Setting Up a Handmade Business

 Welcome back to the blog! Today we are going to talk about setting up a handmade business. This is a little series I started last week. If your interested in why I am starting this series go read my last post. When it comes to setting up a handmade business it can be a little overwhelming. So throughout this series I am going to break it down into 10 simple steps to follow.

A handmade business owner usually wears many hats at least when first starting out. When the business becomes more successful they might be able to hire an employee or atleast outsource some work. In order to reach that point it is important to lay a sturdy foundation for the business. This post is going to be all about setting up a handmade business with a good business base.

Before starting anything the biggest decision is deciding what your going to make, how your going to market it, and where you’re going to sell it. These don’t have to be very detailed but having those three things thought out will help guide you in the following decisions.

Deciding what to sell

When thinking about what your going to sell keep in mind this is something you need to really enjoy. Your business will be centered completely around this. You need to believe in your product and trust that you are going to like it in 5 years.

Once you have that figured out next you have to think about the money. How much will your supplies cost? How long will it take you to make? How much can you sell it for? Will anyone buy it? Lastly is there a lot of other people selling it? All of these questions are going to determine your financial start up.

One thing I recommend but is not completely necessary is to open a bank account. Once you have that open put however much money you want to start your business with. This is what you will use to pay for everything to start. All product materials, packaging supplies, business materials, display set up, marketing. At first you will be taking out way more than you will be putting in but when you start making sales you should be able to build up that bank account.

Next you need to name your business. This can be something to do with you, the things you sell, or a unique name all together. My ‘brand’ is Create Lynn. It represents me and what I create. So as time goes on and I might change what I am selling I never have to change my name. Create Lynn is also my blog, YouTube channel, Instagram, Facebook, and handmade business. Before deciding on a name look online, social media, and Etsy to see if there is already accounts, profiles, or companies with that name.

Marketing a Handmade Business

Having a good marketing strategy in place before you have your products made is a good idea. This way as soon as the products are made or even as you are developing them you can start building an audience and brand awareness. If you’r going to spend a lot of time making a product you want someone to know your making it.

First thing to do is start an email account using your brand name. This is what you will use to set up all social accounts. This is also the email you will use for all things pertaining to your business. You don’t want to be giving out your personal email and business email. That creates an easy way to miss something important.

Take advantage of free marketing. There is no reason to spend money on marketing at first. With social media, brands are getting great free recognition. So set up social accounts. Even if you don’t plan on using them all at first it’s still a great idea to set them up so someone else doesn’t start an account with your name. Something very important is to have the same name on all social platforms.

When it comes to posting on social platforms remember you are creating a brand. Keeping your social accounts professional is important. Also making your brand personable is important. This will let your followers and customers know who you are. It will allow them to connect with the owner and feel better knowing more about where their product comes from. So start all your account with an introduction post say something about yourself and maybe give some history about why you decided to start your handmade business.

Selling your Handmade Items

Finally deciding where your going to sell. Starting with local craft shows and vendor fairs is a great option. It allows you to get your product out there and see how the public responds. It also requires a lot of planning and inventory. Selling online provides a wider audience and sales can be made to order.

Doing both of these is a good option as well. This is personally how I am running my handmade business. I work on building inventory for the craft shows and I am able to post everything on Etsy that I dont sell. As this series continues I will talk more about how I prepare for craft shows.

What is Next

By taking the time to really think about all these things and do them well you will create a good base for setting up a handmade business. Starting a handmade business takes time especially if you are already working a fulltime job.  Done correctly it could lead to some pretty awesome opportunities. Take your time, do not stress, and enjoy it. A lot of these things you are doing now will only be done once so make sure to take the time and do them exactly the way you want to.

In the next post we will be talking all about creating a product line. Since this is just a mini series I thought I would share as I prepare for craft show season to start I do not have a set posting schedule. My plan is to have a new step out every other or every two days. So come back in a couple day to talk about creating a product line.

Chasing my Dream: Selling Hand Made Items

Ever since I was a young girl I have dreamed about working for myself. As I got older I had all these ideas that would come and go. I am still not to the point where I can work for myself and support my family but I can do it to make some side money.

New Mini Series

Craft show and vendor season is starting up and I thought I would start a mini series about how I sell what I make. So as a little back story. I am very new to the craft show world. I dabbled in selling on Etsy for a little bit. But I have always loved crafting and selling what I make through word of mouth.

This summer I want to take it to he next level. Over the winter I made some holiday coffee mugs and wine glasses just to make some extra money. I knew it wouldn’t be a long term business but I enjoyed doing it. Now I am working towards creating a brand.

