Monday, December 21, 2015

crafty catching up

A while ago, perhaps a year ago now, my girls and I talked about opening an Etsy store.  I was looking for something that I could do from home.  My daughter had left behind her cricut and I had been teaching myself to use it.  We had done cupcake wrappers and a few other things for my niece's graduation party and making paper things to sell seemed like a natural thing to do.  We made a plan, Nikole would work with the numbers, she would order supplies and manage the spreadsheets.  Caitlin would design the website and do the photos.  I would make the goodies to fill the orders and get them in the mail.  Like many new projects we were excited at first.  We chose a name for our budding company and secured an Etsy store in that name.  We looked at potential projects and began searching for materials that could be bought in bulk.  And then we kind of dropped the ball.  We got busy, I live on the western side of the state and the girls live in the metro on the eastern part of the state.  The prototypes were at the farm and the camera and photographers were in the big city.  We did not get as far as determining how to price and bill and how to ship before we ran out of steam. 

Anyway, fast forward to a few weeks ago.  I was making gift tags and decided that if I hurried I could probably get some ready and on the Etsy site to get my feet wet in the lead up to Christmas.  I started looking at ideas and had stuff spread out over every horizontal surface on my main floor when my shoulder became an issue.  It was obvious that crafting was not going to happen for a while and three weeks later when my shoulder was doing better I was able to work on the projects that were all over my house but there would never be time  to advertise, make and ship orders that would arrive at their destinations in time for Christmas.  And we still didn't know how to handle the website and the financial transactions and the shipping.concerns. 

So Plan B was created.  Because I had made quite a few of the gift tags and was working on some other items, I decided to test the shipping aspect by creating some packaging and mailing some tags to my kids in order to see how they did in the shipping.  I packaged up the gift tags and ran to the post office where I purchased some bubble wrap envelopes.  I wrote down who got what, and sent them off.  That was Saturday.  And today, Monday, three of the recipients emailed me that their packages had arrived safely and without incident.  We now have an idea of what we can ship and what to charge for the shopping,  I also set up a DIY light box to hopefully take a better photo on my own so I have been experimenting with that.  Here are a few pictures of my gift tag projects:

oversize gingerbread tags




these hang on a bottle that is a gift

Swedish Dala horses

some attempts at packaging
 While I had the gift tags going I volunteered to look for a gnome that could be used for a tag for some gifts that my sister is giving that include a gnome in the gift.  We adapted one that was a full body to be just the face and hat for her tag.  Her gift was an assortment of homemade baked breakfast goodies intended to be for Christmas morning.  We used a menu card that I created intending to use at each place setting.  We listed her menu items in the shape of a Christmas tree and printed them in green to reinforce the tree idea.  Tomorrow she will deliver her gifts and so tonight with her baking complete she is packaging them up and they look really cute.  She shared samples of some of her menu items and her gift recipients are in for a treat.  The RumChata Bread Pudding and Cranberry scones and Cinnamon Caramel scones were exceptional.

Lisa's menu cards
This was a first draft.

I made some of the full gnomes with a holiday sign for mom to put on some large gift bags that she is giving that seem to tend to fall open so she will use these to tie the handles together.
Mom's gnome gift ties


  1. Wow, you guys are ambitious. I think it's a great idea and the fact that you got a test run in is great, if you decide to move forward. I say go for it! :)