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I want to share a tale…
In 2018 I had a baby. She napped a lot. I needed a hobby.
I decided I wanted to start an Etsy shop. I thought it would be exciting to make products and get them into the hands of other people besides my family and friends.
I also dreamed that maybe my new hobby could make me a few extra dollars on the side.
I was right.
Previous to that point, I had never used a Cricut machine before in my life. I had heard of them, I even knew people who helped make Cricut software, but I had never experienced one for myself.
I kind of thought they were just for grandmas who liked card making.
(No offense grandmas!)
(Now I know they are also for young moms who like cardmaking… ha)
But they looked kind of neat, so I did what any sane and bored mom would do, and I bought a cheap used old Cricut model off eBay.
I had it for about 2 days before I realized I wanted a NEW one, with all the fancy options and design software.
So I sold that old one, and bought myself my very own Cricut explore model.
It was a tiny bit of a hard pill for me to swallow at first, but I don’t buy ‘expensive’ things that often and I craft a lot so I knew I’d put it to good use.
AND I DIED THE FIRST TIME I USED IT!
Pandora’s box had been opened.
(My first project was a label for my flour jar. It was so cute and surprisingly easy!)
Wow, I didn’t even know that something as simple as vinyl could be so fun!
Back to my hobby Etsy-shop plans: Of all the Cricut-y things I could make, I chose to work with HTV. (that’s Heat Transfer Vinyl)
And with that, I decided to start a fabric banner making business, and I launched it on Etsy in the summer of 2018. (Shop name withheld for privacy. 🙂 )
I sewed the banners, and let customers choose what saying or quote they wanted me to cut with my cricut and iron on the front.
I chose a cute name, made a logo, went to a craft fair (didn’t sell much), and had a lot of ideas. At first, I didn’t make a lot of sales.
But I persevered.
I kept practicing on my Cricut, making new designs and experimenting with iron ons. I changed my patterns and streamlined my process until it only took me a few minutes to make a banner.
I added additional listings to my Etsy shop, and all of the sudden, I got some orders.
Then I got some more.
Then I got one from France.
And Hong Kong.
And people were messaging me for custom orders!
I got 5 star reviews, my vinyl work got better, and MY handmade products were out there!!!
(I still can’t really believe it, hundreds of products that I MADE MYSELF are somewhere in the world being looked at by strangers. Right now.)
My Cricut was on fire!
Here is a screenshot of my stats from 2019, the year my shop did the best.
But I still had a new baby, and I just wanted it to stay a hobby. So I kept enough Etsy listings to stay at 1-2 sales a week. That was a great ‘load’ for me.
And they were consistent. (And when I felt like I needed a break, I set my shop to vacation mode and the sales paused, but came right back when I was ready to start again!)
All I was doing was sewing fabric, cutting dowels, cutting vinyl, and using a home iron to iron it on.
I wrapped up the banners in tissue paper, then shipped them in cute little boxes.
Done and done!
(Okay, I realize I am somewhat over simplifying things, I worked pretty hard. And there is more to selling than just making.)
But listen, I was a new mom with a baby on my back and a circuit on my desk. If I could do it, anyone could.
I made my money back in 5 months. (The first two months had no sales until I started to get found in search engines. So within three months of actual sales, I had made my money back, the money it took to purchase materials and supplies for the shop.)
And by the end of one year, I had made back TEN TIMES what it cost me to get a Cricut.
I had other expenses of course, like fabric and string, but by the end of 21 months, I had made a profit of about $3000.
That doesn’t sound like a lot, but for a mom who just wanted a fun side project, that was almost like free money.
I was having fun and also making money.
And It didn’t take me hours and hours to make a product and ship it out.
I got it down to a quick fast process, which meant I was making between 15-25 an hour.
Plus did I mention it was fun! (It was supposed to be a hobby, remember?)
What could you do with an extra $200 a month? Or more?
I haven’t sold from that Etsy shop for a while, but I do still use my Cricut to make labels, decals, cards, etc.
My friends all know who to call if they need something cut, and I’m happy to do it!
I am telling you this to inspire you.
If you need a hobby, if you want to make some money, you can totally do it.
I know you can, because I did!
And for those of you who want a less expensive option, the new Cricut Joy is a perfect option. So cute and tiny.
Cricut helped me to achieve my Etsy shop hobby success. I’m so glad I took the leap!
Etsy + Cricut = Love
So that’s my quick story about Cricut and Etsy, folks. I dove in. I made some crafts, and earned some extra income while the baby was napping. I hope to do it again.
Maybe someday I will tackle another Etsy shop full time, and bring in more than just a few hundred dollars a month.
I’m not a Cricut Expert, but I do love their machines. That’s my honest opinion right there. 🙂
That is the short version of how my Cricut machine made me 10x what it cost me!
Everyone’s experience will be different, and there is never a guarantee of success. That’s the beauty of it though. You jump in, try something out, and learn and improve.
I hope this tale of my experience inspired you, it is totally possible for moms to make a few bucks with their Cricut Machines, in fact I did it with a newborn baby!
If you liked this post, here are some other Cricut projects I’ve been up to: