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17 Easy Things to Make and Sell: Start making some side cash easily with these fun projects!

Janu-worry has given way to February, but regardless of the month, the start of the year brings with it a host of struggles for a lot of people looking to catch up after an expensive festive season. Luckily, the Internet gives all of us access to a huge marketplace of willing buyers. DIY crafts are a flexible and easy way to make a bit of extra money on the side and an inexpensive activity to bond over with your family and friends. Here’s a list of my favorite easy things to make and sell.  

Love DIYs and need some extra cash? Check out these 17 unique ideas!

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​1)  Lost Sock Bulletin Board

Lost sock bulletin board


​If your home is anything like mine, you will have at least 5 or 6 socks that are urgently seeking partners. Unfortunately, this usually means that the laundry basket or space above the washing machine becomes something of a sock graveyard; creating clutter and almost guaranteeing the socks are unlikely to ever meet up with their partners.

These sock bulletin boards are a quirky and creative answer to all of our sock problems. Simply hang the lost sock up and it’s both out of the way and a constant reminder to everyone in the house that socks are missing.

They’re incredibly easy to make too, requiring only a piece of wood, enough paint for a single coat, a few pegs and some hot glue (or a drill and a few screws).

 And you’re done! Sure to go down a hit at garage sales or even as part of an online DIY business.

2)  Time-Out Stool

Time Out Stool

​The time out is a sacred tradition in our house and provides a simple, respectable way to let your kids know there are consequences to acting up. All you traditionally need is a wall clock and a corner somewhere. However, these Time Out Stools are great visual props to lend some weight to the time out idea.

Whilst they can definitely be used at home, they’re really great for kindergarten or first/second grade teachers to use in their classrooms.

Two soda bottles, 2 wooden circles, 3 wooden legs, a wood doll head, some spray paint, a washer and some clear sealant is all you need to knock up one of these stools in no time. There’s no easier way to make money from home.

3)  DIY Dog Treats

​When you’re looking to make a little extra cash in your spare time, the ideal is to make things that sell fast. All of us intrinsically know that nothing sells faster than edible treats.

dog-treats

These treats, though, are designed with your best friend in mind rather than your own tummy and, whilst our dogs will eat almost anything, there’s something heart-warming about doing something intentionally nice for our four-legged pals.

Some peanut butter, milk, flour and baking powder is all you’ll need for these cookies (along with, perhaps, a whimsical cookie-cutter). Perfect for markets or to be sold near parks/hills/the beach or anywhere else people bring their dogs!

​4)  DIY Formal-Wear for Dogs

​A great tip for starting a small craft business is to aim your products at a particular audience and to offer products that go great as a set. With that, and our previous suggestion in mind, why not try your hand at designing a collar and tie for your canine companion.

Dog-Formal-Suit

The manufacture is easy and requires an old shirt, a clip on tie, Velcro, scissors and some hot glue. The results are adorable and are brilliant for photographs.

Market this and the DIY Dog Treats as a set for a dog present. The ties and shirts can even be themed according to the upcoming holiday.

(Valentine’s-themed outfit, anyone?)

And if you're interested in selling your stuff online, you should watch this short video, too:  

​5)  Easy Jelly-bean Bracelets

Jelly Bean Bracelet


​​There’s something authentically “market” about edible jewelry that I just love. Buying one of these edible bracelets as a snack to tide you over as you wander around the rest of the market makes sense to me.

However, they are also great inexpensive party favors for children’s parties, prizes for the teachers of young children and booby prizes for raffles and other party games. Some stretch cord, a pair of scissors, a needle and some jellybeans and you’ll have a bracelet of your own in minutes. This is easily one of the yummiest crafts for kids and adults to make and sell.

​6)  Homemade Bath Bombs

DIY-scented-bath-bombs


​The Internet is full of suggestions and tutorials for making your own soap and bath bombs and the recipes can be as simple or as complex as you like.

The creativity required is low, but what will set you apart from your competitors is the packaging and branding.

​If you’re really looking at making a go of this as a means of making money from home, it may be a good idea to invest in some design help.

