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Archive for the ‘Crafts’ Category

Make Your Own

Brought to you by: The Frugal Buzz On September 9, 2011 No Comments

Ever catch a glimpse of a beautiful bracelet, earrings or necklace and compliment on it only to find out they made it themselves?  People can make amazingly gorgeous jewelry with just a bit of beads and wire.  Guess what, you can too!  Here’s how to get started. beading sept 2011

It’s fairly easy, and common, to get into a crafting mood, head to your local bead store and spend gobs of money only to get home and not know what to do with what you purchased.  Instead of going to the bead store and buying everything that looks good, kinda like a kid in a candy store, consider going with a project in mind.  A bracelet for example, is a good beginner beading project to start with.

Make a list of what you’ll need.  This may require a bit of research.  For example a power bracelet is a great place to start.  Power bracelet supplies include:

*  Elastic Cord
*  Beads Of Your Choice
*  One Bead With Three Holes
*  Scissors

It is important to make sure the cord fits through the holed in your bead.  Finishing the bracelet, making sure the beads don’t fall off the moment you slip it onto your wrist, is the final step.  With a three holed bead the process involves pushing the cord through both sides of the three holed bead and up through the top.  The final step is to tie an overhand knot, trim the ends and voila! 

Other project options are wire jewelry, hemp jewelry and earrings of all shapes and sizes.  Once you have a project decided upon and a list of supplies, then it’s time to head out to the local bead store.  Now some project supplies, like the three holed bead, can be difficult to find.  There are many online options to locate those hard to find supplies or if your determined to make your project and are willing to compromise on some of the supplies then variations can generally be suggested and purchased at your local bead store. 

For example, using the power bracelet supply list if the three holed bead is unavailable a two holed bead can be supplemented using an alternative tying method.  It’s done by looping one of the cord ends through the end bead and then pulling it up and through another bead before making a knot.  It leaves the string exposed so choosing a string that matches your beads is recommended.

Once you get started creating beaded jewelry it’s hard to stop.  There are so many beautiful projects to create and a seemingly endless supply of stunning beads.  Start small, plan your projects well and be willing to ask questions and make adjustments as you go.  Enjoy!

Frugally yours, Mary

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Picture Source: http://www.flickr.com/photos/62904109@N00/2636859006/

Quick and easy tie-dye

Brought to you by: The Frugal Buzz On September 7, 2011 No Comments

……with Sharpie markers?  Yup, tht’s right.  Love tie-dye but hate the mess?  Here’s a quick and easy way to create the same gorgeous retro effect without all the buckets and mess.

To get started you’ll need to grab a few things:

o Package of colored sharpie markers.  These are sold at your local office supply store or in the office supply section of your grocer.  They come in a wide variety of colors ranging from red, blue, yellow, purple and so on.

o Rubber bands.  These are used in the same manner that they’d be used in a traditional tie-dye project.  They’ll be used to make bulls-eyes. 

o Something to tie-dye.  This can be a t-shirt, bag, table cloth, pillow case, anything that you feel inspired to add a colorful retro feel to.

o Rubbing alcohol.  This is the key to the whole project!

o Spray bottle.  This will be used to spray the alcohol. 

 tie die sept 2011

Taking your shirt or socks or whatever you’re going to be dying, grab a bit of fabric and wrap a rubber band around it leaving a bit of fabric poking out.  Do this as many times as you’d like.  Varying the size of the fabric inside the rubber band will create different sized color swatches on your finished project.  To create the bulls-eye pattern layer the rubber bands on the same piece of fabric, so one handful of fabric will have a rubber band an inch down, two inches down and so on depending on how many rings you want in your bulls-eye. 

Now take your markers and start coloring in the gathered material.  Color it however you choose.  If you’re making a multicolored bulls-eye you’ll want to color each banded section a different color. 

Once you’ve finished coloring the sections, grab the fabric and take it to a well ventilated area.  An old plastic chair, bench or even a bucket outside is ideal.  Using your spray bottle full of alcohol, start spraying the rubber banded sections.  Continue spraying until the entire shirt has been tended to. 

Now you can sit back and watch.  The alcohol will start to react with the colors causing them to bleed into one another.  It’s a great and dramatic effect and it is fun to watch.  Let your fabric dry.  Once it’s dry, you can remove the rubber bands.  Launder it in cold water to set the colors.  Dry and wear.

Tie-dying with sharpie markers is a much easier, faster, and less stressful way of creating the same fabulous projects the buckets and dye powders offer and without the mess.

Frugally yours, Mary

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Picture Source:  http://www.flickr.com/photos/arwing3/5375367807/

Sell Your Crafts!

Brought to you by: The Frugal Buzz On September 5, 2011 No Comments

Turn Your Hobby into Spending Money.  If you enjoy creating and you constantly hear people telling you that you should sell your creations, it may be time to voyage into the world of selling your crafts for money. Like all things, entering the world of selling crafts should be carefully planned out. There are many websites and venues where you can sell your crafts both online and off. Sell Your CraftsOnline venues are a great way to reach customers all over the world. Popular websites like Etsy, Artfire and eBay are great tools that help to reach your targeted customers. Before making the plunge into selling your crafts, be sure to take the time and do some research beforehand. Keep the following questions in mind as you consider the prospect of selling your creations:

* Do I have a product that people would want to buy? This is the most important question you have to ask yourself. If there is no target market for your products, you will have a hard time selling your creations and not because your items are not nice, but they may not be in demand.

* Who is my potential target market? This is a continuation of the question above because you need to know who to advertise to and how to successfully draw your target market to your items. It would be a waste of time trying to sell baby clothes, for example, to those who do not have children.

* What will I charge for my creations? Pricing is an important strategy. All too often, people undercharge for their creations forgetting to take into consideration the time and materials that go into a product. Make sure you account for both the cost of the materials as well as the time and effort you put forth to create your goods. Also be sure not to overcharge. You may find that your items do not sell because they are over priced.

* Where will I sell my items? Online websites are plentiful when it comes to selling handmade goods. There are websites such as Etsy and Artfire who only allow the sales of handmade goods, along with supplies. EBay is also another popular venue to sell handmade goods. Be aware though, that you will be competing with the other goods that are not handmade and may be cheaper. A good description of the item and its benefits is always a good idea.

If you choose to sell locally, try finding a store that will sell your items on consignment or sign up to exhibit at a local craft show. Both will be good for exposure. If you choose to go the consignment route, be sure to get all terms in writing. Otherwise you run the risk of having your items kept and not paid for.

It is very possible in today’s day and age to make some spending money selling your crafts. Be sure to do your research and follow through your plan by keeping the above questions in mind. Once you have your plan in mind, go ahead and take the plunge. But remember, like anything else, you will get in return what you put forth so make it worth your while.

Frugally yours, Mary

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Picture Source: http://www.flickr.com/photos/kerryw/3359441178/