Being a senior doesn’t mean your money-making days are over. Whether you need some extra cash or want to stay productive, cashing in on your hobbies is a great way to do both. So, let’s consider what the best hobbies for seniors to make money are.
The best hobbies for seniors to make money involve things you already enjoy doing. Or, they may be activities you’ve always wanted to do but never had the time for. They’ll put your skills and experience to good use and keep you socially engaged.
So, with time on your hands and years of life experience under your belt, you’re in an ideal position to begin making money from your hobbies. Whether it’s an old hobby or a new one, it doesn’t matter. And if you’re struggling for ideas, here are 10 of the best hobbies for seniors to make money.
Arts and Crafts
If you have some creative flair, making money from your arts and crafts is something you can get up and running with very quickly.
Where To Sell Arts and Crafts
Sites like Etsy and eBay make it easy for home crafters to sell the product of their artistic flair online. Or you can set up a Facebook page and sell through its marketplace. Sites like Pinterest are good for advertising your wares online. You can also look for craft markets near you if you want to get out and about with your products.
Another option is to strike up partnerships with local coffee shops or bookstores. See if they’ll agree to display your work. This may be a fruitful way to generate sales to the store’s customer base. Of course, you may have to pay a fee for that. But if you can negotiate a commission deal, you’ll only pay when you sell.
Money-Making Arts and Crafts
And there are so many types of arts and crafts hobbies that can make you money, and you’re almost spoilt for choice. Let’s look at some possibilities.
Painting and Drawing
Perhaps you already paint or draw. In that case, consider selling your artwork. You can sell originals or prints.
You can also add value by framing your work. You’ll get a better price doing this, but you’ll have the initial outlay of framing, which is risky if the piece doesn’t sell.
Greeting and Other Cards
Making greeting cards is a popular choice because there are different ways you can go about it. For example, you can draw or paint on your cards. Or use ready-made embellishments to attach to your cards, so you just arrange them to your own design.
If you haven’t made greeting cards before and you’re wondering how to get started, try buying a card-making kit. This DIY Handmade Greeting Card Kit provides the cards, envelopes, and some basic embellishments. You just supply the creativity and the glue.
Jewelry and Ceramics
Other craft hobbies that are good for making money are handmade jewelry and ceramics.
As you can see from the following video, you can get creative with jewelry. In fact, you can make it from just about anything:
While ceramics may sound like an expensive hobby, it doesn’t have to be that way. You don’t need a kiln to fire your work because you can use air-drying clay.
Air-drying clay like this DAS Air-Hardening Modeling Clay is easy to come by. As you can see, it dries naturally in twenty-four hours with no firing involved.
Take a look at the following video to see the kind of things you can do with air-drying clay:
You can even combine jewelry-making with air-drying clay ceramics. You can get some ideas from the following video if you’re looking for inspiration:
Signs and Print-on-Demand Products
Other money-making crafting ideas include sign-making. You can paint or carve inspirational quotes on wood. Wood burnt signs and plaques are also popular.
If you have digital images stored on your computer, you can turn them into print-on-demand products. Using free editing software, you can adjust the images or create photo collages. You can also add humorous quotes.
Sites like Tee Public and Redbubble provide all the infrastructure you need to sell your designs. You just upload your design and choose the products you want to sell. For example, you can sell your creations on t-shirts, mugs, hoodies, and other products.
You’ll only get a small percentage of the selling price. However, if you come up with a popular design, the income could mount.
The crafts mentioned above are a small selection of the many crafts seniors can choose to make money. So, don’t take the above as a comprehensive list. Examples of others you might enjoy are handmade soap or scented candle-making.
The important thing is finding something you love doing and giving it a go.
If you’re a keen photographer, selling your photographs is another hobby from which you can make money as a senior.
You can freelance for weddings and other events, and special occasions. Family portraits are also quite popular, so that’s another avenue worth exploring.
City and landscape photography also sells, especially in local markets in tourist spots.
You might also be able to sell those kinds of photos on stock photo sites like Shutterstock, Getty Images, and Stocksy. You’ll need to upload only your best photos to sites like these. That’s because they’ll be subject to review before they’re published on the site.
Those sites pay you a percentage of the selling price, but it varies depending on the site. For example, Stocksy pays a flat 50% of the selling price, and its selling prices range from $15 to $125. On the other hand, Shutterstock uses a graduated payouts scale. What you receive will increase depending on the number of sales you make.
But, don’t worry if you enjoy photography on a less formal level. Or perhaps you don’t have the equipment to get into wedding or portrait photography. You can still sell your photos if you have a decent camera on your phone.
Foap provides a camera phone-focused platform to which you can upload your photos to sell.
Foap pays you 50% of the selling price of the photo. The selling price can be between $2 and $60.
