Could Your Favorite Hobby be Your Side Hustle?
January 20, 2023
Natalie Zeifman (she/her/hers), Low Entropy Volunteer Writer
If you’re a creative person who enjoys making things, there are definitely opportunities to turn your favorite hobby into a side hustle that could help make you a bit more money at the end of the month, or at the very least help cover the cost of what you already love to do.
Online marketplaces such as Facebook Marketplace are now widely used, and while the majority of listings on these websites are for used items, many people do take advantage of the popularity of these venues to sell their original art.
Local markets for farmers and artists are also becoming a mainstay of many cities and towns. From the weekly market to the larger festival, there is the option to book a table to sell your work.
Local cafes and home decor stores are also known to display or sell local art, so it doesn’t hurt to approach them with your work as well.
If writing is more your jam, there are quite a few magazines, journals and newspapers which will pay you for your poems, short stories or articles. It can be competitive and the majority of publications do not financially compensate non-staff writers, but it can still be a great way to get more recognition for your work. Databases such as The Submission Grinder can help writers find the publishers that best fit what they write.
Of course sales aren’t guaranteed so it’s best to do your creative hobbies for the joy of them, and to start small and see what response you get when attempting to sell your work.
It’s also good to know that attempting to make money off of your hobbies can come with both benefits and drawbacks. Certainly being financially compensated and recognized for your work can feel amazing, and putting your work out into the public more purposefully can help further your career. Trying to make your creative pursuits more financially lucrative can also help encourage you to increase the quality of your work, and motivate you to produce more.
On the other hand, it can take away from the joy of a hobby to feel that you have to do it, especially if you feel pressured to do it at a pace that isn’t natural to you. You may feel financially pressured to produce pieces that aren’t as personally meaningful to you. It also takes time, effort and sometimes even extra financial cost to sell your work, on top of producing it.
Some people prefer to keep the ‘work’ out of their hobbies, while others deeply enjoy making their hobbies into another source of income. You may just need to try it to know.
All that being said, here is a list of hobbies that could bring you both creative joy and a financial boost in the coming new year:
- Painting. Whether water color, acrylic, or oil paint, on canvas, paper or wall. This art form has so much variety and you can take it up rather inexpensively with dollar store supplies.
- Re-painting and decorating old furniture.
- Making wooden constructions such as plant stands, tables, fireplace mantles etc. Many hardware stores will cut the wood to your dimensions on request, so all you have to do is hammer the pieces together and decorate as you wish.
- Jewelry making. Wire based jewelry is especially easy to work with, but people who wish to advance their skills further can also take up some small scale metal work right in their own kitchen.
- Embroidery. Embroidered designs are becoming popular these days and can be hung on the wall. You could also offer custom embroidery of items with a couple’s names, favorite lyrics, pretty designs etc.
- Knits and crochet. All kinds of items can be knit or crocheted from socks to purses to hanging plant baskets.
- Driftwood and found item creations. Many things are being made with natural found items these days and they are quite popular. There are driftwood sculptures, driftwood and hanging yarn decorations, vases glued with seashells and rocks etc.
- “Book nooks” or bookend dioramas. I highly recommend looking these guys up as they are so cute and creative. Book nooks have gained popularity recently. They are basically little mini-world dioramas that take up about a shoebox of space which can be placed on bookshelves. You can paint a shoebox, fill it with fake foliage or clay figures… The sky is the limit.
- Sewing fabric creations. If you love to sew, you can make fancy custom clothing or even pillows with fun material.
- Soap or candle making. While you do need to get some special materials to make these guys, the process itself is relatively easy and they can be fun to customize.
- Cooking and baking. You can check out BC’s Guideline for the Sale of Foods at Temporary Food Markets here.
- Writing. Poems, short stories, articles, or even your own book. Join a local writer’s club for support, tips and inspiration.
- Photography. Although photography is probably one of the more expensive hobbies a person can pick up, there is potential to make side income in it. If you can develop your skill enough, you can become an event or wedding photographer. You can also find large frames at local thrift shops and sell framed prints. There is potential to offer out the photoshop skills associated with photography as well.
- Pottery making. Although clay material does need a kiln oven to set properly, you can often bring your pieces into pottery studios or recreation centers which will fire your pieces for a fee. Make-your-own-ceramic studios can also provide you all the materials you need on site.
- Music busking. Although regulations vary by city and you may need to apply for a yearly license, if you’re feeling brave enough to show off your musical skill, it can be a way to both add life to your city and make a little bit of extra income.
- Custom clothing design. Using fabric paint or the combination of special transfer paper, an inkjet printer and an iron, you can make custom designs for clothes that are particular to local tastes and culture.
The beauty that art brings to the world has been valued for thousands of years and it is unlikely to ever go out of style. Have no doubt that there is value in making art a part of life.
Happy creativity in the new year!
Leave your thoughts for Natalie in the comments below — better yet, start up a dialogue with the Low Entropy community in person at a Conscious Connections meeting or online at our community site. You can also follow us on Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, Twitter and YouTube to stay up-to-date with Low Entropy news!
At Low Entropy, we believe changing the world starts with changing ourselves.
Founded in 2015, Low Entropy Facilitates conversations that encourage diversity and promote inclusivity.
We understand that life can be confusing at times. It can seem challenging and sometimes you may feel like no one really “gets you.” We offer an opportunity to connect with others who have the capacity to understand you.