Tag Archives: crafts

Recession Proof Your Arts & Crafts Business

Recession Proof Your Arts & Crafts Business | By David G. Robertson

We all know that the Arts and Crafts Business is not the easiest business to be successful in, even in the best of economic times. This business is fraught with ups and downs that are beyond your control.

Trends that are hot for months or years suddenly die out, and new and unexpected hot niches develop overnight. There are some things that you can do to help you Arts & Crafts business be successful over the next few years.

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The good news is that money is not going to disappear. There will still be people buying gifts and decorating homes and going on holidays. All of these people will be trying to get the best value for every dollar that they spend in any circumstance.

Sell The Service Aspect
If you are selling arts and crafts your market may change a bit. People will be looking for quality, and exact fit to their needs. So in these recession economic times service becomes extremely important. If you are a producer of arts or crafts can you do custom work. Can you make a painting of the same theme but scaled to fit the customers exact measurements? Can you install that custom piece of furniture that you built. Are there colors or finishes you can offer that your competitors can’t duplicate?

Service becomes very important and people will be willing to pay a little more for a product if there is tons of high quality service to back it up. To be successful in recessionary times you will have to work harder, but your business will benefit in the long run from this.

Have Multiple Price Points
Depending on your art or craft, price point may become an issue. Take painting as an example. You may have been selling large canvasses (4 feet by 6 feet as an example) and start to see a slow down in this niche part of this market. Try making a few canvasses in the 3 feet by 4 feet and 2 feet by 3 feet size. Keep some of the larger canvasses to attract your buyers. You will find many will opt for the smaller canvasses if they have financial considerations.

Try to develop several price points, so that you are broadening the appeal to your customers. There will occasionally be sales of the high ticket items. You will find most of your sales come from the mid price products so make sure you have lots of the mid range on hand.

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An old tip but still works, is to take your top end and make that your mid-range price point. Suddenly you have up scaled your business and your customers will still tend to buy what you normally produce. This is a bit tricky as you don’t want to invest heavily in your new top end products. It can make you top heavy and set you up for a financial crash.

Give Classes
If you are skilled in your medium or if you are a store owner and have a good relationship with your artisans, set up classes in the process. Many people can justify the expense of a course in “Learn How To Make______” (fill in the blank with your idea) before they can justify the purchase. With courses there is opportunity to sell supplies, tools, books, and secondary level courses. Done well this can be very lucrative. People develop an interest in the arts and crafts, and in their minds they are getting good value for their money. They are having fun, socializing, making something that gives them pleasure, and being entertained all at the same time.

One fee and they receive so much benefit. It just happens that you receive some financial benefit as well.

Use The Internet
The most powerful marketing tool of the modern age is the Internet. If sales of your particular arts & crafts endeavor have slipped in your area, it doesn’t mean that they have dropped in another geographic region. You need a website and should promote your business to the whole world. This broadens your potential customer base to massive proportions. It is not as hard to build a website as you might think.

If you are a potter you can promote your pottery to galleries all over the world as well as have “walk in traffic” to your own website. Consider using video of the forming process to interest customers in the hands on aspect of your art or craft.

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Recessionary times need not cripple your business. Always keep you customer in mind and go that extra step to make them feel valued. You may have to work a bit harder for the next little while but that doesn’t mean you can’t survive it.

David Robertson has been an artist blacksmith for over 20 years. He has seen many cycles in the arts & craft industry and has written an ebook How to Be Successful In The Arts and Craft Business where he tries to help people develop their craft or art business with tips and techniques that have worked for him in these 20 years.
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Art as Politics: Re-Crafting Identities, Tourism, and Power in Tana Toraja, Indo

Art as Politics: Re-Crafting Identities, Tourism, and Power in Tana Toraja, Indo
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Creating Your Own Aromatic Bath Salts

Creating Your Own Aromatic Bath Salts | By Christopher W Smith

Aromatic bath salts are very popular these days, because they can be used to alleviate stress, raise the spirits, and increase energy levels. You can buy them in numerous different scents, each of which is designed to calm and soothe. You can purchase lots of these salts which have been commercially-produced, but that can run into a lot of money. If you just don’t have the extra cash to spend for gifts or for pampering yourself with the economy the way it is right now, you can create your own aromatic bath salts for a fraction of the cost, even if you aren’t very craft-oriented.

