Things to Make and Sell: 18 Crafts that Are Hot Right Now

Things to make and sell

Are you a hobbyist hoping to make some extra money by making bath bombs or dog treats in your spare time? Or perhaps you’re an entrepreneur looking to run a high-flying eCommerce business offering deluxe gift baskets?

There is a huge demand for handmade and craft goods all over the world, so both the hobbyist and the business pro can capitalize on the various things that people can make and sell.

And it’s easier than ever before to start an eCommerce store and sell your crafts online. So, you can start running your own business pretty much instantly – from the comfort of your home.

We’ve come up with 18 product ideas that you can make and sell, so roll up those sleeves and get started.

1. Beauty products 

Multicolored Soap Stacks

The beauty industry is vast, but it’s the natural beauty niche that’s growing crazy fast.

People want to know what their products are made of, how they are made, and whether they’ve been tested on animals.

So, if you’ve been gifting friends and family soap bars, bath bombs, and body scrubs for Christmas and birthdays, you could be sitting on a fortune. 

Selling handmade beauty products is beginner-friendly since they’re relatively easy and fast to produce. 

Still, you should consider a few things before embarking on your natural cosmetics eCommerce journey:

  • Check for potential ingredient restrictions. This is particularly important for online businesses that ship worldwide. Do your research beforehand and avoid upsetting overseas clients. You can always swap ingredients to others to comply with local rules and regulations.
  • Keep expiration dates in mind. Be realistic about your products’ shelf-life and don’t ship products that are past their prime.
  • Make sure your production process is OK with local authorities. Handmaking beauty products is easy and fast, but is it legal? Check that wherever you’re making your bath bombs meets your government’s health and safety regulations, even if it’s your kitchen.  

2. Clothing 

Clothes for selling online

The handmade fashion industry has never done better than now, a time when people are turning towards sustainability and eco-consciousness.

Making and selling clothing items online is a great way to make money online if you want to put your sewing machine to work and sell made-to-measure pieces online.

But it’s also great for those who want to run a clothing business, but can’t sew. How?

As long as you have the design part down, you can use print-on-demand services and start selling the clothing items you make – in a matter of a few hours.

To start your own tailor-made clothing empire, keep a few things in mind: 

  • Source your supplies carefully. You want to stand out, whether it’s for the vegan leather that you use or for the limited-supply jean that you source from Japan. The clothes that you make and sell should be memorable, for all the right (and ethical) reasons.
  • Get your marketing right. In a niche as saturated as fashion, it pays to come up with a solid marketing strategy. No matter what clothing items you’re selling, you need to get it in front of potential customers, so you better educate yourself on all the hottest marketing strategies.
  • Collaborate with designers. If you choose to go the print-on-demand route and aren’t keen on making your t-shirt designs yourself, you can get freelancers or creative agencies to do it instead. While it will cost you up-front, your t-shirts will most likely look better too.

3. Ceramics 

Handmade pottery and ceramics products being made by a person

If you’ve secretly dreamt of putting your pottery skills to profitable use, why not set up your own eCommerce store and start selling your creations?

There is always a demand for unique pieces, be it for one’s home or to gift, and you could be shipping all over the globe.

If you’re a hobbyist, you’ll already have most of the necessary equipment available and some experience under your belt too.

But what if you’re a total beginner? Sign up for a weekend course, borrow a few books on the topic from your local library, and look if you can rent some equipment before you commit to buying.

Talk to your local community projects and colleges too. They usually allow shared use of their studios, giving you access to a kiln and other tools.

Here are a few tips to get your ceramics eCommerce store up and running: 

  • Focus on uniqueness. With so many ceramic products out there already available, you need to carve a niche out for yourself. Think about your designs, but also about your brand values. Make your business top of mind when people are looking for that ‘something special.’
  • Share what goes on behind the scenes. Grow your online presence by showing your clientele what goes into making a mug or a plate from scratch. Depending on your niche, you might want to run a weekly newsletter, post on social media, or on your store’s blog.  
  • Create enough stock. Have enough products ready for when you launch your eCommerce store. You’ll be better off working at your own pace and keeping a steady inventory, rather than putting in long nights from the start.

