How to Make Money for Crochet Supplies

By Emilee Gettle – 17 Comments

Do you crave yarn like you crave food? When you walk into an aisle of yarn, hooks and patterns are you tempted beyond your means? If this is the case, it might be time for your talents to start making you money, so you can support your love. There are several options available to those who want to start their own home business around crochet. I have outlined some below, but it only takes a few creative moments to come up with other ideas to make a little extra crochet “mad money” on the side.

Craft Shows and Festivals: More than likely there are several fun community events in your area that would let you set up a table of your wares. If you have a friend who likes to crochet or does other craft projects, split the booth costs and bring her along too. Why not try this as a girl’s day out and make a little money on the side.

Craft Boutiques and Flea Markets: Perhaps in your local area you might have a store that offers crafters an outlet to sell their products. These fun specialty shops are a great place to sell your crocheted goodies, especially since their clientele is in the market for something handcrafted. If the booth price seems a little steep, try splitting it up between your friends to lower the cost. It’s a great way for everyone to benefit!

Etsy.com: Why not dive in and open your own Etsy storefront online? It is super easy and there is very little expense. You also have a worldwide audience who are seeking out unique, handmade items. However, let me underline the word unique. You want to market your products as something no one else has. Make them extra special and spruce them up with your own creative touches. If you want to start selling crocheted washcloths, take them to a new level. For instance, make your washcloths like granny squares, crafted from organic cotton, include a crocheted scrubbie and package them in an irresistable way. You could also start selling patterns you’ve created.

Remember, a worldwide audience is wonderful, but it also means you have stiff competition from your fellow crafters. Try to brand your products with a sweet little name that is catchy and easy for your customer to remember. You want them to come back for more. It is also important to be timely when shipping your products so you can rack up that positive feedback, which might just mean more sales for you.

A Friendly Reminder:
Starting a business around your love of crochet is an excellent way to support your hobby and provide you with a little extra spending money on the side. It does take some time and dedication, but most of us die-hard crochet enthusiasts have been learning those skills while we work on projects stitch-by-stitch to completion. Home business are created in exactly the same way.

Do you have tips on making money off your crochet projects?

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17 Comments

  1. Laurie says:

    Emilee–I think you did a great job listing all the “pros” for beginning a home-based business to supplement your crafting budget and you’ve written a terrific, encouraging article.

    I don’t want to discourage anyone, but the flip side involves many “cons” that I think many newbies don’t realise are there. When I first began selling my wares, I found I was fighting a very steep uphill battle and completely underestimated the amount of hard work it was going to require. Fortunately, my love of what I do so overshadows those cons, that they are not so bad.

  2. tennyemaye says:

    great ideas! I’m excited about a fair I’m going to be selling at pretty soon that I’m splitting with a friend who makes jewelry. Also, another way to make money is to teach how to crochet, like a ladies group or a small group. Sometimes even at birthday parties ;-)

  3. Thanks for the great ideas….I’ve had a lot of success at craft fairs.

  4. Bethintx1 says:

    I too do not want to discourage anyone from giving craft shows and selling a try, but here is the cold hard truth of my experience:

    I did craft shows for three years. I stopped because once I felt I MUST make something or the same thing over & over with little to no sales, it got discouraging. The thing I love most became tedious. However, some people do well. I sold fashion doll clothes and decorated tee shirts.

    Beanie Babies came out and my customer base stopped buying the doll clothes. The tee shirts grew out of fashion. I grew tired of hearing,”I could make that myself for less”…and “I’m only here to get Ideas”.

    My business partner and I were really excited for getting into our first juried show. We got set up and started to visit with other vendors. Most were really nice, but several were rude and angry that we were in the spot their friend usually occupied. They even discouraged their customers from coming to our booth! I talked to the show director about it. She said the previous vendor had the same items several others were selling. Our items were unique. The other vendors with the same items paid their fee and registered first.

    SO It may not be all sunshine & roses when you go into any business. Go in with your eyes wide open. I did enjoy selling at shows most of the place we went. I did stick with it for three years!

    Lastly, The thing I do now to make money with my craft is Making how-to videos on You Tube. How it began is a long story. Perhaps I’ll write an article about my story and submit it to Rachel.
    But in short, I made a video to teach a friend and the video got enough hits to be a partner.

  5. Laurie says:

    A little more detail now that I have a moment…

    I spent 20 years in brick and mortar retail, but that’s no longer an option for me.

    I now design, make, and sell glass beaded jewelry as well as crocheted items and patterns. My goods are listed on five different websites (as Big Girl Jewelry) AND I sell face to face at a small local flea market and a few small local craft shows. I love it and wouldn’t really trade any of it….but.

    Here’s my current frustration: Late last Friday I received an order for a crochet pattern collection which is to be emailed to the customer in the form of a .pdf file. Her email provider won’t accept the file because it’s too large. I tried zipping the file to shrink it, breaking it down into its components, and every other trick I know. Still, the email provider will not accept the file(s). So I sent an email to the customer explaining why she hasn’t received the file in her inbox yet. I have her money, but she does not have her product. I have yet to hear from her three days later. (And yes, I will send her another email this afternoon just in case she missed the first email.) I COULD just refund her money, but if she hasn’t made that decision herself, that’s just plain bad business, so I wait. ALSO, if I refund her money, I still have to pay the transaction fee to PayPal. Now, as yesterday’s Crochet Spot article cited, we pattern writers do NOT make loads of money per pattern, so the loss of that fee isn’t a great option.

