10 DIY Projects for the Teen Entrepreneur
CEE Standards: Saving
Many students can find it difficult to find jobs during high school. These DIY ideas can be a great way to earn some spending money, even while they search!
Looking for fun, easy ways to make some money on the side? The DIY industry may be the place for you. Not only are people interested in buying homemade crafts, but they’re also willing to drop some serious cash on it! Here are 10 projects that you can make and sell at home:
Jewelry supplies in bulk can cost as little as $30, but you can sell a single pair of earrings or a necklace for at least $10 or $15. The more jewelry you make and sell, the bigger your profit margin will be as you become more experienced and well-known.
Start simple, with basic designs and materials. But if you have a knack for it, consider upping the quality and complexity so that you can triple or quadruple your price.
If you ensure good quality and customer service with whatever level of jewelry you create, it’ll be easy to get a high rating wherever you sell it.
You can ask friends or family members to model the jewelry you make and post the pictures on social media to drum up more business. Your creations can also be great gifts for loved ones.
2. Wall Prints
Posters, wall prints, and other forms of wall decor are consistently among the top-selling items on Etsy. The best part? The simplest wall prints are often the most popular. The best way to start is to think of an image, quote, or shape that you know to be popular.
Examples include “keep calm and carry on,” “live, laugh, love,” “gather,” or a similarly popular expression, as well as anything involving elephants, sloths, or unicorns.
Keep your eye on whatever is trending at the moment! A basic print won’t sell for much more than $5 to $10, so try to make something that you can replicate easily and consistently.
3. Crocheted Items
Although this one requires a bigger learning curve, the materials are still inexpensive, and you can sell items in bulk once you’ve mastered it. Crocheted hats, head wraps, scarves, and mittens are all very simple patterns to create, and they’re always popular.
You can sell a head wrap for $10, a pair of mittens for $15, and a blanket for $40 or more. Consider bright yarn colors like these to make your accessories stand out from the competition.
You can buy plain white coffee mugs, bowls, or plates at any crafts store (or even the dollar store!) for very low prices. With this project, the world is your oyster. You can add a quote, offer an option for buyers to customize with names or phrases, or just dunk the outside of each item into a vat of glitter (because who doesn’t want a kitchen full of glitter?).
Depending on the quality of the item (plastic, ceramic, etc.), you can charge anywhere from $10 to $30.
Additionally, make sure your items are dishwasher-safe or let your customers know they will have to wash the items by hand before you sell them.
5. Customized Furniture
This is the most expensive option in terms of materials, time, and skill, but it can also be the most financially rewarding. If you live near antiques markets or an antiques warehouse (spoiler alert: you probably do — Google it), you can buy chests, tables, and bookcases for super low prices.
You can always negotiate at antiques spots, so you could offer $50 for a bookcase that may have originally sold for $300.
Once you have the furniture, go nuts. Paint it, stencil it, upholster it — whatever you’d like. This project can be a little messy, so you’ll want to do it outside — and don’t forget to make sure that your parents are cool with what you are doing and where in your home you’ll be doing it.
Once you’ve redone the look of the item, you can sell it for way more than what you paid for it. Even a fresh coat of paint can make an item sellable for three to four times what you paid! The more elaborate your design, the higher you can set your price.
Remember that you can often find discarded furniture items on the curb or side of the road. One of these is the ultimate find because you can fix it up, give it a new look, and flip it for a tidy profit.
6. Bottle Vases
Refurbishing old glass bottles isn’t just a stellar idea for gifts and sales — it’s also great for the environment. Take your favorite bottles (cider, wine, whatever) and turn them into beautiful vases, paperweights, or decorative pieces. Once the vases are ready, you can sell them on Etsy or Amazon.
The best part about this DIY project is how easy it is — you can paint bottles, adorn them with fabrics like lace, or even add personal touches like photos. There are countless examples and how-tos on Pinterest to check out if you need inspiration!
7. Mason Jar Candles
Making homemade wax might sound daunting, but there are multiple recipes available online, most of which include basic ingredients that you may already have in your kitchen.
Once you’ve created the candle, you can use an old mason jar to complete the look. Like the bottle vases, you can easily sell these online.
8. Homemade Spice Packets
An increasingly popular party favor and DIY project is a homemade spice recipe. You can make anything from a chili-spice packet to a barbecue rub, then package it in a container like a mason jar or a pretty bag so that it turns into a great product or gift for your friends and family.
You can find recipes online for different spice blends, and then customize the product with a ribbon, a personalized message, or other decorations.
9. Picture Frames
These next two are best used as gift ideas because they are classic and guaranteed ways to tug on the heartstrings of whoever you’re making them for.
The best way to put a unique spin on a classic gift is to create a frame that’s as special as the picture it holds.
Consider buying a cheap, plain frame from Ikea or Target and decorate it in the best way you can (it helps if you’re a bit artsy). You could sponge-paint it, or write a personalized message with a Sharpie. The gift is foolproof because of the sentiment. With your added creativity, it will go a long way.
10. Homemade Coupon Book
This is my personal favorite, but be warned — it’s usually appropriate to give only to loved ones or very close friends. Instead of buying them a gift card or a voucher, you can fill a scrapbook or a binder with homemade coupons, such as “one free movie night.”
Not only is this a fun, cheap way to get your creative juices flowing, but it also sets up you and your loved one to plan a bunch of fun activities in the future.l