Craft Fairs, Bookmarks & Squirrels in my Van…

Hi friends! This has been such an unusual week with a lot of stuff going on that it seems like it must be Thursday or Friday but nope, only Tuesday. Do you ever have weeks like that? I think it might be because I did a craft fair on Saturday. I haven’t done one in a while. Look at my booth!

37153041_10212122343519268_8399165665268727808_o

I can’t remember the last time I did an outdoor show, probably the sidewalk art festival back in 2002 when I was pregnant with Jackson! The weather was nice and I figured it would be slow as it was the premier year for this show so I brought along my trusty Meeden fan watercolor palette and some bookmarks I cut from watercolor paper. I use the 6″x9″ aquabee paper and made them 2 1/4″ x 6″ so I got 4 per sheet.

37131114_10212124081162708_7887309248391020544_o

I even sold a few on the spot so that was cool. I am really glad I brought them as the event went from 9-4 but there were no more customers after 2pm. The organizers gave vendors permission to leave at 2:15 because it was so slow but I personally have a problem packing up early when I have advertised I would be there til 4. I felt bad because a family traveled an hour to see the pets there were up for adoption from a local charity (it was a vendor fair and not strictly a craft fair, the library was having a huge used book sale too) and they had left. Maybe I am an uptight fuddy-duddy but I think if an event is advertised for a certain time vendors should stay til the end. I have made too many “last 15 minute of the show” sales in the past to pack up early.  Having the extra time I was able to organize all of my inventory and pack it carefully rather than the last-minute dash I usually have and then the mess to sort out later. I enjoyed painting the bookmarks so much I made some more out of the Shizen Indian handmade watercolor paper I bought myself on my birthday. That paper was 5″x7 so I got two 2.5″x7″ bookmarks per sheet. I also tried that Meeden palette with my regular brushes and water as opposed to the waterbrush that it came with. I like the combo of real brushes on this textured paper for loose techniques and for pennies a bookmark I can afford to experiment!

37249593_10212139071137448_8071853053818437632_o

I filmed a proper review of these paints today but I probably won’t have the video up til next week. So you might be wondering about the squirrels, well I took my minivan to the shop today to get an oil change and inspection sticker and look what they found under the hood!

20180717_092153

they made a nest with leaves and pine needles and chewed on one wires! Naughty squirrels! I have a hard time believing that my sweet grey squirrels did this, I think it was the red squirrels at camp because I left my van in the same spot all week (I take lazy vacationing very seriously) and I also fed the red squirrels some peanuts I had in my car. Probably not the best idea in hindsight. I also gave them some bread and pizza. Luckily The damage was repaired and it wasn’t very expensive. I had thought I might be waiting in the shop for a while so I brought my sketchbook and worked on some upcoming rubber stamp designs I have coming out soon! I knew if I didn’t have anything else to distract me (like my other craft supplies and the internet) I could focus better. I’m like a squirrel in that way. That’s what I can’t get too mad at them I guess LOL! Well, that’s about it from here. The birthday special in my teachable school (Any class for $42 with coupon code HB42 ) is good til Friday. I’ll be back tomorrow with a fabulously fun and frugal card making video and til then happy crafting!

Lovely and Inexpensive DIY Gift for ladies! {Great for Craft Fairs!}

Howdy friends! Tonight I have a beginner jewelry project for you and a super cute packaging idea!

IMG_20171031_120839 (1)

I wanted to design a holder hor handmade earrings that could double as a gift wrap and I came up with a sweet matchbook style display card that I think is adorable! Follow along with the video for the easy step by step instructions. I’ll also post the template below.

Video!

Here is the template. I actually took a 12″x12″ piece of kraft cardstock and did all of my scoring (using the measurements os a guide I scored all the marks on the left side and then the right side) and then cut the cardstock in half and then in 2″ strips and it was quick and easy!

IMG_20171101_110717 (1)

Supplies: * Note, I have lined products to Consumer Crafts and Amazon where I am an affiliate and also Oriental Trading where I am not affiliated but I have had good luck with their products.

IMG_20171031_120854 (1)

Directions:
1. Remove jump ring from charm if needed. Open loop on ear wire and slide on charm. Make 2.