Foap also runs regular missions where they provide a brief, and you can submit a photo that fits. If they select your image out of all the submissions, you can earn from $25 to a few hundred dollars.
There are several other stock photo sites to choose from, so you don’t need to stick with one. Others include EyeEm and Dreamstime. Just be sure you read the terms and conditions for each one. You’ll need to ensure you retain copyright if you plan to submit your images to more than one site.
Upcycling is another hobby from which creative seniors can make money. In case you’ve not come across it before, upcycling involves reimagining an item that’s already in existence. So, you re-fashion it somehow, possibly changing its use and giving it a new lease of life.
You can upcycle almost anything. The only limitation is your imagination. For example, look at what you can do with an old mug:
Using the same technique, you can upcycle a stone from your garden into a decorative ornament or paperweight, as shown in the following video:
You can see how you can use this technique on other items like old bottles, bowls, and jars.
With upcycling, you don’t need to limit yourself to small items. You don’t even need to use only things you might already have lying around the house. You can turn your hand to larger objects like furniture, seeking out cheap pieces from thrift stores or garage sales.
This clip will give you some ideas on how to flip old furniture in this way. Essentially, you’re taking pieces that might otherwise have ended up in a skip and restoring them:
As you can see, you can get creative with upcycling, whether you use small or large items as the subject of your efforts.
If you’re a keen DIY-er or have a knack for fixing things, consider monetizing that by becoming a handyman.
There are a variety of services you could offer depending on what you can do.
So, think about jobs like painting a room or even a whole house, weeding, lawn-mowing, or hedge trimming. Even putting together flat-pack furniture is a service that provides value. It might surprise you how many people don’t have the time for it or struggle to do it themselves.
These are the types of jobs you can do without any special training, so you can get up and running pretty quickly.
You can then research and learn how to do other jobs that might need more skill or knowledge. For example, plumbing and washing machine repairs. That way, you can gradually build your offering and increase your potential market.
Even if you don’t have all the tools for each job, you can hire what you need until you feel confident about buying. Just be sure to factor in the higher cost to the price of the job. Otherwise, you may end up making a loss.
You’ll also need to check state laws to see if there are any licensing requirements. Each state has its own regulations that may require you to have a license. For example, you may need a license if the job you’re doing costs more than a certain amount. Or to carry out types of work, like electrical or HVAC-related jobs.
Once you’re ready to go, think about posting flyers or a business card in local stores or community centers. You could also post your advertising material through letterboxes in your neighborhood.
Remember also that doing a good job and providing excellent customer service is the key to making money as a handyman. If you do that, you’ll likely find you’ll pick up jobs through word of mouth. So, work will find you rather than you having to search it out.
Staying on the theme of fixing things, if you’re a sewing bee, you can put that hobby to money-making use by offering sewing and repair services.
After all, not everybody has a sewing machine, and many do not know how to use it. That’s why providing sewing services is an ideal hobby from which seniors can make money.
You can start by offering a repair and adjustment service. These are relatively quick jobs that can get the word around about your work.
You can then build up gradually to sewing things from scratch. For example, you could make clothing or custom-made curtains and cushions. That’s if you want to, as you get to choose how much or how little you do.
You can also expand the scope of your business. Instead of making things to order, make what you like and then sell it online or at craft markets. Whether you make home décor items or soft toys, you can make a few pieces and see how they sell before diving in more deeply.
You can also make money from your sewing hobby by offering lessons on using a sewing machine. Think about providing one-off sessions or a package of lessons. You can do this on a one-to-one basis or even offer a class if you’re confident speaking in front of groups of people.
You’ll know from experience that sewing is a great skill to have and an enjoyable hobby. As you can see, there are also several ways seniors can make money from it.
Local Tour Guide
If you live near a tourist area and love to show friends and family around your city when they visit, consider becoming a local tour guide.
You’ll need to have an in-depth knowledge of and a passion for the locality or some aspect of it. And, of course, you’ll have to enjoy dealing with people you don’t know.
The options for tour types are endless. For example, you could run city walking tours to provide visitors with an overview of the area. Or, think about offering tours that concentrate on one thing in detail. For example, consider creating tours of significant historical or archeological sites. Or, perhaps put together a local food tour.
Of course, you’ll need a way to get your tour guide service out there. One way to do it is to visit local hotels and leave your business cards or pamphlets with your tour details on them. Most hotels have a tour desk or display area, or you could make friends with the concierge.
You can also leave your business card or leaflets with welcome centers at major ports. Most cities also have tourist information centers. Or you can get your promotional material displayed at visitor centers at specific tourist sites.
Additionally, you can use sites like ToursByLocals and Withlocals. Use them either alongside or instead of your own marketing efforts.
