IROK the Holidays Event

I just wrapped up my final craft fair of the year and it feels weird not to have anything stamping-related scheduled until next year.  I'll be taking a much-needed break at the end of this month, but I've still got a few more projects to share with you before the holidays.

Yesterday's craft fair was a benefit for the IROK foundation.  You can read more about the foundation on their Facebook page.  It's always fun to do craft fairs, but it's even better when you are doing it for a good cause. 

Each vendor was to donate an item to be used in the auction.  My item was a holiday glass block, featuring the small Jingle All the Way decor element (item #114707).  I filled the block with mini jingle bells and tied Real Red striped grosgrain ribbon (retired) around the block.  These are easy to make and would also be perfect as a hostess gift at the holidays.

Glassblock

I was lucky enough to have a great location at the entrance to the event.  The lighting was good, so I took a couple of photos with my phone.

Craftfair1 copy
Craftfair2 copy
Craftfair3 copy

The best-selling item of the day was the tile coasters.  I've had quite a few questions about these coasters and I plan to create a separate post specifically about them.  Look for it Monday evening or Tuesday morning.

Have you ever thought about joining Stampin' Up? Then you might want to hear about the current promotion. It's an exciting time to join!  Email me and I will fill you in on all the juicy details.  This offer is only good on Tuesday and Wednesday this week.....and it's a goodie!

Happy Stampin'

MelissaSignature

 

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Craft Fair FAQ

Since I posted my series on craft fairs, I've received a lot of comments and questions looking for more information.  I'm going to answer the most frequently asked questions here, but be sure to read the entire series.  I've received quite a few questions that have been covered fully in previous posts.

How much are you charging for _____________? 

This is by far the question that I get the most!  I covered pricing in Part 3 and my prices reflect the amount of time it took me to make an item and the cost of the supplies to make the item.  I purposely did not list my prices because your "costs" may vary quite a bit from mine.  However, because it has been asked over and over (and over), here are my prices for the items I featured in my craft fair series:

  • Mini Muffin Tin Advent Calendar:  $15 as shown.  I will probably embellish it more and sell it for $20.
  • Covered Legal Pads:  $4-$5, depending on embellishments
  • Snowman Soup:  $3-$4
  • Pumpkin Poop:  $1-$2
  • Holiday Planner:  $5-$6
  • Jiffy Pop Snowman:  $3

Where did you find the muffin tin and white folders?

The mini muffin tin was at a discount superstore (starts with a "W") and sells for $5.  My store doesn't have them all the time, but when they do, I certainly pick up a few.  The magnets on the back are the new magnet sheets from Stampin' Up!  I just cut them into small pieces.

The white folders are a little trickier to find.  I've only found them in early August at an office supply store.  They were about 10 cents each.  Don't worry!  If you can't find them in white, you can always use other colors.  Look for red, green, or even blue.  Take swatches of Designer Paper with you to the store and see which colored folders will coordinate.  Then, be ready to shop next year at the back-to-school sales!

Do I have examples of more expensive items that I've sold?

Items in the $15 and up category have only sold well for me at select craft fairs.  I usually have more luck with items in the $10 or less range. 

This year, I'll be selling the muffin tin advent calendars, a few mini scrapbooks, and some simple home decor items.  These are usually one-of-a-kind, "took me awhile to make" items, so I don't have very many at each fair.

How well do cards and scrapbook pages sell?  How do you price them?

I haven't had a ton of luck with selling cards or scrapbook pages at craft fairs.  Most of my cards are extras from classes, and I price them at $2-$3 each.  Scrapbook layouts are priced at $10-$20, depending on the embellishments.

I don't want to discourage you from trying to sell these items.  You should always try a little bit of everything because you may find it to be a completely different situation in your area.  With that said, you may even want to price your cards a little higher.

How do I handle payments?

I accept cash and checks.  I have done credit cards in the past, but I no longer have a merchant account.  What I found is that as the recession took hold, fewer of my customers were using their credit cards.  Therefore, it no longer made sense for me to pay for a credit card service that I was not using.

If you are doing a lot of shows, it might be worth it to you to look into credit card processing.  If you do accept credit cards, be aware that there are merchant fees and that will increase your expenses.....but it may increase the amount that some customers are willing to spend.

