Why sell crafts online
If you’ve always wanted to have your own business, then selling handmade crafts online might be a great way to get your foot in the door. Here are the three main benefits of running a craft business:
- You can run your business from home. All you need is a website to sell your products and some space to make and store your handmade items.
- You don’t need to make a hefty upfront investment. Materials for most products are relatively cheap, and there are many ways to sell online without paying crazy-high fees.
- You can sell crafts online regardless of your skill level. If you’re worried about not being “good enough” to make money from your handmade products, you can always start small, even with just one product. Besides, there are several products that require minimal skills. Keep reading to find some product ideas for beginners in this article.
Crafts to sell online: 7 handmade product ideas
Want to sell crafts online but have no idea what products to make? Fret not! We’ve prepared a list of amazing and popular handmade items you can focus on to get your craft business started.
1. Wooden decor items
Woodworking projects may sound intimidating at first, but there are plenty of items you can make even if you’re a beginner. Here are some handmade crafts that don’t require many materials and don’t take up much space at home:
- Key holders
- Mail sorters
- Picture frames
- Serving trays
- Signs and wall art
- Small shelves
Wooden trays are easy to make and a popular choice for people who want to sell crafts online.
2. Handmade candles
Candles are one of the most beginner-friendly crafts to make and sell online. The base materials are affordable, and you can even find some candle-making kits online. Besides, the recipe is very straightforward and easy to follow. You’ll be able to master candlemaking quickly, which means it won’t take you long to feel comfortable and let your creativity run free.
Speaking of creativity, working with candles comes with another benefit: because they are so versatile, it’s relatively easy to add your personal touch to your candles and stand out from the competition.
While candles can come in all shapes and sizes, they’re usually quite small, which means you won’t need much space at home to store your handmade items.
If you pick candles to start selling crafts online, there are three popular types you can focus on:
- Scented candles. You can market them as aromatherapy products or simply as items that make a room smell incredible. If you go with aromatherapy candles, don’t forget to include the scent’s properties and benefits to help customers choose the right products.
- Decorative candles. Not everyone buys candles to light them. There is considerable demand for candles in interesting and unusual shapes to help decorate a home. Usually, decorative candles aren’t scented or made of any specific material; it’s the design that makes them appealing.
- Vegan candles. Interest in vegan products has increased significantly over the years, and you can attend to that audience segment by making candles free of any animal byproducts. Regular candles usually include animal ingredients like beeswax in their formula, so you can replace them in your recipe with plant-based oils and fragrances.
3. Handmade soap and bath bombs
Self-care products are at an all-time high, and consumers are particularly looking to stay away from products with too many chemicals in their formula, turning to handmade items. If you want to sell crafts online, you can take advantage of that trend and start making soap or bath bombs at home.
Like most of the items on this list, handmade soap and bath bombs are quite easy to make at home and require inexpensive materials. Besides, they are highly customizable crafts, and you’ll be able to play with scents, shapes and colors to differentiate your products from the competition.
Bath bombs and soap can be visually appealing, so invest in quality photographs to bring out the beauty of your handmade products. To promote your craft business, focus on social media that favor images and videos, like Instagram, Pinterest and TikTok. You can also make the most of special dates like Mother’s Day and Christmas by putting together gift baskets or kits.
It’s worth noting that selling cosmetics often requires you to register with the local government. If you’re in Canada, you’ll need to notify the Canadian government by submitting a Cosmetic Notification Form.
4. Tote bags
This is another idea to sell crafts online that can suit both newbies and more experienced artisans. Tote bags can come in any material, and there are several techniques you can use to personalize them, such as hand-painting, dyeing, silkscreening and embroidering.
If sewing isn’t your thing, you can purchase blank tote bags and customize them. You also have the option to start a print-on-demand business, where you create the designs for the tote bags while a third-party supplier prints and ships them to your customer.
But if you’re no stranger to a sewing machine, consider buying fabrics and making your own tote bags. You can also put your skills to use by adding other details like zippers, buttons and pockets.
Out of ideas for your designs? No problem! Here are some niches and themes you can specialize in to sell handmade tote bags:
- TV shows, movies and music
- Motivational quotes
- Designs for pet and plant lovers
- Prints that represent your city or country
- Book quotes
- Abstract prints and patterns
- Designs that support a cause
- Funny prints with pop-culture references or memes
- Personalized designs with the customer’s name
5. Children’s toys
Parents are constantly looking for ways to entertain and stimulate their children while also keeping their screen time to a minimum. So why not let your creativity run free and make children’s toys?There are plenty of options if you decide to sell crafts online and make toys for kids. We’ve selected a few popular ideas for you:
- Wooden toys. They can be merely decorative, like wooden dolls or animals, or be designed to help develop kids’ motor skills, like wooden blocks. You can customize them through playful colors and shapes, carvings, and burnt iron designs.
- Woven dolls. If you have a hand for knitting (or really want to learn that skill), consider weaving dolls to start selling crafts online. They appeal to kids of all ages, and many end up keeping them for years.
