The number of ideas to start a home-based handmade business continues to grow every year. Even though to many the handmade business may seem like a trend. It's actually only a trend to those who never really thought about handmade. There have always been millions of people creating passionate handmade products from home. The change is that thanks to the internet & how it continues to evolve. It has allowed those who have been creating for so many years to turn it into a business. Plus those who have handmade businesses for many years are able to be more visible, again thanks to the internet.
As a creative business owner myself, I love the fact that physical product-based businesses can use the same strategies, techniques, tools, and resources that larger businesses have been using for years with their large marketing budgets. They are now able to compete on the same playing field as bigger businesses while being able to stay true to their own authentic & traditional processes.
Creating your own product you are able to offer the personal touch. Whereas larger businesses are now trying to adapt to this way of connecting with their audience, which can be difficult.
This list is to help those thinking of starting a home-based business and wondering what they could do. You might see your hobby on the list as many businesses start out that way. Or you maybe already in business or a job and want to do something different.
Even if you want to try something new at home and not even start a business, this list will help in that creative area too.
No more talking let's check out this list of business ideas you can do from home.
Handmade Business Ideas
If you describe your work as abstract then your paints already have an audience. Abstract art uses a visual language of shape, form, color, and line to create a composition which may exist with a degree of independence from visual references in the world. (from Wikipedia). Through your unique style you can use that to help you stand out from other abstract painters.
If you are good at altering clothes this could be the start of a handmade business that's service-based. With this service, you would want to service those in your local area or a little wide. As you will work from home people would send their clothes to you via posting. So the further your customer is the more it will cost in delivery charges.
If you know and use old traditional techniques to weave baskets, starting a handmade business in this area is for you. You would need to know who your audience is and what kind of baskets you would create to sell.
Love to make beads out of clay, glass, or other materials, and then you can start a handmade business as a bead maker/supplier. You would sell to other makers who create jewelry, clothes, hats, accessories & more.
Many people love a good book, diary, sketchbook, or journal. Creating your own book covers & binding them is a good handmade business to start. There are different techniques for bookbinding you can specialize in one technique that you could use on your unique selling point. Or you could apply other binding styles to your products. Deciding on which books to create covers for and bind will be a big choice. It will help to know who you would like to sell to and then what type of books do they resonate with more.
If your skill-set is to be able to create beautiful swirly lettering you can offer your service in many different ways. People will also pay for artwork that features calligraphy or another artistic lettering. Or you could even offer this as a custom service.
Candles are very popular products to create and sell online. There are many different ways to create candles, plus using different ingredients can decide who your customers are. Using different scented oils or unscented candles offer many different variations. It does not stop there you have sizes, colours, and more variations that will help you decide what area candles making you want to focus on.
Using clay to create various items is a popular way of starting a handmade business. You can create miniature, standard or overlarge items. It depends on which you resonate with and what matches your ideas. In terms of materials, you can use clay that does not require finding space for a kiln or other specialized equipment. You can either air dry or use the oven. Of course, if using a kiln and other equipment is your path of choice you would need to research space and costs for these items. If space is limited and maybe even funds research into local workspaces that may offer these facilities for a fee that you could use until you are in a position to purchase your own.
If you love to crochet you can create a variety of different products to sell, ranging from shawls to blankets. Crocheting is a very popular area as many people learn from a young age and continue to perfect their craft. So you help your products stand out try focusing on creating a few specific items instead of a lot of different ones. It would also help if you did some research on what other crochet products are available on the market ready and use what you see as inspiration for your products.
Cross Stitch Artist
Cross stitch is a similar art form to embroidery. But it can be a bit more involved. You can sell cross stitch hoops and other pieces of handmade art using this technique. A way to stand out is to maybe focus on a theme for your designs. Of course, your theme can limit your audience but at the same time hey will know your product is aimed at them.
If Embroidery is your ninja skill then you can offer a personalise service and embroidery custom designs like logos and motifs to clothing. If you want to gain large orders then youth clubs, clubs, schools, or associations that require uniforms of large numbers to have logos or motif on is your best bet.
Dolls have been around for centuries and are probably the most common toy to have. Creating dolls can touch many audiences. Now we are not just talking children. There are niches where dolls are created to look as life-like as possible. Amongst these been used as collectible pieces, they are also used to help mothers grieve after losing a child. Again do some research which helps you decide what style of dolls you would like to create. Or if you have been creating dolls as a hobby, finding how you can have a unique style or traits in your product will help you stand out from the others available.
