3 Products You Can Make & Sell

Finding products to make that won’t break the bank in postage can be a challenge. This post not only gives you the products, it also gives you the instructions on how to do them.

Disclaimer: Links within this post are either to my own products, or products I endorse. I may receive a small commission should you make a purchase through an affiliate link, at no extra cost to you. My blog is supported through commissions and sales of my products. Plus, if you like what you read you can show your support by pinning this post, sharing on social media, or buy me a coffee.  Thank you for your continued support.

1. Dry Erase Sheets

Are you a list-maker, or do you have family chore charts that you fill out each week? Are those lists and charts tossed when complete?

If you answered yes to either of those questions, chances are you already have a good idea that there’s a fair amount of wasted paper. And if you’re tossing a lot of paper in the trash, then so are others who have the lists and charts like you.

Sure, you can go to a stationery store and buy a whiteboard, but they are rarely tailored to your needs. It’s easy to make your own, and they can be as plain or pretty as you please.

This is a nice way to share your designs with others, plus earn a little side income as well. If you already make printables, this is the perfect addition to what you’re already creating. The only difference is this is a tangible product you will have to mail to your customer.

What you’ll need:

  • Paper
  • Printer
  • Laminator (or access to one) and laminating sheets
  • Magnet strips or dots (optional)
  • Hole punch (optional)
  • Ribbon or thin cord (optional)
  • Dry erase markers (optional)

Directions:

  1. Print out your design of choice. You could offer customized charts, lists, trackers, etc., or have basic designs. It’s entirely up to you.
  2. Laminate the sheet and add a magnetic strip or dots.
  3. Or, punch holes in the top corners and tie a thin cord or ribbon to it so it can be hung on a wall or door.
  4. When listing your item you can give your customer options in size, hanging method, and whether or not they want a marker included. Do keep in mind that shipping with a marker in the package will be more expensive as it will be heavier and thicker.

It’s up to you whether you want to offer customized/personalized sheets. Keep in mind if you do, it’s a little extra work on your end but that service can set you apart from the competition.

Be sure to specify the thickness of your product in your listing so customers are well aware they are not getting an actual “board”. These sheets will only be as thick as the paper you use plus the thickness of the laminating sheets.

2. Blank Notebooks/Journals

If you have an artistic hand you can hand draw designs and pictures on the front cover of a blank, lined, or dot grid notebook. I have ordered my spiral dot grid notebooks from Amazon and am happy with the quality.

The neat thing about them is the firm clear plastic cover. This enables me to design my own title page and have it protected. Plus the cover is thick enough to act as a firm writing surface.

These are just under an inch (2.5 cm) thick so shouldn’t be too expensive to ship. My advice is to package one and take it to your local post office so you know what shipping will be to your selected countries. When I ship physical items, I generally only ship within Canada. I know that cuts into my customer base, but I have been burned on shipping more than once (because I didn’t do my homework).

If you want to take it one step further, you could include weekly and daily layouts that your customer can replicate within the book as they choose. Remember this will take more time and you should adjust your pricing accordingly.

Or, if you’re really creative and have a flair for bookmaking, you could make your own saddle-stitched notebooks. These would truly be one-of-a-kind, and you could customize as much or as little as you like.

3. Cards

Cardmaking is a lucrative business.

You can choose to offer handmade cards with the ribbons, cutouts, washi tape, and handwritten verses; or computer designed and printed on cardstock. Or you can offer both.

Cards are light and do not cost much to mail to your customers. Packaging so they are not bent in transit is essential, because the last thing you want is an unhappy customer.

You can offer customers cards for all occasions, or you can niche down to a select few. If you’re offering computer-designed cards you can give the customer the option of purchasing a digital file, or you can send them a printed copy at a higher price.

I love receiving handmade cards, and I can appreciate the work that goes into them. There are papers of all colours, punches, stickers, adhesive dots, ribbons, rubber stamps, embellishments, etc. to make any type of cards and envelopes you desire.

I have a friend who will sit down and make several cards at once, and she always has a variety to choose from when she (or someone else) needs a card for a special occasion. She has streamlined her process so she isn’t making each card from start to finish one at a time. Her cutting, stamping, and embellishing is done while she has all of her tools out.

This cuts down on her time to make each card, plus she can make several the same but different if she so chooses. It’s easier to make several Christmas cards at a time than to make one Christmas, one birthday, one wedding, one sympathy, etc.

I have only ever made cards for family and friends, but I have been the recipient of her cards on more than one occasion and am envious of her talent.

