Thursday, September 23, 2010

Your Market Counts in Pricing day 4

Your Market Counts in Pricing

By: Maria Nerius, Resident Craft Expert

Where you are selling your goods and who you're selling them to can play a role in pricing your handmade items or creative services. If you decide to sell to gift shops and boutiques, you will have to come up with a wholesale price (which may or may not be your regular retail price!), since these shops will want to mark up the price so they can earn money as well. When selling at a church bazaar, you may not be able to get the price you might get at a large annual upscale art show, since the customer base may be different. You need to know your market (your customers) and you need to research pricing of similar items sold at retail shops, in online galleries, and through mail-order catalogs.

I’ll use the example of a hand painted glass Christmas ornament. Using the traditional pricing formula of (Cost of Goods + Labor) x Overhead, you've decided to price your ornament at $5.00. However, while browsing the web and looking through some mail-order catalogs, you see similar Christmas ornaments are selling for $20.00. It happens! Crafters tend to under price their goods. With this research, you may decide to average the prices and sell your ornament for $12.50. Or you might decide to go for it and initially price your ornament for $20.00 and see if it sells at that price. You have some playing room in your pricing and you should adjust your selling price to earn more profit if you can.

But what if you were browsing that catalog and you found many similar ornaments selling at a lower price than yours, say $4.00? In this situation, you can give your $5.00 price a trial period to see if you can sell at the $5.00 price. Or, you may find that the lower ($4.00) price is the price that the majority of your customers are comfortable paying. In that case, you might begin to look for ways to reduce your COG, Labor, or Overhead to help you earn more profit from your Christmas Ornament while you reduce the price to what the market will bear.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Cashing In On Your Creativity: Turning a Hobby into Income Day 3

Cashing In On Your Creativity: Turning a Hobby into Income

By: Maria Nerius, Resident Craft Expert

In today’s economy every little bit helps and selling your crafts might be a way for you to earn some extra income from your creative passion. The first step is deciding just how much time you have available to craft and create an inventory to sell, then you’ll need to take a few steps into turning your hobby into a business. You have many options and can create your own schedule.

Some people earn what we call pocket money from their crafts. They make 3-5 items and can easily give these crafts to friends as gifts or sell these crafts for income. If you are going to devote a quarter or less of your free time to creating crafts to sell and you plan to just sell to friends or a few community craft shows, you don’t need to take many business steps as you are still considered a hobbyist by most local, state, and federal governments.

You do need to contact your local government for any rules that cover selling handmade crafts. Your city, township, or country may or may not have regulations you need to follow. For example my city asks that you not sell out of your home if it is going to create a traffic problem for your neighbors. You also need to contact your state government to see if you need to collect state sales tax on any craft items you sell. In the state of Florida for example you are expected to collect sales tax on any item you sell.

Don’t be intimidated! It’s just a quick phone call and each government agency will have the information you need. City and state regulations vary, there is no set standard so it’s important you do your regional homework.

If you’ve decided that you want to seriously earn some income from your crafts, you’ll need to understand that you’ll need some inventory (ready to sell items) and avenues to sell these crafts. To work part time or full time as a professional crafter you will have to take your business seriously. The biggest mistake most potential professional crafters have is not making a business plan and not keeping the records needed as a business. Your hobby has become a business and needs to be treated as a business.

You need to keep records of all your expenses, time, labor, and overhead. Again, don’t be intimated by the paperwork. Keep an accounting journal and your receipts. Keep a time card. Working part or full time also means you’ll be introduced to the Schedule C when you go to do your tax return for Uncle Sam. You can pick one up at your local IRS office or download the form. Look this form over carefully and note all the records you’ll be responsible for as a small business owner.

You’ll also need to contact your local and state government to notify each of your business. Some cities and states have few rules and regulations for home businesses, but others have rather complex ones that you need to be aware of. Most hobbyist who turn their hobbies into business work as home businesses, but you do have the option to rent space for your work. This is a personal decision, but I recommend that you start as a home based business and as you grow you may wish to move your business out of the home.

I’ve given you the basics. I’m going to be honest and tell you that some of the business aspects of earning an income from your creativity can seem boring and tedious, but you must be aware of your business responsibilities to be successful. Spend some time thinking about what you want out of your creative business including time spent creating, marketing, displaying, and selling your crafts.

Write down what you want to accomplish on a weekly, monthly and yearly basis, this is your business plan. You’ll be investing your time, energy, and in the beginning you are spending your own money to purchase supplies. As your business grows, you can pay yourself back and then reinvest in your business. Write these numbers down and review them often.

I’ve successfully made a great living from my creativity for 25 years now. I started as a professional crafter selling my handmade dolls at outdoor arts and crafts shows and expanded to become a craft professional who has published articles, books, and made hundreds of TV appearances. This leads me to the discussion of all the creative options accessible to you as a passionate crafter!

