Selling Wedding Goods on Etsy

If you’re a crafter looking for a niche on Etsy, perhaps you’d like to explore the lucrative world of wedding planning. Every year, an estimated more than 2 million people tie the knot, and there’s a lot that goes into making sure the personal touches of this special day are in place. Artisans that sell wedding goods on Etsy include jewelry makers, sewing wizards, woodworkers, candle makers, and graphic designers. Below are a few ideas to get your creative juices flowing if bringing joy to brides and grooms is something that interests you as a crafter:

Paper Goods

Alerting family and friends is one of the first things you will do when it comes to planning a wedding, but handcrafted invitations aren’t the only paper goods found on Etsy. Graphic designers may consider selling guest books, save the date cards, photo albums, and other creative notices.

Wedding Rings

When traditional jewelry stores do not offer the kind of ring a bride envisions wearing for the rest of her life, Etsy artisans offer exclusive creations using an assortment of gold, sterling silver, titanium, gemstones, and any other materials you can dream up.

Bridal Accessories

From glittering hair pieces to photo clutches, there are a never-ending number of bridal accessories available on Etsy. Artisans sell handmade veils with intricate embroidery, shrugs, belts, sashes, creative shoe clips, and one-of-kind jewelry – and the list goes on and on.

Wedding Dresses

When a visit to David’s Bridal just won’t do, many brides turn to Etsy crafters to produce the wedding dress or gown of their dreams. With a range of already stunning creations, brides can opt to have a seamstress add personal touches that doesn’t come with a store-bought frock. Etsy is also the place to locate vintage styles.

Wedding Décor

From customized cake toppers to unique candles, Etsy artisans provide an array of goods that help decorate reception tables and set the mood for a walk down the aisle. Popular wedding décor purchases on Etsy include candles, table numbers, table settings, favors, faux flower bouquets, and of course, decorations galore.

Applications for Etsy Artisans

In this day and age, social media and portable technology is becoming an increasingly influential component of selling crafts both offline and online. As for Etsy artisans, there are many creative applications (or apps) to consider when you are a seller. You can use the tools to help track the progress of your small business, save time relisting items, advertise your shop, and conduct your business no matter where you are. A few applications to consider include:

The Etsy App

With the touch of a finger, users can connect to Etsy using an app for their iPhone or iPod. Sellers can access their listings and see their latest orders. Merchant tools are also available to manage your business while you are on the go. For buyers, they can search for handmade and vintage goods, as well as browse Treasury Lists. If something catches their eye, they can make a purchase from their mobile device. The app provides access to carts, favorites, purchase history and shops, which increases the opportunities that people can connect to your Etsy shop. This app is free and available at the App Store.

AutoRelister

There is no need to log into Etsy.com to quickly re-list sold items when AutoRelister lets you do so from your Android phone. Sellers can view sold creations and manually relist. You can also schedule items to renew at a specific date and time. A convenient feature of the app is the ability to set your budget to keep track of how much you spend on renewals. The app is currently priced at $10.

Etsy Shop Tracker

If you’re the type of person who likes to assess the popularity of certain listings, the Etsy Shop Tracker can help. The tool tracks information regarding all the items on your Etsy shop. You can keep up with the number of views, admirers, and treasury lists associated with each item. The data is updated on a daily basis, and it is free to use.

The Pocket Shop

The animated, interactive version of your Etsy shop offers a fun, portable way to advertise your products on a blog and/or website. With a variety of themes to consider, this enticing approach gives you an edge against the competition by spreading the word and sharing your creations in an inviting manner. Once you choose your desired option for your widget – all you have to do is grab the code.

How to Make a Fancy Gift Package Bow

Crafters on Etsy often add their own personal touches to their creations that set them aside from the rest of the sellers. The packaging of their product is no different. From customized boxes to a signature stamp, there are plenty of ways to make your Etsy shop stand out. Just like people adore a Tiffany’s box for jewelry, you too can add your own flair with a fancy gift package bow.

Ribbon Decisions

When making fancy bows for the packaging of your Etsy goods, think about the kind of ribbon you want to use. The color, style and design of ribbon you select are different ways to enhance the presentation of your product. Do you always want to use the same color – perhaps the same shade as your shop colors? Does texture matter – think velvet, satin, or multi-textured? Will you always have access to purchase your ribbon of choice?

