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  • How many are making a living on the crafts?

    What say all you good people? How many have actually been making a living out of it, say the last 5 years?? Be warned, an answer may lead to a lot more questions.

    Thanks in advance

  • #2
    "Making a living" meaning no other income...... is tough! I make and sell craft items but I do not "make a living" at it. What is the hardest part is selling the stuff. Making it is the easiest and the most fun. If I could sell it as fast as I can make it I could make a living at it , yes. I would have to travel to much to sell that amount and make it profitable and would have to find free lodging wherever I went. I am content to have a hobby that my current sales fund for me.
    Hegner Polymax- 3,Hegner Multimax-3,
    "No PHD, just a DD 214"

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    • #3
      I've often wanted to do better at my craftng, too, to justify, at least now that I'm retired...NOT having to take on another job...which I've done now anyway to get the shop in shape to do the woodcrafting. I'd never have made enough money quick enough to do the shop. I had to go back to work to get the money to do it. I guess I'm blessed, tho, to be able to get a job that pays $19.00/hr.....not alot in some places but around here that's good. So I'll soon have my shop paid for, and be able to quit that job I hate and just do the woodcrafts.

      I also think that alot of people who get into woodworking find out that they can do well if they get into the part of making patterns and selling them or creating pattern books.
      I have bought many many pattern books for woodcraft and painting....and have read several authors say they do better at selling the patterns/books.
      However, I am not that creative. I can follow instructions for cutting/painting creating a object like someone else has done but I can't come up with something on my own.

      I have some other crafts I can do, too, so I plan on doing some other things after I quit this job. But in all reality......I can make much more by working....at a job I hate than doing what I love to do...woodcrafting.....and not make nearly as much.
      It's either do what you love or do what you hate.....all depends on what you want to do.
      For me, anyway. I'm just tired of that daily 8-hour a day grind, and which some days it turns into 10 hour days if I can't get all my work done, I have to stay over. I'm just tired of working....but need it right now to get this shop project paid for.

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      • #4
        For me it's only a hobby! I sell some items on craft show or Xmas market, but that pays only the place of the booth and my supplies... and I can speak with customers.
        I'm in pension (retired) since April 2008, and I need to have some "occupation". I like paint (on canvas and wood) and I make some scroll saw objects. Why not sell them? But not "making a living" only a hobby.
        Best regards

        Simon MARTIN
        From France

        Visit My Gallery:Simon's Album

        You can also look at my pyrography galery: Martin's Album
        Website: http://decors.bois.peinture.free.fr

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        • #5
          For me, scroll sawing is strictly my hobby, will always be a hobby. I'm retired and intend to stay that way.

          I do a couple craft shows just to sell off some of my "stuff" so I can make room for more "stuff" and buy more wood. And tools, and paint, and glue, etc. etc.

          Making a living at it would entail traveling around to different cities/states, being on the road a lot. No thank you. Or, trying to sell items online, for another option.

          A few folks have done fairly well, both online and at venues and I congratulate them. I'm just not willing to turn my hobby into a J.O.B.

          I enjoy giving things I create to people I care about. That's what I enjoy most.
          A clean house is a sign of a broken scroll saw!

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          • #6
            I took up scroll sawing out of boredom. I am disabled and had so much time on my hands it was driving me crazy. 6 months down the line I finally have my workshop how I want it. I do two craft fairs a month on average and I do very well. It was not easy at first and I made a loss but I learnt about how to display my stuff properly by making stands and other display props. I have a good range of items and what sells well for me is children's puzzles and children's names. I have a few names to show people as examples and take orders for them and mail them off within a week of ordering. I would never be able to make a living from craft fairs though, it pays for all my equipment and all the wood I use and pays all my expenses and I am able to buy other things I would not normally be able to afford. I also supply craft centres with the things I make, they display a huge range of items made by craft people and they sell a lot. I can increase the prices here as well as it is more like a gallery. If you want to make more money you will have to supply shops but then you take a cut in what you would normally sell items for, the retailers here want to make at least 30% some want to make more because they are greedy. We will never get the true value for the things we spend hours making and I feel what has ruined it is cheap imports from China and the far east, the shops here are flooded with them. At craft fairs the people realise that everything is hand made and that they are getting a quality item that is unique and not mass produced. People like to buy things that are individual, like a one off item.

