Tag Archives: Craft Professionals

Craft Professionals

Best Blogs to Learn the Basics: Crochet

If you’re looking to start a new craft, you can find everything you need right here online. You can find info on all of the tools you need, how to get started, and more with a little bit of searching. One wonderful thing about finding bloggers who are willing to share the basics is that they’re always willing to listen and help! It’s important to feel that you always have that support when you’re just starting out a craft. Here are some wonderful blogs with contact info to help you start realizing your crochet dreams.

Aesthetic Nest

The Aesthetic Nest has a wonderful 11 part How to Crochet SeriesYou’ll learn everything down to how to create the slipknot that starts your entire project. You can find thorough photo tutorials for holding yarn, working in the round, and the most common stitches. There will be even more tutorials very soon, so make sure to check back often and learn right along with the new tutorials. With the help of Anneliese, you’ll be working up your first baby afghan or crochet cowl in no time.

The Aethetic Nest isn’t just for crochet, you can find lots of sewing tutorials and gorgeous childrens’ clothing, knitting, recipes, and more wonderful homemade items.

One Artsy Mama

Amy at One Artsy Mama has created a free Ebook packed with 32 pages of pictures and tutorials for basic crochet stitches.  All she asks is that you like her Facebook page in return. It’s so simple, and she’s even giving you a free beginner’s project at the end of the book! It’s totally worth every penny you didn’t spend. Once you learn the basics, you can easily make one of Amy’s many crochet projects. Start out with her fun crochet wrap bracelet and move on to a coffee cozy or boot cuffs!

Be sure to stop by and check out all of the beautiful jewelry making and simple crafts available on One Artsy Mama. Honestly, anyone can do these crafts!

Look At What I Made

 The tutorials at Look At What I Made are great for the beginner and the more confident crocheter. You can find a guide for all of the confusing crochet terminology as well as tips for stitches you may have never even heard of. This is a great place to go for tutorials that go beyond the simple and basic stitches. If you’re feeling a little adventurous, definitely give some of Dedri’s tutorials a try. As a bonus, there are lots of patterns for beginning and advanced crocheters.

Check out some of the beautiful handmade toys you can create in no time with Dedri’s tutorials and basic stitches. Don’t forget to look around Look At What I Made for recipes, sewing patterns, and more craft projects.

Petals to Picots

The Learn to Crochet section of Petals to Picots has picture tutorials for the most basic aspects of crochet. You can find out what hooks and yarns to choose, how to hold the hook, and many more tutorials. Each lesson takes you step by step as you create your first project, from finding the right materials to creating your stitches and everything else you need to know. Once you’re a little more confident, there are plenty more advanced tutorials as well.

Petals to Picots is a one stop shop for all things yarn related. You can find fantastic photo tutorials for needle felting, creating your own yarn from unexpected materials and more. After looking at all of Kara’s pretty crafts, you won’t want to craft with anything else!

Now it’s time to grab a hook and some yarn and learn from some of the best crochet bloggers out there. If you have product based questions, check out our crochet hook and yarn buyers guides for more info. Don’t forget to share what you create!

4 Steps to Selling Handcrafted Items Online

By Guest Blogger Bethan Davies from The Craft Star

The Internet has opened up a world of new possibilities for crafters to market their goods. In order to get top dollar for your handmade crafts, there are several steps you should take to find the perfect selling venue and prepare your items for sale.

Baby Its Cold Outside Wine Glass

Baby It’s Cold Outside Wine Glasses – Get Your Own at The Craft Star

Selecting the Right Marketplace
Several alternatives exist when it comes to online selling. The most popular selling venues are auction websites, internet storefront sites and personally-created websites. Online auction sites like eBay put your items in front of millions of potential buyers, but the site is already crowded with thousands of handmade items, making it hard for the items of an individual seller to stand out. Many sellers find that sites such as etsy, which allow a crafter to set up a customized storefront, work well for their particular items. The third option, creating an individual website, requires additional effort on the part of the seller but permits a personalized approach to selling.

Copper Butterfly Bracelet

Copper Butterfly Bracelet – Get Yours at The Craft Star

Prices and Profitability
The next step to selling online is making sure that the goods you offer will be profitable. The total cost of materials, transportation and time spent crafting the items must be considered as well as any fees associated with the particular selling venue. A comparison of similar items offered by other sellers online is a great way to tell if the prices you must charge in order to make a profit are competitive. It is also helpful to watch these similar items to see if they actually sell within a reasonable time.

