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.

Crafting Basics – Cutting Tools

From decorating handmade greeting cards to cutting just the right amount of fabric for your next masterpiece, you’re going to need a pair of scissors or craft knife of some sort to achieve such projects. In crafting, you will encounter a range of sharp edges – some of which make better choices than others. Below are some of the basic cutting tools you may want to become familiar with as you expand the number of crafts you’d like to make.

Scissors

Every crafter will need a pair of scissors at some point in time. Having more than one pair on hand is recommended – aim for a few pairs of large and small sharp scissors. Larger pairs address cutting heavier materials. Smaller scissors will allow you to cut around curves and remove small, intricate shapes. A sturdy pair of fabric cutting scissors will make life easier for those that sew. Only use them for fabric to avoid dulling their edge.

Decorative Scissors

When you’re looking to create unique shapes with the edges of your crafts, there are scissors that come with decorative edges. For example, add personality to save-the-date cards with a pair of scissors that zig-zags the edges.

Paper Cutter

A paper cutter creates a perfectly straight line that really comes in handy when working with large paper projects or preparing materials for mounting your works of art. You may choose between two different types of cutters. The first has a rotary blade that slides along the cutting edge. A guillotine blade slices paper with the help of a lever. Some of the more higher-end rotary cutters offer a light under the cutting edge that makes it easier to see where the blade will cut.

Circle Cutter

Adjust this cutter to cut circles of any diameter. The tool can be used to quickly crop photos with ease, add round embellishments to your scrapbooks, cut mats, and fashion circular greeting cards.

Craft Knife

With a variety of sizes to consider, craft knives help with both intricate cutting and larger projects. The basic style of a craft knife is a 5″ aluminum tube handle with a pointed blade. Handles range from small to large. A craft knife set (shown) offers a range of blades that address different tasks, such as etching, scribing, retouching stencils, layouts and pasteups. When stored, you should keep the cap on the knife, push it into a cork, or store in a carrying case. A popular brand is the X-Acto Knife, which provides convenience through their replaceable blades.

Hole Punch and Craft Punches

Often seen on a teacher’s desk, the hole punch creates one small hole wherever you need one. From stringing ribbon through homemade Christmas tags to enhancing your scrapbooks, you’d be surprised just what the often-forgotten metal office tool can do. Nowadays, you can find hole punches that come in the shape of stars, hearts, flowers and other fun shapes. Try using a hole punch to add texture to your pages.

Corner Rounder

To create curved shapes in your paper corners, this tool belongs in the same family as the craft punch.

Tin Snips

When you need to cut heavier materials, such as sheet metal, consider getting a pair of tin snips – heavy-duty scissors.

Wire Cutter

Do not use your scissors to cut wire – this will only dull the blades. A pair of needle-nose pliers with a wire cutter will come in handy.

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.

Boost Your Small Business for the Holidays

Christmas is an important opportunity for small businesses to entice buyers into purchasing their goods. Many sellers treat this time of the year differently because they know Christmas shoppers are constantly looking for the best deals on unique gifts for loved ones. From advertising methods to the different kinds of items offered at a shop, crafters often respond to the seasonal change. To boost your small business during the holidays, you may want to consider some of the following suggestions:

1. Offer Holiday Themes

Capture the seasonal consumer by offering products centered on the holiday. If you make handmade jewelry, offer Christmas themed pieces or incorporate the seasonal colors or red and green into your earrings, necklaces and rings. Soap and candle makers should heavily market the scents of the holiday, including pine, cinnamon, sugar plum, sugar cookie, and peppermint. A hot gift item during the holidays is shopping for a baby’s first Christmas. Textile artisans may offer themed quilts, colorful blankets, or holiday onesies.

2. Special Holiday Discounts

Offering special discounts for the holidays will certainly encourage more buyers to make a purchase. Ideas for offering deals to consumers include:

  • Buy 1, get second one 50% off deals
  • Buy 1, Get 1 Free offers
  • Buy a product and get a discount on next purchase
  • Advertise a certain percentage taken off
  • Free shipping

3. Special Holiday Packaging

Depending on the size of your crafts and products, special packaging and wrapping for the holidays is appealing to customers. Consider offering fancy bows, gold glittery boxes, and creative gift tags or cards.

4. Send Out Holiday Cards

Sending out holiday cards to previous consumers puts your business in the forefront of their mind when it comes to shopping for gifts. Your thoughtful gesture may include a discount or special offer. Keeping your customers happy is a good way to build loyalty, and they will be more likely to return to your site to check out your latest creations. When sending a holiday postcard advertisement, make sure to showcase popular or new products you wish to highlight in the front design.

