Recommended, 2024

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The big DIY report

Report: Do It Yourself

Do it yourself (short: DIY) is booming! More and more young women are making, knitting and sewing with passion.

Photo: Thinkstock
  1. To live out your own style
  2. Herself is the woman
  3. Make money with DIY
  4. The first step
  5. Go to markets
  6. Sell ​​online
  7. Private or commercial?
Her motivation: Being creative is fun, shows her own distinctive style â € "and you can even earn money with it. 13 JOY readers tell us with which original ideas they have realized themselves.

To live out your own style

We live in an era of universal high-tech service, coffee to go and instant message instead of love letter - and now that: 65 percent of German women are suddenly excited about crafts, knitting or sewing. Fashionistas wear homemade scarves, hip students hand-sewn messenger bags from truck tarpaulins.

It is the uniqueness and individuality that make Do It Yourself, DIY for short, so popular. Whoever wears home-made signs: "I am not a mainstream, but a woman with my own style!" Just like fashion icon Vivienne Westwood, who also propagated DIY fashion last year. Whether fashion, jewelry, polished furniture or jam: mainly handmade.

Herself is the woman

In German cities, knitting nights, craft parties and courses are finding more and more popularity. Young women attend workshops to acquire a craft - and to meet nice people. Selfmadeblogs and portals like Etsy, DaWanda or are booming. And those who have two left hands are buying the products on the Internet or on markets.

Claudia Helming, founder of the DIY portal DaWanda

The trend manifests itself in numbers: "In 2008 we had 160, 000 registered users, today there are over two million, " says Claudia Helming, Managing Director of DaWanda, Germany's largest portal for networking, selling and finding DIY products.

Make money with DIY

"Not only thriftiness, but also sustainable thinking fuels the hand-making idea. You buy products with history, often from recycled material. Things with a human being, a face behind it, things that last a long time and that no one else possesses. "She explains herself as a craft boom:" Today, many people are unhappy in their jobs. Since DIY is a perfect balance. Being able to design something from start to finish is extremely satisfying. "

Nice bonus: DIY can even make money. "All you need is a sense of business, a good feel for the right product and enough stamina."

"The idea arose while I was pregnant." Anna Weis (33), "Petit Nel", accessories and paper works, Berlin

When my two daughters (3 and 6) sleep in the evening, I go to the small shop under our apartment. There is my realm, where I make or sew for my label. It all started in 2006: the first time I was pregnant, talking to my unborn daughter, putting on a pacifier chain, sewing a butterfly shirt for her.

It was magical and exactly what I wanted to do: be 100 percent creative and let off steam - in my main job as a graphic designer, I have to fulfill the wishes of the customers. During pregnancy, I founded my label for bags, custom postcards, buttons and more, sold on markets and opened a store on DaWanda. Meanwhile, "Petit Nel" already makes up a third of my income!

"I could live on it!" Christine Auser (39), "Antlers", roebuck objects and home accessories, Aschaffenburg


I am a passionate flea market goer and like to browse for vintage treasures that I can bring to fruition. When I bought old antlers three years ago, I actually wanted to use them as a key hook. But they seemed too naked to me anyway. So I started to refine them with fabrics and color.

After putting a few photos of it on the net, I realized that there are quite a few "crazy" people out there who found my ideas great! And most of all wanted. So in 2010 "antler" was created. As the manager of a bar, I do not have to live off my precious kitsch. But I could: my shop makes 2, 000 to 4, 000 euros in sales per month.

"I add new life to furniture." Jeanette Frerichs (37), "Eye-catching furniture", works on old furniture, Güster

Last summer I noticed an ugly, but solid sideboard on the bulky waste in the hands. I got pity: so good wood, and now it should be burned, just because someone wants to buy a modern thing made of compressed wood. I took it home and began to breathe new life into it with color - and then came the idea: I've always been creative, so I could also commercialize this creativity.

