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How to Take High Quality Photos That will Sell Your Crafts

One of the most important things is that the quality of your photos can make a huge difference in selling your craft. Many new craft business owners don’t understand this and they use lower quality photos because they’re in a hurry, or don’t own a good camera, or they’re just not aware of how much influence a good photo can sell and therefore what prices you can charge.

High Quality Photos

The quality of your photos can absolutely affect the success of your online crop business. You need good, clean and attractive photos to succeed at selling handmade products online. It just won’t happen unless you do have high-quality photos.

Here are some tips for taking high-quality photos to sell your crafts

  1. Use a decent camera.

You don’t really need to have an expensive camera or be an expert photographer, to take good photos of your craft products. Basically you just need a camera that will take sharp photos and show off the detail of your work. A smart phone with a good, 8-mega-pixel camera should do.

If you use an inferior camera, you can run the risk of not being able to get a clear focused picture. Photos with grainy, shadows or backgrounds that are out of focus detract from your work. You might as will list the item for sale without a photo rather than listing it with the poor photo, because of poor photo discourages a customer from buying it.

  1. Shoot your photos in good light.

The best thing to do to ensure you get good photos is to shoot them in good, direct light. There are numerous ways you can accomplish this and you don’t need fancy or expensive equipment.

The easiest way to get good lighting is to take your camera outside on an overcast day. A slightly cloudier gray day gives you the direct light that’s not too bright or glaring, and usually results in stunning photos.

If it’s raining or you don’t have a good place to take photos outside you can get the same effect by shooting on a windowsill. A white windowsill with no curtains or blinds makes it ideal place to take pictures of your crafts.

On top of that, if you want to ensure good lighting but the weather is a corroborating, or you need to take a photo at night, you can build a light box inexpensively. There are lots of tutorials online for building them.

  1. Use simple backgrounds.

If you’re photographing your craft product, you want your creative work to be the star of the photo. Shooting photos with civil backgrounds ensures that the focus is your handmade product.

Plain white walls and hard surfaces make wonderful backgrounds for photos of your crafts. You can use such things like flat stones, brick walls and grassy fields. Avoid busy and complicated backgrounds like colorful flower gardens or pattern fabric that distract customers from the purpose of the photo.

  1. Use a limited number of props.

Using a limited number of props in your crafts photos is the same concept as a simple background. Sometimes a prop can enhance a photo and show off an item but other times props just get in the way and detract.

A good product to use when photographing a handmade ring is a metal ring size or mannequin hand. Bad props distract the customer from the main attraction such as other rings that are not for sale in that listing or piles of other jewelry or a full mannequin figure.

A good rule of thumb is to remember to keep it simple. This way you ensure the potential buyers are focused solely on the item for sale and not of the props.

  1. Wearable products should be modeled.

When you’re selling wearable handmade products, such as a hat or scarf, jewelry, or sweaters, you should have them modeled in your photographs. Being able to see what an item will look like on someone really helps to sell the garment or the piece. Think about all the clothing catalogs and websites that you’ve used in the past to purchase items. All of them are modeled.

You don’t have to hire a professional model to get good photos of your wearable items. Anyone can model and do a great job. They just need to look clean, presentable and happy. You can ask friends or family of all ages to model for you.

Models wearing simple close, neutral colors and minimal makeup and jewelry help keep the focus on the items you are trying to sell.

  1. Edit your photos.

Once you taken a good selection of photos, upload them to your computer and use in editing program of your choice to make them even better. A few simple changes make a big difference in the quality of your photos.

Cropping the photos can really help to focus on the craft product. Cut out any extraneous background or anything that shouldn’t be in the photo.

Adjust the lighting and the photos to brighten them or to enhance their colors. They may appear different in the photo that in real life so you will want to do this. You want your photos to offer the most true to life presentation of the product as possible.

Using these simple tips, you can really learn to take great, high quality photos of your craft products. Remember to take your photos seriously as you do your descriptions, pricing and everything else involved in selling online.

The photo is probably the first thing a customer will see so make sure that they won’t easily forget so they will purchase even more.

How to Price Homemade Craft Items

A most frequent aspect of selling any handmade product is pricing. Even if you have a great formula and strong market research, it can still be a tough issue especially if you are just starting out with a brand-new product line.

Homemade Craft Items

The most commonly used formula

The following formula is the most commonly used formula for pricing crafts. With a retail conversion, it allows artists to make at least 50% profit margin. It’s always a good idea to keep a wide profit margin so you don’t risk losing money through sales or any other promotion.

The most common use formula on pricing crafts is:

Materials + time + overhead costs (warehouse space, office supplies) = minimum base price.

Here’s an example using this formula.

Card making materials ($2.70) + time ( 15 minutes…$3.75 for a $15/hour rate) + overhead costs ($1.00… There are minimal overhead costs here) = $7.45.