Other helpful tips: At first, in particular, try making your bombs to order. Fresher bombs have a more impressive fizz and the natural ingredients in your soap can expire. Also, as these are considered cosmetics, be sure your raw ingredients are beauty-grade and skin safe.

PRO TIP

​​At first, in particular, try making your bombs to order. Fresher bombs have a more impressive fizz and the natural ingredients in your soap can expire. Also, as these are considered cosmetics, be sure your raw ingredients are beauty-grade and skin safe.

​7)  Gift Baskets

Gift Baskets

​If you’re not the craftiest of individuals, but have an eye for decoration and, more importantly, business, gift baskets are a great avenue for making a little extra cash.

The baskets can be sold via a subscription service and can be grouped according to themes (birthdays, Christmas, Valentine’s day, pregnancy, engagement, corporate gifts), item type or budget.

​Especially if you have a connection or two that can offer you a discount on bulk orders of, say, mugs or T-Shirts or nougat, your profit margin can be reasonable.

The work required is quite low and if you’re smart about your planning, your risks can be low too, with expensive items only purchased once orders have been placed and paid for. An app like Recurring Orders and Subscriptions can take the pain out of managing a subscription business. 

​8)  DIY Jar Candles​​​​

jar candles


​The candle industry accounts for some 2.3 billion dollars annually. Given that candles are easy crafts to make and sell, it’s a great industry to enter as a side business.

Whilst your candle business can be generic, it can also be catered to a specific consumer base with your candles designed around a specific theme (religion, birthday/Christmas or novelty) or set of ingredients (natural, beeswax or scented).

Once you’ve got the hang of the basic DIY candle, this is a product that can be altered according to your tastes without too much effort.

Christmas Candlelight Shimmer Candles Advent

The branding and look and feel of your candles will be an important part of what makes them stand out to consumers, so be sure to put time and effort into that area of the business. Finally, before selling candles professionally, have a look at liability insurance for your business, as the risk of damage or injury is high.  

​9)  Funky DIY Pins Made From Enamel

Enamel Pins


​Pins made from enamel are extremely popular embellishments for denim jackets, tote bags, and backpacks; and the trend doesn’t show any signs of slowing down. Whilst not strictly speaking a “DIY project”, as most of us will need to get the pins made professionally, the manufacturing costs are low and the design element is up to you.

Whilst there’s nothing stopping you from getting really creative with your pin designs, the best part about these pins is that simple, minimalist designs look great, too. Solid colors and single, simple shapes work best.

Remember to aim for original logos or those in the public domain as copyright and trademark infringement can frustrate new businesses.

When sourcing a manufacturer, be sure to bargain regarding clasp and packaging options and make sure to get a physical sample of the pins before placing a bulk order.

​10)  Rope Baskets

Rope Basket


​The best DIY projects are those that look expensive and difficult to make, but in reality can be made quickly, easily and for limited expense. Rope bowls are a great example of that.

Mold some rope around existing bowls and stick together with hot glue and you’ll have an elegant artisan bowl in just minutes.

Once you’ve got the process down, try mixing up the design using different styles of rope. The bowls are perfect for storing fruit, knitting supplies, napkins or general odds and ends. They’re really great inexpensive gifts when you’re looking at saving money but are even better to sell on the side for some extra money. You can even use them as the base for your gift basket business!

​11)  Open Weave Tote Bag

Open Weave Tote Bag


​This is another of those easy ideas to make money that can look really impressive when done correctly.

All you need is some ultrasuede fabric, tape, scissors, a craft knife and cutting mat, and you’ll be able to make a durable and stylish bag that is small enough to fit into a handbag or kitchen drawer, but strong enough to carry fruit or tinned goods.

With a general push towards a more green, sustainable lifestyle, there is great potential for these totes to make you a bit of extra cash.

​12)  Material Sunglasses Case


​One of the key accessories an adult male or female can own is a pair of sunglasses, with many buying numerous pairs, for different occasions. Not all sunglasses come with protective cases, whilst those that do (hopefully) outlast their simple black case a lot of the time.