It only takes a few simple ingredients to create your own aromatic bath salts: baking soda, salt, and a fragrance. By salt it doesn’t mean table salt, however, because that is full of so many additives. You can use non-iodized table salt if you like as well as Epsom Salt, Sea Salt, or Rock Salt. The coarser salts that have larger grains are preferable to fine salt.

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When it comes to fragrance, you have the options of using scented oils or herbs. Be sure and choose fragranced oils that are intended for use in bath products. Some of the oils you’ll find are designed to be used in other types of crafts and are unsafe to put into a bath. Be sure to choose a fragrance that you’re still going to enjoy after repeated uses.

For herbal bath salts, you’ll want to start by placing a layer of fresh herbs in a glass jar and then covering them with salt. Put plastic wrap over the top of the jar and screw the lid on tightly. Put the mixture somewhere where it can rest for a couple of weeks which will allow the salt to assimilate the scent of the herbs. Once you remove the herbs, you’ll have aromatic bath salts that will give you a soothing herbal bath.

The majority of easy aromatic bath salt recipes you’ll find will have you add some baking soda to the salts you make. By doing so you’ll have nice soft water to bathe in. When you use scented oils in this type of recipe, you don’t mix the salts ahead of time. Instead, you’ll put salt, baking soda, and fragrance into the water separately. Although this works well for your own personal use, it doesn’t allow you to either display your bath salts or give them as gifts. Be very careful to follow instructions when formulating your bath salts, too. Mixing baking soda with certain ingredients can cause a chemical reaction, and you don’t want to be responsible for giving explosive bath salts to your friends and relatives.

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As you can see, it isn’t difficult to make aromatic bath salts, but you do need to exercise a bit of caution. Always be careful when mixing ingredients, because some combinations can cause safety issues. When you look for a recipe, use a source that you trust, or ask someone you know what worked for them. Always test any recipe you concoct at home before giving any of it away, too.

When you need to relax, aromatic bath salts added to a tub of hot water can provide you with a great way to do so. Even if you don’t use them, they look lovely when displayed in your bathroom. When you use essential oils, use them sparingly. Only a drop or two will be more than enough for an entire tub of water. If you use too much, it could cause skin irritation. Any essential oils that you purchase will need to be used within 2 years, because their aroma will only last that long, so don’t buy too many at once.

Admit it, you’re thinking about how a new bathtub could improve your bathroom. How do you do it though? Visit betterbathtubs.com for more tips on Whirlpool bathtubs ratingsprofessional bathtub refinishing and learn how you can do more.
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Martha Stewart Arts and Crafts – Homemaking Guru

Martha Stewart Arts and Crafts – Homemaking Guru | By Wendy Pan

Martha Stewart is the homemaking guru. She makes June Cleaver look like a diva that eats Bon Bons in the bubble bath all day. While executing all of her projects might be too much for any one person to take on, us mere mortals can execute most of them if, perhaps, we do one at a time.

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Martha Stewart Arts and Crafts: The Holidays

Turns out pumpkins can be used for more than just pies and jack-o-lanterns! One of Martha’s crafts with pumpkins is to download and print out her witch and bat template. She has them available on her website. Place them over a “hole” cut into the face of the pumpkin (after cleaning the pumpkin of its insides) and you’ve got an enticing and eerily delicious centerpiece. Scatter some autumn leaves (store bought or yard picked) to complete the holiday setting.

Another pumpkin craft involves a pumpkin and lollipops. Buy the orange and black lollipops and stick them in the pumpkin, all over it. The final project will look like something from a science fiction movie and the kids will love it. Offer each trick or treater one and have them pull one out for themselves!

