Author Topic: Low overhead, somewhat crafty side hustles?  (Read 7791 times)

maryofdoom

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Low overhead, somewhat crafty side hustles?
« on: November 15, 2013, 09:11:30 AM »
Hi friends,

My cousin and I were talking today, and somehow, the topic of hobbies came up. He wants to optimize his TV-watching time by making something that he can sell for some kind of a profit.

He is limited in the size of space that he has to devote to this activity, so something like woodworking is probably not a good fit. I suggested leathercrafting, but it also occurs to me that other people here might have good ideas for him to pursue.

Any ideas you might have would be most welcome!

auntbecky

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Re: Low overhead, somewhat crafty side hustles?
« Reply #1 on: November 15, 2013, 09:17:07 AM »
What are some of his more natural talents/tendencies/enjoyments?  Is he handy?  Or is he more techie?

maryofdoom

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Re: Low overhead, somewhat crafty side hustles?
« Reply #2 on: November 15, 2013, 09:31:46 AM »
He says "about half of each." I guess the root question is, does he want to make a thing or perform a service? And he agrees that making a thing is what he wants to do.

Bruised_Pepper

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Re: Low overhead, somewhat crafty side hustles?
« Reply #3 on: November 15, 2013, 09:34:02 AM »
Hmm...it may be a little girly for him, but I'll take knitting for $200, Alex. 

maryofdoom

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Re: Low overhead, somewhat crafty side hustles?
« Reply #4 on: November 15, 2013, 09:49:21 AM »
That's an excellent idea. He sounds intrigued by the idea, which is even better! Thank you.

auntbecky

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Re: Low overhead, somewhat crafty side hustles?
« Reply #5 on: November 15, 2013, 09:57:28 AM »
Side jobs with low overhead that I have friends and family doing:

Embroidery/sewing (cloth books, hats, towels)
Jewelry making (bead/gemstone/leather)
Antique Jewelry redesign (antique store, garage sale finds taken apart and put back together)
Knitting
Crocheting
Making Jams/jellies/canning/hot sauces

I'm reading this list thinking it sounds so girlie, but seriously, it is about a 50/50 split.

nataelj

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Re: Low overhead, somewhat crafty side hustles?
« Reply #6 on: November 15, 2013, 10:10:31 AM »
How do the jams/jellies/sauces ones work out? Where and how do you sell? And at what kind of profit margin?
« Last Edit: November 15, 2013, 10:30:32 AM by nataelj »

Frankies Girl

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Re: Low overhead, somewhat crafty side hustles?
« Reply #7 on: November 15, 2013, 10:21:27 AM »
Alterations and basic sewing - pretty cheap if you already sew since you'd basically only be out thread and bits and pieces.

Graphic design - if you already do this or have the computer and programs (and some talent), it's really practically zero overhead.

Proofreading/editing - same thing as above.

Computer repair, installing programs, teaching basic computer programs (targeted at seniors)

ScienceRules

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Re: Low overhead, somewhat crafty side hustles?
« Reply #8 on: November 15, 2013, 10:36:08 AM »
Side jobs with low overhead that I have friends and family doing:

Embroidery/sewing (cloth books, hats, towels)
Jewelry making (bead/gemstone/leather)
Antique Jewelry redesign (antique store, garage sale finds taken apart and put back together)
Knitting
Crocheting
Making Jams/jellies/canning/hot sauces

I'm reading this list thinking it sounds so girlie, but seriously, it is about a 50/50 split.

I'll second the jewelry making, though it sounds a little girlie. I spent about $40 on eBay initially. I've made about $200 from two tiny craft bazaars I did with my Grandma and I still have a bunch of supplies. It's very relaxing, and something I can do during short periods of time.

auntbecky

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Re: Low overhead, somewhat crafty side hustles?
« Reply #9 on: November 15, 2013, 10:42:37 AM »
How do the jams/jellies/sauces ones work out? Where and how do you sell? And at what kind of profit margin?

