If you’re a creative kind of person who very much needs to be hands on in the manufacture of their product, then here are some potential career routes that could result in a successful flexible or work from home job.

1. Cake baker

Love to bake? Do you have a talent for creating delectable masterpieces? If so, a career as a home-baker could be for you. However before embarking on this route you should be aware that this is an incredibly competitive arena because of the low barrier to entry and a recent resurgence in interest in baking due to shows like The Great British Bake Off. You will need to be aware of trends (what’s the new cupcake??) and be prepared to differentiate yourself for example by catering to food intolerances such as gluten and dairy free, or specialisations such as wedding cakes.

Prior investment/ experience needed:

As well as setting yourself up as a sole trader, you’ll need to have your premises inspected and registered at least 28 days before you start to trade. You should use the government tool to make your application. You’ll also need public liability insurance and product liability insurance.

Aside from this you will need reliable equipment, a talent for making delicious food and a good idea of how to get clients. This might be via local independent cafes who often look for unusual products to differentiate themselves from the chains, or by tapping into local networking groups to find people looking for one-off commissions.

You might want to hone your skills with a cake decorating course or baking course, which can be quite expensive, for example Confection perfection is offering a course on setting up your own baking business for £200.

Amount of time required:

This is entirely up to you, depending on how ambitious you are for your business. But given how low the margins are, you will need to dedicate a good number of hours to baking each week if you want to see a decent return.

Potential income:

Depending on your level of skill you should seek to make around £30 profit per cake, and if you’re starting up then you are likely to be making up to 3 cakes per week.

2. Craft maker

If you’re a crafty person in the best sense of the word, then why not turn your hobby into an income stream? There are plenty of outlets for unique craft pieces, such as Etsy or notonthehighstreet.com and you can easily set up your own online store using Shopify or Woocommerce on a WordPress blog.

Prior investment / experience needed:

You will need a great love of what you do, as it’s unlikely to generate a significant income unless you are very fortunate. You’ll need to be skilled in the craft you pursue, and have a USP to stand out on social media (particularly pinterest and instagram). There are plenty of courses that you can take in particular craft areas, ranging from short courses to full-time degrees, but you don’t have to be qualified, you just need originality and quality.

In terms of expense, you’ll obviously need to factor in stock costs as well as potentially postage, plus any outlay on your retail mechanism (whether online or real-world).

Amount of time required:

You’ll need to factor in time to promote your business and administer clients.

Potential income:

For the vast majority of people this will be a hobby with a hobbyist’s income, but there are certainly cases where people have struck a vibe and managed to turn their hobby into a full-blown income. So if you can afford it, persevere and see where it takes you.

3. Furniture up-cycler

With the nation’s current obsession in ‘shabby chic’ and vintage, there is massive demand for restored or up-cycled furniture and ornaments. Original pieces can often be picked up cheaply, redone and sold on for a profit. This can be tremendously satisfying for the restorer, and can be an opportunity to make beautiful bespoke pieces for a fraction of what they would cost to buy new.

Prior investment / experience needed:

This is an area where you can learn as you go, but it’s a good idea to read about it or take a course (on or offline) in order to master techniques such as sanding, soldering or upholstering.

Amount of time required:

This can be quite a time-consuming career as you not only have to do the work and promote your brand to find clients, but you also have to source pieces. Trawling charity shops, antique shops and emporiums has to become an important part of your working week, and you’ll definitely have a great buyer’s rating on ebay!

Potential income:

It’s unlikely upcycling alone will generate a significant income, but if you package it alongside other services such as interior design advice or personal shopping, then it can form an interesting part of a varied portfolio.

4. Personal stylist

Do you love fashion? Spend your evenings flipping through the pages of Vogue? If you have a good eye for what outfits suit different people and a diplomatic personality, then you could be cut out to be a personal stylist and shopper.

Prior investment / experience needed:

Retail experience in a clothing store, or as a buyer would be an advantage so that you have a good eye for the different options available. It’s imperative to stay on top of trends, whilst being able to twist them to suit different ages and body-shapes. You might consider taking courses in colour matching, or even in personal styling itself such as this week-long course at the London College of Style.

Amount of time required:

You will need to travel to your client, which may take some time. You’ll then spend time discussing their requirements, potentially decluttering their existing wardrobe, before taking them out shopping. All this on top of the usual promotion and admin of your business.

Potential income:

This clearly depends on your location and the maturity of your business, but it can be extremely lucrative. To give an example, an established personal stylist in the SE is charging £240 for a four hour half day, and £375 for a full day (7 hours).

5. Photographer

Photography is often the domain of sole traders. You might decide to specialise, for example weddings or new-born babies but essentially the nuts and bolts of running the business are the same.

Prior investment / experience needed:

You need a great eye, should be an accomplished amateur photographer and will ideally have photographed a high-pressure event or two such as a wedding or important family gathering so that you know you can handle the expectation.

A useful tip is to approach an established photographer and ask them if you can work as an apprentice for them to learn the tricks of the trade.

You must have great people skills, and to have the knack of getting people to relax and lose their inhibitions.

On top of that you must be incredibly organised, and make sure you have the right kit when you need it.

In terms of investment, you’ll need at least two cameras, and associated kit such as a variety of lenses, a tripod and a remote trigger. In addition to this the printing of photos is often left up to the photographer so you’ll either need a high quality printer or source a reliable third party supplier.

As well as all this you’ll need the usual marketing collateral to push your brand as with many other small businesses. The quality of your portfolio is essential to convincing people to take you on.

Once you’re established, you may need a studio to meet and potentially photograph clients in.

Amount of time required:

This all depends on the type of photography that you are planning to undertake. Weddings are high margin for example, but they will take up your weekend so may not be practical. You will also need to have meetings in advance, and a post-event meeting of 2-4 hours. So a single wedding, which might net around £1000 – £1500 for an established photographer, may take around 12 hours of work.

Potential income:

A reasonably successful part-time photographer will make in excess of £20k per year.

We hope you’ve enjoyed this round-up of work from home jobs for creatives. If you’re still looking for inspiration then please check out our ideas for work from home jobs for writers and also if you’re looking for some extra support then try our top tips for working from home.