Learn how to sell crafts online and start your own craft business with these helpful tips and tricks.
Twelve years ago when I was working a “real job,” I couldn’t wait for the weekend, the days off work, and the nights at home to make cute, crafty things.
I was always a creative spirit. I had a big imagination as a kid and still do today. The only difference is, today I get to dream stuff up and actually have the skills, time, and resources to make it in my physical world. Last year, my little business sold just under 9,000 handmade items and I love spending my day dreaming up new projects, tutorials, and resources to keep growing.
There is nothing like the freedom to set your own schedule, spend more time with your family or join a friend for a long lunch in the middle of the day. No more missed birthdays, school performances, or anniversaries.
It’s not all easy and effortless though. Far from it. My journey into being a successful handmade business owner was not a smooth one, but I wouldn’t trade it for the world. You can read all about my broke, dumpster-diving start here.
Sadly, I still look around and see so many incredible women working jobs they hate or feel stuck in. Trust me, I’ve been there too. I’ve been a weekend janitor, worked at multiple call centers, hosted at dirty restaurants, and even experienced what it’s like to be an exhausted preschool teacher. But nothing compares to the feeling of waking up in the morning and having complete control over what you do that day.
I imagine it’s kind of what retirement feels like…. without the boredom.
And you deserve it too. I can absolutely show you how.
Today, I wanted to break down a few key factors and questions to get you off on the right foot. Learning how to sell crafts online can feel overwhelming. So, I wanted to point you in the right direction to save you a ton of time and frustration.
To break it down, here’s how to sell crafts online for beginners:
- Decide what you like to make
- How much does it cost to create?
- How much time can you dedicate to making it?
- Create systems and routines for success
Decide what you like to make
As a creative person, there are probably several skills and creative talents you have. Often, creatives dabble in embroidery, papercraft, sewing, and pottery at the same time. When you love to make things with your hands, it rarely stops at one medium. And that’s a good thing!
The only time it becomes a problem is when you are deciding what you want to build a handmade business around. Then, you need to take a few things into consideration.
First, are there any projects you find yourself saying, “Wow… I always feel so relaxed when I’m making ____ but I never take the time for it.” Or “The next time I have a free weekend, I can’t wait to _____” These are the crafts you should consider building a business around.
Often, we get excited about the compliments we receive about a project or especially proud of a certain craft and decide to run with it. This sounds like a good idea, but when the orders start piling up and you’re not making something that lights you up, you’ll quickly face burnout. After all, we want to be building a business that works for you… not one that makes you a busy mess.
If you find yourself excited to start a specific project but frustrated, angry, defeated, and sad half-way through and then proud when it’s complete, do not build a business around it.
It seems like common sense, but I’m always surprised at how many creative entrepreneurs make this mistake.
How much does it cost to create?
Even if you have a massive stash of craft supplies to start with, be sure you are pricing your materials and accounting for them. That way, when the orders start piling in, you can afford to still make your awesome creations and make a profit.
So often creators make a few items and say, “I didn’t have to buy anything new so it basically cost nothing to make!”
My friend, that is simply not true. If you purchased your supplies years ago, inherited them or found them for pennies at a yard sale, you still should account for them. What happens when you sell all of your products and your customers want more? What then?
If you’d like more guidance and information on how to price your handmade products, I created a free printable worksheet here and a step-by-step article to guide you through the process here.
Break everything down and price out your supplies. For example, if you are a jewelry-maker, do you buy your beads in bulk? If so, divide your package price into the number of pieces you can make. That way, you have a more accurate product creation cost.
What about your machinery and tools? How often do those need to be replaced? Write it down and divide it by its lifetime use.
We’ll be adding your materials and supplies prices to your product prices in a minute.
How much time can you dedicate to making it?
Just because you like what you do, doesn’t mean you should be working for free. You my dear deserve to thrive, profit, and succeed while creating beautiful products that light you up and share your skills and talents with the world.
That’s why you need to ask yourself, “How long does it take to make this project?“ Granted, sometimes it can be hard to really nail down how long it takes to complete a certain project. Sometimes, you may be working on it for 15 minutes here in 15 minutes there. Just do your best.
Once you have an idea, set a timer on your phone the next time you sit down to craft. This way, you know for sure how long each item really takes to complete.
From here, decide how much time you can realistically spend making your projects each week, Break it down and be realistic. You likely won’t want to be working past midnight each night.
Create systems and routines
Systems and routines determine the success or failure when you are learning how to sell crafts online. As a creative entrepreneur, you’ll be wearing many hats and it’s ok to not do every single one perfectly. Give yourself some grace while you’re learning and don’t forget to have fun and experiment.
The thing that has been the biggest game-changer for me has been creating consistent morning and night-time routines. Having a dedicated and consistent routine creates stability and structure in a sometimes-hectic and inconsistent day-to-day. Try to fall asleep at the same time each night and wake up at the same time each morning. Avoid sacrificing self-care for your new business and be sure to take the time to spend with friends and family each day. It will be hugely beneficial for your own psyche and the longevity of your new handmade business.
I sincerely hope these tips were helpful to get you off on the right foot in learning how to sell crafts online.
Sharing your unique skills, making things you love, and sharing your talents with the world can be the most rewarding adventure.
To keep your momentum going and give you more guidance and tips, I created a free workshop for you.
In this totally free workshop, you’ll learn:
- The top 3 best-selling handmade items you can start making this weekend
- The formula top-selling business owners use to price their handmade creations
- How to do market research and decide if a project is worth selling
- The myths that hold most creative entrepreneurs back