every time a customer downloads one of your photos from a database. Though this commission is often less than $1, get enough downloads and it can really add up. In fact, Shutterstock alone has paid out more than $1 billion to its photographers worldwide!
Check out my guide to the Best Websites for Selling Stock Photos.
If you enjoy creating music, you can record your songs and list them on streaming platforms such as Airbit, BeatStars, or SoundCloud. People can purchase your music, and every time they do, you’ll make money!
In fact, you don’t even have to sell entire songs. Many musicians are now selling their raw beats in digital marketplaces to great success.
Check out the mind-blowing story of Robin Wesley. In 2017, he had one of his beats purchased by a little-known Vietnamese songwriter for about $100. A few months later, the finished song, with Wesley’s beat as its foundation, would rocket to #1 on the Vietnamese music charts, getting over 200 million YouTube views. And, Wesley was able to negotiate publishing royalties for the song.
The e-learning industry is expected to be worth $325 billion by 2025.
E-learning courses could teach cooking, sewing, technology, music, personal development, photography, marketing, or just about anything else you can think of. The more in-depth your course is, the more you will be able to charge.
What’s especially nice about selling online courses, for those of us without a lot of extra income laying around, is that the only upfront investment is your time.
Need inspiration? Joseph Michael taught himself how to use the writing software Scrivener while living paycheck-to-paycheck. Having gained this knowledge, and desperate for an extra $400 or $500 per month, he created a course to teach others how to use the software. It made $25,000 in an afternoon.
If starting a course is something that inspires you, Teachable offers free live training to help you launch your online course in no time. You can claim your free spot by clicking here.
How To Start Your Own Craft Shop In 5 Simple Steps (With No Cash)
1. Pick Your Product
After reviewing the items above, do you have an idea of what you want to try your hand at? I know, it’s shocking how many things to make and sell from home there actually are!
No matter what you pick, the secret is three little words – find your niche. Think about how to refine your craft idea to target specific corners of the market – vegan, organic, ethically sourced; these are all niche markets.
Pro tip: For product and niche ideas, check out Pinterest. 89% of Pinterest users look for purchase inspiration on the platform.
2. Choose A Name
Yes, you have to have a name to start your own handicraft business. While it’s not unheard of for names to change, consider your name carefully to avoid problems down the line.
Your name should be the foundation of your business.
Make sure you pick something unique that hasn’t been used before (especially by a big brand).
And try to use a name that conveys a meaning. What is the story you are trying to tell?
Also, pick a name that is easy to spell and remember. Keep it simple!
3. Register Your Shop With Shopify For Free
When you’re just starting out, every dollar counts. That’s why I love Shopify! You can set up your seller account without paying a single dollar, and the layout is exceptionally easy in terms of uploading your photos and product details.
You can register for free today to hold your shop’s name while you get everything ready.
4. Decide What Type Of Business You Want To Run
This is important because while you’re making money, you’re also responsible for paying taxes on your newfound revenue. To know what taxes you need to pay, you have to decide what type of business you’re going to run. Will you be an LLC, a sole proprietor, or something else? Have a look at your local tax laws for each type of business before deciding.
5. Start Selling!
Ready, set, go! Once you have it all together, upload your wares, market them, and you’re in business! Just like that, you’re running your own company, selling things from your own home. If you play it smart and reach the right market with your product, you’ll be well on your way to achieving the dream we all have of quitting our day job and spending our lives in work we find fulfilling.
And if you need more help, check out my complete guide to starting an online store.
Other Places To Sell Your Crafts Online
Shopify is outstanding, but you can branch out to other shopping platforms. It’s not a bad idea to broaden your potential customer base and place your homemade goods for sale through several different sites.
Here are a few of the best options out there.
- Etsy: The familiar standby of all things handcrafted and homemade, Etsy has a huge buyer/seller market. You can check out my guide to starting an Etsy shop here.
- Handmade at Amazon: Dip into the Amazon Marketplace with this side avenue of crafters and sellers.
- Handmade Artists: Another online marketplace for handcrafted items.
- Handmadeology Market: Everything and anything has a place in this venue, so long as it’s crafted by hand.
- Hyena Cart: This venue has a focus on eco-friendly products.
- iCraft Gifts: This one might be better suited to personalized crafts, such as t-shirts, frames, coasters, and more.
- Zibbet: Relatively new, Zibbet is becoming the place to find unique art, prints, and design work.
Pros And Cons Of Starting And Growing Your Crafts Business
Yes, there are some definite pros to running your own craft business, but there are some cons as well. Let’s look over a few of each before you get started:
- You’ll make money from your hobby.
- You’ll be getting paid to be creative.
- You can set your own hours.
- You have total control over what you sell.
- There are almost endless opportunities to sell your crafts around the world in online marketplaces.
- It can be more time-consuming than you think.
- You might not be able to generate enough revenue with your product to cover expenses such as packaging, labels, and shipping.
- You really need to know your tax laws, including whether or not you should gather sales tax from your customers.
- The business end of selling can be quite tedious.
- You’re the only one to deal with an unhappy customer.
Nowadays, there are online tutorials that can teach you how to make pretty much anything, and starting an online store to sell what you make has never been simpler.
I especially like candles, soap, and bath bombs as something easiest to get started for a beginner, considering the plethora of DIY tutorials available online for each.
There are two ways to think about this.
On one hand, there are many crafts that cost almost nothing to make that sell for 400% to 500% profit – things like bath bombs, soap, candles, as well as magnets, and pins, all have fantastic profit margins.
On the other hand, some say that to be truly profitable you must be able to make money in your sleep. Things like digital printables, online courses, music, and photography can act as this source of passive income.
To find out what handmade items are hot right now, check out Etsy’s Best Selling Items, Pinterest Trends, and Amazon’s Best Selling Handmade Products.
Plus, don’t be afraid to spy on your competition.
Look at their customer reviews. What products are they getting the most, and the most positive, feedback for?
Check their sponsored ads. If companies are spending money advertising a product, they’re liking making money off it.
Sneak a peek at their social media. Find out what they’re promoting, and look into the conversation between buyers and sellers.
First, make sure to take into account how much each item you produce is actually costing you – not only the materials needed to make the product but the fees, taxes, and shipping costs you will incur on its sale. Make sure that the price you are selling your product for represents a healthy profit over your costs.
Here is a secret though: the lowest price is not always the most appealing to customers. This is particularly true in the handmade game, where customers are specifically looking for high-quality, one-of-a-kind products, and are willing to pay for them.
I hope that this has helped you realize what product to sell, and maybe consider a few that you hadn’t thought of yet.
Remember, you’re not limited to just one. Often successful crafters market several products across various platforms to achieve highest profit margins. Plus, several of these items are complimentary, such as bath bombs and soap, pins and bags, or photographs and frames. Make and sell them together, and you might just get a few extra sales from clients who decide to one-stop-shop.
The only thing left to do is get started!
And if you have any other ideas for easy products to make and sell, let me know in the comments!
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- 30 Best Things To Sell To Make Money Right Now
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- 20 Best Selling Apps To Sell Stuff Online And Locally
- How To Sell on Etsy And Actually Make Money
- 36 Creative Ways To Make $100 a Day
- How to Make An Extra $1,000 a Month
- 20 Best Ways To Make Money from Home
- 30 Low-Cost Business Ideas To Start On The Side
- How To Start Your Online Store