How should I split leads with another demonstrator if we are sharing a booth?

There are several ways to do this:  take turns, keep the leads you personally talk to, dividing them up by location, splitting 50/50.  Any of these methods will work.  THE IMPORTANT THING is to make sure that you are perfectly clear on both of your expectations BEFORE the fair even begins.  

I've worked with other demonstrators at events and it can be a pleasant experience that benefits everyone.  You just have to set up a fair system and stick with it.

How do I package my items?

I don't tend to add packaging to my items.  It just adds to the overall cost and is often not necessary.  If you take a look at some of my craft fair photos, you'll see that I place similar items in baskets, then add a price card to the front. 

Well, I think I got most of the burning questions answered.  I'll be back next week with some fun Halloween projects.  I'm going to be very busy making items for a craft fair next weekend.  I'll try to take some photos and share a little info with you about the day soon.

Happy Stampin'

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Craft Fairs---Part 5

The show has started....now what?  I find that shows start off one of two ways:  a slow & steady trickle of customers or a mad rush.  I prefer the mad rush because you are busy right out of the gate, but what if you experience the slow & steady trickle?

Keep in mind how you like to be treated when you are shopping.  Most of us don't enjoy being pounced upon by an overly-eager salesperson when we enter a store, right?  Now I know you are excited, but do try to contain yourself just a bit.  My strategy is always to give off the appearance of being busy, but accessible.  I'll often take Christmas cards to work on.  Many customers will stop to see what I am doing, and that is the perfect conversation starter.  One year, I took my Big Shot and cut out dies all day.  I actually had a couple of new people sign up for a Big Shot class because of it.

Now, don't get so busy that you fail to acknowledge your customers.  Greet EVERYONE that enters your booth area with eye contact and a smile, plus a simple "hello", "good morning", etc.  This probably sounds like common sense to you, and I haven't met too many Stampin' Up demonstrators that are unfriendly.  However, I have seen some pretty poor customer service at craft fairs.

At one show, I experienced a crazy mad rush of customers the first hour of the show.  I think I sold almost $300 in that one hour, and most items were priced around $15-$20....it was busy.  When it finally slowed down and I was able to catch my breath, I noticed that the three women working at the booth across from me were "shooting daggers" in my direction.  They were sitting at the back of their booth, arms folded, frowns on their faces, and not acknowledging anyone that went near their booth.  At the end of the show, they complained to the show's organizer that they did not make any money.  They chewed her out pretty good, and she came up to me after that to see if I had done alright.  I told her that I had done very well throughout the day and had no complaints whatsoever.  Your attitude is everything!  Be pleasant, no matter what.

At some point during the day, you are going to want to take a break.  If you didn't "hire" someone to work with you for the entire day, you might just want to have someone give you a break at lunchtime.  Potty breaks throughout the day can probably be covered by asking the vendor next to you to keep an eye on your booth for a few minutes.  They can let customers know that you are going to be right back.

I highly recommend that you get out of your booth for a short time during the day.....for lunch and marketing.  You are amongst fellow crafters, so don't let this opportunity pass you by.  I will take packets filled with a mini catalog, door prize entry form, business card, hand-stamped card, my class schedule, and any specials with me when I leave my booth.  As I visit other booths, I will introduce myself and give the vendor a packet.  The conversation goes something like this:

"I love your ________(sincerely compliment their craft/something specific in the booth).  My name is Melissa Stout and I am a Stampin' Up! demonstrator.  My booth is right over there.  You probably haven't had a chance to get out of your booth today, so I wanted to bring you some goodies. (hand them a packet) There is a door prize form inside, so just drop it by at the end of the day and I'll get you entered to win."

Now what usually happens is that they will look through your materials whenever the show slows down and many of them will visit you at the end of the day with questions, orders, and sometimes an interest in hosting a show or the business opportunity.  How great is that?

Hopefully, you have been collecting customer contact information throughout the day.  You must contact these people within a few days of the show to establish a good relationship with them.  Now, I hate making phone calls, but if you want to grow your business, it is a necessary task.  I schedule a free introduction to stamping class within 2 weeks of the show and invite them to attend.  Everyone likes to be extended an invitation, so this is a wonderful reason to contact them.  If they are not interested, okay.  You probably will get a few that are interested and that can really grow  your business.

