Pretty Ruffled Hair Clips!

Howdy friends! Today I have a fun simple hairbow idea that is also a beginner sewing project. You can use a sewing machine or a needle and thread to make gathers in 1 1/2″ satin ribbon and that is all there is to making a ruffle. I turned my ruffled ribbon into hair clips. These would be great to make for quick gifts or items to sell at a craft fair or hairbow business. See how easy it is in today’s video:

Remember you may use any of the tutorials on my blog to make stuff to sell. If you are crafting to sell you need to get the best price on the best quality materials and that is why I urge you to check out Papermart. I have found that if they sell it then they have the best  price and I have never been disappointed with the quality. I hope you enjoyed this quick and easy project and til next time happy crafting!

Ahhhh, I can relax now -or- Christmas craft fair done!

Hmm, I couldn’t quite decide on a title for tonight’s blog post. I love doing craft fairs and preparing for them but there is a span of about a week before it happens that I am a complete stressed out lunatic. When the power was out for 4 hours yesterday I could have had a psychotic break but instead I decided to sit in my living room with the wood stove on and knock out a few more watercolor cards (and film them as tutorials, hey my camera was freshly charged LOL, they are up on my YouTube channel) rather than throw a nutty. Cuz really, what would a tantrum have solved? I changed my craft fair booth up a bit going with an “L” shaped table and using all of my booth as “shoppable space” rather than hiding behind a table. I really like it more this way. I filmed a video showing how I set up and share tips for craft fair sellers:

What do you think? OK, you are probably wondering how the show went…

…it was S-L-O-W! But, that’s OK, the people who came were ready to shop (it’s 12 days till Christmas you know!) and I was prepared for the slowness by having my watercolors and blank cards so I could create custom cards on the spot. I also found that it drew people into my booth that might have been shy about coming over, what can I say I’m quite a spectacle to behold! LOL did I mention there was juggling?

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So I thought that I would offer some  more tips for those of you selling (or wanting to sell) at craft fairs:

  1. If you make jewelry, clothes or knits wear them! I got a commission to make a wrap like I was wearing for a lady, she even paid me half up front! It may seem obvious what items will look like on but you will have more buyers if you wear it! “hmmm, this is a necklace but good heavens, what will I do with it?” I am not kidding.
  2. Demonstrate a product. I brought my watercolors, a waterbrush and blank cards along in case it was slow. I painted cards on demand and people who might have walked on by stopped to watch. I also juggled which caught the eye of another vendor who snuck over to grab a set of juggling balls for her grandson. She never would have seen them otherwise!
  3. Act like you are happy to be there! Nobody wants to buy from a sourpuss. Be friendly but not stalky. Let them know you are here to help or explain anything to them. Also get to know your neighbor because you can keep an eye on each other’s booths if you need to grab a cup of coffee or go pee..and you will need to go pee after all of that coffee!
  4. Price everything. People won’t ask. Just price it.
  5. Speaking of pricing charge a fair price, you work hard at your craft, it probably is not going to make you rich but you should at least earn minimum wage for your labor. Rather than discounting a $5 pair of earrings to $3 offer 3 pair for $10 or $5 each. That way your best customers get the best deal and no one feels ripped off.  I feel the same way about offering slashed prices at the end of the day (unless it is perishable) because how would you feel if you paid full price and then walked by a booth and they were selling it cheaper to someone else? Next time that person will wait til the end of the day to buy. My prices are the same at 9am as they are at closing. I saw people giving away their stuff at the end of the day! You need to value your work and charge for your time, you are worth it.
  6. Upcycle items for display. Buying fancy displays cut into your profits and if you are a first timer it will put you into the red. Use crates and suitcases that can be used as storage and display. Build tables from saw horses and hollow doors (nobody will know after you put on a table cloth!) and use boxes and baskets to make your table tidy! Old picture frames make great displays, you can staple wire mesh to the back or add foam core to make a pin board display. You can even glue clothespins to the backing board to clip cards and stuff up on! My standing display racks were throw-aways from a local store, keep those eyes peeled when you see a shop changing displays! They might give you the old one or sell it cheap!