Doll Clothing Designer
You create clothes but notice you love working with smaller pieces of fabric. Then you could look into create doll clothes. Apart from Barbie and Ken, there are many other dolls large & small that have owners that would love to increase their wardrobe. Decide on which doll you want to create for and start creating. But make sure our customer base is large enough. Also when it comes to creating the clothing you can create stand-alone clothing. Or look at a high-end clothing line you could use silks, velvet, even embellishments to enable you to charge high prices.
If you are a ninja at making clothes them this type of home-based business is for you. You can create garments you want to create and then sell. Or do custom orders. When creating clothes you want to create bear in mind who you will sell too and how many of each design and size will you create. There are many different styles, fashion eras, sizes to choose from, plus with it match who you want to sell too. The research will help you find out these answers.
If Embroidery is your ninja skill then you can share our designs as a handmade business from home. Whether you are adding your designs to clothing, homeware, or framing them to make wall art is your choice. Research in who you want to serve with your work is a great start and to see what other embroidery artwork is already will help in your design choices & idea inspirations.
A felt artist uses woolen fibers to create items like animals, flowers, etc or embellishments for others to use. You can also use felting with embroidery hoops to make a picture. You can choose what to create or target a certain niche or style to focus on.
Using a variety of yarns, wool, felt or other fibers to make your artwork. Whether you are making animals, other items, or wall art the choice is yours. You may use a loom to weave fabric, needles to knit or crochet yarn, or a sewing machine to join pieces of fabric for quilts or other handicrafts.
If you work with glass to create vases, drinking glasses, decanters, etc, you can choose to sell via your own website, do wholesale to retail stores, or look at high-end luxury stores & event exhibition spaces. If you want to work with glass you have to look into the equipment and space to do this. You could contact your local college for workspace or see if you have creative spaces that cater to this field of work.
Gift Basket Service
People love a prepared gift basket; it takes all the thinking of what to fill it without their hands. Offering a gift basket product offers many choices, you need to decide what your gift baskets will be a theme about. That's looking at events like baby shower, valentines, mother's day etc. Or you can customise for what the customer wants. Be careful in offering many ideas and then allowing your product to blend in with whatever else is on the market.
Got design skills in Photoshop, illustrator & now we can add Canva then you can be the got graphic designer for many business owners and or the general public. For business to business services, you can look at offering logo, literature, branding, business cards, and graphics for videos or social media platforms. For business to customer services, you can look at flyers for special events, invitations, promotions, etc... There's a lot you can offer but you need to think about how you will stand out against the crowd online.
Greeting Card Maker | Designer
There are many different options when it comes to becoming a greeting card designer. You can be all hands on via using cut out paper designs, stamps & other artistic materials. Or you can draw your designs and finish them off via graphic software and print out the final designs. With greeting cards aim for a niche & create a unique style that makes your designs stand out. When it comes to selling you can stay with selling online or broaden your reach and look to getting your greetings cards in shops or even sell them to wholesale suppliers.
Hair Accessories Designer
Designing hair accessories allows a lot of room for ideas. Adults and children wear hair accessories so your audience can be large or small as you want. Plus you have the option to theme your designs to fit on wedding events or choose to narrow your focus based on the material you use. A lot of makers attend craft fairs to sell their hair accessories and you can too alongside selling online.
Handbag | Purse | Wallet | Belt Maker
Creating handbags, purses, wallets or even belts has a large scope in terms of designs & materials used variation. These items appeal to a lot of people, so making your product stand out could be tough. Make sure you do your research to help you find a gap in the market or to help your design or style be different than what already available. In this area, you can narrow down your audience focus to either male or female customers but that's still a very large audience to sell too. So narrowing down to either adults or children and deciding on what materials you will use. Researching into what is available online; alongside your unique style will help you to find a place in this popular area.
If you love handmade products and want to help more people know about them too, becoming a blogger and sharing handmade businesses could be your way into this great industry. You could interview handmade creative business owners and help them market their business via your blog. You could use certain sites like Etsy, Amazon handmade, etc where they offer an affiliate program. Allowing you to share products they have on their platform and you get a commission when someone clicks your link to go and check out that particular product. If you grow your blog and either has a large audience or have a very engaged readership you could also offer sponsored posts to handmade business owners.
Hat (also known as Fascinator) Designer
If you love to create different hats then starting a handmade hat business is defiantly for you. Many special events all year round allow people to wear beautiful hats. Plus creating hats does not need to stick to full coverage of the head. A great example is at Ascot which is based in the UK, you see many hat designs that cover only part of the head. You can create hat designs to sell and also offer custom products too.
