Ask the Readers: Do You Make Money From Your Hobbies?

By Ashley Jacobs on 11 March 2014 (Updated 19 March 2014) 46 comments

Editor's Note: Congratulations to Catseye, Amanda, and Tabathia for winning this week's contest!

A great way to earn some side income is to monetize your hobbies by selling the things you make, helping others with a task you enjoy doing, or even teaching a skill to someone and charging a fee for the lessons.

Do you make money from your hobbies? What challenges have you come across so far? Do you plan on eventually making it your primary source of income?

Tell us about your money-making hobbies and we'll enter you in a drawing to win a $20 Amazon Gift Card!

Win 1 of 3 $20 Amazon Gift Cards

We're doing three giveaways — here's how you can win!

Mandatory Entry:

  • Post your answer in the comments below. One commenter will win a $20 Amazon Gift Card!

For extra entries:

  • You can tweet about our giveaway for an extra entry. Also, our Facebook fans can get an extra entry too! Use our Rafflecopter widget for your chance to win one of the other two Amazon Gift Cards:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

If you're inspired to write a whole blog post OR you have a photo on flickr to share, please link to it in the comments or tweet it.

Giveaway Rules:

  • Contest ends Monday, March 17th at 11:59 p.m. Pacific. Winners will be announced after March 17th on the original post. Winners will also be contacted via email.
  • You can enter all three drawings — once by leaving a comment, once by liking our Facebook update, and once by tweeting.
  • This promotion is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered, or associated with Facebook.
  • You must be 18 and US resident to enter. Void where prohibited.

Good Luck!

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Guest's picture
Mary Happymommy

Unfortunately I don't make money from my hobbies.

Guest's picture
Ernest S.

Kind of. I consider collecting miles and points a hobby, and go through a lot of effort to get them to pay for travel and vacations. It's not necessarily income, but it feels like I made a lot of money when I book a trip for free!

Guest's picture

Yes, I do!

I make and sell art from recycled materials. I've sold journals, embellished shoes, Christmas ornaments, headbands, jewelry, magazine bowls, dresses, rugs, and a book safe, all from recycled, discarded, or otherwise unwanted materials.

However, crafting for $ is not all glitter and glue. Here's why I took a year off, and why you should think carefully before starting:
http://paintingontheceiling.blogspot.com/2013/02/a-year-without-crafting...

If you are curious to see some of my work, head over to my blog
http://paintingontheceiling.blogspot.com/
or my gallery page:
https://paintingontheceilinggallery.shutterfly.com/pictures

I'm going to keep doing it, but I have much more realistic expectations now.

Guest's picture
Tiffany Sparks

One hobby I have is making loom bracelets with different charms. I have sold a few to friends and family.

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Paige

I help set up social media and web pages for small mom and pop companies in my spare time for side money. I also love going to estate auctions - I think good quality, vintage items are better made than current retail items - so if I can get something at a steal, I end up selling it on etsy or ebay.

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Alyssa

My main hobby is blogging, which I don't currently make money from, but I'm looking into changing that soon! It would be nice to have some side income, however small!

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Gina

I have no money making hobbies.

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Guest

One of my hobbies is woodworking with my dad, and I use it to build furniture so I don't have to buy it. I'm not making money per se, but I am saving money by creating a bedframe or wardrobe by myself instead of buying it.

Guest's picture
Anu

I'm trying to! I love to teach, so in addition to volunteer tutoring, I'm trying to take on some paid tutoring clients. I'm also trying to start freelance writing.

Guest's picture
Lindsay

My whole life, I've loved watching my favorite professional baseball team, going to their games, and socializing with friends and strangers alike at these games. Since I was a kid, I remember thinking that even the people who sell peanuts in the stands must be the luckiest people in the world - they get PAID to go to baseball games! Now that I'm a young professional, I have a full-time job that requires me to sit at a desk all day. But when I moved back to my home city where my beloved baseball team plays, I decided to apply for an evening and weekend job as a team Ambassador. This means staffing all the games and events around the team, planning and executing pre-game ceremonies and other events, and engaging with fans while giving them an unforgettable experience. I got the job, and now, many days after work and on weekends, I take the bus straight from my day job to the baseball stadium and get paid to watch games and engage with fans for hours! It's a dream come true.

Guest's picture
lori b

yes, sell cross stitch patterns. The hardest part is finding time. I hope it will be full time some day.

Guest's picture
dawn

I've been a gardener for years, and last summer, when I couldn't find f/t work, I advertised on Craig's List about a dozen well-established perennials in my yard that I could divide very easily. I wasn't sure there would be any demand, but I was pleasantly surprised to have a few people who took a whole lot of unwanted pachysandra off my hands, along with lily of the valley and a few other perennials.