These sites handle your marketing and provide you with an online booking and payment platform. Of course, you’ll have to pay a fee for the service they provide. That’s around 20% of your tour price. They’ll even pay when there’s a late cancellation, though check the precise details on each site.
You’ll need to come up with tour programs before you apply to sites like these. So it’s a good idea to give some thought to what you can offer and ensure it provides value to visitors.
It might be worth trying out your planned tours on friends and family before applying. You can then adjust the itineraries based on the feedback you get.
The more unique your tour, the more you can charge, and the happier your customers will be. That can help build your reputation, and you may end up with new customers coming directly to you by word of mouth. That’s a good thing because you’ll keep more of your tour price.
If you love dogs and love walking, you can combine the two to offer dog walking services in your locality.
Dog walking to earn money is something you can do even if you haven’t walked dogs before. But it’s worth going with family and friends when they walk their dogs to get some experience. That way, you can build confidence in handling dogs while someone is there to lend a hand.
Once you’ve gained experience and confidence, dog walking is an excellent money-making hobby. It’ll get you outdoors, keep you fit, and earn you money all at the same time. You’ll also make some new furry friends.
When you’ve gained some experience, you can start maximizing your income by taking out more than one dog at a time. However, be careful doing this. Be sure you don’t overextend yourself, as you can endanger the dogs and other people if you lose control.
Of course, as with any money-making venture, you’ll need to drum up business. It may be you can start off walking friends’ and neighbors’ dogs when they’re too busy.
That may provide the income you want. If not, you’ll need to look at advertising your service. You can do this in several ways.
One option is to get friends and family to spread the word for you. That might be verbally, or you could ask them to spread the word online on their Facebook pages. Or, you could set up your own Facebook page.
You can also advertise your service by leaving business cards or leaflets at your local veterinary surgery and in pet shops in your area.
Another option is to list your service on a site like Rover. It connects you with dog owners looking for a dog walker. Of course, you’ll pay a fee for this. On Rover, it’s 20% of your charge. That might sound hefty, but it could help you get started.
Pet sitting is another way you can cash in on your love of animals. Obviously, you could be dealing with all types of animals, not just dogs.
Pet sitting can involve taking someone else’s pet into your home, and it could be for a day or night. Or, it might be for longer periods to cover holidays or business trips.
Alternatively, it might involve you visiting to check in on and play or feed a pet left at home during the day.
A further possibility is that you might have to stay in the pet’s home. Some owners like to keep their pets in their own environment as it’s less stressful for the pet. Probably for the owner too.
If you’re called on to stay overnight in the pet’s home, it should mean you can charge more for your service, even more so if you’re asked to stay for longer than one night.
Again, sites like Rover can give you an opening into this field. Another option is to join an agency that already provides pet sitting services and obtain work through it.
For example, Fetch Pet Care has franchisees that may have openings for pet carers in your area. You might make less money than if you worked for yourself. But again, it might be a good way to kickstart this money-making activity.
If you have a musical hobby, like singing or playing a musical instrument, consider providing private tutoring.
Whether you choose to tutor children or take on older learners doesn’t matter. People of all ages want to learn to play a musical instrument or sing. So, you could teach young kids right the way through to seniors like yourself.
To pick up tutoring jobs, look at a site like Care.com. People advertise the type of music tutor they’re looking for along with the rate of pay they’re offering.
Or, you could advertise your service on Fiverr. Once you register an account, you can list your service. You’ll need to provide some details of what you’re offering, together with the rate you charge.
Another option is to sign up with a company like TakeLessons, which markets your service for you. In return, you’ll pay a fee that’s deducted from the lesson price.
Music lessons can be provided in person or online, or both. It’s up to you. If you only offer in-person lessons, you’ll be looking at a smaller market than if you go online. But there may be enough demand in your local area to keep you busy.
Cooking and Baking
Cooking and baking as a hobby have become more popular in recent years due to the plethora of culinary TV shows. It seems people just love watching other people cook and bake.
Online Cooking Classes
If you love cooking and baking, why not share your expertise or a family recipe? You can do this by providing online cookery classes.
A site like Eatwith can make it easy to start making money with your cooking skills. You can create an online cooking class and advertise it on this site. It’s up to you to set the date of your class and pricing details, plus the number of participants you can take. You then just live-stream your class at the scheduled time using video conferencing software like Zoom.
It’s up to you what format your lesson takes. You can do a simple demo of your selected dish. Or, you can do an interactive cook-along to enthuse your clients. If you take the latter option, you can supply the ingredients for your class where participants live locally. That can boost your course price.
Cook for Time-Poor Families
Another outlet for your cooking passion is to cook for families who don’t have the time to provide home-cooked meals themselves.
Rent a Grandma is a site that caters to this need. Sign up for an account and then post a description of what you’re offering with your resume.
