In 2011, the craft business industry brought in a whopping $30 billion in revenue, and by 2016, this number had increased to $44 billion. This trend doesn’t appear to be slowing down, making now the perfect time to get your craft business up and running. With the right skills and marketing know-how, anyone can be a successful DIY entrepreneur. In this guide, we’ve evaluated our top craft business ideas based on startup costs, required skill level, and earning potential to help you find your perfect business.
Best Craft Business Ideas for 2020
1. BOOKBINDING BUSINESS
Professional bookbinders make the binding for books of all genres. This kind of business is perfect for book-lovers, or anyone who has experience working in the printing or publishing business. Bookbinding requires precision, but it also requires someone with an eye for design. Having connections with publishers is also a huge benefit when marketing your skills.
As a hobby, bookbinding is relatively inexpensive, however, professional equipment necessitates a sizeable investment upfront. Earning potential can vary, and is largely dependent on the kind of materials used and the volume of orders. However, contracts with publishing houses provide consistent income and growth potential.
Learn how to start a bookbinding business.
2. SOAP MAKING BUSINESS
Everybody uses soap and other basic hygiene products on a daily basis, so creating and selling hygiene products is a sound business model. For people who have a working knowledge of hygiene products, those with a knack for appealing aromas, or simply hobbyists that enjoy making interesting designs from scratch, a soap making business is an ideal option.
The great thing about making soap is that it can be done in a kitchen with relatively inexpensive materials. If you plan to produce soap in large quantities, you may need a larger workspace, but otherwise, it is easy to get started working from home. Earning potential will depend on the quality of your products, in addition to your marketing skills, though it is easy to quickly make back your startup costs. Artisan soaps are a profitable niche market, and the desire for non-generic soaps is on the rise.
Learn how to start a soap making business.
3. POTTERY BUSINESS
If you are a creative person who loves to work with your hands, selling handmade pottery is the perfect way to mix business with pleasure. Being a talented potter is only half the battle though, as you will need to find an effective way to market and sell your products, whether online or in a physical store.
Relative to other handmade craft businesses, the startup costs for making pottery can be relatively high. This will depend on a few factors, one of the largest of which is whether or not you choose to work from home or rent a separate workspace. One way to save money on a workspace is to volunteer your time at a pottery studio in exchange for studio time. Once you have the proper equipment, a reliable venue, and the skills to make high-quality designs, you can set your own prices and make a good living. Consumers are willing to pay higher prices for artisan pottery, and the target demographic for these products is quite large.
Learn how to start a pottery business.
4. FURNITURE UPCYCLING BUSINESS
Furniture upcycling is one of the easiest ways to turn a fun hobby into a profitable business. It is well-suited for anyone who enjoys bargain hunting at antique stores or yard sales, as well as people with experience refurbishing furniture. The process for upcycling is pretty simple: buy low, refurbish, and sell high.
The startup costs are extremely low, with most of your initial funds going toward marketing and the cost of buying old furniture. While earning potential is not extremely high, you can still make a strong business by accounting for the time and materials needed for each project. Furniture upcycling is particularly popular among younger couples furnishing a house or apartment, so it is relatively easy to find consumers looking to buy.
Learn how to start a furniture upcycling business.
Find a Web Domain For Your Craft Business
Securing a web domain and creating a quality website is important for the overall success of a DIY Craft business.
After registering a domain name, consider setting up a professional email account (@yourcompany.com). Google's G Suite offers a business email service that comes with other useful tools, including word processing, spreadsheets, and more. Try it for free
5. GREETING CARD BUSINESS
Greeting cards are a popular way to celebrate birthdays, holidays, reunions, and many other life events. Businesses specializing in greeting cards can sell directly to consumers through a website, or to retailers in bulk. In either case, the greeting card business is best for entrepreneurs with an eye for design, poetry, and marketing.
Since most of these businesses operate exclusively online, the startup costs are low. While expenses are reasonable, greeting cards only sell for about $2.50 each. In order to maximize profits, your business will need to sell in bulk to retailers, or build a large enough brand to bring heavy traffic to your website.
Learn how to start a greeting card business.
6. LEATHER BUSINESS
Leather businesses encompass a wide range of endeavors, from retail shops to repair services. Whether you plan to sell leather products to retail shops, craft clothing, and accessories, or simply repair leather items, you will need to have an understanding of how leather is made and maintained.
Startup costs and earnings will vary depending on the nature of your leather business. Some leather items sell for thousands of dollars, while some are relatively cheap, with a low profit margin. You can better gauge the profitability of your business by focusing on a particular niche or service.
Learn how to start a leather business.
7. PICTURE FRAMING BUSINESS
Despite the rise of digital photography and cloud storage, picture frames continue to be a popular way to display art, family photos, and noteworthy documents. This kind of business requires knowledge of carpentry, design, color coordination, and customer service. Ideally, you should also have some experience working in print or photography.