Be honest about the cost for all of your materials and how much time it takes to make a piece and how much your time is worth.

To figure the retail price, many people recommend multiplying the base price by 2.5 or 3.

For the above example a 2.5 multiply would be $7.45 X 2.5 + $18.62.

You may want to round this total up to $19 to keep things simple

Other pricing aspects to consider

The above formula does not take any of the following fees into consideration. You may sell online or at local events or at craft shows but it’s important to take any additional fees into consideration.

Easy and PayPal fees

When you’re selling items through Etsy it is important to consider the fees and the easiest way to work these in the initial base formula is:

Minimum base cost ($7.45) + Etsy fee (3.5% = $0.26) + PayPal fee (2.9% + $0.30 = $0.52) = $8.23

The new retail price for 2.5 will be $8.23 X2.5 = $20.58 (again, you may choose to round us up to $21)

Taxes and credit card fees

When you are selling at a craft show or another local event, it is important to consider whatever state taxes and credit card fees there are. Sales tax does vary from state to state. The information can be easily accessed online. The type of credit card reader that you choose will determine what your credit card fees are. Typically state sales tax + credit card fees= almost exactly what Etsy and PayPal fees costs so I keep craft show fairs and Easy prices the same. It may not be true if you run the math so to try to do this before setting local pricing.

Compare prices for similar items

When you’re first starting out selling crafts or offering a new product line, it is helpful to compare prices for a similar item. Anything handmade recommends not lowering your own prices to meet the prices of your competitors unless you can find a way to meet this price point and not lose money.

Sometimes competitors are offering cheaper products than you are. You may stay ahead by providing a higher quality alternative. On the other hand, some competitors offer expensive one-of-a-kind versions. You will be able to provide more affordable and just as high quality alternatives. But don’t sell yourself short.

Bulk and wholesale pricing

A number of artists offer bulk and wholesome pricing. This is applicable for consignment deals or local boutique offers, large events, weddings and more. It’s up to you to offer this and what your pricing scale will be. Here are some common options.

One of the most common formulas for wholesale pricing is to multiply your base by two. If we take the earlier example your wholesale price would be as follows:

Minimum base price ($7.45) X 2 = $14.90.

Some artists choose a wholesale pricing scale. For example:

Orders of $0.25 or more will get the X 2 pricing per box.

Orders of $0.50 or more will get a X 1.75 pricing per box at $13.03 per box.

Orders of 100 sets or more will get a 1.5 pricing per box at $11.18 per box.

The advantage of purchasing wholesale supplies

A good way to keep your prices down and still make a profit is to purchase wholesale supplies. If you are just starting out, it may be rough if you haven’t narrowed your focus. If you know though there are materials you will use in large quantities, such as fabric or card stock, do some research and find your wholesale purchase options. Take advantage of any other sales or deals.

How to Personalize Your School Supplies

Summer is almost done and even though you don’t want to see summer go, at least you can console yourself by decorating your school supplies. Maybe it’s not the best consolation for the end of summer, but personalizing your school supplies a fun activity to gear up for your first day of classes.

Apple Stamp Book Covers:

If you have some your old textbooks around you have living proof of how beat up your books can get by the end of the year. With spilled drinks, or gum between the pages, all are part of what the books end up looking like. Book covers are a great way to keep your books tidy. And Apple stamping the construction paper you wrap them in guarantees you’re ready for the school year with very cool looking book covers.

Materials:

-Construction paper big enough to wrap your book in

-Paper

-Tape

-Scissors

-Apple

-Paint

Instructions:

  1. First you need to stamp the paper. Cut your apple in half and dip it in a tray of paint, the color is up to you.
  2. Stamp your paper however you like and use any other decorations you might want to add. Painting the stem of the Apple, a study warm, a dinosaur or whatever you like and let it dry completely.
  3. When the papers dry, open your book on the underside of the paper meeting the non-painted side.
  4. Cut the paper so there’s about a 5-inch border around the book.
  5. Fold the paper on the covers corners and tape them down to the inside of the book.
  6. Cut the paper so it lays flush against the spine of the book. You cannot fold the paper to the cover here because of the pages.
  7. Tape any loose pieces of paper to the cover just to secure the entire thing.
  8. Feel free to put your book through whatever comes your way.

 

It’s also a good idea to mark where you left off in your book and bookmarks are simple and wonderful ways to do that. These bookmarks are perfect for your new school year.

Materials:

-Envelope

-Decorative paper or colored pens

-Black-and-white paper

-Glue

Instructions:

  1. Cut the corner of the envelope at a diagonal. You should have a diamond shape that will fit the corner of the page.
  2. Cut two triangles of your decorative paper to put on the diamond triangle shape. This will make the face and when you glue it, it should have a gap along the center of the diamond. You can also draw on the envelope diamond to make the face.
  3. Using the white paper, cut out eyes and jagged teeth. The eyes and the top triangle of the diamond and glue the teeth so they stick out from under the pocket of the envelope.
  4. Cut out black circles for the pupils of the eyes include those on. You can add any other decorations such as glitter or sequence.
  5. You have now made a book monster bookmark so you can mark your pages with it.

