Have You Started a Home Business from a Craft or DIY Project?

| 4/3/2009 2:39:03 PM

Tags: DIY, home business, bootstrap business,

Craft, sewing and woodworking projects are popular as hobbies, and to create useful household projects and special gifts. Occasionally, a project is so popular that the creator is able to turn the hobby or craft into a successful home-based business.

These three DIY projects have been notable favorites of Mother Earth News readers: “Build Your Own Mailbox,” “Old-timey Toys” and “Sunbonnet How-to: Make Your Own Sunbonnet in Less than Two Hours.”

Are you good with your hands? Have you created a successful home business based on a great craft or DIY project? Tell your story in the comments section below.


john steppe_2
4/13/2009 10:40:11 AM

I started my blacksmithing business in 2005 and have had tremendous sales growth over the past four+ years. I have a home smithy and a traveling smithy that I take to do public demonstrations at historical and modern events and festivals. The ability to heat and forge iron/steel/copper has a creative element that fuels the soul and profits the purse. I don't shoe horses (farrier work) but do general blacksmithing in great variety. I always tell potential clients, "If you can draw it, I can make it." I have both retail and wholesale clients. I also teach 4H and adult blacksmithing classes to anyone wanting to learn this ancient craft. John Steppe Cool Creek Forge Farmersburg, IN 812-898-2176

pete farmer
4/12/2009 9:27:33 PM

I have been tinkering with musical instruments all my life and have come up with some pretty 'outside the box' instruments that have ranged in engineering from the simple to the elaborate. Among the lap steel guitars, amp stools, and cigarbox guitars, the Foot Drum has been the one instrument I can say has met with the greatest success. Building them in my home shop, the Foot Drums are essentially a suitcase-sized acoustic drum kit that you can play with your feet, so that you can keep a beat while playing an instrument with your hands. It is a tremendously rewarding job (soon to be full time!) not necessarily for the financial ends, but for the connections I have made with my customers from all over the world who have dreamed of such an instrument. The Farmer Foot Drum was first conceived while I was listening to John Lee Hooker in the woodshop, making lap steel guitars. In some of his songs I could hear his feet tapping wonderful rhythmic beats that accompany his guitar and voice - it's as if he had a drummer playing right next to him. Wanting to do the same, but with a more full and rounded drum kit sound, I plugged away on an idea that I dreamed up and five years and 3 prototypes later, the first production model Farmer Foot Drum was finished with sound, durability, & portability as the guiding principles in design and construction. Sincerely, Pete Farmer Farmer Musical Instrument Co! Bellingham, WA farmerfootdrums.com

stephany brown
4/10/2009 11:50:17 AM

My daughter and son have had dry skin and excema since they were babies. Soaps were the worst. I tried for years to find soaps that were soothing and healing for their skin. I finally decided to try my hand at making some really superfatted soaps with healing ingredients like chammomile, oatmeal, vitamin E, lanolin, shea butter and cocoa butter. I was so happy with those soaps and the results! My business is still growing, primarily by word of mouth but we do have a small website. My daughter also sells handmade glass jewelry and my husband sells handcrafted hardwood gifts. Our family business is helping put our daughter through college now. I would do it all again if I could. Stephany Brown www.mmbbb.webs.com

4/7/2009 4:43:22 PM

I’ve always been concerned about harmful germs, and when I worked in the corporate world I frequently wiped down my desk and phone—and just about everything in my hotel room when traveling—with the most powerful antibacterial products that I could find. Before I gave birth to my first child, I began to research some of the products that I was using personally and around our home, and I was horrified to learn of the long-term damage I could be doing to myself, my child, and the planet with these chemicals. For My Kids came about because I wanted to protect my children from harmful germs, but a lot of the products out there that claim to kill germs can also do harm to little bodies (and aren’t so great for big bodies either!). Additionally, there are quite a few harmful ingredients in many personal care products and toys. So I started making products that I could use that are even safe enough for my kids to use. Friends would see all the natural products that I was making for my own family’s use and they kept encouraging me to sell them so other people would have access to them, too. Our current product line (which is ever expanding) includes: Vinegar of the Four Thieves (an all-natural alternative to antibacterial disinfectants), All-Natural Hand Wash, All-Natural Vegan Lip Balm, All-Natural Comfrey Salve, Herbal Insect Repellent, My Mommy's Face Care (good for everyone's skin), and Happy Fun Dough (which just won Dr. Toy's Best Classic Toys of 2009 award). -Christine ______________________ Christine Stewart For My Kids, LLC 972-740-6913 www.ForMyKidsOnline.com

mother earth news fair


Oct. 21-22, 2017
Topeka, KS.

More than 150 workshops, great deals from more than 200 exhibitors, off-stage demos, inspirational keynotes, and great food!