5. Send Out Holiday Newsletter

If you’d like to connect to your email subscribers or database of previous customers, send out a holiday-themed newsletter to their inboxes. Provide helpful information to your readers, such as Christmas recipes, Christmas events for local customers, and gift ideas that feature your products.

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.

Soap Crafters – Offline Places to Sell Your Soaps

You’ve prepared the molds, perfected the scents, printed out the labels, and created catchy names…now all you have to do is find buyers for the handcrafted soaps you’ve spent so much time working on. Many crafters set up websites and open up online shops with Etsy and Artfire. However, to maximize profits, you should consider selling your soaps both online and offline. Below you will find a few suggestions for places to sell your soaps about town.

Bath and Body Boutiques

The small stores that sell bath, body and beauty products could be a nice fit for your handcrafted soaps. Browse the local options and strike up a conversation with an owner who seems open to supporting small businesses. Be on the lookout for displays that highlight handmade products not affiliated with their shop. They usually advertise the business by showcasing the business name, location, brochures and business cards. A small table may feature an assortment of products. Intimate displays may decorate the cashiers’ counter.

Bed and Breakfasts

Handcrafted bath supplies add to the coziness and personality of a bed and breakfast, who may crave miniature sizes of scented soaps. Research potential buyers and offer customized scents, designs, colors, and shapes to accommodate the theme of their establishment. Browse your telephone book or conduct an Internet search to locate the B&B’s in your neck of the woods. The local tourism office is another good place to get a list of establishments in your region.

Clothing Boutiques

Clothing boutiques owned by a local are potential buyers of handcrafted soaps because they often enjoy selling quirky creations to satisfy their clientele. Elaborate packaging and labels will entice boutiques that carry expensive upscale clothing. Eco-friendly and organic ingredients are appealing to boutiques that cater to clients looking for all-natural clothing and products.

Independent Gift Basket Companies

Bath and beauty products are popular fillers for gift baskets, especially for Mother’s Day, Valentine’s Day, and Christmas. Gift basket companies often purchase handcrafted soaps to add to their arrangements centered on pampering the recipient. Produce a collection of themed soaps to impress potential buyers.

Independently Owned Pharmacies

The Mom-and-Pop pharmacy usually found in smaller towns often purchase goods from locals to sell. Do not approach the nationwide chains, as they tend to fill their shelves with their own brand of products.

Other places to consider selling your soaps include:

  • Gift shops
  • Health Food Shops
  • Spas

Photo courtesy of MagicSenses.com.

Working with Sea Glass

With alluring shades of green and blue, sea glass creations makes an attractive addition to crafters that sell jewelry on Etsy. Sea glass is formed when it comes in contact with waves, water, and sand, which smooth out the shards (and often creates a frosted appearance). This type of glass is found on beaches, along oceans, in rivers, and collecting at the bottom of large lakes. Many crafters collect the glass to incorporate into their projects, especially when making jewelry.

Sea Glass Colors

When working with sea glass, you are limited by the colors you can use, which are determined by the original source of the glass. The majority of sea glass comes from bottles with the most common shades being Kelly green, brown, blue, and purple (clear). Sometimes, sea glass comes from broken jars, plates, windows, ceramics, and even car windshields. However, the older the pieces of glass, the more interesting and rarer the colors are. For example, old medicine and spirit bottles offer shades of jade and amber. Lime green originates from soda bottles made during the 1960s. As a crafter, working with sea glass can become a fun and rewarding adventure.

Cleaning Your Sea Glass

Before working with sea glass, you need to remove the sometimes unpleasant scent of the sea and any dirt and grime from the outdoors. To get rid of the smell, fill a large bucket with warm, soapy water. Gently submerge the found sea glass into the bucket, taking care not to break any pieces. Allow the sea glass to soak for a bit. The soap and water will help release the scent of the ocean and loosen any sand stuck to the glass. Thoroughly rinse each piece. Small shards can by placed in an old colander to speed up the process.

Arrange your collection in a safe place (away from children and pets). Spread each piece out and let the air dry them off.

A soft bristled brush will gently remove any dirt and grime left behind without damaging the surface of the glass. Scrub along each piece. Rinse the glass once more to remove any dirt that you have loosened. Before storing your glass, use a soft cloth or towel to wipe dry each piece.

Maintain Your Sea Glass

Before using your sea glass to make products for your small business or Etsy shop, don’t forget to dust off any unused glass. You will also need to clean sea glass trinkets on occasion with jewelry cleaner when you have used metal materials.

