Want to start a business and make money with your Cricut machine? We’ll show you how! Learn several different ways to sell your Cricut crafts and discover which Cricut machine is best for you!
This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Cricut. All opinions are 100% mine.
This post may contain affiliate links. I will receive a small commission from these sales at no additional cost to you!
How to Start a Business with Your Cricut
A couple of months ago, we showed you a variety of Ways to Earn Money with Your Cricut machine, and today, we’re going to dive a little deeper into a few of those avenues so that you can decide which options are best for your business. Today, we’re talking about all of the different ways in which you can make and sell crafts with your Cricut, and we’ll chat about turning your side hustle into a full-time gig!
Over the years, I’ve sold my crafts in many different ways, so today, I’m sharing my crafty entrepreneur story with you and passing along some of the tips, tricks, and advice I’ve learned along the way!
If you haven’t already read Ways to Earn Money with Your Cricut, we recommend starting with that post and then coming back to this one (we’ll wait for you to catch up!) as it covers such basics as choosing a niche and what type of products to sell, image licensing (including Cricut’s Angel Policy), which Cricut products and add-ons you may need, and the many, MANY ways in which you can earn money with your Cricut machine as a creative entrepreneur.
(Note: you may notice that I often say “we” when telling my story instead of “I.” My husband and our children have always lent a helping hand with my growing businesses, and today, my husband is a full-time partner in Happiness is Homemade and our kids are all junior partners. It truly is a “WE” story!)
My story begins with a family blog that I started back in 2007 soon after the birth of my second son. I had two rambunctious boys that were only 14 months apart, and I was desperately looking for a way to both record our daily doings as well as to serve as a creative outlet for me. It was really important to me to keep my identity as “Heidi” (who was known for being creative and making things!) versus just being “Mom” all the time, and thus, my first blog was born as a place to showcase all of my craft projects and family affairs.
Over the years, we shared tons and TONS of crafts and DIY project ideas with our readers, and we built and developed a second blog that became dedicated to sharing quick and easy craft project ideas.
Eventually, our readers started asking us if we were willing to make projects for them to purchase, and we were excited to explore a new avenue of income potential. Readers were especially interested in buying the wooden signs that I had created with my Cricut Explore machine, and soon I was flooded with so many requests that I opened up an Etsy shop (called Read the Signs) to sell my signs.
Selling Cricut Crafts on Etsy
In our Etsy shop, we sold a wide variety of hand painted signs that I created with my Cricut Explore using a unique reverse stenciling/masking technique. We quickly grew popular in our niche, and we had a TON of fun creating new designs to offer our customers. Everyone was so amazed by all of the different things that we were able to make with our Cricut machine that we convinced quite a few other people to purchase their own Cricut machines, too!
By far, the most popular item in our Etsy shop was the classic “No Soliciting” sign that first drew sales requests from our readers, and over the course of the first year of our shop, we created over 20 different versions of it! Knowing how quick and easy it was to personalize our products with my Cricut Explore, I was always willing to tackle a custom order!
Selling on Etsy was a wonderful way for us to reach a much larger audience of potential shoppers than we could have with our blog alone, which was a huge advantage and contributed immensely to our growth, but Etsy also came with its own caveats as well. At minimum, Etsy currently charges a $.20 listing fee per item plus a 5% transaction fee (on both the item cost and shipping cost), as well as an additional payment transaction fee (which varies depending on the payment method), along with other various potential subscription fees, advertising fees, and taxes (read Etsy’s Fee Schedule here). Those costs can add up quickly!
For us, we grew a little TOO quickly on Etsy, and it ended up not being the perfect fit for our business. While some people might view quick growth and an abundance of sales as a VERY good thing, I found the steady barrage of orders overwhelming. At the time, I had three young boys ages four and under, and I found myself becoming burnt out spending so many hours each week making and fulfilling orders, especially during the chaos of the already-busy holiday season.
At the same time that I was beginning to feel worn out, the USPS raised postage rates. Although we only charged our buyers the actual shipping costs that we incurred, buyers (especially those on the opposite side of the country) who had grown accustomed to things like free 2-Day Amazon Prime shipping weren’t always willing to incur a pricey cost to ship their heavy items. After an exceptionally busy holiday season, I put my Etsy shop on hiatus to pursue other avenues of sales.
BOTTOM LINE: Etsy has tremendous potential to elevate your sales to the next level with a built-in audience of buyers looking to purchase handmade items, and it can be a fabulous way to grow your craft business! Etsy’s fees are slightly higher than some of the other sales avenues, but those fees can easily be offset by the increase in sales potential. Be aware, however, of the risk of growing too quickly /burnout and the high costs of shipping for heavier items.
