Spool of Thought

Craft Ideas, How To’s and New Product Introductions from The Ribbon Shoppe!

Archive for October, 2007

Ordinary to Extraordinary: Ten Trash to Treasure Crafts That Will Sell (Reprint)

Posted by Kimberly on October 31, 2007

By Keith Londrie II

When it comes to crafts, do you tend to gravitate toward the unique, the different, and the most eye-catching?

Making crafts is not only a fun and creative endeavor; it can also be quite lucrative. If you’re interested in making and selling crafts, but are worried about production costs, worry no more. Here are ten trash to treasure crafts that are not too costly to produce, and that are sure to sell.

Use old greeting cards to make charming keepsake boxes. Everyone has access to greeting cards, and even if you decide to buy new greeting cards for this project, the expense is minimal. Choose two greeting cards with designs that complement each other nicely. For instance, two greeting cards with flower designs would work well together. Cut one greeting card in half at the fold. Use the part of the card with the design on it to make the box. Use a ruler to make sure your folds are equal lengths. Fold up the sides of the card to form it into a box, and glue the walls into place. Use the second greeting card to form a lid for the greeting card box.

Make a “vignette lantern” using old glass jars. This craft works especially well if you design your lanterns around seasonal or holiday themes. Using old glass jelly or mason jars, create a “scene” inside the jar. For instance, if you want to sell your craft around the Christmas holiday season, create a holiday scene inside the jar with Christmas trees, lights, a Santa, etc.

Create a cool CD clock! This project is very eye-catching and easy to do. Most everyone has old CDs that they have no use for. Why not convert them into working clocks that you can sell? Find an old CD you no longer need and paint it. Use markers and paint to create an original design. Write the clock numbers around the sides of the CD. Use a regular clock as a guide for spacing your numbers. Use the clock works on an old clock and, using a large washer (available at hardware stores), attach the clock works to the back of the CD.

Create an eye-catching fork wind chime. Using a hammer, flatten down the prongs on three or four old forks. Bang the tips so they straighten all the way. Attach the forks to either a piece of wire or strong string. You can drill holes on the handles of the fork and attach them securely to the piece of wire. Attach the wire and forks to another structure. This can be whatever you want’you can fashion another piece of wire into an attractive design and attach the forks to it. The forks will create lovely music in the wind!

Make colorful ornaments out of old light bulbs. Using acrylic paints, design colorful designs on a burnt out light bulb. You can also use a hot glue gun to attach fabric or other accessories to the light bulb. Popular motifs you can try are Santa Claus, Reindeer, or Angel designs. After you’re done decorating your light bulb ornament, use your hot glue gun to attach a loop to the top of your ornament for hanging.

Sell handmade pine cone bird feeders. Not only is this project easy and inexpensive to do, but another perk is that it allows you to clean up your yard! Cut pieces of twine or yarn and wrap them around each pine cone so that you will be able to hang the pine cone securely. Mix part butter and part peanut butter in a bowl and smear it all over a pine cone. Then pour bird seed into a dish and roll the pine cone in the bird seed until it is covered. Place the pine cone in the freezer until it is set (usually takes about an hour). Now it is ready to hang.

Create fun yard art from thrift shop treasures. This project allows you to really stretch your imagination to create wonderful yard art creations. Search out thrift shops to find old chairs, tables, baker’s racks just about anythingto create planters and yard decorations. With a new coat of paint and a little imagination, you’ll be able to create one of a kind yard art.

Make fun rag dolls out of old jeans. You can fashion dolls out of old blue jeans. Use old soft sweaters to make clothes for the doll, yarn for the hair, and hot glue buttons for the eyes. You can make a whole series of these dolls and sell them at crafts fairs.

Create beautiful folk art aluminum flowers. Find unusual aluminum beer or soda bottles. With a pair of utility scissors, cut the soda cans open. Cut out a rectangular piece of aluminum and smoothen it down. Use a marker to draw a flower design on the piece of aluminum. Cut out your flower, using steel wool to soften out any rough, jagged spots. Use an awl to curl petal edges, and punch out holes if your design calls for it. Attach a metal rod to your aluminum flower to act as a stem. You can create a lovely bouquet, if you wish!

Make and sell truly unique art mailboxes. You can purchase used metal mailboxes very inexpensively at thrift stores, and then decorate them to make a profit. You can also personalize these mailboxes for your clients!

About the Author:  Keith Londrie II is the Webmaster of http://acraftfairgoldmine.coffee-info.info A website that specializes in providing information on a craft fair gold mine that you can research on the internet.(reprinted from http://www.article-outlet.com)

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No Tricks, Just Treats Halloween Sale on Korker Ribbon Theme Lots!

Posted by Kimberly on October 30, 2007

halloweenpumpkin.jpg

HAPPY HALLOWEEN!!


Beginning Tuesday, October 30, 2007 through Wednesday, October 31, 2007, The Ribbon Shoppe is holding a “No Tricks, Just Treats” Halloween sale!!!  Save 25% on all korker ribbon theme lots including Collegiate, M2M Gymboree, Holiday, and Original theme lots!

And…..bloggers can save even more by receiving free shipping when using discount coupon code FREESHIP50 on orders totaling $50 or more!

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Craftbits.com: Cool Craft Ideas, Cool Features

Posted by Kimberly on October 30, 2007

craftbitsscreen.GIFIf you craft, want to craft, or have only briefly thought about doing a craft, you’ve got to check out Craftbits.com!  I had so much fun at this site, that I had literally had to force myself to close my browser window and call it a night!