How to Make a Jewelry Holder

Has your jewelry ever been in such a tangle that you gave up trying to untie all the knots and just leave the mess for another time? Here are some jewelry holder designs for you to try.

These are two simple projects for a necklace holder and an earring holder to help you untangle the mess, plus it adds a homemade and artsy touch to your bedroom or bathroom. What’s even more as you get to display your jewelry even when you’re not wearing it.

 

Necklace holder:

You can use salvage doorknobs to easily organize your necklaces. You can find glass or metal doorknobs of all shapes and sizes at any thrift store or hardware stores.

 

Here’s what you will need:

-A flat piece of wood or something painted or driftwood from the beach.

-Doorknobs, as many as you need or will fit the piece of wood you want to use.

-A drill.

-Nails to attach the board to the wall.

What to do:

  1. Measure the size of the doorknob screws and drill the appropriate size hole for each knob and the piece of wood. If you are not used to using a drill this is the best time to learn or get an expert to help and supervise.
  2. Screw the doorknobs into the drill holes
  3. Attach the piece of wood to the wall where you wanted to hang and you can hang it with nails or another type of wall hanger.
  4. Get ready to untangle your massive necklaces and hang them up.

 

Earring holder:

Trying to keep earrings and their backs all-straight is even a bigger task than keeping necklaces untangled because they are so small. This is a lace earring holder and it’s perfect for organizing, displaying and maintaining your earrings, both studs and drops. When the lace is taut you can see the beautiful pattern and the soft fabric is gentle on the metal of your earrings.

What you need:

-An empty frame or an embroidery hoop

-A piece of lace

-Flat thumbtacks that are only used for the frame project.

What to do:

  1. If you want to paint or decorate your frame or embroidery hoop do it first and let it dry completely.
  2. Measure cut lace to fit the size and shape of your frame or embroidery hoop.
  3. If you using a frame: stretch the lace across the back of the frame and with the flat thumbtacks secure it to the frame.
  4. If you use an embroidery hoop, stretch the lace between the two hoops and clamp the hoops together.
  5. Arrange your airings in the lace and hang on the wall and enjoy.

DIY Projects: a Dreamcatcher

If you keep seeing nightmares or dreams where you arrive to school naked and fail to run away because everything becomes slow-motion a dreamcatcher is what you need.

Dreamcatchers – A Glimpse into the History

The dreamcatcher is a craft that was popular among the First Nations people of Canada. The tradition of making dreamcatchers is believed to be started by the Ojibway people who lived in the Lake Huron area. According to the legend good dreams enter a person’s mind through the center of the web while bad dreams get caught in the web and vanish at the sunrise.

Materials

  • Strong thread (traditionally sinew was used).
  • Suede lacing.
  • Metal ring of any size.
  • Medium size beads.
  • Feathers.

How to Make It

  1. Make a knot to secure one end of the suede lacing on the metal ring. It is important that you leave about five inches of lacing to hang the dreamcatcher, then wind the suede tightly around the ring until it is covered in suede completely.
  2.  Tie off the suede and make a loop by knotting the two remaining ends together. The loop is needed to hang the dreamcatcher on.
  3.  Get several feet of thread or sinew. Tie one end of it to the top of the ring.
  4.  Now the webbing represents a net of “half-hitch” knots. Then you need to make knots. At first loop the thread over the hoop towards the back, after that bring sinew to the front again. Just pull it up through the hole formed and make sure the thread pulled stays taut.
  5. Goon making such knots around the hoop, with the interval of seven or eight evenly spaced points.
  6. On returning to the top of the hoop, begin the next round of webbing. This time you should make knots on the loops of thread from the first round.
  7.  Thread a bead into the webbing where you want.
  8. Make sure there is a small hole left when you finish making the web. Then tie a double knot and cut the rest of the thread off.
  9. Finally you need to make the feather tassels hanging off the dreamcatcher. Cut several lengths of suede and tie them to the bottom of the dreamcatcher.
  10. Tuck a few beads onto each piece of suede and tie knots in the suede so they don’t move. Push the ends of the feathers through the beads and your dreamcatcher is ready! 

How to Sell Your Homemade Crafts on Your Facebook page

 

Millions of users are marketing homemade crafts on Facebook and it may appear easy. But thousands of businesses are vying for consumer attention so you will need a strategic Facebook marketing strategy or your homemade crafts business can go unnoticed. If you are marketing to potential consumers of homemade crafts, you need to grab their attention quickly, with high-resolution images and engaging videos of your craft products and your business. You need to inspire them to return to your page on a daily basis and click through your website to buy.

