Turn Your Hobby into Cash

Check out these people who have turned their spare time activities into money. From Duct Tape Design to Crochet to Truck Driving, these folks are making it in the hobby business!

CARVING WITH A CHAIN SAW

You have been doing this for years, and you are getting really good at it. Find yourself a big tree, cut it down and cure it, then make a big bear for your front yard. (Make it big enough so that the most determined thief can’t move it). Carve a sign advertising your art; include your phone number or email address. Expect people to pull up to inspect it. Pretty soon they’ll be begging you to make monkeys, dinosaurs, mailboxes and porch dragons for them.

George Kenny of the George Kenny School of Chainsaw Carving in Snoqualmie, Washington, teaches students how to carve fish, eagles and bears with a chainsaw. He believes creating art is good for people. “I call it carver therapy – you kind of get into your own little world making and creating things.”

Clubs are helpful for the beginner. Members mentor other, less experienced members, teaching them tricks and techniques. Surprisingly, the hardest part is to keep the newbies from reducing the log to a heap of chunks and chips before they can get themselves stopped. A delicate touch is needed!

ART FROM DUCT TAPE?

We all know that duct tape is handy for all kinds of projects, from taping your dog’s mouth shut to jacking up that dragging muffler, but who ever thought you could make art of it!

Vanessajean at Vanessajean.com makes all kinds of accessories from duct tape and sells them online: wallets, totes, clutches and handbags ranging from $20 to $75, and that’s only a sampling. Her designs are original and quite elegant!

The Duct Tape Guys make roses and bows from duct tape, also a munchie bowl for your car (an empty soda can and some – you guessed it! DUCT TAPE!) plus a grappling dummy you have to see to believe.

TRUCK DRIVING FOR WOMEN

Sojirbai Satpute, a 45-year old woman with three children to care for, learned to drive a truck when her husband needed help driving his bullock-cart delivering ice. Soon Sojirbai became a familiar sight in the town, riding behind the bullocks with a cart full of ice. She became known as “the ice lady.” Their business grew, and the couple soon decided to seek a bank loan to buy a real truck. The bank manager required that she have a license to drive heavy equipment before he would give her the loan. So she learned. Now she drives back and forth with ice all day, and is pleased with her business. Her only regret, she says, is that she was never able to get a formal education.

If you long to navigate a big truck along the highways, see if you can get a loan from your bank like Sojirbai did (if you own any bullocks, take them with you). Do some research and find out if the local cartage firms need help, or someone on standby. Go to see these people with a clean, shiny truck. Introduce yourself and your equipment. Hand out your business card and maybe a brochure.

REBORN DOLLS

Angela Hoy, an antique doll collector, was one day checking out dolls on ebay when she came across a type of doll she had never seen before, called “reborns.” They truly resembled real babies but to an extent outside her experience. “Reborn dolls,” she says, “are regular baby dolls that have been seemingly transformed into living, breathing, adorable infants that nobody can resist!”

Angela was captivated and decided she had to have one of these fetching infants. But cost was a factor, “The really beautiful ones (were) several hundred dollars on ebay.” Angela couldn’t afford that, so she decided to find out how to make her own.

“Reborn” dolls have faces that have been altered to look more like real babies. A plain, vinyl doll is best to start with. The face can be colored with acrylic or oil paint or dye to more closely resemble a real baby’s face. Porcelain dolls always look so pale – almost consumptive! Reborn dolls do not. More weight is added with plastic pellets, rice or beans (beware of moisture), kitty litter (keep an eye on kitty), sand or gel. Polyfill can be added to plump the doll’s limbs and body. Go to http://www.booklocker.com/dolls to see some photos of the dolls. Angela now sells a book online that demonstrates how these darling dolls can be created.

CROCHET

Everywhere you look you see crocheted items: totes and handbags, ponchos, lovely blouses and tunics, and many other garments and accessories. You may have been crocheting all your life, nearly, but did you know that now, you can make money with your artwork? Crocheted clothing is wearable art!

Suzie at http://www.suziezoo.com/knotsew1.html makes and sells afghans, scrapbook albums, purses and hats for prices running from $15 to $100. Her afghans are machine washable and dryable, are hand crocheted from 100% cotton yarn and come in a variety of sizes for a variety of purposes. They make great gifts, as you can well imagine.

If the thought of sitting and crocheting all day really appeals to you, you may want to set up a crocheting website to sell your wares. It costs very little to start a website and even less to maintain it, so most of what you earn will be profit.

Take a page from the life stories of these successful people and start earning money from your hobby today!

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