2. Cut a 2″x6″ strip of kraft cardstock and score/fold at 5/8″, 3 1/4″ and 3 3/4″.

3. Stamp “To & From” on the back of the cardstock as shown and glue a 2.5″ square of pattern paper on the part that will be the front.

4. Cut a 1 1/2″x2 1/2″ piece of white cardstock and poke 2 holes near the top. Nestle this into the folded kraft cardstock and staple at the bottom.

5. Insert earrings in the holes and tuck the top flap into the bottom lip to close.

This is such a simple project and I think it would be a great first earring project for a your girl to make for her classmates and inexpensive enough to make a bunch! Let me know what you think of this and if you enjoy this project please consider sharing it using one of the handy sharing buttons below. Thanks for stopping by and til next time happy crafting!

 

It Takes a Village…

Hi friends! It has been an interesting day here at the Weirich ranch. My hubby noticed that one of our hens was acting odd the last couple days. Standing in one spot, acting confused and last night she did not go into her coop. When I went to check their water this morning she was laying outside in the run looking lethargic. I tried to tempt her with warm oatmeal and yogurt but she was not interested so hubby and I brought her inside and attempted to water and feed her. Then the internet research began and we realized that she could have anything from chicken anorexia (really, it is a thing) to a parasite or she could be eggbound.  I also left a note on my Facebook page that I would not have a new Stamp School video uploaded tonight because I was busy with hen hospice and you guys had so many tips and suggestions, also than you for understanding, you guys are the best! I really expected that she would not make it through the day but we kept up with feeding water by eye dropper every 30 minutes and giving her yogurt and then, like a miracle she stood and drank from her cup on her own! We are keeping her inside the house tonight and she seems pretty content roosting on the edge of her box. I did not see any evidence of mites, worms or bound eggs so hopefully she just had a weird spell.

So you are probably wondering why I am telling you this? Well, just like it takes a village to diagnose our chickens it takes  a village to raise our handmade business. If you are just starting out selling your arts and crafts you are like a fledgling bird, you might not be sure who you can sell your products too or even how you will find the make your wares. It is so important at this stage that you ask for, and accept help for your support system; your spouse, friends and community. I’ll explain more in todays video!

So no excuses, okay? If you want more help running your handmade business I invite you to reach out to one of the gals in my support system, my friend (bestie!) Renae from Rich Mom Business, she has sponsored this video because she wants to see moms succeed and she also created a free course that will help you do just that, you can get the Free Handmade Training course here. Also, next week I will have a live Q&A with Renae so if you have any questions for her leave them in the comments below! You will be able to ask live too, it will be a lot of fun! The tentative date is 1pm ET Wednesday November 18th on YouTube.

I know what it is like to be at the bottom rung of the ladder. When I closed my art studio to stay home with my kids I wanted to start something but I felt lost. When I finally decided that I was worth it I reached out to my support system and they were happy to help me with the gift of time, exposure and feedback. YOU ARE WORTH IT TOO! 🙂 Craft fairs are a’coming, go get um! Good luck and til next time happy crafting!

supportthumb

A Silly Challenge & 10 Winners!

Hi friends! Today I am announcing the winners of the 10 watches from Jerry’s Artarama but fist I wanted to share my video for the Made by Mommy October Craft Challenge. Kim over at Made by Mommy mails 15 youtubers a box full of random supplies and challenges us to make something. Have a look!

Video!

That was fun and it had me using materials I typically would not select. The really fun thing was seeing what other You Tubers came up with, you can see all of their videos in this playlist.

MBB_thefrugalcrafter_earringdisplay

I had so much fun and want to thank Kim at Made by Mommy in the #MBMCraftChallenge OK, now on to the pink watch winners from Jerry’s Artarama:

Vicki Gable

Wietske

botanyflora

Joyce Rogers

Rosalind Whitesides

Chris Baxevanis

Marlene

Jennifer Pospychala

Sally Haddock

oberlinmom

Congrats folks! Look for an email in a day or two from someone at Jerry’s Artarama, they will get your mailing address and ship the stylish watched out! Thanks Jerry’s! Thank you for stopping by and til next time happy crafting!

