Making items by hand to sell is appealing because it can be done from the comfort of your own home. A dedicated person with skill at creating items such as jewelry, quilts or cabinets could conceivably create an entire home-based business. Make sure to price the finished pieces high enough so that it's worth your while. Some small business retailers multiply the cost of materials by 10 to arrive at a retail price.
Disciple's Cross, a Christian-based crafting company, is an interesting option for those interested in the home jewelry business. The organization began in the 1990s by Pastor John Raymond of Slidell, La., who wore a handmade cross when he was a contestant on the popular reality show Survivor. The basic approach is that you buy supplies from Raymond, make the crosses at home at the pace of about five minutes each, and he agrees to buy them back (up to 400 crosses weekly) at $2.25 apiece. This would earn you about $500 weekly in profit. The real kicker is that you also receive the rights to market the crosses you build yourself for whatever price the market will bear; currently $5 to $10 apiece.
With the advent of websites like CafePress.com and Zazzle.com, it's easy to make money exercising your creative design skills. Create designs using pens and pencils, then scan them into your computer, or simply use a graphic design program like Photoshop to make it digital from the start. Once you have a design, log onto either of the websites mentioned above and apply your design to t-shirts, mugs, calendars—almost anything you can think of—then set the price and put them up for sale. The company takes orders, prints, and ships products with your design on it, while cutting you in for a slice of the profit. This is the way to get into the t-shirt printing business without spending thousands of dollars on a printing press.
Candles and Bath Soaps
It seems that the demand for candles and bath soaps never goes away. Let the runaway success of Bed, Bath & Beyond stand as exhibit number one. There are plenty of ebooks floating around the Internet, and actual books on Amazon.com that will teach you how to make this sort of craft. Once you have the basics down, let you imagination roam as you create new and unique candles and soaps to market to the world.
Derek Dowell has ghostwritten dozens of projects and thousands of blogs in the real estate, Internet marketing and travel industry, as well as completed the novel "Chrome Sombrero." He holds a Bachelor of Science in environmental legal studies from Missouri State University.