Money-Making Hobbies: Binding Books and Printing Buttons

Every Sunday I share a little about making money by doing something you love. This week Matt writes that he and his wife both earn money from their hobbies. He likes to build websites, but his wife does something more original:

We realized that nearly anything we do for fun — because we're the kind of people that like making stuff — can be used to earn a little extra income.

My wife's current project is The Novel Novel, a side business where she sells totally unique, one-of-a-kind buttons using found materials. She also makes handbound blank journals from discarded library books.

She bought the machine for fun, because she loves making small gifts for friends, family, and herself. But she's used the proceeds from The Novel Novel to pay for the purchase of a really nice, high-quality button making machine, as well as funding all her other crafty endeavors.

This is exactly the sort of thing I mean when I talk about learning to make money from your hobbies. As I've said before, it's unlikely that your hobby will make you rich, but it can provide a way to earn some spare cash while enjoying a pleasant pastime.

Do you have a money-making hobby? Write it up and drop me a line! Tell me what you do and how you learned to do it.

More about...Side Hustles

Become A Money Boss And Join 15,000 Others

Subscribe to the GRS Insider (FREE) and we’ll give you a copy of the Money Boss Manifesto (also FREE)

Yes! Sign up and get your free gift
Become A Money Boss And Join 15,000 Others

18
Leave a Reply

avatar
newest oldest most voted
db
db

JD – No hobby businesses released yet, though I’m working on them. –I’m stockpiling earrings and bracelets I’m making from a bunch of vintage beads I inherited from my grandmother –I’m working on some paintings that I want to turn into a line of cafepress items –I’d also like to start simply selling some of my paintings though I’m not confident they are good enough yet; I’ll let the market decide though –My long-term goals are to incorporate copywriting and forex trading into a bucket of things I do to make money. Right now I devote some very limited time… Read more »

bemental
bemental

I currently live in an apartment above a surf shop and a bookstore. The bookstore is of the used variety and to my horror throws away an entire dumpster full of books a week!

Basically, I pick through the dumpster before trash day when its brimming with books, and post them on half.com. I usually only post them for a dollar or two, although some come back with average sell prices much higher then the fodder that they are.

Does this count as a “hobby”?

db
db

bemental — I think that’s brilliant!!! good for you. I’m selling books on amazon.com right now with great success

db

Andrea >> Become a Consultant Blog
Andrea >> Become a Consultant Blog

Well, I’m a consultant, so, in some ways, my work is my hobby. But I consider the freelance writing part to be fun. I also run a blog that makes decent money.

Seamus Anthony
Seamus Anthony

I started blogging about Meditation and Eastern philosophy, and this soon lead to me getting regularly published in LivingNow magazine for cash. This lead to me being on their emailing list, so when they were looking for an advertising saleperson at the same time that I was looking for work, I got the job. That was a year ago. The whole time I have been there I kept telling the editor she needed a better website, three months ago I swapped from ad sales to revamping and managing the magazine’s new website, http://livingnow.com.au … Full circle – the hobby became… Read more »

leslie
leslie

very cute! I purchased some of the buttons!

bemental
bemental

Question for db regarding the Amazon book sales. Do you know of any cheap places to purchase packiging materials for the sales? Obivously if I can get them cheaper then the post office I will score a little extra cash as well. Perhaps we know of a way to use newspaper or paper grocery bags?

Eric Granata
Eric Granata

Since I was a kid I wanted to have a t-shirt shop. I was always coming up with silly things to put on shirts but I never had the time or money to invest in a screen printing rig.

Cafepress let’s me realize my dream of having a t-shirt shop and it has proved to be a great compliment to my income.

I currently have three shops there. My most successful is birddoctor.biz but rockmyfaceoff.com is quickly catching up and my newest project is drinkshirt.com

It’s been tons of fun and I really believe that anybody can be successful with it.

Dona
Dona

I can’t say I like the idea of turning my hobby into a business. My hobbies are what I do to relax. I don’t want to invite business-related stress into my free time.

whitney
whitney

db – i want to see your paintings!

Elizabeth
Elizabeth

Your wife’s site is great. Very appealing. But, there are several spelling and grammatical errors. Just wanted to let her know. 🙂

db
db

@ Whitney: I will announce to the blogosphere when my artwork is ready — it should be soon. I’m having a few technical difficulties to work through like I need to get better graphics software than what is in OpenOffice to do them right for cafepress (my ancient copy of Photoshop will no longer install on my newer computers ;( ). Even if you don’t want to buy (and I don’t want anybody to debt to buy), looking and appreciating art is always free! @bemental: Well I haven’t found a slamdunk way to ship cheaply. I package my stuff in… Read more »

Leah
Leah

I turned my jewelry making hobby into a part time business a couple years ago – it’s still part time, but growing gradually. I sell some over the internet, but mostly at shows and through a couple of local stores.
My husband shows and sells his paintings, and has a cafe press shop – http://www.cafepress.com/chrisybarra – where he sells shirts and other items with his artwork and earns a small commission.

Jon
Jon

db

There is an open source graphics program called “The Gimp” that is available from gimp.org that is pretty heavy duty in terms of features – comparable to Photoshop. Takes a little getting used to using it after using photoshop. But the best part is the price – free!

You may want to take a look to see if it’s something you could use.

Jon

Shelly
Shelly

I turned my martial arts hobby into a teaching position that I did for 8 years.

Now, I’ve started doing calligraphy, and having been trading it for babysitting hours from friends as well as getting it published in one of my husband’s products. So, no money yet, but I expect once our daughter is in preschool and I have more time that I can get this hobby to pay.

db
db

ohh — I like the sound of free right now. I’ll check it out John. Thanks! I feel the urge to paint…

Z!
Z!

bemental,

you can find packing supplies in plenty at the mall! stores get shipments every day. usually more on mondays and tuesdays. they have free used bubble wrap popcorn box’s. u name it. umm, besides the packing tape, ull prolly have to pay for that =o)

Lola
Lola

You can go to Wal Mart when they are stocking. They have bags that are used in packing their clothing. They always throw it away. I used them when I moved, it made great packing material.

shares