I have an embarrasing amount of button stamps…

Hi friends! The other day I showed you how to make a quick crochet cowl. Today I am going to give you an idea for packaging them for sale or gift giving using supplies from our sponsor Papermart!

knit2blog

I love vintage sewing things and I have dozens of vintage button rubber stamps and to tell you the truth I will probably buy more LOL! This project will put them to good use! Look at your stamp collection and see if you can fashion something similar. Watch the video to see how I did it!

I make sheets of printed price and description tags for the items I sell a lot like watercolors,  cards, jewelry and handmade journals. It really saves time when I have to package and price my items for my shop or a craft fair. I simply use the address label feature in Open Office (that is a free word processing software similar to Microsoft Word, but MS Word has the same feature if you prefer that) and print sheets at a time. Then I can use a paper trimmer or craft punch to make my labels to slip in clear bags or attach to the pretty display tags like I did here.

Supplies:
Shipping Tags (I am using the 2 3/8″x4 3/4″ size)
Bakers Twine
Stamps (Papertrey Ink, Inkadinkado)
Ink (Dye Based-Altenew)

blog_tag

Make sure to check out Papermart for all of your fall craft fair and Christmas packaging/wrapping supplies. They have the highest quality products and the lowest prices. Thanks for stopping by and til next time happy crafting!

You spend time on the craft so spend time on showcasing it! {Cute packaging idea!}

Hi friends! It’s getting to be that time of year, whether you are making things to sell at holiday craft fairs or making items to give as gifts you should take a moment to consider how you are displaying them.

blogcraftfairpackaging

Some pretty paper, a bit of burlap, maybe some ribbon or string and now we’re talking! Pretty packaging tells your customers (and your loved ones) that you really care about your product and them. Your loved ones will appreciate your gifts more and your customers will be willing to pay more, or at least a fair price LOL! Pretty packaging is inexpensive and easy using supplies from our sponsor Papermart! Watch the video to see how I did this!

One tip is to keep it simple so it does not take you as long to price and package your wares as it did to make them. This should be part of your creative process and also part of your workday so it needs to be sustainable. Also you don’t want the packaging to outshine the craft, it should compliment, not compete.

Supplies:

Directions (earring cards)
1. Fold cardstock in half and cut window from one side. Punch a hanging hole at the top of the card.
2. Cut burlap slightly larger than the window and glue to the inside of the cardstock then glue the card shut.
3. Insert earrings into burlap.

For the journal bags.
1. Place item in a clear bag and seal.
2. Fold cardstock in half and punch hanging hole.
3. Apply double-sided tape to cardstock and place bag inside the cardstock and press to close.

What are your favorite ways to display or gift your handmade good? Let us know in the comments! Thanks for stopping by and til next time happy crafting!

Art Marketing: How to Close the Sale

Hi friends! After I did my last craft fair recap I had several emails from viewers saying that they have customers who seem really interested in their work at their craft fair booths but they leave without making a purchase. This is something I also heard from other vendors at fairs I have been too. I think a lot of crafters and artists have a hard time closing the sale. In today’s video I will talk about making sales and sensing when a customer is ready to buy and also overcoming the invisible considerations that a buyer has when deciding whether or not to make a purchase.

Video!

Overcoming objections: These are the invisible walls between you an a customer. These are ways to dissolve the walls:

  • Price everything fairly and accurately. Do not discount your wares but you can offer an incentive to purchase like a free pair of earrings with a necklace, or buy three get one free.
  • Establish yourself as a trusted authority in your field/art medium.
  • When a customer seems ready to buy ask for the sale “Would you like to take this home today?” of if they are shopping for a gift “What is the price range you are looking for?”
  • Make it easy to pay by offering to take credit cards or know where an ATM is if you don’t.

Of course this advice is for selling in person. If you prefer to sell online check out our sponsor  RichMomBusiness.com, they have a free ETSY webinar coming up this Tuesday called Your First 100 Sales. Renae Christine will teach you EVERYTHING you need to know to start a successful Etsy business. Make sure you sign up because space is limited. I never miss her webinars because she crams so much useful info in them. I use her advice to improve my craft fair and craft booth sales but if you are selling online her tips are even more valuable. I hope you check her out. Thanks so much for stopping by today and til next time happy crafting!

