How to Cash in on Crafts By Ruth Schiffmann

How to Cash in on Crafts By Ruth Schiffmann

Down time, we all have it, whether it’s a lull between major projects or the quiet before a creative storm. The next time that eerie silence stalls your productivity, turn your energies in a new direction and get ready for the winds of creativity to start blowing. While selling your original craft ideas won’t land you in a monetary windfall, with a small investment of time you can punch out a project with the potential for a nifty little return.

Consider the stuff that clutters our lives: discarded water bottles, scratched CDs, worn out blue jeans. Then re-purpose that junk in a way that’s cute, clever, and current. Many children’s magazines are theme-based. By checking guidelines, you may spark new variations on your original “seed” idea. With a solid idea, begin construction. By completing the project yourself, the step-by-step instructions will be a breeze to write. Be sure to photograph the final product. Some publications request photos, while others require you to send the actual project.

Last winter, while my daughter redecorated her room, I came up with an idea for a make-it-yourself curtain using old CDs and fishing line. The curtain brought shimmer and shine to her bedroom and I decided to see if it would bring a little silver to my pockets. I wrote the how-to and proposed it to a teen magazine. Guideposts Sweet 16 bought the design and I had a $150 check to show for it. Not bad for 200 words.

There are craft markets for every age group. Teen Magazines look for projects that develop creativity while tying in with fashion, room dÈcor, or makeup. If you’ve got an original recipe for a sparkly lip gloss, a quick fix that turns a plain T-shirt into a trendy new look, or a fresh way to cover school books, you’ve got what it takes to sell to the teen craft market.

Tween/Teen Magazines in the market for crafts:

American Girl

Payment: Not listed online.


Pays: $.50 – $1.00/word


Pays: $50-$100

True Girl
Request guidelines by email
Pays: $100/project

For the younger set, simple crafts with a purpose are highly sought after. If you can take a cardboard paper roll, a glue stick, a handful of stray beads, and come up with something cute, easy, and useful then you’ve got a shot at selling to the kids craft market. Tight writing, succinct steps and materials found around the home are a must.

Pays: $25 and up

Fun for Kidz
Pays: $.05/word and up

Pays: $.05/word and up

Boys Quest
Pays: $.05/word and up

Pays on an individual basis.

Pays on an individual basis.

Clubhouse Jr.

Pays: $30-$80

Ever come face to face with the day that you thought your last thread of sanity would snap if you heard the words, “I’m bored” one more time? What parent hasn’t wished for an activity that would tame the troops on a rainy weekend? By blending craft with activity, you’ll find plenty of parenting magazines that want to hear from you.
Pays: $45 and up

Treasure Valley Family

Pays: varies

Family Circle

Pays: Not available online

What’s Up Kids (Canadian authors only.)
Pays: varies

Don’t settle for cute. Conjure up a craft that serves to teach as well as entertain, and you can break into the educational church market.

Children’s Ministry

Pays: $40

Teach Kids!

Pays: $35-$150

And if you’re just plain good at turning trash into treasure:

Ready Made

Pays: Not listed online

Now study your target market for specific formatting style. Then sit down and fashion your craft to pull in a quick acceptance.

Ruth Schiffmann shares the trials and triumphs of freelance writing with her husband and their two daughters. She is also a stay at home, homeschooling mom. Her stories and articles for children, teens, and adults have been published both in print and online.