Material List

All you need to make fancy gift package bows is:

  • 1 ½ yards of wire edge ribbon (2 ½ inches wide)
  • Floral wire

How to Make

  1. First, start off by cutting one piece of the wire-edge ribbon into four different lengths – 18 inches, 16 inches, 12 inches, and 7 inches.
  2. Take the 12-inch ribbon piece and make a fork cut at both ends. To make a fork cut, all you have to do is fold the ribbon in half lengthwise, and then diagonally cut the end of the ribbon from the corner points to the folded edge.
  3. Make a single large loop out of the 18-inche piece of ribbon – overlapping the ends about 1 ½ inches.
  4. Center the seam of the looped ribbon on top of the 12-inche piece of ribbon.
  5. Create a single large loop out of the 16-inch piece of ribbon – overlapping the ends about 1 ½ inches. Center the seam of this looped ribbon on top of the 18-inch looped ribbon.
  6. Make a small loop out of the 7-inch piece of ribbon, and overlap the ends in the same manner – placing the ribbon in the center of the 16-inch piece of looped ribbon.
  7. Grab your floral wire and insert a piece of it through the center loop – making sure to bring both ends of the wire to the back of the bow. Tightly twist the wire to secure the bow.

What is Decoupage?

Judy Valencerina decoupaged train case

Artisans on Etsy use many different ways to decorate materials for their unique creations. Decoupage is just one of those techniques that use simple supplies to transform a piece into something spectacular. Objects are enhanced by gluing pieces of decorative paper onto the surface, which is then coated with a protective finish. The technique can be used to embellish almost anything – from jewelry cases to furniture.

An inexpensive and popular method to decoupage is to use your average Elmer’s white glue, but crafters looking to sell their goods on Etsy may want a formulated decoupage medium that will produce better results. Before embarking on a decoupage adventure, try mapping out a game plan. What kind of artwork do you want to create? Will you use a pattern or create a random design? Other factors to consider include using cut or torn paper, text versus no text, paper size, and the use of specialty papers. You can also enhance the final project with paint, glitter, embossing, and other finishing touches. Before working on a decoupage project, it is important to make sure you have enough materials, images, and paper to cover your piece.

The supplies you will need to decoupage include:

  • Decoupage medium or white craft glue (slightly diluted with water using a 4:1 ratio.
  • Sealer or other finish
  • Paint brush (or foam brush for larger surfaces) to accommodate the size of your cut-outs.
  • Cotton swab to work with small pieces
  • Scissors and/or craft knife
  • Soft, damp rag

After gathering your supplies, you need to prepare the surface. Make sure it is fully clean. Waxy or glossy surfaces require a light sanding job for better adherence of the decoupage medium. Clean glass and porcelain objects with white vinegar.

Use scissors or tear apart your images – making sure to cut at a 45-degree angle toward the back of the paper. This will reduce the amount of white edges that show. A craft knife will help you make more precise cuts. After cutting your paper, arrange the images by first placing them on your surface.

Brush decoupage medium (or diluted glue) on the object – where you want the first piece of paper to go. Brush a bit of the medium on the back of the image. Position the image and press it lightly with your fingers to smooth out. This will remove any wrinkles or bubbles. Press again with a damp rag – don’t wipe – instead, use a rolling motion. Repeat this process until you have covered the entire piece. After inspecting for any bubbles or wrinkles, leave the piece in an undisturbed space where it can dry (for one to two hours).

After completely drying, a final coat of decoupage medium is applied over everything. Let the piece dry, and add another coat of medium to achieve the smoothness you desire. Some crafters will also use a finish (like varnish) – depending on their material. The end result should display a “glassy” finish that conceals edges of paper and any textures.

An example of decoupage techniques on Etsy appears in Judy Valencerina upcycled train cases – an artist we profiled in January of 2011.

Cookie Monster Raids on Etsy

October is National Cookie Month and Etsy is home to small businesses that make money selling cookie creations. From Grandma’s secret recipe to classic standbys, the marketplace is booming with people looking for and selling homemade sweet treats. Cookies sold on Etsy make delicious gifts – especially when they come elaborately packaged and wrapped with eye-catching bells and whistles.