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I bet the question that you all are too polite to ask is how much did I sell? Well, we are friends so I’ll tell you:  about $220, I say about because my 3 kids were hitting me up for cash throughout the day hahaha! I not going to complain, it was good considering the low turnout for the show, with a strong turnout I reckon I would have tripled it but you just never know, factors like it being so close to Christmas, the frigid coldness today and a snowstorm on the horizon for tonight may have pushed people to go to town to hit the big stores rather than a leisurely craft fair shopping day. Still it beats staying home and making nothing! :D I had a hunch it would be slow and I’m glad I brought my watercolors. I had a fun day and so did the shoppers and the kids who came to see Santa and partake of the candy buffet and other activities. Go into a craft fair with a positive attitude and you will do well no matter how much you sell! Thanks for stopping by and til next time happy crafting!

Christmas Tree Paper Bead Earrings!

Hello Friends! I am in the holiday mood! I have been picking away at my Christmas shopping online and making stuff to sell at the craft fair in December. I was making some paper beads earlier this fall and they were coming out cone shaped and I thought that it would be great to make in green for Christmas Trees!  What do you think?

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I had some leftover paper strips so I made some more of my  Pandora Style Paper Beads too. I love the glassy look I get from the UTEE. Here is a video showing how to make the earrings.

And yes, you can make these to sell with my full permission! :D I think these lightweight earrings are perfect for children to wear as well as teacher gifts. If you don’t have UTEE you can use clear nail polish or Mod-Podge to glaze them. that way the kids could make these without worrying about burns.  I hope this project helps you get into the holiday spirit! Thanks for stopping by and til next time happy crafting!

Video Tutorial: Ric-Rac Roses!

Howdy friends! Do you have spools of ric-rac in your craft room waiting to be used on the perfect project? Well here is that project! After you get the hang of making these you will want to buy ric-rac in bulk so you can make a bunch! I used the large ric-rac trim from Papermart.

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I get it in white so I can dye it whatever color I want. The headbands, hair clips and earrings are great craft fair items. I love that the earrings can be glued to post back or clip-on earrings making them a prefect little girl gift!

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Ready to make these? Check out the video to see how. Don’t worry if the ric-rack unwinds on you the first couple of times, you will get the hang of it.

I hope you enjoyed this quick craft! Please check out our sponsor, Papermart,  for the materials I used in my video and other great products too! If you have any questions leave a comment and I will get back to you. Thanks for stopping by and til next time happy crafting!

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My First Spring Craft Fair Experience!

Howdy folks! Now gather ’round y’all and hear the tale of my latest crafty adventure: Selling crafts at the local Parent Teacher Group Spring Fair. I have been taking my kids to our school Spring Fair since they were toddlers. It is not a craft fair, it is  a carnival like fair with bounce houses, games, photo booth, hair salon and a huge silent auction. The proceed benefit the PTG which provide funding for field trips, technology and classroom supplies for the teachers… basically they pay for everything the school budget does not. Cost for a table was $15. There is always a big crowd and everyone has a great time!

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I vaguely remembered they had vendors at this event (I was usually too busy chasing after my kids to notice LOL!) so this year when the form went out I was the first to sign up and I requested the spot in the breeze-way between the gym (where all of the games were) and the cafeteria where all of the food was sold and auction was being held. I knew most people would pass right by my booth several times during their visit and since I was the fist one to fill out my form and send my $15 payment I got the spot.

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I was allowed to set up my booth the night before. They wanted to make sure it was not going to stick out too much and block traffic. Also if it was not going to work they were going to put me in the cafeteria and they would rather know that the night before and not the morning before the event. Tearing down a booth and moving would take time!