This is a card I bought from an Etsy Shop when I needed one. I printed it at home, and even though my printer was having some colour issues I think it still turned out pretty good.
Pricing

When it comes to pricing your work, my first suggestion is to do a search on Etsy to see what others are charging for like products.

Next be sure to calculate the cost of your materials plus the time it took to make the item start to finish. As you make more of the same item you will be more efficient, but if the price point is working, don’t sell yourself short by lowering your price.

And if you got your materials on sale, do not lower the price of your products to reflect your lower cost. The reason for this is because next time you may have to pay full price for materials. Having your prices yo-yo is not good business. Staying consistent is best.

Conclusion

As you can see, it doesn’t take a big item to make a difference. I will be adding more printable cards to my TOLA50Printables Shop in the upcoming weeks for a variety of occasions.

I hope you are able to utilize one or all of the ideas in this post. Let me know what worked for you, or what didn’t.

If you like what you read you can show your support by pinning this post, sharing on social media, or buy me a coffee.


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5 Pet Products You Can Make & Sell

The pet industry is growing by leaps and bounds!

More and more money is being spent on toys, treats, beds, and even Halloween costumes…for pets.

If you have a pet of your own I’m sure you can relate. And what better person to make pet products than a pet owner.

I currently have two dogs in my home, plus two cats. They are great company, entertainment, and companions. And when I’m having an off day, they pick up on it and come for extra cuddles.

Disclaimer: Links within this post are either to my own products, or products I endorse. I may receive a small commission should you make a purchase through an affiliate link, at no extra cost to you. My blog is supported through commissions and sales of my products. Plus, if you like what you read you can show your support by pinning this post, sharing on social media, or buy me a coffee.  Thank you for your continued support.

They can also turn my house upside down when they decide it’s play time. Anyone who knows me personally has seen or heard of the destruction the cats (aka hellions) can cause. They melted my heart when I saw the picture of them, and I can’t imagine life without them now. I am, however, a little afraid of what’s going to happen to my Christmas tree when I put it up.

This post is going to give you 5 products you can make and sell either online, offline, or both. And they are just the beginning of what can become a mile-long list if you were to do some brainstorming.

1. Dog Treats

As pet owners we want what’s best for our canine companions. By making treats with basic ingredients, we know exactly what goes into them. I have recently made some with pumpkin puree, peanut butter, oil, eggs, and whole wheat flour. My dogs loved them!

I am going to try another recipe this week which uses milk, peanut butter, flour, baking powder, and cinnamon. I think adding some cheese, bacon bits (not the simulated ones), and even just a tablespoon of bacon grease will give both recipes doggy-appeal.

These are the 3 bigger sizes.
This is the smallest size, perfect for training.

My daughter scored the cookies before baking so they were easy to break.

Funny story: I went out for the evening the day after we baked these, and while I was gone my hellions knocked the container of treats on the floor. Cats and dogs ate almost all of the treats in that container. Luckily I had put the mini ones in separate containers so they didn’t get them.

2. Pet Toys

All pets need to be entertained to some degree, and toys are just one way of doing it. I find the easiest toys to make are cat toys because all one needs is some yarn, stuffing, fabric, and a dowel.

Dog toys can also be made with yarn or fabric, such as a water bottle inside a denim cover. If you’re into macrame, a rope toy can be made using thick cotton cord and tight knots.

Even the birds of the household need toys to keep them busy. These can be made with untreated wood, which can be easily obtained from your backyard. The key is to make sure you are using wood from a tree that is safe for birds.

Macrame can come in handy for bird toys too. Medium weight cord, a bell, and a small mirror purchased at your local Dollar Store will keep birds entertained for hours.

3. Dog Sweaters & Booties

If you live in a cold climate like I do, your puppy of any age probably wears a sweater at some point. I find the smaller the dog, the greater the need for a sweater.

I have crocheted sweaters for my dog from acrylic yarn, but I do have to say using a natural fibre is better when it comes to both heat retention and breathability.

When I had alpacas I made coats for the babies using fleece, quilt batting, and cotton fabric. They worked well to help the littles retain some body heat when it was cold out. We had a couple born during the winter so keeping them warm was essential.

Booties can be made from yarn, fabric, or even a light leather. The trick is getting the dogs used to wearing them while they’re inside so they’re not so inclined to take them off outside.

4. Blankets & Beds

Crocheters, knitters, and sewers have a lot of options when it comes to making beds and blankets for dogs, cats, rabbits, and whatever other type of pet you have.

