Have you ever made a plushie before? Maybe you'd like to learn or you have experience already. Maybe you enjoy making cute plush dolls for your friends and family. But have you ever considered making money from these stuffed animals and dolls? Here are the ways you can use your craft to make it rain!
1. Run your own shop online
Perhaps the most common way to generate income through craft is by running your own online store. There are different platforms you can use to set up listings for free or for low cost such as Etsy, Storenvy or Bigcartel. You can also setup your own website with Wordpress or Squarespace.
Having your own shop gives you independence and you get to keep most of the profits from your work. If you are motivated and self-disciplined, consider selling your plushies online!
2. Sell at Conventions
Similar to running an online shop, setting up a booth at a convention such as comic cons or anime events gives you independence to set your own prices and engage personally with your customers. You will need to be accepted to the events artist alley first though, so be sure to stand out among the competition and be prepared for the upfront cost of traveling, hotel and meal costs plus the price of a table space.
Consider small and local shows you can easily commute to, or share with a friend to cut costs when just starting out. It isn't easy to build up, but selling at events can be a very rewarding experience!
3. Draft and Sell Patterns/Courses
Are you good at creating patterns from scratch? One way to make some passive income is by creating sewing patterns for sale. Once you've tested the pattern several times (you can also ask other sewists to help you test) you'll need to draft a copy of the pattern in an art program and write up some directions and turn it all into a PDF.
Even if you aren't great at drafting patterns, you can try your hand at creating a plush making or sewing course that is available digitally through e-book or video.
If you're good with a computer and don't want to ship items, this can be a way for you to make money!
4. Take Commissions
Like to make plush of unique characters? Do you have good communication skills and can make a plush in a reasonable amount of time? You can take plush commissions! Many people would love to get their original characters and designs made in plush form. Some even ask for game or comic characters who have no official merchandise or just to add to their collection.
Since the work is on commission and completely custom, you can charge a higher rate for your work. If you enjoy working one on one with clients and new challenges, this could be a good option for you!
5. Work as a Prototype Maker
If you don't want your own store or commissions page, you could work through a company as a prototype plush maker. This person creates patterns and plush of licensed or original characters to be put into production runs of several hundred.
You would have an employer and be under contract but sometimes the pressure can be high in this job. But seeing a plush you worked on sitting on store shelves feels amazing! If you like bringing designs to life for other artists or companies and want to see a large run of your pattern, this could be fun for you!
6. Have your Designs Mass Manufactured
Not good at sewing but have a lot of cute designs? Consider having some of those made into hundreds of plushies! Be aware there are a lot of steps and a lot of money involved in the process. You'll also need to make sure there is enough interest in your work to warrant the large scale production of your design. Many people who do this go with a crowdfunding site like Kickstarter to raise funds and also make sure there are enough people who want to buy. The last thing you want is a few hundred plushies you can't sell! However it is a wonderful feeling to get your creations as tangible plush, and to see other people love them just as much as you do!
If you're an artist with a large following and characters that would translate well to plush, consider this option!
That's all the ways you can get a decent income through plushie making for now. I hope this post helped you gain some insight and inspiration!
Want to get started with plush making? Check out my free pattern to make a Scorbunny, great for beginners!
Till next time!