Make money out your hobby by turning it into a business

People have all sorts of hobbies that they love to do in their spare time.  Scrap booking, knitting, sewing, painting, surfing the net, or even blogging.  There are of course too many hobbies to mention them all and I will just say “each to his own”.

I have always participated in a hobby in my spare time, and have always ended up turning my spare time into cash.  I always find myself earning money from not only my regular jobs, but also anything else I seem to be doing at the time. For example when I was young my husband and I didn’t have much money, we scrounged the local tip for furniture and household goods.  Sometimes we would pick up a couch, or maybe even a timber coffee table.  We would often hit the ” jackpot “, as we called it, when we actually found something that worked or was useful to us.

This sparked, not only an addiction to the hunt for treasures, but it also ended up being a great little money spinner. We ended up with an overload of stuff and started having garage sales to earn extra money.  People would look at us strangely when I told them what we were doing and my answer to that was “If you saw a five dollar note on the ground would you pick it up?” They always answered yes to this.  Then I would ask them, “well why wouldn’t you pick up an item that will be worth $5 in the long run?”

This is just one example of how to make money from a hobby.  I really don’t think they let you remove stuff from the tip now days, but there is still the curbside pickup and I am sure there are other ways to collect free stuff.  When someone says they are throwing something out, grab it.  Appreciate things that can be turned into even one dollar.  One day I picked up a steering wheel bar lock but it had no key. My husband told me to forget it because it was useless without the key. Well I took it home anyway and put it in the next garage sale.  A guy came along and looked at the steering wheel lock and asked where the key was.  When I told him there wasn’t one he offered my $2 for it. Ah two dollars for free.  He thought he was getting a bargain and I just wanted to rub it in to my husband.

We also used to make small timber boxes from scrap wood. That was fun. We would make boxes with hidden drawers and locks. They just got better each time we made them.  However one day when we were selling our boxes at a local market, a customer asked if we made bedside tables.  I turned to my husband and asked him if we made bedside tables and he said yes… Well that was the start of something big.  We started making bedside tables, which led to TV cabinets, kitchen hutches, coffee tables, CD towers, and more… We had a Sales rep on the road and 4 people working to try and get the orders out each week.  What once was fun turned into a factory of mass production. We were supplying shops and retailing as well. We did this for about 10 years, until we finally got into other businesses that we wanted to try.

One main hobby that I have had all my life is computers. Building, repairing, ripping apart, and more…This hobby turned into a huge website http://www.tips4pc.com which can almost earn enough money for us to live off.

We did not always just snap our fingers together and make money from all of our hobbies. We tried others and failed. But the thing is we realized that they were not going to work and moved on… Get over it quickly so you can concentrate on the next venture.

Maybe you have an old fashioned hobby that you can bring to life again by making it trendy or in vogue again. For example knitting was outdated but now is very fashionable because people adapted to the market and supplied something that people can use rather than look at.  They make cool scarves out of weird furry wool, mobile phone pouches, and way out beanies or hats.  No more kettle warmers or toaster covers please!!!

Quick tips to turning a hobby into a money making idea:

  • If you are making craft, make sure it has a use. People have cut down on buying things that just look good. It needs to be useful.
  • When turning a hobby into a money making adventure don’t expect to be paid for every hour that it takes to create your masterpiece.
  • Be realistic when pricing your item. Being handmade and quality crafted does not give you the big bucks unless your name is Picasso.
  • Find a niche and go with it.  Do not copy people’s ideas because you think they are making money.  They usually are not making much at all.  It’s the unique items that sell the best.
  • Try and source the material you need to make your items from a wholesaler or even free.  I know people that used to make wallets and tobacco pouches from scrap leather and suede from out of factory bins. They made a great profit because they didn’t have to pay for materials.  Also you can make lead light glass charms from scrap colored glass.. There is so much you can do.
  • If you do not know how to do something ask for advice when buying your materials.  One day we decided to put a lead light window into a bedside table and didn’t know the first thing about it.  So I went to the lead lighting supplies shop, and while buying what I needed, I drained the guys brains on how to do it… I was there for ages. He wanted a sale and I wanted to buy the stuff but get lessons along the way…  Free lessons 101.  Then I went home and made a lead light piece to go into the bedside table.

You can also watch this video to see how one person turned their hobby into a money making project.

Let me know what hobbies you have and if you think you can make money from them.

Comments

  1. Nadia says

    Wow. I wish I could do all of this. I haven’t got a creative bone in my body. But don’t get me wrong, you have inspired me!
  2. Mikelle says

    `When someone says they are throwing something out, grab it. Appreciate things that can be turned into even one dollar.’ When I read this part it reminded me of what my grandfather always told me – `a dollar saved is better than a dollar earned!’. He always said you have to pay tax on the dollar you are earning!! Every little bit helps hey?! Thanks for reminding me of this.
  3. mitz says

    People are so wasteful now days. They do not realise how valuable things are until they lose them. And when they need money, there are ways to make money all around you. You just have to open your eyes.

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