Making Clothespins
As A Craft Business

By: Herrick Kimball
Dateline: January 1, 2015

I'm smiling because all the work of 
milling those clothespin halves is finally done!

Making clothespins as a personal woodworking project, to give as beautiful, functional, heirloom-quality gifts, is one good reason to make them. But handcrafted clothespins can be a nifty little home business too. 

My experience has been that people who use clothespins for hanging clothes, and who are totally frustrated by using cheap, imported clothespins, will pay a premium for dependable traditional-style clothespins. The demand for such clothespins is high. That being the case, I believe there is a lot of opportunity for any woodworker who has the skills and patience to craft clothespins.

How much you can make with this unique business idea will vary, depending on how much you pay for the wood, the efficiency of the tools you use, how organized you are, and how well you market yourself. 

Make no mistake about it... milling hundreds of square feet of lumber into thousands of clothespins is tedious work. It is not a race—it’s a marathon. You’ll know exactly what I mean if you undertake the project. And you will realize that it is not “easy money.”

But it can be a downright satisfying little niche business, especially when you start getting positive feedback from your customers. People who use and know clothespins absolutely love these Classic Americans!

If you have an interest in making clothespins as a side-hustle business, get the specifications pdf, a couple clothespin samples, and some springs. The pdf download gives you all the information that I wish I had when I wanted to make my own clothespins back in 2012. 

Next, make a small batch of clothespins to give as gifts. Keep track of your costs and the time it takes you. Then, come to your own conclusions about the viability and profitability of this money-making idea.

In other words, dip your toe in the water before you jump in.

One of the nice things about making and selling artisan clothespins is that the market for handcrafted clothespins is very big, while the number of artisan clothespin makers will probably never be very big. 

The reason there will probably never be a lot of artisan clothespin makers is that relatively few woodworkers have the patience and the focused determination to make and sell high-quality clothespins. 

It takes a lot of initiative and effort to develop your small-scale production system. Then there is the time and effort that needs to go into marketing. Quality clothespins practically sell themselves, but you still need to come up with an internet presence and get the word out. It also takes time for word-of-mouth from satisfied customers to shift into gear. 

But, if you have the patience, the determination, and a long-term business perspective, you can become a true artisan clothespin-maker with a loyal following and a successful craft business.