As you may know we recently got a puppy and I decided to make him some toys and bandanas because I’m crafty and on a budget. Well I had a few family and friends tell me I should try to sell them. So I looked into it and realized there is a large market for hand made pet clothes and toys. Plus as an added bonus I really enjoy making something I know is going to make someone happy. Who better to please than people and their pets.

Don’t Hesitate

So I searched out a craft show and signed up. My first show is a quarter auction on April 14th in Massillon Ohio. I paid my fees and realized that if I am going to do this I better make some toys and bandana and figure out what I am going to sell.

As I was working on my products the last few days I have been sharing what I am doing and behind the scenes on my Instagram story. So if you are interested in what I am doing make sure to follow me on instagram as well.

I have learned a lot from my last few shows and from watching other peoples videos and reading their blogs so I thought you might want to learn with me. I am no expert but I like to think I have a pretty good brain for business that is why my crafting and selling gets me excited.

So if you are interested in how to start or get better at selling your hand made items follow along. I am going to be talking about my experiences with selling at shows and with selling on Etsy. Once I have all my items posted in my Etsy show I will post a link for you to see what I am making.

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Easy DIY Christmas Gifts

With Christmas quickly approaching the pressure is on to get the perfect gift. A gift that is hand made is a great option, weather your on a budget or want to give something from the heart. DIY Christmas Gifts can be personalized and one of a kind.

I wanted to make DIY Christmas gift tutorials to share with you but unfortunately I ran out of time and I want to make sure you all have enough time to make these gifts. So instead Im going to share with you some handmade gift idea that I found from some of my favorite blogs. I will link all of these idea so you can find the tutorials.

5 Easy DIY Christmas Gifts

DIY Patch Laptop Case

This photo belongs to A Beautiful Mess at https://abeautifulmess.com/2017/03/diy-patch-laptop-case.html

I found this DIY on A Beautiful Mess and fell in love. Patches are so trendy right now and they can easily be personalized to fit anyones style. Just make sure you buy the right size case to fit the recipients laptop. This would also be great to do with a backpack, purse, iPad case, or basically anything. The best part is the case doesn’t even have to be fabric, it could be a hard plastic case too.

DIY Arm Knitting Infinity Scarf

This photo belong to ALLDAYCHIC at http://alldaychic.com/arm-knitting-30-minutes-infinity-scarf-diy/

These are a GREAT gift to give to all your girl friends. Once you make a couple of these they take no time at all to make. Last year I gave all the ladies I worked with these infinity scarves for Christmas and they loved it. Their easy to make and by simply switching the yarn your using you can create a totally customized look for each persons sense of style and their a big hit.

Sugar Scrub

This photo belongs to The Little Pine at http://www.thelittlepine.com/top-5-homemade-sugar-scrub-recipes/

Personally I love to pamper myself a couple nights a month. I usually apply a hair mask and a face mask, take a nice long hot shower, exfoliate my skin, put on some nice lotion, and paint my nails. This is my time to relax, destress and focus on myself. I know not everyone gets time to do this so gifting a sugar scrub could encourage someone to take some time for themselves. Along with this you could add a few other spa items and make a whole gift basket.

Fleece Blanket

This photo belongs to pinnedandqepinned at http://pinnedandrepinned.com/how-to-make-a-fleece-blanket/

Handmade blankets are my favorite gift to give. This tutorial is so easy and the finished project it so cute. It requires fleece and pom pom trim. If you don’t have a sewing machine you could also hand sew this. If you don’t know how to sew you could use some fabric glue.

DIY Christmas Ornament

Another great gift is something they can use every Christmas. Christmas decor is something people will see every year and be reminded of you. Check out my DIY Snow Man Ornament tutorial. 

There is only 15 days until Christmas so there is just enough time to make these DIY gifts. You may even decide to make some gifts for yourself this year. I would love to see if you make any of these to leave a photo in the comments or tag me if you post them.

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Easy DIY Snowman Christmas Ornament for your Tree

December is here so let the Christmas decorating begin. This is our first Christmas in our new house so I am excited to decorate the whole house. We bought our first Christmas tree and in an ideal world I would have a totally DIYed Christmas tree but unfortunatly its not going to happen this year. That doesn’t mean I am not going to DIY some of the ornaments. So I started with this DIY Snowman Christmas Ornament. It was very easy to make and doesn’t require a lot of supplies.

I used some blank pages out of some old books I am using for other projects.  Tare them into about 1/2 inch strips. You could also cut them if you want a cleaner edge.

Then take the paper strips and wrap them around the handle of a small paintbrush. Using my fingers I rubbed over the paper to create heat to keep the curl when releasing the paper. Make enough curls to fill a clear ornament to the desired fullness. 

If you want to skip using the paper you could easily do the rest of these DIY with a plain white ornament. Avoid using anything with glitter or a texture on the outside because the snowman face is a sticker.