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Cashing In On Your Creativity Day 2

Cashing In On Your Creativity: Get Your Designs Published

By: Maria Nerius, Resident Craft Expert

One of the ways to cash in on your creativity is to sell your finished craft items, but you can also earn income by selling the instructions to the crafts you make. The first rule of trying to sell a design for publication is that the design must be original to you. You had to create it on your own and with your own hands. You can’t sell a design that you created from another published designer or a design that you modified by changing the size, color, or adding a different embellishment. This means your design for sale to a publisher is original and never been published before.

Many crafters
learn a technique or craft by first using a published design in a kit, magazine, book, or on the web, but as skills increase the crafter goes on to create original pieces. You can sell the instructions to your original crafts to product manufacturers, magazine publishers, book publishers, online publications, and kit manufacturers.

Let’s start with magazines. Every magazine has a set of writer guidelines available upon request or to view on the web. These guidelines let you know what is expected of you as a designer submitting original work for publication. Usually a query is requested. You’ll send a photo plus brief description of the design to the magazine editor. In the old days this had to be done by U.S. Mail, but today magazines often take queries by e-mail. Make sure the image/photo is crisp and clear and your description should include your complete contact information, colors, materials, finished size and skill level needed.

One of the best ways to start is to pick a magazine you enjoy
reading. Most likely your design work will be complimentary to the magazine. You don’t want to send a quick and easy floral arrangement to a quilting magazine. It’s important that the design you want to sell will fit into the magazine’s format and style. Write the editor for Writer Guidelines or visit the magazine’s website.

Fees for designs vary. An average fee for general crafting would be in the $100-$450 fee range. If your design is accepted you’ll get a contract that should state the fee that will be paid for the design. Read the contract carefully and if you have any questions you should ask the editor. Some contracts state
first rights (publication has first rights to publish the design, then rights go back to the designer) while some contracts state all rights (design in any application belongs to the publisher). Understand that a contract is a legal obligation for you to submit a design with instructions to the publisher by a stated deadline.

You’ll be expected to write the instructions for your design which should include a material list. The material list needs to contain any supplies or materials that are needed to complete the project. Never assume the person who is going to read your instructions will know that scissors or an adhesive is needed. Make your materials list complete! Next you’ll write the step by step instructions to make the design. Take a good look at the magazine’s style. Write your instructions to match this style.

Some magazines request step by step photos for projects. Some magazines want you to provide either the finished sample for photography or to provide project photos. You can e-mail your instructions and photos. Finished samples are sent by mail and most magazines request that you include return postage if you want the finished design sent back to you.
Shipping can be expensive if you work right up to your deadline so think ahead and mail early to save on shipping.

Magazines have editorial calendars. These calendars map out what the magazine is looking for in future issues. Magazines work 6 to 18 months in advance. Request the editorial calendar if you want to create projects for future issues of the magazine. Winter holidays like Christmas are usually welcomed all year round, but other
holiday oriented themes need to be submitted as requested on the editorial calendar which means Mother’s Day submissions may only be taken during the month of October for the next year’s Mother’s Day.

My last word on submitting designs for publication is that you will be given a deadline for your submission. A deadline is a serious part of the publishing world. You can’t send in your work two days after your deadline. If you do you have just messed with the schedules of everyone else involved in that magazine’s publication from the editor to the photography to the art director. Get your work in before the deadline and you’ll earn a good reputation as a designer.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Crafting as a Business ... Day 1 Pricing Basics

Basics of Pricing Your Work

By: Maria Nerius, Resident Craft Expert

If you're making crafts to sell, you want to know how to price your work and what to consider when you price your work. Maria Nerius gives you some things to think about in this Craft Business article.

One of the most difficult tasks you have when you sell your work is putting a price tag on your work. There is no magic formula. Pricing considerations include the amount of labor (your time), cost of goods (supplies used), and your overhead (electricity, phone, rent). These are the basics! You may be thinking that since you work at home you don’t need to include a percentage of your price to cover electricity or rent, but you do. You are a business and need to price like the professionals.

At least once every time you create a design you need to write down every supply used (Cost of Goods/COG) and how much time you spent making it. It’s not the fun part of selling your work, but you need to document details so you can quantify the costs of material and labor. Time is m
oney and as creative people we don’t often realize just how much time an item takes to make. Making one of an item takes more time than if you can create several in an assembly-line method (paint all five at once, then attach the decorations to all once the paint dries, etc.). You’ll need to average your labor between custom orders and “mass” produced items.