To get an idea of what to expect, consider the following cookie highlights:

Seasonal Treats

From large pumpkins to fall leaves, rollinindough (shown above)  offers a vibrant collection of autumn-themed vanilla almond butter cookies made with vanilla meringue powder buttercream icing – topped with shimmering sanding sugar. Sold as a dozen, the sunflowers and acorns truly enhance the feel of fall. The company also makes pumpkin-shaped cookies that could surely satisfy a lot of seasonal celebrations in October – available in buttery vanilla, almond cookie dough, or dark chocolate almond cookie dough flavors.

Fancy Cookies

Sweet treat artisans also sell elaborate cookie creations that are simply too pretty to eat. The Fancy Cupcake Cookies with Edible Cupcake Wrappers (made by queenoftartscakes) are colorful and fun for all ages. The cookies come in different flavors, such as Tahitian Vanilla, Meyer Lemon, Valhrona Chocolate, and Spicy Gingerbread. You may also choose icing flavors, such as Almond, Rosewater, and Tahitian Vanilla. Another standout includes the impressive detail of queenoftartscakes’ Gingerbread Luau Party Hawaiian Hula Girl and Boy Cookies – complete with leis and flip flops.

Chocolate Chip Cookies

One of the most eaten cookies in the United States is the chocolate chip cookie. Perfect with a tall glass of ice cold milk, the cookie is a favorite of Etsy sellers and buyers as well. Some sellers stick to the traditional recipe, while others invent their own, such as the S’mores Stuffed Chocolate Chip Cookies sold by afinityjade –  made with honey graham crackers, mini marshmallows and Hershey’s milk chocolate.

Cookie Bars

Cookie bars usually offer a little more substance in a sweet treat – often made with an array of tantalizing ingredients. For example, you’ll find on Etsy,  Magic Cookie Bars by KaysSimplyHomemade, which are made with a graham cracker crust, layers of coconut and walnuts. The bars are then topped with chocolate and butterscotch chips. Other cookie bar flavors to browse for on Etsy include peanut butter chocolate, cheesecake, and chocolate chip pretzel.

When Etsy Hands You Lemons…

With a bright yellow color and uplifting scent, lemons are a popular choice for flavors, fragrances and decoration in many craft-, handmade- and homemade creations. From organic bath and beauty to colorful frocks, Etsy offers an array of fruity crafts and handmade goods. To get an idea of the lemony products found on Etsy, consider the following:

Lemon Jewelry

If yellow is your favorite color, perhaps you’d enjoy a pair of lemony earrings. Perhaps you’d enjoy a slice of the citrus fruit (like the hand sculpted Juicy Lemon Earrings offered by KawaiiCulture) or the color of a gemstone (like the pear-shaped Lemon Quartz Necklace from Desert Rain Jewelry).

Lemon Meringue Apron

With a sweetheart neckline, Bambino Amore offers their Lemon Meringue apron print with a three piece bodice and full circle skirt. Take advantage of the attractive Alexander Henry Juicy print with corresponding Yellow Stripes. The full-length apron fits up to a size 14 and comes with two ties at the neck and waist.

Lift Me Up Lemon Powder Deodorant

Say goodbye to harmful chemicals when using Moody Sister’s organic, vegan, paraben-free deodorant. Key ingredients of the deodorant include arrowroot powder (absorbs moisture and soothes), witch hazel (fights odor causing bacteria), and lemon peel powder (antibacterial and kills bacteria). The deodorant comes in the form of a 4-ounce jar with powder puff applicator. Offering the uplifting scent of lemons, the powder deodorant is made fresh and shipped within a week.

Other lemon-scented beauty and skincare products found across Etsy:

Lemon Edibles

From homemade cookies to dainty lemon drops, Etsy provides an endless selection of tasty treats to sample. You never know what you will find. The Chamomile and Lemon Mini-Lollipops offered by Sweet Lollipop Shop contains 100% natural ingredients and are made to deliver a small burst of energy. Purchase a batch of Lemon Curd Sandwich Cookies or make your own desserts with a mix, such as the gluten-free Lemon Poppy Seed Cake Mix.

