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21 Easy Things to Make and Sell for Profit in 2022 | Handshake

Women's hands holding soaps

From stunning macrame plant holders to wildflowers eternalized in resin – nothing captures the entrepreneurial spirit quite like turning your passion into profit with an online business. If you’re someone who thrives on creativity, there are endless things to make and sell which may lead to your next successful small business.

Whether you’re looking for a creative side hustle or have simply been inspired by the handcraft moguls making six figures out of their basements, we have put together 21 easy ideas to help you create your next bestseller.

21 Simple Things to Make and Sell for Profit in 2022

1. Art and Digital Prints

Whether you’re a painter or shine at photography, turn your work into profit by selling prints online. If you’re a little rusty in the creative department, then there are plenty of iconic pieces of fine art and photography available in the public domain to reproduce. If you’re willing to put the time into creating high-quality prints, the sky is truly the limit. 

Add to your sales by offering different formats such as cards, mugs, pillows, postcards, etc.

  • Next Step: Consider custom designs! Perhaps you’re a dab hand at Photoshop (or even Canva), and if so you can make great money out of custom designs and prints.

2. Bath Bombs and Soaps

Lavender body scrub and wooden spoon
Featured supplier: Naked Soap Bar Co.

One of the most popular things to make and sell online; bath bombs, soaps, scrubs and other beauty products are all incredibly easy to make at home. All you need is a good YouTube tutorial and access to fresh, safe ingredients – and you’re already halfway there. 

From coconut oil and coffee exfoliators to soothing lavender scented oils; there’s a lot to get creative within this department. A good rule of thumb when starting out is to keep things simple and keep your inventory tight. You want to make sure oils don’t go out of date and bath bombs keep their fizz.

3. Candles

Much like bathroom essentials, candles are another easy item to make at home. With an industry worth $7.1 billion in the US alone, candles offer a savvy business opportunity. Also like bath bombs and soaps, you can keep it simple – create candles for niche communities, groups, and events, or explore scents and invest in cute packaging to stand out from the crowd.

  • Next step: Try upcycling! From glass jars to wine bottles, turn your trash into profit by reusing items you may already have lying around at home. This will cut costs and is a great Unique Selling Point (USP) for your product in an already crowded market.

4. Enamel Pins & Patches

An enamel pin in the shape of Texas with flowers laid on top
Featured supplier: Seniman Calligraphy

Easy to create, even easier to sell – pins and patches are increasingly popular because people love to express themselves by having different pins for their backpacks and coats.. The simplest way to produce enamel pins is to work with a manufacturer. You’ll be responsible for the design itself, which allows for ample creative freedom.

Next step: Get niche! A lot of people use pins to express their interests, politics, communities, and identities so honing in on what’s popular or sorely missing in various subgenres may be your ticket to big sales.

5. Stickers 

Stickers are another easy and cost-effective item to make and sell for profit. Much like prints and enamel pins, you can let your creativity take over. You can make absolutely anything into a sticker, so designers or hobby designers might already have stacks of cute designs ready to go, and that’s arguably the most time-consuming part! 

  • Next step: Stickers are a great little bonus to gift customers for free with an order of something else. While this might seem counterintuitive as your goal here is to make money, little tokens of gratitude like this may lead to repeat orders, and if a customer slaps your sticker on a laptop or helmet; then can only help your brand get seen and grow!

6. Jewelry 

The diversity of the jewelry-making scene provides ample opportunity to make and sell from home. From beaded necklaces to delicate earrings, you don’t always need access to a studio or be trained in silverwork to make unique pieces. A little research into popular trends won’t go amiss here, and you can utilize a whole host of materials to create one-off designs. Jewelry also isn’t limited to one gender, age group, or market so you can be as creative and quirky as you like!

7. Printed T-shirts and Tote Bags

T-shirts and totes have and always will be popular, and are a good bet if you know how to market them to the right audience. Shirts can be produced with an external manufacturer, or you can screen print designs yourself depending on your time constraints and access. From events to merchandise to one-off designs with limited supply, it’s easier than you think to create your t-shirt empire from home.

  • Tip: To make the process even easier, use a Print on Demand (POD) service like Printful to create products quickly and ship directly from the supplier.

8. Slime

ICYMI: Slime was a hugely popular Internet trend during 2015, and boomed in the years that followed as more and more teens posted tutorials online of how to make this so-called ‘slime’ – a gooey mixture of Borax, lotion, and water that when made correctly forms a satisfyingly squishy dough. 

However this is not a relic of the past; if you have spent any time on Instagram or TikTok recently, you’ll have seen that there are still thousands of accounts dedicated to Slime, and it’s still as popular as ever.

  • Next step: Slime’s universal appeal was down to two reasons: how easy it was to make, and how easy it was to be creative. Whatever your Slime interpretation of Glitter Unicorn to Banana Split is, the goo offers plenty of creativity for you to start experimenting with textures, scents, viscosity, and volume. 

9. Resin

A collection of charms set in resin
Feartured supplier: ann + joy

If you’re able to master resin, you have access to a hugely versatile material that can be used for anything from preserving to creating gorgeous works of art. Liquid resin is mixed with a hardener to produce a chemical reaction that solidifies over time. The result is a transparent, durable material that can be used for casting, jewelry, worktops, sealing, decoration, and pretty much anything you can think of. 

There are also several different kinds of resin to explore (epoxy, silicone, polyester, etc) which can be used depending on what you wish to create.

  • Tip: Practice makes perfect! Resin – much like any handcraft – will need a little practice to get exactly right. You’ll need to figure out the knack to remove bubbles and other imperfections. Good thing there are ample YouTube tutorials that can help.

