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Thread: Holiday Arts & Craft Fair

  1. #1
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    Holiday Arts & Craft Fair

    - "an Alternative Shopping Experience." This is being held at my church on December 16th, and I was asked if I'd like to have a table, so I said Yes.

    Now, in years past, I've always made lots of Christmas ornaments, painted ceramic, painted wood, folded paper, fabric, and everybody loved them! But I haven't made anything in the last 5 years. I dug around in my stuff to see what I might have - not much- then made a short list of things to make, dug out fabric, ribbon, glues, papers, and tools. I also made a short list of things to purchase at Michaels tomorrow... but the more I think about it, the less I want to buy anything more, but concentrate on using the things I have, which means most items will be from my fabric stash.

    Since the sale is so close to Christmas, I am going to make some placemats and mug rugs that are not specifically Christmas/holiday colors. I also have a pattern for a Jewelry Travel Pouch that I have not made; think I will make 3 or 4 of those, including one for myself. I have a table runner pattern that is pieced and very pretty, maybe make a couple of those.

    For months I have been saying I would sew this winter. Now it's winter, and I'm not really embracing it, though I will follow through and see what comes of it.

    I see I have a mess of craft stuff. What does it say about me that I would rather declutter and organize than create? Yikes!

  2. #2
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    When you say you “made ornaments in the past”, did you use to do craft fairs and then quit for a while?

    i find it hard to get back into projects when I have been away for a while, and organizing my materials can be inspirational - it is much more exciting to create with a fresh, orderly set up than scavenging through bits and pieces. However, I think using up what you have is a much better idea than going out and acquiring more. Especially if this is a one off and you aren’t sure if you want to keep doing it.

    i always plan to do a bunch of things in the winter - forgetting that it will be winter and my energy level will be low and I will want to just sit by the fire.

    i hope you have fun crafting and running your table!

  3. #3
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    CL, thanks for your thoughtful response. Yes, in years past I taught in schools where the parents organization hosted a "Santa's Workshop" where the kids could buy things for $5 or less, so I made hundreds of ornaments and almost always sold out completely. I would start in the summer, and be ready early in the fall. When I left that school and changed districts, I stopped making them.

    So I have decided I am going to completely focus on fabric creations for this sale. I spent (too much) time on Pinterest and got some good ideas, and made a new list. Tuesday (other commitments for Monday) I am going to dump out the fabric bins and select fabrics for the things I've identified to make, and then get busy!

    I have also decided that I will make a "donate" box of odds and ends of craft stuff- the stuff that sparks annoyance every time I run across it. I have a friend who runs a drop-in daycare, and she will be happy to have more stuff for the kids to rummage through for their creations.

    I also still have quite a bit of scrapbooking stuff that I don't see myself using at all. I'm going to get it all together, offer it first to my daughter, and what she doesn't want I will list for sale on Marketplace. (patterned papers, stamps, themed stickers, tools. I can make up kits for sale)

    I would like to do a few sales a year (2-4) of pieced/quilted items, so that I have an audience for my work. I'll need to do some market research, so this is a start. I do love to sew, and my family and friends have been well saturated over the years. Last year I made 2 baby quilts for the Linus Project and hope to also get 2 or 3 done this year. Once I get started, machine sewing is a good winter activity for me, something about the hum of the machine and I become almost obsessive about completion, it's almost the some draw as a large jigsaw puzzle.... it will be fun and rewarding!

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    Mschrisgo2, it sounds like you have a good plan.

    My suggestions would be to pay attention to the time you put into your pieces and not underprice your work (just because you enjoy the work, doesn’t mean you don’t deserve to be paid fairly for your time and talent) and to try to buy supplies out of profits and not go overboard.

    i am still struggling to find additional venues that work for me to up my number of sales. I went to a new one this weekend and think I may try it out in the spring, or if not spring, the fall show - because their fall show is pre-Halloween and I have a Halloween bowl that is fun to make.

    My biggest challenge right now is not to loose my momentum coming out of the holiday sale - I set today aside for studio work and will be focusing on gifts for my family and pieces for my class.

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    So how is the getting ready going?

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    3x I've lost my response, I give up for tonight

  7. #7
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    You could just sell your crafts stuff. I bet it's be more popular with that crowd than the finished items.

  8. #8
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    Trying to post again...

    I have made pretty good progress! I dumped out the fabric and got inspired, for this project and others, so I took the time to bundle fabrics and patterns together, and make a good list. I sorted out plenty to use for this sale. I also sorted out the pieces of fabric I had collected for "landscape" quilts- I wanted to do them until I took a class, and discovered I hated it! I'm gifting these to my cousin, who Does make landscape wall hangings. She will be delighted.

    I also found a bag of 20 plaster ornaments among the fabric, so I decided to go ahead and paint those for this sale. When I got my paints out, I discovered most of them are no good, dried up beyond revival. I made due with what was good, and those are finished.

    I had to go to the 99 cent store for paint brushes, and came home with 3 rolls/99 cents of metallic wrapping paper as well. I spent about an hour and a half turning those into ornaments. They are very pretty, and I found colored "string" to match them in my stash.

    So I have 50 ornaments, and I have no idea how to price them. Spent $1.98, used other stuff I had, and about 3 hours of my actual work time. Thoughts/ideas on pricing these, please.

    I have also completed 4 sets placemats/4ea, 2 holiday, the others just pretty fabric, and 16 mug rugs, some whimsical, a few holiday. I have cut fabric for 4 table runners, and 4 jewelry pouches. These I know how to price because I checked with the local very nice fabric store that also sells gift items. I'm marking mine just a dollar or 2 less than theirs.

    Most of the paint bottles went into the trash. Those I resurrected and the brushes I put in the growing give-away-to-the-daycare box.

    I have plenty of fabric sorted out to continue sewing when I get this list completed.
    So, all in all, pretty good progress!
    Last edited by mschrisgo2; 12-4-18 at 9:29pm. Reason: clarity

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