Selling Online on Social Media
After we put our Etsy shop on hiatus, we continued selling our Cricut-made signs and other craft projects on our social media channels. Since my social media channels were tied to my blog name, Happiness is Homemade, I didn’t have the “Read the Signs” shop name to limit me. I loved that I wasn’t limited to selling only signs and heavy-shipping items, and I had the chance to create even more fun and unique crafts for sale with my Cricut Explore!
It wasn’t long before t-shirts and personalized Christmas ornaments became our hottest items, and we started to get frequent requests for custom orders. To keep the orders to a manageable level, I created a custom order queue and limited the number of custom orders that I offered each week in addition to my ready-to-ship items.
Selling on social media was a great way for us to generate income without incurring many of the fees associated with online shops and other avenues of sale. If you would like to get started with selling your handmade goods on social media, we recommend starting with Instagram and Facebook. Many crafty entrepreneurs experience more success selling via social media than any of the other traditional avenues!
To sell your Cricut crafts on social media, share high-quality photos of your projects in your Facebook and Instagram feed, and accept orders via email or private messages. Most sellers use Paypal or Venmo to process their payments, however, there are other options including Square, Sezzle, and others that can be used. You can choose to sell only completed and ready-to-ship items or you can opt to take additional orders for made-to-order items.
Facebook Marketplace is another fast-moving avenue of selling that you may be able to use to promote your items for sell. Local Facebook groups may also offer opportunities for you to list your crafts for sell, but make sure that you abide by all of the group’s rules and regulations! Some may have limits on the amount of times you are allowed to post or pricing limits that you must adhere to.
You may also wish to consider starting a business page and/or Facebook group specifically for your business since social media sales are often linked to how well you are able to grow and foster a sense of community.
BOTTOM LINE: Social media can offer a wide variety of options for selling your Cricut crafts without additional fees! The most successful sellers work to build an audience and a community of loyal fans for the highest income potential. Posting consistently on a regular scheduled basis will help your customers know what to expect from you.
Selling at Craft Fairs & Events
Growing up, my parents frequently sold their crafts at fairs and events, so even though I don’t have an abundance of firsthand experience selling my own goods at in-person events, I have a ton of secondhand experience. It may not have been my crafts that were being sold at the time, but I certainly learned a lot about the ins and outs of selling in person!
Craft fairs and other events can be HUGELY profitable for sellers…and they can also be HUGE busts. It can often be a challenge to determine the ROI on a specific event, because there is not always a direct correlation between the event statistics (size, location, etc.) and the amount of sales that you may make.
Event size is one key factor that people often consider in determining which events they would like to participate in; however, I have found that the size of the event doesn’t always matter in determining your potential success. We’ve had record-breaking sales days at tiny events and barely broken even at large community events with heavy crowds! In addition to large craft fairs and events, you may also wish to consider selling your crafts at small in-home “house parties” and at networking events.
No matter where you are selling or which items you are selling, the success of your in-person events are closely tied to four factors:
- The quality of your products
- The amount of competition
- How well you engage with your customers
When registering for a craft fair or other event, make sure to check with the event coordinator to ensure that there won’t be too many other vendors selling similar items, and make sure that your items are priced competitively just in case you discover that there’s more competition on the day of the event than you had expected.
One really easy way to encourage engagement with your customers is to offer on-the-spot customization and personalization. Bring your Cricut machine to the event with you, and add these small custom details to your crafts for a nominal fee.
The Cricut Joy is absolutely perfect for on-the-go crafting since its small footprint doesn’t take up much of your display space, and you don’t even need to use a mat if you opt to use Smart Vinyl! If you will be using Smart Iron-On for personalization, the EasyPress 2 is now available in FOUR different sizes to fit all of your needs and space restrictions!
BOTTOM LINE: Your income potential may vary with different craft fairs and events, but you will find success if you do your research! Make sure that the products you are offering for sale are high-quality and appropriate for the audience, choose events with low competition, and price your crafts fairly. Engage with your customers and offer them personalization options if you are able to.
Selling in Your Own Shop
When it comes to selling in your own shop, you have lots of options and all of the control! In-person “brick and mortar” stores are one option, and selling in an online format opens up even more opportunities. Since a traditional brick and mortar shop requires expenses like rent, utilities, and staffing, we opted to open our Happiness is Homemade Shop online, and we couldn’t be happier with our decision! After years of selling our crafts via numerous different avenues, we have found online store ownership to be the most rewarding venture for us!
We designed our store on the Shopify platform which is very user-friendly and intuitive. Shopify store fees start at $29/month and vary depending on which plan and app options you choose. If you have a WordPress website (or are willing to start one), WooCommerce is another great online storefront option that is FREE to set up (additional fees may be incurred depending on the options selected).