Triple Butter Mini Donut Soap

Mini Donut Soap – Find it at The Craft Star

Proper Prepping
Preparing accurate, detailed descriptions of items is critical to helping them sell. For example, listings should never be simply worded as “red sweater, size medium,” but should instead include selling points that are unique to your item along with the actual measurements of the item in both English and metric units. High-quality pictures accompanying each description also help catch the eye of potential buyers and can sometimes be all the sales pitch you need.

Hip to be Square Glass Bowl

It’s Hip to be Square Glass Bowl – Buy it at The Craft Star

Inventory Management
Knowing exactly how many items you need to make to meet demand can be tricky. If an item turns out to be extremely popular, demand can quickly outstrip your ability to supply the item. On the other hand, some items turn out to be unpopular, and you don’t want to be left with a large quantity of unsold inventory. As with price comparisons, demand for your items can be gauged by looking at similar items currently selling online. If you are marketing an item that has additional features or that is completely unique, however, you may be on your own when determining the demand. In that case it is best to adopt a watch and wait attitude by producing items only as quickly as they are sold. A seller must also consider whether to accept pre-orders or only sell inventory as it is produced. Some sales may be missed by adopting this policy, but doing so can keep an individual crafter from getting swamped with backorders or left with unsold inventory.

About the Author:

is the owner of The CraftStar an online marketplace for buyers and sellers of handmade crafts to come together. Start shopping online today for handmade gifts and vintage items.

Ask the Experts: Scrapbooking Tips

By Card Making & Scrapboooking Contributor

Peg Rounds

Peg’s Crafting Corner

Centered Paper

Q: How do you get patterned paper or card stock that you are layering centered evenly?

A:  This was a question we recently had asked on the Create for Less Facebook page and I wanted to help our follower by posting this.  First lay the papers or card stock on top of each other and eye them.  Then, use a ruler to measure on each side to see if there is the same space around each edge.  If there isn’t, move them until they are evenly centered.

Darice Self Stick Gems

Q: I have trouble getting the adhesive gems to stick.  Is there anything I can use to help?

A:  A little glue or Glassy Accents by Ranger Inkssentials will help them stay adhered to your project.

Zap Heat Tool

Q:  My paper has warped when I heated it?  What is the best way to straighten it?

A:  Your heat tool was possibly held too close to the paper.  Next time, move the tool away from it and move in a circular motion to evenly heat it.  Straighten the already warped paper by placing it between heavy books.  If you use water on your paper for such techniques as water coloring, the paper was most likely over saturated.  Use a spritz  bottle to keep that from happening the next time.

 Fun Flock

Q: What can I use to make the hat fluffy on my stamped Santa image?

A:  Fun Flock by Stampendous is a great way to do that.  It adds a soft texture to anything it is used on.

American Crafts Album

Q: I’m a beginner scrapbooker , what should I consider when first starting?

     A:  You will first want to decide what pictures you want to begin scrapbooking.  After that you will need to decide what size of pages fit your photos and needs.  There are many such as 6 x 6, 8 x 8, 9 x 9 and 12 x 12.  Next consider if you want to do one or two page layouts.  Two page layouts are often pages that face each other and have the same design elements or theme.  Then, decide if you want to do your scrapbooking in chronological order, by theme, by age of your subjects or just by using the photos that appeal to you.  Lastly, remember that there is no wrong in anything you do.  If you like it, then do it.

Ask the Experts: Embellishing

By Card Making & Scrapbooking Contributor

Peg Rounds

Peg’s Crafting Corner

Scotch Advanced Tape Glider

Q: My adhesive pulls off after releasing the button on my Adhesive Glider.  What am I doing wrong?
A:  Once you release the button either pull the adhesive glider back towards you or tilt it away from you so that it almost touches the paper.

Petaloo FloraDoodles

Q:  What are some things I can do with flowers?
A:   They can have designs stamped on them, they can be embossed, glittered, have hand written messages on them and even sponged with ink.   There are many things that you can do

ColorBox Stamp PadQ:  Why won’t my pigment ink dry?

