Here are a few ways creative kids can make money (and have fun too!).
To see a full list of ways kids can make money see: How to Make Money as a Kid
Creativity isn’t limited to adults – in fact, kids, with their unbounded imagination are often brimming with creativity.
Take Aelita Andre who at four-years-old was named the world’s youngest artist and a “color prodigy”.
Aelita began experimenting with paint before she could walk and even had her first piece exhibited in an Australian gallery at just 22-months-old. A couple of years later, at age four, she hosted her first solo exhibition at the Agora Gallery in the Chelsea neighborhood of New York City.
Three of her paintings sold for a total of $27,000.
While not all kids will be able to earn as much as Aelita, her story shows there’s really no age minimum for creating art people are willing to pay for.
If you’re a creative kid or a parent of a creative kid, the following is a list of ways kids can make money with their talents. Let us know in the comments below if you or someone you know has found other ways to make money through creative endeavors.
How Creative Kids Can Make Money:
There are lots of ways creative kids can make money! Here are 20+ examples divided by interest.
For the Performer/Musician:
- Music practice mentor: Sometimes it’s difficult to convince kids to practice their musical instrument. Young kids are often inspired when they can have an older kid as a mentor.
- Teaching music lessons: Sometimes kids say they want to try out an instrument, but parents don’t want to commit to private lessons right away. If you’ve been playing an instrument for a few years, offer summer lessons to kids interested in testing out your instrument.
- Begin a rock band or quartet: Nothing beats live music. Grab a few of your musical friends and begin a rock band or quartet to play at Bar or Bat Mitzvahs, weddings or even more low-key parties like Sweet 16 or baby showers.
- Entertain kids at a birthday party: Planning birthday parties can be a lot of work for parents. If you have a knack for planning parties advertise your services to be a birthday helper. Or if you have acting skills you could dress up as a costumed character. Other popular services at birthday parties include magic tricks, face painting, or creating balloon animals.
For the Sewist:
- Make cat or dog toys and accessories: People love their pets and have fun purchasing toys, clothing, special leashes, etc. for them. For a list of pet-related sewing ideas see: Sew for Your Pet
- Make scrunchies, hair bands or headbands: What girl couldn’t always use a few new hair accessories? Scrunchies, hair bands, and headbands are quick and easy projects.
- Give old clothes new life: Giving new life to old clothes is not only cost-effective but also good for the environment. For a bit of inspiration here’s a tutorial on how to make shorts from old jeans: 4 DIY Shorts Projects from Jeans
- Make American Girl clothing: If you’ve had a lot of experience cutting out patterns and operating a sewing machine, making American Girl clothes should be a snap. There are lots of patterns to choose from that range from simple skirts to more complex designs. Girls will love buying unique clothing for their dolls that no one else owns. Pinterest is a great place to find free American Girl clothing patterns.
- Become a Fashion Designer: It may sound far-fetched to think of a kid as a fashion designer, but both Isabella Rose Taylor and Ollie Forsyth successfully began their own businesses at the ages of 12 and 13. Isabella’s clothes are sold in Nordstrom while Ollie has sold his accessories business and since gone on to found the Budding Entrepreneur Club to educate students how to start companies.
For the Artist:
- Sell your art: Selling art is extremely difficult, but if a four-year-old can do it (see video above), then maybe you can too!
- Make homemade stationary: If trying to sell your art is a bit intimidating, you could instead design cards – thank you cards, birthday cards – or just blank stationary cards.
- Sell your ceramics: Mugs, pet dishes, plates, small boxes – there are numerous ways clay can be shaped into objects that can then be sold.
For Kids Who Like Crafts:
Lots of kids love crafts! And many crafts can be turned into a product people are eager to buy. Below are a few ideas to get you started.
- Make friendship bracelets: Kids love collecting friendship bracelets but not everyone has the time or skills to make one they like. If you have experience making friendship bracelets, make use of your talent and sell them to others.
- Make jewelry: Unique jewelry never goes out of style. Jewelry can be made in a wide variety of materials and styles. It’s helpful to think about what type of jewelry is most popular to ensure good sales. See Bella Weems’ story of how she turned her love of making locket necklaces and bracelets into a multi-million dollar direct sales business here.
- Make printed t-shirts: Printed t-shirts are fun to wear and fairly easy to make. You can create unique designs or sell your services to teams and groups who would like to buy logo shirts. For a tutorial on how to make screen print t-shirts at home, see: Nate Screen Prints
- Knit scarves and hats: Homemade scarves and hats are relatively easy to make and always in demand in colder climates. The site Ravelry is the #1 resource for knitters to find patterns.
- Make tie dye clothes: Tie dye shirts, socks, headbands, etc. seem to never go out of style. Create your own unique designs – but be careful! – clothing dye is messy and best used outside.
- Make lip balm: Making lip balm is easy, just melt a few ingredients, pour the liquid into a container, add an attractive label and you’re ready to sell. If you want help getting started, here’s a kit my daughter and I recently used: DIY Lip Balm Kit.
- Make decorated tins for food or storage: During the holidays it seems like everyone is either bringing cookies to a party or giving them as a gift. Help make your customer’s presents even more attractive with uniquely designed tins.
- Make holiday ornaments: Can there ever be too many ornaments on a Christmas tree? Get creative and make your own ornaments out of ceramic, wood or whatever you fancy.
- Make homemade wrapping paper: Who wants plain old store bought wrapping paper? Handmade wrapping paper adds a unique touch to any gift.
- Make a birthday party decorations kit: Planning a birthday party can be a lot of work! Make it easy for both parents and kids by creating all-in-one boxes full of all the decorations needed to throw a unique bash.
- Make bird feeders/houses: As winter ends and spring flowers begin to bloom nothing’s better than hearing bird songs. Click here for 20+ ideas on how to build your own bird feeder.
- Make keychains: There are 256 million registered cars in the United States. That’s a lot of car keys in need of a chain!
Where Kids Can Sell Their Crafts
Now that you’ve decided what you’d like to make, you need a place to sell it. Here’s a list of channels to sell your goods, both locally and online.
Note that if you’re under 18 you’ll need an adult to sign up for most online accounts.
- A stand outside your front door
- Yard sales
- Craft fairs
- Farmers markets
- Art fairs
- County fairs
- School talent show
- Local gift stores
- Consignment stores
- Facebook buy/sell/trade groups
- Artpal (to sell artwork)
The Kids Money Management Toolkit has everything you need (except money!) to begin giving your kids an allowance. In addition to guidance and advice, you’ll also receive Save, Spend, and Share jar labels, a Kids Money Ledger, a Savings Challenge Sheet, a Jobs-for-Hire Sheet, and a Kids Allowance Contract. Click here to learn more.
What to do next…
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Find out if you’re raising a self-sufficient kid (click here) or if you’re doing too much for your kids (click here). At the end of each quiz, you’ll be asked to provide your email address to see the results.
3. Get your kids started on chores.
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Kerry Flatley is the owner and author of Self-Sufficient Kids. She has a BA in economics, an MBA, a certificate in financial planning, and has been investing ever since she landed her first job. Kerry also has two girls, ages 13 and 15, who have been receiving allowance – and learning money management – for the past seven years.