Spool of Thought

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

Posts Tagged ‘blogging’

How To Make A Tie Fleece Blanket

Posted by Kimberly on November 6, 2007

Browsing around the internet the other day, I ran across a really fun site that I managed to get lost in for a couple of hours:  Hubpages.

Hubpages is so full of content shared by a variety of people on a multitude of topics; including the one I want to share with my readers today:  How to Make a Tie Fleece Blanket.

While I found so many crafts I wanted to try, the Tie Fleece Blanket really stood out to me.   How often do we find ourselves invited to a baby shower and need just one more unique item to put in that gift basket?  Or wouldn’t it be nice to have a small blanket to carry along for those summer movies in the park?

Whatever the occasion, this craft project is easy, inexpensive, and has so many options available with fabric choices.   Within minutes I already had several matched fabric pictured in my mind!  And my favorite part?  It’s a NO SEW project!  (Those of you who read regularly know that I have absolutely no sewing skills! lol)

Robin, the creator of this Hub, offers detailed instructions that are clear, concise and very easy to follow.  Images clearly show the steps are also included.

I haven’t yet got started on this project, since I’m still working on making my own appliques and shirt to include a how to here.  So, if anyone gets started before me, or has done this type of blanket before, I would love to hear if it is as simple as it seems to be, along with your likes or dislikes about it.

And I’ll let everyone know how mine turns out! 🙂

P.S.  This is also an excellent idea for craft fairs and bazaars.  And for my Cheer Corner folks, try making these in your school colors and selling them as a fundraiser to students and other fans!

Posted in How To Guides | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

New How To Guide, New Products & Whatever Else Comes to Mind

Posted by Kimberly on November 4, 2007

It has been a busy, busy weekend! 

When I wasn’t running a child to an activity or trying to complete my own errands, I started my latest craft project:  making my own appliques. 

Amazingly, even with my limited crafting skills, making my own appliques were not difficult at all.  With the help of Free Appliques.com, I printed the “School Spirit” letters (also known in many programs as Collegiate lettering) I wanted.  Later, I found some perfect fabric for my idea for $1.00/yard at Wal-Mart!  Then I gathered up some web fusing, felt, and fabric paint and I was set to get started.

As it stands, I’ve completed my appliques to the point that they are ready to apply them to the t-shirt I’ve chosen to use.

If everything goes as planned, I will have this new How To guide listed within the week.  So, if you’re looking for another idea for craft fairs or Christmas gifts, this will be one to look for.   If I screw this up….well, I’ll just post a link to someone who really knows how to do it.  🙂

Moving along….there is some great products coming up this week; including M2M themes Park City Luxe and Snow Blossom, both part of the 2006 line.  These 30 yard and 28 yard, respectively, themes are absolutely adorable! 

This week will also see the addition of Black grosgrain ribbon with White Dippy Dots, Emerald Swiss Dots, and Black Swiss dots.

The Halloween sale was such a huge hit, that I’m working on another sale idea; so stay tuned, you don’t want to miss out!

Hope everyone had a great weekend!  I’ll see ya next week! 🙂 

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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! *

Posted in Managing Your Craft Business | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

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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