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I planned to push my table against the wall so I could lean my two large display boards against the wall. I put a rack at each end of the table, one for cards and one for packages barrettes and pendents. I had one more rack I could have brought but I didn’t want to press my luck! :P

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What worked…and what did not…

People did not have time to stop and browse, almost all of the women were chasing after their kids or volunteering. There is not much in my booth for men (who probably were not thinking about mother’s day yet LOL!) A couple of people asked to shop early because they would be working all day (yes please!) and I had a fair amount of children shopping, they really liked the bright bottle cap jewelry my daughters made! Next year (yes, I am totally doing this fair again) I will have some more kid-themed products to appeal to the children at a lower price point that kids can afford. My Enchanted Bubble Wands were my top seller at $5 each, also were my $5 earrings, I made a batch of summer lampwork glass earrings that went over great. Never underestimate novelty! As I was setting up my earring display board and was thinking that if I made my earring cards half the size I could get twice as much on the board but I think that would be a mistake because the stamped ATC frames showcase the earrings better that small traditional cards would. The large shopping bag caddies also sold pretty well when people knew what the heck they were LOL! People were worried about pulling out the bags and messing up my display, “don’t worry about that, pull them out and have a look!” I said. It is important to be OK with people rifling through your wares, don’t worry about it. Remember who needs who more in this relationship. If people are afraid to touch anything you won’t sell anything!

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That said your display should look nice, nice but approachable. Smile and talk about your work. Price everything. Tell people what a product is if it is not obvious, a lot of people won’t ask because they don’t wan to look foolish. Engage your customers but don’t be pushy, you don’t want people to sprint by your table because they are afraid you will snare them LOL!

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Bottom Line: I set a goal of $300 in sales for this 3 hour fair. I knew this goal was high because people do not come to the carnival to shop but the crowd is huge here so I figured people in need of mother’s day cards and gifts as well as goodies for themselves would make up for that. I sold about 40 items. I’m glad I brought a variety of things because sales were all over the place, there were a lot of things I sold only 1 of like a matted watercolor, a set of juggling balls, a bird’s nest pendent…if I decided to leave anything home who knows how I would have done? Cards sold well, mostly mother’s day seed packet cards but other random ones did too. You just never know. I came in at a little over half of my goal but more importantly the knowledge of what to do next time so I am more profitable. I am not discouraged at all, anytime you attempt vending at a fair you gather data, pay attention to the shopping habits of a particular crowd. I had nothing breakable on my table so it was approachable for all (heck I could have taken out my displays with my juggling balls at any moment LOL!) no worries of ruining anything.

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I’m thinking with all of the inventory I currently have I might rent a stall at an antiques mall. I have done it a couple of times before and it was quite profitable and a place to keep merchandise when not at shows. I feel like I am really getting the hang of setting up/tearing down a show (thanks Kath for helping mt tear down LOL!) and honestly, I just have a ball! I hope I have helped anyone thinking about selling their crafts.  I want to share what worked for me and what did not to hopefully help others. Making stuff is awesome fun & selling it is pretty cool too! Thanks for stopping by and til next time happy crafting!

A Bunch of Brooches!

I whipped up a a bunch of the spring brooches this weekend, this was the idea that sparked the statement jewelry.

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They are just the thing to liven up a scarf or jacket for spring! I’m gonna sell them for $2 at the Spring Fair! Wish me luck and happy crafting!

Make a Statement {Necklace!}

Happy Saturday folks! First I want to apologize to all of my papercrafters out there since my current jewelry obsession has taken over my blog (as it does whenever I am preparing for a craft fair) but I have some stamping to do today so I am planning on posting a card tomorrow. You see I imagine all of my readers are just waiting with bated breath to read my posts HA HA :D ! I had a burst of creativity yesterday morning after coming across a tray full of glass pebbles I had altered months ago (while looking for jewelry price tags) and I was inspired to make this:

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It’s a statement necklace and it is super fun! basically you cut a “bib” from felt and you glue anything you like to it such as flowers, buttons, gems, anything! I used silk flowers and the flat backed glass marbles I had altered. Then I added some raveled rose ribbon and added ribbon crimps (see how to video here) a bit of chain and a toggle clasp to the back.

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Quick, Easy and Fun and one more item for my craft fair table. I can see myself making more of these. They are eye-catching and a fun accessory! Thanks for stopping by and til next time happy crafting!