The 4 P’s of Marketing {your crafts!}

Hi friends! Tomorrow is the fist day of June and I have already been seeing calls for vendors at local sidewalk festivals, farmer’s markets and community fairs hitting my Facebook wall. If you are considering selling your art work or crafts soon check out tonight’s video where I tell you about the 4 P’s of Marketing!

Video!

All it takes is one of these elements to be off to lose sales. So let’s take a closer look at them:

Product: This is your beautiful artwork. Whether it is a painting, a necklace, cards or purses this is the thing you make. You need to take a good hard look at an item you want to sell and ask yourself “Would anyone want to buy this?” and “Who would want this?” You need to keep that person in mind. Sometimes what you make for yourself because you love it will be different from what you would make to sell, for instance, I love bright colors and bold patterns so that is what I make to keep but what I make to sell will be more on trend and conservative because most people do not dress like me and they might even think that purple, orange and turquoise clash, hard to believe I know.

Price: How much you will charge for an item. Generally it is figured by the cost of raw materials plus overhead (labor and overhead like a % of studio rent and utilities, packaging etc.) plus a profit margin. You are probably thinking “Hey, I am the labor, why do I need a profit on top of that?” Because there may come a time when you need to hire help to fill or package orders and you will need to account for that expense as well. You also need to temper this price by what the market will bear and what other artisans are charging for a similar product so the price you can charge in a ritzy city will be different that what you can get in the country but it is a starting point anyway.

Place: This is where you are selling your goods. Don’t expect to get Upscale prices if you are selling your jewelry at a yard sale (Top tip from RichMomBusiness.com BTW!) Your items need to be sold where the customers will value them. Fun and funky costume jewelry will go well at casual festival while more upscale pieces will sell better in a gallery setting. I have a rented booth in an antiques mall that works great for selling my cards, earrings and watercolors as they make great add-on purchases for items customers buy from other vendors. You might also decide that your local economy is not diverse enough to find enough people who want to buy your wares and selling online might be a better bet for you. BTW, RichMomBusiness has a free ETSY Webinar coming up if you wanted to check it out.

Promotion: This one I save for last but it is equally as important because what is the point of making all the beautiful things to sell if nobody sees them? When you are picking a place see if there is any promotion included. Is the festival advertised? If you are selling in an online multi vendor marketplace does it have built-in traffic? if you are making your own website from scratch how are you going to get people to see it? Now it is so easy to get the word out via social media and ask your friends to share it too expanding your network because it only takes a second to hit the share button. Maybe you will post some flyers on community bulletin boards or offer a coupon for a free trinket to shoppers ahead of time. Don’t skimp here, this is probably the hardest, out of the comfort zone, “P” of them all but it has to be done if your business will be a success.

Now I ask YOU, have you ever tried selling your work? How did the “Ps” fit in. Can you identify any parts of your marketing plan that were off? If you want to make money selling your work I advise that you jump in and try. You will learn more from your failures than your successes so if you compare the cost of a bad craft fair vs. the cost of a business class it was a sweet deal on education! You learn by doing, these tips I share are to get you started so hopefully you can learn from my experience and grow faster. Good luck!

I want to take a moment and thank Renae Christine from RichMomBusiness.com for sponsoring my YouTube videos during the month of May. This gal knows her stuff especially about selling handmade items online. You can check out her FREE 3 handmade training video series here and tell her “Hi!” from me. She can teach you way more about online sales than I ever can and her tips even help me with my brick and mortar sales. Thanks for stopping by and til next time happy crafting!

Craft Fair Recap & Grab Bags 4 Sale!

Hi friends! As promised I am sharing how I did at the higher end craft fair I exhibited at 2 weeks ago.

booth1

I had revamped my packaging and edited my booth so it did not look like too much of a hodge-podge. I stuck to my best sellers and left the rest behind. Since I changed my packaging on new products I took all my jewelry in my old packaging and put them in grab bags because in the past grab bags have always sold out.

booth2

I made some mistakes (one that const me money and sales!) and learned a few things from other vendors at the show including one question you need to ask before you agree to rent a table.

