Getting Inspiration from Crafting Magazines

Where do you get your inspiration from when creating crafts and enhancing the products you offer consumers? For some, subscribing to craft-related magazines helps to expand their overall knowledge of their field, learn new techniques, become familiar with the latest tools and materials, and of course – get new ideas. If you’re looking for inspiration for your craft business, perhaps the following publications can rejuvenate your creativity.

For Quilters and Knitters

McCall’s Quilting Magazine is committed to teaching you the latest techniques in your craft with detailed instructions that come in six monthly issues. American Patchwork & Quilting Magazine is the brainchild of the publishers from Better Homes & Gardens, which is delivered six times per year. Quilters are treated to an array of patterns, instruction, and sparks of creativity. Previously called Knitting Digest, pick up a Creative Knitting Magazine to browse quick and easy knitting patterns, which come six times per year. If your craft is crocheting, Crochet! Magazine offers six issues per year, where you can create heartfelt gifts for your consumers.

For Multi-Media Artists

If you work with ceramics, glass, metal, fiber art and jewelry, AmericanStyle Magazine provides award-winning content – six times per year. Some of the topics discussed in the publication include sculpting, woodworking, beaded crafts, and helpful resources.

For Card Makers and Paper Crafts

If you’re looking to expand the types of cards you offer, Card Maker Magazine is a decent resource for becoming familiar with the freshest ideas. Expect six issues per year. For the crafter that goes beyond card making and creates a wide range of paper projects, a subscription to Paper Crafts Magazine is suggested, which comes six times per year.

For Scrapbookers

A subscription to Creating Keepsakes Magazine comes every month, where you’ll be kept abreast on the latest ideas and newest techniques in the scrapbooking world. Providing eight issues per year, Scrapbooks Etc. Magazine offers inspiration and instruction that caters to a variety of skill levels. The magazine is regarded for its photography and step-by-step directions.

Etiquette Tips for Craft Shows

Crafters often sell their creations at local shows and fairs. The opportunity provides great exposure for artisans and generally forges connections that can help businesses go. You can learn about craft shows in your area by reading the newspaper, subscribing to trade magazines, and browsing online. Once you get into the swing of attending and participating in craft shows – it’s a good idea to become familiar with common etiquette.

Read the entire application.

Usually, you must submit an application or fill out a form in order to participate in a craft show. Read all of the terms and conditions, as well as become familiar with the code of conduct. You don’t want to break any of the rules on your first appearance.

Dress casual.

Appear neat, casual, and professional when participating in a craft show. Wear some of your own products if you make accessories or clothing. Come dressed in an apron if you are demonstrating a craft. Business T-shirts and sweatshirts also double as effective advertisements.

Prompt set-up time.

Your booth should be completely set up before the show begins.

Mind your manners.

While showing your wares at a craft show, respect your fellow crafters by being friendly, courteous, and professional.

Keep socialization down to a minimum.

Sometimes the excitement of participating in your first craft show is overwhelming and you may appear overly friendly. Remember that this is a time to sell your creations. If you monopolize the time of other vendors – both of you miss out on potential customers. Never block a customer’s path to a seller.

Mind your space.

You paid for a certain area to show off your crafts and that is the space you should stay within during a show. This also means making sure your display, brochures, posters, and crafts do not invade the space of others.

Come prepared.

Some crafters offer demonstrations or on-the-spot creations during a show. It is important to have all of your tools and supplies handy so you don’t need to rely on the generosity of fellow crafters.

Be helpful.

When a fellow crafter needs to dash to the bathroom or take a food break, and they ask you to watch their booth for a few moments – score cool points by lending a helping hand.

Stay positive.

Just like any gathering that involves different groups of people, there is the possibility that you will face competition, off-putting comments, gossip, and jealousy. Stay positive and don’t feed into negativity.

 

Scrapbookers: Selling Pre-Made Layouts & Images on Etsy

Scrapbooks are a popular method of preserving memories of loved ones, events, and experiences. The time and creativity that goes into making scrapbooks is sometimes too much for some people to handle.

Luckily, Etsy offers a place where scrapbookers can not only show off their talents, but also provide a platform to sell supplies and make money. Below you will learn about some of the ways scrapbookers can make money on Etsy.

1) Pre-Made Scrapbook Layouts

Pre-made layouts allow people to quickly catalogue their memories in an eye-catching and innovative fashion. There are two different ways to approach layouts for scrapbooks: generic or themed. Possible themes include: new baby, wedding, vacation, graduation, and anniversaries. Your layouts should include appealing embellishments (such as buttons, ribbons, stamps, and rhinestones), photo mats, and room for users to write down their thoughts, titles, or information.