These days, we spend more time teaching people lessons on how to use their Cricut machines than we do selling our crafts. Most of my craft sales are made via word of mouth referral, and we don’t keep a regular inventory of handmade crafts in our Happiness is Homemade Shop, though we do offer a large variety of digital SVG files for people wanting to create their own Cricut projects!
Once or twice a year, however, we host a ginormous “Sample Sale” in the Happiness is Homemade Shop where we sell a bunch of the items that we have created for blog posts and product samples, and it is always a super popular and fun event! This year’s Sample Sale will include lots of Cricut-made items like these Engraved Acrylic Keychains, clothing, home décor, and more! We may even add a few of our popular Glitter Wine Tumblers to the mix!
UPDATE: This year’s Sample Sale Collection is launching on Wednesday 10/21/20 at 9 AM PST, so make sure you head over to our shop early that day to check out what we have on sale! But hurry, Sample Sale items tend to sell out quickly!
Even the crafts in my Sample Sale that weren’t made with my Cricut always get a helping hand from my favorite machine! For instance, I used my Explore Air 2 and the Print Then Cut feature in Cricut Design Space to create Happiness is Homemade branded cards for the barrettes and jewelry in our upcoming sale!
Super cute, right? Cricut’s Print Then Cut feature is perfect for creating your own branding and packaging!
We’re also hoping to add these foil bullet journals to our next sale, too!
BOTTOM LINE: Running your own shop gives you the most freedom to do and sell whatever you want, whenever you want!
We prefer to use an online storefront to cut costs, and recommend using the Shopify platform. Shopify Shipping offers a significant savings in reduced shipping costs for sellers, and Shopify has numerous apps that will integrate with your shop to do virtually anything that you might need (delivering digital files, collecting emails, adding social media share buttons, calculating stats, etc.), so the potential and possibilities are sky high!
Which Cricut Machine is Best for Making Money?
Now that you know the best and most profitable ways to sell your Cricut crafts, you may be ready to take the next leap! (Pssst…Go for it!)
If you don’t own a Cricut machine yet, and you’re still in the research phase of determining if crafty entrepreneurship is right for you, you may be wondering which Cricut machine is best for making money. Which one has the most income potential?
I started my crafty business with an older model Cricut Explore, and today I own multiple Cricut cutting machines including the Cricut Maker, Cricut Explore Air 2, and Cricut Joy. Each machine has its own unique features, and any of them would be sufficient to start your crafty enterprise depending on the types of craft projects you are looking to create.
Let’s take a closer look:
The Explore Air 2 is Cricut’s best-selling machine for a reason! It can cut 100+ materials, including paper, vinyl, iron-on, kraft board, leather, and backed fabric, so it’s perfect for making a HUGE variety of craft projects like T-shirts, home décor, cards, paper crafts, and SO much more!
I reach for my Explore Air 2 the most frequently when I’m working with Infusible Ink to make custom mugs, clothing, and holiday gifts. All of the Cricut machines are compatible with Infusible Ink, but I think my Explore Air 2 does an exceptional job with it!
Plus, the Explore Air 2 comes in a wide array of colors so you can match your craft fair setup!
If you’re looking to make money with a Cricut, and you want to work with the widest variety of materials, we highly recommend purchasing a Cricut Maker machine.
You can read all about the Cricut Maker and what it can do here, but the short summary is that the Maker and its exclusive Adaptive Tool System are WAY more versatile than any other machine, which opens up MANY more money-making possibilities for you!
Straight out of the box, the Cricut Maker can cut over 300+ materials with the included Fine-Point and Rotary Blades.
In addition, the Adaptive Tool System allows you to use the Knife Blade to cut thicker materials such as chipboard, basswood, balsa wood, and heavy tooling leather. Further, the Adaptive Tool System also integrates Cricut’s QuickSwap Housing System and their Scoring, Engraving, Debossing, and Perforation Tools. The creative possibilities are truly endless!
Cricut Joy is the newest machine in Cricut’s lineup, and it packs a mighty punch in a cute tiny package! Perfect for on-the-go and on-site crafting (just think of all the things you can make and personalize right at your craft fair!), Cricut Joy utilizes the new Smart materials which can be cut without a mat and up to 20′ in length!
With its ability to create long cuts, Cricut Joy is great for making tall signs and oversized décor pieces (like our DIY Ruler Growth Chart!); however, it is limited to a 4.5″ wide cutting area, so wider projects will need to be pieced together.
Regardless of which Cricut machine you decide is best for you, an EasyPress 2 should also be on your list of must-haves! You can read all about Why We Love the EasyPress 2 here!
There are lots of different ways in which you can successfully sell your Cricut-made crafts, and with a little bit of market research and a pinch of trial-and-error, you’ll soon be on your way to crafty entrepreneurship, too! Best of luck!
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