The cost of supplies will vary depending on the materials used for frames, so the majority of your start up costs will go towards acquiring a high-traffic location. While it does require a physical location, picture framing can market to a large audience by way of a company website, expanding far beyond the local market. Frame shops are generally able to markup the finished product at a much higher percentage than other businesses. However, earning potential will depend on the need for framing in your local area, as well as your ability to market yourself online.
Learn how to start a picture framing business.
8. SCREEN PRINTING BUSINESS
Since the dawn of the Internet era, custom t-shirts and labels have been an ever-growing trend for people of all ages. If someone wants to make funny t-shirts for a bachelorette party, or a small business wants help printing custom product labels, they will need to find a professional screen printing business to get the job done right. Screen Printing requires a working knowledge of photoshop and other editing software, as well as a background in graphic design, so the barrier to entry is relatively high.
Screen printing is not the most expensive business to run, however, there are a few upfront investments to consider. The most important startup costs will be a specialized printer, a supply of t-shirts or other accessories, and the necessary software to create designs. There will also be continual expenses for ink and clothing. Nonetheless, screen printers can potentially earn a high salary, especially if they find several clients that regularly place bulk orders.
Learn how to start a screenprinting business.
9. STAINED GLASS BUSINESS
Though stained glass is often associated with churches and other religious centers, it actually has wide-ranging appeal and applications. From novelty eyewear to works of modern art, stained glass can add flair to just about any product or structure. In order to start a stained glass business, you must have a deep understanding of stained glass design and production.
Despite the skill level required, stained glass can be a very sustainable and lucrative business. Your studio will need various glass-cutting tools, protective gear, and a large, flat surface to work on, but these are not very expensive to purchase and maintain. Whether you plan to make small stained glass ornaments or large windows, you can charge a higher rate for your specialty skills, allowing for high earning potential with a consistent stream of clients.
Learn how to start a stained glass business.
Start a Craft Business In Your State
10. UPHOLSTERY BUSINESS
Repairing or reupholstering furniture is a great way to make interior amenities last. For people who don’t want to throw out their old furniture, an upholstery business is their best option. However, to get a successful upholstery business up and running, you must have vocational training in furniture upholstery and repair.
Getting started can be done without too many expenses. Generally, you just need a workspace, some tools, and preferably a vehicle to transport furniture. Considering that new furniture can often cost thousands of dollars, upholstery businesses are able to make strong earnings, all while saving their clients the cost of purchasing new items.
Learn how to start an upholstery business.
11. BRONZING BUSINESS
While the market for bronzing services has been in decline over the last decade, it has allowed small bronzing businesses to enter the market in place of the large companies that closed their doors. Bronzing services are most often marketed to those who want to preserve mementos from the past, like a baby shoe or stuffed animal. While this is certainly a niche demographic, it is still a business that brings in consistent earnings.
Though bronzing is a trainable skill, it is relatively easy to pick up. Bronzing kits are inexpensive, and many businesses operate out of a garage or similar workspace. As with most businesses that cater to a niche market, there is a relatively low ceiling in terms of earning potential. However, with the right marketing strategy, you can build a steady stream of clients and maximize your profits.
Learn how to start a bronzing business.
12. CALLIGRAPHY BUSINESS
Calligraphy is the art of decorative writing. It is often used for invitations, signs, posters, and any other written material for special occasions. While anyone can master calligraphy with enough practice, it takes someone with solid marketing skills to turn it into a profitable business. There are various ways to make money with calligraphy, including selling products, teaching classes, and producing designs for clients.
Costs for a calligraphy business are minimal, however, these can increase depending on the nature of your business. For example, if you wish to teach classes, you may need to rent or purchase a proper workspace. Earning potential also varies based on the services you provide, but finding avenues to market directly to couples getting married or businesses that regularly host events will ensure higher earnings.
Learn how to start a calligraphy business.
13. CANDLE MAKING BUSINESS
Candles are still one of the most popular ways to create a comfortable atmosphere in homes. Candle making businesses are best-suited for those who enjoy candle making as a hobby, have a knack for scent design, and really know how to market their brand.
As a hobby, candle making is relatively inexpensive and does not require much technical skill. Most candle makers start working from home and market their candles online, though they may open a physical shop after building up a client base. Profits are largely dependent on your ability to differentiate your brand from others, though with enough marketing, it can be a lucrative business.
Learn how to start a candle making business.
14. DRIED FLOWER BUSINESS
For gardening enthusiasts, a dried flower business is a perfect way to turn a flower garden into a business venture. A dried flower business usually sells dried flowers to individuals or businesses dealing in arts-and-crafts. They can also preserve flowers and bouquets for special events. This niche is especially popular for those who enjoy scrapbooking.
Costs are generally tied up in gardening supplies and acquiring the necessary land, though some dried flower businesses are able to yield enough crops from a large home or community garden. While earning potential can change based on the size of your garden and your marketing abilities, it is relatively low, as the business appeals to a smaller market.
Learn how to start a dried flower business.
