Handmade products are highly in demand. And there are tons of ways to sell these original creations, from online marketplaces to local craft stores. If you’re interested in starting a DIY business, here are some handmade business ideas you can start now.
What is a handmade business?
A handmade business is one that sells products made by hand or designed by an independent artisan. There are tons of handmade goods that fall into this category, from furniture to prints.
Why You Should Consider Starting Your Own Handmade Business
If you’re interested in starting a business in 2023, here’s why you should consider selling handmade products:
- Creative expression: Many handmade shop owners turn their hobbies into a business. So you can enjoy expressing your creativity while turning a profit.
- Low upfront costs: Handmade shops are among the best businesses to start with no money. You may just need a few basic ingredients or supplies and a website or account on marketplace sites like Etsy.
- Ability to scale: You can easily start a handmade business with just a few items, but then grow over time.
- Easily reach customers: Marketplace sites like Etsy help you easily connect with interested buyers. Then you can build an audience of recurring customers over time.
- Location flexibility: There are tons of things to make and sell from home. Sellers can even travel and enjoy time freedom while running this type of business.
Top Handmade Business Ideas
If you’re interested in selling your original creations online or at a local craft store, a handmade business model may be right for you. Here are some business ideas to consider.
1. Jewelry Making Business
Jewelry makers can offer a huge range of products, from beaded jewelry to those made with precious metals. You can start small and then grow your own jewelry line over time.
2. Fashion Designer
Start your own line of hand-sewn clothing, like dresses, tops, or entire outfits.
3. T-Shirt Designer
You could also specialize in customized t-shirts. There are many printing services you can use to print your own designs on demand or in bulk.
4. Woodworking Business
Those skilled with woodworking tools can sell a huge array of products, from furniture to birdhouses.
5. Toy Maker
Offer handmade toys like plush animals, wood puzzles, or knit dolls.
6. Knit Goods Seller
If you’re a skilled knitter, there’s a nearly endless selection of products you can sell, including hats, scarves, blankets, and socks.
7. Print Seller
If you create any sort of original art, sell prints of your work at a low price point. You can even offer digital files that customers can print on their own.
However, many artists also choose to sell original versions of their work. These are generally priced higher, but can only be sold one time.
9. Custom Illustrator
Artists may also offer custom portraits or drawings that each buyer can select or change. For example, you could draw people’s pets or create cartoon versions of families.
Calligraphers can sell signs or prints of their letters. Many also this skill as a service for things like wedding invitations.
11. Handbag Maker
Create your own line of purses and bags out of fabric, leather, or other materials.
12. Leather Goods Business
If you’re skilled at working with leather, there are a variety of products you can sell, including wallets, watch bands, and bags.
13. Scented Candle Maker
Candles are popular gifts, and can come in a huge array of scents and designs.
14. Stationery Business
Design your own greeting cards and paper products to sell. You can offer originals or create prints of your work.
15. Ornament Maker
Create your own custom holiday ornaments to offer around the Christmas season. Personalized options where customers can add a name or date tend to be especially popular.
16. Bead Maker
Make your own beads using hand-blown glass, clay, or even felt. Then sell them in bulk to other crafters.
Create your own quilts or offer customizable products. You’ll need a sewing machine and lots of fabric, but these products can command high prices.
18. Basket Weaver
Weave baskets using natural materials like reeds, bamboo, and seagrass.
19. Gift Basket Service
You can also arrange various handmade products, foods, and gift items into gift baskets.
20. Screen Printing Business
Use screen printing supplies to add your own custom designs to various products, like hats, bags, and mugs.
21. Scrapbooking Business
Use scrapbooking materials to create custom pages for customers, or offer supplies they can use to make their own designs.
22. Pet Accessories Business
Pet owners are always looking for unique products for their furry friends. Offer handmade toys, outfits, or pet collars.
23. Digital Product Designer
There are a variety of digital products you can sell online, like planners, signs, or spreadsheets.
24. Sculpture Artist
Create 3D artwork out of various materials and sell it online or through local galleries.
25. Ceramics Business
If you enjoy working with clay, create unique products like bowls and mugs to sell to customers.
26. Candy Maker
There are many different candy products you can make by hand and then sell online or through local bakeries or gift shops.
You could also offer baked goods like cookies and pastries. They will need to be packaged fully if you plan to offer them online.
28. Landscape Photographer
Take photos of beautiful landscapes and then sell prints of your work online.
29. Graphic Designer
Use graphic design software to create digital artwork that you can sell as prints. You could also offer custom designs by working with clients one-on-one.
30. Weaving Business
Use yarn and other fibers to create woven artwork or wall hangings for customers to display in their homes.
31. Hair Accessories Shop
Make handmade hair accessories like bows and headbands. These small items can easily be packaged and shipped.
32. Dried Flower Artist
Collect flowers and leaves that you can dry or press to create one-of-a-kind artwork.
