It’s not too early to start thinking about earning extra money for the holidays this year! If you like to craft or are handy with wood, there are several things I make that sell well in my area. The key is to have them ready by around September first for winter holidays, and around July first for fall holidays. I’ve found winter holiday items sell much better, and I’ve mostly given up selling anything else. The supplies for these are inexpensive but some require a vinyl machine, or the ability to hand-paint lettering and designs. The beauty of making these things is that you can also whip them up as inexpensive but thoughtful gifts for friends and family. Here’s a list of the things I’ve had success selling:
Shadow Boxes ~ Put in a pretty background paper, add some jingle bells or other holiday trinkets and put some pretty vinyl on the glass. They sell for around $18 in my area for a 5×7, so if you buy the 4-packs when they’re on sale for 40% off, you can make a good profit. Beware of people wanting customs…I try to only sell premade. If you do take custom orders, get paid in advance, or expect a 50% flake rate (and that’s a conservative estimate!).
Hand-Painted Wooden Signs ~ If you use vinyl, use it only as a stencil since these look cheesy if they aren’t hand-painted! I love to stain the wood, put down the vinyl, paint the rest white and then remove the vinyl and lightly distress. Take customs with family names as gifts (I still advise getting paid up front!) or do holiday sayings. These sell for $25+ for a 10×15 sign or so. Smaller and larger sells well too!
Floating Frames ~ A take on the Shadow Boxes, but they are just two layers of glass in a frame. I add vinyl to the back pane, add the front pane, and voila! Very nice gift. Read aforementioned note on personalized gifts! These sell for slightly less than wooden signs and shadow boxes, but still worth it.
Glitter Signs ~ Another take on the hand-painted signs. Reindeer heads are especially popular! I do hearts as well, among other things. These sell for $15+ depending on size.
Mugs, Tumblers, Water Bottles ~ If you purchase your blanks at Dollar Tree, be prepared for someone to be a jerk and call you out on it. Oh well. You can also purchase online but the investment is much greater, so if you can find cute blanks at DT, go for it! These sell for $6+ personalized but again, protect yourself when taking custom orders.
Candles ~ I sell a lot of candles around the holidays and after three years of running a candle business, I realized the rest of the year is pretty much dead, but I can make several hundred dollars around the holidays. I do soy and focus on fall/winter/holiday scents. After the cost of supplies, I don’t make a killing, but I can bring in a few hundred dollars over a few craft fairs spread out over October, November and December, and it makes it worth it.
Do you have any success stories with handmade side hustles? Please share in the comments!