15. GLASS BLOWING BUSINESS
Glass blowing is the centuries-old practice of forming glass ornaments, using a pipe and air to make bubbles out of molten glass. This is a perfect business for those who already have experience working with glass and have the ability to design ornate glass sculptures from scratch.
Despite the small size of most glass-blown creations, it actually takes a lot of space and equipment to run a glass blowing business. After renting a studio, purchasing a furnace, and acquiring the necessary tools, the startup costs can take a chunk out of your budget. Many glass blowing businesses report earning more than enough to make up for their initial investments, though the profit margin in the long term is relatively small. Nonetheless, with enough skill and marketing, you can build a very strong business.
Learn how to start a glass blowing business.
16. QUILTING BUSINESS
Most quilting is done as a hobby, but it is a great way to turn a fun skill into a thriving small business. Quilting involves stitching different fabrics together to form a piece of art. These pieces generally take the form of large blankets, with various designs and materials used for each section of fabric. Anyone can learn how to make a quilt, but creating interesting designs to sell takes a certain degree of creativity and aesthetic knowledge.
Quilting only requires a sewing machine and materials, so startup costs are quite low. Most quilting businesses sell their pieces individually, and rates can vary depending on the time and materials used. Earnings will be largely dependent on the appeal of your designs and your ability to market your craft to your target audience, but charging 50% above your base hourly rate for specialized quilts is not uncommon.
Learn how to start a quilting business.
17. SCRAPBOOKING BUSINESS
Contrary to popular belief, scrapbooking is a thriving industry that brings in as much as $4 billion in annual revenue. Scrapbooking mostly targets those who wish to preserve their memories in a stylish format, usually through family photos, letters, and other nostalgic memorabilia. This business is perfect for people who love arts and crafts and have prior scrapbooking experience.
Costs are very low, both in terms of initial purchases and ongoing expenses. You will need a website to market yourself, as well as scrapbooking materials like albums, sheet protectors, and adhesives. Although costs are low, and scrapbooking is an extremely popular industry, you will need to distinguish yourself from the competition in order to acquire new clients. Scrapbooking businesses are often able to maximize their earnings by marketing their services directly to newlyweds.
Learn how to start a scrapbooking business.
18. SEWING BUSINESS
Sewing businesses are great for fashion enthusiasts who know how to make their own garments. Most sewing businesses specialize in some combination of making, altering, and/or customizing clothing. The market for clothing alteration and custom garments is always growing, so it is never a bad time to start your sewing business.
One of the primary advantages is the low cost of operation. Most sewing professionals work from home, and aside from a sewing machine and materials, there are very few expenditures needed to get your sewing business up and running. Additionally, if you specialize in making new designs, you can market yourself to boutiques. This can open the door to expansion, and greatly increase your earning potential.
Learn how to start a sewing business.
19. WOODWORKING BUSINESS
Woodworking involves the creation of furniture, decorations, or works of art using wood. As a $6 billion dollar industry, woodworking continues to be a relevant and prosperous business endeavor. It is definitely hands-on work and requires experience and technical knowledge in the field.
Unlike many other craft businesses, woodworking takes a relatively substantial upfront investment. However, if you have a space at home large enough to house the necessary equipment and materials, then you can save on rent. Additionally, the earning potential for woodworkers is very high. Consumers are always willing to pay more for products that were made with expert craftsmanship.
Learn how to start a woodworking business.
20. CARPENTRY BUSINESS
While woodworking generally involves smaller projects, carpentry is the practice of designing, building, and even repairing both commercial and residential wooden structures. Carpentry requires knowledge in math, basic structural engineering, and woodworking. Additionally, it requires a certain level of physical fitness to carry heavy materials, climb on large structures, and do manual labor for hours at a time.
A carpenter must be licensed and have certification in OSHA safety courses. These can be very expensive and time-consuming, but once the proper documentation has been acquired, the remaining costs are minimal. The tools are relatively inexpensive and generally last for many years. While earnings vary by project type and location, carpenters can earn a very comfortable living with just a handful of clients per year.
Learn how to start a carpentry business.
21. ICE SCULPTURE BUSINESS
Ice sculpting businesses create beautiful works of art for weddings and other special events with a block of ice and a chisel. In order to run an ice sculpting business, you should be an expert sculptor, or at the very least know where to find one. For someone who is great at marketing and selling artisan products, it makes more sense to manage the brand and employ professional sculptors for each project.
Even though a small ice sculpting business can be started with an ice storage unit and a chisel, most will require large upfront investments. Many larger businesses use automated carving machines and software, which can cost as much as $50,000. However, individual sculptures are generally sold for several hundred dollars, at the very least, so earnings can still be high with the right volume of clients.
Learn how to start an ice sculpting business.
Start a Craft Business in Your State
- New Hampshire
- New Jersey
- New Mexico
- New York
- North Carolina
- North Dakota
- Rhode Island
- South Carolina
- South Dakota
- Washington D.C.
- West Virginia