The basic formula for pricing is (Cost of Goods + Labor) x Overhead= Price. There are numerous percentages used for Overhead. Overhead can range from 5% to 45%. Note that when companies are tightening their belts or trying to get expenses down they tend to cut Overhead. I advise to streamline your Overhead. Take a good look at your electric bill and rent/mortgage and think about what percentage you feel you are using or you want covered.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Doily Decoration for the Holidays

Crochet Doily Bowls by handmadeintheusa

"Back in the day" I made these as home decor but I would use my hand crocheted doilies.
Now I have discovered that you can buy inexpensive ones at the Dollar stores or find very nice ones at yard sales or thrift stores. If you want Holiday decorations, choose color ones. These are beautiful for small custard cups, larger serving bowls or as candle holders using votives or candles in a glass container.

So lets begin...

Crochet doily (select size to fit custard cup, bowl or glass candle holder)
Glass custard cup, bowl or glass candle holder
Waxed paper
Plastic wrap
Plastic bag
Aleene’s Fabric Stiffener™ or Liquid StarchRubber band (to fit around custard cup or bowl)

Place waxed paper on work surface. Turn cup or bowl upside down and cover with plastic warp.

Pour stiffener or liquid starch into plastic bag. Place doily in bag and squeeze bag to saturate doily. Remove doily, squeezing out excess stiffener as you remove from bag.

Place doily over inverted cup and stretch to form and shape evenly. Place rubber band around top of cup to form crisp folded edge.
(This will create the rim of the bowl.) Allow to dry overnight. Remove from bowl and discard plastic wrap.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Bird feeder with Plastic bottle

Finch & Sparrow Bird Feeder
from Plastic Bottles

For pocket gardens or multiple feeders in a garden, homemade feeders made from small plastic bottles are ideal. If you use a sports drink bottle for the feeder, it is easy to collect a number of bottles for this purpose
in a short time.

Materials Needed:

Empty plastic bottle(s)-- I recommend "Propel" 16.9-ounce sports drink (they call it "fit water" on the label) bottles because of their relatively wide mouths, or 20-ounce Heinz ketchup bottles.

"Goof Off," "Goo BeGone," or other glue- and label-removing solvent.

Small-diameter dowel rods (I suggest 3/16" from crafts section of Wal-Mart, or a crafts store), suitable for use as a perch by birds the size of finches or sparrows.

Floral wire.

Ice pick.

Hand-held electric drill with bit size about 3/16".

Safety glasses.

Wire cutters or scissors.

Hunter-green spray paint suitable for use on plastic---such as Rustoleum brand "Paint for Plastic."

Bag of bird seed, preferably thistle or finch feed.

Duct tape.

Instructions For Use With "Propel" Bottles:

1. Remove the label from the bottle(s), and remove any remaining glue or gum with "Goof Off" or a similar product.

2. Put on your safety glasses.

3. Take an ice pick and punch holes in the bottle as follows: one hole on each side two inches below the cap; one hole on each side three inches below the cap and near or directly below the first two holes; and one (small) hole on each side 3/4 inch above the base.

4. Take the drill and use the bit to slightly enlarge the first set of holes two inches from the cap. Then take the drill and use the bit to enlarge the holes three inches from the cap until these two holes are each about 2/3rds the size of a dime. Move the drill slowly in a circular motion to expand the size of the holes.

5. Next, take a dowel rod and cut it to a length of about 10 inches (a wire cutter actually works quite well for this purpose). Push the dowel rod through one of the holes two inches from the cap, and continue pushing it through the bottle and the hole on the other side until you have the same length of dowel rod extending from each side of the bottle.

6. Cut a 10-12 inch length of floral wire using the wire cutter or scissors, and thread the wire through the holes located 3/4 inch above the base of the bottle. Intertwine the ends of the wire securely to form a hanger
for the feeder (you will hang the bottle upside down), then overwrap the intertwined part with a small piece of duct tape so you won't scratch your fingers handling it.

7. Spray paint the bottle and dowel rod a "hunter green" color. This step is optional if you are using a clear bottle such as a ketchup bottle, but the birds don't like the blue color of a "Propel" bottle for some reason and will not go near it unless you paint at least part of the bottle green. Trust me on this. I tried for two weeks to entice birds to feed from blue bottles without sucess. After I painted the bottles green, I had finches fighting over the feeder perches within an hour! They will also accept clear bottles, however.

8. Place your thumb and a finger over the holes three inches from the cap (or temporarily cover the holes with masking tape), remove the cap, and fill the bottle with bird seed. Replace the cap on the bottle.

9. Hang the bottle upside down by the floral wire from a tree branch or shepherd's crook, release your fingers from the seed openings (or remove the masking tape), and be prepared to welcome some feathered guests to dinner!

