Artistic and entrepreneurial? With holiday shopping already under way, this is the perfect time to consider holiday hustles for creatives. Whether you make holiday wreaths, custom cutting boards, cards, cookies, or some kind of art that could decorate phone cases or hoodies, there are plenty of ways to make a few bucks plying your passions.
Here are 5 sites that can help market holiday hustles for creatives.
Etsy, the leading arts and crafts site, is already in holiday overdrive, shooting out messages to past customers about seasonal gear and gifts. Gifts for kids range from personalized puzzles and aprons to handcrafted balance beams and bunnies. The site is also advertising Christmas stockings, seasonal sweatshirts and gifts for guys.
Notably, all of the products on Etsy are offered by freelance creators, who set their own prices and terms. These terms include who pays for shipping; the approximate processing time for orders; and their return policy. Etsy charges a 20 cent listing fee for each item, plus a 6.5% commission on sales.
If your shop earns more than $10,000 in annual sales, the site will require you to participate in its offsite advertising program too. Under this program, any sale brought to your site by an offsite advertisement will be subject to an additional 12-15% commission. The moral of this story? Mark up your goods at least 30% – 50% over cost, if you want to break even.
Some ideas for holiday best-sellers on the site:
Notably, if you’re in Canada or Great Britain, there are viable Etsy alternatives in iCraft and Folksy. But, in the U.S., Etsy has no real rival.
Art, photographs and clever holiday sayings
Do you take extraordinary photographs, draw, paint — or just create funny sayings that would likely sell well on a t-shirt, apron, baseball cap or some other product? You can make money uploading your art to any one — or several — print-on-demand sites. These sites use your art or phrase to decorate products for sale. They make the products, market and mail them. You simply earn a royalty whenever a product that includes your art is sold.
And while print-on-demand sites are available year-round, sales of everything from puzzles to sweatshirts soar over the holidays — particularly when it has a seasonal theme. (After all, you’ve got to buy those ugly Christmas sweaters somewhere.)
Our favorite print-on-demand sites are Society6 and FineArtAmerica. Both sites encourage you to upload your art and/or photos and decide which types of products you’d like that art to be used to decorate. Both sites have a raft of options. FineArtAmerica, for instance, sells puzzles, beach towels, t-shirts, coffee mugs and tote bags.
Society6 also sells throw blankets and pillows, phone cases, comforters, coasters, water bottles and shower curtains.
Both sites allow you to set your own royalty rate, which will be added to the product’s base price to come up with the final price for the consumer. But be sure to supplement the site’s advertising by posting your holiday-themed merchandise on your social media accounts.
Although FineArtAmerica also allows artists to sell greeting cards through its site, the better place to create holiday cards for sale is Zazzle. That’s mainly because Zazzle allows buyers to personalize the cards offered through the site, which is a popular formula for holiday cards.
Card creators on this site, essentially upload a template, including background art and fonts. Buyers can sub in their personal photos and other details. That’s a formula for success particularly with holiday cards, wedding and shower invitations.
Like the other print-on-demand sites, Zazzle physically produces the cards, markets them through its site and mails them. All you do is upload your design. You also set your own royalty rate. (However, if you set your royalty above 14% on Zazzle, the site may hit you with additional fees.)
Another holiday hustle for creatives involves decorating homes for the holidays. Whether that’s stringing lights outside or creating the perfect garland for the mantle, this type of hustle is best advertised on local social media site Nextdoor.
Unlike national and international social media sites, such as Instagram and TikTok, Nextdoor limits your reach to a relatively tight geographic area. That’s perfect for those selling in-person services.
Well-known as a place to find lost dogs and local restaurants, Nextdoor has become a hot spot for contractor recommendations. While business owners are encouraged to run advertisements, the site increasingly allows soft selling — posts where contractors simply say they’re available to provide a service. These soft-sell posts costs nothing and are often highly effective.
Advertisements are effective, too, business owners say. John Sousa, owner of Johnny’s Knife Sharpening, says the vast majority of his rapidly-growing business comes from paid advertisements and word-of-mouth recommendations on Nextdoor.