The Truth Behind Pricing Handmade & a Handmade Holiday Update

Have you ever wondered just how it is that a handmade business owner comes up with their prices? I have.

As a handmade business owner and designer and creator {add in marketing, customer service, product development, research, finance, etc.} … I wear a lot of hats and it’s hard to get paid what I deserve for wearing all those hats. I think pricing is a touchy subject and I know many business owners wouldn’t dream of discussing their pricing formula or plan in a blog post. On the flip side you can find many that are open and honest and want to share and encourage and be a resource for other business’. I love that.

So, as I thought about my Handmade Holiday promotions for this year I decided that I wanted to share a little more with you. In hopes that as a consumer of my products you’ll appreciate {or understand} where my prices come from {not just out of the sky!} and as a fellow Indie business owner, you might be encouraged {or share some insight with me} or look at your pricing from another perspective. It can’t hurt to have a little more openness and truth, right?

How I price my products?

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– Research & Development / Material Shopping/Purchasing::
These take a great a deal of time. Time that I don’t tend to take into consideration when I price my products. I know I should. I get it, but I don’t typically include these in my “rough price formula.”

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-Prep & Cutting::
The time I take getting my items ready to sew, cutting the fabric, interfacing, etc. I DO include this in my formula.

– Sewing::
The time it takes to sew an item … in bulk. I never sew just one item. Try to sew at least 10 of something at a time to get a good idea of how much faster batch work is for you. Faster = more profit for you!

– Physical Material Cost::
The cost of physical materials for each item created.

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– Customer Service / Shipping::Again, this SHOULD be in my formula but it’s not, or not exactly. I do factor in actual shipping supply/packaging/postage costs, but my time prepping not so much.

My very un-scientific “rough price formula”::
Physical Material Cost + Prep & Cutting Time + Sewing = Price of Item

So, that sounds nice but you want numbers, yes? Well I’d love to give you a tried and true example, but I’m being honest when I say I don’t have any of this written down. I AM NOT giving you business advice as a business PROFESSIONAL. I am not claiming my way is the right way or that you should DO THIS … I’m simply giving you a look into a real life, full-time wife & mama who is also trying to run an Indie business. It’s isn’t always pretty and it certainly isn’t as wrapped up and perfect as I’d like.

I digress …


Back to an example. Let’s use my mug rug pricing {they seem to be getting a lot of attention lately!} … which I’m going off memory mostly::

Physical Material Cost ($3.50) + Prep & Cutting Time ($0.63) + Sewing ($1.90) = $6.05

So, how did I come up with my time charges? Well, I try to make sure I make at least $10.00/hr on top of actual supplies. So I figure out how many minutes it takes me to make 1 item and I multiply by .17, my wage per minute.

Fancy? Now why do I charge between $10 = $12 for my mug rugs? Well, I try to get paid a little bit more than $10.00/hr. I also have to figure in those categories above that I didn’t as ‘scientifically’ include in my formula. Then I do market research and make sure I am not under charging, but I also try to look out for my consumers and try not to out price myself for the average person. Again, I’m sure that a PROFESSIONAL would cringe, but I have to follow my heart/gut and if I would NEVER pay that amount, how can I expect my customer to?!

So there you have it. I suppose I do a little better hourly with my mug rugs than I do say my list takers or mini wallets. A little give and take that plays into the big picture.


Handmade Holiday Update::

Back to my Handmade Holiday promotions. Unfortunately after much thought and calendar checking and praying, I made the hard decision that I would not be offering my Handmade Holiday promotions this year. I am really sorry about this as it has been something I’ve loved “giving back” to my customers. The chance to not only pick their fabrics {custom order} but do it as a discounted price! Whaaaa?!?! Yeah, I know. Again, crazy business model. Really this year it came down to time & sanity. I don’t have much of one and I hope to hold onto as much of the other as I can this time of year!


I just finished A LOT {hence lack of blogging} of sewing for Quilt Market and I’m jumping into a huge to-do list to stock the shop and my Instagram pop-up shop {@knittybittieshop} for the holidays. I WILL keep offering mug rugs at great prices through my Insta-sales AND I will offer both a BLACK FRIDAY special and a CYBER-MONDAY special. By not pre-selling my handmade holiday promotions, I hope to be able to stock the shop a little better with some of my tried and true classics along with a few new fun items. Stay tuned as we get closer for more details.

I am so thankful for all of you who support me, either by stopping by and reading, by commenting, encouraging on Instagram and supporting my shop! Thank you for your patience and understanding as I ebb and flow through this AMAZING life of mine and all the different roles I have!


  1. Thank you for your pricing formula. I had a terrible experiance lately with pricing some coffee cozies I made, and your post helps support my thoughts. Thanks again!

  2. thank you! this was perfectly timed for me as im finishing up a LOT of sewing for several holiday bazaars and ive had very mixed advice about pricing. i love that you said you have to go with what feels right in your gut, and also you cant charge a price that you would never pay. those where two things i really thought of when i made a price list and i think they are just as important as time and materials.

  3. Girl, I have been following your blog for a while now and I love everything about you and what you make. But $10/hour! Gasp! The McDonalds guy spitting in your milkshake makes more than that! You are a craft goddess and worth more! It’s okay to give yourself a raise!

    • You are SO sweet … MWAH!! It’s true, $10/hr isn’t enough but that is my ‘bare bones, I won’t make it if I can’t make at LEAST that’ value. I also think there is value in the fact that I am working from my home as my own boss with the flexibility to do laundry, sneak in a nap and bake cookies when the urge strikes that is worth way more than the McDonald’s guy $10/hr value. Thanks for your encouragement!!

  4. Renee says:

    I’ve seen a lot worse business models. Although I do agree with Molli that your work is worth more than $10 an hour – I think you nailed it in your response. As you are well aware I don’t have a creative bone in my body – so it truly amazes me what you create. You have built a successful business doing what you love, and how good is that?!

  5. Wonderful post!! I JUST opened my brand new shop – eeeek happiness – gathering all the tips possible for success. Thank you so much for sharing.

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