How to Make a Living from Crafts – Part 2 – Weekly and One Day Workshops

So you’ve been making and selling. But it’s hard work, often for a little return. Customers are so demanding, they don’t know what they want and when you give it to them, they’re not happy.

So why not teach?

Here’s what I say in ‘How to Make a Living from Crafts’

the musician can teach music in addition to performing, the photographer can teach photography in addition to taking and selling photographs, the artist can teach painting, the baker or confectioner can teach cooking or sweet-making, the jeweller can teach silver-smithing, in addition to selling jewellery, and the stitcher can teach sewing in addition to selling cushions or quilts. This last example is the one I shall be concentrating on in this book but as you can probably see, the same principle can be applied to lots of other craft related businesses.

Teaching can bring you a regular income by offering regular weekly workshops or one-day courses. It can also bring you a constant supply of repeat customers.

Weekly Workshops

If you decide to teach sewing, your main business will probably involve teaching your skills to beginners and improvers on a weekly basis. Showing your students how to get the best from their sewing machines and helping them to tackle projects of their own choice is very rewarding for both of you.

A family photo quilt made by one of my students

A family photo quilt made by one of my students

I recommend that you keep your workshops small – less than 10 people. This ensures that each student receives the individual attention that they need to complete their projects. It ensures you are not run off your feet and it also means that you are offering a superior service when compared to the local college or evening class who will be charging a similar price but will usually have larger numbers of students. Many of my customers are people who have tried college sewing workshops (when they existed) but found that if they weren’t demanding (and loud) enough they hardly saw the tutor!

One-Day Workshops

You could also offer one-day workshops in specialized subjects, such as embroidery or cushion-making. In a one-day workshop, it is a good idea to have everyone making the same thing and to produce written instructions so the more confident in the class can carry on while you help those most in need.

One-day workshops will not always generate repeat business; but, if those who have attended the workshop have enjoyed themselves, they are likely to keep an eye out for future workshops and bring their friends. They may also decide that, after having a taster of your workshops that they would like to join a weekly class and become a regular customer.
One day workshops can generate a significant amount of income and, if you are prepared to offer several a month, this will make quite a difference to your business.

A one-day workshop project in progress

A one-day workshop project in progress

Most of my one-day workshops were filled with my weekly workshop customers who often brought a friend! They loved their weekly sessions but relished the idea of making something in a day – and they liked the buffet lunch too!

I’ve just given you a flavor of the book in my posts as it is too long to reproduce completely but if you want to buy the book in it’s entirety, here’s the link:

If you’re in the US:

or if you’re in the UK:


4 thoughts on “How to Make a Living from Crafts – Part 2 – Weekly and One Day Workshops

  1. This is so true! I never thought of fueling my creativity this way but your right, to make things homemade is time consuming with little profit. Offering classes to work on a specific project would be fun and a better pay off in the end. The picture quilt is amazing by the way.

    • Thanks for your comment! I’ve tried making things for sale on and off for years but found it a hard graft with little payback. With teaching, you get a better income AND the appreciation and friendship of your clients!

  2. Pingback: Turning Crafts into Profit | Sewing with Scooby Snacks

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