33. Mixed Media Artist
Mixed media art includes various materials combined to make one collage or piece of art.
34. Furniture Upcycling
Take old pieces of furniture and use paint, upholstery, and new materials to make them into something fun and unique.
35. Floral Designer
Create bouquets and floral designs to sell or deliver locally. Many florists also work on special events like weddings.
36. Men’s Accessories Shop
Many handmade accessory businesses focus on women’s styles. However, you could carve out a unique niche by selling men’s accessories like cuff links and watch bands.
37. Kids’ Clothing Shop
Kids’ clothing is also a popular niche that is always in demand.
38. Phone Case Business
Design unique phone cases that customers can purchase to protect and upgrade their devices.
39. Book Binder
Use board, adhesive, and heat tools to create professional-looking books or journals. If you’re a writer, you can even hand-make your very own book to sell.
40. Alterations Service
If you’re skilled with a needle and thread, offer alterations and repair services to people in your local area.
41. Studio Photographer
You can also sell photos or provide photography services in a local studio. These often include portraits of families, couples, seniors, or pets.
42. 3D Printing Business
You can print just about anything using 3D printers and various resins. Create your own digital files and then sell either the products or the designs.
43. Bath Products Shop
There are tons of bath and beauty products you can make from scratch, including bath salts, scrubs, and lotions.
44. Digital Photo Business
Many photographers also sell digital versions of their photos. You can either use stock photo sites or just sell the digital files on your own site.
45. Holiday Decor Business
For the more festive entrepreneurs, consider building a handmade business around holiday decor, making parties and supplies a main selling feature of your shop.
46. Pattern Maker
Crafters often use patterns for sewing, knitting, and crocheting products. If you make your own patterns, consider selling the digital files to other crafters.
47. Stamp and Stencil Business
Make stamps or stencils out of rubber or plastic and market them to crafters for use in their own projects.
48. Hand-Dyed Yarn Shop
You can also spin and/or dye your own yarn using wool and other fibers.
49. Fabric Supplier
Or design your own fabric or dye textiles that you can offer to others for sewing projects.
50. Craft Supply Shop
You can even combine multiple craft supplies into one shop and offer a variety to those interested in trying multiple hobbies.
|Category||Handmade Business Ideas|
|Jewelry & Accessories||Jewelry Making Business, Handbag Maker, Bead Maker, Men’s Accessories Shop, Hair Accessories Shop, Phone Case Business|
|Fashion & Clothing||Fashion Designer, T-Shirt Designer, Kids’ Clothing Shop, Alterations Service|
|Wood & Furniture||Woodworking Business, Furniture Upcycling|
|Art & Illustration||Print Seller, Painter, Custom Illustrator, Mixed Media Artist, Sculpture Artist, Digital Photo Business, Holiday Decor Business|
|Writing & Calligraphy||Calligrapher, Book Binder, Stamp and Stencil Business|
|Leather & Textiles||Leather Goods Business, Knit Goods Seller, Quilter, Basket Weaver, Weaving Business, Hand-Dyed Yarn Shop, Fabric Supplier|
|Toys & Gifts||Toy Maker, Ornament Maker, Gift Basket Service|
|Printing & Design||Screen Printing Business, Graphic Designer, 3D Printing Business|
|Scented Products||Scented Candle Maker, Bath Products Shop|
|Stationery & Paper Products||Stationery Business, Pattern Maker, Craft Supply Shop|
|Food & Confectionery||Candy Maker, Baker|
|Photography||Landscape Photographer, Studio Photographer|
|Pets & Animals||Pet Accessories Business|
|Digital Products||Digital Product Designer|
|Ceramics & Glass||Ceramics Business|
|Floral & Botanical||Dried Flower Artist, Floral Designer|
How do you start your own creative business?
Once you decide to start your own handmade business, it’s time to turn your vision into action. Each business will require its own specific supplies and steps. However, here’s a basic guide for how to start a craft business:
- Determine your niche: Consider what products you will sell and what sets your shop apart from others.
- Choose a selling method: Do you plan to sell products online or in person? Think about what stores or marketplaces you might use.
- Perfect your craft: Practice how you plan to make each product. Develop prototypes if necessary.
- Create a price list: How much do you plan to sell each product for? Consider the cost of supplies, your time, and other business expenses like your website and marketing.
- Market your work: Share your work with potential customers, either through online ads and marketing or locally.
What handmade items sell the best?
Handmade items hold a unique appeal to many shoppers because of their individuality, quality, and the craftsmanship that goes into creating each piece. Let’s delve into some of the most popular handmade items that sell well:
- Furniture: Customized tables, chairs, and cabinets often command high prices.
- Decor: Items like picture frames, wall hangings, and wooden sculptures are in demand.
- Utensils: Hand-carved bowls, spoons, and cutting boards offer a personal touch.
- Quilts: Individually designed quilts are cherished for their warmth and aesthetics.
- Table Runners: Customized for various seasons or themes.
