When Craft and Income Combine

by Katy on May 17, 2009 · 19 comments

Christa Collection

I am an island of uncrafty surrounded by a sea of talented and artistic women. My sister Jessica can’t sit still without knitting or crochet hooks, a malady shared by many of my friends. 


I know how to knit, crochet, sew and embroider; but it’s no compulsion for me.

I was at a family gathering this evening, and my sister and cousin were ooh-ing and ahh-ing over a pair of hand-knit felted baby slippers. Cousin Christa mentioned her Esty store where she sells her gorgeous handmade jewelry, and my sister started talking about a neighborhood art sale where she had marketed her fuzzy crocheted creatures.

Jessica Wolk-StanleyBoth women were also talking about how they rarely have to buy presents, as they have a convenient stash of homemade goodies ripe for gift giving. 

This got me thinking.

Americans are doing more and more hand crafting, and this is at a time when it’s easier than ever to sell one’s goods to the world at large. Etsy, “Your place to buy & sell all things handmade” is a fantastic resource for the home crafter/artist.

Which brings me to:

Are you doing more sewing, knitting and crafting in general? If so, are you selling on Etsy or some other site? Please share your wares and links in the comments section below. Because if we are buying gifts, let’s buy them from each other.

Katy Wolk-Stanley

“Use it up, wear it out, make it do or do without.”

{ 18 comments… read them below or add one }

Jessica Wolk-Stanley May 17, 2009 at 10:58 pm

One beauty of portable crafts is that you really have something to show for your time.


AJ in AZ May 18, 2009 at 9:10 am

Try buyhandmade.org. I found it a couple of years ago when I was making a serious effort to sell my knitted and quilted stuff on Etsy. I am back at a real job now so really don’t want to spend the time trying to market, but am building a stash again for when I will think I have the time to try and sell it.


Kristen@The Frugal Girl May 18, 2009 at 11:35 am

I am kind of crafty/artsy, but I only make stuff for my own gift-giving purposes! I scrapbook for other people, take pictures, paint thrift store finds, bake, and so on.

I do sell my photography, I suppose, because I do photo sessions for other people, but nothing I do is Etsy-worthy! lol


Jinger May 18, 2009 at 2:25 pm

I sell my baby quilts and other handmade items on etsy at http://www.deermeadowdesigns.etsy.com. I love to sew and quilt by hand and cut paper into various and sundry things. I spend much of my off work time on my back porch facing the nature park working on creative projects. Life is good at 65!


Wendy May 18, 2009 at 5:39 pm

I don’t have a site, but my friend Hannah has a wonderful site called Tropic Hannah featuring handmade Jewelry.

Please visit:

I am personally interested in handmade soaps (without harsh chemicals). Any sites?


mindfulmama May 18, 2009 at 5:44 pm

Wow – Katy! It’s like you are in my head (scary place, I think) – I have just started beading again after a 15 year break. My sister in law makes these gorgeous necklaces, and I thought – hey! I know how to do that. I found some great beads, and went at it. When I feel confident enough, I will try to sell a couple – but for now, I just enjoy the feel of it.


thesilverhook May 18, 2009 at 6:01 pm

I have been crocheting toys for the past year on etsy, and at my local farmers’ market. There can be a lot of issues around copyrights with patterns and items made from patterns, so I make all my own patterns. I think crocheting excellent for releasing pent up creativity.

As for making a little extra money, it requires a lot of patience, and finding a niche in your area. I am working a blog that discusses turning my craft into profit (http://thesilverhook.blogspot.com).


Emily May 18, 2009 at 6:18 pm

I am mildly obsessed with sewing cloth grocery bags, but I haven’t sold any. I use them for thank you gifts, wrapping paper, hostess gifts, and another reason I can think of! My sister-in-law sells beautiful cards at http://www.bethsnotes.com.


BarbM May 18, 2009 at 6:23 pm

I knit like crazy,and use my stash for presents.Working on some felted things which I may end up selling.There is always a demand for my things and right now I have the time.


penelope May 18, 2009 at 6:33 pm

im learing how to sew things and make clothes..super fun!


Kristin @ klingtocash May 18, 2009 at 6:47 pm

I knit gifts for people. It saves me a ton of money vs buying gifts and people love them. I make people dishcloths from yarn people have given to me in all sorts of crazy designs. I love giving people things they can use around the house and rather than spending $20-30 on a gift, these gifts only cost my time. I generally knit when watching TV before bed so it’s a beautiful thing.


Heidi May 19, 2009 at 3:01 am

I am a compulsive knitter, mostly socks, and etsy has given me a great outlet to sell them. hnick.etsy.com Knitting is very relaxing and therapeutic for me, I think because of the repetitive nature of it, and being able to make a few bucks from it, well that is a nice bonus. I don’t knit with the intent of selling, I just knit because I enjoy it. The bright and fun colors and patterns, the different textures and weights, it all really holds my interest. (My daughter’s preschool teacher always said, “It’s the process, not the product.)

I’ve also done my fair share of shopping on etsy, and I love making a purchase which is hand-made from the USA !


alunachic May 19, 2009 at 7:36 am

Hi Katy. I’ve never heard of ETSY but will check it out. I have several friends who do crafts and I routinely by from these folks. I make velvet bags


but have never thought of selling them. Maybe I should think of crafting as a relaxing, artistic side hustle?
Creating for creation’s sake is soothing. Selling creations might not only ease the spirit but enhance the purse as well!


Kate May 19, 2009 at 8:33 am

I’m not crafty – but my neighbor is a graphic designer and has some cool things on her web site:



MAM May 19, 2009 at 4:16 pm

I’m not very crafty. But I do make a point of buying handmade items at a couple of churches that include that sort of thing as part of their annual rummage sale fundraiser. I have a small stash of baby quilts/afghans, dish towels, hot pads, scarves, etc. so I have a quick gift on hand.



Pennie May 19, 2009 at 6:25 pm

I admire all things handmade and artsy.

Sewing, crocheting and card-making are my creative outlets for gift-giving. I am learning how to knit, but it is much more difficult than I anticipated…perhaps because I come at it from a crocheter’s perspective: find a mistake and rip it back. Do that with knitting and you have a mess 🙁


Margaret May 20, 2009 at 1:07 am

I used to crochet, but gave it up about ten years ago when my son was born, due to a lack of time. I found it to be a relaxing pastime which generated a nice collection for gift-giving. People always seem to appreciate handmade gifts.

A couple of years ago I took up beading and jewelry-making. I like it because the projects I do are not very time-consuming, yet still result in some really nice things for gift-giving.

Last year I opened a shop on Etsy where I sell some of my jewelry. So far it has not produced much income for me, but I am willing to stick it out for a while and see what happens.

My shop is here: http://midnightbeadery.etsy.com


Sabrina May 21, 2009 at 7:21 pm

I knit and crochet (sort of). I do it because I enjoy it. Even though I’ve had people offer to pay me to knit something for them, I don’t sell my stuff. I think it would make it less fun for me. Then there would be expectations and time-limits.

I do knit gifts but only for people that I know will truly appreciate them.


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