One final note.....I always have some items leftover from my holiday craft fairs.  In early December, I will hold a Holiday Open House for my customers and make these items available for sale, sometimes at a discount.  You can also put your items on ebay or Etsy, give them as gifts, donate them to charity, or store them for the following year.

Craftfairproject

SNOWMAN JIFFY POP GIFT CARD HOLDER

Jiffy Pop Snowman


I posted this project on my blog several years ago and I always get emails asking for the directions.  I'm a little embarrassed because he is so simple to make, you may lose all creative confidence in me.  LOL!

This is a great gift to give to a teacher.  You can add a gift card to her favorite store or restaurant. 

This would also be a nice gift to give a family or your neighbors....add some cans of soda, boxes of movie candy, a gift certificate for a DVD rental.....and you've got "A Night at the Movies".

Here are the card stock measurements and a quick video to help you make your own snowman:

  • Nose:  Pumpkin Pie card stock 1-1/2" x 3", cut diagonally
  • Brim:  Basic Black card stock   2" x 6"
  • Hat/Gift Card Holder:  Basic Black  4-1/4" x 8", scored at 2-1/2" and 5-1/4"
  • Eyes:  Basic Black  1" punched circles
  • Mouth:  Basic Black  1/2" punched circles

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Craft Fairs---Part 4

So you've made up a lot of great items to sell, and now it's time for the craft fair.  Before you go, you will want to make sure that you have everything priced and stamped with an Angel Policy stamp, if applicable.  It will be easy to stamp some of your items directly with an Angel Policy stamp.  I try to stamp it in an inconspicuous place and I will usually use Versamark ink.  For those items that you cannot or should not stamp directly, I use price tags that I can tie onto the item.  I'll stamp one side of the tag and place the price on the other side.  You can purchase a nice supply of price tags with strings from office supply stores.

I pack the majority of my items into rubbermaid-stye totes.  You will want to make sure that your items will be protected from the elements as you transport them from your home to the craft show.  The totes are easy to carry or transport on a dolly.  Speaking of a dolly.....if you don't have one, I would recommend that you try to borrow one or purchase an inexpensive one.  You can expect to be on your own for unloading and re-loading all of your stuff at the show.  I can only think of one show that someone offered me assistance of any kind......and I was 7 months pregnant.  

Most shows will have specific times that they will allow you to set up your booth....usually the night before and/or the morning of the show.  I prefer to set up the day before, if possible.  If there is anything that I feel is missing from my booth, I will then have time to take care of it before the show starts.  Make sure you are comfortable leaving your booth unattended overnight.  I will often set up the inexpensive items first, then set up the more expensive items last.  Your ultimate goal should be to have everything ready to go at least 30 minutes prior to the start of the show.

There are a few other items that you will want to take with you:

  • Cash box/bag with plenty of change
  • Receipt book
  • Order forms
  • Calculator
  • Pens
  • Shopping bags
  • Business cards
  • Catalogs
  • Upcoming class information
  • Hostess & recruit packets
  • More price tags
  • Table coverings
  • Signage (if allowed)

One more consideration for you is how you would like to collect contact information from the customers visiting your booth.  Offering a door prize is a great way to gather this information.  I will put together a simple gift basket with some stamping items, and have door prize entry forms available for people to fill out.  This helps me add a lot of people to my mailing list and I can follow up with them after the show to tell them more about the services I have to offer them.  Another method I have used is to have a simple newsletter sign-up sheet.  I always get good contacts from this because all of them are interested in Stampin' Up....they aren't just trying to win something for FREE.  You'll have to decide which method you prefer, but either should help you build your Stampin' Up! business.  As I mentioned in Part 1, you will  want to check with the show's organizers to make sure that they will allow you to promote your business.

Craftfairproject

Holiday Planner

Holidayplanner1
Holidayplanner2

Here is another super easy project that is a great seller at craft fairs.  It is a holiday organizer/planner made from a simple white school folder.  I was able to score a bunch of these at Back-to School time for just 10 cents each!!!

Holidayplanner7

One of the great things about this project is that you can easily use up your scraps of designer series paper, even the retired papers, to create an eclectic look.