Martha Stewart Arts and Crafts: Weddings

Want a special way to say “thank you” to your guests? Make your own Thank You cards with a little help from Martha Stewart. One idea is to create postcards with a picture of the happy couple, and each is wearing a shirt especially made for the occasion, perhaps, “Thank you!” on one, or “We use it all the time!” on another. Be creative!

Or, instead of going the modern, trendy route, you can opt for something more traditional. Find a clip art sketch of any Victorian-era birds and copy them on to some card stock paper. By placing tiny “thank you” envelopes you create separately and placing them “beneath” their beaks, you now have beautiful, classic and three-dimensional thank you notes.

A wedding favor idea is get votive candles in three different off-white colors. Wrap them in corrugated paper, and tie with twine. Write messages on the inside of the paper from the bride and groom such as, “Thank you for sharing our day!”

Martha Stewart Arts and Crafts: Kids

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Make Dad a coupon booklet for his birthday, holiday gift giving season or Father’s Day! Go to the Martha Stewart website for coupon template, print them all out then hole punch each in the top left hand corner. Secure with a paper fastener and you’ve got them all in a neat little bunch. Cut out a cover from a swath of fabric (any semi masculine material will do like plaids, stripes, solids), then attach to the blank top coupon by sewing it. Fill out the coupons for things such as Free Car Wash; Free Dog Wash; Free Leaf Raking, anything Dad will appreciate!

Elephant Feet is a craft kids will love because it makes them taller and it has the potential to make a lot of noise. Grab a couple 15 oz cans of tomato puree, poke holes in the sides, drain, rinse and clean. Paint elephant toenails with acrylics on the front, loop stretch cord – you’ll need about 5 feet worth for each leg – through the holes so the child can “walk” with the Elephant feet. More fun than actually stomping around in the jungle!

Wendy Pan is an accomplished niche website developer and author.
To learn more about Martha stewart arts and crafts, please visit My Favorite Arts and Crafts for current articles and discussions.
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Arts and Crafts Ideas – Picking the Right One For Your Craft Projects

Arts and Crafts Ideas – Picking the Right One For Your Craft Projects | By Carlos Penn

In my opinion arts and crafts should be fun, and I encourage every individual to express their artistic ability. One of the most difficult parts of all arts and crafts would be to figure out what to do on arts and crafts projects. What I will do in this article is go over some of the dilemmas before you get to them. This should help you pick your crafts project faster, making everything more efficient and more fun.

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The first dilemma I will address will be that of the age range. You’ll find in a particular arts and crafts setting that different projects go better with different age groups. It would be very inefficient to give a complex arts and crafts project like quilting to a toddler. It could also be very frustrating for a normal teenager to do a arts and crafts project containing only construction paper and glue.

Group size is also another factor that affects your project. In a large group setting it may be better to do a project where there is a team effort put into the arts and crafts. In a small group setting it may be better to tackle the situation on a solo tip, but please remember with most arts and crafts projects “the more the merrier”.

Some arts and crafts projects can be very time-consuming, while others take very little time. One of the main things to decide is how much time you will be spending on your project. Will the project be split into several days? Will it only lasts a couple hours? Or, can it be an ongoing arts and crafts project for the whole semester? To figure out what time frame works best for you make sure you do some research on how long it would take to complete that particular arts and crafts project.

Money, Money, Money, Money!!!

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I really hated to say that nasty word. But, I had to bring it up because it does reign as one of the top dilemmas for arts and crafts projects. Even though arts and crafts is about having fun in showing your artistic ability. Some projects do require more money than others. You can find arts and crafts that are done from actual garbage for free. You can also find arts and crafts that are made from more expensive materials like special golden paper origami.

So no matter what your next arts and crafts project may be, no matter what you decide to do, make sure that you have fun and spend the majority of your time showing your artistic ability and creativity. Hands down that is what makes for great arts and crafts projects.

