Being a DIY Mom is just awesome.
As a stay-at- home mom, sometimes I find myself trying to figure out ways to make a little extra money. Here are a few DIY things I’ve come up with that take minimal effort and still bring in some extra change.
Etsy or Jane.com
So let’s say you make coffee tables out of recycled materials. Or you have a great idea for a start-up baby clothing boutique. Both Etsy and Jane.com are third party platforms where you can sell your wares. I have a close friend who sews, and along with a few other moms has established an incredibly lucrative handmade store that operates out of Etsy. These gals are making thousands of dollars every month selling reversible pillowcases, hand-stitched book bags, etc. It’s a great system, though it does have to start with a tangible, desirable commodity—you’ve got to be able to make something cute or hip or trendy that people want to buy.
A few years back, when I had younger kids that went to sleep by 7:00 pm, I decided I needed a hobby. So I took up cake decorating. I browsed some classes on craftsy.com, learned a few basic skills, and then started volunteering out my services to scout troops, birthday parties, church functions. Many of these groups and people offered to pay me for my services, which was almost like a surprise bonus. The whole process became very therapeutic for me (bake deliciousness, sample some deliciousness, decorate it up fancy, and then get a little money, etc). Most of the work could be done after my kids were in bed at night, since I would bake things the night before, let them cool, and then decorate just before pick-up. With the right time investment and overhead you can make a ton of money making cakes like @thehomemakinghat‘s cake to the right! I never made a ton of money because the time investment and ingredients overhead got a little steep. But it was pretty magical to hear someone talk about my amazing cakes and cupcakes.
Monetizing Your Personal Blog
This one seems pretty obvious. We all read blogs. We all see the advertisements or the shout- outs to companies that “sponsored” posts. Obviously it takes having a blog. But if you have a passion (especially if it’s a unique one, like how to be a mother and a full-time trapeze artist), it’s certainly worth writing—and therefore blogging—about. And then once you get a significant fan base, you can sign up to host advertisements, giveaways with companies like Utah Giveaway, or reach out to brands that match your audience and offer to feature a product for them.
If you haven’t heard of Neighbor, you need to check them out. Talk about making money without even trying. This is the one where you take that empty closet space or that side yard that simply grows weeds and you list it as rentable space on neighbor.com. You decide how much that space is worth (say, $100/month for someone to park their small motorboat in your yard). Voila. It’s like magic. You’ll be paired with someone who needs a place to park their boat, and you’ll start getting monthly direct deposits of $100. No skills required. DIY in it’s simplest form.
I get my hair done by a friend out of her house. Our kids play, we chat, I get a pixie cut. It’s a great set-up. Not only does she do hair, but also nails, makeup, etc. Obviously this skill takes training. But hey, maybe it’s worth it to do cosmetology school, which can range from 8 months to 2 years, depending on whether you do full or part time classes. The investment is totally worth it in the long run if beautifying other mommas is what you love to do. Fiverr or Task Rabbit – cleaning, organizing, DIY, writing, editing, doing music or voiceovers These two sites are very cool if you have some negotiable time in your schedule and skills that you want to share. Both Fiverr and TaskRabbit allow you to sign up as an independent contractor, offering services in your geographic area that range from cleaning and woodworking to writing, editing or doing commercial voiceovers. Basically, you create an account, describe your skills, and set up a schedule with your availability, and then the website will pair you up with people in your neighborhood who need something cleaned, woodworked or edited.
This is different from cleaning. It is, for those who do it, a highly professional skill. And there’s a lady in my Facebook neighborhood group who charges $45/hour for her professional home organization and decluttering skills. It’s also not for the faint of heart. You have to really know how to whip clutter into shape.
When my husband was in graduate school, I had a friend whose husband was a full-time PhD student. We both had our first babies at the same time and we became good friends, figuring out how to do the mommy thing together. I knew she was a thrift store shopper, and I also knew that she and her husband liked to sell their cool finds on Ebay. But I had no idea the extent of their “hobby” until one day she got a new living room set—sofa and loveseat (and maybe a side table—I can’t remember). I do remember asking her in complete surprise, where they had come up with the $600 she told me that it cost. It was strictly from their Ebay sales, she told me. That was also where they had also made the money they used to buy their $500 camera and their super-duper fancy stroller (also worth at least $500). I was blown away. We had been at school the same amount of time together, and in those first two years they had been slowly yet steadily earning thousands of dollars from their thrift store – to – Ebay business.
There are always moms with young children at home who are looking for safe, friendly, happy places for their kids to go while they fulfill work or personal obligations. I, myself, am one of those moms who needs a babysitter once in a while. Often the local community has a Facebook page for women in the area, and this is a great place to gauge interest and/or promote your services as a babysitter. This type of income can fit rather naturally into your schedule. Because, hey, if you’re already watching your kiddos all day, what’s one or two more?
If you have a computer and some time on your hands, taking online surveys is a great way to make some cash. Companies are willing to pay some serious money to find out what makes people buy stuff, what is trending, where people are eating out, who is spending money, etc. This takes very little effort, and often the rewards come in the form of gift cards as well as cash. Websites like Swagbucks, Toluna, Opinion Outpost are all good places to start.