Anyone here craft for extra income? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 11 Old 03-14-2010, 10:54 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Now that I am single, I am trying to find a way to supplement my income. I love my job. I think I would be lost without teaching. Technically I could get a higher paying job like my old one, but at what cost? I would be miserable

So I am brainstorming ways to increase my income.

I can pretty much just crochet blankets, shawls, scarfs and I am working on my first BiPap/CPap machine hose cover

I prefer to donate everything I make, but I was thinking that maybe I could make some things to sell on ebay or something.

So what would you ladies pay for as far as crocheted items go? Perhaps I can learn how to make other things like baby clothes, hats, etc. What do you all make that you sell and get extra income for?

What is your input?

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#2 of 11 Old 03-15-2010, 02:48 AM
 
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take a look at the site etsy.com ,any people make and sale things and there are many who would love handmade items and have money to spend . i have seen pictures of your blankets i think you should have luck making some extra spending money
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#3 of 11 Old 03-15-2010, 12:32 PM
 
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I tried selling some of my crocheted items on Etsy and bombed terribly. I didn't have the technical know how to make my page look the best, and I didn't have the time to network within the site. Additionally, there were 18 other people on there selling the same type of stuff I was. Etsy just didn't work out for me.

That being said I have a good friend who's 60+ whose WHOLE income is from Etsy. She's a seamstress, works with beads, and sells antique linens and stuff. She does more than ok on there.

I'm a professional henna artist (in addition to my 40 hour a week job) and I can pick up an extra $100 here and there for gigs. I've been doing henna for ten years.

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#4 of 11 Old 03-15-2010, 03:28 PM
 
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etsy can be fabulous. Or bomb out. For knit and crocheted items, there is a ton of competition. But if you can find your niche, it can be a lot of fun! It helps if you can come up with something unique. (If you do come up with something unique that catches on, be prepared for imitators!) There are a lot of pros and cons. You really don't need a lot of technical know-how to make a professional looking store. I don't have much and mine looks fine. The skill that will serve you the best is photography! Read lots of tips. Take advantage of the nice weather and take pictures of your items in an outdoor setting. The ability to take a great photo will make you stand out of the crowd.

I lucked out and started my little shop right before the holiday shopping season and it was the year the toy recalls were huge, so home-made and natural really got a boost. I also found a niche that wasn't really being filled. As a result, I sold out! It was great! I didn't get to try it out again this year because I was moving and getting divorced and I really didn't have the energy to put into the store on top of everything else. But I left my items listed and I still get sales now and then even though my listings are waaaaaay at the bottom of the results.

Blogging can help too. If you've got a blog, don't make it about your store...you want people to be interested and browse around, but slip in mentions of your store with a link, or photos of in-progress and completed items. If you add tutorials to your blog once in a while--even one really great tutorial, suddenly you'll have regular traffic from all over the place.

Anyway, I really enjoy etsy and would encourage you to try it out. You can hit the ground running if you read up on all of the tips and tricks before you activate your store. Return policies, profile, etc are good to have. If you don't have a feedback rating, one of the easiest way to build up a positive rating is to shop at other stores. Not go crazy on purchases you'd never make anyway, but just spend what you might on gifts and things on etsy and you'll quickly build up a positive feedback.

There's tons of great advice out there. These days, unless you're extraordinarily lucky, you'll never make tons of money. The market is over-saturated, and the economy still sucks. But you might find a nice little side income to help with some of the little extras. And it really is fun when someone wants to buy something you've made. Plus, I absolutely adore working directly with the individuals behind the stores. Not one bad experience as a buyer or seller!
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#5 of 11 Old 03-15-2010, 06:41 PM
 
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I make about $100-$400 a month on Etsy selling misc stuff (stuff that works really works). There is a whole thread dedicated to Etsy on the WAHM forum here. It has taken me a while to really get rolling but people like my stuff. it helps that my prices are cheaper than a lot of people. I make really obvious things but my stuff is cheaper than most everyone elses but not so cheap that people wonder what is wrong with it. and yeah I could charge more and probably break even but I figure I am also blessing people who would not otherwise be able to buy handmade, eco-friendly stuff. and besides, I would be sitting around watching Tv or something otherwise. might as well watch TV while I knit ya know.

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#6 of 11 Old 03-15-2010, 06:54 PM
 
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Before DS was born and my ex left I was knitting and selling custom soakers and longies. I was knitting all the time anyway, might as well make some extra income! I suppose I was making about $70-$100 a week. I was mainly selling to mamas I had met on an online cloth diapering message board. I just didn't have the time or emotional energy after DS was born. I've thought about getting into it again though.

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#7 of 11 Old 03-16-2010, 11:57 AM
 
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A friend in my knitting group made up a simple knitted head wrap pattern and is selling it as a downloadable PDF on ravelry.com and etsy. It had been up for about a month and had made $60 last time we talked. She's only charging $3 for it. It really made me want to make up some of my own designs. Knitting or crocheting individual items can take up a lot of time, but a pattern can be sold over and over again. My goal is to sell enough patterns every month to fund my yarn and other crafting supply habits

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#8 of 11 Old 03-16-2010, 01:55 PM
 
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Try something small, like finger puppets or play food. Around holidays you can do theme items, like eggs for easter or ornaments for christmas. People will buy these things, and they are not as much of a time investment for you as, say, a whole blanket, or even a baby sweater. Good luck!
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#9 of 11 Old 03-16-2010, 06:09 PM
 
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Etsy can be hard for some of those items. Plus you need to consider your time & cost on things. I was just talking about this today to my friend who has a yarn, jewelry, knitted/felted goods stand at market with me. Some people just undersell you and never take into account actual time. Some people will charge the actual $20 an hour that it took to make an item. But we are more likely to sell things for around $5-$10 hour. Otherwise we may never sell anything! There are some people who can totally charge the $20/hour, deserve it & get it. But that's not everyone.

You may want to try out consignment at a local fiber shop, ads on craigslist, maybe do a few shows, in addition to listing some things on etsy. I find that the full-front approach works best for me. I trade/sell things here, I have stuff on etsy, I advertise on craigslist for items, I go to a few shows, I consign stuff during my busy plant season, and I have my items at my stand during the low plant season.
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#10 of 11 Old 03-16-2010, 06:25 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Looking at etsy depressed me I am not that talented. It is okay, I can kepe on donating my things and try to find another way to make extra money I always enjoyed when I was a cashier, maybe I can find a part time weekend cashier job or something

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#11 of 11 Old 03-21-2010, 09:37 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bunnyflakes View Post
Looking at etsy depressed me I am not that talented. It is okay, I can kepe on donating my things and try to find another way to make extra money I always enjoyed when I was a cashier, maybe I can find a part time weekend cashier job or something
You don't have to be the most talented to earn money. Keep your prices low (enough to cover costs and make a little bit on the top). If it's something you enjoy doing anyway, you might as well try to make some money at it. I've found it helps to come up with a unique spin on something that people already like. I'm not making a lot of money, but it keeps us fed (mostly, except on the days we have to fast...jk).

Oh craft shows too can be a way to earn money besides etsy.

my toy shop on etsy.com: wooden baby keys, natural bathtub toys, wooden animals, little kitchens, waldorf dolls...also check out my blog about saving money, creating things, and natural living
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