Unlike most crafting sites who post ideas, Craftbits.com is truly interactive!  Visitors are invited to take advantage of free membership that has some awesome features, such as:  ability to bookmark favorite projects and articles, submit your own projects to be recognized and rated, access to the exclusive members only craft advice section, exclusive entry into craft competitions, access to members only promotions and freebies, and direct email notifications of project updates and upcoming competitions.

If you don’t get swamped with the membership freebies, then you’ll no doubt get bogged down in all the great craft ideas on every subject or occasion you can imagine!  With each click to a new category, I found myself simply amazed at the amount of information presented.   Simply put:  thank heavens that I live 45 minutes away from the nearest crafting store!  Otherwise, I’d probably be broke by this afternoon from a craft supply shopping frenzy!

An interactive, user friendly website with so many unique craft ideas…who’s behind it all?  According to the About Us at Craftbits.com, this huge endeavor is run by only two women; a mother/daughter team who enjoy crafting.  Rita and Shellie Wilson, of Brisbane, Australia, have extensive experience in crafting; having been teachers of crafts “to the young, old and disabled” along with owning and operating craft supply stores.

There’s so many wonderful things to do at Craftbits.com.  I recommend having a minimum of three hours to spend there before going….’cause once you’re there, it’s hard to leave! )

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Pricing Your Craft Product: Retail & Wholesale

Posted by Kimberly on October 29, 2007

Recently I was approached by a longtime, loyal customer (although our emails are more like those exchanged between friends!), looking to branch out in her korker bow business, who had someone interested in purchasing her products at wholesale for their upscale children’s clothing website.

As a relatively new business, this question left her a little overwhelmed and she asked my opinion about setting her wholesale price.    After digging out some of my old information, I provided her with my formula for determining wholesale pricing.  And that’s when it dawned me <insert a “V-8″ slap on the head here>, there’s probably plenty more young businesses that could benefit from this information.

However, dear reader, don’t fret because you are not stuck with my formula alone.  I took the time today to seek out expert advice on this topic.  Although, I am happy to report that their formulas and mine were very similar; basically, they can explain it better.  )

Bear in mind, this article is directed at those who are looking to market product crafted by them.  This formula may not work well for other types of products.

The very first thing you need to do to determine your product pricing is to determine what the product is costing you.   Formula:  materials (cost of) + time (cost of labor) = base price (minimum).

Let’s use the following as an example:

Becky is selling boutique hairbows.  She purchases her ribbon wholesale at $10/100 yards (10¢ per yard).  The french barrettes are purchased at $5.00/100 (5¢ per barrette).   Each bow requires 3 yards of ribbon and one barrette.  In addition, she requires the use of electricity to operate her hot glue gun. 

The first step in her formula is going to be:  $.10 x 3 + 1 x $0.05 = $0.35.  Since it is difficult to determine the exact cost of electricity and glue used, I recommend using a base figure.  In this case, I would use $0.10 for these two costs of production.  Adding the 10¢ to the already calculated 35¢, we now have a base total of $0.45.

If Becky adds a product label (bow holder card) to her bows, she must add the cost of that into her base total.  I would recommend having such items done by a professional printer if possible (you save in the long run versus purchasing your own ink, cardstock and taking into consideration wear and tear on your printer), which makes the cost easier to determine also; however, if Becky chooses to print her own labels, she must also take the cost of ink, cardstock, etc. into account.

Accounting for everything from ribbon to label, Becky’s product costs her $0.78 to produce.  Now, it’s time for Becky to determine what she wants to make (cost of labor) per hour for her craft.  She decides that she is happy earning minimum wage:  $5.75/hour.   The product requires 12 minutes from start to finish; so she calculates that based on a round-up to 15 minutes (or one-quarter of an hour.)  So she uses the formula:  $5.75 / 4 (for 1/4 hour) = $1.4375 (or $1.44).  Adding $1.44 (cost of labor) to $0.78 (cost of materials), equals $2.22.  This figure becomes the absolute minimum amount Becky will could for her boutique bows.

But… who wants to work for the minimum, right?  Becky sure doesn’t! So, how does she come up with her retail price?  She multiplies $2.22 x 2.5 (or 3, if you prefer) to equal $5.55.  This becomes the price for which she sells her bows.  If she wishes, she may even round that up to $5.95 for psychological marketing purposes and to cover any unexpected costs that may arise or been left unaccounted.

Becky also wants to offer her bows at wholesale too.  The best way to wholesale her products is to require a minimum order; whether it is a minimum piece requirement or dollar amount. 

For the sake of this article, we’ll use the minimum piece requirement.  Becky offers retailers where her product offers a complimentary touch to their existing product wholesaling pricing when they order a minimum of 50 boutique bows.  For this price, Becky simply divides the $5.95 by 2 for a price of $2.975 ($2.98 per piece).  A retailer purchasing the minimum will be billed $149.00 (plus any shipping cost, if necessary).

Just a side note:  for Becky’s small business, I would recommend that she collects her fees in advance or, at minimum, requires a deposit totaling one-half (1/2) of the purchase price.

Retail and wholesale pricing for crafts is as sample as that!  Of course, as there is always an exception to every rule, each crafter will have to work with this formula to perfect it for his/her product.   And, for each product that is not identical in cost, the formula will have to be followed again to determine that specific product’s price.

In closing, I’d like to remind readers that just because your cost of materials go down, don’t feel that you have to lower the cost of your product.  Once customers are adapted to paying a price for a product, leave it be.  Price changes should reflect increase.  UNLESS (sort of like the final “but”) the market becomes extremely saturated with identical products, in which case greater supply produces lower demand and thus drives the price downward.  One way to avoid this mishap to ensure that your product stands out from the rest in quality, style, etc. thereby encouraging buyers to pay the additional cost for YOUR brand name.

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