- Handmade figurines. Mostly targeted to older kids, figurines are widely popular handmade items because they can easily turn into a collection – and an obsession! When selling figurines, it’s important to define a niche to specialize in. And be careful not to infringe any copyrights; designing your own figurines is the safest way to begin.
🧵A quick tip. Don’t forget to triple-check whether the materials you’re using are safe for kids.
6. Seasonal decor
Think of how many special dates call for their own decoration: Mardi Gras, Halloween, Pride Month, Easter, Christmas, New Year, Valentine’s Day, and even fall – people love decorating for the season!
This is a great option for those who can’t afford to run a year-round business but still want to sell crafts online and make some extra money. Spend a few weeks or months creating your handmade items, sell them for a month before the date, then close shop for the rest of the year.
Selling seasonal decor is also a good way to test the waters in the ecommerce world, especially if you’re not sure whether you’ll enjoy it.
And you don’t even have to limit yourself to one special date. You can pick two that are far apart enough so you can plan accordingly, and start selling crafts online! Whatever is left in stock, you can always save for the next year, or offer them at a reduced price afterwards.
When it comes to selling crafts online, many people think of jewelry. Making earrings, necklaces and bracelets is a skill that can be developed easily and can be a lot of fun. Besides, you won’t need much to get started; you can even find jewelry-making kits to begin creating your first designs.
As a jewelry maker, you can specialize basically in fashion pieces or fine jewelry. However, it’s worth mentioning that there are plenty of jewelry stores out there, and competition can be fierce. In saturated markets, you shouldn’t go with generic products. If you want to sell jewelry, the best course of action is to develop niche products – the more specific, the better.
How to sell crafts online: a handy guide
Once you decide on a product, it’s time to plan your business. To help you get started, we’ve prepared an easy-to-follow guide on how to sell crafts online.
1. Define a niche and a target audience
Even if you have the most incredible handmade products, they won’t appeal to everyone; you need to know who you’re selling them to. Knowing your niche and target audience helps you promote your business better and develop the best possible products for your potential customers.
Understanding your market is the first step. When you run a competitive analysis, you get a better sense of who your competitors are, what they’re selling and who they’re selling to. Once you have a clear picture of where your competition stands, you’ll be in a better position to identify gaps in the market and take advantage of them.
A competitive analysis might point you in the right direction, but you’ll also have to learn more about your target audience and what they’re looking for. The more specific your audience is, the better; while it might seem like a much smaller pool of potential customers, you’ll have a higher chance of marketing to and communicating with them effectively.
Here are a few (but not the only) elements you should consider when picking a target audience:
- Age range
- Income level
- Problems they want to solve
- Desires they want to fulfill
2. Decide where to sell crafts online
The next step is figuring out where to sell handmade crafts online. Ahead, we’ll cover the most popular options amongst artisans: creating your online store and selling on sites like Etsy and Amazon.
Create your own website
Building a website is one of your best alternatives if you want to sell handmade crafts online. Basically, it gives you the autonomy to run your business and the structure to scale it in the future.
When looking for a home for your online store, make sure to search for the right platform to suit your business needs. Shoplazza, for instance, is a user-friendly ecommerce platform that enables you to create your store without any design or coding skills. It’s ideal for startups and small business owners because it includes a multitude of marketing, payment and sales solutions in the Basic plan.
Create an Etsy store
Etsy is a huge online craft marketplace many artisans turn to when starting to sell online. As an Etsy seller, you can reach the platform’s more than 90 million users. Sounds amazing, doesn’t it?
As it’s the case with most online marketplaces, you don’t have to pay anything to create your Etsy store. The downside is that the platform charges several fees for each sale, like transaction and listing fees, which can reduce your profit margins considerably.
To decide whether Etsy is a good fit for your business, do some research first. Find out if consumers go to Etsy to buy handmade products from your niche, and if the online marketplace is popular in the locations where you’ll be selling crafts. It’s also important to do the math: is it better to give up a good portion of your profits or invest in building your own online store?
Sell on Amazon Handmade
Not everyone knows about this, but Amazon has their own space for handmade businesses. Amazon Handmade was developed to help entrepreneurs sell crafts online to the millions of consumers who shop on the marketplace giant. Their platform only allows genuine and unique handmade crafts; mass-produced items are to be sold on regular Amazon.
Interested in selling on Amazon Handmade? Then you’ll need to apply to join as an artisan and get approved by the platform. This application process ensures that all sellers are complying with the community’s rules, which benefits both entrepreneurs and customers who are looking for handmade items.
There are several benefits to becoming an Amazon Handmade seller, the first being that you get access to their gigantic client base. However, you’ll be competing with over 2 million sellers for their attention.
The investment is also relatively low, with a small upfront fee to join. But as it happens in any online marketplace, you’ll have to pay a 15% commission on each sale, a fee that can reduce your profit margins.
