Posts Tagged ‘craft show’

How To (Make Paper Bags)

December 11, 2009

Here is another one of my promised posts that I am checking off of my list of things to do.

Last week I had my first craft show and tried to make lots to save money. One of the things I cut cost on were paper bags. The cheapest I found were 13 bags for $6 but I found that the office supply store sold a roll of shipping paper for $5 and with this sewing technique and the size bag I wanted, I was able to get 60+ out of it! Quite a deal if you have the time!

Firstly…I apologize for the terrible photos. There isn’t much good lighting once the sun goes down in this house and I was working frantically to get things done for the craft show.

How To (Make Fancy Paper Bags)Fold the paper back on its self at about the size you want your finished bag width. Add an inch or so for seam allowance and cut it off.

I then folded that piece in half and cut it to get the right height for my bag, but then that depends on what size bag you’re going for.

How To (Make Fancy Paper Bags)

Here are the two bags I can get out of one strip of paper. You are then going to sew down along the cut edge of the bag. I use a long and wide zig zag stitch to make it decorative. I also used bright threads, and mixed up my bobbin and thread colors.

Once that stitch is sewn, use a bone folder to center the seam over the back of the bag, press the edges of the bag and flatten the seam up the back.

How To (Make Fancy Paper Bags)The seam should run up the back like this. I then used my paper-cutter to add a scalloped edge to the top and bottom of the bag. You don’t need to but it looked nice!

How To (Make Fancy Paper Bags)Fold up the bottom edge of the bag and press it flat with the bone folder. Zig zag stitch it down. I again used bright colors and a different bobbin color to show up on the front of the bag.

All done! It’s the same concept as an envelope really and works best for flatter items. I was selling my custom coloring books so a little bright tissue paper, a book, and this cute bag customized with my hand carved stamp worked out great.

Good luck!

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The Show Experience

December 6, 2009

My First Show!Friday was my first craft show experience. My brother’s girlfriend Jen got me in last minute (with 4 days notice) to a craft show held in her office building for employees.

As you might be able to tell from my absence, I was frantic and busy for the last few days to prepare for the show. I didn’t want to look like the first timer I was so in addition to bulking up my stock, I put a lot of effort into my display. I think it turned out alright and I’m proud of how thrifty I was in pulling it off.

My banner was made from a sale-item pack of scrap booking sheets that I cut into pendants and linked with black duck tape. (So easy!) I wish I had known the size of my table because it was much much too big for it and I ended up cutting it into two pieces and awkwardly draping “megnificent” to fit it on the table.

I designed all of my signage and put them into plastic stands I got on the cheap for $1 each.

The table cloth was just a black disposable plastic one from the party store but it worked well in hiding all of the black duct tape used to hang the banner.

My First Show!I really wanted to make sure I had different levels on the table so I picked up black crates at the dollar tree (the dollar store where things actually cost a dollar). The crates held my coloring books which to my delight sold quite well. My niece colored a sample of her book and that helped me show people what a great gift it makes. There were a lot of people requesting business cards as well so I was glad I took the time to make more before the show.

My First Show!My camera wristlets got some height on the other side of the table by using $6 locker shelves that are available at Staples. They were bright pink, stackable, and folded flat to fit in my wheely bag. Very convenient! I made lots of extra bags and i sold a few, but unfortunately I was positioned in the room with all of the designer bag knock offs which is hard to compete with. It was surprising how much of the craft show was not actual craft. Although I am happy with the result of the day, I felt like I might do better in a sale with a more craft oriented customer base. I think a lot of the people coming down from their offices to shop around were not the type to be buying hand made.

My First Show!People really loved the swag t-shirt necklaces. Its not something I’ve sold before but I wanted a third and different item on my table and these were something I could make quickly for the show. I wore one to the show and ended up selling it off my neck. I replaced it with another table and sold that one too…the trend continued for the rest of the day! I sold plenty of these and was glad I added them to the table. I have quite a few left over so I think I’ll be adding them to the store shortly if they aren’t given as gifts.

Another fun display item I made for the show you can see in this photo. While the entire table had a black plastic table cloth, I tried to make it look less cheap by adding a piece of cotton that I had stamped with my hand-carved logo stamp that I made in my blog tutorial. The piece was stamped mostly in black but with a rainbow colored stamp scattered at random. I really enjoyed printing on fabric like this and I’ll be trying it again soon for sure.

All in all, I really enjoyed the experience. I’d call it a success! I’d love to try another show and I’m going to look into finding what’s going on in the Rochester area. If you know of any upcoming shows let me know!

Keep an eye out this week for another How-To from me. I really tried hard to keep costs down on the show but had trouble finding inexpensive paper bags to stamp with my logo for the show. I ended up buying a $5 roll of shipping paper and machine sewing it into bags with bright thread and stamping it with a rainbow logo. They turned out really pretty with tissue paper stuffing for the show. Customers thought they were beautiful! For just $5 I was able to get 70 bags of different sizes. Compare that to 13 bags for $6! I’ll be sharing this tutorial this week…complete with pictures as always!

Craft Show Virgin!

December 3, 2009

I have my first craft show this week!

It’s a small one being held in the offices of Blue Cross Blue Shield (a major insurance company here) and I have my brother’s girlfriend Jen to thank for getting me a last-minute table!

It’s short notice (a few days to prepare!) but this small craft show is perfect for a first timer like me. I still want to do it right though and I’ve been frantic.

First things first I’ve had to unpack from my move (Australia to New York). I’ve dug out my mom’s sewing machine and a folding table to set up a space in my room. I’ll have to find a way to organize all of my sewing things while I’m here or I’ll never have any table space!

Craft Show Prep

Sewing with my mom’s machine is so intimidating. It’s much more powerful than mine and pounds away like a jack hammer. My machine in Sydney feels so delicate compared to this, although it has made sewing through all the layers of the purses a breeze!

Speaking of purses, they will be one of my main items for the show on friday. I’ve made an extra 15 to take with me (minus one I destroyed) and managed to pull them all out in just two days.

Craft Show Prep

As far as I know, Jo Ann’s is the only fabric store around here. I managed to find some fabrics I liked, in addition to some I brought from Sydney. The children’s fabrics and quilting cottons are plentiful but their fancy fabrics are a bit lacking. They seem to range from Halloween costume to asian inspired silk patterns. I’ll have to look around on the web for another store in the area to try, there must be one!

Craft Show Prep

In addition to the purses I’ll be selling these swag t-shirt necklaces. They were really easy to pull off in a hurry and I’ve already got a stash of 15 from one afternoon. I’ve got more fabric to make some more before friday. If they go well at the show…or at all…I might add them to my etsy shop!

The third item I will be selling will be my custom coloring books! I plan on having my niece’s book on display, and the fabric books on hand to sell with crayons and blank paper. I will give along with the book a coupon for their 12 photo coloring pages that they can redeem online. I think that might be the best way to work it out.

I’ve put a lot of thought, and work, into my table display. I don’t want it clear that it is my first show! I’ve made a swag of pendants out of craft paper and black tape to hang across my table that says Megnificent Made. I also used the stamp I made in my blog tutorial of my logo to print heaps of fabric to put on parts of the table (I also have a plain black table-cloth). I made sure I have different heights to my table and that there will be good signs for everything as well as new business cards made up… which means I still have plenty of work to do.

Please excuse me from the blog tomorrow and I can promise some news on Friday after the show. Wish me luck!

ps…My brother shared with me today that my sweet little niece Riley, my inspiration and recipient of the first custom coloring book, is taking it to school with her tomorrow for her first show and tell. I’m so honored! Would it be tacky of me to send along some business cards? :p