10. Pet Products

Pet lovers know that there is no end to the gifts and treats you’ll shower on your furry friend! Pet products are an excellent market to tap into with tons of adorable ways to make a little extra money. Pet accessories can range from chew toys to clothing items; scratching posts and activity boards; food bowls and one-of-a-kind collars, leashes, and harnesses. The sky’s the limit in this $232 billion industry.

11. Online Courses

If you have a particular interest or skill, online courses are probably one of the easiest products to make and sell online. Turn your unique interest into income by providing guides, white papers, articles, or YouTube tutorials. Customers will then be able to purchase these and learn from you.

If you have a particular interest or skill, online courses are probably one of the easiest products to make and sell online. Turn your unique interest into income by providing guides, white papers, articles, or YouTube tutorials. Customers will then be able to purchase these and learn from you. 

  • Next step: Consider offering one-on-one coaching sessions to give your customers a unique learning experience.

12. Upcycled Prodicts

Today’s consumers are becoming more concerned with sustainability and recycling — and for good reason! Thrifty folks will already be aware of upcycling, the process of taking a used or old item and turning it into something brand new. The method of repurposing items is a huge USP for climate conscious consumers. 

Examples of upcycling include turning mismatched socks or gloves into toys for kids, used light bulbs into adorable oil lamps, empty wine bottles into candle holders, old shirts into cushions. A quick Google search will give you tons more ideas.

13. Seasonal Merchandise

Christmas, New Year, Easter, 4th of July, Halloween. If you don’t have the time to invest in a year-round side hustle, then hone in on your favorite holiday! Sell one-off Halloween-themed prints, Hanukkah gift cards, or simple Christmas baubles. Selling seasonal products is a great way to increase income flow around the holidays.

  • Tip: If you’re thinking about selling products seasonally, don’t wait until the month of your holiday. If you’re considering Q4, begin working on your strategy in Q2. You’ll benefit from less competition and capture the early bird market.
  • Be inspired by Handshake’s Christmas and Valentine’s Day collections.

14. Lip Balms and Cosmetics

Two tubes of lip balm
Featured supplier: Wild Grove Essentials

Like bathroom products, cosmetics like lip balms and hand creams are one of the easiest things to make and sell. Explore essential oils, beeswax, cocoa butter, and other readily available natural ingredients – but invest in quality materials. While you won’t need access to a workshop, you want to make sure your setup still meets the industry’s standards and follows local regulations for home production.

15. Knitwear and Crochet

Many of us took up a new hobby in the last couple of years, and some of us got pretty good at it, too. Maybe you found yourself knitting woolen hats or enjoyed crocheting a scarf or two. Simply put, knitted goods will always be popular things to make and sell. While knitwear and similar handmade items have a good profit margin, they take time to create so make sure you factor that in when considering your price points.

  • Next Step: Because this kind of work does take so much time, consider making and selling your items with wholesale vendors in mind. You will be able to exercise a greater degree of control over your schedule, as well as reduce any unsold product.

16. Embroidery

Another versatile hobby that can be turned into profit is embroidery, which allows for a huge amount of creativity. You may want to make gorgeous, comical, or niche adornments for clothing or walls, or develop unique patterns for other keen embroiderers to purchase online — designs can be as simple or complex as you like.

  • Tip: Embroidery is an excellent way to upcycle old materials or accessories – adding an embroidered neckline to a plain t-shirt will mean you can resell at a higher rate.

17. Hair Care & Accessories

Lady pulling her hair into a scrunchie
Featured supplier: MERRITT CHARLES – LOS ANGELES

Head wraps, bobbles, slides, clips, or even fascinators! Hair accessories can be very lucrative if you know your audience and what’s trending in the fashion space. Haircare, in general, is a huge market, and hair products such as clips and bands are ideal to sell in bulk. 

Explore a target market, do your research, and leverage social media to showcase your hair product and its use with different hair textures and styles.

18. Macrame

Another pastime that exploded during lockdown is macrame – or the technique of using knots to create various textiles. It can be used to create wall hangings, art, plant holders, clothing, and accessories Macrame’s success is in its simplicity; it’s a hobby anyone can learn, but start off small and build your customer base with simple designs that are easy to reproduce in bulk.

Tip: You can use any textile to create macrame knots, but the most common is twisted three-ply cotton. However, if you’re making items for animals or kids, look out for the OEKO-TEX label which guarantees the material has been manufactured safely.

19. Woodwork

An adult and baby kangaroo carved out of wood
Featured supplier: PoppyBabyCo.

To create bespoke furniture, you’ll probably need access to a workshop or a large space. But, to create smaller wooden items all you’ll need is some pliable wood, a carving knife, and a fair amount of skill. Wood carving is a hobby that has been harnessed for thousands of years but is reasonably challenging to master. If you’re up for the time investment and the challenge, simple hand-carved pieces are both practical and charming (think wooden cutlery).

20. Gift baskets & Subscriptions

If you’re way more interested in curation over crafting, gift and subscription boxes might be something to look into. Create custom or bespoke packages filled with anything from cosmetics to confectionery, with monthly or quarterly subscription service which will help you keep consistent revenue and  

Tip: Subscription boxes make shipping a simple process, as everything is packed up and calculated well in advance. To stay on top of orders, there are plenty of apps available such as Bold Subscriptions.

21. Confectionary

Chocolates, candies, snacks, seasonings, and syrups — if you’re more comfortable working your magic in the kitchen, edible treats are a great way to earn a little money on the side. Turn up the heat with your range of spicy hot sauces or bottle the lemonade you made as a kid to sell online. Goods with a longer shelf life are a great place to start, however, that shouldn’t limit you once you figure out what’s popular.

  • Tip: Sell your treats wholesale to easily and efficiently sell larger quantities of your product, which will also reduce waste and increase profits.

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