For a long time I've been meaning to write a series of posts on how I manage to fund my fabric and thread stash as a stay-at-home mom and as a single income family. I decided to put it all into one big whopping post. Stick with me - it's worth the read. Note that I've included affiliate and referral links for your reference and convenience.
And now, I have the dream of owning my own longarm quilting machine. I keep entering to win one, but alas, nothing yet. And I'm pretty sure longarm companies don't just give them away [although, if you know of one who'd like to sponsor a super awesome blogger like myself, let me know (hee hee hee)]. So, let the saving begin.
As my fellow quilters and crafters out there know, this is not a cheap hobby to have - so I've had to think outside the box a bit on how to fund my
I've been asked quite a bit about how I manage to afford to buy the fabrics and threads and notions I do - and here's how. These are my tips and tricks to keeping my hobby alive without working outside the home.
These tips apply to anyone who would like to make a little extra cash on the side to fund whatever your heart desires!
Tips are listed below in descending order for what I've found my earning potential to be. i.e.: I make the most money, top to bottom, at the below listed tips.
By selling on Etsy, I've managed to make enough to buy a newer, bigger, better sewing machine, periodically buy the fat quarter bundles I want, purchase the Aurifil I want (because I use it in my products!) and more.
It costs nothing to open a store on Etsy; they have a system where you spend $0.20USD to list an item for 3 months, and you pay a small flat fee if your item sells. You can choose to accept PayPal and/or Direct Checkout (credit cards), with funds you earn being deposited into your PayPal and/or bank account, respectively.
There's a learning curve to it, but they make it really easy. Maybe I'll write another post soon on what I've learned while being a seller on Etsy.
Plus, it's a tax write-off at the end of the year, which will save/earn you money as well.
Curious about what my store looks like? I'm SewatHomeMummy on Etsy.
answering online surveys, shopping through affiliate links and watching suggested videos.
I've used a lot of online survey companies, and the best one I've come across, with the highest payouts, least amount of limitations, best customer service and most diverse gift card options has been SwagBucks.com.
Basically, this is how it works:
Generate an account at Swagbucks.com. On their site, they have several ways in which you can earn what they call "Swag Bucks" - which are basically points you earn towards redemption on hundreds of different gift card options for a ton of different companies (like Amazon, eBay, Target, Walmart, Visa, PayPal, Home Depot, and more!). What I love is that, unlike with other survey companies:
- each gift card company has multiple options for denominations which you can cash in on - all the way from $5 cards up to $100+.
- You can cash in anytime - and there are no limits or caps on how many times you can cash your points in in a period - because, there are no periods.
- Want cash, and not gift cards? Easy. Cash in on a PayPal gift card which is automatically deposited to your PayPal account, then transfer the money to your bank account attached to your PayPal. Easy peasy, lemon squeezy.
- They have multiple ways you can earn points, it's not just through doing surveys. You can: (*fastest way to earn points)
- *answer surveys
- search the web through their site and earn points
- *shop at major retailers by using their "Shop and Earn" links - for instance, want to shop at Old Navy this Black Friday? Go to your swagbucks account page first, click shop and earn, find Old Navy on their site and earn 8SB/$1 spent at Old Navy. Booking a trip or vacation? click through to Priceline via your Swagbucks account and earn 8SB/$1 spent. Making a purchase on Amazon? click through from Swagbucks and earn 4SB/$1 spent...and so on...
- watch videos and advertisements - if I'm sewing or cooking, I have the videos on in the background, earning points while I do other things.
- play games/download apps/special offers/and more!
I've been doing online surveys for years, and believe me, the money adds up. Depending on how frequently I'm shopping and how much time I can devote to swagbuck's site, I can earn enough in a month for a really good fabric or threads shopping trip.
Give it a try!
Personally, I use shareasale.com* on my blog. They are one of the biggest affiliate companies out there, their interface is easy to use, and they deal with craft companies I know, have used, and I trust.
Taking on affiliate advertising* is easy to do, but requires a bit of...finesse. You don't want to risk alienating your readership with a bombardment of advertising, both in posts and on your sidebar, but at the same time, everyone has to make a living, right?
Some things to note/my suggestions on the subject:
- take on advertising from affiliates that you know and trust - and that you've actually used. The ones you see in my sidebar (Craftsy*, Amazon*, etc.) I personally own or use on a regular basis and have products or services that are applicable to my readership.
- make sure that you follow the legal disclosure guidelines for your country when advertising affiliates and their sales/products (for example, in the US, you must by law disclose when there are affiliate links on your blog or in a post - note my disclosure at the bottom of this post, at the bottom of this blog, and, in the sidebar affiliate advertising is separately denoted by the heading "affiliates")
Here's where social media can really be your friend. When you make something fabulous, post it on all of your social media accounts - share it with all of your friends and family. Let everyone who follows you know that you make spectacular things, and your items are for sale.
Also, let people know that you will create custom orders or items for people which are in your scope of practice - or offer your services out to friends and family who may also sew or quilt if they need help with projects they're doing.
As a side note - if you do start up an Etsy shop, make sure to promote the items you make on all of your social media accounts - it's free advertising!
If you really own your craft, and do a particular thing really well, why not teach a class to people who want to learn?
I haven't personally taught any classes - I eventually will - but I do know of several quilty friends who teach quilting and sewing classes at their local quilt shops and fabric stores on weekends. Technically, this isn't making money from home, but, it is something you could do on weekends that could put a little extra coin in your pockets.
Check with your local fabric and quilt shops, Michaels, and community centers/colleges if you're interested in this option!
Sew at Home Mummy Tip #6:
Not using it? Sell it!
There's no other way to put this but - if you have stuff, salable stuff, laying around the house which you're not going to ever use again, SELL IT.
This year I sold a ton of stuff from around the house - everything from closet doors to window box air conditioning units on Craigslist - and managed to buy a huge play structure for my kids for the backyard, free and clear.
When I was a few bucks short of being able to buy my new sewing machine, I sold off a bunch of out-of-print fabrics on Instagram for some cash. And it adds up.
When I needed a double stroller for the kids? I started selling stuff on eBay.
So - my point is - most of us crafters have a bunch of stuff laying around that we bought to use and never did. And you might be sitting on a fabric gold mine if your stash has some rare out of print items. Wanna sell your stuff? Check out #thegreatfabricdestash on Instagram, list on eBay, or, sell your destash items in your Etsy shop!
If you're looking to make a bit of extra cash from home or on the weekends, I hope that this post helps a little.
It's been really nice not having to feel guilty when making my purchases - and, the money I've earned doing these things has purchased and paid for stuff around the house, too - like a new garage door opener and part of the cost of the plumber who fixed our broken main sewer pipe.
It adds up!
Feel free to ask me questions about these tips below - I'd love to answer them for you. Thanks for reading!
*Please note this post contains affiliate and referral links for your reference and convenience.