I have made cat caves and sold a few at a local Christmas Market a few years ago. I crocheted mine from wool roving I found at a local Thrift Shop, and used a large hook. The only thing I didn’t do was add a cardboard or plastic insert to keep it open. If you’re interested in making cat caves I do suggest cutting a 4 litre ice cream bucket to make the interior support. This way the cat will be able to crawl inside easily. Otherwise it just becomes something they lay on top of.

Blankets and beds can be made from recycled denim, cotton, and even worn bed sheets/quilts. Just cut to size, add some quilt batting or stuffing, and voila!

5. Cat Trees

If you have access to used carpet (or scraps of new), scrap pieces of untreated wood, and a heavy duty staple gun you have a good portion of what is needed for cat trees.

I bought one from Amazon earlier this year for my two hellions and it is covered with something similar to minky fabric. I do have to say, carpet is definitely the better way to go. The one my ex-husband made for my cat 3 decades ago was by far sturdier than the one I have now; and it was 7′ tall. And not once did she tip it over. (The one I bought has been tipped over twice, and is now being held down by an antique sewing machine.)

A cat tree is a wonderful playground and place to relax for your kitties, depending on how they feel. Mine will play on it, then go to their favourite spots on it and nap: Mickey either in or on the cave part, and Merlot on the very top. They both no longer fit in the same spot at the same time.

Conclusion

I haven’t gone into great detail about how to make any of the above products, simply because this post would have been eBook size. There are resources available online (just don’t get sucked into the Pinterest Rabbit Hole) on how to make treats, sweaters, cat caves and more.

All of the above can be sold either online or offline. I would suggest local markets and/or pet stores first, especially when it comes to the cat trees. The shipping alone will be expensive, even if you can package it in pieces with assembly instructions.

Have you considered pet products as a side hustle? If so, which will you start with?

If you like what you read you can show your support by pinning this post, sharing on social media, or buy me a coffee.


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Why I Love Working From Home

Today we got our first real snowfall of the season.

Other years I would have been worried about having to go to work and drive in blizzards, icy conditions, and minus forty weather. Last winter I didn’t have to do any of it, and this winter will be the same.

Disclaimer: Links within this post are either to my own products, or products I endorse. I may receive a small commission should you make a purchase through an affiliate link, at no extra cost to you. My blog is supported through commissions and sales of my products. Plus, if you like what you read you can show your support by pinning this post, sharing on social media, or buy me a coffee.  Thank you for your continued support.

I would have preferred different circumstances, but sometimes life deals us a crappy hand and we have to move forward. Ross used to always tell me he should be a kept man, but he didn’t live long enough to get that privelege.

All sad things aside, I love the flexibility I have. I can work when I’m most productive, not when someone tells me I have to.

I’m a night owl; always have been. Sometimes it seems as if I get the greatest ideas right before I’m ready to turn out the light. I have started making notes in my planner so I don’t forget the ideas by morning. And if I do forget, at least they’re written down.

I have started using a minimalist layout in my bullet journal. Well, maybe a little more than minimalist, but not as fancy as some of the layouts I have seen on Pinterest. The one I am using now seems to work for this stage of life. It gives me space for what I need to do, the goals I have, and the notes and plans I have for each day. It also has blocks for an affirmation, gratitude, and a word of the day.

I try to keep the word of the day positive, but sometimes I just want to say fuck-it. There are days that don’t go as planned, and that’s something we all experience. My dilemna is, do I write the word in first thing and try to focus on it, or see what the day brings and sum it all up with one word. What would you do?

Anyway, back to my daily planner page. I have it set up so I don’t have to write in it every single day. You know as well as I do there are days when life kind of gets in the way and the planning goes out the window. I have designed a printable which is available in my Etsy Shop that is just like the one I use. It works for me, and I’m sure it’ll work for you too.

Simple, undated, and has plenty of room for goals, to-do list, and all the things you need in a planner page.

I use an A5 dot grid notebook, but the Etsy listing is a US letter size. It’s easy enough to adjust the size if you’re using an A5 like I do. I also use washi tape to give it a little bit of colour, as well as a multi-colour ballpoint pen (a nice part of a surprise bag I bought at Chapters a few weeks ago).

Being able to work from home lets me utilize my resources and work when I’m most productive. And as I said earlier, I don’t have to worry about going anywhere in inclement weather. That in itself is a big bonus for me.

If you like what you read you can show your support by pinning this post, sharing on social media, or buy me a coffee.


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