4. Jewelry

Jewellery

Jewelry is one of the most popular things to make and sell from home, but it also one of the most saturated niches too.

While you don’t have to be a trained silversmith to make some extra money from jewelry, you do have to a mastermind in differentiating yourself from others.

If you know how to make woven bracelets and beaded necklaces, you’ve got a good foundation, but take it a few steps further.

How can you make your jewelry unique? Perhaps offer customization? The sky’s the limit when it comes to design and materials.

To start selling jewelry, consider the following: 

  • Pick a strong niche. You have to have a strong niche and offer something fresh and new to the market. It could be a brand new design or innovative materials. Find out exactly what your target audience wants and what your competitors lack.
  • Do your research. The trends in the fashion and accessory world change overnight, so make sure you study the market and keep an eye on search trends on Google too. You don’t want to spend time trying to sell a product that nobody is interested in.
  • Invest in product photography. Taking good, studio-quality photos is not exactly easy, but it’s trickier still with items that can be as small, detailed, and shiny as jewelry. You should upgrade your photography kit or hire a pro to do photography for you.

5. Subscription boxes

Boxes on a white table

Finding a subscription box in a pile of bills is one of the best ways to cheer up anyone’s day.

If you have a knack for creating collections of items that go well together, you should consider setting up your own subscription box service. 

You can base your boxes around certain themes (think video games, books, or even countries). Depending on your price plans, you could include snacks and drinks in your boxes, alongside small items like notebooks and even toys. 

Offering discounts for anyone subscribing for longer than just one month is a good way to ensure you have a steady stream of income.

Combine that with a good social media marketing strategy and a referral program, and you could be in the fast lane to achieve eCommerce success.

Here are a few great ideas to get your subscription box business off the ground: 

  • Pop culture. Many blockbuster films, TV series, and video games have huge fan bases. Base your boxes around one of them to get a strong start in your ‘make and sell’ business. 
  • Beauty products and cosmetics. The beauty industry is huge. Help people find their new favorite products that are not only trendy but also cater to their needs ( dry skin vs. acne).
  • Clothing and apparel. You could curate monthly boxes for particular subculture groups (streetwear, pop culture t-shirts, anime lovers), or you could focus on particular quality pieces (e.g. scarves or ties). 

6. Candles

Hand Shielding a Candle in the Dark

Is there anything more hygge than cozying up on the couch with some candles lit on the coffee table? 

Making and selling candles online is another beginner-friendly and low-cost eCommerce business idea.

The market has so many niches that you could specialize in. What about jar candles? Beeswax candles made from locally sourced wax? The list goes on.

Since candles don’t have an expiration date, you don’t have to worry about keeping your inventory small. Spend a weekend stocking up on products of all shapes and sizes if you have space.

As with any business idea, there are a few things to consider when setting up an online store: 

  • Safety first. Since candles pose a safety risk to consumers, you want to research how you should properly label your products as required by the country you live in.
  • Business insurance. Accidents can happen, so you need to have the right insurance in place to cover you and your business in case of any civil suits. You’d rather be safe than sorry, right? 
  • Branding. Since the vast majority of candles are made equal, your branding will be the deal-maker (or the deal-breaker). Take time to get your packaging just right and appeal to your target audience.

7. Sweet treats 

Cupcakes Lego Ninjago Figurines Handmade

How about candy as one of the best things to make and sell?

If friends and family always swoon over your desserts, then perhaps you have what it takes to be the next Willy Wonka and sell sweet treats online.

You could be selling jam, hard candy, handmade cookies, personalized chocolates, and pretty much everything in between. Oh, did we mention cakes and cupcakes?

Of course, it’s tricky to ship anything that’s highly perishable, so you could either sell locally or add liquid nitrogen to keep things cool (and add the wow factor too).

You should also pay close attention to how your eCommerce store looks. It’ll be worth investing in top-quality photography and building an enticing brand that’d make your sweet treats irresistible. 