This craft is a good activity for children and scouts old enough to handle an ice pick and electric drill safely with adult supervision.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

How to Make a Bag Dispenser Out of a Plastic Bottle

Make a Plastic Bag Dispenser
The debate between plastic grocery bags and paper grocery bags has been raging for years. On the one hand, plastic bags clog up our landfills. On the other hand the process used to make paper grocery bags uses more energy and releases more greenhouse gases than the process used to manufacture plastic grocery bags.

Obviously there is no easy answer. However, many people seem to have decided to use plastic grocery bags and then save and reuse them. I reuse them as "doggy poo bags" or as stuffing in shipping boxes. This is a good idea but it can be difficult since plastic shopping bags can quickly add up and are often not so easy to store. The following project involves reusing another item, a plastic two liter soda bottle, to make a dispenser for plastic bags. The dispenser will help you keep the bags clean and organized; it will also make it easy for you to grab a bag whenever you need one.

Begin the project by obtaining an empty, plastic 2 liter soda bottle. Remove the bottles label and then clean the bottle inside and out with warm soapy water. Rinse the bottle thoroughly with lukewarm water. Then dry the outside of the bottle.

Next cut off both ends of the plastic bottle. Make sure that the outside of the bottle is dry so you do not have any accidents while cutting the bottle. First cut roughly two inches off of the bottom of the bottle. Cut the top off of the bottle just below the narrow spout. After you have cut the ends off use a wash cloth to thoroughly dry the inside of the bottle. It is imperative that the bottle be completely dry before you store any bags inside it, as any water inside can cause mold to grow.

After you have dried the bottle you are ready to mount the bottle in a handy place that's still out of sight such as inside a cupboard, pantry or closet. Attach the bottle, upside down, to the wall or door that you choose. You will need two screws and two washers. Poke or drill two holes, six inches apart in a vertical line on the bottle. Place a washer over one hole and then put in the screw. Repeat the process for the other hole.

Your bag dispenser is now ready to be filled with plastic grocery sacks. Squeeze the air out of each bag and fill the bottle with them. Now whenever you need one you can simply pull one out of the bottom of the

If you would like you may decorate the bottle before you mount it by wrapping it with decorative, self adhesive contact paper. Alternatively you can wrap the bottle with pretty fabric and glue it in place.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Homemade Topsey Turvey Planter with Plastic Bottles!

Homemade Topsy Turveys with plastic Bottles
Learn how to make a homemade upside down planter of your own. A homemade upside down planter can save you money over the television bought ones. You can use items that you already have around the house to make them.

You can buy buckets with lids for cheaper than the planters sold on television.

Materials Needed for a Two Liter Bottle Topsy Turvy

Two Liter Bottle. If you don't drink sodas or other items that come in a two liter bottle, have someone you know who does save theirs for you. If they ask you why you want them, explain what you are going to do with them. If they ask for a couple, make them for the person saving the plastic bottles for you. This way you are giving back something in return for their trouble.

NOTE: The large juice bottles can be used instead of the two litter bottles if you have them instead.

Potting Soil. You will need a large enough bag for the amount of upside down hangers you are making.

String, Wire or Fishing Line. Any type of item that you can use to hang the two liter bottle with will work.

Washers. A few small washers will be needed for the area where the holes are punched for draining; mainly along the area where the plant will be hanging from. A few large washers will be needed for the plant opening and the holes at the top where the hanging material will be placed into the bottle. You may want to use one or two to tie the string, fishing line, or wire to. You can use three pieces of whatever material you are using to tie together to hang it on the hook. You can use the metal or plastic washers. I believe when it comes to hanging the plant holder, the metal washers will work better. You can find the washers any hardware store. Try finding them in bulk rather than prepackaged, they will be cheaper.

Hook for Hanging. A hook that will hold a hanging planter is what you will need. The hangers you can buy prepackaged since you will need less of them than the washers. That is if you are making just a few. If you are going to make quite a few for what ever reason, buying those in bulk may be cheaper for these too. A shepherd's hook yard ornament can be used if you prefer. I have seen people use those for this project.

Small Piece of Screen or Anti-Skid material. You will need this to place over the area where you are putting the plant in. This will keep the dirt and plant from falling through the hole.

Wire covering. (Optional if using the washers) You could use this instead of the washers. Just place them around the hole for the plant and the holes for hanging the plant. I would suggest using some small plastic
washers around the holes that are made for drainage.

Something to Punch Holes. This will need to be an item that will make at least a quarter inch hole for drainage. The holes for hanging the homemade upside down planter won't need to be much larger than the drain holes.

Glue or adhesive. A glue or adhesive that will hold the washers in place will do the trick.

How to Make the Two Liter Upside Down Hanger

Cut the pour area off even with the top of the plastic two liter bottle. By removing the neck, you will have an open area to place the plant in upside down.