2) Images for Scrapbooks

While personal photos play an important role in scrapbooks, digital images are also used to enhance pages. Artisans either draw or design images that are saved as PNG or JPEG files. Images are provided to Etsy shoppers with a transparent background that they can download, and then print or edit in their own graphics program. From vintage-style imagery to cartoony illustrations, there is no end to the kind of art you can provide scrapbookers. To truly stand out, create images that are unique and hard-to-find.

3) Paper Designs

Some Etsy crafters sell high-quality designs saved with high resolution, which serve as patterned papers for scrapbookers. The consumer then has the option to print the patterns on paper of their choosing, such as textured, plain, colored, glossy, or of varying thickness.

4) Digital Fonts

For people that enjoy digital scrapbooking, having a variety of fonts provides more opportunities for creativity to blossom. Some scrapbookers also print out digital fonts to include in the pages of their physical albums. When looking for fonts to create, consider fancy script for wedding scrapbooks, children’s handwriting for baby books, and hobby-related fonts.

5) Stickers

Adhesive embellishments are a popular way to decorate scrapbooking pages. To ensure the longevity of the layout, offer consumers acid-free stickers. You may also want to include stickers that match existing layout pages and papers available at your Etsy shop.

6) Embellishments

Scrapbookers are always on the lookout for unique ways to adorn their pages. Since Etsy allows crafters to sell supplies, you could also outfit your store with vintage trinkets, charms, envelope tags, stamps, die cut cardstock, and metal embellishments.

How to Host a Craft Party

Let’s say you run a craft business or simply craft for a hobby, and you want to share your creativeness with family and friends. What better way to introduce your love of crafting than to host a craft party? With food, drinks, and tons of imagination, your loved ones and buddies may spark an interest they never knew existed.

1. Gather Craft Ideas

Browse craft books and magazines to get an idea of the type of crafts you’d like to introduce to your guests. Choose crafts that you have made before. Consider the people you’d like to invite and adjust your crafts according to their skill levels. Will children be present at your party? Prepare to set up a table with mini-projects they can complete.

2. Create an Invitation

Once you’ve settled on the crafts for the party, create invitations. Email or mail out your invitations using graphics that correspond with the theme of your party.

3. Make Examples

Before hosting your party, you need to make examples of the crafts beforehand. These will serve as guides for your guests as they follow along with each step.

4. Table and Chairs

A table large enough to accommodate all of your guests will create a warm gathering. Make sure everyone has a comfortable chair to sit in. The surface should be flat and clean.

5. Supplies

When buying supplies for your craft party, purchase enough for each guest along with a few extras. On the day of the party, divide the materials and situate at each seat. Have at least two of any tool that needs to be shared. Print out copies of directions for every guest.

6. Music

Music helps set the mood for a craft party, but make sure that it plays low so that it doesn’t interrupt any conversation or instruction.

7. Food and Snacks

Before kicking off your craft party, it’s suggested to serve a light meal, pass out appetizers and/or put out snacks. If you’re hosting a craft party during the holidays, serve complementary food. Think eggnog and sugar cookies for Christmas. Jellybeans and pastel-colored cupcakes are perfect for Easter time. Other suggestions include flavored coffees, hot cocoa, tea, finger sandwiches, and packaged cookies.

8. Camera

Have a camera on hand to take photos of the crafting process, as well as the finished products. Perhaps the next party could include creating a scrapbook of the event.

6 Tips for Beginners Running a Home Crafts Business

When you’re ready to make a little extra money at home or transform a hobby into a full-fledged crafts business, there are a handful of ways to prepare for this new adventure. Are you ready for the groundwork and organization it takes to run a crafts business at home? Before you get started, there are a few things that all beginners should know before they dedicate their time, energy and resources to the competitive world of crafting.

1. Determine Money-Making Potential

For the majority of beginners, the point of running a crafts business at home is to turn a profit. Whether you’re a wizard at crocheting baby blankets or making organic lotions for sensitive skin, you have to ask yourself if your craft is something that customers need. Your crafts business will be a success if you provide goods that serve a purpose, which translates into sales. Will there be a demand for what you have to offer?

2. Do your Homework

Before establishing a home-based crafts business, one of the first things to do is research the basic market. After establishing the demand for your crafts, pinpoint the type of people who will most likely purchase your goods. This will also come in handy when making advertising decisions. Identify the places where your potential customers will live – think of local, regional, national and global interests. Research the average price of similar products.

