Making money by best selling handmade items in 2021? Seriously?
Before the skeptic in you starts questioning the longevity of craft business, you should know that the market is estimated to reach around $50.9 billion worldwide, according to reports from Statista. And with the booming presence of online shopping, the records are getting even higher!
No one can deny the huge market potential of handicraft items, especially in 2021. With the COVID crisis and frequent lockdown, the traditional store-based shopping is slowly being replaced by online browsing and shipping. People are buying handmade items like never before.
You too can start your own handicraft business — either as a side hustle or a full-time job — and start making money in this time when most are homebound and have plenty of time to be creative. It’s an opportune time for handcrafted and handmade goods.
Make sure to find out the niche you love the most before starting. You must get to do what you enjoy to make your life fulfilling, financially and otherwise.
Custom-branded and hand-knit apparel are always in high demand — despite the easy accessibility of machine-made clothes. If you are new to handmade items, apparel printing can be the perfect way to dip your toes into the water and gain business insights slowly.
You need to have some basic idea about graphic designing (or hire someone from Upwork or Fiverr) as well as some artistic flair, that’s all. You can turn an idea into reality in less than a day.
Custom apparel is also in high demand these days because local businesses require their employees to wear “cool but professional” t-shirts during office events (yes, even if they happen online).
If clothing is not really your thing, you can print on something else. Like? Mouse pads, enamel pins, face masks (perfect for COVID age), pillows, or mugs! The choices abound.
Not as easy as printing a t-shirt but definitely a best-selling handicraft item!
People are always buying different sorts of jewelry — and the demand is constant. In fact, it is the most popular item in many people’s wish lists, with people going gaga over hand-assembled pendants and bracelets.
Although making a piece of intricately patterned jewelry takes a bit of your time, there are multiple niches to choose from and are easy to mass-produce. Before starting, you need to invest some time in learning the craft. Sign up for a course on Skillshare and spend a few months mastering the art of jewelry making.
After you’ve learned your craft, you can make the most sought-after items such as:
- Assembled necklaces
- Beaded necklaces
- Locket necklaces
- Friendship bracelets
- Wire-wrapped bracelets
- Love rings/earrings
- Fabricated pendants
- Enameled necklaces/earrings
It’s definitely worth learning about, the art of making handicraft jewelry!
After apparel and jewelry, candles rank as the best-selling handicraft items in 2021.
Deceptively simple to make, the candle business occupies a large portion of the handicraft market. This is something to ponder over — despite the technological advancements, people sometimes prefer to light a (fragrant) candle and find solace in its yellow warmth.
Like other handicraft items, niching down is important here as well. What kinds of candles do you want to make? Is it birthday candles or scented candles? Decide on that first.
Some of the top-selling candles include:
- Natural candles
- Beeswax candles
- Birthday candles
- Religious candles
- Ritual candles
- Novelty candles
And since candle-making is ubiquitous, you will find many YouTube tutorials that will help you hone your craft and also come up with new ideas.
Beauty products? Yes!
Especially in this age of hand-washing and constant cleanliness, health and beauty products have a lucrative market potential.
Since beauty products cover a wide range of items, it’s crucial to niche down. Just “soaps” aren’t enough. What kinds of soaps? Gemstone glycerin soaps or dinosaur egg soaps (yes, they are the real thing!) — or perhaps a luffa soap and body scrub? You will have to decide beforehand.
Before beginning, you need to have a basic understanding of chemistry — not the high-school organic chemistry you despise — related to cosmetics. Also, being mindful of the common laws and regulations can be a good thing.
Some best-selling beauty products are:
- Hand-cut soaps
- Bath bombs
- Face cream
- Body lotions
- Lip balm
- Novelty cosmetics
Whatever you make, you can sell better by turning it “organic” — after all, organic products are in the rage these days.
Traditional Handicraft Products
No matter how modern we’ve become, there’s a part in us that still craves for the old, the traditional.
There’s no denying the beauty of a meticulously crafted leather wallet or a carefully knit woolen sweater. These can be perfect gifts for friends and family, so the demand is still very high.
Out of all the handicraft items, traditional items are still unrivaled — and thereby oftentimes slightly expensive! That’s because they’re typically created one at a time by a skilled artisan and can’t be mass-produced.
So crochet and knitted products still hold an estimable position in the list of best-selling handicraft items. Some of the ideas you can explore include:
No matter what you choose, make sure your product has a unique selling proposition — which is also an SEO technique to drive traffic to your website and boost sales. Since the crochet industry is very competitive, don’t price your products high.
Unlike the other handicraft items, pottery requires special skills and a dedicated workspace.
Before starting out, you will have to invest some time and money in learning the art of pottery. Luckily, there are online pottery classes on Skillshare and Udemy. You can easily learn how to make handmade ceramic dishes. Those courses will give you a step-by-step guide on preparing the clay, turning the wheel, pulling up the shapes, and creating the final product.
It’s wise to spend some money on online courses before buying a kiln worth $1,200 — and becoming clueless.
But once you learn the basics and get your hands dirty by practicing over the clay, you will be ready to make ceramic mugs, plates, spoons, et al. You get the idea, right?
Although a tad bit challenging to arrange the logistics, pottery is a rewarding handicraft business. The profit margins are relatively high, and the stylish dishes sell like hotcakes.
Art and Prints
If you have a knack for sketching or painting — or know how to create magic with a pencil and a paintbrush rather than a glue gun or an electric kiln — you might want to give art and prints a try.
Thanks to digital media and the internet, it’s very easy to mass-produce your art. This “mechanical reproduction” has made it easy for artists to survive and thrive in the capitalistic world.
While one cannot reject the undeniable charm of handicraft stuff, art and prints also hold a special place in the handmade item market. No matter the medium (oil, watercolor, charcoal) you can digitize your art and sell them as JPEG/PNG images.
You should learn software like Photoshop and Illustrator to create beautiful digital artwork. Or you can produce a physical copy (by painting or sketching) and later digitize it. Either way, you’ll be making a profit in this sustainable business practice.
- Create pixel arts
- Draw portraits or landscape
- Create graffiti
- Dabble in photography
- Sell wallpapers and GIFs