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Upcycled Crafts as a Business Idea for Teens (and Adults!)

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What if your passion for arts and crafts could intertwine with saving the planet and make you money at the same time? What if upcycled crafts could become a business that would help offset the costs of college or living expenses? What if there was a book to show you how to make it happen?

Upcycled Crafts as a Job Idea for Teens

Disclaimer: I was given a free copy of the book and compensated for my time to write this post. All opinions are my own.

Now there is.

I’m so excited to introduce you to James Dillehay’s new book, Teen’s Guide to Making and Selling Upcycled Arts and Crafts: How to Start a Creative Reduce-Reuse-Recycle Side Gig.

But wait! Even if you’re not a teenager, this book has a ton of helpful, practical, and easy-to-follow advice that will make launching an upcycled craft business a lot less stressful.

I originally approached this book with the idea that it would be perfect for my 16-year-old daughter, who not only loves creating things but is also looking for ways to save for a car and college in the next few years.

A blueprint to help her create a business that allows her to craft while making money? It sounded ideal!

And honestly, this little book is a powerhouse of information and strategy that will help her soar. It’s also perfect for anyone who is looking to start a craft business side hustle!

Since so many of my readers are teachers who are always on the lookout for ways to bring in more income, reviewing the book was a no-brainer. Let me share what I’ve discovered with you!

Upcycled Crafts as a Job Idea for Teens

Reduce, Reuse, Recycle – and Earn Money!

James Dillehay, the author of Teen’s Guide to Making and Selling Upcycled Arts and Crafts, is passionate about sharing creative business know-how.

His focus is on helping those in the craft niches expand their reach by growing their businesses both online and in-person. As an artisan himself, he knows what works, what doesn’t, and where to start.

In Teen’s Guide to Making and Selling Upcycled Arts and Crafts, Dillehay walks the reader through everything from what to sell to how to sell it.

With detailed tips and information about SEO, social media posting, and even selling in stores and at craft shows, the entire process of creating a business from the ground up is explained in a way that makes it easy to understand.

The only thing the book doesn’t do is create the products for you.

Who Should Read the Book?

While the book is titled and marketed toward teens, I think it’s a wonderful starting guide and resource for anyone who is interested in starting a craft-based business.

Upcycled arts and crafts are a unique market to delve into because the overhead is lower, and the results are usually more one-of-a-kind compared to new materials. As Dillehay explains in the book, unique products with purpose are always a winner because they are unusual.

So, if you’re a teenager looking for a summer job or a way to bring in additional income while you’re in school, Teen’s Guide to Making and Selling Upcycled Arts and Crafts is a great resource for getting started.

And, if you’re a teacher or homeschooling mom who is looking for a side hustle, the book is a wonderful first step to getting your handmade business going.

What You’ll Learn From the Book

  • Learn how to turn recycled items into valuable art and crafts.
  • Discover where to find creative ideas that consumers love.
  • Master the art of standing out on popular platforms like Etsy, Facebook, and craft shows.
  • Get insights on pricing strategies to maximize profits.
  • Learn effective social media marketing techniques for promoting your creations.
  • Understand the search terms customers use to find sustainable products.
  • Explore crowdfunding opportunities to support your business growth.
  • How to start a side gig that contributes to saving the environment.
  • How to find craft shows to sell your creations.

In addition to the things above, I also found that the book made us excited about starting an upcycled crafts business.

I think the most important thing that the book conveyed was hope and a sense that it is possible – and profitable! – to start a business where you express yourself through your artistic creations. All you have to do is believe in yourself, work your business plan, and begin. That sense of confidence and excitement is priceless.

Upcycled Crafts as a Job Idea for Teens

Where Our Upcycled Crafts Business is Headed

We are still hashing out ideas for what to do for our own upcycled crafts business, but we have a lot of ideas so far.

Here are 10 of the ideas we’re considering after reading Teen’s Guide to Making and Selling Upcycled Arts and Crafts:

  1. Turning old glass bottles into decorative vases or candle holders.
  2. Transforming worn-out jeans into stylish denim coasters or tote bags.
  3. Repurposing vintage suitcases into unique shelves or pet beds. (Our Cavapoo votes for the pet bed idea!)
  4. Creating colorful mosaic art using broken tiles or ceramic pieces.
  5. Upcycling tin cans into planters for herbs or small flowers. (I’m into growing plants as of late, so this one really appeals to me!)
  6. Making jewelry from old keys, buttons, or vintage brooches.
  7. Using wine corks to craft coasters, trivets, or cork boards.
  8. Turning discarded pallets into rustic furniture like tables or shelves. (My oldest son suggested this one because he loves to build things so he may run with this one!)
  9. Repurposing old picture frames into serving trays or earring holders.
  10. Transforming bike parts into creative home decor items like wall hooks or plant hangers. (Again…plant accessories.)

We have a bunch of other ideas that we came up with and discarded simply because of the time and space needed to store the materials and then make the items. Keep that in mind, too, when you’re considering ideas. You’ll need somewhere to store the raw materials and somewhere to store the finished pieces. If you don’t have a lot of space, pallets, and old bicycles might not be the best-upcycled materials to use!

Get Your Upcycled Crafts Business Started

If you’re ready to delve into the world of upcycled crafts, start by picking up a copy of Teen’s Guide to Making and Selling Upcycled Arts and Crafts. You can order it HERE.

It’s an easy read with so much valuable information. You’ll be jotting down notes and ideas from the very beginning.

You can also grab a FREE copy of James Dillehay’s Blueprint for Selling Handmade Products HERE!

My only regret about the book? That it didn’t come out when I was a teen looking for ways to earn extra money for college!

If you decide to start an upcycled crafts business, let us know! We’d love to support you and your small business!


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