If I told you that you’re a maker, you might respond by saying, “A maker? I don’t even know what that is!” However, Atmel Corporation reports that there are 135 million adult makers in the US alone!
That’s over half (57%) of the adult population in America.
A maker is simply somebody who designs, manufactures, transforms, or customizes objects.
An increasing number of people are becoming makers and choosing to empower themselves through the concept of “do-it-yourself” (DIY) projects. The principle: build, create, recycle, make, or customize everyday products or objects yourself, everything from furniture, beauty products, and decorations to art, jewelry, and clothing.
People are not only making DIY crafts—they’re selling them too. The DIY market is booming across the globe. According to ecommerceDB, in the US, the DIY market generated a revenue of $74 billion in 2019. This was a 20% share of the entire U.S. ecommerce market.
For a number of reasons (pleasure, pride, money, the environment), more and more people are getting creative and making and selling DIY crafts online. In addition, consumers are often choosing to shop for and spend their money on handmade items rather than mass-produced goods, whether to purchase for themselves or to gift to others.
DIY and ecommerce: Making items to sell online
Ecommerce is not only limited to products from established brands or ready-made items. The internet has made the practice and value of homemade goods more accessible, popular, and widespread.
No matter if you’re already an enthusiast or just beginning, DIY crafts are a great starting point for creating or developing your ecommerce store. In fact, these days, there are all kinds of DIY craft ideas to sell online. As handmade items often require minimal upfront investment, they tend to be some of the best things to offer for sellers new to online sales.
No need to be a professional handyperson or an ecommerce specialist to get started with making crafts to sell online. In this article, we’ve put together a list of the best simple and accessible (in terms of both skills and cost) ideas for DIY projects you can make and sell to help you to begin!
These ideas include tips for everything from conception and creation to sales techniques to help you start your own business selling homemade products, DIY crafts, and other related goods.
Product ideas: What items are easy to make and sell?
When it comes to items you can make yourself and sell on the internet, the possibilities are endless. There's something for everybody these days. To help you decide what to offer your future buyers, here are some of the best things you can start creating!
A classic: Candles
Who doesn’t have at least one candle at home? Candles come in many shapes and sizes and are available for any kind of budget. What’s more, they make an ideal gift for a multitude of occasions.
These high-demand decorative objects attract their audience by their scent and the atmosphere that they create. People often associate scents with positive memories and ideas or a certain time in their lives.
For this reason, making handmade candles can be a good option for your online homemade craft shop. In addition, they’re perfect for those who want to start an ecommerce business with DIY items, as they’re relatively easy to make!
There are loads of different candles on the market: luxury, scented, natural, birthday, and more. The market tends to lean more toward higher-end creations and, above all, clean-burning options for the air inside your home.
A large number of candle-making tutorials that can teach you how to craft whatever kind you’d like are available online. Whether you’re a beginner or have already delved into the world of candle making, you’ll find what you’re looking for.
Here are a few bits of advice before you start:
- Define your product and target audience. Do you want to make and sell 100% natural items? Be a birthday-candle specialist? What kinds of scents are you interested in incorporating? Find your niche and make it pertinent.
- Use quality ingredients. Whatever your niche market may be, one thing that remains in common is the quality of the ingredients used in the products you make and sell. This can involve, for instance, the type of wax, essential oil, wicks, etc. Consumers are prepared to pay more money if they're getting equivalent quality. In this day and age, people are also more likely to make more responsible choices when they shop, choosing simple, natural products.
- Carefully select your containers and packaging. This is the first thing your customers are going to see, and it helps to craft the image of your brand. Most candles contain the same basic ingredients and are not wholly differentiable, so it’s the packaging that can make your article stand out and sell. It needs to be attractive and match your brand identity.
- Prioritize security. The risk of fire is obviously there with candle making. Don’t skimp on security and use safe ingredients. Check to be sure that you’re incorporating the best options possible. Protect your business and get specialized insurance for this kind of production.
Recycling glass jars: Original craft creations
Jam jars, jars, and glass bottles... you might be wondering what you can do with a glass jar. Jump on the recycling trend and give a second life to these everyday objects on your online store.
With a little paint, ribbons, laces, beads... turn your old containers into trendy decorative objects.
Almost infinite possibilities, low manufacturing costs, a spirit of recycling that's part of an ecological approach, a growing demand for handicrafts ... It's almost the ideal formula when launching a business to start selling DIY creations.
Just like with candles, be sure to pay attention to your packaging. It's worth spending a bit more money on high-quality packaging materials if they keep the items you're selling well protected. As they say, it's the first impression that counts!