Holidayplanner4

You can find several forms & lists to insert into your planner at Organized Christmas.  Print them out on Whisper White card stock and place in the pockets.

Holidayplanner6

In the last pocket, I decorate envelopes for receipts and coupons.

I've had a lot of questions about how to put this planner together, so I created a short video to explain it a little better.  Hope this helps!

My final article on craft fairs will be posted on Friday.  I'll also be announcing a fun contest to challenge you to come up with more creative craft fair ideas. 

If you have any questions that I have not answered yet, leave a comment or use the chat box.  I am working on answering emails, so if you have sent one, you should hear from me in the next 24 hours.

Happy Stampin'

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Craft Fairs ---Part 3

To prepare plenty of handmade items for a craft fair, you need to be ready to make a commitment of time, as well as money.  Keeping your designs simple will enable you to mass produce your items in a relatively short amount of time.  As I stated in my covered legal pad video, even the non-embellished legal pads have sold very well for me at craft fairs. 

All the items you make should be high-quality, unique gift items.  I find that most of my craft fair customers are searching for gifts for teachers, co-workers, kids, the postman, etc.  They want something inexpensive, but impressive.  When you are thinking of projects to make, consider what you would like to give and receive at the holidays. 

Some items to consider:

  • Greeting Cards
  • Coasters
  • Candles
  • Magnets
  • Candy gifts
  • Altered Office Supplies
  • Home Decor Pieces
  • "Soups" and "Poops" (see below)
  • Bookmarks
  • Mini Scrapbooks
  • Games for kids
  • Paper Dolls

As far as how many of each to make, that will depend on the size of the show that you are doing.  If it is a show that I am not familiar with, I try to make 6-12 of each item....not too many and not too much.  If you sell out of an item, you can display a sample and take orders to make more.  I always love it when that happens!

You'll also want to take into consideration the type of show that you will be participating in, and what price points those craft fair customers tend to expect.  I have one show that I always sell out of items that are priced at $5 or less.  At another show, I can't give those same items away.  Those customers want items priced at $20 or more.

It can be challenging to determine a price on your handmade items.  Many times, we as crafters tend to undervalue our work.  However, if you price your items too high, it will be difficult, if not impossible to move your items.

A common pricing strategy that I often hear is to double the cost of your supplies.  You might also want to consider giving yourself an hourly wage.  I'm going to use the example of the covered legal pads again. 

  • I purchased 12 junior legal pads and 12 RSVP pens for $8.89.....that means that each set costs me approximately 75 cents.  Add on the paper and adhesive costs, and the total cost to make each covered legal pad comes to $1.75 without embellishments.
  • Using the double supply cost strategy, I would charge $3.50 for a simple covered legal pad, and up to $5 for a heavily embellished legal pad.
  • It takes me approximately 7 minutes to make one of the simple covered legal pads.  I give myself an hourly wage of $20 an hour (33 cents/minute).  Using this strategy I would add the $2.33 wage to the supply cost of $1.75 to come up with a total cost of $4.08.

I will generally use a combination of both strategies to set my prices.  I will sell the simple legal pads this year for $4 each and the embellished legal pads will sell for $5.

A tool that I use to keep track of the cost of my consumable supplies is the cost analysis spreadsheet available on SUDSOL.  It is definitely worth the price of membership to have access to this resource.  SUDSOL is a website for Stampin' UP! demonstrators that are business-minded and you can sign up for a free trial by clicking below.

SUDSOL - Your 24/7 Upline

Buy items such as legal pads & pens while they are on sale.  Always be on the lookout for a bargain!  You may also want to check out sites such as Freecycle to see if you can find items to alter.  Today's project is a great example of how to use your recycled items to create a great gift that people will want to buy.

  Craftfairproject 

Soups & Poops

Snowmansoup


Snowmansoupcu

For this project, I filled an empty Starbucks frapuccino bottle with cocoa mix and topped it with mini marshmallows.  I cut a square of the Candy Cane Designer Fabric with the Big Shot and Scallop Square die.  The fabric covers the lid and was tied with a 1" x 12" strip of fabric.  The cute tag was made using the Candy Cane designer series paper and A Cute Christmas stamp set.