My dad will keep an eye out for super cheap in-season produce.  Then he will buy it in bulk and go home and look up recipes.  Some turn out really well and have large yields.  Others not as much.  The ones that turn out well, he gives as gifts during the holidays and the rest he sets up a deal with a vendor at a farmers market/craft fair.  A small amount of table space for a part of the profit.  Sometimes he makes a decent amount (usually on his plum jam and hot sauces)  but he isn't really doing it to make a profit.  This is just playing around for him.  I can imagine someone with more planning would easily be able to some side money.  Investigating up front on what sells well in the area during what time of year (farmer's market or craft fairs) and the time/supplies/cost of ingredients could make this very profitable.  Canning and Jams can allow you to keep the items for several seasons and sell when it makes more sense(cents).  :)

auntbecky

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Re: Low overhead, somewhat crafty side hustles?
« Reply #10 on: November 15, 2013, 10:51:51 AM »
Keep in mind with any side idea, the more you do it, the quicker/easier/better/cheaper you can get at it.  Also, don't just go buying the items and/or supplies at full price.  Pressure cookers, cooking equipment can get a steal at garage sales and craigslist.  So can most of the supplies for jewelry making.  Knitting and crocheting can get a bit spendy if you start buying yarns because they look nice or feel soft, but don't have a project in mind.  All of these hobbies can be as costly or cheap depending on the research you put in ahead of time.

ArcticaMT6

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Re: Low overhead, somewhat crafty side hustles?
« Reply #11 on: November 15, 2013, 02:00:18 PM »
Hi friends,

My cousin and I were talking today, and somehow, the topic of hobbies came up. He wants to optimize his TV-watching time by making something that he can sell for some kind of a profit.

He is limited in the size of space that he has to devote to this activity, so something like woodworking is probably not a good fit. I suggested leathercrafting, but it also occurs to me that other people here might have good ideas for him to pursue.

Any ideas you might have would be most welcome!

Full on woodworking is spendy (as I've said in other threads), but there are some that don't require large investments.

Scroll sawing: You can make small intricate things like ornaments, intarsia, marquetry, etc. Buy a decent machine (Dewalt 788 is probably one of the best rated of the lower cost machines (~$450), but the Porter Cable can be decent for $200ish at Lowes.

Carving: Handful of different carving tools and some wood and you're set.

Pyrography: Start out with some cheaper wood burning kits and some wood.

None of those produce much dust, so it's something that can be done in front of the TV as well. (Scroll saw produces the most dust, so perhaps over a kitchen table or solid surface floor that can be swept)

zinethstache

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Re: Low overhead, somewhat crafty side hustles?
« Reply #12 on: November 15, 2013, 02:12:00 PM »
Web site editor. Of all side hustles it is probably the lowest overhead for the $/hour you can earn. My day job is so web focused that I try to not take on many web side jobs, preferring to focus my evenings on more crafty side hustles (I have a full on garment design business, but that wasn't free to  start up) However, I charge $50/hr for basic html edits, $100/hr for each page I build for a customer. $100/hour for graphic design. As far as TV watching while coding, that is not likely too relaxing, but simple edits of web page HTML would be doable I think.

Lets see, thinking outside the box, if you have internet and a PC, another fun possibility would be to learn to code phone apps. That is something I would like to dig into some day - likely well past the time when boatloads of money can be made:) Your earnings would be the sales of your apps you post. again, Not quite as easy to split your time watching TV while coding. I can see the need to rewind alot here!


auntbecky

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Re: Low overhead, somewhat crafty side hustles?
« Reply #13 on: November 15, 2013, 02:21:18 PM »
I see something missing.  We are all here because we have an interest in personal finance in varying degrees.  Is anyone successfully producing side income from that?  (I guess tax preparation would be one way)

EDIT: I guess that isn't very crafty in the traditional sense.

Bruised_Pepper

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Re: Low overhead, somewhat crafty side hustles?
« Reply #14 on: November 15, 2013, 02:27:50 PM »
Alterations and basic sewing - pretty cheap if you already sew since you'd basically only be out thread and bits and pieces.

How hard is it to sew/alter garments?  I've always kind of thought about making my own clothes (or at least tailoring my cheapos)--I'm an odd size and it's hard to find clothes that fit. 

auntbecky

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Re: Low overhead, somewhat crafty side hustles?
« Reply #15 on: November 15, 2013, 02:33:18 PM »
Alterations and basic sewing - pretty cheap if you already sew since you'd basically only be out thread and bits and pieces.

