Raising cash in a hurry #22: Make stuff to sell


Update May 2009: Report after report of tainted toys and food on store shelves has enhanced the appeal of homemade goods. And thanks to the recession, plenty of us now have the free time to make these items by hand.

Every year my best crafting buddy, Larissa and I sign up for our favorite holiday bazaar (the table fees are cheap and it's for a good cause) and set out to make a good bit of our Christmas money through making hats, bags, wallets and wristlets out of recycled sweaters. While some items languish on our artful table, others fly out the door (often worn by the purchaser), and I use this research as a stop-gap measure when I've totally spent all my coffee-and-yarn budget for the month.

When I'm entirely broke, I'll get out the sewing machine. My favorite quick project is little stuffed geese (I call 'em "teething birds" because babies love to chew on their little birdy heads) made out of thrifted fabric, and they sell like crazy on Etsy, an online shop devoted to crafty vendors.

Selling crafts is a fantastic way to make quick money (as long as you don't get too hung up in your hourly wage), especially for an at-home parent or someone with a lot of time gaps in your day.