A lover of arts and crafts, Shasta Matova enjoys making artistic, applique, pieced, traditional, miniature, modern, and crazy quilts.
Easy Things to Sew and Sell: Profitable Ideas That Make Money
Whether it is called a crafts fair, an arts festival, or a crafts bazaar, it is a great way to go out and meet the community. You can introduce your creative talent to them and hopefully garner additional business from them. More importantly, selling your crafts gives you a chance to make money from your efforts. It is a great community project and can help you make money to support your favorite charity or organization.
There are some things to keep in mind and some ideas for quick and easy crafts you can make for your crafts fair or bazaar that can bring in some money.
Sewing Ideas for Craft Fairs or Craft Shows
At a crafts fair or bazaar, there will likely be other crafts vendors, so you will need to make sure that your prices are competitive. Instead of thinking of items to sell, and then going to purchase supplies for them, consider starting with available supplies and decide what to make with them. If pine cones are falling off the trees and are available for free, I will see what kinds of items I can make with the pine cones. By keeping my costs low, I can offer the crafts at low prices at the crafts fair.
There may be other vendors with the same idea, so I will need to make sure that my idea for using the pine cones is creative, hopefully original, and something that my customers will be willing to buy. Note, though, that the supplies do not have to be available to everyone.
You can find inexpensive supplies based on your lifestyle, or from a thrift store, auction, your friends, or through Freecycle. You may have access to lavender, herbs, baby food jars, spaghetti sauce jars, cereal boxes, or wine bottles that other people do not, and you can take advantage of your unique sources.
Try to specialize in a particular idea or season. If you have a particular style, you may be able to present many crafts using that style. Think ahead to the season. In the summer, people may be thinking about picnics and need sun hats. In the fall, people may be thinking about the upcoming holidays and need table décor and gifts. Also, think about the region. People who have an interest, such as sports, may enjoy seeing crafts in their team colors.
Have some big pieces to draw attention to your booth or table that can get you a big sale, but also have lots of little things that cost just a few dollars. Some people may want to buy something just to support your business, and having something small and relatively inexpensive can give them a way to do that.
Sewing Ideas for Craft Fairs or Bazaars
- Pillows for bed, floor, decorations
- Grocery bags
- Tote bags
- Gift card holders
- Coin purse or wallet
- Bibs and baby clothes, sun hats
- Shorts, pajamas
- Placemats, napkins, potholders
- Cup cozies and mug rugs
- Coasters and table runners
- Quilts, especially baby quilts, lap quilts
- Wall hangings
- Quilted postcards
- Hair ties and hair bows
- Stuffed animals
- Name badges
- Award ribbons
- Pin cushions
- Picnic blankets
- Covers for cameras, iPads, laptops, and other electronic devices
Craft Fair Ideas for Woodworking
- Plaques with sayings on them
Other Craft Fair Ideas
- Yard art
- Outdoor seating
- Lamps from wine bottles
- Candles in mason or spaghetti sauce jars
- Soaps and lotions
- Pottery bowls, plates, vases
- Drawings and paintings
- Storage for nails or beads made with baby food jars
- Knitted or crocheted hats, scarves, gloves, and mittens
Other Ideas for Your Crafts Fair
Think about presentation and marketing. If your items look professionally made and displayed, they will likely get more attention and get better prices than things that look like they are simply strewn around. Bright, colorful displays will be sure to catch your customer's attention.
Be sure to bring bags for people to carry your items and sufficient cash and change. You may even consider selling food, water, and soft drinks if permitted by the fair organizers.
It is helpful to bring a friend with you to man the booth, so you can have time to take breaks, look around, and talk to the other vendors. Make sure you keep it fun and have a good time.
© 2012 Shasta Matova
Wheatley kid on April 01, 2018:
It would be better if there were pictures
Shasta Matova (author) from USA on February 23, 2018:
Either way will work. If the items you are making are known sellers, it makes sense to increase them. Personally, I like to manage my risk by having a variety of items.
Shagufta Naaz on February 21, 2018:
Will it be a good idea to sell multiple sew items or only one will be better. Like I am interested in selling cushion cover and scarf. Will it work or not. Please advise.
Maryjeam135@frontiernet.net on July 19, 2017:
Love your article on craft fair. I just started and my first craft show is in of the month. I been designing and sewing for months. Hope I make money, I run into negative people. I sew creative sewing for the home. I love sewing. You give me hope.
Shasta Matova (author) from USA on February 25, 2014:
I'm glad you find it useful sparkleyfinger. Good luck with your homemade gifts business.
Lynsey Hart from Lanarkshire on January 28, 2014:
Great hub, voted up and useful! You have given plenty of ideas that will help me on my quest to start a homemade gifts business. Thanks!
Shasta Matova (author) from USA on October 16, 2013:
Thank you Samita. I hope your next crafts fair is a success with these useful list of ideas and tips.
Shasta Matova (author) from USA on February 11, 2013:
Thanks Au fait. That's true, some people would enjoy making and buying gifts that are related to upcoming holidays, although that may mean you have to hold on to your inventory for a long time if it doesn't sell this year, or else deeply discount it.
C E Clark from North Texas on February 03, 2013:
Lots of great ideas here. Valentine's Day and Mother's Day would probably be the next big craft's fair occasions so this hub should help people who need ideas for them. I love one-of-a-kind handmade items and you have quite an extensive list here.