Cushions to decorate the home
All you need to do is open an interior decorating magazine to see that cushions are back in fashion in full force. They add that certain je ne sais quoi to living spaces, and they’re available in all different varieties.
Furthermore, making cushions is actually rather easy.
Shapes, colors, materials, and sizes…so many ideas to choose from! With a range of options available and your DIY skills, you can craft cushions to fit your unique style. Bring a bit of extra joy to your home’s interior and that of your future customers with your creations!
Make cushions that match your level of sewing skills. Don’t get downhearted if your first try isn’t perfect. You’ll see that with a bit of time and practice, you can soon start letting your imagination run wild with DIY cushion ideas.
What you’ll need:
- A needle, or for those well-equipped, a sewing machine
- A ruler
- An iron
- Cushion fabric
- Thread that matches your fabric
- Filling: foam, synthetic fiber, or even better, an old cushion to recycle. For the best results, cushion foam is the best, and it isn’t any more expensive than other materials.
Now for the actual process of making this product, there are lots of different types of cushions that are easy to craft. Check out this link to a tutorial to help you get started and make the cushions of your dreams!
Don't love the idea of sewing? But still have dreams of selling customized t-shirts, cushions, tote bags, or other unique items? Go for printed merchandise!
This idea is a very accessible, easy, and hands-off option that'll give you the opportunity to make and sell your products quickly. Whether it be a t-shirt or another object, don’t skimp on the quality. It’ll determine whether your customer is happy with your product and whether they’ll recommend your brand to others.
A number of sites online offer basic products that are designed to be customized. Order a few things and test them to decide which you’d like to sell online.
Selling jewelry online is one of the most saturated markets when it comes to crafts, but it’s also one of the most popular handmade products to purchase online. Millions of people create, sell, and buy jewelry online, whether on the creators' own ecommerce sites or on online marketplaces like Etsy, and it can be a fulfilling, lucrative, and lasting business.
There are numerous advantages:
- Pearls, precious stones, trinkets, necklaces, rings, for adults or kids…there are so many different options available. You’ll be spoiled for choice when coming up with ideas for what to sell for your DIY business!
- As the artist, you can make your DIY creations unique and beautiful, and you could even offer custom designs for your clients. The pieces you create and sell can truly become wearable works of art!
- There will be no shortage of suppliers to help you craft gorgeous pieces to sell.
- Jewelry is, in general, small and therefore easy to ship when you sell an article online. This is a definite benefit to consider!
With just a few materials, a passion for sewing, and a good imagination, you’d be well equipped to start making bow ties!
Once a long-lost accessory, the bow tie is making a great comeback!
Quick to assemble (once you’ve got the technique down), the bow tie has once again become a popular, personal, and creative gift idea.
Bow ties can be a form of expression in the fashion world. Use a variety of patterns and designs to help your customers spice up their style with these easy-to-make crafts.
From candy to cookies and jams, there’s a wide range of options if you want to make something sweet and delicious to sell to your customers!
There are more regulations and guidelines that you’ll need to follow when you have a business that involves selling edible goods. However, there’s lots of room to get creative and share your recipes with the world.
Find your niche market: holiday seasons, celebrations, novelty, mass catering, specific dietary needs…the world is your oyster!
Be sure to consider the following:
- Incorporate ingredients of the best quality—trace your supply chain to guarantee that the ingredients are listed correctly.
- See if your facility or home meets your national standards for food safety.
- Consult with your local food inspection agency to determine that your labeling complies with all the necessary requirements. This is especially important when it comes to allergies.
Who doesn’t hate water or coffee rings on their table? It’s definitely not a great look.
These days, people use coasters as a way to accessorize their living spaces or bedrooms. This also helps to add that little bit of extra color or design to what would otherwise be a boring household object. What's more, coasters are a popular gift to give.
Coasters are super easy to make, and your imagination can take you anywhere!
You can make them out of a whole host of different materials, from wood and felt to wine corks and pompoms. Many of these items you may already have lying around the house! Take a look at the article here for inspiration on the different kinds of coasters you can create and sell to online shoppers for a profit.
Whether you love creating watercolor paintings, charcoal drawings, collage designs, photography, digital art, or sculptures, note that the internet and arrival of popular online marketplaces like Etsy have made it easier than ever to sell artistic creations and make money from your work. Art is a great option for DIY crafts to sell online, as there's all kinds of media and styles from which to choose.
Regardless of your preferred medium, consider what things you can begin making to appeal to the consumers in your specific niche. You might even also reach out galleries and ask them to display your work to expand your reach and build awareness of your handmade pieces.