How hard is it to sew/alter garments?  I've always kind of thought about making my own clothes (or at least tailoring my cheapos)--I'm an odd size and it's hard to find clothes that fit. 

That depends a lot on the fabric and your sewing equipment.  If you have a sewing machine, you can start practicing on old clothes or fabric you pick up.  Patterns online and youtube videos will get you really far to begin with.  For altering and tailoring, a lot of pins to start with and a lot of trial and error on clothes you don't mind if you don't get it right.  There are sewing groups in many towns, and you can meet up, enjoy some social time while learning the basics from the group.

Frankies Girl

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Re: Low overhead, somewhat crafty side hustles?
« Reply #16 on: November 15, 2013, 02:40:29 PM »
Alterations and basic sewing - pretty cheap if you already sew since you'd basically only be out thread and bits and pieces.

How hard is it to sew/alter garments?  I've always kind of thought about making my own clothes (or at least tailoring my cheapos)--I'm an odd size and it's hard to find clothes that fit.

I learned to sew at 18, in college in the theater costume department... I have almost no background in sewing at all before that. I got a crash course, and in my 20s bought a cheap non-fancy sewing machine, a few "easy" patterns and have made several pretty nifty things. Hemming pants and skirts is easy-peasy once you get the basics down. Sewing a whole dress or a shirt isn't too difficult if you get the easy patterns and go SLOW and of course now, you can look up tutorials on the internet, but there are classes out there that can get you up to speed as well. Things like adjusting fitted sleeves I'm still a bit leary of tho.

I freeform things like curtains and pilllowcases and smaller stuff all the time now, but I still wouldn't tackle a complicated bias-cut dress or anything. :)

imustachemystash

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Re: Low overhead, somewhat crafty side hustles?
« Reply #17 on: November 15, 2013, 02:54:57 PM »
How about wood turning?  I have a friend who makes gorgeous pens out of different types of wood.  The posts pictures of them on Facebook and asks if anyone is interested in buying it. He has also made bottle stoppers.  It doesn't take a lot of room because all you need is a spindle. 

Bruised_Pepper

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Re: Low overhead, somewhat crafty side hustles?
« Reply #18 on: November 15, 2013, 03:04:01 PM »
That depends a lot on the fabric and your sewing equipment.  If you have a sewing machine, you can start practicing on old clothes or fabric you pick up.  Patterns online and youtube videos will get you really far to begin with.  For altering and tailoring, a lot of pins to start with and a lot of trial and error on clothes you don't mind if you don't get it right.  There are sewing groups in many towns, and you can meet up, enjoy some social time while learning the basics from the group.

I learned to sew at 18, in college in the theater costume department... I have almost no background in sewing at all before that. I got a crash course, and in my 20s bought a cheap non-fancy sewing machine, a few "easy" patterns and have made several pretty nifty things. Hemming pants and skirts is easy-peasy once you get the basics down. Sewing a whole dress or a shirt isn't too difficult if you get the easy patterns and go SLOW and of course now, you can look up tutorials on the internet, but there are classes out there that can get you up to speed as well. Things like adjusting fitted sleeves I'm still a bit leary of tho.

I freeform things like curtains and pilllowcases and smaller stuff all the time now, but I still wouldn't tackle a complicated bias-cut dress or anything. :)

Yeah, I use the Internet to learn everything.  Why not use it to learn to sew?  I've been thinking about it for a while now, but being a man has held me back.  I do have a pair of pants that needs a new button.  That sounds kind of easy, maybe I'll start there. 

maryofdoom

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Re: Low overhead, somewhat crafty side hustles?
« Reply #19 on: November 15, 2013, 04:51:26 PM »
These are all fabulous ideas.

The low-overhead thing is mostly because he lives in a tiny apartment with limited space. I actually suggested knitting and he sounds interested. I mean, yes, it's not a super profitable enterprise, but it seems like he's more interested in simply keeping his hands busy while he's doing other stuff.

I knew everyone here would have great ideas!