Since then, I have been looking for antique pieces or on the net for interesting parts, which I then refine and resell on a DaWanda store. Because I do not currently work as an educator anyway because of my three children, I rented a workshop and am now active every day. Although the merit is rather low, the feeling of creating something by hand is unbeatable.

"Marmalades as of grandma were my gap in the market." Cordula Seidl-Kraus (28), "Corcuisine", jams and syrup, Tegernheim


I enjoy it so it has always annoyed me that industrial food is on the rise. Everything tastes the same and in strawberry yogurt there are often no strawberries left! So in 2010 I started cooking like my grandmother used to do jam. The incomparable taste was like a journey into childhood!

I experimented with herbs such as basil and lavender, spices and tea and sold my bottles at markets. The run on it was so enormous that in 2011 I started my own business with the spreads. Today, I earn as much as I did before as a hotel business administrator, but work more for that. But it's great to be my own master - and when I discover my glasses in a shop, my heart is throbbing with pride!

"I prefer to be an artist rather than an architect." Stéphanie Kilgast (27), "PetitPlat", dining miniatures and accessories, Vannes / France

Actually, I'm an architect. But already at the end of my studies I noticed that neither a theoretical computer job nor a teamwork was really my thing. On the other hand, I love to do something with my hands. In 2008, I started kneading with polymer clay, just as compensation. I made food items, lemons, baguettes, little cakes. All my friends and girlfriends were delighted when they saw my works!

The more I made of it, the smaller and more detailed they became. One evening I put three miniatures on Etsy, the next morning two of them were already gone! While still a master I was able to live from PetitPlat - and so far I have only seen architecture firms from the outside.

"I taught myself everything." Andrea Fischer (34), "Andiva", decorative objects, jewelery and accessories, Oberammergau


In my work as an occupational therapist I hammer and saw daily with developmentally delayed children. From them I learned how happy and proud crafts can be. That's why I keep working after work, with fine silver, felt or ceramics. I taught myself everything. Whether lunch baskets made of wine corks, felt monsters or hand-carved stamps - my parts are always pretty wild.

At the beginning, when I was at the market in Oberammergau at Christmas 2008, I felt like the strange star among all the wooden cribs. Meanwhile, you can find many cool people with fancy objects in the markets. It's worth it: For two years, I have been financing my vacations and even enough for a few extra dives on site.

"All colleagues ordered my cell phone cases." Cornelia Würbser (29), "Concuela", mobile phone cases and jewelry, Munich

Immediately after graduating, I got a job as a designer at BMW - actually a stroke of luck. But also one-sided: The whole day was all about cars, cars, cars. To compensate, I sewed, designed and embroidered after work, as in the past: clothes, jewelry, mobile phone cases. I've always liked needlework, I like it when things are unique and not subject to fashion.

Christmas 2008 I gave my BMW colleagues cell phone cases - after that there was a veritable casserole around my desk, all ordered the cases as Christmas gifts. Then I sensed that I had found a gold vein. In May 2009 I founded an online store. Since then, the orders have flooded me. There are even so many that I quit at BMW!

"For me, 25 grandmas knit." Verena Röthlingshöfer (32), "MyOma", hand-knitted, Fürth

I am a real Omakind, used to spend as much time as possible with my grandmother, who always rattled with knitting needles. The idea for MyOma was obvious: Older ladies like to knit, love company and are happy about a small additional income. And hand-knitted hats or scarves last forever - and are hip.

For this I have provided with 100 modern designs that you can customize with us. I had to invest 20, 000 euros - others buy a car for the money, I founded MyOma. With a little luck, I can even live on it soon. And when I see how proud our Franconian grandmothers are in our regular coffee and knitting rounds, when they receive personal thank-you messages, my heart beats!

"Anyone can sew with my designs!" Silke Türck (41), "Schnittchen", pattern shipping, Munich


I like cool, unique fashion and I like to dress myself. But I have always found it difficult to find casual and above all easy cuts and instructions. Sewing was something for older people back then. About three years ago, it became more fashionable, the women in the fabric stores younger, the fabrics hipper. "Then I'm going to make patterns that even beginners can handle easily, " I thought to myself.