Ideas for Sea Glass Creations

  • Sea glass picture frame
  • Sea glass earrings
  • Sea glass necklaces and pendants
  • Sea glass-decorated candle holders

 

5 Places to Buy Supplies for a Craft Business

Where do you go when you run out of fabric, yarn, paper, ink, clay, beads, ribbon, and all the other supplies you need to make your creations? When ordering online just won’t do and you need materials quickly, many local stores are ready and willing to help. Offering weekly deep discounts (with some providing 40 to 50% off coupons), the following craft supply stores can help you save on your small business expenses.

Hobby Lobby

With endless aisles of crafting supplies, including jewelry making materials, paints, scrapbooking accessories, and needlecraft tools, Hobby Lobby has 480 stores stretching across 40 states. Save on art brushes for your next masterpiece. Gather up the ribbon you need to dress packages for customers. Other products to consider include beads, sterling silver findings, yarn, cutting mats, and supply storage boxes. Another perk to shopping Hobby Lobby is to take advantage of onsite crafting classes. Keep in mind that all stores are closed on Sundays.

Michaels Arts & Crafts

With constant savings, Michaels Arts & Crafts is a popular place for crafters to purchase supplies. From acrylic paints to pastels, artists can stock up on the paper goods and tools they need to produce the art they sell. Pick up embellishments for your scrapbooking business. Choose from an array of beads, charms, and string for handmade bracelets and necklaces. Gain inspiration for crocheting and knitting baby gifts.

JoAnn Fabrics

Despite the name, JoAnn Fabrics carries much more than just fabric for the next fashionable hit on Etsy. Known as a store for crafters that sew, quilt, knit, and crochet – browse the aisles to purchase scrapbooking supplies, jewelry tools and wood crafts. Cross-stitch is pretty big at JoAnn with an array of kits, including counted and stamped selections. Visit the store to find deals on polymer clay or buy handles for your handmade purse creations.

A.C. Moore

A.C. Moore Arts and Crafts offers materials for an assortment of crafters, including scrapbookers, quilters, painters, and beaders. Candle makers can stock up on wax, scents and fragrances. Soap makers can choose from a variety of essential oils and creative design ideas. Candy makers can find tools and accessories to expand their product line, which includes molds, silicon brushes, and fondant rollers.

Walmart

When is the last time you took a tour of the arts and crafts section of your local Walmart? From a colorful array of beads to scrapbooking materials, there is a wide range of affordable craft supplies at your fingertips. Painters can stock up on canvases and paints. Fabric magicians can upgrade their sewing machine or restock their needles. Other items of interest include pre-cut fabrics, cricut cartridges, laminating supplies, specialty papers, fine art markers, and craft kits.

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How to Gain Traffic to Your Craft Blog

Crafters often establish a blog to spread the word about their latest creations, share techniques and tutorials, as well as communicate with others who have the same passion. Nowadays, your blog is a tiny fish in a gigantic pond of websites that want some of the same things you do – to gain traffic and keep readers interested. So, how do you gain traffic to your craft blog? Consider the following suggestions:

Keep the Content Coming…

A regularly updated craft blog means that you are keeping readers entertained with your knowledge, experiences, and crafts. Keeping to a schedule helps build a relationship with your readers. They know that you have something to say, and they can count on you to keep them routinely informed. The next time a crafter is looking for inspiration, they will more likely visit a reliably active blog.

Attract Attention with Keywords and Tags

Keep the content of your craft blog in the loop by utilizing effective keywords and tags that strengthen your placement in search engines, such as Google and Yahoo. If you’re writing about a beading project for your readers, consider keywords and tags such as: “beading project,” “project for crafters,” “crafting project,” and “bead craft.”

Mingle, Mingle, Mingle

Have you ever left a comment on another blog? You’d be surprised just how many people will curiously make their way to the blogs of their readers – especially when a thoughtful comment or response to their writing or crafts is left behind.

Keep an Eye on Current Traffic

To improve the amount of traffic that comes to your craft blog, it’s important to know what is already working. Your current traffic will give you a glimpse into how people are locating your blog. Use helpful plugins, such as Wassup and Stat Counter, to gain website traffic details. These services record the traffic that comes to your blog – giving you revealing information regarding your blog posts, topics, and links. Hopefully, you’ll be able to answer the following questions:

  • Did entering your site into a crafting directory help?
  • Do you have any keywords that rank high in search engines?
  • Are people finding you because you belong to a specific web forum or discussion group?
  • Are you gaining hits from the comments left behind on other sites?
  • Is Twitter and Facebook connecting you with interested readers?

Get Social

Haven’t explored the possibilities of social media yet? Don’t be afraid of Twitter and Facebook – joining at least one platform can really affect the number of visitors to your blog by increasing your overall exposure. We can help if you’re interested in Using Twitter for Your Etsy Shop or Using Facebook for Your Etsy Shop.