Subscribers to the site can search for the services they want by area and contact you directly. You then sort out the details between you. The client pays Rent a Grandma a placement fee if they take you on.
So look at the site as an introduction service matching families who need help with seniors like you.
Sell Baked Goods
If baking is your passion, it’s one from which you may also be able to make money.
Everyone loves baked goods, especially the sweet variety. And if you’re already baking regularly, you can get started making money from this hobby pretty quickly.
You just need to decide what to bake and how to sell your baked goods.
The best strategy when deciding what to sell will likely be to stick with what you do best. If you’ve perfected the ideal cake, go with that. Or, if cookies or pies are your specialties, start with them.
You’ll have plenty of time later to expand the products you offer. So focus first on building a base. At the same time, you can try out and test new recipes and perfect them before launching them.
When it comes to selling your baked goods, the easiest place to start is with family and friends. If any special occasions are on the horizon, offer your baking services. You can negotiate a fee for this. Or, do it for free, using it as a platform to show off what you can do and drum up paying customers.
Another option is to check out your local bakeries, coffee shops, and bookstores. If they like what you make, they may order from you, especially if it’s something they don’t already sell.
Or, you can try going down the route of making batches to sell at local markets. The only downside to this is you’ll have to pay for your market stall. And, you may be left with a lot of baked goods if they don’t sell well.
Just be sure to check out your state’s laws on selling baked goods, as there may be some limitations you’ll need to be aware of.
While this list of the 10 best hobbies for seniors to make money isn’t comprehensive, it does provide a good range of ideas for you to consider. So, hopefully, there’s something for you here.
For some of these money-making hobbies, it’ll help if you already have experience in them. For example, providing music tutoring or sewing services. But for others, you just need to jump in and have a go.
Remember, the only failure would be not to try.
- Etsy: Etsy
- eBay: eBay
- Facebook: Facebook
- Facebook: Facebook Marketplace Directory for United States
- Pinterest: Pinterest
- Amazon: DIY Handmade Greeting Card Kit
- Youtube: 30 Amazing Handmade Jewelry Ideas
- Crayola: Air-Dry Clay
- Amazon: DAS Air-Hardening Modeling Clay
- Youtube: DIY Leaf Bowls with Air-Frying Clay
- Youtube: Air Dry Clay Jewelry for Beginners
- The Curiously Creative: The Ultimate Guide to Wood-Burning for Beginners
- Etsy: Wood Burnt Sign
- Shopify: Print on Demand: A Low-Risk Way to Sell Custom T-Shirts, Books, and More
- Tech Radar: The Best Free Photo Editors 2021: Free Photoshop Alternatives
- TeePublic: Home
- Redbubble: Redbubble
- Insider: How to Make Your Own Soap at Home, and What You’ll Need to Do It
- The Healthy Maven: Homemade Aromatherapy Candles
- Shutterstock: Become a Contributor
- Getty Images: About Getty Images and iStock
- Stocksy: Call to Artists
- Shutterstock: How is Content Reviewed?
- Stocksy: Call to Artists: Contributor Application FAQ
- Shutterstock: When you sell more, you earn more. Your earnings rate increases as more of your content is licensed
- Foap: Time to Make Extra Money With Your Videos and Photos
- Foap: Sold a Photo — How Much Will I Get?
- Foap: Missions
- EyeEm: Create Your Photographer’s Account
- Dreamstime: How to Sell Photos, Images, and Video with Dreamstime
- Wikipedia: Upcycling
- Youtube: EASY Dot Mandala MUG Painting Using ONLY Qtip Toothpick Pencil
- Youtube: EASY Dot Art Mandala Rock Painting Using ONLY Qtip Toothpick Pencil Lip Balm tool
- Youtube: My Top 5 Furniture Makeover Flips of 2020
- Wikipedia: HVAC
- Wikipedia: Welcome Centers in the United States
- ToursByLocals: Become a ToursByLocals Tour Guide
- Withlocals: What is Withlocals?
- Withlocals: What is the Withlocals Fee?
- Withlocals: My Guest Did Not Show Up: Will I Still Get Paid?
- Rover: Dog Walking Jobs
- Fetch Pet Care: Join Our Team
- Care.com: Music Tutoring Jobs
- Fiverr: Online Music Lessons
- Takelessons: Teach What You Love with TakeLessons
- Takelessons: Are there Any Fees Associated With Your Service?
- Hollywood Reporter: Welcome to Peak Food TV: Hollywood’s Growing Hunger for Culinary Shows
- Eatwith: Share Your Passion for Food on Your Own Terms
- Eatwith: Taste the World from the Comfort of Home
- Zoom: Zoom
- Rent a Grandma: Always Trust Your Grandma
- Institute for Justice: Recent Reforms for State Cottage Food and Food Freedom Laws