- Baby Blankets: Often purchased as gifts for new parents.
- Wallets and Purses: Personalized designs and quality leather make these items popular.
- Belts: Custom sizing and stamping are sought after.
- Journal Covers: Leather-bound journals are often appreciated for their classic appeal.
- Glass Blowing:
- Vases: Artistic vases are often used as decorative pieces or gifts.
- Ornaments: Seasonal or personalized glass ornaments are collectors’ favorites.
- Drinkware: Unique glasses and goblets provide a sophisticated touch to dining.
- Customized Jewelry and Accessories:
- Initialed Necklaces: Adding a personal touch with initials or special symbols.
- Engraved Rings: Custom messages or dates make these items uniquely special.
- Personalized Bags: Tailored designs, monograms, or colors for individual preferences.
- Ceramics and Pottery:
- Mugs: Handcrafted and painted mugs are popular for gifts or personal use.
- Planters: Unique shapes and designs cater to plant enthusiasts.
- Dinnerware: Custom dinner sets can create a unified and artistic table setting.
- Soap and Candle Making:
- Soaps: Organic or specially scented soaps cater to individual tastes.
- Candles: Customized shapes, sizes, and fragrances provide a cozy atmosphere.
- Textiles and Knitting:
- Scarves: Hand-knitted scarves in various yarns and patterns.
- Pillows: Decorative pillows crafted in unique fabrics and designs.
- Hats and Gloves: Custom-made winter wear for added warmth and style.
People’s attraction to these handmade items often stems from a desire for unique, high-quality products that reflect personal tastes and values. The ability to communicate directly with the creator of the item can add to the allure, as buyers can request specific customizations or learn the story behind a piece. The trend towards supporting local artisans and small businesses also plays a significant role in the popularity of these items. Whether seeking a one-of-a-kind gift or investing in an heirloom piece, handmade crafts continue to resonate with discerning shoppers.
What is the easiest handmade business idea to start?
Starting a handmade business doesn’t necessarily require heavy investment or extensive skills, particularly with the advent of digital design tools and on-demand services. Here are some of the easiest handmade businesses that you might consider, primarily focusing on digital design and leveraging existing platforms:
- Custom T-Shirts and Apparel:
- Print-on-Demand Services: Sites like Printful or Teespring allow you to upload designs and sell without maintaining inventory.
- Personal Branding: Create your own brand with unique designs catering to specific niches or interests.
- Targeting Local Businesses: Offer customized apparel for local schools, clubs, or businesses.
- Digital Art and Printables:
- Printable Decor: Design and sell downloadable prints for home decor.
- Digital Planners: Cater to the productivity community with customized planners.
- Personalized Invitations: Offer custom digital invitations for various events and occasions.
- Custom Phone Cases:
- On-Demand Printing: Utilize existing platforms to create unique phone case designs.
- Niche Themes: Target specific interests like animals, hobbies, or popular culture.
- Personalized Stickers and Decals:
- Etsy Shop: Use platforms like Etsy to sell your unique sticker designs.
- Vehicle Decals: Create customized decals for cars or motorcycles.
- Seasonal Themes: Design stickers for holidays, seasons, or special occasions.
- Custom Jewelry Design:
- 3D Printing: Use 3D printing services to create unique jewelry pieces.
- Beaded Jewelry: Starting with simple beading can be an accessible entry point.
- Handmade Soap and Candles:
- DIY Kits: Many suppliers offer kits to create soaps or candles with minimal investment.
- Custom Fragrances: Craft unique scents and themes to appeal to various tastes.
- Photography Sales:
- Stock Photography: Sell photos to stock photography sites.
- Printed Photography: Offer printed versions of your photos through on-demand printing services.
- Personalized Gifts and Merchandise:
- Mugs and Drinkware: Create and sell custom designs.
- Personalized Keychains: Offer simple, personalized keychain designs.
- Holiday Specials: Create special editions for holidays like Christmas, Valentine’s Day, etc.
- Online Classes and Tutorials:
- Teaching Skills: Share your crafting skills through online platforms like Skillshare.
- Selling Patterns and Guides: If you’re skilled in knitting, quilting, etc., you can sell your unique patterns.
- Subscription Boxes:
- Craft Subscription Boxes: Curate monthly boxes with materials and instructions for a DIY project.
- Themed Boxes: Build around a theme or hobby to attract a specific audience.
Many of these ideas leverage digital tools and existing platforms to minimize the overhead cost and need for physical space. The key to success in these ventures often lies in identifying a unique niche, building a strong brand, and offering products that resonate with a specific audience. They also benefit from being scalable; you can start small and grow as demand increases, all while aligning your business with your creative passion and existing skill set.
Is selling handmade crafts profitable?
Yes, there are plenty of things to make and sell for profit. Handmade businesses often don’t require a lot of overhead expenses. You just need a few different materials and the ability to market to specific customers.
Image: Envato Elements