Cut the bottom off the plastic bottle just above the grooves. This will allow you to put the potting soil in over the plant and to water your plant.

Poke the holes needed for drainage at least one inch away from the hole used for the plant. You will need to place some holes around the edge just above the curve in the top (which is now the bottom of the planter) for extra drainage. The holes for hanging the plant will need to be one to two inches from the top. This will help keep the planter from breaking where these holes are.

Take a large washer and glue it inside the bottle where the hole that is for planting. You could glue one on the outside to help protect the plant stalk. If you are using the smaller washers for the drain holes glue those on now.

Once the glue has set on the washers and plastic bottle, cut out a round piece of screen or anti skid material just smaller than the larger opening. Push that down into the bottle where the other opening is. You will need to cut a hole just smaller than that opening.

Place a small amount of potting soil into the bottle. Take the plant out of the container you bought it in and place it with the plant facing out of the smaller hole. Place the bottle between your knees or in a deep enough container to add more potting soil in the bottle. Be careful not to push the plant and roots back through the bottle.

Tie the strings on the top and attach to the washers. Tie three separate strings above the washer. Make a loop when tying the three strings together.

Attach the hook to an area where you are placing your homemade upside down planter on a beam of your deck. You can use a shepherd's hook if you prefer.

NOTE: Buckets with or without lids can be used in place of the two liter plastic bottles. If you are using lids, drill holes in the lid so the rain or other water can be let into the bucket. You can omit making a handle for this one. You will drill a hole in the bottom of the bucket large enough to place the plant into upside down.

If you are using a bucket larger than a gallon, you could drill the plant holes on the side and plant two plants in the holes on the sides. Drill smaller holes in the bottom of the bucket for drainage if using this bucket method.

Monday, August 2, 2010

FREE Recycled Craft Ebook Dowload!

Craft Ebook download (pdf file)

10 Crafty Uses for old toothbrushes... Green Crafts

REUSE those old Toothbrushes!
By FaveCrafts.... Since dentists recommend that we all change our toothbrushes every 3 months, we accumulate quite a few old toothbrushes. Instead of throwing them away, re-purpose old toothbrushes for craft projects. They are very useful and re-using such items helps you to throw away less.

1. You can use the toothbrush to splatter. Dip about 1/2 of the toothbrush bristles into paint or ink. Brush your finger across the toothbrush with the tip of your thumb. Make sure you point the dipped toothbrush down and towards what you want splattered. It’s a little messy, but you’ll get a fine speckled look. Great for antiquing. This bottle was splattered with black paint and an old toothbrush.

2. When adding an antiquing or metal finish to a surface, use the old toothbrush to get into any little cracks or crevices. Wrap the toothbrush head with a strip of paper towel or rag. Rub over surface and the bristles will get into the hard to reach spots.

3. Foiling detailed surfaces can be very hard to do. Use an old toothbrush to smooth the foil down. Rub gently, but firmly in a circular motion.

4. Some needleart projects require you to fluff the yarn or floss. Hairbrushes and combs are too harsh and often pull to tightly. Use an old clean toothbrush as a tool to brush out or fluff flosses and yarns. Santa’s beard or the feathery center of a flower will be a breeze. A toothbrush fluffs our the petals of this embroidered flower design.

5. Old toothbrushes are great for cleaning jewelry. The bristles dust and reach into tiny spots. You can use the brush with or without cleaner, just be aware of the cleaning need for the jewelry piece you want to clean. The bristles will not scratch most materials, but do not use to clean pearls.

6. If you collect or use old bottles, old toothbrushes are great tools to clean up the glass inside and out.

7. Annie Cicale in her book, The Art and Craft of Hand Lettering, published by Lark Books recommends using an old toothbrush to clean calligraphy pen tips. The bristles can get into the nooks and crannies of the intricate pen tips removing the ink so there is no build-up on the pen tips. A vintage nib is shiny clean thanks to an old toothbrush.
8.For years crafters have turned old toothbrushes into rug making tools. The bristly head is sawed off and a hole bored into that end, and the other end is filed to a soft rounded point.You can make this tool (Aunt Philly’s Toothbrush Needle) using an old toothbrush.

9. An old clean toothbrush can be used to smooth paper onto a surface like in book making or card making. Gently use a sweeping motion and the brush will smooth any air pockets or wrinkles. You must do immediately so the glue isn’t set.

10. An old toothbrush can add texture to clays either by dabbing the bristles along the surface of the clay or using a sweeping motion across the clay. Artist also use toothbrushes to add texture to oil paintings or thick acrylic paints.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Packaging Dry Rubs for Gifts

For a clever homemade gift for Dad this Father's Day, make a collection of spice rubs in cute packaging. Follow this tutorial from Becky Kazana for a culinary Father's Day gift or as a gift to any special "BBQer" in the family.