When it comes to your product photos, it's best to use a combination of styles to provide people with the most well-rounded presentation of your creations.
For example, for your standard product photos, it's a good idea to have your art photographed by a professional or scan it if possible to ensure high-quality images and the clearest renderings. In addition, share lifestyle photos showing your work in real-life situations to help potential customers better imagine what your art would look like in their living spaces.
For many of today's consumers, pets are simply part of the family. Another great way to earn extra money online with easy things that you can make and sell is by offering products that pet owners can gift to their furry friends!
Dog treats, cat toys, pet beds... There are all kinds of great possibilities when it comes to easy-to-make products that are in high demand with shoppers who love their pets.
Depending on the types of pet-related products you plan to sell, verify that all the ingredients, materials, etc. are safe for pets, whether they're for snacking or for play. As with any other food-related goods, you'll need to pay special attention to applicable regulations concerning the labeling and production of your edible creations.
Don't have loads of room to keep inventory while you're waiting for your DIY items to begin selling? Due to their intangible nature, digital products are a great option for space-challenged entrepreneurs or those who simply enjoy working with a computer and putting their creative design skills to good use to make money online.
Popular ideas for digital products to make and sell include ebooks, podcast, photography, digital art and graphics, online courses, craft patterns, planners, subscriptions services, music and sound effects, and much more!
A major advantage of selling digital products is that after you complete your original design, you can resell it over and over again. Once shoppers have purchased a digital product, they can often opt to turn it into a physical item, e.g., by printing out an ebook or a planner.
Zero-waste DIY products
“Zero waste” is a fundamental trend, a huge phenomenon that's growing year over year and gathering more and more followers.
Why not put zero waste at the heart of your ecommerce venture with the kinds of items you make and sell?
Taking care of oneself while also taking care of the planet is absolutely possible. The bathroom is a place where it’s easy for people to accumulate a lot of waste and plastic containers over time. Here are a few ideas for bath and beauty products to help you promote the zero-waste initiative:
Reusable makeup wipes
Very easy to make and reproduce, reusable wipes can replace the dozens of cotton pads people throw away daily.
Here’s a little tutorial with all the top tips on how to make reusable wipes.
At the risk of repeating myself, try to create quality packaging, and if possible, also with a zero-waste approach. This is going to highlight your commitment to sustainability and making eco-friendly products.
Soap and other bath products
On trend, all you need to do is type “homemade soap” into Google to find hundreds of tutorials. Whether you want to make and sell hand soap, laundry soap, bath soap, or related things like bath bombs, solid shampoo, skin cream, etc., you can definitely discover some handy tips online.
You can find your perfect recipe for handmade bath and beauty goods to sell for a profit by testing different methods of creation.
However, note the following points with whichever route you choose:
- Verify that you meet the required health standards to make and sell this type of item.
- Pay attention to the composition and origin of your ingredients. This is no joke when it comes to the beauty industry. As the products are going to come into direct contact with the skin, the products must be high-quality and dermatologically tested. In addition, using local or organic ingredients can help differentiate your brand and make sure you’re not overlooked.
- Beyond the aesthetics of your products, you need to carefully consider the packaging to confirm that the unique and fragrant works of art you make and sell are well protected during the shipping process.
Lip balm is an essential cosmetic product, used by both men and women throughout the seasons. For this reason, it’s an excellent idea if you’re looking to make money from handmade crafts that you sell.
Lip balm is super easy to make, using tools that you already have in your home. You don’t need any fancy equipment, as most simple recipes require just a basic heat source.
There are loads of blogs and tutorials online that you can use to help you in the process. They can even help to inspire the different flavors and scents that you might want to add.
As always, a few things to note before you get started:
- Make sure that your recipe and method fit within local regulations for production.
- Invest in your ingredients; fresh, organic, and high-quality ingredients will increase the value of both your products and your brand. Note that natural cosmetics are especially in high demand today.
- Understand the various labeling laws for what you should/must have on your label when you want to sell this type of product.
Cardboard, pallet... recycle endlessly
In a rather specific positioning, you can choose to start from a raw material to offer it in different objects. Your basic material will ensure both your positioning and your differentiation.
For DIY fans, let's take, for example, the wooden pallet. You can transform it into the following:
- a decorative object for children,
- a bed frame,
- a pretty shelf,
- a shoe rack,
- a bench for the home,
- a chest for storage,
- a deckchair to enjoy the sun,
- a planter
Beads, driftwood, pallets... you can develop your ecommerce business by working with a material that speaks to you and that you particularly like.