Shasta Matova (author) from USA on August 18, 2012:
That is a great question MyraSaidIt. I can understand that it generally isn't affordable for a small crafts fair to pay for all of the patterns you need, but it also isn't fair for a designer to make a pattern and not get some benefit if you make a profit. I recommend creating your own designs and come up with your own patterns. Your crafts will be unique (no competition), and you can use your own designs to sell patterns yourself.
If you are making crafts and donating the money to charity, I am sure you could talk the designer into giving you permission to use the pattern. Even if you are using it for profit, I am sure most designers would understand that you are not going to mass produce things on a really big scale.
Also, there are patterns that copyright free because they are extremely old that could also be used.
Thank you for reading and commenting.
MyraSaidIt on August 17, 2012:
Ideas are great, but where is a person supposed to get sewing patterns when they are all copyrighted for personal use only?
Shasta Matova (author) from USA on April 14, 2012:
Thank you Courtney for visiting and commenting. You've selected a good mixture of products. I wish you much success.
Courtney on April 14, 2012:
Me and my younger sister are making hair bows,flip flops,headbands and duct tape book marks. This just really helped us thank you and god bless.
Shasta Matova (author) from USA on March 30, 2012:
creativecreature4, you may want to look around at thrift stores and auctions and yard sales. The thrift store probably has lots of clothes it discards that are not sellable, and they may be willing to let you go through them for their buttons. Ask several. You may find that just asking your friends and family for them will yield you quite a stash as well.
creativecreature4 on March 30, 2012:
I am a singlemother trying to teach my 10 and 12 year old daughters how to continue to think outside the box, second hand is not bad and the value of a dollar, we have a plan but we need buttons of all and any kind, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org if u have any u would like to pass on, thank u and god bless
Shasta Matova (author) from USA on March 19, 2012:
Thank you SS. I think we can all stand to make some more moohla, and if you can make your crafts from things you find around the house or yard without having to shell out any money, you could make a pretty good profit.
Sharon Smith from Northeast Ohio USA on March 18, 2012:
Hi Shasta ~ great hub with great ideas. I used to do craft fairs but haven't in many years. You got me thinking about it again. Hmmmmmm. . . I really need to make some mooohla :)
Shasta Matova (author) from USA on March 07, 2012:
Thank you Silk Thimble. The Artist Alley for anime and sci fi convention sounds really interesting. Kids and adults alike have trouble remembering presentation and marketing, and it is something I frequently have to force myself to do as well.
SilkThimble from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania on March 07, 2012:
Some great ideas! And I'm glad you mentioned presentation: I run the Artist Alley for a local anime/sci fi convention, and a lot of the kids just starting out selling their work don't understand presentation and marketing are almost as important as the product.
Shasta Matova (author) from USA on March 04, 2012:
Thanks for your input grandmapearl. The items listed in this hub will also work well for selling through a gift shop.
Connie Smith from Southern Tier New York State on March 03, 2012:
Lots of great ideas here. I used to set up a booth with all sorts of quilted items that I made. For several years I did really well, then not so much. But I did start selling to a local gift store because of the craft fair exposure. In between my websites and my article writing, I still make quilted items of all sizes for that same local gift shop. So you never know what connections you might make through a craft fair until you try it! Voted Up and Useful
Shasta Matova (author) from USA on March 03, 2012:
Thank you VeronicaFarkas, Sarah, kmaskreations, biancaalice and DonnaCosmato, suziecat7, formosangirl, Ruchira, and alocsin.. I really enjoy going to crafts fairs and see all the different creative ideas everyone has. There are a lot of talented individuals there, and all sorts of fun and unique items to give as gifts.
Aurelio Locsin from Orange County, CA on March 03, 2012:
Excellent ideas. I can sell stuff but unfortunately can't make anything. Voting this Up and Useful.
Ruchira from United States on March 02, 2012:
Shasta, I love going to these kinds fais. Get to meet such down to earth people existing on this planet. They r creative n simple.
Loved your hub...sharing it to create awareness for these local artisans.
formosangirl from Los Angeles on March 02, 2012:
I like your list of things to make by sewing. Voted up.
suziecat7 from Asheville, NC on March 02, 2012:
Great Hub - I used to make all sorts of birdhouses and sell them at the flea market. Have to get back to that again. Enjoyed the read - thanks.
Donna Cosmato from USA on March 02, 2012:
Good ideas! I used to really enjoy setting up and working these craft shows but it seems harder to find them lately. I'll bet you always set up an outstanding display!
biancaalice from Southern California on March 02, 2012:
This was cool. You find ideas to write everywhere!
Voted up & shared!
kmaskreations on March 01, 2012:
Informative hub! Thanks for sharing the lists ideas. Much to choose from! Voted up, interesting and useful :)
Sally Hayes on March 01, 2012:
Twice a year, just before Summer, and just before the Christmas craft fair rush, I always say to myself, "Hmmmm, I should make something, rent a table, sell my crafty wares and make a little money on the side." But I can't seem to get myself organized in time and I never think that I have a truly original product to sell.
Thanks for the little bit of inspiration with this Hub. Maybe this year will be different.... :) - Sarah
Veronica Roberts from Ohio, USA on March 01, 2012:
Great hub, and wonderful ideas! You definitely did a fantastic job of answering the question & elaborating!!
Voted up, useful, & interesting!