Spool of Thought

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

Posts Tagged ‘bazaars’

I Love To Craft.com: A Great Resource for Crafters

Posted by Kimberly on November 5, 2007

I Love To Craft.ComWhether you’re looking for great craft fair projects or getting ready for Christmas, I Love To Craft.com offers some great crafting ideas!

Since Halloween is now passed and the department stores are pushing us all to do our holiday shopping now, one can only image that I headed straight for the Christmas crafts

While I didn’t find their projects to be as extensive as other craft sites I visited, I did find the quality of the crafts offered to be superior.    One craft in particular that I loved and cannot wait to get started on is their No Sew Country Santa.   I absolutely adore primitive crafts and this will be perfect for adding to my country Christmas collection.   The No Sew Country Santa is a great idea too for the limited skills craft (such as myself) as a craft fair project.  Since primitive is in, it’s sure to be a hot item!

After leaving the Christmas section, I was next drawn to the Homemade Gift Ideasarea.   In there is where I found a really neat gift idea for anyone having to or wishing to provide gifts to a large group (such as Cheerleading Squads, Sunday School Classes, etc.):  Cell Phone Covers.  There are very few people these days who do not have cell phones and these inexpensive handmade gifts are easily customized to each recipients favs.

There’s a great deal at I Love to Craft.com that is fun, simple and neat to make!  Take the time to visit them and browse around until you find your favorite craft project.   And, before you leave, be sure to visit their craft forumfor more ideas and socializing with other crafters!

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50 Craft Fair Project Ideas That You Can Start This Weekend!

Posted by Kimberly on November 2, 2007

Wow!  That’s my one word comment on all the wonderful folks I’ve had visit my blog searching for information about craft fairs, whether on finding ideas for projects or selling their crafts.  I shouldn’t be surprised; after all, it’s that time of year again when there’s a craft fair on every corner and plenty of shoppers willing to line a crafters pocket. 

Want in on the fun?  Here’s 50 Craft Fair project ideas that you can get started on right away:

  1. Korker bows (or a multitude of hairbow styles)
  2. Tutus for toddlers and children
  3. Wreaths
  4. Baby blankets and throws
  5. Christmas Tree Skirt
  6. Christmas decorations
  7. Candles
  8. Soaps, lotions & other bath products
  9. Gifts in a Jar (recipe mixes)
  10. Wood crafts (primitive signs, etc.)
  11. Flower pot bird bath
  12. Diaper cakes
  13. Magnets
  14. Ribbon Angel
  15. Glamour Ribbon Garland
  16. Beaded birthstone angel
  17. Clutch/coin purse (very fashionable!)
  18. Tin Can Luminary (votive candle holder)
  19. Christmas stockings (follow pattern then embellish!)
  20. Wedding items (bridal bouquets, veils, etc.)
  21. Girls’ boutique clothing
  22. Floral arrangements
  23. Blue jean apron (make from toddler jeans & embellish for a HUGE hit!)
  24. Baby Nursery Wall Letters
  25. Kitchen apron
  26. Dishtowel angel
  27. Juice Pouch purse (can use with a variety of food containers!) or a Bikini Purse
  28. Jewelry
  29. Plastic bag holder
  30. Life sized Christmas characters
  31. Clay Pot Characters
  32. Embellished lampshades
  33. Mason Jar lamp
  34. Stained glass
  35. Lava lamps (big hit with teens!)
  36. Decorative switch plates (or even outlet covers!)
  37. Decoupage plates
  38. Decorative pillows
  39. Place mats
  40. Doll clothes
  41. Boutique diaper wipes case
  42. Sock Monkeys
  43. Diaper bags
  44. Bird feeders / bird houses
  45. Cloth dolls
  46. Metal crafts
  47. Decorative mailboxes (see ideas 1 and 2)
  48. Stenciled art (lawn furniture, fabrics)
  49. Gift baskets
  50. Pinatas

I hope you enjoyed browsing this list.  There is so much out there, so many unique ideas.   And the more unique the idea, the more desirable the product; so be sure to put your “your special” touch to everything you create! 🙂 

For additional ideas, or for more detailed instructions to some of the ideas above, be sure to visit You Can Make This. com!  Also, for AWESOME deals (and super fast shipping) on craft supplies, be sure to visit Create for Less!