Completely self-taught I designed simple young models and designed understandable instructions. In 2011 I already took a cutting technician and founded "Schnittchen". A full-time job, which was often so complicated that my husband had to give me courage. In the meantime, things are going well, and you can now buy a first collection in fabric and dry goods stores. And I am happy every day about the creative challenge!

"We want to create something lasting." Chrish & Jenny Klose (37 and 35), "Wednesday Paper Works", high quality stationery, Berlin

When we enter our old workshop in Kreuzberg in the morning, we feel like we are on a journey through time. Our bookbindery, which we have been operating since 2011, exudes a special smell. The rustling of the papers is so sensual, to touch the raw linen of the books so beautifully ... Already while my sister Jenny studied English, she fell in love with the bookbinding trade.

Today, together we produce beautifully designed blank notebooks and books - for baby memories, diaries or recipe collections. As a graphic artist, I make the designs, my sister then sets them. Everything disappears very quickly on the net, but in a cookbook in which our customers write down their favorite recipes, even their grandchildren are browsing!

"After the termination I started by." Andrea Grassl (44), "Anlukaa", glass jewelry, Garching an der Alz


I used to put beads on chains to switch off after work, that was really meditative. But I always found the pearls that are available to buy boring. In the US you could order fantastic glass beads, but at adventurous prices! Eight years ago, I accidentally saw in a market how to make these colorful magic pieces myself. I really wanted to learn that!

I searched for a course for a long time - at that time there were very few - and finally found one at a glassblowing in Burghausen. Gradually, I have certainly invested 3, 000 euros, for courses, a kiln, a ventilation system ... In 2007, as my job as a media designer was rationalized, I tried it professionally. It was the best decision of my life, even if I earn less than before.

"Women love my colors, which do not drip!" Anna von Mangoldt (27), "Anna von Mangoldt Colors & Design", color design and workshops, Nieheim-Holzhausen


At home we were five children, we lived in a country house in Sweden style. My mom and I often painted the walls and furniture. But the colors always dripped and stank. When I went to England in 2007 to study art history, I had the good fortune to take courses and holiday internships with interior icon Annie Sloan.

There I discovered that the English have great colors - which I really wanted to bring to Germany. I mixed, tasted, sought traders for the raw materials. Today I develop my own colors on a chalk basis, odorless, creamy - and above all they do not drip. I also give workshops on how to design furniture and walls. The need is huge: 90 percent of my clients are women!

Tips for a creative restart

The first step

If you plan to make money from your creations, you will now collect any receipt, any expenses that you spend on your products. Determine how much money and how much working time each piece you make will cost you. Expect the time you spend photographing, because good product photos are essential. This may require the purchase of a professional camera.

Go to markets

"Test" your products with friends and acquaintances, but especially at handcraft, Easter or flea markets. The direct contact with the customers helps you with the later online sales. Are your clothes doing well? Do you hear the same criticism several times? It is very helpful if you also accept debit and credit card payments with your smartphone. However, such services cost around the 2.75 percent fee, eg. B. at

Sell ​​online

If you do not want to pay for a programmer, you can design a store yourself with a modular system (eg Jimdo) or open a shop at a sales portal. Most portals have simple step-by-step instructions and legal advice, such as: B. for revocation. Whether Ebay, Etsy or DaWanda - all require a small adjustment fee per item (on DaWanda 10 to 30 cents) plus share of sales revenue (about 5 percent).

Private or commercial?

Anyone who manufactures goods to sell them, acts with profit and must register a trade with all rights and obligations. Only basement finds like a home made toy or a single pair of hand knitted socks are private sales. The scheduled production or processing makes you an entrepreneur and thus subject to VAT. It counts the intention, not the quantity or the turnover.

Register a small business with the city administration. You have a small business if you do not make more than 17, 500 euros in the first year. Then you will also get back the VAT.

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