Being an illustrator you can decide how you want to create your works of art to sell. You can create your own designs and sell them or you can offer custom work like portraits, or pet illustrations as your service. Many Illustrators choose to specialise in one area and that helps them to perfect their skill plus allows them to have a unique selling point when marketing online. How do you work from home when you offer custom artwork? Your customer would send you photographs of the person(s) or pets they want you to illustrate and when your artwork is completed send them the complete work after payment.
Whether you love designing and creating necklaces, bracelets, earrings or rings is your choice. Starting a handmade business in this industry is ideal for you. You don't have to create as a business. You can also design and create your own jewelry using beads and other supplies you can easily pick up online or at a local craft store.
If you love to knitting you can create a variety of different products to sell, ranging from babies booties to dresses. Yes, I've seen some knitted dresses on Instagram that had me at wow. Knitting is also as popular as crochet. So like I shared in crochet to stand out focus on a few items to create also research to see what is already popular online.
This is very niche as ornaments are more seasonal even though people can buy them any time of the year. f you create items that are for specific events like Christmas, Valentines, Easter, etc, make sure you creator ahead of time to hit the peak buying season. Plus you will also have to consider that your business may have low sales points when your seasonal is not required.
Paper Goods Seller
Paper goods that fit this area are postcards, invitations, note cards, tags. These products are popular & people buy them every day. However, with a lot on the market, even handmade products will have to find another unique way to stand out.
You don't always need to create the end product. You can be the supplier for other creative business owners. As a pattern maker, you would offer your unique products to dressmakers, sewers, knitters, croqueters & other professions that require a pattern of some kind as guidance. Also, you can offer a custom service where you can create a personalised pattern from business owner's requirements. Through this service, you will be able to charge more.
Pet Accessories Maker
Pet owners are a large industry. Pet owners love their pets and want to buy toys, collars, clothing & more for their pets. If you go into a pet store they simply provide food you will see they offer a small range of pet accessories. But there are stores that specialize in these items. When you create you can choose to sell them your self & sell to other retailers. This will allow you to reach a larger audience. But your product will have to stand out amongst what is already out there.
Picture Frame Maker
Pictures need frames of all sizes whether it's for the home or for office spaces to exhibitions spaces. Plus the materials to choose from can go from plastic, wood, or other materials or even combining material to add something different. You can simply sell the frames yourself to other retailers. But you can do it all and have customers send you their pictures and you can custom frame their pictures. You can charge more for this service depending on the material used, size of image & how much work will go into framing the piece overall.
Polymer Clay Artist
Using polymer clay to create various items is a popular way of starting a handmade business. A popular area is creating miniature items, whether that's food, animals or any other items you can choose from. Polymer clay can be air-dried or oven-dried it all depends on which clay brand you decide to use.
There's a popular portrait artist series on TV that I love to watch. You get to see different perspectives & mediums used from the same subject. You would choose your niche and that would help you find your target audience. You can also offer custom artwork to online customers who want portraits were drawn or painted of them or their families.
If you love the various print but can't or don't want to create your own you can curate. Meaning you create a collection of other people printed work and sell it for them. Or simply create a platform to help showcase their work and look to getting fees from those who want to use your service. If you do create any type of visual art, whether paintings to illustrations and others use your style to carve out your unique selling point. There are many people in this industry but as your style will be different this is what's going to set you apart from others. Again you can offer custom work that you can charge a premium price for.
If you love working with fabrics, shapes, and making large items for homeware, starting a handmade business as a quilter is an ideal choice. Blankets for adults or children, table clothes, etc... Offer choice in design and style. Research what others are sharing online and decide who you want to serve.
Rubber Stamp Maker
Share the designs of your many stamps with other creative people as products. The craft & DIY industry is huge, Stamps are being used for so many crafts like scrapbooking, greeting cards, invitations for example. Your designs and themes are limitless however see if you make your style shine through the many other stamps available online.
Keeping special memories is a big business amongst creative, crafters & individuals. The most common way is to create scrapbooks. If you love to help people preserve their memories you can create a scrapbook layout. This helps people to create scrapbook memories with ease. You could also create the layouts as separate cut-outs or as printables. This lets you serve those who want a more hands-on approach to creating their scrapbook.
If you are skillful with a craft knife you can create stencils. These can be used in a variety of ways for people to buy. There are stencils that people use to create their own patterns on the wall instead of using wallpaper. Some people use a stencil to create their own art creations. You can also use stencils especially paper-based to help DIYers & crafters create products or add embellishment to existing products like cards.
There are many different areas to use your skills as a photographer. I'll share a few that come to mind, food photographer, baby photographer, wedding photographer, Taking pictures of objects like jars. Landscape photographer, whether one of these or another area you are focusing your skill on there is a market for it. You just have to find your audience.