Lemon Vintage Kitchen Art

Add the bright color of the lemon to your kitchen or dining area with the unique look of a vintage-style print. Measuring 8×10 inches, the image of a lemon slice with its name looks even better when arranged with the orange and lime kitchen art also available from the same graphic designer – Color Bee.  Keep in mind that the frames are not included.

Etsy Spotlight: Jennifer Ladd Handbags

If you love color and distinctive designs, then you will enjoy exploring Jennifer Ladd handmade purses and bags. Sewing has always been a passion of Ladd’s, as she specializes in creating vibrant and unique handmade handbags, purses, pouches, business card cases, and wallets. Bird-, animal-, and nature lovers will also gravitate towards Ladd’s work. Luckily, her shop is regularly updated with new items, including some of the beauties mentioned below.

A Few Standouts

To see the kinds of items you can purchase at Jennifer Ladd’s Etsy shop, consider the following creations:

Handbag with Birds on Branches: With a bright green background, birds perch on flowering brown branches on this boldly colored purse. Inside the bag, you will find a coordinating brown with polka dot print. Other features include an inner pocket inside the bag and magnetic snap closure. Brown wooden handles enhance the beauty of the bag.

Clutch Purse in Summer Butterfly: The eye-catching black butterfly stands out from a pattern of   black, white, and light aqua flowers. This clutch is versatile enough to complement outfits for both a romantic evening or running errands in jeans. A silver, shiny metal frame securely closes with a kiss clap. A bright green polka dot print decorates the inside of the clutch.

Obscure Animals Clutch Purse: Highlighting some of the creatures of the animal kingdom that don’t get much attention, this purse is stylish and smart…literally. A collection of interesting animals dance in shades of red, gray, blue, yellow, and pink. Certainly a conversation piece.

Coin Purse in Birds and Blossoms: Offering the perfect hideaway for coins and folded cash, this pouch makes an ideal addition to any handbag. The print presents a scene of birds and flower blossoms in aqua, white, and gray. Adding contrast, the inside of the coin purse is aqua yellow with white polka dots.

A Few Questions for Jennifer Ladd

1. How did you get started in the handmade/craft business?

I have been sewing for as long as I can remember. Whenever I had any free time, you could always find me at my sewing machine. I always joked that I wanted to open my own business, but I never thought I could make it a reality. My husband, though, never saw it as a joke and always nudged me to consider selling my handmade creations. In 2007, I quit my job as a French teacher to stay home with my daughter (an adorable little sweetheart whom we adopted from Vietnam). After a few months of staying home, I started sewing more as a bit of a mental break from Sesame Street, diapers, and baby bottles. I decided to try opening an online shop as an experiment, and it went really well! I enjoyed it and it was successful! It was one of the best decisions I have ever made, and I continue to love what I do.

2. What is your favorite item or style of handbag to make?

My favorite item to make is a clutch purse. They are just my style: modern and simple in shape, yet bold, bright, and sometimes even a little quirky. One of my favorite purses is the Obscure Animal Clutch. I’m kind of a geek, so I love the idea of walking around with an encyclopedia on my purse! My other favorite is the Mother and Baby Clutch. Every time I see it, I think of the love I have for my two little girls, and I know other moms out there would love the sentiment behind this bag, too.

3. What inspires your work?

I am most inspired by color. My brain loves to see beautiful color combinations!

4. Anything else you’d like to share?

I took a break from sewing a few months ago as we welcomed home our second daughter from Ethiopia. She is a pure joy and a real comedian who keeps us laughing every day. We are all starting to settle in now, and I’m so happy to be back at my sewing machine and creating more and more purses!

Connect with Jennifer Ladd

Ideas for Selling Baby Accessories on Etsy

Selling crafts geared towards babies is a decent way to make money on Etsy because people are constantly looking for unique gifts and accessories for newborns and infants. When looking for some of the most profitable ways to sell baby accessories, consider the following suggestions:

Baby Blankets and Quilts

Blankets and quilts are popular baby gifts because they not only provide warmth to sleeping infants, but are also used as décor and to commemorate a birth. Over time, the blankets and quilts become cherished keepsakes for many years to come. As a crafter, you can offer a range of blankets in different colors and designs. To increase the number of purchases, offer free personalization.