You can also find Rub recipes at http://

Simply mix your favorite rub recipe. Fill about 1/2 ziploc baggie (Qt size)... cut a piece of cardstock & a piece of Dad's favorite magazine (hunting, cooking) or a nice picture from calendars & use a glue stick to glue onto cardstock. Fold in 1/2 & staple to the top of the baggies. Label each Topper with the rub name.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

How to make Soy Candles VIDEO is our home of many handmade crafted products.
But making Soy Candles at home is easy to do! Enjoy this YouTube Video!

Thursday, May 27, 2010

BEGINNER Knitted Scarf Pattern

Now that you know how to cast on... knit ... purl & bind off...
You are ready for your first SUPER SIMPLE Scarf.
Now here is a very basic Scarf pattern. Great gift.

•One skein super-bulky yarn, around 100 yards (I used Lion Brand Wool Ease Thick & Quick in Denim)
•Size 13 needles, straight
•Crochet hook
This makes a scarf about five inches wide and 60 inches long, depending on the yardage of your chosen yarn.

1.Cast on 12 stitches.
2.Knit every row until you have about a yard of yarn left.
3.Bind off.
4.Use your crochet hook to weave in the ends at the top and bottom.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Knitting Lesson Day 6 Adding another Ball of yarn

Knitting Lesson Video ... Adding another Ball of yarn

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Knitting Lesson Day 5 Weave in ends Video

Weaving in ends & giving your knitted project a finished look.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Knitting Lesson Videos Day 1 Casting on

For a few days... will be posting Knitting Lessons on video. So come back each day!

knittingtipsbyjusdy on YouTube

Monday, May 10, 2010

Father's Day Knited Golf Club Cover

Brought to you by HandMadeintheUSA
Father's Day Golf Club Cover
Pattern from
Lion Brand® Lion® Wool

16 sts = about 4 in. (10 cm) in Cable pattern. BE SURE TO CHECK YOUR GAUGE. When you match the gauge in a pattern, your project will be the size specified in the pattern and the materials specified in the pattern will be sufficient. If it takes you fewer stitches and rows to make a 4 in. [10 cm] square, try using a smaller size hook or needles; if more stitches and rows, try a larger size hook or needles.

Cable Pattern (work over a multiple of 4 sts + 2 extra sts)
Rows 1 and 3 (WS): K2, *p2, k2; rep from * across the row.
Row 2: P2, *k2, p2; rep from * across the row.
Row 4: P2, (*k2tog without slipping sts from left hand needle, insert right hand needle between the 2 sts just knitted tog and k the first st again, sl both sts from needle tog * (cable twist made), p2; rep from * across the row.
Rep Rows 1-4 for Cable pattern.

With A, cast on 46 sts.
Rep Rows 1-4 of Cable Pattern for a total of 20 times, then rep Rows 1 and 2 once more.
Shape top
Dec Row 1 (WS): K2, *p2tog, k2tog; rep from * across the row - 24 sts remain at the end of this row.
Dec Row 2: *K2tog; rep from * across the row - 12 sts.
Leaving a 24 in. (61 cm) tail, cut yarn. Thread tail onto large-eyed needle and thread through remaining sts on needle. Pull tightly to gather, knot securely. With remaining yarn tail, sew seam.

With B and following package directions, make a small pompom. Tie pompom to top Golf Club Cover.
Weave in ends.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Market Bag Crochet pattern

Handmade in the USA brings you:

Free Crochet Pattern: Market Bag
supplied by
Lion's Brand Yarn
Lion Brand® Recycled Cotton
Pattern #: 80803AD
Rating: 4.5 (based on 41 reviews)

SIZE: One Size
About 36 in. (91.5 cm) circumference at widest point


11 dc = 4 in. (10 cm) over pattern. BE SURE TO CHECK YOUR GAUGE. When you match the gauge in a pattern, your project will be the size specified in the pattern and the materials specified in the pattern will be sufficient. If it takes you fewer stitches and rows to make a 4 in. [10 cm] square, try using a smaller size hook or needles; if more stitches and rows, try a larger size hook or needles.

dc2tog (dc dec) Yo, insert hook in sp between next 2 sts and draw up a loop, yo and draw through 2 loops; yo, insert hook in next sp and draw up a loop, yo and draw through 2 loops; yo and draw through all loops on hook.


Work dc into sps between st, rather than into sts.

