These smart women have figured out how to turn their DIY creations into serious money — and so can you! Read on to learn their success secrets.
Make Cash Creating Wreaths
Lauren Simmons from Suffolk, Virginia, tells us: "I work full-time and I have two kids at home, but I also make wreaths for extra income. My wreaths are made from materials like deco mesh, burlap, yarn, and floral grapevine, and they fit all seasons and occasions. I started my business in 2014, when I was a single mom trying to make a little extra money while also keeping myself busy in the evenings and doing something fun.
I started making wreaths for myself, but my friends and family thought they were so pretty that I thought perhaps I could sell them. And when I made a wreath, posted a picture on Facebook, and people started saying, 'You should sell these!' I decided to try. I watched a few tutorials on YouTube and various craft-supply sites, then I joined Facebook groups where people post their creations and others critique them. Since then, Beautiful Mesh, my Etsy shop, has been my bread and butter.
Part of our attic is finished, so I use that as my craft room. An average wreath takes me 30 to 60 minutes to make, but I've done some wreaths hundreds of times and I can knock them out fast. Some of my items have gone viral on Pinterest and have been featured on websites and blogs, which improved my sales. Last year I earned more than $30,000 for my wreaths! I love crafting because I'm an accountant by day with left-brain tendencies — I like to create new things!"
Earn Big Bucks Crafting Quilts
Liberty Worth from Lost Angeles tells us: "I'm a stay-at-home mom of three. We live in an old house, which is a part time job in and of itself, but I also earn money making and repairing quilts and teaching sewing.
I used to have a day job in corporate textiles, but I hate to be in front of a computer, so I began to spend my non-screen time making jewelry. I sold my pieces at boutiques, festival booths, and Etsy and ended up trading some jewelry to another artist in exchange for sewing lessons. Those went so well that I left the jewelry business and started making handmade skirts and selling them the way I sold my jewelry.
My skirts took off — I sold over 1,300 over the next few years, which helped float our family as my husband made a career change and we moved. Now I continue to support my family by selling original quilts, repairing and finishing vintage quilts, teaching sewing, and writing and selling quilt patterns. I use Etsy (Liberty Worth), Instagram (@libbydibby), and Facebook (LibertyWorth) for publicity, but I get most of my business through word of mouth and referrals: I earn up to $500 per custom quilt and $40 per hour teaching sewing.
Creating with my hands and sharing that with other people is one of my greatest joys in life, so my job doesn't feel like work!"
Rake in Dollars Sewing Bags
Cinnamon Cooper from Chicago tells us: "I work for a textbook publisher and frequently take on projects that take years to complete, so I started sewing to combat frustration that I couldn't really 'touch' what I do since we use digital files.
I taught myself to sew on my Holly Hobbie sewing machines when I was a kid, making cute outfits for my cats and dolls. I then went on to sell crafts online and at fairs on the side. As I got older, I realized I liked making bags because unlike clothes, they don't have to be made to specific measurements.
My bag business took off after a friend asked me to make one to donate to a charity auction. I was hoping it would sell for $40, which is what it had cost me to create, but it went for $240! I was thrilled. I continued to make bags for charity but also began selling my work online via my website, Poise.cc.
Now I can earn as much as $50 per hour making bags: I sell them on my website, at a local boutique, on my Etsy shop (Poise), and at craft shows.
Bigger, custom bags take more time, but if I'm making a bag that I already have the pattern for, a simple bag can take me as little as 10 minutes. I've made hundreds of them: It's muscle memory at this point.
I really love sewing bags. I find it calming. I still donate a lot of my work to charity: It mostly benefits my soul to feel like I'm helping people with my hands."
This article originally appeared in our print magazine.
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