A:  If the paper is glossy or has a finish such as a pearlized finish it may not dry.  If the paper is a matte paper it may need to be heat set to get it to dry quicker.

 BasicGrey Repositionable Rubber Stamp

Q:   How do I get my background stamps evenly inked?
A:   An inked brayer rolled over the stamp is the best way to get it evenly inked.

Fiskars Non-Stick Scissors

 Q:  How do I cut adhesive without the scissors getting gummed up?
A:  A pair of Teflon coated scissors is the best to use.  They are made to keep the adhesive from sticking.

Featured Crafter Marie from Ethan’s Imprints

featured-crafter

Featured Crafter Marie Otake from Ethansimprints.blogspot.com

Expert paper crafter Marie Otake shares easy tutorials for lots of  fun projects over at her blog. Learn how to make unique and whimsical gifts that come from the heart and plenty of things for you too over at her blog. Her cards are creative and beautiful and she has plenty of ideas to share with you!

Marie from Ethan's Imprints shares her ribbon cupcakes

Click Here to learn how to make Marie’s delicious looking ribbon cupcakes.

Featured Crafter - Ethan's Imprints

I have been a crafter for as long as I remember, but I really found my passion for it a few years ago when I decided to start a scrapbook. From then, I have turned into a huge Craftastrophe!

Shadow Box from Ethan's Imprints
I like to dabble in every craft out there and try my best to learn and master each in everyone because I find that it is helpful to know as much as you can! My passion is with paper crafting and card making! I love to turn a flat piece of paper into something amazing and out of the ordinary! My goal is to take your standard card and make something out of the box and memorable!

Birthday Card from Ethan's Imprints
Most of my creations can be seen on EthansImprints.Blogspot.Com

Like this fabulous Money Lei:

Money Lei from Ethan's Imprints

Money Lei - EthansImprints.Blogspot.com

Interested in being a “Featured Crafter”? We want to hear from our crafty friends about what they like to create. Share with us what you put your energy into, whether it is your passion, your business, or simply something you enjoy doing. Do you have your own blog, Etsy store or craft products? Tell us about it!

Click here to submit a “Featured Crafter”!

Lacey & Elegant Effects Using the Spellbinders Imperial Gold Dies

By Card Making & Scrapbooking Contributor

Peg Rounds

Peg’s Crafting Corner

Use your spellbinders imperial gold dies to create elegant effects for your cards. Tutorial at ThinkCrafts.com

This simple, but elegant card using the Spellbinders Imperial Gold dies makes the perfect congratulations for many occasions be it a wedding, a shower or a birthday.  The layered piece creates a beautiful lacey look and adds a unique dimension to the card.  The marbled paper technique used on the embellishments adds to the look of these great dies.

Continue reading

Ask the Experts: Adhesives and Inks

By Card Making & Scrapbooking Contributor

Peg Rounds

From Peg’s Crafting Corner

Can you salvage an ink pad that has been re-inked with the wrong color?

Q:  I used the wrong re-inker on my ink pad.  Is it ruined?

A:  No, it’s not ruined.  Wash it out with warm water and let it dry completely and then re-ink it with the correct color.

What's the difference between General Purpose Tape and Acid Free Tape?

 Q: What is the difference in tapes that are used in the Scotch Tape Glider?

A:  The Acid Free tape is used by those who do scrapbooking because it is acid free making it safe for photos.  The General Purpose tape is used by card makers and those who do other types of paper projects.

Can you use markers on stamps?

Q: Can I use markers on stamps?

A:  Yes.  Make sure that they are water soluble markers so they wash off easily.  The stamp may be left discolored, but that is okay.  When using them, be sure to use the side of the marker for a better and easier coverage.

What is a mist?

Q: What are mists used for?

A:  They can be used for many things such as creating a colored background or a patterned paper.  Use them with stencils for a new type of image.

What type of glue do you use with chipboard?

Q: What type of glue should I use on chipboard?

A:  There are several brands of glue and even adhesives that are good to use on chipboard pieces.  Mono Tombow Glue and Martha Stewart’s Ballpoint Tip Glue are two good choices.  Double sided tape works well, too.  For larger pieces, I would recommend Mod Podge or Aleene’s Tacky Glue for a stronger hold.

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