Hey, I’m the author Carlos Penn. I’m having fun writing articles online and currently make money and have fun doing at home crafting. click here for a look at what I do in my spare time: Craft Jobs
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Top Ten Reasons Arts and Crafts Helps Boost a Child’s Self Esteem

Top Ten Reasons Arts and Crafts Helps Boost a Child’s Self Esteem | By Elena Neitlich

A child’s self esteem is built throughout the course of childhood. Although ultimately the child develops her own perceptions of self and builds her own self esteem, reinforcement from the outside world is crucial in fortifying the child’s self assessment. Appropriate responses to the child support the child’s opinion of herself, “I think that I did a nice job completing this arts and crafts project.” “Yes, you did a terrific job completing your arts and crafts project. I can tell by the quality of the finished piece that you really put your all into it!”

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Praise just for the sake of praise isn’t effective in building a child’s self esteem. Kids are very insightful, especially teens, and even the most enthusiastic praise will ring hollow if it is not attached to something meaningful. “Wow, you are amazing!” “Why, what did I do?”

Creative activities such as arts and crafts provide an outstanding opportunity for adults to help bolster a child’s self esteem. As the child works the observant adult has almost unlimited opportunities to point out what the child is doing well.

Top ten reasons arts and crafts helps boost a child’s self esteem.

1. Arts and crafts invites the child to experiment with supplies, techniques, and directions that are often foreign and intimidating. Tackling and becoming adept at creative new tasks brings satisfaction and gratification to children of all ages.

2. Arts and crafts encourages children to push themselves to plan and finish an entire project. Children feel a great sense of accomplishment when they are responsible for completing an entire task from A to Z.

3. Arts and crafts classes produce a fertile environment for meeting and interacting with new people. It can be difficult for some children to venture beyond their comfort zones and intermingle with children they don’t know. It is very flattering and a boost to self esteem for children to hit it off and work with new friends.

4. Arts and crafts classes force children to take risk and put themselves and their work “out there”. It is a gamble to create something and show people because there is the possibility of receiving criticism. Children, especially teens are averse to this type of hazard. A supportive arts and crafts trainer creates an environment where children feel comfortable exposing their work. Children who learn how to tackle risk are better suited and more comfortable tackling appropriate risk as adults.

5. Arts and crafts teach open mindedness. Creative questions do not have finite answers like math or physics problems. When doing arts and crafts children learn how to explore the many different possible solutions to the problems that they face. Being imaginative and open minded allows for them to invent solutions that are exciting and inspired. Children gain the confidence to tackle many problems in creative and ingenious ways.

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6. Arts and crafts aid in dispelling a child’s “limiting beliefs”. It is very common for children to create ideas about their own abilities that restrict their activities. Thoughts like, “I am not smart enough to do this,” are destructive and chip away at their self esteem. Craft projects teach children how to change damaging preconceived notions. Children learn how much they truly are capable of and build on each experience gaining confidence with each project.

7. Arts and crafts projects illustrate to children that they can achieve success. It is good for children to discover that they can be victorious. Success feels great and inspires children to reach for more and attempt harder and harder tasks.

8. Arts and crafts allows an opportunity for children to let loose and have fun. In a relaxed and non-competitive atmosphere children can explore their carefree and imaginative side. Seeing that they are multidimensional beings contributes to their overall sense of well being and a healthy sense of self.

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9. Arts and crafts classes permit children to see themselves in a fresh, new light. It is important that kids have the opportunity to survey many different pursuits. Allowing kids to choose the activities that excite and delight them gives them the confidence to later pursue their own interests and eventually choose meaningful careers and pastimes.

10. Arts and crafts promote a passion for learning! Kids who have expanded their confidence through creativity and developing a healthy self esteem are curious about learning new things. The self assurance that they build doing arts and crafts overflows into all of their endeavors making for a rich and highly satisfying childhood.

Elena Neitlich is owner of Arts and Crafts Moms at http://www.artsandcraftsmoms.com If you want to follow your passion for creativity, start your own business, and have a lasting impact on kids and teens, become a certified Arts and Crafts Trainer Take the steps to make a difference in the lives of kids and in your own life.
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