Spool of Thought

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

Posts Tagged ‘money’

Where To Find Craft Fairs, Shows & Festivals to Sell Your Product

Posted by Kimberly on May 7, 2008

It’s getting to be that time of year when everyone starts gearing up for craft fairs. While Christmas is undoubtedly the most popular time to get those handmade goodies out to market, spring runs a very close second. Something about the perfect temperatures, beautiful blooms, and the availablity of fresh air after a clausterphobic inducing winter offers a prime opportunity to celebrate with festivals that include crafts.

You know that your item would be a great seller, but you’re just not sure where to begin. Finding the perfect craft fair is the place to start, and after that it’s all a breeze!

While you can spend hours searching Google or Yahoo for craft shows in your area, it’s simply easier to have all the information in one place.

Let me introduce you to the Fairs & Festivals Vendor Calendar. Not only does this beautifully laid-out, easy to navigate site offer you detailed information about craft festivals in your area and how to register for them, but they also offer great information on pricing your crafts, an event checklist, and a tutorial on understanding juried and non-juried shows.

Whether you’re an experienced showman or not, I’m sure you will find the Fairs & Festivals Vendor Calendar a useful tool in your craft business!

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

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 »

Competing on a Budget: Unique Fundraising Ideas for Cheerleading Squads

Posted by Kimberly on November 6, 2007

It’s competition time again!  The season cheerleaders and cheer coaches wait and work for all year long. 

Having been a cheerleading coach in the past, I know just how time consuming fundraising for these events can be.   And it seems that with each year, the fundraising tasks become more tedious.  Parents, coaches and squad members alike get tired of selling the same items, having the same car washes, soliciting the same businesses for donations; the list can go on and on.

When I was coaching, I was always looking for unique ideas; fundraisers that appealed to parents and members alike.   During my never ending search, I developed several fundraising ideas that I’m sure can help some weary group of parents out there.

Since my competing squad (I was also coaching two little league and a middle school squad) was a group of all stars from various local school squads, these ideas were geared toward the individual costs of getting to competition.  However, these ideas can be easily adjusted to fit a group that fundraises as a whole.

Hotel Accommodations:  I found that our hotel accommodations for one or two days where we were competing was our largest expense.   Often, even with discounted package deals from the event hosts, the cost could easily run $250 to $300 for two days.

In an effort to cut these costs, I encouraged my squad members’ parents to work year long toward “saving” for this particular expense.  I began by providing information to them on how to open a HHonors account.   In addition, I also provided information on how to earn HHonors points by registering with and participating in programs such as MyPoints and eRewards.  These sites are free to register and you can actually earn points to redeem toward Hilton Honors pointswithout spending a dime!  (If you decide to register, please use my email address, kimberly.cantrell@gmail.com, as your referral.  Thank you!)

Parents and squad members alike can participate in these programs and save their points to apply toward their hotel accommodations.  Now, bear in mind, that using this method will require each squad member and their parent to be responsible for making their own reservations.  In addition, it is likely that not everyone will be in adjacent rooms; or even the same hallway.  But, those few minor inconveniences aside, it’s a great way for saving the costs of overnight stays.

Another way to this to establish an account for the squad.  Since HHonorsallows participants to transfer points, fundraising organizers can set a date for all members to transfer their points to the squad account.  Then it is possible for one person to book the hotel accommodations, rather than relying on parents to do this.

Many other Hotel chains such as Best Western and Days Inn offer programs similar to the Hilton Honors points program.  You may wish to check with their programs (be sure to read the fine print to ensure that everyone can qualify).

You may wish to include a list of other ways to earn these points which can be found by reading The Definitive “How To Earn Hilton HHonors Points” threadat Flyertalk forums.

Food:  After the entry fees are paid and the hotel accommodations are booked, the next biggest expense one will find is that associated with food. 

A great way to earn fast food (and even casual dining) gift cards is to participate in RewardTV.  After all, who doesn’t watch television, right?  Simply register then take quizzes on the television shows you watch the previous evening and earn points (hint:  watch the commercials to accumulate more points).  For as little as 150,000 points (most games can earn you at least 1000 points), you can purchase $5.00 gift cards for places such as McDonalds, Burger King, Subway and more.   Five bucks may not sound like much at face value, but add them together and you can easily eat for free the whole weekend!

And here is an interesting side note that’s worth remembering.  If you didn’t have time to watch television the night before, just visit the Rewards & Points Programs section of BigBigForums.com.  Many members share the correct answers to quizzes they’ve already taken! 

An additional way to save money on food expenses, while not a “do it for free” method, is to search for gift cards at places such as Certificate Swap or Gift Card Buy Back.   These places offer gift cards at a fraction of the face value of the card.  For example, a $10.00 McDonald’s Arch card may only cost you $6.00; meaning you basically get $4.00 worth of free food.  

Gas Expense:  If your squad will be traveling by car, you can use the methods listed for acquiring food cards to obtain gas cards as well.   

These ideas may seem a little “off the wall” to use as a means of fundraising, but they can and do work; thus, making them truly unique.    There’s so many ways to earn money online for your squad if you just put it to work for you.  In addition to trying the methods mention here, keep in mind other ways such as using a squad blog as an avenue to advertise and ask for donations (make sure your content is worthy of donations) or using your squad’s website as a means to earn money by way of Affiliate Marketing (visit Self Starters Weekly Tips for AWESOME information on affiliate marketing).

Once you try these methods, you’ll be spoiled!  And back-breaking car washes and bake sales will be a thing of the past!

Posted in The Cheer Corner | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

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 »