3. Are You Unique?

Since there are thousands of crafts businesses competing for the attention of consumers, it is important to stand out from the rest. To succeed in the industry, you must offer something unique and in many cases – one-of-a-kind crafts. For example, if you make beaded necklaces – what sets your creations apart from the thousands of other jewelry makers? Do you use a special technique, exotic stone, or offer an intricate pattern? Recognize your competition and analyze what makes their business work. This doesn’t mean the same formula will work for you, but you can get an idea on how to become a better business within your industry.

4. Test Out the Demand

It’s hard for many crafters to take a step back from their creations and assess the true demand for their product. When you’re looking for constructive criticism, call upon friends and family to lend a hand. Seek out five to ten of the most honest loved ones who will give you the best opinions. Also, pick people who most likely shop for the kinds of products that you offer. For instance, if you sew baby outfits, ask new parents for their opinions. Interview each loved one on an individual basis. Ask them what they like about your products, if any improvements are needed, if they have any concerns, and would they give your product as a gift.

5. Set a Competitive Price

Once you’ve assessed if there is demand for your product, you’re going to need a competitive price. One of the easiest ways to create a price range is to follow the lead of competitors. Take notes of an acceptable range for highest and lowest dollar amount. Keep in mind that your prices will fluctuate throughout the lifetime of your crafts business.

6. Sell Beyond the Internet

The Internet is not the only place to sell your crafts when starting a small business at home. Many crafters find success in setting up a booth at a local craft fair, farmer’s market, and other venues. Approach local shops that sell gifts, art and other trinkets. Ask the store manager if they’d be willing to carry one of your lines.

How to Save Money on Crafts Business Supplies

When purchasing supplies for your crafts business, you have two choices – immediately save money with less expensive tools or splurge on quality. For the tools that are most important for your line of crafting, it is suggested to purchase the best. In short, they will save you money because they will last longer. Other money-saving tips for crafts business supplies include:

Buy Wholesale and Bulk

If you anticipate needing a lot of one supply, look into purchasing wholesale or in bulk whenever possible. Shop around for suppliers who give discounts to crafters who buy in large quantities. For the most part, buyers usually take advantage of a certain percentage of savings that increases when their volume increases. Some suppliers also waive shipping fees for large orders.

Make Your Own

Some crafts businesses have learned that it pays to make their own supplies rather than invest in commercial options. For example, if you are in the handmade jewelry business, save money by making your own clasps, ear wires, head pins, and other findings. For beaders, instead of purchasing beads – consider making your own, which also adds to the uniqueness and originality of your craft business.

Do Not Waste

If you have to cut materials for your crafts, it is important to carefully measure after calculating appropriate amounts, lengths, and widths. Don’t work with your materials off of the top of your head. Make good use of a ruler or tape measure so that you don’t unnecessarily waste your supplies. Over the lifetime of your craft business, saving a little can go a long way in the future.

Visit Thrift Stores

Depending on the type of craft business you run, a thrift store is a goldmine for gathering materials and used goods that can save you money on supplies. This is also a perfect way for crafters who upcycle or recycle to find clothing, fabrics, and embellishments.

The Dollar Store

The Dollar Store allows you to save money on packaging and supplies for a crafts business. From a rainbow of ribbon colors and tissue paper to small boxes and bubble envelopes, the Dollar Store certainly helps small businesses cut costs. For some, materials and crafting supplies are also available for next-to-nothing prices.

Reuse Scraps

What can you do with an extra square of fabric, piece of wire, or a few lone beads? Reusing scraps and repurposing extra materials can make products you may have not intended on. That’s extra money in your product if your impromptu craft catches someone’s eye.  Save scraps for later use – you never know when something will come in handy.

How to Protect the Name of Your Crafts Business

A business name is one of the most important pieces to your crafts business puzzle. It is how most consumers will identify your products, advertising, and brand. For offline and online crafts business owners, you should become familiar in how to protect your name. Following the proper procedures will not only shield you from business thievery, but can also save you time, money and legal complications that arise after you become rich and famous.

An Original Name

With thousands upon thousands of crafts businesses springing up each year, it becomes harder to find an original name that hasn’t been taken. Before you fall in love with a business name, you must check to see if another crafter is using it. A simple online search isn’t going to be enough to ensure full protection. Conduct a business name search with the Trademark Electronic Search System found on the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office website.

Learn the Difference Between Copyright and Trademark

When it comes to protecting intellectual property, it is a must to become familiar with ‘copyright’ and ‘trademark.’ Copyright generally protects “original works of authorship,” such as a book you’ve written on the crafting business. Trademark will protect your business name, titles, brand, and logos.

Trademark Registration

Technically, your crafts business is protected as soon as you start it, but if you want to utilize the strongest line of defense, trademark registration is a must. Registering your business establishes legal documentation that protects your business. This act will come in handy if you should ever need to take legal action.