Despite the high marketplace fees, it can still be advantageous for a small business to sell on Amazon Handmade, particularly if you have other sales channels, like an online store. As a seller, your orders are fulfilled by Amazon, which means you don’t have to worry about shipping. And while competition can be an issue, Amazon offers many tools to help you promote your handmade crafts.
3. Prepare your handmade items before selling online
You’ve decided where to sell your crafts online, great! The next step is to get everything ready to run a successful business and start making money. Here are a few things you need to look into:
- Get your craft supplies. Make sure you have a reliable supplier so you don’t run out of materials to make your products.
- Define production time and costs. Before you start selling online, you need to be able to answer: how much time and money do you need to make each item? This will help you keep on top of demand and keep your business out of debt.
- Assess demand and prepare inventory. Unless you’re running an on-demand business, you’ll need to have a few products in stock to begin selling crafts online. Estimate realistically how many sales you’ll make in the first few weeks and have your products ready to be shipped. This way, your handmade items will arrive at your customers’ homes much more quickly, increasing their satisfaction with your online store.
- Prepare packages and shipping. Customers love a pretty package, and providing them with a sensational unboxing experience can help promote your business. As for shipping, make sure you partner with a reliable service provider so your customers can receive their products as quickly and efficiently as possible (for the lowest shipping costs, of course).
A few resources to help you find shipping partners for your craft business…
🇨🇦If you’re in Canada: Shipping Solutions for Small Business with Canada Post
🇺🇸If you’re in the US: A Quick Guide to Ship Fast and Save Money with USPS
3. Price your handmade crafts
How much is your work worth? That can be a difficult question to answer, but luckily, you don’t have to choose a price out of thin air. There are several things to consider before pricing your handmade crafts:
- How much do your materials cost?
- Does your business have other fixed expenses? (Think utilities, tool rentals, etc.)
- How much do you charge for an hour of work? And how many hours do you put into making each of your handmade items?
- What is the profit margin you would like to get?
- What do your competitors charge for similar products?
- How unique are your handmade products? Are customers in your niche willing to pay more for one-of-a-kind items?
As you make a decision, make sure your prices are aligned with the market and what your potential customers are willing (or can afford) to pay.
4. Set up your online store
Whether you have your online store or you’re selling on an online marketplace, there are a few things you should do to ensure customers have the best experience when buying your handmade goods.
Take professional photos of your handmade items
This rule applies to anyone who’s selling anything on the internet: provide customers with professionally enhanced product photos so that they can see the items’ nuances from all angles.
Write captivating product descriptions
It’s not just the pictures that can sell handmade items. A well-crafted description has the power to seduce your audience and convince them to buy from your online store.
In addition to technical information about the product, you can write product descriptions that showcase your personality and connect with visitors on a deeper level.
Write a compelling About page
Speaking of connection, the About page is the place where consumers go to learn more about you and your business – and it’s your opportunity to win over their hearts.
Don’t limit yourself to a Wikipedia-like story; take the opportunity to show your passion, your mission and build a relationship with your audience. A well-written About page will definitely help you sell handmade items online.
5. Market your craft business
Wanting to sell handmade products online isn’t enough; you need to make sure people can find them.
Marketing can be a little intimidating, especially if you’re a new entrepreneur, but we’re here to help you! Keep reading to learn about the best marketing strategies to sell crafts online.
Optimize your store
Investing in SEO is one of the most effective ways to ensure customers will be able to find your handmade goods. By using strategic keywords throughout your online store, you can nudge Google and other search engines in the right direction and make them place your website and your products in front of buyers who are looking for handmade stuff like yours.
🧵Never heard of SEO? Here’s everything you need to know: Top 9 SEO FAQs: Beginner Edition.
Sell on social media
Nowadays, many people use platforms like TikTok and Instagram to look for products, and the unspoken rule is: if it’s not on social media, it doesn’t exist.
If you want to sell crafts online and run a profitable business, you must develop your social media channels. As a business owner, you have access to many resources on those sites to invest in content marketing and paid ads.
You don’t have to spend your energy on multiple platforms at the same time. To sell on social media, the key is to focus on building a strong brand and nurturing your audience where your customers are. If your target audience consists of people between the ages of 18 and 25, for instance, you should definitely promote your business on TikTok.
🧵Here are a few articles to help you weave your social media presence and sell handmade items online:
- How a Facebook Shop Can Help Your Ecommerce Business
- How to Use Instagram Hashtags for Likes and Traffic
- What is TikTok for Business and How Can It Help eCommerce Merchants?
- How to Use YouTube to Boost Your Sales
Start selling handmade crafts online
Anyone can sell crafts online, no matter how talented they are. Skills can be learned and developed, and you can make money from them. To get started, the first step is to pick what handmade goods you want to make and find a “home” for them. If you want to sell handmade items online, you can either invest in creating your own site or set up online shops on sites like Etsy and Amazon Handmade. Then it’s preparing your store and promoting your business!
We hope this guide has sparked a new passion in you, and we wish you all the luck selling crafts online!