10 Fun Things to Make and Sell

Setting up a table or booth at a bazaar or street show can be a profitable endeavor if you choose the right items to make and sell. Jewelry, tole-painted home decor, hair bows and clothing are popular items, but multiple vendors offering the same or similar products can work against you. Think "outside the box" to provide your customers with something no one else presents, and your profits and amusement are more likely to soar.

Bag It

Things You'll Need

  • Fabric

  • Pattern

  • Sewing machine

  • Lining plastic (optional)

  • Zipper (optional)

  • Buttons (optional)

  • Embellishments (optional)

Making bags of various types and sizes gives you a chance to play with a variety of fabrics, as well as with different patterns and purposes for the bags. Market pocketed totes to teachers, students or crafters for keeping projects organized. Cosmetic and jewelry bags appeal to travelers, while reusable lunch bags make things economical for commuters. Personalized diaper bags are a big hit with moms-to-be or customers searching for just the right shower gift.

Spa A-a-ah

Things You'll Need

  • Melt-and-pour soap

  • Double-boiler

  • Essential oils or fragrances (optional)

  • Coloring (optional)

  • Additives (optional)

  • Molds

  • Lotion

  • Epsom salt or sea salt

  • Basket (optional)

Provide a little indulgence for your customers with homemade soaps, bath salts and lotions. Start with a melt-and-pour soap base and add color, fragrance and additives like cocoa butter, aloe or decorations. Mix scented oils and color to an unscented lotion and stir up some bath salts from Epsom salts, sea salt and essential oils. Put all the ingredients in decorative containers to sell them separately, or make up a few "spa-day" baskets with a sample of each, along with a pretty washcloth or loofah sponge.

Artistic License

Things You'll Need

  • Art supplies, according to your favored medium

  • Graphics software

In addition to the traditional paintings, sculptures and prints, consider offering your services as a cover artist to writers and publishers. With the explosion in self-publishing, freelance artists are in demand to create the graphics to enhance the covers of books, magazines and games. If you can produce electronic versions, your skills will be in even higher demand. Designing company logos is another extension of this service that can create an income stream.

Snap Stock

Things You'll Need

  • Digital SLR camera

  • Photo-editing software

Put your digital camera to good use by selling photographs to various online sites that offer stock shots to writers, publishers and web designers. Expand the business by printing your best shots and offering them for sale at bazaars and other shows. Photo-editing software not only allows you to fix minor problems with the shots, but it also lets you create artistic effects, such as a single spot of color in a black-and-white print.

Note It

Things You'll Need

  • Plywood

  • Decorative frame or molding

  • Cork sheet

  • Pushpins

  • Embellishments

  • Industrial-strength adhesive

  • Chalkboard paint

  • Baking sheet

  • Decorative fabric or paper

  • Magnet sheet or dots

  • Plant marbles

Making wall decor practical puts you a step ahead of the competition. Create corkboards with ornamental pushpins or chalkboards with amusing frames, or turn a cookie sheet into a magnetic memo board with a little fabric or decorative paper. With some glue, plant marbles and magnet sheets, you can make personalized magnets for the board or for the refrigerator.

Spice It Up

Things You'll Need

  • Herbs or spices

  • Extra-virgin olive oil

  • White distilled or apple cider vinegar

  • Bottles

  • Caps

  • Labels (optional)

If you're more comfortable with a spatula than with a power saw, turn those talents to making infused oils or vinegars. Find some eye-catching bottles, fill them with herbs or spices, and add extra-virgin olive oil or vinegar to the bottle. Seal them and let them steep for a couple of weeks before offering them to customers for dressings and sauces. As a bonus, the bottles make an attractive display in the kitchen when they aren't being used.

Jars of Baking Joy

Things You'll Need

  • Canning jars

  • Canning lids and rings

  • Recipe ingredients

  • Recipe card

  • Ribbon (optional)

  • Fabric (optional)

Combine your kitchen chemistry with convenience by making gifts in a jar to sell. Cookie and dry soup ingredients make a pretty display when you layer them in a canning jar and attach the recipe, including the wet ingredients that must be added before baking. Decorate the jars with a circle of fabric between the lid and the ring. Most cake and some pie recipes can be baked directly in the jar and then sealed with canning lid and ring for a treat your customers can enjoy right away or save for late-night snacking. Once sealed, these delights can be mailed to loved ones away from home.

References & Resources