To design or not to design? What to make
Your unique designs should resonate with your audience. Without necessarily being too complicated, they must correspond to the styles, ideas, and opinions of your audience.
Look at what's being done, what's trending, what's working, but above all, don't be tempted to copy! No one is going to want to buy a t-shirt they've already seen on 10 different sites.
Now that you know what works, that you know your target and that you have your ideas, you have to take action.
If you're a designer, now is the time to get started! If you're not a designer, don't panic. Several solutions are available to you:
- Hire a professional designer to design your own templates.
- Call on a community of designers who can inspire you in terms of style and make your designs on demand. Two sites to get inspired: 99designs and Creative Market.
- Buy designs (but beware of lack of differentiation).
Now that you've got your basic materials, your designs, all that's left is to go to print.
Digital printing, screen printing... several techniques are possible with, for each, advantages and disadvantages. Get inspired by the opinions, get informed to adopt the technique that will suit you the most in terms of budget, quantity and final result.
Then you can more easily choose your provider among all the online printing platforms. Last advice: test your products before selling them in large quantities on your ecommerce site!
How do you make something that shoppers will love? A precise creation process
First of all, when trying to decide on a product idea for your business, you will have to position yourself and find your target in this saturated market before moving on to the "creation" stage. This is why it's essential to perform an in-depth study that will allow you to identify niches and differentiate yourself from your competitors.
Stay on the lookout for trends, follow what is being done: a reflex to adopt before launching your activity. This habit will follow you throughout your professional life in order to always adapt to the market and meet your customers' expectations.
However, an essential question to ask yourself before making any decision is: "What am I capable of doing or not? What is important in making things on your own or DIY is to know what you can do, or what you will be able to do without putting yourself in too much danger.
You'll obviously evolve in your practice, and your creations will become increasingly elaborate. However, it's essential to start, to ensure quality and your reputation, with achievements that you master.
Do you know the trends? Do you know what you can do? Have you identified what will differentiate you and reach your audience? Now it's time to take action.
Step 1: Choose your supplier
As discussed above, you’ll have all kinds of options when it comes to choosing a supplier.
Compare the advantages, the different options, and restrictions of each supplier. Read their reviews and consider ordering a few things to see for yourself.
The quality of products and services will be a determining factor!
Step 2: Create
Create sufficient stock and supply to fulfill the first orders that you receive. Consider planning different sizes of pieces for your customers.
There’s nothing more frustrating when you fall in love with a ring but the store doesn’t have your size, for example!
Step 3: Make your products shine
How you display and photograph your pieces is of crucial importance for the success of your craft business.
This isn't something to be taken lightly. You don’t want to risk people viewing your store as unprofessional or cheap.
The images for the unique DIY crafts you sell should reflect the quality of your work, regardless of if the photos are for your ecommerce site or social media.
Step 4: Sell
Last but certainly not least, there’s the creation of your online store and the promotion of your brand. This is how you’ll be able to connect with your customers and generate sales.
To launch effectively and efficiently, there’s nothing better than WiziShop’s ecommerce solution.
Our platform offers a ready-to-use tool with more than 400 tools to help you sell your creations. What’s more, WiziShop also has a team of Business Coaches at your disposal, who are ecommerce experts, as well as a complete online ecommerce training course.
Many creators use WiziShop. Now it's your turn to take the adventure!
Sell your creations online with WiziShop - 15-day free trial
Step 5: Personalized packaging
DIY within DIY is a bit of an "inception" effect, right?
We've seen the importance of quality packaging. Aesthetic, original, resistant, it must above all reflect the personality of the products you sell and your brand.
On YouTube, you can find other ideas of packaging, simple, beautiful, and easy to make (drawstring bag, gift bag, etc.). Guaranteed to have a positive effect on your customers!
Choose your handmade items to sell and launch your business today!
Online sales are not only reserved for the sale of articles of already established brands or ready-made products. The internet has democratized and spread, in record time, the practice and value of selling homemade creations!
Whether you're already an enthusiast or you want to start your own business, DIY is a great way to create or develop your ecommerce site. Ready to get started? Sign up with WiziShop to create your online store and begin to sell your homemade masterpieces for a profit today!
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As we’ve seen, the DIY industry continues to grow, gaining more and more followers daily, whether they be sellers or buyers. Hopefully the ideas in this article have provided you with some great inspiration as to what handmade things you'd like to begin selling online for your own business.
The competition is significant, whether you’re into creating popular things like bath and beauty products, sweet and savory goods, or decorative items.
However, once you’ve found your position in the market by selling the right products to the right audiences, your ecommerce adventure can begin!