You can do an online search for snowman soup recipes and you'll find lots of good cocoa recipes and poems that will work for this project.

An item that sells good for me during the months of September and October is pumpkin poop.  You can also find poems online for snowman poop, reindeer poop, and more.  All of these are quick,easy, and make great gifts.


Pumpkin poop group


I am attaching two files here, so that you can easily make your own poop.  The first is the template to make the box, and the second is a sheet of the pumpkin poop poems that will fit perfectly inside your box.

Download mini_pizza_box_template.pdf

Download pumpkin_poop_poem.pdf

Pumpkin poop close-up 



This is a close-up of the inside of the box.  I bought the small packages of candy corn at Wal-Mart.

The box is made from Basic Black cardstock and measures about 2-1/2" square.  I layered 2-1/4" squares of Ghostly Greetings DSP on the lid.

The pumpkins and the pumpkin faces were created with Sizzix dies and the Big Shot.  I added the wiggly eyes for fun.

On Wednesday, I'll have another great project for you and more craft fair tips.  Be sure to subscribe to receive email updates, so you don't miss anything.

Happy Stampin'

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More Legal Pads

Third time was a charm.  Here is the video on the covered legal pads. 

Jr. Legal Pad Cover Paper Measurements

  • Cover:  8" x 11.5", scored at 5.5", 6", and 6.5"
  • Front Cardstock Layer:  4-3/4" x 7-3/4"
  • Front Designer Series Paper Layer:  4-1/2" x 7-1/2"
  • Top of Legal Pad Designer Series Paper:  1" x 5"
  • Designer Series Paper for RSVP pen:  1" x 3-3/8"

Instructions-001

Christmaspostcardlegal Christmaspostcardcloseup

Here is another legal pad cover for the Holidays.  I used the Deck the Halls Designer Series Paper and the Christmas Postcard single stamp.  Both of these items will be available to order September 1st.  The corners of the front panel are accented with the new antique brads.

GCKlegalpad GCKcloseup

This legal pad cover features a few of my favorite new items from the 2010-2011 Idea Book & Catalog.  I used the Playdate Designer Series Paper, the Greeting Card Kids stamp set, and Brights Designer Buttons.  I like to have a few items for sale that would be nice for teachers and I think this fits the bill.

Wickedcoollegalpad Wickedcoolcloseup

If I do any shows before Halloween, I like to throw in a few spooky items and they usually sell like hotcakes.  For this legal pad, I used a combination of products from the big catalog and the upcoming 2010 Holiday mini.  The Wicked Cool stamp set, Bat punch and large scallop circle punch are from the big catty.  You'll be able to purchase the Nite Owl designer series paper on September 1st when the Holiday Mini goes live.

I'll be back on Monday with another great craft fair idea and I'll be discussing what to make and how to price your items. 

Happy Stampin'

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Craft Fairs---Part 2

We've all heard the saying, "You've got to spend money, to make money."  Unfortunately, that holds true for craft fairs.  You will need to budget your money for craft shows throughout the year and watch your expenses carefully, in order to turn a profit on your events.

The most obvious expense is the booth fee, which I discussed in part 1.  However, there are many not-so-obvious expenses that you'll want to keep track of. 

In addition to the booth fee, some show organizers will also charge for extras such as tables, chairs, electricity, and a premium location.  The charges are usually minimal, but if you are doing a lot of shows that charge for those extras, then they can add up quickly.  Also some shows will require that you donate a door prize or a percentage of your profits.  Always read the fine print and know exactly what is expected of you financially.

If you are participating in a large show, or a show that will be held over a couple of days, then you will probably want to have another person assist you in the booth.  You can share the booth with another demonstrator, but make sure both of you are clear about how you will handle potential business leads, sales, and expenses.  If you ask someone to help, you will want to compensate them.  I have often "hired" my 12-year old son to assist me.  He has been great cheap labor in the past......I'm afraid he'll be asking for a raise this year.  A stamping friend may want to work for a product order or an upcoming class fee.  Be creative in your compensation, but keep in mind that it does add to the overall expense of the fair.

