Humans are intrinsically drawn to create. We draw, paint, make music, pen words, build, sew, and produce crafty goods from candles to wreaths, journals, home decor, toys, baked foods, personal care items, and home goods.
When it comes time to sample the waters of selling those goods, how will you know what crafts sell the best online?
Research is the golden ticket when it comes to finding out what’s selling and what’s not. Although information can miss the mark at times, it’s a good start to understanding why apparel, jewelry, art, skincare products, and wooden toys are some of the best-selling crafts on the internet.
Use Google Trends
If you want to know what’s selling, head over to Google Trends and run a search. Set the parameters for at least one year to eliminate short-term spikes. Then put in a variety of searches to see the results.
Google Trends monitors what people are searching for. If you are producing flower pots with a Boho theme, run some related searches. Try not to be too specific, but think about the ways people naturally search.
If you enter Boho flower pot, the trend is probably fairly low with a spike here and there. However, if you put in Boho design, you’ll see more consistent results.
Let’s run another example. Say you’re making soap. If you run a search for ‘bigfoot themed soap’ you’ll see few results. That doesn’t mean there’s no interest. Try running the phrase ‘bigfoot merchandise’ and you’ll see higher search numbers.
Put in ‘themed soap’ for even better results. Finally, try ‘homemade soap’ and see the consistency across the entire year.
Use this information as a basis to measure overall interest. Even better, if you know you want to make themed candies but don’t know what’s trending, head over to the ‘Trending’ tab. Say there’s a new superhero movie making headlines. That’s your cue to gear up candy production in the shape of the newest superhero.
Poke around to find the best fit for your business. The search trends can also tell you a lot about your potential level of competition.
For example, at the time of this article, a quick search for ‘online business’ led to a related topic of ‘orders’ down the page. Clicking on that, the results in the ‘Related Queries’ section showed a 550% increase in ‘t-shirt order form template’.
Say you’re planning to make and sell t-shirts. If you simply put ‘t-shirt’ into the search bar and scroll down, you’ll see the popular searches on the right hand side. We found ‘black top big t-shirt Billy Eilish lyrics’ trending up 1250%.
Information like this can guide your next moves. However, if you look closer, you’ll see there is really only one spike for that result over the course of the past year. It was apparently a hot ticket item before Christmas last year with little identifiable interest since.
Another search for ‘t-shirts’ showed more consistent interest in Top Gun, Uvalde Strong, campfire starter, work shirts, fitness, and toothpaste.
In addition to the insight from Google Trends, use your common sense. There are categories of products that are always en vogue. While the preferred prints and colors might change, there are certain things that people regularly seek out.
This is a category of crafts that is popular any time of year, but especially during November and December. Think about commonly gifted items like personalized mugs or water bottles.
Target your offerings to include choices of colors, sizes, quantities, and personalization. For example, if you make dog collars, allow the customer to choose a name and phone number to stitch on.
If counted cross stitch is your thing, have patterns for weddings, baby showers, mothers, fathers, siblings, and grandparents.
For etched glass, accept custom orders for names, funny sayings, or company logos.
Stay true to your basic craft, but remember, the more you can diversify your offerings, the more customers your work will appeal to, and the more items you will sell.
2. Themed Goods
Another popular category of crafts is themed goods. While customers might have a party store in their town, if you can provide something unique it will trump the local purchase.
Think about popular party themes like Hawaiian and country/western. Also follow pop trends in music and movies to keep up as the trends change.
Whether you’re making paper crafts, costumes, pinatas, cake toppers, party hats, or t-shirts, knowing what’s popular will help you when people start searching.
One of the most popular types of craft online is soap and other personal hygiene products. They make great gifts and feel like an indulgence over the standard bar of Dove or Irish Spring.
Bath bombs, lip balm, lotion, moisturizers, and similar items also sell well.
Necklaces, bracelets, anklets, and earrings are ever popular in the world of crafting. Items that are handmade and unique are sought after. Whether you specialize in beadwork, gems, hammered metal, or hemp, your creations will appeal to those looking for something different, especially if it has a story.
Consider transparency in regard to where you source your materials. You can cater to the eco-friendly crowd or lift up underrepresented indigenous communities by purchasing Fair Trade goods, for example.
You could also donate a percentage of your sales to support environmental or humanitarian causes. Not only does it give your business, and you, a mission, but purpose-driven companies are highly favored.
Most forms of textiles receive ongoing support from shoppers looking for something bespoke or personal. Shirts, totes, pillowcases, sheets, blankets, curtains, purses, memory quilts, tapestries, and kitchen and bath towels are a few examples.
6. Wooden Toys
There’s something delightfully primitive about wooden toys. It’s an ever-popular gift between one generation and another.
For today’s youth, it’s a novelty compared to the vast offerings at the department store. For grandparents, they get the opportunity to relive aspects of their own youth.