    Saturday, different site: A customer ordered a necklace but did not list an address to which it should be shipped. Again, I attempted to make contact. The necklace is ready to go, I just need payment confirmation and a shipping address from PayPal….Again, I wait.

    Each of these customers is placing her very first purchase with the respective website, possibly her very first order with any site. Thinking globally, I want to make the best first impression possible. The lesson to learn here is that you need to be extremely patient and knowledgeable about the site(s) from which you are selling and understand that not everybody else will be.

  6. Barbra says:

    All of the above business comments are true and I feel I must add another regarding selling online. Many,if not most people think “Post it and they will come”….oh,so not true. Promotion,getting your name out is a huge component of online selling. Sometimes it can be way more than it takes to create your item! You are not visible until you tell everyone you are there whether through forums,Twitter, Facebook,etc. Etsy is very tough these days because it is so huge. I’ve been there for 4 years and will stay but have also chosen to go to http://www.zibbet.com…a new site, fantastic owners and many features etsy sellers have wanted forever but you still must promote. There are 3 crucial components to selling after you have created your item~patience,promotion and photographs.
    Good customer service is also a must.

  7. Denise says:

    I have made several ponchos for different friends and they (along with other people I showed the ponchos to) told me I should sell them. I’m so excited to consider this. The way I see it now is that when my friends wear their “presents” from me – it’s free advertising! Hopefully this will be that little beginning to making money from crocheting!

  8. Deb says:

    I like all of the info provided. I had an in home show that was fun and successful. I followed the format of the old tupperware parties. I already have a friend who is willing to host an in home party for me. Perhaps this is another way to sell your wares.

  9. Laurie says:

    Deb:

    Hosting a party or a mini in-home craft fair is an option I’ve considered myself. I’d love to hear how you progress…do you blog about your experiences anywhere?

    Laurie

  10. i’ve been crocheting for over 20 years now.since i’ve had a stroke and paralized on my left sidei stradted back crocheting 12yrs ago.ppl can’t beleive the things that i can make and or do with diffrent crafts.but i always go back crocheting because it’s in my blood ppl tells me that i can’t do a certain thing such as a crocheting letter g for a ga bulldawg blanket i find this a challenge to and for me.

  11. susie says:

    I make hats with decorative floral embellishments and last year sold over 100 on a well known auction site, I thought during these summer months I would perhaps get ahead and continue making them to start again for the winter…. I havent done as I thought… I agree with a previous comment. I ended up making lots, it can become obsessive & in the end that can be discouraging as 1. they dont sell or 2. you get bored making the same thing and anything else that takes a lot of time and patience ends up being sold for “peanuts”. Now, I feel that I will not be making them so much for the financial rewards, I enjoy giving the hats away as gifts… and that is a good advert if anyone wishes to place a specific order and wants to pay for them. I have never made the same hat twice, whether it is the color, design or decoration so they are unique in that way. So roll on the winter months when I shall start again and it is nice to know that at least someone will be wearing my hat somewhere in the world (I do know there are several in France and Italy for a start). If you enjoy doing it keep on doing it thats my motto and dont get hung up on churning stuff out for a huge profit otherwise you can lose your joy with it.

  12. Laurie says:

    Hey Susie!

    Before you give up, try posting on Etsy. If you’re using Ebay, you’re paying way too much in fees anyway. If you can find the time, and a small craft fair, take your wares there. One of the high schools in my area has one every November and they’ve been doing it so long that it’s now a local destination for Christmas shoppers. You may not make a killing, but it’s a fun way to spend a few hours on a wintry afternoon.

  13. ramona sivells says:

    If you sell your items on line and at markets must i charge taxes. Im presently to keep ledgers.

  14. Debbie says:

    Thank you so much for your input Rachel! I will definitely be ordering items from Amazon.com thru your website to give you a little bit of a thank you. Hope you had a great Christmas and hope you have a very Happy New Year! Deb

  15. Debbie says:

    Hi Rachel! I have another question about selling on a website versus Ebay or Etsy. Do you know if I would have to charge sales tax for selling on these sites? Or, do you know how to determine when and how much to charge for sales tax? I appreciate all your help! Have a very Happy New Year!

    • Rachel says:

      Hi Debbie, it’s up to you. You can include the tax in the item’s price if you want (what I do right now) or you can add it as an additional cost. You might want to talk to an accountant for his/her expertise.

  16. Lorie says:

    I make crochet jewelry as my main product with various other crochet bits. I’ve been on Etsy and Artfire. Lots of nice comments, but not a single sale. I’m in a couple of gift shops and have had some sales there, but these are mostly ‘touristy’ type places, so most purchases people make there are souvenir type items. The most success I’ve had is as someone has stated here… home ‘party’ type of setup. My family and friends wear my jewelry and as people complement them on the pieces, they then give the whole story of ‘for sale’, ‘home party with free gift’, etc. I sold over $300 in a one hour party (items range in price from $5- $.25 each). The parties are cash only. As I am a chef, I also provide some nice tasty h’orderves (not overly expensive). The host of the party has a choice of a piece from my collection for having the party… sales or not. It’s been a pretty good time and you get to meet a lot of nice people.

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