Keep these things in mind while building your dessert empire:

  • Correct labels. Depending on where you are in the world, you might need to pay close attention to what information you need to include on your labels. Do your research and talk to the local authorities for up-to-date advice.
  • Know your supply chain. Make sure you have a clear understanding of where your ingredients come from. Even better, get to know the suppliers personally and market it too. People love buying local and being able to trace exactly where their food comes from.
  • Seasonality. Since most treats are for special occasions, it might be worth running seasonal promotions and keeping some products reserved for particular holidays to create hype.

8. Pet stuff

Dog in Sunglasses and Fake Nose, Funny

In the era of social media, people are willing to spend a lot of money on pet supplies. 

Let’s face it: a puppy wearing a cute Halloween costume makes anyone’s heart melt.

You could be making collars, leashes, dog treats, catnip toys, pet beds… If you’re crafty, pretty much any pet-related item could sell online.

And if you or someone in your family has a dog or a cat, all the better. You can test your products, document it, and use the pictures and videos to market your business.

Here are a few things to keep in mind when launching your pet supply eCommerce store: 

  • Safety first. The products you sell shouldn’t pose any risk to pets. You definitely don’t want any animal choking on small loose pieces or getting sick.
  • Follow the trends. The more you know what’s going on in the market, the better you can tailor your products to suit the needs of your potential customers. 
  • Create content around your niche. Especially if you have a pet yourself, you could create social media and blog content based around your products. Test out new products, share insights, and maybe even a few funny cat videos. 

9. Art

Art gallery with a person and shadows

The world of eCommerce has revolutionized the way you can make and sell your art

You can sell both unique fine-art pieces, print reproductions online, and even host your own virtual gallery on a well-designed eCommerce website. 

Make sure you have high-quality photos of your pieces and decide what kinds of products you want to include in your store: 

  • Will you sell original artwork? It might seem like it’s easy to make and sell, but packaging is the tricky part here. Decide if you want to ship locally, regionally, or globally, and find the right packaging solutions before you start.
  • Will you sell digital downloads and prints only? This is a low-cost idea for someone who wants to get started quickly. Your chosen eCommerce platform should support digital downloads and eGoods, like Zyro does.
  • Will you also print your art on merchandise? If you want to offer a variety of products, then this could be for you. You’ll probably need to partner up with a print-on-demand supplier if you want your art printed on mugs and tote bags. 

10. Home decor

Items on a Shelf and Wall, Home Decor

You could consider creating your own home decor collection, filled with items that are easy to make. 

With the right skills and materials, you could make and sell high-quality pillow and cushion covers, bed sheets, tea towels, and even custom-made furniture covers (hint: sofa covers are one of the hottest items right now).

You want to come up with something that sets you apart from mainstream home decor brands. For example, the picture frames you’re making and selling could be sturdier or come in a wider variety of colors.

To make extra money, you could think about basing your niche on: 

  • Ethically produced materials. Trace your supply chain and use materials that are produced in an ethical and sustainable way. 
  • National subject matters. Hometown glory doesn’t fade. Celebrate your culture and add a traditional touch to your craft business.
  • Sustainability. Encourage people visiting your shop to buy reusable fruit and veg bags, dishcloths, or beeswax wraps as part of their sustainable home. Making and selling eco-conscious products has never been trendier.

11. Digital products 

Person reading an eBook on a tablet

In the climate-conscious world, selling digital products is a great way to show that you care for the planet. 

And it’s also a good way to make money off your design skills. Never thought it’d be possible to monetize your doodles and sell them as templates? You were wrong.

If you know a lot about a particular topic, you could write eBooks on them and sell them at your eCommerce store.

Similarly, if you’re an expert in your field, you could run a webinar series and make money. 

Here are some digital products that you can make and sell from your home:

  • CVs and cover letters templates
  • Branding collateral for businesses (think letterheads, business cards and so on)
  • Wedding invitations 
  • Hobby eBooks 
  • Icon sets for web design 

12. Leather goods 

Leather goods production process closeup

Have you ever walked into a leather shop just to enjoy the aroma? 

