A List of 20 Creative Small Business Ideas That Can Help You Earn Extra Money in Your Spare Time

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20 creative businesses to earn extra money

“Start where you are. Use what you have. Do what you can”, this quote of Arthur Ashe would definitely encourage you to pursue your entrepreneurial dream with whatever resources you have. This is even more applicable for a creative person, who can make best use of available resources to start a low-cost business and earn extra money without giving up the 9-to-5 job.

Here I present a comprehensive list of 20 creative business ideas that you can explore to earn extra money using your artistic skill and imagination. Once you feel like a pro, you can sell your products on Etsy/Amazon, or even launch your own e-commerce store.

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So, here we go…

1 – Handmade Designer Clothing Items

creative tsirt idea to make money
Image source: Pinterest

Handmade clothing items, especially for kids and babies, are much in-demand on platforms like Etsy. To start this business, you need to master any of these skills, like, embroidery, sewing, designing or painting. Items which are quite popular in the handmade clothing category are designer T-shirts, scarves, hats, frocks, etc.

You must have noticed the latest trend in handmade clothing category, i.e.  motivational quotes, sporting declarations or trending topics inscribed on T-shirts and dresses. Some sellers in this niche also offer personalized products, as demanded by customers.

 

 

2 – Specialty Belt Buckles

earn extra money by selling buckle

With an initial investment as low as $3,000, you can start producing specialty belt buckles. This Etsy- centered manufacturing business promises sensational profit. To monetize your efforts, make sure the buckle designs are one of a kind. Also ensure the product gets maximum exposure on various marketing channels.

You can source recyclable materials like glass or metal to manufacture the belt buckles. By utilizing recyclable materials you can lower the production cost and also establish yourself as a socially conscious entrepreneur.

3 – Custom Jewelry

creative jewelry - an interesting business idea to earn extra money
Image source: Pinterest

Custom jewelry pieces are creating quite a buzz these days. There are creative people who focus on designing customized jewelry only. Attractive items like bracelets, earrings, watches, pendants, and lucky charms can help earn extra money alongside full-time job.

The best thing about custom jewelry is that you can sell your creativity on the online platform, as well as through offline channels, such as craft fairs or local jewelry stores. Though customized jewelry is always in demand, you should do own research to find the niche market and target audience.

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4 – Handmade Soaps

Make money online by selling natural-soap

Handmade soaps suit all skin types, and thus have become great alternatives to conventional soaps. In fact handmade organic soaps are in demand like never before! Buyers browse e-commerce platforms like Etsy  and Amazon to buy organic body soaps !  Natural ingredients minimize the production cost. And these soaps sell pretty fast thus facilitating high turnover and profits.

 

5 – Handmade Baskets

handmade baskets- one of the great creative online business ideas

Custom baskets are a huge craze. If you have the necessary skill, you can start manufacturing beautiful baskets to earn extra money. From wire to rattan, from paper to cotton, you can use any material to create fancy baskets. People love to buy such baskets for beautifying their homes and offices. You can sell via the Etsy’s platform, or start own e-commerce store, to sell handmade baskets.

6 – Designer Bed Sheet Sets

The market for designer bed sheet sets is expanding at a rapid pace. There’s huge demand for embroidered, hand-painted, block printed, hand dye bedding sets. If you are an artistic person, you should make the most of this growing demand to earn extra money. Use organic materials to heighten the appeal and price of your products.

Now coming to the selling part, although you can sell your bed sheet sets offline, an e-commerce store, however, will help you explore the huge market globally.

7 – Handmade, Designer Bags

Sell designer bags online to make money

Uniquely designed handmade bags have witnessed phenomenal growth over the past few years. More and more women, and even men, are using designer bags to amplify their style statement. Although the market is vast, you have to infuse diversity to see your bags selling fast.

Consider loading your e-store with varieties like party bags, executive bags, traveling bags, sling bags, and women’s handbags. These days, many people are using jute bags, as these  are light, durable, attractive, and eco-friendly. Demand for paper bags are on the rise too. Add decorated jute and paper bags to your catalogue and see how your products start selling fast.

8 – Hand-Painted Card

Hand-painted cards, even in this digital age, have a strong market demand because of the exclusive tag attached to it. You can choose to craft cards for Christmas, New Year, Father’s Day, Mother’s Day, Valentine’s Day…oh, there’s really no dearth of special days and occasions!

Card painting business presents unlimited possibilities. All you need is enough creative skill to design attractive and trendy cards. Once you launch this lucrative business and set the ball rolling, you can decide whether to sell them at wholesale price to local retailers or sell them on Etsy or any other online platform.

9 –  Designer Pillows

creative pillow cover
Image source: Pinterest

Etsy claims that decorative pillow is one of the most popular and fast-moving items! So if  you feel you have enough skill to turn your sewing machine into a profit-making tool, then get into the business of making designer pillows and earn extra money in your spare time.

You can introduce standard themes and designs, or offer your customized pillows, designed to suit your customers’ style and need.

 

 

10 –  Printed Designer Mugs

Mug printing is one of the trending creative businesses which many have started to earn extra money. What’s fascinating about this business is that it enables you to cater to different types of clients. This is because printed mugs are purchased by individuals, hotels, restaurants, offices, and coffee shops and for a multitude of purposes. You can market your printed mugs personally, or list them on websites like Big Cartel.