It is best to not offer too many services as you don't want to be too general in what you offer this unable to market your business effective enough to stand out from the crowd. You have the option to sell your images online or offline. You can use your images to be used in print on demand products this serving a larger market. Offer your images as prints, postcards, or on canvases. Or with a service you work with individuals depending on which area you focus on for example a wedding photographer.
If you have a sweet tooth and are pretty good at creating your own sweets then starting a handmade business as a sweets maker would in your ideal choice. Yes, you can create these sweet at home but you would have to research health and safety laws before you start selling to the public. In this area, you can also look at who you want to serve and their dietary needs. You may want to focus on sweets for vegetarians or vegans. Or you may want to focus on the type of sweet you create and that becomes your unique selling point. There are so many sweets and variations that you will have a large choice to choose from.
Tech Case Customiser
Tech accessories like phone cases are very popular as most people want something that reflects their personality. So as most have phones getting a custom case is a great way to show that you are through your device. You can purchase black phone cases and embellish them to your style or for custom orders. You also have the option of using print on demand companies who will supply the case your simple add your designs.
However, this way is solely done online. So your design would need to be an image that you then apply to the blank phone case online. The advantage for this is that you have a ready-made audience but the disadvantage is that you will get a much smaller profit as the main item the blank case is supplier by the site. However, say that if you adjust your selling price you could charge a premium for your designs.
Tie-dye is a popular method of colouring fabric or clothes. By experimenting you can create an array of different designs and colour combinations. Many people love this style of fabric designs. Research what's already available online and see where you can fit within the market online.
Entering the t-shirt design industry is popular online. You will have to have a unique style to help your t-shirt line stand out straight away. You will also have to invest in the right equipment to help you produce your products. You will have to decide if you are going to print your t-shirts manually like screen printing, or use a machine. Alongside that, you will have to buy blank t-shirts to print onto. There are many different printing ways to produce your t-shirt, plus different t-shirt qualities all these areas you will need to factor into the end price you charge and what you can afford to start up the business.
There are a variety of materials you can use to create toys. Whichever material you resonate with using, know that toys are very popular online. So knowing what age range you will create for and how your style will stand out against others online is important. You can also choose to sell to stores as well as selling online,
You may choose to do sofas, headboards, chair seats the choice is yours. This service is very customer-driven meaning your customers will supply the product you will work on. What you can also do is reach out to furniture stores, furniture upcycle stores and offer your service to them. This way you will have clients who move a lot of products quicker, which may mean they need to have a few Upholsters on their books to turn to for their furniture.
If your love is working with wood then you know what your handmade business is. The array of products that can be created with wood is endless. Whether that's large items of furniture to chopping boards there's a lot of scopes to play with. Research your potential audience and see what is already out there. If you want to create large items but don't have space at home, research into workshop space and see if they offer facility at a price you can afford.
All knitters and crochet makers need yarn to create. So why not be the supplier of what they need. Of course, there are different levels of supplying yarns. If you have the farm space you can rear sheep or other animals that help create wool. Or you can buy from wholesale and sell onto makers who need different wools. As wool comes in many different thicknesses, colours, and fibers you can choose what you want to specialize in.
What other areas can handmade businesses utilize?
The following list I share below are not creative professions per se; however, every business owner can utilise them if they chose too. They can be used to create an additional income to your main business. Or if you choose not to be hands-on anymore & simply want to document your skillset for others to learn from.
Author Hardback, softback, kindle books (self publish)
When you are ready to help others in doing what you do sharing your information via a book is a great way. With so many tools to help you do this so easily all you need to do is organize your information for others to learn from. You can go all in and share via one book or breakdown it down into learning levels such as beginner, intermediate & advance. Or break it down via techniques, its total up to you the way you choose to present your information. Then all you have to do is market it like you would any product.
An e-book is a digital product you can sell but don't have to deliver kind of like a kindle (see above). However, with e-books, the buyer can download the e-book and either read it on their device or print it. You can look at the above ideas for your e-book. You can also use e-books to share tutorials for those who already know the skill and want to try new projects. This avenue is as unlimited as your creative imagination. You can sell them via your website or a marketplace.
Online Course Creator
Creating a course is your next level of teaching what you know. Through a course, your information will guide the student to an end goal. Again you can create different course levels depending on the skill set of the student. With course you can charge a higher price plus if you add a live element whether a question and answer session or maybe 1-2-1 talks you can give your student that personal attention. Plus if you o add a live element you don't need to charge vat on the price of the course. I thought I would drop that in there for ya.