Material Sunglasses Case

​There is thus a thriving market for bespoke “hipster” sunglass cases, which is why this one made it to our list of creative ideas to make money. If you can get your hands on a supplier of inexpensive sunglasses, the two can go hand in hand.

However, the cases themselves are great for selling on their own and make great last minute gifts and stocking fillers around Christmas time. The manufacture can be a little more technical than everyone is used to at first, but once you’ve got the hang of the system, you’ll be able to make three or four of these per hour for very little extra expense.

​13)  Etched Cutting And Serving Boards


​Bespoke wooden serving boards are incredibly popular nowadays, whether you’re catering for a home party or shopping for a small restaurant/coffee shop. If you’re keeping it old school, the boards are also great for chopping and offer the least strain on your knives whilst still promising many years of use.

Etched Cutting And Serving Boards

The addition of the burned or etched designs into the wood is a great way of lifting a simple piece of wood into something original and valuable. You’ll find a host of examples online to use as ideas, ranging from funny sayings/expressions to minimalist artistic logos and emblems.

All you’ll need is an etching tool, a variety of cutting boards and your imagination. These are great for personalized wedding gifts, housewarming presents or corporate gifts, and you could start a very successful side business simply selling bespoke cutting boards.

Here’s a helpful video on how to use a craft knife:

​14)  DIY Metallic Polka Dot Phone Cases

 DIY-Metallic-Polka-Dot-Phone-Cases


​With cellphones more common in the USA than belts, an original phone case is a great way of matching your phone with your personality. Plain black slip on phone cases can be picked up for 5 USD or less and are great carriers for creativity.

A hole punch, some metallic tape and wax paper will allow you to customize your phone with polka dots, thick or small. If you want to get more creative with your designs, you won’t need anything more than a differently shaped cutting device.

​A stencil and craft knife will work well for this. Another great inexpensive stocking filler or secret Santa gift at Christmas time and one that will be easy to sell around the school or office.

​15)  DIY Wood Arrows

DIY Wood Arrows


​Wooden design elements are extremely popular at the moment, with the wood adding a rustic, natural look and feel to modern homes, offices, and restaurants the world over. These DIY arrows are easy to make but are a great way of adding a dramatic flair to an otherwise conventional wall of photos.

They can also be used to direct patrons towards a bathroom or your staff towards the lunchroom. The uses are endless and don’t need to be limited to the conventional and the arrows can be used as décor in their own right or can be used as a key holder by adding a few hooks.

Making the arrows is as easy as cutting down some scrap wood, gluing, screwing and sanding the finished arrows. A great addition to a bespoke décor or wall-art business.

​16)  DIY Heart Jewelry

DIY Heart Jewelry


​Costume jewelry has always been one of the best and most popular creative ideas to make money, and these heart rings are a great example of that.

Cheap and easily sourced material that is easy to shape and a design that can be repeated endlessly and which never goes out of style means that these rings can be big sellers for your side hustle jewelry business. 

​Once your name is out there and you’ve made a few, a large portion of the new rings can be made to order, minimizing both waste and risk.

​17)  DIY Mini Succulent Planters

DIY Mini Succulent Planters


Succulents are amazing plants for our busy lifestyles, given that they don’t require much love or attention and don’t take up much space. You can get A hold of succulents for very little expense from your local garden store or nursery.

These planters are perfect party presents, office gifts or as décor to spruce up your kitchen, lounge or bedroom. The number of uses is varied and creates scope for a lot of repeat business, making them perfect additions to your budding DIY craft business.

Making the planters is easy and requires only a marble tile, colorful plastic Easter egg, gold leaf pen, hot glue and, of course, the succulents. Another great potential addition to your gift basket!

Conclusion

​The cost of living today is the highest it’s ever been and even people with conventionally high paying jobs are looking at additional income streams. DIY crafts are a great way of expressing your creativity in return for a little extra cash.

I hope you enjoy making my favorite 17 DIY projects to sell and that they help add a sparkle to each of your wallets. Comment below with your favorite project(s), stories of your success in selling some of the ideas or even suggest some crafts you think other readers should try. If you’ve enjoyed this list, please don’t forget to share it with your friends. Happy crafting!  

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