11 – Online Bridal Store

Wedding is one such special event when people don’t splurging even when the economy is sluggish. This means, if you open an online bridal store, you will get buyers throughout the year. An online bridal store is a profitable venture. But to run this retail business, you need loads of creativity, some investment and additional manpower too. Your profit will be higher if you can start own e-commerce store, using platforms like Shopify or Squarespace.

12 – Decorative Candles

Gone are those days when people used candles for religious ceremonies or for domestic purposes.  Now, designer candles have become beautiful decorative pieces that amplify the room ambiance.

This is why the demand for scented and decorative candles is on the rise globally. If you have requisite knowledge, start this business from home. List your products on marketplace like Handmade at Amazon to earn extra money.

13 – Party Items

design decorative party items

Parties and celebration have now become a part of modern lifestyle. This is the reason why party decoration items are in high demand now.

But the question is when you are busy inviting guests and finalizing the menu, would you like to drive to the local store to buy decorative items for the party?

I know the answer is a big “No!” Rather you would prefer to browse online, check out a multitude of colorful options and pick up the right decorative pieces matching your party theme.

As a creative individual with entrepreneurial mindset, you can make the most of this situation by launching an e-commerce store that sells exclusive party items. To entice buyers, you should be prepared to offer exclusively designed and personalized products, matching different occasions and events.

14 – Picture Frames

Beautifully framed photographs of friends, and near ones, is an integral part of home decoration, isn’t it? However, conventional black, white and silver frame have made way for exclusively designed colorful frames.

Why not make the most of this opportunity? Start creating unique picture frames, and use a platform like Zibbet to reach prospective buyers.

15 – Wall Art

Start decorative_wall art business

Printable wall art has become a part of home décor, especially for those who prefer minimal look for their home. These wall arts or wallpapers can make your room look elegant and fresh.

The only skill you need to earn extra money by selling printable wall art is proficiency in Adobe Illustrator or Canva. Use your design skills to reach customers planning to redecorate their homes and offices. 

 

16 – Custom Buttons

Custom button is one of the most popular items sold extensively on marketplaces like Etsy. Trendy buttons, made of raw materials, like glass, seashells, metal, or wood sell fast, and in large quantities. So what are you waiting for? Create stunning custom buttons and start selling.

17 – Wine Rack

Experts say with certainty that starting this business is easy for anyone with elementary woodworking skill. Besides wood, you can also use materials like metal to build wine racks. There are other choices too, like recycled materials, scrap metal, etc. These can bring your production cost down while giving your product a unique look. Once you come up with a few stylish wine racks, you can sell them on Etsy or Art Fire.

18 – Hand-Knitted Products

You simply need yarns, knitting needles, and a creative mind to make extra money, selling hand-knitted products from home. Hand-woven products that sell faster on online marketplaces are sweaters, woolen garments, scarves, and stuffed toys. If you have necessary skill, join this fast-expanding market and earn extra money, the way you like!

19 – Organic Cosmetics

Food, clothes, accessories, cosmetics, anything that is organic is a rage these days. However, the demand for organic cosmetics is skyrocketing, simply because they do not contain chemicals and toxic substances that cause side effects.

Organic cosmetics are enabling sellers from all over the world to make a lot of money. If you want to earn extra money, jump on the bandwagon and start selling organic cosmetics through own e-store or any established e-commerce platform of your choice.

20 – Painted Pots

Selling hand-painted, one-of-a-kind planting pots is a unique green business idea which can help you earn good money too. If you have a passion for innovation, and an artistic flair, then use your creativity to earn extra money by selling clay flowerpots. Hand-painted gardening pots with interesting themes and colorful designs are nowadays selling  really fast on Etsy.

Conclusion

To sum it up, here’s the list of the top 20 creative businesses you can try to earn extra money –

1 – Handmade Clothing

2 – Specialty Belt Buckles

3 – Custom Jewellery

4 – Handmade Soaps

5 – Basket Making

6 – Designer Bed Sheet

7 – Handmade Bags

8 – Hand-Painted Card

9 –  Designer Pillows

10 –  Mug Printing

11 – Online Bridal Store

12 – Decorative Candles

13 – Party Items for Decoration

14 – Picture Frames

15 – Wall Art

16 – Custom Buttons

17 – Wine Rack

18 – Hand-Knitted Products

19 – Organic Cosmetics

20 – Painted Pots

The above-mentioned creative businesses have already helped many earn extra money in their spare time. If you want to make these ideas work for you, be sure to pick the one that best suits your skill and passion. Don’t try to do too many things at a time. Finally remember, no matter how skillful you are, every business takes its own time before it starts showing profit!

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Sweta Dutta

Sweta is a veteran content creator, passionate traveler, movie enthusiast, music lover (reasonably good singer!), an informed reader .... and a coffee connoisseur! She has over 10 years experience in developing content for small businesses, internet marketing firms, website development companies and internet entrepreneurs. The experience has helped her develop in-depth knowledge about small business online which she now shares on the OnlismallbiZ platform. In her own words, "I am a dreamer and a doer!"