7. Home Decor
Interest in home decor is probably at the highest point it has ever been, at least in America. It’s such a huge industry, there are countless major retailers that sell everything from shelves to wall art, hanging pots, throw pillows, decorative vases, figurines, and signs, to name a few.
If any type of home decor is in your wheelhouse, there’s a good chance it will garner attention on the right marketplace.
Remember to keep up with changes in interior design themes, or stick with the classics like the ever-popular coastal and country. There’s still a lot of life in farmhouse and modern farmhouse interior design as well.
Some materials will always have a place in the home, but even something as ubiquitous as wood ebbs and flows in types that are popular. You might remember the flood of oak during the 90s while lighter woods and exotic hardwoods seem to be fashionable at the moment.
For wall art, follow the trends as well. There are so many kinds of art, it’s hard to keep up. Stay within your specialty, such as painting, nail art, collage, or word art, but adapt it to the changing times.
8. Pet Products
In the past five years, the pet market has exploded in popularity. America’s pampered pets are continuously showered with treats and toys, much to the pleasure of their owners.
That opens up big opportunities for online craft sellers. Find your niche in the market, whether that takes shape as pet tags, collars, leashes, toys, beds, cat houses, or wholesome treats.
Like soap, candles are a home product that has an eternal appeal. Maybe it’s reminiscent of times past or perhaps it’s the association with relaxation, but candles continue to be a popular craft product.
Basic candles are easy to make and fun to experiment with. Start by making some for yourself. Then gift some to family and friends.
Dabble in different styles with colors, scents, and textures. Add in natural materials like cinnamon sticks, dried orange peel, or sprigs of rosemary. Play around with essential oils to create unique scent combinations.
Further define your craft with the containers your candles are in. Check out tin containers, glass jars, or ceramic pots.
10. Paper Crafts
Nearly as old as the written word, we give little thought to paper in modern days. However, it’s a special gift to receive uncommon types of paper. It just makes the experience of touching and writing on it more memorable.
In addition to paper itself, other paper crafts are popular as well. Consider a personalized journal or a journal with an inspiring quote or targeted theme. Then there are greeting cards, blank cards, holiday cards, scrapbooking materials, and even stationary.
It’s the ultimate gift for everyone on any gift-giving list. From co-workers to granddad, there’s basically nobody that doesn’t wear socks. As a product of both function and fashion it’s not surprising it’s a top-selling category of online craft sales.
Product themes, food and drinks, memes, and funny sayings are popular choices, but if making or decorating socks is your thing, let your creativity go wild and you just might set the stage for the next big thing.
Why to Start an Online Craft-Selling Business
Don’t freak out at the word business. Although it can be intimidating to think about, even selling a few items is a business. It can be as leisurely or as progressive as you want it to be. Having the ability to set your own pace is one of the many advantages of starting an online craft-selling business.
It’s also a great way to make a side income, or primary income, from doing something you enjoy. Taking the time to hone a craft requires discipline and practice, so it’s reasonable to think people might be willing to pay for the products of your hard work.
Most side hustles involving selling crafts require very little investment and almost no overhead, especially when compared to traditional businesses.
At some level, most people feel pride and gain satisfaction from creating things with their hands. It’s even better if those handicrafts turn into profit. When the two worlds collide, selling your crafts feels like a just achievement and with the right combination of know-how and persistence, you can experience it.
How to Start a Business Online
When it comes to starting a side hustle, or a full-blown business, the process can feel intimidating. After all, you’re doing more than simply making crafts, now you’re also running a business. But don’t let that thought pattern slow you down. Start with the first step. Then take another. Start small and see where it leads.
Eventually you can sell on as many platforms as you like, but when you’re first starting out, choose one you’re most comfortable with. If you’re not familiar with online platforms, start researching.
Consider creating your own store to sell goods through Shopify.
Perhaps the most popular way people get started selling online is through organized marketplaces like eBay, Facebook, and even Amazon.
For the crafting world, Etsy rules supreme and is a very good place to start listing and selling items.
Although these sites shave a fee off the top, they also have the potential to connect you with a larger audience than you might be able to find yourself. Gaining a larger customer base is worth the payments you’ll make.
In the end, you’ll still make a profit with each sale, it will just be a bit smaller due to the middleman. Once you’re established you can go out on your own and avoid those fees.
Another way to approach sales is through local businesses. Put in the legwork to see if any stores in your area are a good match for the products you make.
Do your research to understand the essence of the business, both so you can anticipate their interest in a partnership and also so you have the best chance of connecting with the right types of customers.
Take high-resolution images of your products and show all the features through photography. Remember your customers can't touch the product so you'll need to give them a visual experience.
Set up acceptable payment methods and monitor correspondence so you can quickly respond to questions.
Also consider ways advertising can help your business grow. Invest in social media, posting products via Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and Tiktok to promote conversations that can convert into sales.
Gather up more info with Flower Crafting Ideas and consider these Craft Projects Under $20.