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            • #7
              Having just retired and wanting to get into woodworking mostly for something to do I hope to be able to make enough to cover expenses. I used to do some woodworking as a hobby but then got so busy I had to stop and just hang on to my tools for retirement.
              Bob making sawdust in SW Louisiana
              with a EX-21

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              • #8
                I'am retired, and enjoy my hobby, and the money I make at craft shows goes toward wood, supplies, etc, and no way I could make a living on what I sell, I enjoy my hobby and wouldn't trade it for anything Edward
                http://www.scrollsawer.com/gallery/s...00&ppuser=6384

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                • #9
                  I think the only one that I know of was Jediscroller. I think he may have been doing it as a livelihood for awhile. If he sees this maybe he will chime in.
                  I would not want to do it as a profession; I like it too much as a hobby that more than supports itself. I would have to sell an awful lot of product to pay my mortgage every month.
                  Rolf
                  RBI G4 26 Hawk, EX 16 with Pegas clamps, Nova 1624 DVR XP
                  Philosophy "I don't know that I can't, therefore I can"
                  Proud Member of the Long Island Woodworkers Club
                  And the Long Island Scrollsaw Association

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                  • #10
                    Hello all, I agree with Rolf. I love doing this as a hobby and it does pay for itself. (Of course all the complimets on my work is as they say, "priceless If this was a JOB, I am not sure I would enjoy it as much as I do if I was trying to get the work to pay the bills.
                    Mark
                    Proud new owner of an EX-21

                    WWW.MGMWOODWORKS.COM

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                    • #11
                      With the economy like it is, I would think that trying to make a living doing craft shows would be difficult. I retired from electrical work about 4 years ago due to health reasons and have found that in order to make a decent income from woodworking I had to diversify into other things like furniture repair and refinishing, small custom woodworking, restoration work, pen turning--whatever it takes. I have my own website where I sell intarsia project kits and finished intarsia pieces plus I have a page on CustomMade.Com where I display custom knife blocks, Personalized martial arts belt display racks, finished keepsake boxes and other products which has done pretty well. I do one local craft show a year where I have had good results selling pens and cutting boards but for me that's not where the money is.
                      Mike
                      "Why buy it if you can build it"
                      www.midlothianwoodworks.com
                      My Blog --
                      http://midlothianwoodworks.wordpress.com/
                      My CustomMade Page
                      http://www.custommade.com/by/mikemathieu/

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                      • #12
                        I love doing it and I love selling it but there is no way I could support myself and my family with the craft. I would have to be on the road most days going from show to show. Every show would have to be successful. That just is not practical. Unless you open up a store front and can wait a few years to make a small profit, it's not really a good way to make a living. I make enough at my shows to get a few tools, supplies, a couple of home improvements and buy some Christmas presents.
                        Keith

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                        • #13
                          My wife would be thrilled if I would come close to covering my cost's
                          Yea I walked through The Valley of Death and I kicked it's ***
                          Semper Fi

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                          • #14
                            You can earn an income, but you probably won't get rich. I think the biggest thing is you can't "count" on the paycheck because you never know how much you're going to sell. You will not make what you do as an accountant but the plus side is you work for yourself and do what you love. that's gotta count for something.
                            Janette
                            www.square-designs.com

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Janette View Post
                              You can earn an income, but you probably won't get rich. I think the biggest thing is you can't "count" on the paycheck because you never know how much you're going to sell. You will not make what you do as an accountant but the plus side is you work for yourself and do what you love. that's gotta count for something.
                              I agree here wholeheartedly.
                              I went back to work as a nurse to a job that I really dislike. I guess I really got spoiled the year I didn't work after I retired. NOW I don't want to work.
                              But as soon as I get my finances back in order after redoing this workshop....I'm quitting.
                              I just want to do my crafts. And try to sell some to try to make back what I've spent on the shop and keep me crafting.
                              I will be looking for free wood tho, to help cut costs when I actually start my working and selling.
                              But I'm sure I'll be lucky in the first year if I make back what I spent on the shop and keep the electrical bill paid.

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