10 Hobbies that can boost your income

Hobbies such as sewing, knitting and pottery can all produce goods that you can either use in your own home or sell. We look at 10 hobbies that you can easily take up that can boost your income:

1. Gardening: Gardening can be a source of enjoyment and income. According to Johannesburg South Garden Club chairperson, Fathima Badat, the health benefits of growing your own fruit and vegetables is that you probably won’t use as much chemicals as used at commercial farms.

“Gardening keeps you occupied and you can harvest and sell whatever you plant. Some of our members from retirement villages plant and sell their own food at local markets for extra income,” says Badat. For more information on the club go to Life is a Garden.

2. Sewing: Learning to sew is not only a fantastic skill to acquire but you can also make money from the created items sold at markets, online or even in small boutiques.

Andrea van Assche recently launched a sewing course in Observatory, Cape Town, where you can learn to use a machine, sew in elastic, zips, buttons and hems. You can also learn to read patterns.

“You can learn to sew in eight weeks and we start from absolute scratch. So if you have never held a needle or used a machine, these are the classes for you. There is such a large variety of products that can be sewn like pins, bags, aprons, party dresses, dress up clothes, ready to wear items. It is really endless. Moms and even kids can make money selling their items,” says Van Assche.

3. Knitting: Besides the benefit of making your own knitwear to sell, Cape Wools general manager Louis de Beer says the completion of a useful product and learning that mistakes can be corrected is something to look forward to you when take up knitting as a hobby.

4. Baking: Not only is baking a tasty way to pass the time, but you also learn how to make treats that can be sold at local markets or cake shops for extra money. And if you don’t feel confident enough about your baking skills to sell your handy work, you can save money on satisfying your sweet tooth my baking it for yourself.

5. Photography: There are many short courses offered in photography, which is a great hobby for those who seek escapism through the lens. But if your portfolio and skills becomes good enough you can make money taking pictures for weddings and parties.

6. Jewellery making: There are many jewellery making courses for beginners where you learn about the tools and techniques of jewellery making and get to work with the metals. You can have fun learning to design and make your own jewellery to sell.

7. Frame-making: Making frames for pictures is a fun and economical way to pass time. Melanie Ewing of Chapters Interiors started framing as a hobby and now offers framing services and teaches people how to make their own picture frames.  “This is not only a wonderful hobby but definitely also something that will save you money.  Like with me, it could even become a business,” says Ewing.

8. Make your own soap: Believe it or not there are half day courses out there where you can learn how to make exciting melt and pour soaps! Many courses teach you how to create your own recipes which gives you the skill to start your own soap making business and make money.

9. Make your own candles: Candle making is another hobby where the skill you learn can be a means of making money later on.  Montague Gardens based Crafty corner offers beginner courses for those who always wanted to make their own candles. There are three different candle making classes and they guarantee that you’ll leave with the confidence to make your own at home.

10. Carpentry course: Being handy around the house may be a hobby many people think they have. But with a little training, anybody can be taught to make this hobby work for them. The Mercury School of Woodwork in Cape Town was established in 2006 with the aim of providing students with the opportunity to gain knowledge of woodwork techniques. They offer beginner, intermediate and advanced courses. Even in the beginners course you’ll be shown how almost everything can be done with hand tools, just as the master cabinetmakers of the past have done.

Moneybags’ hobby tips:

Whatever hobby you take on, make sure you are passionate about it too.  If you start something just to make money, you may become bored and stop before you learn the skill that can earn you money.

Make sure there is demand for the product or service you are learning about too. It makes no sense acquiring an expensive skill just to discover that there is no need for your product.