Thursday, December 31, 2009

Before and After

Another Before and After - I love these!

A dark wood shelf redone in white with a shabby chic touch.  It was a lot of work: sanding and painting in all of the small curves.  I am very happy with how it turned out.





Hang hang in one of two directions with a groove on one side.  Display anything: decorations, plates, pictures...or use as a spice rack.  Great versatility!

*See complete listing at:

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Tutorial: Affordable Gifts for Kids to Make

My son loves crafting and enjoys giving gifts to cousins and friends.  I don't believe in giving a gift for the sake of giving something.  I want it to be useful and fun!  So last year for the holidays, my son started making gifts. 

He melted down his broken crayons to make a large, multicolored crayons accompanied by a small tablet of paper.  We also made bubble bath of different colors.  Not only did he have fun making gifts and giving them out, his friends and cousins loved them!  Even better?  They didn't cost much!

This year we decided to do craft kits.  He loves crafting as do most kids, so we thought of a fun and very inexpensive DIY kit for kids.

Materials Needed:

- Small containers*
- popsicle sticks*
- glue bottles*
- ribbon
- scissors

*Quantity depends on how many gifts you are making.

We purchased popsicle sticks for $2.29 for a package of 150 at a toy store and glue for $0.19/bottle during the back to school sales.  We used drawers left over from a project I did and a small gift back (reused from last year).

STEP 1 - Tie a handful of popsicle stick with colored ribbon (you can also tie the bottle of glue with the sticks).  If the ribbon seems a little loose, simply slide more sticks down into the tied handful.

STEP 2 - Place in container.

Wasn't that easy?!?

We added a decorative button to the ribbon for an extra touch.  Look around your house and see what you have to decorate these with and for containers (ex. paint soup cans).

*You can also include a note with ideas of what to make with the sticks.

TOTAL COST = About $1.00 each!

Monday, December 7, 2009

Before and After:

I love seeing Before and After pictures, so I try to post them on my blog frequently.  Unfortunately I usually get so excited to redo a piece that I start working on it, then remember to take a picture.  So I finally remembered!

This is a small wood shelf with a great, useful peg.  It was white with some sort of purple design.  Solid and begging for a makeover...

So I sanded it quite a bit, painted it black, then adhered a piece of vintage sheet music to it.  I am very happy with the end result.  I will be adding it to my shop very soon!

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Craft Fair Tips For a Fun and Successful Event

We learn so much from doing craft fairs, whether they are successful or not.  My most recent craft fair a couple of weeks ago was quite successful.  My definition of successful is having a fun time and making money while sharing your craft.  That leads me to:

Tip #1: Set a goal.  What do you want to get out of the craft fair?  Then, what do you need to do to reach that goal?
If you want to sell a certain number of pieces or make a certain amount of money, then you need to do what you can to make that happen.  That often means creating more to sell.  I worked very hard for 2 weeks leading up to this craft fair to finish more pieces, but also add new products that may appeal to a craft show crowd.  Thus...

Tip #2:  Know your crowd.  How many people are expected?  Where is marketing occurring?  Where is the event being held? 
All of this can tell you something about who is attending.  You also want to have a range of prices.  Many craft show veterans will tell you that you must have lower priced items for impulse buys.  I created a new line just for craft shows that I can sell inexpensively and then use as free gifts for purchases (at shows and online).  Best if these items are no more than $5.00.  Mine range from $1-2.00.

Tip #3:  Plan your display.  How do you brand your product or your online shop?
Branding is important in a craft show display as well.  You can't just set stuff on a table and expect people to crowd to you and want to buy.  You have to draw them in.  What colors do you want to use or not use?  Think height!  Different levels really appeal to the eye and draw people in and make them want to look at everything.  I also try to set up vignettes, but that may or may not work, depending on what you sell.

**Bonus Tip**  Due to the economy, people are not spending as much as they used to.  Plan for that.
Offer deals for purchases of more than one.  For Example:  Buy one, get one half off OR $2.00 each or 3/$5.00 for example.  When thinking about your inventory, bring a variety but maybe work harder on creating more of your $25.00 and under items.

Those are my tips this time around.  I hope you find them useful.  Please comment with other ideas.  Thanks!