Organising, Lists and a Planner!

I love organising. I make lists. A lot of lists. The only way I can get stuff done and focus, is to get it out of my head and onto paper. So when Craft Schmooze were looking for crafty bloggers to try a planner to try out their new business planner for two weeks, I put myself forward.

It was sent digitally and so any printing errors are my own! And there were errors. I had to my battle my printer because it takes paper from underneath and I got very confused over which way to put the paper back in…so I had pages upside down etc. Luckily you can buy the planner printed!

The planner I received is a draft version but it contains daily sections in which you can make a list of ‘things to do’ as well as an area to tick off when you’ve answered messages and emails and when you’ve sent out your invoices. It also has a section for social media, which is great at making sure you post daily

There was also a small space to write “Sales”, “Important Things” and “Supplies running low” for the week.

Saturday and Sunday each got their own page as there was an extra section to write in craft fair details. I thought this was a particularly good idea for those who attend craft fairs as you could keep all the details of the event in one place. You can easily reference where and when the fair is, as well as any contact details and set up times. You can also write in your sales and expenses so you can see whether the craft fair was worthwhile and whether you would attend again.

An added touch I also like is the occasional social media “inspiration”. On certain days there’s little ideas on what to post to social media, which is great for when you’re feeling a little bit stuck!

As well as the daily diary you also get “Evaluation” pages and “Plan of Action” pages. Both of these pages are great for making you sit down and take a look at your business, something you might not currently do. The evaluation lets you look over the month to see what you are doing right and where you are going wrong, so you can make changes and improve for the following month. It also has a place to record your statistics which is so important when you are running a business. You can record information such as website visitors and your social media followers.

Just as important as looking back over what you have done, is planning ahead. The plan of action allows you to do this with space for blog and social media ideas. It also has a section where you can set yourself targets based on the same statistics as the evaluation page. This is a great idea as it allows you to compare statistics and see if you achieved the targets you set yourself.

Selling Crafts Online

How to Sell Your Arts & Crafts Online

How to Sell Your Arts & Crafts Online

For years selling crafts online has been difficult, confusing, and unprofitable. While there was not lack places to sell crafts such as eBay or Craigslist; the average internet shopper had no appreciation for handmade quality and took no satisfaction in supporting independent crafters.

Times have changed and so have the opportunities for selling crafts online. It has never been easier to reach a global audience that appreciates the quality and time invested in making a product by hand. If you’d like to start selling your crafts online, all you need are the 5 Beginner Steps to start.

Step 1) Have a Product

This is the most important step that is mostly overlooked. It’s hard to list items that you can’t take photos of, and you cannot sell products you don’t have. The most successful sellers in any marketplace have over 50 items listed. Your goal should be to have 40+ products finished and ready to photograph and list.

Step 2) Sign Up

Sign up for an account on your venue of choice. There are several good options for artisans looking to sell their work online.
You will also need to set up a merchant account with a payment processor accepted by the marketplace you’re selling at. Most online marketplaces use PayPal which is also the more trusted payment option for buyers. Set up and verify a PayPal account so that your shoppers can pay you for your work.

Step 3) Set up Shop

Buyers like to see sellers who’ve taken the time to customize their storefront. Upload a unique Banner and Avatar and, if the marketplace you’re selling on has other options, customize your layout and colors. Here is how you get set up on Etsy.

Step 4) List Products

Listing products well is an art form in and of itself. For this guide, however, I will simply say that there is more to a listing than a photo and a price. Take the time to write good titles and descriptions, take good photographs, and list your items in the proper categories.

Step 5) Tell People

The difference between failing in online craft sales and succeeding at online craft sales is a promotion. Highly successful sellers know how to bring buyers into their shops by tastefully promoting their work elsewhere. Twitter, Blogs, Youtube, Facebook, Flickr, and other social media sites can all be leveraged into traffic and buyers for your store.

These are the initial steps to take when you’re ready to start selling your handmade crafts in online marketplaces. There are many other skills and techniques to master when it comes to being successful online. Some skills must be learned through experience, but many can be learned though the helpful advice from other crafters or through the guides and materials provided by many of today’s online craft marketplaces.

Holiday Crafts

Holiday Crafts You Can Make with Your Kids

Holiday Crafts You Can Make with Your Kids

Children enjoy everything about holiday apart from having to wait for the day to finally arrive patiently. During their school break, you will frequently hear them saying, “I don’t have anything to do.” You will be able to keep them occupied this holiday season with crafts that are quick and fun for your kids to create.

1. Santa Ornament:

This is a terrific gift for children to create and give to their pals or teachers. You can buy big plastic ornaments at a craft store. These ornaments can be opened up so that you can place objects on the core.

Fill the ornament with the peppermints and close it securely. Then stick jiggly eyes onto a wooden ball. As soon as the eyes are set in place, the wooden ball should be stuck on the top of the plastic ornament.

Then, attach cotton hair to the head, mustache, and beard. Fasten a red felt ‘hat’ on top of the hair. Glue on a long piece of black felt for Santa’s belt at the bottom of the ornament. Paint a thin wooden heart black and then glue it to the base of the ornament. The curves in the heart will become Santa’s feet.

2. Christmas Placemat Craft:

Making use of recycled Christmas cards, remove the back of the card where there is writing. You will need to have approximately three standard sized Christmas cards to create each placemat.

Get your children to glue the cards on colorful construction paper with the decoration side up. Once the glue is dry, you will need to protect the front and back of the craft project with clear contact paper, making certain there aren’t any gaps or open ends. Youngsters enjoy putting their plates on their very own unique Christmas placemat.

3. Candy Cane Reindeer:

This particular craft project is an oldie, but it is still popular with kids. All that is required are candy canes, pipe cleaners, jiggly eyes, mini pom-poms as well as glue. Glue a pipe cleaner on top of the candy cane, and twist it to make it look like antlers. Stick jiggly eyes to each side of the reindeer head and then apply the nose to the end of the candy cane.

4. Cookie Cutter Ornaments:

To do this craft, you will need to have a variety of cookie cutters in several holiday shapes. Those that give the best results are Santa, snowmen, bell shapes, and trees.

Put each cookie cutter on colorful construction paper and then trace around it. Cut it out and get your children to decorate all of the cutouts with mini pom-poms and glitter for Christmas balls on the tree.

If you make snowmen, mini black pom-poms may be used for the buttons. Jiggly eyes can be used on Santa and the snowmen. After each of the ornaments is completed, make a hole at the top with a hole puncher. Then thread through the hole and see the joy in your youngsters’ faces as they hang their unique ornaments on the tree.