SPRING CRAFT SHOW IN THE RECORD BOOKS

Another Spring Craft Show in the Record Books

I can’t believe that the Spring Show is over.  It takes so long to prepare and then it is gone.  I guess it is just like any event that you plan for.  The preparation always takes more time than the actual event.  

The overall census of the show this year was that there were a lot of “lookers” and not “buyers”.  My friend’s mom called them “Lookie Lous” Me personally, I think that since Easter is so early this year, and tax season is creeping just around the corner that people really weren’t buying for that reason.  All of the crafters products were great; there were a lot of jewelry crafters with beaded items, ceramic pottery, rhinestone shirts & hats, candy, some “crafters” that I wouldn’t call crafters were selling items that were not hand made, almost like going to a flea market kind of items and antique stuff.

The coolest part is that I was the only one there who was selling Handmade Greeting Cards.  I did really well on my Easter cards and Custom Birthday cards and believe it or not Get Well cards.  I did make Mothers Day & Fathers Day cards but they didn’t sell, I’m thinking that people don’t think that much in advance, at least not at this show.  That is the chances that you always take when you are in a show.  You never know what is going to be the big seller.

The best part of selling your own handmade greeting cards or whatever it is that you create is the satisfaction and accomplishment that you feel when the customer comes up to you and compliments you on your work.  It is a feeling that puts a big smile on your face.

Have a Great Day and don’t forget to leave time to Craft!

COUNTING DOWN TO THE SPRING CRAFT & GIFT SHOW

Counting Down to the Spring Craft & Gift Show

Today is a get “my butt” in gear day. This show is going to be fantastic for Easter cards primarily because of the timing of the event. I have come up with a few design ideas that I’ve been working on in my head. Now it’s time to put it to work. Here is a sample of one of my ideas.

Simple steps to Creating the perfect handmade Easter Card:

I find that being organized is very helpful so I get all my supplies ready for this one card, this way it keeps my work area clear of unwanted materials.

Now since I know that I am going to make 25 of each image, I will work in stages. For me this is the best way to mass produce cards. Especially if you are going to be making a cards that are layered.

1. I then start stamping the image on the white cardstock with my black ink. (I am using color box pigment ink since I will be using embossing powder. The pigment ink stays wet longer and holds the powder great.)

2. Once I have stamped the image on my cardstock, I then apply my Clear Embossing Powder to the stamped image. I shake off the excess into my plastic tray since I can re-use what was shaken off. (I use a plastic craft tray that has a funnel at one end, this makes is really easy to put the embossing powder back into its original container.)

3. I then heat the embossing powder with my Embossing Heat Tool until the Embossing powder crystals are smooth and shiny. (I use a Marvy Embossing Heat Tool.)

4. Then I use my colored embossing markers to color in my image. (I use Wet Looks Embossing Markers by Marvy)

5. When I have completed coloring my image I then apply Clear Embossing Powder to the entire image and heat with my Embossing Heat Tool until the embossing powder crystals are smooth and shiny.

6. Since I am using a layered look to my card, and have the words Happy Easter stamped on purple cardstock, I would follow the same inking and embossing procedures as I did on the stamped image of the card.

7. Now all I do is assemble the card to make the final product. I use adhesive tabs to put the layered cardstock together. (I use Herma Vario permanent tab adhesive).

You have now made a perfect handmade layered card for your family, friends or customers to enjoy. I bet whoever receives this hand made greeting card will never throw it out! This is a keeper for sure.

Easter Card 2008

Have a great day and don’t forget to leave time to craft!

PRICING TIPS: WHAT TO CHARGE FOR YOUR HANDMADE CRAFT

What to charge for your Handmade Craft
Now that you want to sell your handmade crafts, your big decision is how much you want to charge for it. There are many formulas out there as guidelines but remember in the end it is all up to you how much you want to charge.
One Formula that I use is:
1. Decide how much you want to be paid per hour when working on your “craft”.
2. Then multiply this hourly rate by the number of hours a week that you spend making this “craft”
3. Write down that figure. This will be your weekly cost of labor. So if you need to make $10 per hour working 40 hours per week the cost of labor would be $400.
4. Now you need to calculate the total cost of supplies that you need to make one finished product.
5. Then see how many products you can make in one week.
6. Then you multiply the cost of Supplies per piece by the number of products make in a week. (If your cost of materials per piece is $2 and you can make 100 products a week, the figure would be $200.00)
7. Now add this figure to your weekly labor costs. (in our example that would be $400 + $200 = $600.00
8. Now divide this figure by the number of products that you produce in a week. So $600.00 labor/materials divided by 100 finished products a week would be $6.00 per piece.
9. If you will be wholesaling your product, you then multiply the per piece number by two. This would then give you a retail price of $12.00 per piece.
If the resulting price that you get is more than a similar product on the market, you may need to reduce it by cutting the hourly price. You can do this by using less expensive materials or by not being a “Total Perfectionist” and increase your production time. This concept goes both ways. If you see that your price is a lot less than similar products you may want to raise your price.
Just a little Tip:
Let’s say that you are making a Handmade Greeting Cards. If you use adhesive tabs to put your card together, keep in mind that you do not need the entire 1000 tabs for one card that you make, so you will need to calculate how many tabs that you need and divide it by the total cost of your 1000 tab package. This also goes for embossing powder, how many handmade greeting cards can you make with one container of embossing powder, same goes for embossing pens, glitter, etc.
*And this final cost per piece that we figured out was only for labor and materials. You may also consider adding into that price the cost for marketing your product. That could be the fee for your craft show, online selling, web sites, etc.
With all this pricing info that was just shared, just remember to:

Have a Great Day and don’t forget to leave time to Craft!

Back to the top: Handmade Crafts 

TECHNIQUES TO IMPROVE YOUR HANDMADE GREETING CARDS OR SCRAPBOOKS USING THE CONCEPT OF EMBOSSED ICING

TECHNIQUES TO IMPROVE YOUR HANDMADE GREETING CARDS OR SCRAPBOOKS USING THE CONCEPT OF EMBOSSED ICING

As promised I would now like to share with you some of the steps involved in using embossed icing along with a brass stencil template.

Tools needed: Brass Stencil Template, Spatula, Low stick stencil tape

Supplies Needed: Card Stock, Embossed Icing (I use Embossed Icing from The Stencil Collection).

*Put your paper card stock down on your work surface.
*Pick a stencil and position it on your paper card stock
*Using a low stick adhesive stencil tape, tape down all four sides of the stencil. Don’t worry about sticking it to the card stock it will lift right up and not tear the paper.
*Then using a small spatula, take some of the icing and spread it along the stencil filling in the grooves. If you need to change color proceed in the same manner by just spreading the icing on the stencil (Pretend that you are icing a cake – same principle)
*When the entire stencil is filled with icing, take the back end of your spatula and scrape all the excess icing off, so you are left with a smooth non lumpy bumpy surface.
*Now it is time to remove the tape from the stencil. Do it in the reverse that you put it on. Then leave on piece on and use it as a hinge to lift up the stencil this way it will come up straight and not smear/smudge.
* Finally, you just need it to let it set for 10 minutes.

Now you have a completed a beautiful custom handmade greeting card or a unique page in your scrapbook. The really cool thing is when it is completely dry to the touch it actually feels like suede. It also looks raised just like you had heat embossed it. The neat thing is that you did it all without a heat gun and powders. You did it with Embossed Icing.

Have a great day and don’t forget to leave time to craft!

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