How To Start A Crafting Business Online

This is a condensed version of my years long journey towards e-commerce. Back when I first set up my craft room intending to make cards as displays for my cross stitching, I had no idea of the wonderful world of paper crafting. Since that day I’ve learned how to make cards, boxes, mini albums, scrapbooks, marbled paper, iris folding, handmade paper, a little origami & designing my own fabric via a company named Spoonflower.

As I started to use tools and technology I depended on my straight ruler and hand rotary cutter. Chipboard (a cardboard material much thicker & sturdier than cereal box material) and I became soulmates so then I had to learn about binding machines and electronic cutting machines. I’ve now graduated to a professional model, the “Silver Bullet” cutter.

Early on I decided to make things to sell to recoup some of my crafting expenses. That was over five years ago! I realized I needed inventory. Since I am a perfectionist, I set out to learn to make things using the best quality materials and means. It took hundreds and hundreds of hours of online research, mainly You Tube, to master my craft. The online community is my teacher! Here I am today ready and  in the process of making merchandise. I have the will, motivation and tools to start a home craft business. This is what I’ve learned along the way:  ($ – denotes things which will cost money)

  • E-commerce is competitive. Make your product unique.
  • Don’t be afraid to try new ideas. Some you will keep, some you won’t.
  • Find a passion. You should love what you make.
  • Look to successful online shops. Have a business plan. Do quality work. Learn to price your merchandise – Materials cost + Hours worked + Packaging + Shipping. Learn Google SEO’s. Use relevant tags. Use quality, crisp pictures.
  • Branding $: Use color, graphics, logo, business cards, stamps or stickers for labels and packaging.
  • Register your business name with your city or state $.
  • You may purchase a web domain even if you don’t have an e-commerce website yet $.
  • Get a Paypal business account if necessary. $
  • Get a P.O. box if needed. $ (Good to maintain personal privacy)
  • Learn your tax obligations.
  • If you have employees you will need a tax ID# with the IRS.
  • Prepare a crafting business spreadsheet. Check Etsy sellers $. (May have pricing of merchandise calculator).
  • Etsy may be a good e-commerce start to get your feet wet $. (A shop “domain” is assigned but is not independent of Etsy)
  • Choose an e-commerce site when you grow more $.
  • Get on social media but don’t be a “seller” be a participant. Facebook business, forums, Pinterest, Instagram, You Tube.
  • Craft show tips: Many videos and blogs to explain.
  • Packaging: You may have display packaging and/or mailing packaging. Dispaly packaging should be appealing, functional, easy to read and see the product. Sources: Make it yourself, Ali express, Clearbags.com, Dollar stores, Discount stores, Etsy.com. [Follow up with an email after you receive payment for an order].
  • Mail Packaging can be boxes, bubble mailers or mail priority boxes. Inside can be tissue paper, bubble wrap or smaller boxes. You should include a business card, invoice receipt, and a thank you note.

I hope that was helpful. I’m off to create!

 

Sympathy #Bereavement Cards 2015

IMG_20150820_084743 IMG_20150820_084657 IMG_20150818_235312 IMG_20150818_160719_kindlephoto-153700227

Sometimes you just want to give comfort to others.

Korean Drama Valentine Card 2013

wpid-IMG_20130202_215645.jpg

I’ve worked long and hard on my new passion. The more you learn, the more you realize there is to learn. My paper quality was bothering me. After much research, I discovered there were more choices of paper weight than what I was finding at this particular craft store. The hunt began. Meanwhile I decide to make up some Korean Drama Valentine cards for my online shop. I was so excited and stayed up many late nights making these cards perfect. I took more than an hour to set up my shop parameters because I was being very careful and didn’t want to make mistakes.

Let’s Play Ball! Shape book

A friend has a son who plays high school baseball. I made this for her. I call this a themed “shape book”. Each page represents the sport of baseball. Ball player, mascot cover, surprise, ball & mitt, cap, and baseball diamond page. I admit to doing research since I don’t know much about sports. Enjoy. 

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Thirty -Two “Exploding Boxes”

I got really excited when I discovered the “Exploding Box”. I thought right away that they would make great “thank you” gifts. An exploding box is a type of  folded, mini album which may have interior or exterior embellishments arranged on layers consisting of four “flaps”. When folded upwards, these flaps form a box shape which is then held in place by a square lid.

The finished boxes including the inspired John Deere box.

The first thing I did was to make a sketch.

Next I gathered together the supplies needed: Three different colors of 12″ x 12″ card stock, 8.5″ x 11″ card stock for top, decorative paper, printed images, die cut outs, scorer and board, double sided craft tape, glue, glue dots, and embellishments.

I trimmed down the three pieces of card stock to be stacked in layers at center of exploding box  from large to small. Sizes were: 12″ x 12″, 11.75″ x 11.75″, and 11.5″ x 11.5″

1) Score each piece of card stock at the 4″ mark, rotate & score three more times at that mark. You should have  nine squares bordered by score lines. 2) Cut out the four corner squares. 3) Use a corner cutter to round edges. 4) Tape medium sized  to larger, then tape smallest to medium sized creating three layers.

I embellished the bottom, large (blue) layer first, then the medium (gold), then the smallest (burgundy). The embellishments of these layers represent the various themes and charity projects of our organization.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Follow me on Twitter