Constant Internet Searches

Just because you have legally registered your business doesn’t mean people won’t try to capitalize off of your hard work. It is important to conduct online searches on a regular basis for your business name, slogan, and website copy. Browse relevant entries to identify copyright and trademark infringement.

Google Alerts

Another way to keep your eye out for infringement is to set up Google Alerts for blog posts, news, and other information regarding the name of your business. This will help keep an eye out for both the positive and negative online activity concerning your crafts business.

Online Business Directories

Registering your business name and website with online directories can help you solidify your presence and originality within the marketplace. Hundreds of directories allow business owners to submit website descriptions and links, which also increases your online visibility. Don’t forget to focus on online directories that are specific to the crafts industry.

Offline Advertising for Your Crafts Business

Even if you’re running an online crafts business, you can still effectively promote your goods offline. Why is considering a variety of advertising methods important for your business? For some crafters, the bulk of their sales will come from local avenues. Depending on your budget, you may want to consider the following offline advertising options for your crafts business:

Business Cards

Whenever you strike up a conversation about your crafts, show your professionalism and leave a lasting impression with a business card. Today, it is very inexpensive to order business cards for offline advertising purposes. In popular venues, the small size of the cards also makes it easy to leave behind on bulletin boards and in other public places.

Newspaper Ad

People still read the newspaper and taking out a small print ad introducing your crafts business can capture the attention of potential consumers. The most beneficial listing is one printed in the Sunday newspaper when the majority of classified ads are also posted. For less expensive, printed advertising, submit an ad to the local Pennysaver and other smaller local publications offered for free at newsstands.

Craft Shows

Sell your goods and spread the word about your crafts business by mingling with other crafters. Interacting with consumers and displaying your talent is an effective method of offline advertising. Pass out business cards and collect the contact information of other crafters to learn more about your local market.

Flyers

Spring for a professionally designed flyer or print out your own basic flyers at home. Share the name of your business, logo, and contact information. Add a few pictures of your products and advertise any discounts or sales you may offer. Drum up interest by including a coupon or discount code on the flyer. Distribute flyers in local places, such as grocery stores and restaurants. Tack flyers up on bulletin boards at schools, supermarkets, and laundromats.

Postcards

If you’re interested in finding a local shop to carry your product line, create colorful postcards tat introduce your crafts business. Mail or hand out the cards when meeting shopkeepers face to face. Pass out seasonal postcards to consumers during the holidays – you never know when someone is looking for a unique gift to give.

5 Ways to Sell Your Crafts

Every day, new crafts businesses are born. From handmade soap collections to hair bows for children, someone is making money selling a product that they create on their own. In order to make the most out of your talent and hard work, it’s important to explore the different ways you can sell your crafts. To get started, below are a handful of craft-selling suggestions:

1. The Internet

The Internet provides a convenience for shoppers who don’t like leaving the comforts of their own home to obtain products, crafts, and gifts. Online craft businesses also save money because they don’t have to worry about maintaining a costlier bricks-and-mortar shop. Selling your crafts on the Internet is a low-risk approach towards making money. An online crafts business is relatively easy to establish and offers a wide range of selling options, including Artfire, Etsy, and establishing “shopping carts” on personal websites.

2. At-Home Business

Depending on the type of business you plan on running, a simple home office or large basement can become an ideal place to sell your crafts. Some people have taken advantage of a walkout basement and have transformed the lower level of their home into a crafts business. In addition to making crafts, the large space is also perfect for storing equipment, organizing supplies, and greeting customers looking for custom pieces. Things to think about include the need for a permit or license, signage options, parking space, and the practicality of using your home space.

3. Home Parties

If you don’t want to commit to using you’re a large part of your house as a place to physically sell your crafts, consider hosting events at home. Similar to Tupperware parties, you can invite family, friends, neighbors, co-workers, and other interested faces you meet along to way. To alert potential consumers when you’re hosting the next party, an inexpensive method is to create an email list to send virtual invitations.

4. Craft Shows and Local Fairs

A large number of crafters are selling their creations at local fairs, festivals and other events about town. When selecting a venue to sell your crafts, keep in mind fees, advertising costs, and how many visitors you expect to come in contact with. Print up business cards to make the most out of your craft show encounters.

5. Family and Friends

One of the best ways to sell your crafts is to let your family and friends pass along your information. Word of mouth is a powerful method of advertising. For example, a jewelry maker should float a few eye-catching pieces to loved ones, as well as arm them with business cards. When someone asks where they got their fabulous necklace from, they can talk up your business and hand out your contact details.