Ch 3; join with sl st in first ch to form a ring.
Rnd 1: Ch 3 (counts as first dc here and throughout), work 11 more dc in ring; join with sl st in sp between beg ch and next dc – 12 dc.
Rnd 2: Ch 3, turn, dc in same sp as join, *2 dc in next sp between sts; rep from * around; join with sl st in sp between beg ch and next dc – 24 dc.
Rnd 3: Ch 3, turn, dc in same sp as join, dc in next sp between sts, *2 dc in next sp between sts, dc in next sp between sts; rep from * around; join with sl st in sp between beg ch and next dc – 36 dc.
Rnd 4: Ch 3, turn, dc in same sp as join, dc in next 2 sps between sts, *2 dc in next sp between sts, dc in next 2 sps between sts; rep from * around; join with sl st in sp between beg ch and next dc – 48 dc.
Rnd 5: Ch 3, turn, dc in same sp as join, dc in next 3 sps between sts, *2 dc in next sp between sts, dc in next 3 sps between sts; rep from * around; join with sl st in sp between beg ch and next dc – 60 dc.
Rnd 6: Ch 3, turn, dc in each sp around; join with sl st in sp between beg ch and next dc.
Rnd 7: Ch 3, turn, dc in same sp as join, dc in next 4 sps between sts, *2 dc in next sp between sts, dc in next 4 sps between sts; rep from * around; join with sl st in sp between beg ch and next dc – 72 dc.
Rnd 8: Ch 3, turn, dc in same sp as join, dc in next 7 sps between sts, *2 dc in next sp between sts, dc in next 7 sps between sts; rep from * around; join with sl st in sp between beg ch and next dc – 81 dc.
Rnd 9: Ch 3, turn, dc in same sp as join, dc in next 8 sps between sts, *2 dc in next sp between sts, dc in next 8 sps between sts; rep from * around; join with sl st in sp between beg ch and next dc – 90 dc.
Rnd 10: Ch 3, turn, dc in same sp as join, dc in next 9 sps between sts, *2 dc in next sp between sts, dc in next 9 sps between sts; rep from * around; join with sl st in sp between beg ch and next dc – 99 dc.
Rnds 11–22: Rep Rnd 6.
Rnd 23: Ch 3, turn, dc in next 30 sps between sts, dc2tog, *dc in next 31 sps between sts, dc2tog; rep from * once more; join with sl st in sp between beg ch and next dc – 96 dc.
Rnd 24: Rep Rnd 6.
Rnd 25: Ch 3, turn, dc in next 29 sps between sts, dc2tog, *dc in next 30 sps between sts, dc2tog; rep from * once more; join with sl st in sp between beg ch and next dc – 93 dc.
Rnd 26: Rep Rnd 6.
Rnd 27: Ch 3, turn, dc in next 28 sps between sts, dc2tog, *dc in next 29 sps between sts, dc2tog; rep from * once more; join with sl st in sp between beg ch and next dc – 90 dc.
Rnd 28: Rep Rnd 6. Do not fasten off.

Row 29: Ch 3, dc2tog, dc in next 29 sps, dc2tog, dc in next sp; leave remaining sts unworked – 33 sts.
Rows 30-41: Ch 3, turn, dc2tog, dc in each sp across to last 3 sps, dc2tog, dc in next sp – 9 sts.
Rows 42-48: Ch 3, turn, dc in each sp across – 9 sts.
Fasten off at end of Row 48.
Skip 10 sps from last st worked on Rnd 28. Join yarn with sl st in next sp, ch 3 and work same as for first handle. Do not fasten off. From wrong side, sc ends of handles tog.

From right side, sc evenly around edges of handles. Weave in ends.

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Modern Wall Art Bulletin Board

Beautiful Wall art for your office. Hang by your desk & you have a great Bulletin board.
See our Handcrafted Gifts

•STYROFOAM™ Brand Foam:
◦Three 36" x 12" x 1" sheets
•Decorative Fabric
•Grosgrain or velvet ribbon, 1" x 2-3/4 yds. per panel
•Poster adhesive or small sawtooth hangers and nails
•Low-temp glue gun and glue sticks
•Thick, white craft glue
•Yardstick or ruler
•Straight pins

1.Cut three 12" x 36" panels from Fabric, taking note of desired design placement.

2.Spread white glue on the first piece of Foam and press fabric; smooth with fingers and let dry. Meanwhile, glue remaining panels of fabric to foam sheets. Let dry completely.

3.Beginning and ending at one lower corner, use glue gun to secure ribbon around edges of each foam sheet; trim excess, allowing a bit of overlap.

4.Use poster adhesive to attach to wall. Or, glue sawtooth hangers to back of each panel; for additional hold, insert and glue two straight pins through holes in sawtooth picture hanger; let dry.

Buy Decorative push pins & pin up messages & notes.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Party Platter on a budget

Beautiful 2 Tier Platter for less than $5!