Posted in How To Guides, Managing Your Craft Business | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Fundraisers: A Great Way To Promote Your Business Without Hassle

Posted by Kimberly on November 1, 2007

If there is one great thing about having a craft business, is that it is fairly easy to promote without hassle.   After all, who doesn’t like crafts?  While there are exceptions to every rule, the vast majority do enjoy handmade, quality crafts. 

Through craft fairs and bazaars, crafters have the ability to easily promote themselves with booths.  The customer approaches your booth, no need to seek them out.   Online craft malls and websites such as Etsy bring craft lovers to your virtual door.

But, with the exception of craft fairs and bazaars which, as a general rule, are seaonsal means of sales, how does a crafter continue to promote themselves without a great deal of money and headache?

There are simple ideas that are very often overlooked.   This idea costs nothing more a desire to earn through a willingness to give.   If this interest you, then promotion through fundraising is an excellent way to get your craft business name out there.

Promotion Through Fundraising Option 1:

When I was selling candles, I had a lucrative business online.  Selling wax tarts was easy to sell online because they were easy to package and ship; but candles could, at times, be a hassle.  Therefore, I wanted to focus more of my online business on wax tarts and concentrate on selling candles locally, or “real time” if you will.

At the same time I was operating my candle business, I was also volunteering to oversee the local little league football teams’ cheerleading squads.   One of the things that was necessary in order to purchase uniforms and poms that was needed was annual fundraisers.   Since it was my job to find fundraisers, I saw this as an opportunity to get my name out locally offering this program special fundraising deals.

It was the best thing I ever did for my craft business!  In offering participants a large variety of scented candles at $5.00 each, with $2.00 of each candle being given back to the program, everyone was happy.  In just a short time, I had sold over 400 candles locally and the program had earned almost $1,000! 

Even after leaving the league as the program coordinator, I still had customers who continued to contact me via telephone to place their orders.  And I continued to contribute to the program and promote myself by allowing the program to continue with the fundraiser.

Promotion Through Fundraising Option 2:

This option actually compliments the first, however I wanted to list it separately because of the vast amount of information attached to it.   If you craft an item that would make an excellent fundraiser item and you have a willingness and have ability to take on large quantity orders, you may also want to consider advertising your fundraising option online.

There are numerous sites on the internet that will allow you to submit information about your fundraiser for free.   Here is a listing of some of those sites:

Of course, there are also many paid fundraiser directories on the web too.  However, before paying to submit your site to any of these, I would recommend that you thoroughly investigate the success rate of using these services.

Also, when browsing the links above, you may notice that many of the sites require you to have a website.  If you currently do not have a website, GET ONE! 🙂   In the meantime, however, I would recommend using free services such as eCrater or Flying Cart to set up a temporary web shop.   Sites such as these also allow you to have one or two “blank” pages; so be sure to include fundraising information on one of those pages.

Promotion Through Fundraising Option 3:

When my youngest was born a 31 week preemie in 2004, I had to sell my candle business.   Once he really began thriving, I started seeking out my next business endeavor.  And that is how I came into ribbon sales with speciality in korker ribbon.

Unlike candles, korker ribbon is easily saleable anywhere because of the low shipping cost and easy packaging, but I love local sales; so it was time to begin my self-promotion techniques again.Using korker ribbon or korker bows doesn’t really work well as a fundraiser itself because the market is limited to females.  However, korker bows do work as an excellent contribution to fundraiser ideas such as raffles or silent auctions.

When I began the ribbon business, my son was in elementary school.  Each year his school held a Fall Festival in October.  Each classroom was assigned a theme for a gift basket that would be sold at silent auction during the evening of the event.  There was always one classroom that had a “girly girl,” “health & beauty” or “UT Vols” theme; with any one of those being a perfect opportunity to contribute a korker bow to be included.  If my son’s classroom did not fall into one of these themes, I would still take one of my bows, complete with label bearing my business name, phone number, and address, to the teachers with these themes.   Needless to say, the teachers were more than willing to accept my contribution.  At the same time, there was three bows out there just waiting to be purchased by three new potential customers!

Never pass up the opportunity to donate to fundraising programs such as these.   It doesn’t have the same potential as discussed in the first option, but it is still a great opportunity nonetheless.  And organizors will greatly appreciate your willingness to donate without their having to ask.

* There are so many opportunities to promote yourself through fundraising.   The rewards are well worth the effort! *

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