The gig economy is alive and well, and one of the ways that people are earning those dollar bills with their side hustle is by making and selling crafts.
For the craft-inclined among us, this is a fantastic way to profit from your hobby. Here are creative crafts that make money in Canada, most of which can be made in the comfort of your own home.
How to Sell Crafts Online – Best Platforms
Before we jump right into the ‘what’ of making crafts for profit, let’s review the ‘how’ of selling crafts.
While farmers’ markets and craft fairs are viable options for selling, during these times of lockdowns and social distancing, online sales have exploded in popularity, including with the craft market. Here are six ways to sell crafts from the convenience of your computer.
It’s safe to say that you have heard of Amazon. And even likely ordered from Amazon. Possibly even more than once. By signing up as a professional seller on Amazon, you’ll reach hundreds of millions of customers and benefit from their substantial brand recognition.
Etsy is a creative marketplace with the mission to “reimagine commerce ways that build a more fulfilling and lasting world.” Billions of dollars are spent on crafts on the platform every year. The Etsy brand is synonymous with arts and crafts.
Based in Toronto, this platform is a community of artists and crafters focused on buying and selling handmade creations. Resellers and mass-produced products need not apply. The site reports having had 1.3 million unique visitors in the last six months.
Artfire popped up a few years after Etsy as an Etsy alternative. While it doesn’t have the traffic or name recognition that Etsy does, it is still a decent option, although the commission fees tend to be higher than with other competing platforms.
Facebook and Instagram
Using your social media platforms to sell products is a viable option and one that works well for several curators. It does involve building and scaling your own audience through, as opposed to benefiting from an existing and established audience like with the other options.
On the plus side, your audience is your audience, and there are wins that come along with that, most notably the ability to curate your own email list for direct marketing purposes (you know, in case Facebook and Instagram happen to suffer a mysterious six-hour outage one day – seems impossible to fathom, but it just could happen).
Facebook Marketplace is also a great option as you work to build your social media presence.
It’s not only the arts and crafts crowd that can profit from their hobbies. Check out my guide on 15 Hobbies That Make Money: Fun And Income Can Coexist
Wood Crafts That Make Money
Calling all woodworkers! Not only is woodworking a rewarding hobby, but one that can produce some beautiful and in-demand products. Here are seven wood crafts that are currently flying off of virtual craft store shelves.
1. Etched Cutting Boards
With the heightened appreciation for a good charcuterie board, we have seen an increase in beautifully monogrammed cutting boards. The perfect gift for one who loves to entertain.
2. Floating Shelves
Floating shelves are a piece of cake to make, and yet they really help to pull a room together. Consider making them in a variety of sizes, colours, and wood finishes.
3. Wooden Utensil Box
Wooden utensil boxes are fantastic woodcraft to make, and they are super helpful to have on hand as we head into the season of entertaining. These make for an especially lovely hostess gift.
4. Bathtub Caddy
Until you have experienced the comfort of having a spot for a drink, a snack, and a perch to help with reading a book or e-reader, you can’t quite appreciate just how awesome a bathtub caddy is. Definitely, something that is right in line with the self-care movement.
5. Chess Board
Chess boards have never been popular. We have the popular Netflix show Queen’s Gambit to thank for that. eBay alone reported a 215% increase in chessboard sales last year, which resulted in a supply shortage. Get in there and take advantage of that supply shortage!
6. Ladder Quilt Rack
This innovative take on the traditional ladder is made of wood and slanted so as to lean up against a wall. The ladder is then used as a place to hang and display blankets, ideally in close proximity to a cozy couch and a roaring fire.
7. Wine Rack
People love their wine. And all that beloved wine needs to live somewhere. And for those who don’t have a built-in wine rack in their home, there are a ton of cool ways to display your high-end Pinot Noir or Rose in a homemade wine rack.
Fashion Crafts That Make Money
The fast-fashion movement has gotten a lot of unpleasant press recently, which provides big opportunities for fashion crafts as consumers look to support locals and move away from mass production. Here are seven fashion crafts to consider making and selling.
8. Face masks
Thanks to COVID-19, face masks (which have been a staple in Asia for years) have become a standard wardrobe requirement in North America this past couple of years.
There continues to be a strong demand for unique and colourful face masks for those who are looking for something a bit more fashion-forward than the light blue disposable masks that are on regular display in hospitals.
9. Recycled and mixed media jewelry
There is a huge market for upcycled products (upcycling being the process of transforming by-products or waste materials into new products). Upcycled jewelry is especially cool as it is so unique and individualistic.
Examples of creative upcycled jewelry include charm-style bracelets made from pieces of old and broken jewelry, earrings from recycled pop cans, rings that incorporate vintage typewriter keys, and cuff links made from old circuit boards.
Fashionistas love scarves. Whether they are pashmina scarves, silk scarves, chiffon scarves, alpaca scarves, cotton scarves, or wool scarves, scarves are a wardrobe staple for many.
Gone are the days of plain old blue or pink gender-stereotypical onesies. 21st-century onesies are adorable, sometimes hilarious, unique, and have such character.
Or, toques, as we refer to them in the Great North. They can be worn fitted, or they can be worn slouchy. However you choose to wear it, it is a cool and functional accessory and your best friend on a bad hair day.