Your booth needs to be interesting and inviting if you want to attract a steady stream of customers.  For most fairs, you will be responsible for providing a covering for your table.  Stampin' Up! sells a high quality, 8-foot long black tablecloth for demonstrators to use in craft fairs.  It sells for $41.95 and demonstrators must order it on a supply order.  I have 2 of these tablecloths and my downline has another 2.  I've never needed more than 3, even for a large booth.  Be sure to check with other demonstrators in your area to see about borrowing table cloths.  You could even split the cost among several demonstrators to save money.

Once you've got your table covered, you don't want to just set all of your handmade goodies on a flat table.  You need to add height and depth to the overall display.  This can be accomplished by stacking wooden crates, using small bookshelves, placing items in baskets, etc.  Many of these items you may be able to find around your home.  However, for those that enjoy garage sales and flea markets, be on the lookout at all times for display items.  Also visit any stores that are going out of business and ask about fixtures for sale.  I was able to purchase a standing greeting card holder from a scrapbook store that was closing.  A new one would have cost $200+, but I got it for only $45.  It is perfect for displaying all my cards for sale.

To see one of my previous craft fair displays, click here.

And finally, you will need supplies to make your handmade items.  Even if you own every stamp set in the catalog, every punch, every Big Shot die....you'll probably need more stuff.  The trick is to buy throughout the year when you find items on sale and only buy what you really need.  Back-to-school is a great time to pick up folders, composition books, legal pads, pens, crayons, etc.  Today's project is a great example of how to use these supplies.

Craftfairproject
Covered Legal Pad with Matching RSVP Pen

Legalpad
I love this project and it has always sold very well for me.  The fact that it is easy to make is just icing on the cake.  Here is a close-up of the images on the front cover:

Legalpadcu 

And one more picture of the legal pad cover open:

Legalpadopen
Want to know how to make one?  Well, I'm putting the finishing touches on a video tutorial, so tune in on Saturday and I'll have step-by-step instructions for you, as well as several more design ideas.

Part 3 will be posted on Monday and I'll be covering what to make for your craft fairs and how much to charge for handmade items.  You don't want to miss it, so be sure to subscribe to my blog by clicking on the email updates box in the left column.

Happy Stampin'

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Craft Fairs---Part 1

Today, I am kicking off a 5-part series on craft fairs.  This information is geared toward Stampin' Up! demonstrators that are looking to supplement their income by selling various papercrafts;  however, anyone interested in participating in craft fairs should find some useful information.

I'm going to start by reviewing the different types of craft shows that you may encounter and what you can expect to pay to have a booth at one of these shows.

The biggest and best shows are almost always "juried".  This means that before you can participate, you will need to send samples of your work and pictures of your booth set up along with an application fee.  A selection committee will review all of the applicants and will then select participants based on the quality of the work and the "best fit" for the fair.  These fairs are usually well-attended, so you can expect to pay about $100 and up for the booth fee.

Most of the craft fairs that you will encounter will be non-juried shows.  Booth fees will usually be in the range of $20--$60.  Some of these shows will limit the number of vendors with a specific craft.  If they allow you to promote your Stampin' Up business, they will probably only allow one demonstrator.  I say "probably" because you will want to ask the organizer about this.  If they do limit, you need to be first to send in your application.  If all goes well, this spot in the craft fair could be yours, year after year.

In either type of show, you may find that the organizers have a strict "handmade-only" policy.  At these shows, you will not be able to promote your Stampin' UP! business.  You may be able to give out your business card, but be sure to ask the organizer before doing anything that might be construed as promoting Stampin' Up! 

There is one more type of show that you might encounter, and I will refer to it as a vendor fair.  Vendor fair participants will include other direct sales businesses and local small businesses.  Vendor fairs are a great opportunity for you to promote your business first, while selling handmade items on the side.  The booth fee is usually pretty small. 

So, how do you find craft shows?  Start by asking any creative people you know about the craft fairs that they participate in or attend.  You'll get a lot of good information and will have an idea about which shows you might want to check out.

In some areas, an internet search may provide you with some leads.  I find that one of the best ways to track down craft shows is to start making phone calls to organizations that typically host shows:

  • schools & universities
  • churches
  • country clubs
  • VFW, Elks Lodge, American Legion, etc.