WOYWW: Sewing & Silliness {How to Juggle Tutorial}

Happy Wednesday folks! I love Wednesdays because it gives me a chance to peek at hundreds of crafty desks through the marvelous event know as What’s on Your Workdesk Wednesday! Here’s what I’ve been up to this week:

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Sewing! My sewing nook is wonderful, it is ergonomic (no sore shoulders after a day of sewing) and since I have my big table I have room to iron and cut fabric (no more cutting fabric on my bed and hoping I don’t snip the bedspreads!) and I can keep all of my mess in my craftroom instead of overtaking the house.  Last week I asked if I should so a weekly video blog and the answer was a surprising (and resounding) yes, wow, you actually want to hear me gab about what’s on my crafty little mind?!? So here is my WOYWW video blog, grab 3 objects because today folks, we are going to learn how to juggle!

Once you learn how to juggle it is addicting (so I apologize if you had things to do today) there is something zen-like about it.  The juggling bags were made from my scraps from my shopping bag (carrier bags for you British folks) caddies:

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I used to have this eyesore hanging on my door, all of those bags fit into the one caddy and I can even fit more! I made a smaller version for the car and dog walkers, I have to thank You Tube viewer Snoopy for the clever name P.U.P. bags, it stands for Pick Up Poop, way better marketing, thanks Snoopy! I’ll have a tutorial for you next week sometime!

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The juggling bags are made from 5″x5″ scraps sewn up and filled with 3/4 cup of rice. I love no waste projects!

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So what’s on your workdesk today? Leave a link, I would love to see! And be sure to check out Julia’s blog for all of the WOYWW fun! Thanks for stopping by and til next time happy crafting!

 

Make a pretty key-chain…

Howdy all! here is a project that will stretch your options with your jewelry making supplies and make a great gift of craft fair item:

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All you need is a key ring, flexible beading wire (like Tigertail or Accuflex) a large focal bead (I used a bobbin bead-see yesterday’s post for a how to), a charm and a  coordinating bead and two #4 crimp tubes.

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How to build the key chain:

  1. Cut 12″ of wire. Slip a charm (or a bead) to the mid-point and fold the wire in half.
  2. Slide the wire ends through the hole in the large focal bead (the first bead with keep the beads secure.)
  3. Place on another bead then slip on 2 #4 crimp beads (both wires in both tubes.)
  4. Put the ends of the wires through the key ring and then back through both crimp tubes.
  5. Feed the ends of the wires back through the beads if there is room. Trim any wire sticking out past the focal bead.
  6. Squeeze the crimp tubes closed using crimp plies if you have them (they will give you a nicer look and a more secure hold) or needle-nosed plies if you don’t.
  7. Tie a scrap of ribbon around the crimp tubes. Done!

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A pretty key chain can be used to hold your keys (of course) but it can also be clipped to a purse, luggage or a backpack for decoration or identification. Thanks for stopping by and til next time happy crafting!

Warm & Fuzzy {A Quick Gift to Make!}

Happy Friday folks! If you have a little crafting time this weekend you can whip up a batch of these cute hand warmers:

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They are super easy and really useful! Here’s what you will need: Felt, fabric shears, rice, a paper template  (you can trace a cookie cutter or print a shape from the computer then cut out the shape), a sewing machine or needle and thread.

  1. Hold two pieces of felt together (or fold one sheet in half) and place the paper template on top and cut around the edges with fabric shears. You can use straight shears, pinking or whatever kind you like!
  2. Sew the two shapes together neatly (raw edges will show but felt will not fray) but leave a 1.5″ gap.
  3. Fill with rice.
  4. Stitch the gap closed.

Tips: if you are using a sewing machine be sure to back-stitch at the start and end of your stitching to make sure the stitch is secure. You could add herbs to the hand warmers, such as lavender, to make them smell nice. If you want to embroider anything on the hand warmers do so before sewing. If you find you felt shifting when you sew just pin it a few times and the pieces will stay together.

To finish pin the set together and add a tag that says: Hand warmers. To use microwave for 30 seconds on high then slip into your mittens or pockets to keep your hands toasty warm!

Thse really work too, i use my prototype every morning when I walk the dog! I used 25-cents-a-sheet craft eco-felt but wool felt would be lovely too! Thanks for stopping by and til next time happy crafting

 

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