Kids have so many amazing opportunities to earn some extra cash. Selling handmade items is a great way to have fun while creating an opportunity for yourself. Using your talents and creativity to build a brand for yourself and explore options that work for your lifestyle are critical to gaining experience and building valuable skills.
Elementary and middle school-aged kids are the perfect age group to create and make sales of handmade goods with your parents’ help!
Let’s discuss how to create a market for your goods and make some extra cash doing it!
Choosing What to Sell
Some of us have natural gifts and things that interest us. My nieces love to make bath bombs and have gotten very good at it, so we have encouraged the girls to sell them to friends and neighbors or give them as gifts for holidays and birthdays. Think about what you like doing and what you’re good at.
Starting out, kids can use jewelry crafting kids with shiny beads and cute shapes. This is an inexpensive way to create jewelry, and local craft fairs make the ideal venue for selling handmade beaded jewelry.
This is the latest craze in kids’ entertainment while cheap and easy to make. Some recipes use cornstarch and glue, while others allow kids to add fun smells, glitter, beads, and small trinkets. Jars of slime can be sold on the boardwalk, at craft fairs, or at garage sales.
Supplies can be purchased from the dollar store, and sealant can be added after fun designs are painted on to prevent paint chipping. Each rock can be sold for a few dollars at yard sales or school craft fairs.
This is the iconic first business for many kids and has been for decades. Sell lemonade to neighbors or at garage sales. If you have that ambition, the right recipe could even be bottled and sold at stores.
Who doesn’t love a great sweet treat? Make cookies, pies, candy, cakes, brownies, or donuts to sell to people in your neighborhood or at a community bake sale.
This idea is a favorite of my nieces and is surprisingly easy to make. We have cute bath bomb molds in fun shapes, and the girls have designed fun packaging for branding their products as unique. So far, we have sold them to friends and neighbors and at a church craft fair.
My dogs love homemade treats, and we buy them from a little girl at church. She makes cute shapes and has four different recipes, so we can switch them up. Her goodies are being sold in a local pet shop, so she stays busy!
If you love animals, why not create toys and showcase your creativity at the same time? Some favorites are DIY plastic bottle toys and rope toys with tennis balls. Ideas for sales locations include friends, neighbors, local pet groups, or pet stores.
Making and selling candles in fun shapes and colors or with amazing smells is a great way to connect with an audience at craft fairs, parties, or school functions. Consider gifting them during holidays to market your products and quality.
Soap can be simple and easy to make or intricate with fun designs and colors, but it’s inexpensive and provides a creative outlet for kids. Soaps are specialty items that are necessary for hygiene, so this is a market with huge demand.
This beauty product is one of the easiest to make and sells for about $10 per jar in my area. We have seen them sold on local Facebook groups in my area and at a local church yard sale.
These can be made out of just about anything, and any fun designs can be created with creative designs and bright colors. Etsy shops allow kids to sell any number of handmade and homemade crafts with parental consent.
We live in a society that loves unique and one-of-a-kind items, and we strive to show our individuality. Kids who can create and sell handmade clothing can model their own designs daily and act as your own marketing.
Buy t-shirt materials in bulk and create your own designs using a Cricut machine from your house. T-shirts can be sold locally, on Facebook groups, or online on Etsy or another marketplace.
Bags or Totes
Sew your own designs or create graphics to add to totes or handbags using a Cricut or iron-on transfer. These can be sold to local shops for mass production or via local sales pages in your neighborhood.
Warm Weather Gear
Gloves, hats, and scarves can be crocheted or knit using various colors and designs with specialty yarn from local vendors. Some yarn and fiber shops may be interested in featuring crafts from local artists, and online marketplaces feature yarn art for a small fee.
Kids of all ages (and adults) love making and selling playdough for profit. This activity can be shared with parents and family members of all ages. Playdough can be sold in jars, and edible playdough is fantastic for small children.
There is nothing better than pulling out a book and snuggling under a blanket to read. Bookmarks using high-quality card stock showcase artistic talent and creative license for fun designs.
Christmas, birthdays, anniversaries, Easter, Hanukkah, New Year’s Eve, Valentine’s Day, St. Patrick’s Day, and many other holidays can be celebrated with hanging decorations, yard signs, welcome mats, and fun light displays.
T-shirts, bags, hats, and hair accessories can be decorated using eco-friendly materials from plants and vegetables, or buy a kit online that has everything included for a small cost. Summer markets are the perfect place to sell your custom designs.
I buy a magnet from every new city I visit, and friends send me magnets for holidays or special occasions, so the front and side of my fridge are covered with them. These thoughtful gifts can be sold online, in local shops, or at craft fairs.
Marbled Mugs Using Nail Polish
These make perfect gifts for teachers with a coffee shop gift card and maybe a sweet treat or two! Use white mugs and nail polish, then sell at your local flea market.
Pop Sockets for Phones
These are attached to the back of your phone and help with keeping a grip on your phone. Kids can create all kinds of designs on the pop socket that customizes it to a customer’s taste. Sell these to friends and neighbors or online to reach the maximum number of customers.
Acrylic Painted Pots
Express yourself and your artistic talents by painting on flower pots. This is a unique way to highlight your creativity to friends and neighbors, and you can see them proudly displayed as you ride your bike around town during warm months. Sell these at craft fairs or the local garden nursery.
Mason Jar Crafts
Crafting kits are trendy on Pinterest, and parents love making them with their kids. Make jar lanterns, winter snow globes, and chalkboard paint jar kits to sell online or in your local community. Use yard sale sites or a local community board to advertise these kits, or contact daycare centers to advertise your products.
Personalized frames with scrabble tiles, seashells, pebbles, marbles, and so many other decorative items can be used to tell people how much they are loved, and precious photos can be added. I purchased some handmade frames on the boardwalk when I visited the beach, and I love them!
Polymer Clay Creations
This is a versatile option, and you can create anything from jewelry to magnets to cute trinkets, but you’ll need your parents’ help to use the oven to cure the clay. These fun crafts can be sold online or locally; just make sure you package them well, so they don’t break in transit to their new homes.
Selling homemade and handmade crafts is an excellent way for kids to earn extra money and showcase your unique talents within your community and online. Ask your parents for some help setting up your businesses, buying materials, and finding places to sell. If you don’t understand something, this is a perfect opportunity to ask questions and learn about business and sales.
The skills developed now are hugely important as you grow and mature. Whether you choose to start a business or go into the workforce, knowing how to sell, market, manage money, buy materials, and create new items from raw materials are powerful skills to have. I like to use a bootstrap method to build businesses where I buy minimal materials to get started and test my business theory on a small scale before ramping up to sell on a major scale. Bootstrapping works for me because it allows me to conduct market research before committing to that business idea. Give it a try to see if it works for you!