Handmade Baby Announcements

When parents are ready to announce ‘it’s a boy’ or ‘it’s a girl,’ they often use baby announcements. Sometimes, they know exactly what they want, but don’t know how to create the effect, and that’s where some Etsy sellers come in handy. From eco-friendly materials to handcrafted personalization, there are many unique ways to make a baby announcement.

Baby Booties

There are plenty of gift givers and mothers looking for unique baby booties. If you crochet, it might not be a bad idea to start transforming yarn, thread, and other material into fashionable baby booties. When crocheting items for babies, make sure to use yarns rated ‘baby soft’ since your creations will touch the sensitive skin of infants.

Baby Hats

Baby hats are constantly used to protect the fragile nature of an infant’s head. Some hats show detailed crocheted flowers on the side, while others take the shape of animal heads and ears. Some are decorated with bows and ribbons, while others gently tie under the chin. To increase interest in your products, offer baby hats with matching booties.

Baby Tutus

Tutus are not just for ballerinas anymore. Available in a rainbow of colors, this accessory has become quite popular for baby photographers as well. On Etsy, you will find crafters selling individual tutus, tutu dresses, and tutus attached to personalized jumpsuits. Another similar baby accessory to consider is baby pettiskirts made out of ruffled chiffon. Offer matching headbands and bows to make a complete package for buyers.

Baby Headbands

With bold colors, pearl accents, sequins, curly ribbons, and elaborate bows – baby headbands are used to elevate the accessorizing level of infants. There is no end to the kind of creative designs you can pursue as a crafter that wants to make extra cash on Etsy.

Interview with June from Junique4u

1. How did you start?
I started when I was young, really young. I started with hand sewing little quilts for my dolls. Then I learned how to use a sewing machine and made clothes for them too. Over the years I’ve gone from sewing to latch hooking rugs, tiling planter pots, to braided and hemp jewelry and everything in between. I’ll give just about anything a try, except I’ve crossed painting and drawing off the list, I have absolutely no talent in these areas.

2. Tell us more about the person behind JUNIQUE4U.
I’ve always loved to make things but after getting laid off it has become a more prominent part of my life. I have four daughters ranging in age from 12 to 19 and this year will be my 22nd wedding anniversary. My husband is a firefighter and he puts up with way to0 many trips to jewelry stores and shows. He is very supportive and I love him for that (amongst other things).

3. What inspires you?
I feel like anything and everything can inspire me. I live in the middle of nowhere, so nature plays a big role. Sometimes it might just be a unique stone that makes me want to create something for that stone.

4. How would you define your style?
I’m not sure I have a particular style. Most people say my stuff is “earthy” which I think is a compliment. I tend to think I have a little of everything, modern, industrial, romantic and definitely earthy.

5. Any mistakes you learned from in the last year?
Mistakes, definitely! I think the biggest is when I make something and think it’s wonderful and it doesn’t really even get looked at and then the item that I think is OK will be bought over and over. It’s just my opinion that a piece is OK and not wonderful, I mean everything is made with quality materials but with jewelry I think people are attracted to items they feel emotional about and since everyone is different it’s hard to judge how things will be received.

6. Which is your favorite product to make and why?
I love to make the beaded leather wrap bracelets because it combines sewing (where I started) and jewelry. I don’t like sticking myself with the needles now and then, but that comes with the territory. Also, there are so many combinations of colors, beads, leather and buttons – it’s a lot of fun and exciting to see how they will turn out.

7. This is a question we like to ask a lot: if you were to start all over again, what would you do differently?
I would first be way more Internet savvy then put myself out there. I have no idea about Facebook or Twitter or anything like that.

8. Any projects?
My new projects are with PMC. I was recently looking for some buttons for my leather wrap bracelets and came across some vintage buttons and now I’m on a kick of making silver pendants out of the button casts. I wear the first one I ever made, it’s a windmill. I’m not sure why, but I love windmills. My husband wears a charm I made from a button off of a fire department dress uniform coat.

9. Where can we find you?
I can be found on Etsy, www.junique4u.etsy.com and www.lonebirchdesigns.etsy.com, I do craft fairs now and then, but it’s hard to get a space because you have to think about Christmas in April when the applications are due. I seem to always just miss the deadlines.

All photos courtesy of Junique4u.