When you call, keep it simple:  "Hello, my name is Melissa.  I'm calling today to find out if your organization hosts a craft fair?".  If no, you're done.  If yes, find out the name and phone number of the show organizer.  Then make the call and you are on your way!

Craftfairproject
Mini Cupcake Pan Advent Calendar

 

Adventcalender1

Here is a super easy project that is perfect to sell at holiday craft fairs.  I took a mini cupcake pan, and tied a pretty ribbon on top.  To cover the openings, I punched cardstock 2-3/8" scallop circles and 1-3/4" circles from Designer paper, layered the circles, and added strips of magnet to the back to hold the circles in place.  The numbers were printed on my computer, then punched out with the 3/4" circle punch.

 

Adventcalender2

A close-up view.

Adventcalendar3

Edited to add:  The magnet strips are not generally strong enough to hold circles in place securely.  They will slide around if moved and the muffin tin cannot be hung on the wall.  You will have to use stronger magnets in order to keep the circles in place

 Magnet

Just fill the tin with little pieces of candy and trinkets, then remove the circles to let the countdown begin.  After the holidays, you can use the numbered circles as refrigerator magnets for kids to learn their numbers.  Plus the recipient of this gift will have a new cupcake/muffin pan to use throughout the rest of the year.

The next installment on craft fairs will be posted on Friday, so be sure to check back.  In the meantime, if you have any questions for me, leave a comment at the end of this post or use the chat box.

Happy Stampin'

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Making it User-Friendly

I've spent the better part of the weekend working behind the scenes on my blog.  There are a few new features that I want to make you aware of:

  • Easier to subscribe to blog updates--sign up in left column under my picture
  • Previous posts have been sorted into categories in right column
  • Still can't find what you are looking for?  Try the lijit search button under the categories list
  • Have a question?  You can always email me, but you can also use the chat box at the bottom of the right column

Now I know that none of these features are jaw-dropping, mouth-watering, or exciting.  However, I think you'll find them useful at some point.

Every year around this time, I start receiving emails asking about craft fairs--pricing, projects, displays, etc.  I spend a good amount of time answering each of the emails in detail, trying to help as much as I can.  I don't mind doing this at all, but I think I could save myself and you some time by putting all of this information in one place.

So, starting on Wednesday of this week, I'll be starting a series of posts about craft fairs.  Some of the topics I'll cover include:

  • Types of craft fairs
  • Where to find craft fairs
  • What to make
  • How to market your business
  • How to budget 
  • Setting up an attractive display
  • Determining prices of handmade items
  • And more!

At the end of each post, I'll be sharing with you a Craft Fair project....something that I will be making for this year's craft fairs. 

This information will be geared toward Stampin' Up! demonstrators, but anyone wanting to participate in craft fairs should find the posts useful.

Remember those improvements to my blog I told you about earlier?  Well, here is where they come into play.......

If you don't already receive my blog updates, be sure to subscribe to the blog feed so that you don't miss any of the craft fair info.

I've already got some craft fair projects and ideas sorted into categories.  If you are anxious to see some of my previous ideas, be sure to check these out.

And finally, if you have a burning question for me, add it to the chat box and I'll certainly cover it in one of my posts.

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P.S.--Don't you just love my new signature?  It was made using My Digital Studio!  Check out the newest downloads on my new blog devoted to My Digital Studio.

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What I've been up to.....

Wow!  It's been awhile since I last posted.  I have a good excuse:  A CRAFT FAIR!  Boy, these are alot of work.  Fun, but still work.

Here is a picture of one side of our booth at the IUPUI craft fair.  Sorry, I didn't put the dolly away before snapping some pics.

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Tiffany and I are blessed to have a card rack that we picked up from a store that went out of business.  It is perfect for displaying our MANY cards.  We sell them for $2 each.  Most of these cards are extras that we have from classes, so we aren't usually making those up at the last minute.

Here are a few more close-up pictures of this table:

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Tiffany purchased this rack at Hobby Lobby about 2 years ago.  It is fantastic for displaying our odds and ends.  We would love to get another one, but have been unable to locate one. 

See the bowl of gingerbread men in the lower right corner?  Well, check back on Tuesday and I will have a new tutorial (and BLOG CANDY) for you featuring the Deer Friends stamp set.  You don't want to miss it!

Happy Stampin'

Melissa

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