Video!

EEEK! The Large grab bags are sold out! I still have a few small $5 bags and a few Bow MAking jigs though. Thanks so much for making my day! What a happy email inbox I had today. It you have already ordered you are all set and will receive an invoice for the grab bags you wanted.

So, I have a lot of grab bags left and I really do not want them taking up real estate in my rented booth at The Schoolhouse Antiques Mall since my booth is only 6’x9′ so if anyone want to order them I will give you show pricing: $5 small ($10 value) or $10 large ($20-$50 value.) (Large is sold out, sorry:( )The grab bags have great stuff in them, they are ideal to separate up and give the items inside as gifts, they contain earrings, pendants, bracelets, necklaces, amulets, beaded bookmarks and rings. I grab-bagged them so I would not have to re package them with my new labels and honestly, I get more motivated to create when I have space in my booth! I will even give you free shipping if you are ordering in the United States. If you want to order one or a few of these email me at artstudiosofbangor@yahoo.com and put “grab bag order” in the subject line. Just let me know how many of what size you want and I will send you a PayPal invoice. Also we just made a new batch of Bow Making Jigs and I will throw in a small grab bag with every domestic (USA) order. The bow jigs are $20 plus $6 US shipping via priority mail. *International order are also welcome but I will have to figure postage by weight and location.

I want to thank Volusion for sponsoring this video, thanks for stopping by and til next time happy crafting!

How to make business cards and craft fair packaging!

Hi friends! Next weekend I am exhibiting in a really nice craft show featuring all Maine in Maine artisans. I felt like my business cards and packaging needed an overhaul, this is what I came up with:

graphic5

I wanted bright colors but also a streamlined professional look. I decided to use some watercolor images from GraphicStock for my new branding. I know you are probably wondering why I didn’t just use my own paintings for this and that is a great question. I find it extremely hard to simplify my own work, I want to show more than is suitable on a small canvas like a business card and the end result looks amateurish and confusing. I wanted a really clean look with info on how to contact me for future purchases and where to find me online. For the packaging I wanted the price, my name and vendor number so I can use this for craft fair packaging as well as in my retail space which is a rented booth in a multi-vendor antiques mall. I don’t want to have separate packaging at different places. Also I used to hand stamp all of my jewelry cards and I just don’t have time for that anymore. Today I am going to show you how to create a business card from start to finish using an image from GraphicStock (but you can use any JPG or PNG file you want) and the steps are the same for making packaging, signs and tags. Feel free to follow along, take notes and pause the video when needed to follow along. I am using Paint Shop Pro but you can use Photoshop, Gimp or other imaging editing software with similar results.

Video!

You will need:

  • Photo editing software-I am using Paint Shop Pro but you can use the software you prefer like Photoshop or gimp or any image editing software.
  • White Cardstock
  • Graphics/logos you want to use
  • Computer and printer
  • Optional: Clear “cello” bags, laminator, scrapbook paper or kraft paper bags if making “grab bags” and any packaging supplies you normally use

Directions:
1. Download any images and graphics you want to use.
2, For a business card create a new 3.5″x2″ 300dpi document.
3. Copy and Paste in graphics and add text. Arrange elements until satisfied. Save this file in your software’s native format to make editing easier later on, then flatten and save as a JPG to use in the next step.
4. Make a new 8.5:x11″ document and copy/paste in the business card 10 times. Tip: set up a .5″ grid and use the snap to grid feature to help line everything up.
5. Flatten and print your business cards.
6. Cut them apart.

You can repeat these steps in any size to create sheets of tags, labels and signage.

Please visit our sponsor GraphicStock to get a 7 day FREE trial to download anything you want!  If you cancel your subscription within the 7 days you will not be charged but they are pretty sure you will find enough value that you will want to stay, it’s kinda like a Netflix for graphic lovers AND they have lots of lovely things for digital scrapbooking and hybrid crafting!

Next week I’ll show you how to make the cute business card holder! Thanks for stopping by and til next time happy crafting!

%d bloggers like this: