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Does your craft make you a living?

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  • Does your craft make you a living?

    I know this is abit personal, but I curious as to whether your craft makes you a good living. In the sense that you work for yourself and earn enough to live?

    I know that is very personal question and I don't expect figures etc and I also know that 'a living' to one person is totally different to anothers so it is quite a hard question to answer.

    The thing is I am thinking of taking a couple of craft courses as I am quite creative and enjoy creating things. I have a young son and I don't want to return to employed work whilst he is young and want to create a living from craft.

    Is this possible?

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  • #2
    Im glad someone asked this, I am dying to know what people say.

    I work in the motor industry and we have been faced with so much uncertainty it would be nice to think if I could put in more time it would work.

    Cant wait to see everyones comments


    • #3
      The simple answer to that (at least from me) is no! I can make money and I have made money, but it's never been enough to call a wage. I blame myself though, because as soon as I get commissioned to do something - a portrait maybe - I lose interest and go into 'blank mode'! I stopped doing commissions for this reason and now I'm plodding along doing my own thing...and making peanuts for it...but I'm happy this way. I do try to help the charity I support as much as possible, so I have to sell stuff to fund my hobby or I'd be a starving, starving artist.
      Gail x

      My Blog:


      • #4
        Making a living

        Yes you can - my husband has supported his family in the craft world for over 25 years and is still doing it. My advice would be, to be original, top quality and be prepared to be patient - it takes a while to get established, and to be known.


        • #5
          Simple answer YES but you will create a monster that needs feeding
          We spend 36 hours a week over 3 days on the market selling and makeing. Then around another 30 hours at home makeing the things that people want to buy, which isnt always what you want to make! so the fun of crafting can dissapear as the need to make a profit takes over, and the list of things I want to do just keeps getting longer and longer!
          Would I give it up and do something else NO


          • #6
            No yet but still trying. Would love to be able to make enough money to survive.
            Janice Phoenixjewellery from



            • #7
              I've created countless numbers of spreadsheets trying to figure out how much I'd need to do to be able to do this as my full time job and the answer is A LOT. But despite that, my dream and aim is to eventually do it full time and make enough to be "comfortable". Plus I got made redundant on Wednesday so it's motivated me even more now!

              I agree with what others say though - it is do-able and I am a strong believer of you reap what you sow. Things are slow at the moment but I know from previous experience that the more I do and apply myself, the better things go.

              Don't give up!

              My website:
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              • #8
                I've not tried it, and not sure if I ever will in a meaningful sense. If we made enough money to be this comfortable on one income, I would give up my job in a second and explore more creative work.... good luck to all those doing it!
                "I was inoculated, very early in life, against all forms of magic and elfin whimsy, even when convincingly disguised as literature." Clive James
                Click the scales- rep points are for life, not just for Xmas!


                • #9
                  No is my answer, it can't make me a living...but...and heres the clever does make me feel as tho I am living.
                  I realised a while back that if I didnt make things Id go loopy.
                  My 'proper' job is just a way of funding my craft.What I really am is a creator.Take that away from me and Im nothing.

                  Sorry to get heavy there.


                  Poisoned Apple Theatre - Handmade Crafts on Facebook


                  • #10
                    I agree about creating a monster!

                    If I had realised how much hard work and time needs to spent on making my website a success I'm not sure I would of done it at all! Craft fairs do generate proper money (well at least for me they do) but there is not enough regular ones around here.

                    It's fun but to get to page one of google etc on a website if that is what you are thinking of doing, be prepared to really put in the hours or money to pay someone else to do it.

                    Sorry to sound negative, I do love it but I orignally just liked making the jewellery and that seems to be the last thing I do any more!




                    • #11
                      For me its a No....but then I treat it as a hobby business. What I do earn lets me give the teenagers the odd treat and help with buying the Christmas presents. To make a living you have to be prepared to put in the time...something I dont have.
                      Something Shiny Something Sparkly
                      Handmade Tiaras & Jewellery by Diana @ dizaTIARAS
                      My blog


                      • #12
                        I suppose I'm one of the lucky ones in that I have a freelance job where I work at home (all I need is a pc and internet link) so that does keep some regular money coming in. It also gives me time to concentrate on creating things but, as others have said, what you make to sell isn't always what you'd choose to make! I've made things which I've thought are really nice and I think will sell quickly and they've sat there for 2 or 3 craft fairs whereas others I've haven't been so sure about have gone within an hour of putting them out!

                        I also have an e-bay shop where I sell crafty bits and pieces, some second hand, some new, and I'm finding the money from that can help pay for some of my materials for making my jewellery. In the last couple of days, I've just spent £100+ on new beads and it all came from selling stuff on e-bay (which does also include second hand stuff). Having this has also given me a slight benefit in that my e-bay shop name is the same as the one I'm going to use for my website and it already shows up in google searches, which I'm hoping will be useful for directing traffic when I'm up and running on my own.

                        I think I could make enough to supplement my current income and live quite comfortably. It does take time, it does take hard work (but doesn't being self-employed always?) but I wouldn't give up the satisfaction of knowing something I've made is admired and wanted by other people - you can't beat that feeling!

                        If beads were still currency, I'd be a millionaire!



                        • #13

                          This is a topic of conversation that I have been interested in since starting to make jewellery.

                          There is nothing I would love more than to make a 'proper' business out of my crafts and give up the 'day job'. However, I don't know how to go about it and so far it has remained as a hobby business.

                          I have 5 local stockists (gift shops and libraries), I try to sell on eBay but am not too successful there and I have just literally in the past couple of days opened a shop with Pink Doodle. However, I would ideally like to have more jewellery party bookings as I always do really well at these and it is an enjoyable experience as I get to talk about my jewellery and techniques with my customers.

                          I would like to promote my jewellery parties more but have run out of ideas. How do you all promote your businesses and how did you get started (if you don't mind me asking)?

                          I guess I just need a break and although I have been trying for 12 months to get established as a business, I am still pretty new and there are loads of people who have never heard of me.

                          Crafts by Diane

                          Contact me: [email protected]
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                          • #14
                            My problem is that I haven't got the confidence to take a risk on it at the moment. I work full time and do my crafts at weekends. At the moment I pretty much sell through Ebay and over the last week have sold 5 mirrors, which is great but it means I've spent every spare minute making them, then it's back to work again tomorrow!!!

                            Ideally I would like a combination - the security of my day job say 4 days a week and the rest for crafting. It would mean I could spend more time working on my website and getting 'out there' and hopefully it would generate more of an income from it to supliment the reduction in hours. BUT as I say, it's taking that risk....

                            I think to make it work you need to put a lot of time in, so really it's a case of going for it, putting in the hours and then seeing the rewards.
                            Katian Mosaics

                            ♥ My Ebay Listings ♥

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                            • #15
                              Definitely no! But I'm very happy with how much I do make

                              TBH I'm not sure I would want it as my full time job as it would then put a lot of pressure on me and that would certainly take away from the enjoyment side to it.

                              E.g I had a commission last month for 8 cards for the same lady and I knew I had to get them done. Planning and designing them was fun then I kinda lost interest a bit halfway through and started a couple of other things and eventually went back to her cards again. That really made me think that I didn't want to be tied to making cards to order I'd
                              much rather be free to design and make whatever I want. whenever I want.
                              Last edited by krafty1; 16-02-2009, 12:22 PM.