With the holiday season almost upon us, we could all use a little extra cash. And, with Christmas and Hanukkah around the corner, we could also use some fun, creative gifts for friends, co-workers, and loved ones! What I’m saying is: this is the perfect time to snag one of these easy side hustles right in time for Christmas.
Whether you’re an artist taking the first steps toward supporting yourself through your work; a digital nomad looking to diversify your income; an entrepreneurial mind looking for an outlet; or just a creative person hoping to make a couple bucks outside of your 9-5, an online side hustle could be exactly what you need!
4 Easy Side Hustles You Can Start Before Christmas
Making Custom Lighting/Lamps
Starting an Online Accessory Store
Making Custom Lotions
Making Custom Pillows
1. Making Custom Lighting/Lamps
Custom lighting may sound complex, but in practice it can actually be a surprisingly easy side hustle. Keep in mind that you don’t need to hand-twirl the filaments and blow the glass yourself to create a stylish home accessory- all you need are a few materials and a creative eye.
A large mason jar filled with Christmas lights with an opening in the bottom (allowing the cord to reach the outlet) is a gorgeous way to create a gentle glow. Thrift, vintage, and antique stores are great places to start looking for creative glass pieces to fill with light, not to mention garage sales and craft stores. For a holiday twist, consider a vase filled with faerie lights, holly, and faux pine.
Remember that clear images are vital here. Spend some time getting high-quality images of your product; in context of a room, if possible. Consider including a scrolling image reel at the top of the page, a highly professional move that’s surprisingly easy in your Selz store.
Instagram and Pinterest will likely be your best bet when marketing this product on social media.
2. Starting an Online Accessory Store
Starting an online accessory store is one of our favorite easy side hustles. We all express ourselves through what we wear, but not everyone wants to drop twenty bucks on a t-shirt with Bill Murray’s face on it.
The great thing about buttons, t-shirts, enamel pins, stickers, and other accessories is that they are cheap and easy to personalize. Added to a jacket, scarf, or hat, they make a statement without breaking the bank. Time-wise, design is the major phase here, as opposed to the hourly investment of, say, knitting custom cat sweaters.
The key question starting out is the attitude of your store. Put simply: how will the accessories you create accentuate other elements of your customer’s style? Will your buttons be snarky quips, or selections from The Love Song of Alfred J. Prufrock? Are you making enamel pins of owls, narwhals, or Starry, Starry Night?
Look over any existing designs you have, and visit a few websites and a local brick-and-mortar store to see what attracts you the most and what you want to avoid. Is a particular style saturating of the market? Once you have a sense of your attitude, you’ll be ready to enter the design phase, you (side) hustler, you.
If you have access to Photoshop or Illustrator, these are excellent tools for putting together digital versions your designs. If not, Canva and Pixlr are free online tools that are relatively easy to get the hang of.
Try putting together a handful of designs, printing them off, and looking at them side-by-side. Get another set of eyes on them if you can, and consider sharing them on social media and asking your followers to pick a few favorites. Once you’re ready to go to market, social media will be a great tool- Pinterest and Instagram in particular, because of their visual focus.
When selling, you will likely want to build packages with a combination of items to offset the cost of shipping. Give your customers the option to pick a handful of each type of product you sell and have a couple of pre-made packages with catchy titles on hand- all with a slight discount that won’t cut too much into your overall profit.
While many accessory sellers gravitate towards selling on marketplaces such as Etsy or Ebay, there are a lot of drawbacks to those platforms. You’re entering a saturated market, and it can be difficult to make your store stand out in the crowd. Consider opening an independent store so you can drive traffic directly to YOUR products with no distractions from other sellers. Interested? Check out this post that outlines 7 reasons to sell from an independent online store rather than a marketplace.
3. Making Custom Lotions
While there are plenty of tips and tricks to doing it well, there is no secret wizardry to making custom lotions. A trip to your local Vitamin Cottage can start you off with most of the ingredients you’ll need to get going, but consider buying online in bulk or from a wholesaler to avoid racking up high costs when starting on this easy side hustle.
Think about the specific niche you want to cater your product to. Organic options are booming in many industries, but you don’t necessarily need to go that route. Remember that for many people, this product is more of a need than a luxury- no one enjoys feeling dry and scaly.
How, then, can you connect your product to other needs in your customer’s lives? For example; if you decide your market is climbers, mountain bikers, and general lovers of the outdoors, you can build your marketing around the restorative aspect of your products. “After a long day on the mountain, I like to…” Consider theming your store around the outdoors, and including photos that speak broadly to the lifestyles of your customers.
The real fun here is the actual process of creation (all of our favorite easy side hustles start with a little fun). Combining scents, exploring essential oil blends, mixing up your witches’ brew, and trying it out on your skin can all be incredibly exciting and extremely rewarding.
Invite friends and family over to try out samples of your work and pick their favorites. Starting out, you will want to make a few large batches and sell only a handful of different kinds, though you can consider also creating batches for specific customers if you receive requests for specific blends.
4. Making Custom Pillows
Unique home décor is having a real moment right now. Flip on HGTV any hour of the day, and you’ll see couples and families looking to express their personalities through the tiniest details of their homes.
If you’re handy with a needle and thread (or own a sewing machine), then making custom pillows could be a relatively cheap and easy way to start earning a little extra income on the side. The internet vastly simplifies the searching process here, so with quality materials and a creative spark, you can build up an inventory and start marketing on social media.
You will want to figure out the specific niche that you will be filling here. Will you be crocheting snarky internet memes onto throw pillows? Do you want to create a 60’s-style tie-dye themed store?
Start by sketching a range of designs and setting them on top of existing pillows that you already own. Cross the room. Are your designs eye-catching? Do the details stand out enough?
Because of the nature of the medium, you may have to simplify more than you usually would. Consider creating both full pillows and pillowcases. For pillowcases, you may be able to screen print your designs onto the material.
As you work through your product descriptions, make sure you are including the available colors, the size and proportions, along with the type of materials used.
These are just a few options, but there are tons of easy side hustles out there that you can use to make a side income. Eventually, with some elbow grease and creativity, it’s possible to turn your passions into full-time work. Often, the hardest part is the first step.
Itching for an easy side hustle, but not feeling any of these options? Check out our enormous collection of 105 Side Business Ideas You Can Start Today, and let us know if there’s anything we missed!
Now that you’ve seen our favorite easy side hustles, it’s time to get started. If you want your side business up in time for Christmas, NOW is the time to start building your online store and getting the word out! Sign up for a FREE 14-day trial of Selz and start building your holiday store.