Guest's picture
KelR1

Not really. Unless you count my occasional selling of old books, mags, CDs, etc. once I'm done with them. Because reading and listening to music are two of my hobbies. When I no longer need/want those items I take them to a used book store to sell. I participate with some survey sites online for a little extra money from time to time, but I don't really consider that a hobby per se. I also like to enter contests and every once in a while I might actually win something, but I wouldn't really say that's a hobby either.

Guest's picture
Elena

I don't make money from my hobbies

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Shalisha Alexander

I crochet on the side. The biggest challenges I've come across have been knowing how much to charge, and feeling pressure to finish orders in just a few days because I don't want to make customers wait. Occasionally, I've had people ask me to make things, they don't want to pay for.

Guest's picture
MELISSA HANSSON

No, my hobbies all cost money. But my crafty hobbies allow me to indulge myself in jewelry/stationery/etc. for far less money than if I bought someone else's work.

Guest's picture
Rebecca B. A. R.

I make money from my beading hobby. I sell beaded jewelry at festivals and craft shows, and also at teaching classes on beading jewelry (usually we make a bracelet in class). Sometimes, I can do pretty well at both things.

Guest's picture
DeeDee

Not at this time, I used to paint items and sell them.

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Liz

Sadly I don't make any money from my hobbies, but I do have a lot of fun!

Donna Freedman's picture

Well, writing is a hobby but it's also the way I make a living. So I guess that's a big "yes."

Guest's picture
Tabathia B

No I don't make money from any of my hobbies, but I do resell my books after I read them

Guest's picture
Noah

I just started making money from two of my hobbies: hockey and piano. In both cases it just kind of came up.

For hockey, I would arrive to play in the local league and a skating class always used the rink before us. One day they were short an instructor and asked if I could help out. I agreed and took over half the group. Now I have my own class, usually adults, and it is fun to teach people my age who have never been on skates before.

For piano, I often play in the lobby at work during my lunch hour. Way to relax and actually play a piano because I only have a keyboard at home. A new coworker came up to me, said she had just moved to town and asked if I would be interested in teaching her child to play. They had started piano lessons before they moved and were having trouble finding a new teacher in the new city. I agreed, at least temporarily and its been 2 years now. I have only taken on one other student in that time frame though, trying not to just burn myself out and make me hate my own hobbies.

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Marcia C.

My favorite hobby is baking and I sell chocolate chip cookies in festive tins for all holidays and also sell decorated cupcakes, various flavors, the lemon ones are a huge seller.

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Guest

Sometimes I sell stuff on EBay that I buy at thrift stores. That's it.

Guest's picture

I make beautiful handbags and pillows

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SerenityNow

I love dogs but I don't have one of my own, so I moonlight as a dog-walker and dog-sitter for a few families around town. I get to cuddle with cute dogs, go for long walks, and make some supplemental income on the side!

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alona

No :(

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An Gooch

I sell lots of items for my family/friends on ebay. Been doing it for a decade.

Guest's picture
Elina

I recently got married and have a lot of wedding decor stuff lying around. I made it all myself (it was a DIY wedding) and am now selling it on Etsy!
Who says arts & crafts is just a hobby? It can be a little side job!

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Kim

My favorite hobby is reading. Since books are so expensive, I sell my books to Powell's books online for store credit. I then buy books from them with the credit. It's worked out really well.

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Liisa

Sort of. For 15 years teaching piano lessons was definitely a job -- I had a large studio in a big city -- but now I just have one student for a little extra spending money. I'm hoping to turn my love for interior design into a money maker before too long, though!

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C.j.

If recycling materials at the scrap yard and selling on eBay counts as a hobby Then yes, I make money from them Also being a research panelist has also been a great money making hobby too!

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Monique

So far I don't make money from my hobbies, but I'm hoping to change that soon. It takes a surprising amount of discipline to get on that path, especially after a long day at work.

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Betty

I haven't figured out how to make money with my hobbies, or really even thought about it. My main hobbies are walking, reading, and internet. Occasionally I'll do something crafty, like make a wreath for my door, but don't think I'd make too much money.

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Lynda

no i don't make money from my hobbies

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Bethany

My internet surfing gives me Amazon credit, that's as good as cash, in my book.

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Laura J

I do not have any hobbies to make money with.

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Raina

No, I don't make money off any of my hobbies. I used to run a website based on one of my hobbies, but the ads didn't generate enough to overcome the costs of maintaining it.

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Catseye

No, but I'd love to have a hobby that also generated income. I could certainly use it!

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Kristina

No not me

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BRB

I've been asked by a few people to do my hobbies for them for cash. Photography and sewing.

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Carmen

I managed to make < $10 on my patterns at the end of last year, but then again, I just started

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Happy Love

Yes, since personal finance and couponing ARE my hobbies.

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Amanda Sakovitz

Sadly I don't have any money making hobbies but I think its a great idea for those who do!

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Jeremy

Absolutely! From car repairs, home repairs, to computer repair - what I thought was just a skill and hobby has turned into a fairly good side gig.

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Thomas Murphy

My money-making hobby is playing poker.