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13 Things to Make and Sell Online in 2021

Article by Amanda Gaid

Have you been thinking about things to make and sell for your new business? You’re onto a great idea.

When you think about it, this practice has been in place since the beginning of humankind. Primitive tribes used to make things like weapons and food, then trade them for other items they didn’t readily have.

Of course, the introduction of money has changed things (just a little bit).

But at its core, the art and science of exchange lives on.

If you’ve been looking for some things to make and sell for profit, look no further. We’re going to look at 13 ideas to get you started on your next business venture.

And when you find something you like, your new ecommerce store is only a few clicks away — just build a Shopify store and bring it to life.

13 Easy Things To Make and Sell

The good news is there will always be demand for unique, custom products. Check out these ideas to find the one that best fits your talents, resources, and interests.

As you continue your research, pay special attention to any legal requirements your new business idea might have. For example, your country and state may have specific laws for making and selling food or labeling beauty products.

1. Sweet Treats

Cookies and candies and cakes, oh my! It’s no secret that sugar has a big place in our lives.

If you have a penchant for creating sweet concoctions, it should be simple for you to find DIY things to make and sell in this category.

You can start with a baked goods store, or go straight into a specialized niche like holiday or wedding sweets. You can even get super-specific, like zombie chocolates.

things to make and sell

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Just be sure to note that food sales have special regulations. For example, you’ll need to be extra careful about sourcing your ingredients, creating the right nutritional labels, and making sure your kitchen is up to code.

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2. T-shirts

If you’re not exceptionally creative, t-shirts may be the ideal things to make and sell.

That’s because you don’t need to sell your own designs. You can source them from a designer and use a print-on-demand service, or you can even dropship t-shirts that are pre-made by a manufacturer.

make and sell t-shirts online

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It’s an ideal business to start small with little upfront costs, then build up as you find success.

For example, you can start by dropshipping, then sell custom designs through a service, then eventually purchase your own screen printing equipment when you know your idea is profitable.

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3. Bath Bombs

People love artisan bath bombs. In fact, the global bath and shower products market is expected to grow to more than $63 billion by 2028, up from nearly $45 billion in 2021.

This means big opportunities for small businesses to swoop in and take some of the market. 

The great part about this kind of business is that you can start it in your kitchen today. You probably already have some of the ingredients you’ll need, and you can use simple commercial molds to get started.

But of course, you’ll be setting your company apart from the competition if you can create a niche product, like these amazing donut bath bombs from A Pumpkin and a Princess.

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4. Candles

When weighing out popular things to make and sell, candles should definitely be on your list.

They’re simple to make, easy to customize, and have a low cost and barrier to entry. Then once you pick up some traction and know your business is successful, it’ll be daily simple to scale and grow for higher production volume.

When building your candle business, pay special attention to your brand strategy — as this will likely be the biggest thing that sets you apart from your competitors.

For example, Birthdate Co. offers 365 unique astrology candles: one for each day of the year.

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5. Jewelry

Jewelry is another type of thing to make and sell that gives you a lot of freedom to keep it simple or go all-out.

You can make beautiful jewelry with beads and string, or you can use special tools to craft your own custom shapes and designs out of your raw materials, like silver or brass.

It’s important to keep in mind that jewelry is a saturated market, meaning that you’ll have a lot of competition.

For this reason, it’s important to do your research and find a niche that will set your company apart from the rest.

Suzzan Atala’s Tuza Jewelry has made a name for itself in NYC. The company produces unique designs that are made in Mexico City, Atala’s hometown.

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6. Subscription Boxes

Got an eye for curation? If so, a gift or subscription box store is the perfect option for you.

Subscription boxes are an ideal and popular gift. Themed boxes full of curated goods provide a great surprise, as well as give customers a chance to try out products they may otherwise never use.

By compiling a collection of soaps, shampoos, oils, and maybe a washcloth or flannel, you can offer a self-care subscription service people will love! Or perhaps team up with a confectioner and provide a selection of sweet treats like The Cake Tasting Club?

make and sell subscription box example

Sourcing products can be time-consuming and take a decent amount of storage space, but curated content is a high-end product. Did you know most subscription boxes have a profit margin of 40-60%? Definitely food for thought.

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7. Enamel Pins

Enamel pins have been a staple of self-expression for decades but have seen a greater surge in popularity among millennials and Gen Z.

Adaptable to every kind of style imaginable, enamel pins are easy to make and ship. There are several platforms to connect you with talented pin designers or help you design custom enamel pins.

If you have graphic design skills, you can create your own original designs using Adobe Illustrator or Sumopaint. 