 

1. Launch a standalone, e-commerce website or an E-store on the website of a retailer that specializes in homemade crafts. You can use Easy or Artfire. Facebook provides a range of tools that helps you market products. New customers will be able to browse your homemade craft image gallery and make comments and share images of your products but they can’t buy anything without clicking through to an e-commerce website.

 

2. Open a Facebook account and set up a personal profile. Opening an account on the social network platform only requires an email address, username and password. He will need to set up a personal profile to access Facebook’s Page features, advertising and marketing tools. Launch a Facebook page, also known as a fan page. Follow steps in your profile’s drop-down menu to set up the page. It allows you to name it, add a logo, and add business location and contact information.

 

3. Upload as many images of your homemade crafts as possible in your pages Photo Album. This makes your page look like it is a hive of activity and encourages users to stick around. In the pages Status field, post images of new crops, videos of craft demonstrations or happenings at your business location. Update things such as upcoming craft shows, sales and coupon codes to entice your fans to click through to your homemade craft e-commerce site.

 

4. Build your Facebook Pages following a potential homemade craft customers by sharing it with your friends and asking for “Likes”. If you don’t have a large following you can pay Facebook for targeted marketing. Facebook allows you to set up affordable advertising budgets all within your means.

 

5. Keep your Facebook pages fans engaged by communing with them regularly. Regular communication engages Facebook users. Ask your fans about their favorite crafts, and the products they enjoy buying or making, and offer tips. Offer a daily craft special, to encourage fans to visit your page and your e-commerce site every day.

How to Make a Folding Workbench

Folding WorkbenchThis solid workbench that folds up is a real must have for a handyman as he can easily fit a big work area into a small place. Plus it can be made in a day using simple hardware and just two sheets of plywood.

Any handyman needs a working table to spread things out while making repairs, working on a hobby or just to store tools. If you don’t have enough room to put a full-size permanent workbench but really need workspace this workbench is what you need. It provides large working area and is accessible from all sides. When opened it turns into a solid 4 x 7-ft. surface, when closed it fits into a small 4-ft. x 18-in. spot. Such compact folding workbench is ideal for the garage or basement.

Cut The PiecesStep1. Cut the Pieces

Take two sheets of 3/4-in.-thick birch plywood and cut all the pieces using a 40-tooth carbide blade or a 150- tooth plywood blade. After plywood pieces are cut, rip the 1/4-in. wide edge banding from 3/4-in. thick boards. Or consider purchasing it precut at a home center or lumberyard if you don’t have a table saw.

Assemble The PiecesStep 2. Assemble the Pieces

Apply carpenter’s glue and then nail the anti-rack shelf supports to the sides first, then align, glue and nail the top and bottom pieces to the sides. Use 6d finish nails. Make sure you let the assembly rest for an hour to let the glue dry before proceeding to the next step.

Attach The CastersStep 3. Attach the Casters

Turn the assembly upside down and align the caster bases with the outer edges of the bottom. Use 1-1/4 in. long lag screws on the outer edge and 1-1/4 in. carriage bolts with nuts and washers for the inner fasteners.

Nail the EdgingStep 4. Nail the Edging

Flip the bench onto the casters and begin gluing and nailing the 3/4-in. by 1/4- in. hardwood edging to the exposed plywood edges. Use 1-in. brads to attach the hardwood edging.

Step 5. Attach the Pipe Flanges

Attach the Pipe FlangesScrew the 3/4-in. pipe flanges onto 5-in. square reinforcing blocks that had been previously cut from scrap plywood. Apply glue and then screw the blocks to the underside of the front panels.

Step 6. Fasten the Piano Hinges

Fasten the Piano HingesFirst tip the bench onto its side and align each tip-up panel with the bench frame to make your 1-1/2 in. piano hinge fit. Align your screw holes perfectly with a center punch or a Vix bit.

Step 7. Close up of Center Punch

Step 8. Add the Cam Locks

Drill the holes for the cam locks into each panel for exact placement. The larger 1-1/8 in. dia. recess is only 1/4 in. deep and allows the lock to be hidden below the surface. The second 3/4-in. dia. hole goes through to the other side and supports the lock shaft.

Step 9. Open the Bench and Thread on the Legs

Twist the 3/4-in. threaded pipe onto the pipe flanges for a rock-solid kbench. Lock the casters in place when using the bench.

Step 10. Apply a Finish

Coat the wood with 3 coats of urethane varnish for more color and protection. To ensure a tough, attractive work surface you should first sand the whole bench with 150-grit sandpaper and use a power sander to knock down any high spots on the hardwood edging. Vacuum the dust, wipe the bench with a cloth and apply a finish. Wait a few days after the last coat of finish is applied before you start using the workbench.

For More Information: familyhandyman.com