To make my Snowman face I used my Cricut and cut it out with vinyl. You could also use sticker dots, paper and glue, permanent markers, or paint. 

This DIY Snowman Christmas Ornament would be great to personalize with a name or date. This is also a great technique to use and make some original ornaments.

Want to see a video tutorial?

If you want to see a video of how I made this click here.

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Spring Clothes Pin Wreath

Today I am going teach you how to make this cute spring clothes pin wreath. This wreath doesn’t require a lot of supplies or time to put together. I got most of my supplies from the dollar store so the cost of this DIY was only $5.

Supplies:

-wire wreath form
-clothes pins
-spray paint
-flowers
-wire edge ribbon
-one pipe cleaner
-hot glue gun

This wreath is spring themed but can easily be modified by using different colors of spray paint and embellishments to be any theme you would like.

Instructions

Start out by determining how many clothes pins you will need to go all the way around your wreath form. I clipped the clothes pins on and ended up needing 60 clothes pins for a 12 inch wire wreath form. 

Next take the clothes pins off the wreath form and decide how many you would like of each color. I did 20 clothes pins of three colors. This is optional but I also spray painted my wreath form white because it will show through the clothes pins. Once all the clothes pins and wreath form are painted just wait for them to dry. 

Once they are dry begin clipping them to the wreath form. Place one clip on the inner two wires. Then the next clip on the middle two wires. Repeat this all the way around creating a pattern with the clothes pin colors and placement. 

Once the clothes pins are all the way around your wreath form you will notice their is probably an area that their is an unpleasant gap between the clothes pins. This is where you will place your bow. My bow has three loops on each side. Simply attach the bow using the pipe cleaner and trimming off the excess on the back.

Once the bow is attached trim the edges to make the tails even. I chose the pointed ended but it is completely up to you.

Next add your embellishments to the wreath. I chose to use fake flowers and hot glued them to the clothes pins. 

I finished my wreath by adding on the trimmings from my ribbon to tie it all together.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Thats it! Simple. Easy. Quick.

The great thing about this wreath is that the clothes pins are not permanently attached to the wreath form so it can easily be remade to work with another Holliday or season.

How to Make Boho Tassel Garland

In this DIY I am going to teach you how to make a tassel garland that has a boho style. This DIY is quick, easy, and requires very little supplies. I bought most of my supplies from Jo Ann Fabric.

Supplies you will need:

  • scissors
  • cardboard
  • ribbon (2 yards)
  • lace trim (I used three different types at 2 yards a piece)
  • yarn (I used white, cream, and speckled tan)
  • fabric (I found a precut half yard remnant)

To achieve the boho look to my tassel garland I used all white cream and tan materials. I also chose to use lace trims but that can easily be replaced with ribbon or any other material. I bought the lace trim on the spool and had the material counter cut me two yards. When I actually sat down to make my tassels I wish I would of bought more lace so if you plan to make all lace tassels I would recommend getting at least six yards of each lace trim and ribbon.  

I used the piece of cardboard to wrap the yarn and fabric around to keep a consistent tassel length. I chose to make my tassels eight inches long so my cardboard is eight inches by four inches. The width of the cardboard doesn’t matter as long as it is wide enough to wrap your materials around.

After cutting the cardboard I cut the ribbon and lace into 12 inch pieces. Take the lace and ribbon and fold it in half then cut to make measuring quick and easy. After that unfold your fabric and measure along the edge that has the bias. This will be the edge that has wording or is slightly different to the rest of the fabric. I took my ruler and a pen and marked one in sections. Then cut the edge enough to get my tear started. Next I just ripped my fabric into one inch strips. I chose to rip the fabric to get the boho look and to also save time.

Now that all the materials are prepped it is time to make the boho tassel garland.

To make the lace tassels I gathered a few strips of the lace trim and ribbon and folded it in half to create a loop. I didn’t use a specific number of pieces just enough to get the desired thickness of tassel I wanted. At the tope of the loop tie a piece of yarn and leave a tail. This is what you will use to attach the tassel to the garland. About an inch down form the top of the tassel I took another piece of yard and wrapped it around the tassel and tied it off. I think this gave the tassel a more appealing look but that step is completely optional.

For the fabric and yarn tassels, I simply took the material and wrapped it around the long part of the cardboard. By labeling the bottom of he cardboard I knew where to start wrapping and where to cut. This prevented  me from having a piece of my tassel fall out. After wrapping the cardboard with the desired amount of material I cut the end then cut all the material at the bottom. Once again creating a loop at the top. Just like before tie a piece of yarn at the top leaving a tail and tie a piece about an inch down.