Alternatively, you can search for a pin designer with a commercial license to help create designs for your products. 

Of course, unless you have the equipment necessary, you will need to seek out an enamel pin manufacturer too.

It’s best to know ahead of time what kinds of pins you are going for, such as what types of clasps or materials you want to use to help choose the best manufacturer for you.

how to make enamel pins

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8. Lip Balm

Like bath bombs and soap, lip balm can be made right at home using supplies you may already have in your kitchen.

Simply heating beeswax and natural oils can quickly brew you up a batch of your own homemade lip balms, ready for sale. Though, it would be best if you always read through your local regulations for home production first.

Once you know the rules, you can easily buy all the ingredients necessary at your local supermarket. Just remember to keep yourself stocked up to meet demands!

Also, as your gain experience, you can begin experimenting with other styles and scents of lip balm, providing greater ranges of products.

things to make and sell from home

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9. Magnets

Magnets are cheap to make, costing as little as $0.03-$0.06 per unit. 

But that doesn't mean you should stick to traditional magnets for your business. 

How about creating a magnetized version of old photographs? Can notepads be attached in easy-to-spot locations to help keep people on track with their daily tasks?

What you make is up to you, and with magnets' versatile nature, your ideas can hold on for the long haul.

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10. Pet Supplies

Who doesn't love their furry friends? 

Naturally, we all want to give our fur babies the best. It's estimated that pet owners worldwide will spend $269 billion on them by 2025.

With figures like this, it's no wonder that people are considering selling pet supplies to earn a living.

It's easy to start a pet supplies business.  Custom pet collars, dog treats, toys for cats can all be easily made at home if you're the crafty type. 

For marketing your business, you can use your own pets as the models of your pet supplies brand. 

Important: If you're selling anything that can be ingested (like toys or treats), be sure to put appropriate warnings and labels to protect yourself legally.

make pet products

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11. Posters

In an era of increasing work-at-home jobs, it is even more important to keep our home spaces comforting and aesthetically pleasing.

Posters are a quick and easy way to give a space that unique feel and a quick and easy way to start a business!

Using online tools like Canva and Piktochart, turning your art into other people's happy places is a cinch. 

Whether you want to upload your images and have them printed for you or splash out on the equipment yourself, posters and other wall art are a surefire way to get your vision out into the world and brighten people's lives.

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12. Ceramics

It may seem like a big task, but pottery is not quite as hard as you’d think.

No matter where you live, you can guarantee a college or civic center near you does pottery classes. It doesn’t take long to go from complete novice to clay crafter, either.

It can take a little investment in some basic equipment and materials, like clay and paints, to decorate before you can start working from home. However, most public classes will give you time and space in a shared kiln to start you off.

In an era where we appreciate the hand-crafted products of passion, people love to buy unique creations. Your pots, sculptures, and ornaments could soon decorate the homes of hundreds around you.

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sell ceramics online

13. Planters

As with pottery and posters, plants are a big deal when it comes to decorating spaces. 

Long gone are the days when a simple wooden box would do for a planter, and planters nowadays are made from anything you can think of.

With a little ingenuity, you can create a chic planter using pretty much anything you can find. 

You can add your flair of decorations to existing planters you can buy cheaply from hardware stores, add words or signs to help buyers sort their plants. Or you can make your own from scratch.

Try thinking outside the box – line some old boots with water-resistant materials. Recycle old storage boxes. Transform old books, bottles, or jars.

make and sell planters

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Summary: 13 DIY Things to Make and Sell in 2021 

You know that old saying, “If you love what you do, you’ll never work a day in your life.”

Well, this is what happens when you can marry your passion for creativity with your drive to own your own business.

When looking for DIY things to make and sell, there are a lot of opportunities to truly have fun with your work. 

Just make sure you do your research to make sure that you understand what it takes to create and ship those products in large quantities as your business grows. You’ll also need to make sure you’re up-to-speed on any rules or regulations on your products.

Apart from that, your imagination is your limit!

In summary, here are 13 popular things to make and sell for a profit: 

  1. Sweets
  2. T-shirts
  3. Bath bombs
  4. Candles
  5. Jewelry
  6. Subscription boxes
  7. Enamel pins
  8. Lip balm
  9. Magnets
  10. Pet supplies
  11. Posters 
  12. Ceramics
  13. Planters

One more thing: if it feels too overwhelming or cumbersome to make and sell things, you can always dropship pre-made items with Oberlo instead. This saves you a huge amount of time, and you won’t ever need to handle your own inventory. Check it out.

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