While you can’t quite replicate the smell, selling leather goods online is a good crafts idea and an opportunity to make your products accessible to a wider audience.

If you have the tools and the skills, you could make outstanding bags, belts, pouches, and wallets, among many other items. In fact, you will want to stray away from these ‘usual suspects’ to make your business stand out.

For the most innovative folks out there, consider trying out some non-animal material substitutions to cater to the vegan niche that’s heating up right now. 

Before you start, give the following questions some thought:

  • How can you make your designs unique? There are loads of master crafters out there whose livelihood is to make and sell online leather goods. You will need to come up with some standout designs or product niches so that you can attract customers looking for that something special.
  • Could you start making bespoke orders? Sometimes, people are looking for something truly different and handmade just for them. Could you offer a service where you craft leather goods that are one of a kind to get started?
  • What’s the best way to ship? Online isn’t like selling at craft fairs. You will need to package your products so they don’t get damaged during shipping. Some stiff leather items can get ruined if a heavier item is placed on top of it, for example, so plan for all eventualities and pack your products well.

13. Woodwork 

Woodcarving equipment on a work bench

Maybe you spend a good chunk of your time in your garden shed, and consider yourself quite the carpenter? With eager buyers around the world, you could sell your wood products online.

Woodwork is one of the oldest crafts around, and you can earn money with it even if you’re not up for building furniture or doing home renovations. 

And no, we’re not talking about standing around in craft fairs. Woodwork items are perfect to make and sell online if you’re the creative and artsy type.

Here are some ideas:

  • Kitchen stuff. Chopping boards, salad tongs, utensils, storage boxes, and butter knives, the kitchen just feels homier when it’s filled with items made from natural materials.
  • Home decor. Wood is the perfect material to make furniture out of. Of course, shipping bulky items can prove problematic, so you could think of specializing in smaller decor items, such as bookends, shelves, end tables, or vases even. Wooden kids’ room decor items are also quite the trend now.
  • Woodwork or carving kits. If you don’t really want to make finished wood products and like teaching others, consider selling woodworking or wood carving kits. Include the necessary tools, pre-measured pieces of wood, and anything else that might be necessary for a woodworking project.

14. Hats and headwear

Pink Fascinator Hat Closeup

The art of hat making isn’t lost and forgotten. Did you think it was?

While you might not get too many gents interested in new top hats, you should keep an eye on the trends and easy to make items like hair accessories. 

Fascinators and other hair accessories that double as hats for women get seasonal spikes in Google searches, especially in geographic locations such as the UK. People love to show off at weddings and other big events.

Depending on your niche, you could launch your own cap line, straw hat collection, or even cater to religious groups. 

Get started with your headwear business by:

  • Carving out a niche. Going for ‘hats and headwear’ as one of the trendiest things to make and sell simply won’t work. You need an idea behind your business and a clear-cut set of brand values that you can communicate with your customers.
  • Running email marketing campaigns. These will help you sell more and get the word out. With the right offer, you could make extra cash by letting your newsletter list in on a mid-season sale.
  • Offering discounts. Hand them a coupon for signing up for your newsletter, reward them for loyalty, and don’t forget referral bonuses and discounts. Everyone loves free shipping too.

15. Stationery 

Stationery Top View Arranged on Desk, Notebook and Pens

Stationery is one of those ever-popular things to make and sell. Why not try and dip your toes into this lucrative market?

There are almost as many notebook designs as there are notebook owners. That’s why the realm of stationery is great for anyone looking for a variety when it comes to their eCommerce website stock.

Depending on your interests and skills, you could sell hand-bound notebooks, creative bookmarks, and even handmade pencil cases. 

Both students and working professionals alike need note-taking equipment, so with the right branding and marketing, you can build a loyal customer base.