Once all of the tassels are made it is time to attach them to the garland. I decided to connect all of my tassels together with yarn. Taking the three different yarns I braided them together to create a thicker strand. To attach the tassels  I spirited one piece of yarn from the braid an tied it to the single piece. This prevented the tassel from sliding up and down the braid. I estimated the distance in-between the tassels then filed in any spaces after I hung my tassel garland up.

The amount of material and tassels you will need is going to depend on the length of your garland and the size of your tassels. I hung mine above my 7 foot couch creating two loops. I created a total of 30 tassels and ended up only using 23. My tassels were spaced about 4 to 5 inches apart.

DIY Pom Pom

Hi friends! Today I am excited to share with you this fun DIY for making pom poms. I would highly recommend buying these inexpensive pom pom makers. They are very easy to use and the pom poms come out almost perfect every time. There is very little waste when making them as well.

Supplies Needed: A variety of yarn in colors and thicknesses. Pom Pom makers, I got mine here. Small scissors and a ruler (optional).

This project is super simple and easy to make. They look so cute and can be used in so many different crafts. While making one does not take long it does become time consuming when you need to make a large amount.

Your pom pom makers should have come with instructions so they may be slightly different than mine. First open both sides of the pom pom maker and start wrapping one side with yarn. Make sure to push the yarn loops together to keep them tight. 

Once one side is completely wrapped with yarn then cut the end to separate it from the ball of yarn.

Next your going to wrap the other side of the pom pom maker and cut the end. Make sure to push both sides back in to prevent the yarn from coming off. Next cut about a 12 inch long piece of yarn and set it aside. Once that is complete, you are going to cut all the loops of yarn along the side of the pom pom maker.

Once you have cute the yarn all the way around, take your piece of yarn that you set aside and put it into the crease of the pom pom maker and tie a knot. 

Now open your pom pom maker and pull apart the two sides to remove the pom pom. 

Once you have your pom pom out of the maker then tie another knot in your string to keep all the pieces secure. Lastly trim the pom pom and the long string to make it look as desired. 

There you have it an easy and quick way to make pom poms. With them easily customizable I will definitely be showing you ways to incorporate these into your crafts.

Holiday Inspired Pom Pom Wreath

Hi friends! Today I am excited to share with you this fun DIY for making a pom pom wreath. I decided to put a twist on this simple project by adding in Christmas ornaments to give it some shine. Now is the best time to get ornaments since most stores have them on sale. While it may not be Christmas any more you can use ornaments all year long in crafts.

Supplies Needed:

You will need a foam wreath form, mine was 14 inches. A variety of yarn in colors and thicknesses. Christmas ornaments, mine were the standard size but any size will work. Pom Pom makers, I got mine here. Small scissors, pliers (optional), a hot glue gun and glue sticks, and one pipe cleaner (optional).

This project is super simple and easy to make. What takes the longest is actually making the pom poms so once you get the hang of it, put in your favorite movie and by the end you should have them all made. I made almost 100 pom poms for this project, in three different colors ad two different sizes. I decided not to use the cream pom poms so I did have pom poms left over. If you want to know how I made my pom poms check out this post for step by step instructions. If you would like to see video instructions for how to make this project check out my video.

Fist is to remove the tops from the ornaments. Grab your pliers and pull the top of the ornament off where you would normally hang it. We will not need the toppers so feel free to throw them away.

Next start placing your ornaments around your wreath to find the proper placement. I use the top of the ornament where we removed the topper to push the ornament into the foam wreath form. It helps to keep them in place and hides the top piece. 

Once that is complete start filling in-between the ornaments with the pom poms. I start with the inside then move to the outside of the wreath form and then finish with the top. 

After you have the inside of the wreath form looking exactly how you want, hot glue all of the ornaments and pom poms to the wreath form. I suggest hot glueing all the ornaments at this time so you do not have to worry about one falling off as you move your wreath around. 

Next repeat the same process on the outside of the wreath form until the desired look is achieved. 

Lastly repeat the process on the top of the wreath form. I did not want the front of my wreath to have a straight line of pom poms so I used mostly small pom poms on the top and alternated them as I went along. 

The Wreath Hanger

Now that all of the pom poms and ornaments are securely attached all we need to do is put a hook on the back to hang it by. This step is completely optional. I took a pipe cleaner and cut it in half. 

Bent it into a ‘U’ shape and poked it into my wreath form. Then to keep it secure added some hot glue where it was attached to the wreath form to make sure the weight of the wreath did not pull it out. 

This is what my wreath looks like completely finished.

This project is easy, quick, and good for people with a small budget. It is also a great way to use all your scrap yarn left over from other projects. I made this wreath in a cream with maroon ornaments as well to use when it is not the holiday season.