Just like toques, er…beanies, headbands do a great job of holding the ol’ hair back out of your face. And they can come in a variety of styles, patterns, and colours, providing a fashionable addition to any wardrobe.
14. Handmade Handbags
While your handmade handbags might not fetch quite the same price as a Hermes Kelly Rose Gold ($2 million) or a Lana Marks Cleopatra clutch ($400,000), they can still be a fairly profitable craft to make and sell.
Paper Crafts That Make Money
Yes, it’s true. You can make money selling papercrafts. These crafts are quite a step up from your grade school paper airplanes though. Here we explore seven paper-based crafts that can be sold for profit.
15. Greeting Cards
Step aside, Hallmark, homemade greeting cards are having their heyday. With a plethora of card-giving dates in the calendar (birthdays, Christmas, Valentine’s Day, Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, April Fool’s Day, Tax Freedom Day, National Bubble Bath Day, National Dress Up Your Pet Day) the greeting card possibilities are endless.
16. Paper Flowers
Granted, paper flowers don’t smell quite as nice as real flowers. They also don’t die as real flowers do. And they are truly beautiful, which is why there is a good market for this product.
17. Origami Art
Origami is the Japanese art of paper folding. And some really mind-blowing designs can be made out of origami, including mobiles, ornaments, and even jewelry.
18. Stickers and Labels
Crafters around the world are making money by selling vinyl cut decals, customized stickers, and prep-printed labels.
Decoupage involves gluing paper cutouts onto an object with other types of special decorative elements, like special paint, tissues, and other materials. Sounds simple enough, but the end product can be quite breathtaking, and something that people are willing to pay good money for.
Yes, scrapbooking is considered by many to be a hobby, something they create themselves to preserve their special memories.
But for every hobby scrapbooker, there are ten others who too want to preserve memories, but without having to commit to buying supplies and spending hours in doing so. That is where professional scrapbookers come in.
Similar to greeting cards, there is a big market for homemade stationery. Stationery may include bespoke invitations, notebooks, to-do lists, and calendars.
Textile Crafts That Make Money
Textile crafts continue to get more and more creative, and there is a big market for this creativity. Here are seven textile crafts that are relatively easy to create for the craft-savvy.
22. Reusable Snack Bags
Given the increasingly heightened appreciation for eco-friendly products and practices, reusable snack bags are a fantastic option for anyone who packs to-go meals, for either themselves or their families.
23. Chair Covers
Chair covers are the perfect gift for someone who might feel like their dining room could use some refreshing, or for someone who just wants to change up their dining room colour scheme from time to time.
Much cheaper, and more convenient than replacing your dining rooms, chair covers will still deliver the impact of a new dining room set. Plus, a bonus – they are washing machine-friendly!
Aprons are a simple and cost-effective sewing project. They also happen to keep clothes clean while people bake and cook, so win-win!
25. Table Runner
Table runners provide another easy way to change up the dining room colour scheme.
26. Memory Quilts
A nice quilt just warms the heart. A memory quilt made of old memory-laden clothing? Well, that warms the heart squared. We’re entering tears-inducing gift territory with this one.
27. Passport Holder
It’s been a tough time for travelers, but it looks like people have gotten back to using their passports. And what better way to celebrate this, than by crafting a new, nice, cloth passport holder.
28. No Sew Market Tote Bag
With so many stores now charging for the use of paper and plastic bags, plus of course the environmental considerations, cloth tote bags are in high demand.
Ceramics and Glass Crafts That Make Money
Ceramics and glass crafts are yet another way to flex your craft-making muscle. Here are seven such crafts that are also popular buys with craft-seeking consumers.
29. Ring Dish
Ring dishes are an easy and small craft that can be personalized in a myriad of ways.
30. Ceramic Christmas Ornaments
Christmas ornaments are a popular stocking stuffer, and there is no shortage of material to draw from.
Etsy’s current top-selling ornaments include a Friends-style ornament that says ‘Christmas 2021: The One Where We Were Vaccinated’, paw print ornaments adorned with the name of your four-legged best friend, and a four-piece map of Africa keepsake ornament.
Everyone needs a good mug. Whether the buyer is a coffee aficionado, a fan of tea time, or just in need of something for Santa’s mug of cocoa, a lovely ceramic mug is sure to be a hit.
32. Plant Pots
For plant lovers, unique plant pots are always a win. And a really great way to punch up a room.
33. Mosaic Picture Frames
Mosaic picture frames are a lovely and creative way to display photos, and there is no shortage of designs and patterns to follow.
34. Crushed Glass Coasters
These eye-catching coasters are made by setting crushed glass in a coaster cast. The more multi-coloured the glass, the better.
35. Mason Jar Food Gifts
Mason jars have gained a new level of respect in recent years, what with mason jar salads being all the rage. On that note, mason jar food gifts are also a popular trend and can range from chocolate chip cookie ingredients in a jar to soup ingredients in a jar to candy cane hot cocoa mix in a jar.
Regardless of your natural talent, one of the best and easiest ways to make money at home is to create crafts and sell them online.
Hopefully, some of the items on this list of 35 crafts to sell for profit will inspire you to pick up a pair of scissors, a sewing needle, or a hand saw, and get crafting. And then, if you are looking for ways to spend your extra earnings? Check out my guide on Investing For Beginners In Canada: 20 Things You Must Know.