•1 Dinner Plate found at dollar store or thrift store
•1 Sandwich Plate or Bowl ( smaller than the dinner plate ) Found at Dollar store or thrift store
•1 Candle Stick Holder somewhat matching the plates. Also found at Dollar store or thrift store.
•1 Tube of E-6000 ( found at Wal-Mart in the craft section )

(The E-6000 cost a bit more if you don't have it in your arsinal of glues)

1. Make sure that all three pieces are washed and dried.

2. Place the dinner plate on a flat surface, like the table.

3. Find the center of the dinner plate and place the candle stick upside down on the middle of the dinner plate. Carefully place a little E-6000 on the candle stick rim and place it back in the center of the dinner plate. The candle stick is the column between the two tiers. Let that dry in place for 1 hour.

4. Place the smaller plate or bowl on top of the candle stick holder, making sure to center the candle stick in the middle of smaller plate or bowl bottom. Now place a small amount of E-6000 onto the rim of the candle stick holder and replace the small plate or bowl, making sure it is centered properly.

5. Allow your 2-tier serving platter to dry for 24 hours before using. I advise hand washing instead of dish washing this platter.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Mixing Old or Hard Polymer Clay

Great Video on how to get that hard Polymer clay nice & pliable to use. After you are done, you have soft clay to start "playing with". I use this method when making polymer clay items.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

How to Photograph Craft Projects


Many crafters are using the web to sell their items. There are online auction sites, online craft fairs, and places like Etsy to create online shops. The key to selling online is to have crisp, clean photographs of your work. Customers are used to crisp, clear, clean visuals when shopping. A photo that focuses on an item for sale is called a product shot.

You don’t need to invest in the most expensive camera, but if you are serious about selling your work online consider investing in a tripod. Few of us have a steady hand when it comes to holding a camera perfectly still as we click for a photo, a tripod will give you the stability you need to good photos. Some tripods unfold to stand tall while others will only stand 2-3”. The tripod screws onto the base of your camera and a must have for serious photographers. Tripods will help you in normal view and also with macro shots.

Here are some of the best product shot tips from the experts:

•Take your photos outside to get the best light on your items. Cloudy days are best as the filtered light helps bring pop to the photo.

•Display your item in an interesting way, but don’t let the background or display become too busy. You want your item to be the main attraction.

•Contrast your background and item. Light items on dark backgrounds and dark items on light backgrounds.

•Take photos from many different angles and select the one that gives the best view of your item.

•Use a tripod. Shaky hands led to unfocused images. Practice and get comfortable with your camera.

•Take photos from different angles and select the angle that shows off the product best.

•Crop your photos. You don’t need a lot of background, what you need is a nice close up of your work.

For jewelry... using a flatbed scanner is a great way to get a very detailed photo of the jewelry.

This artist used a woman as a model. Your eye goes right to the necklace & you can see just how beautiful it will look as it's used.

If you can't use a model... there are many "Jewelry Mannequin Displays" available.

Glass is a very difficult subject matter. Glass is so reflective that it’s not easy to capture, you need filtered light.

A trick.... for small items, photograph in a cut white gallon milk jug that defuses light.
Cut top quarter off a clean dry milk jug. Set lights outside the jug & you get clean white light with no reflections.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Valentine's Day Candy Bouquet

Candy Bouquet
A unique gift for Valentine's day or any special occasion. Perfect "Get Well" gift! Skip the "boring box of chocolates. Adults & kids, alike, will be thrilled with this Candy Bouquet.


•Container for bouquet... Floer pot, Vase, Mugs, Beer mugs (for men).. even a pretty bowl.
•Rocks or marbles from dollar store for the bottom (so it doesn’t tip over)
•Floral foam or Styrofoam
•Floral tape
•Glue gun
•Seasonal candy & lollipops
•Heart wire Garland


1.Glue or tape your candy to the skewer .

2.Cut 4 x 4 squares of the tulle. Use two pieces on top of each other and from the center grab the tulle to make a flower. Using the floral tape secure the tulle to the skewer. Make your skewers different lengths to get different heights. You will need quite a few. These are for filler.

3. Place something heavy like clean rocks or colored floral marbles at the bottom of your container. Place Styrofoam or floral foam over the rocks and secure with glue gun.

4.Begin in the back center of the Styrofoam with your tallest piece. Create and triangle shape. In other words, as you get near the edge of your pot use shorter skewers. Use as much candy as you like. Add heart shaped lollipops as well. Fill the rest of the spaces in between with your tulle.
5.You can use just about anything to fill in the spaces. Try using cellophane or even confetti paper or cut the garland & stick into styrofoam. Get creative with the event and use candy or paper that reflects your theme.

OR you can order a custom Graduation Candy Bouquet as a great centerpiece for your Graduation party. OR give as a gift & use floral picks it hold Money & add them to your bouquet.