You’ll need to pay attention to things like: 

  • Quality materials. Make sure the paper you’re using for your paper goods is thick enough and the fabric of your pencil cases is strong and durable (and perhaps even sustainably made).
  • Size. Try to stick with standard sizes for your stationery products. You’ll only upset customers if your notebooks are far too big to fit in a regular backpack.
  • Local regulations. Be careful when it comes to potentially toxic materials like glues, paints, and dyes. Check what regulations and restrictions apply in your local area before sourcing your materials.

16. Knitted and crocheted goods 

Crocheted Pillow with Pineapples on a Chair

There is nothing quite like receiving a hand-knitted jumper as a gift from someone near and dear to you. 

If you would like to share the joy of knitted and crocheted goods with others, sell your items online. 

Depending on your skills and preferences, you could sell knitted hats, mittens, scarves, socks, and jumpers. Or take your store down the home decor route with baskets, coasters, rugs, and blankets. 

With knitwear, you can create an impressive inventory of products before you launch your store. This would ensure that you don’t run out of products at the very start of your eCommerce journey. 

Remember to think about these things before you sell online:

  • Copyrighted patterns. While it’s okay to make Angry Bird socks for your nephew for Christmas, you want to know which patterns and brands are protected by trademark and copyright laws. You can get in a lot of trouble if you sell something that you don’t have the rights to.
  • Correct pricing. While people are usually willing to pay a premium for handmade products, if you’re using expensive yarn, your jumpers will turn out overpriced. Use more exclusive resources, like alpaca wool, to your advantage instead.

17. Plushies 

Teddy bear with a red bow sitting

What is soft, cuddly, and takes an honorable place on the beds of kids of all ages? It’s plush toys, of course.

Out of all things to make and sell from home, plushies might be the easiest to get right. No matter if they’re modern and sleek in design or more organic and ‘handmade,’ online stores and craft fairs alike are filled with them.

The key, thus, is to make your creations stand out. Get started by investigating what’s available on the market and finding yourself an unfilled niche.

Could you make giant plushies the size of kids themselves? Could you personalize plushies to resemble and delight differently-abled children and adults? Get creative.

Here’s what you should weigh up before you start:

  • Do some market research. Segmenting your target market. Toddlers and 10-year olds will prefer different kinds of cuddly toys. 
  • Consider using storytelling. Rarely will a product cut it just by itself. There needs to be marketing behind it and storytelling is the perfect way to market toys. Kids and adults alike get engulfed by stories, so create a proper buzz around your brand.
  • Branch out. Come up with a toy or a collection of toys that you could later leverage to create other products and items, such as books, stationery, eating utensils, and so on. Just look at how Disney’s capitalized on a single plushie – the Mickey Mouse.

18. Enamel pins

Man with many pins in jacket

You might not think it, but trusty enamel pins are still as popular as ever, both as things to make and to buy. 

While you will probably need to partner up with a manufacturer to make the pins themselves unless you want to buy all of the machinery needed fo it, you’ll definitely be in charge of the design process.

Remember to stick with solid colors and no fine details when you start making enamel pins.

And establish a good working relationship with your manufacturer, especially if they’re based abroad. This way you can fix any product-related issues faster and easier. 

Enamel pins, compared to many other items on this very list, are extremely easy to store and ship. They are one of those beginner-friendly craft ideas to sell online if you’re looking for a fast way to get your eCommerce store up.

To get started, think about the following:

  • What’s missing in the market? Enamel pins have been around for hundreds of years; how will yours be unique? Think about the current trends, pop culture, and catchy tidbits of everyday lives of your clients, then go and make a selection of memorable pins.
  • Where will you manufacture your products? The majority of pins are produced in China. Do you want to do the same, or would you rather support local craftsmen? If you go the local route, make sure your pricing still makes sense and you can turn a profit.

Written by

Author avatar

Matleena

Matleena is a seasoned eCommerce writer, with a particular interest in emerging digital marketing trends, dropshipping, and growth hacking. She’s addicted to coming up with new eCommerce business ideas and making them a reality; she deserves her nickname of ‘print on demand business mogul.' In her free time, she enjoys cups of good coffee, tends to her balcony garden, and studies Japanese.

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