Dec 26

Thrifty Thursday – Make money to start your craft business

I read a lot of blogs and I look at all the beautiful pictures of the beautiful homes and wonder where in the world do these people get all their money.  (And I wonder…where is the clutter and dirt and animals?  Where are the kids & the dirty socks? The wonder list never stops.) Anyway, not everyone has lots of money.  You are very talented and make beautiful things and you would like to start making money on your craft yet you simply don’t have enough money in your monthly budget to buy the supplies you need.  I know what that is like, I’ve been there.  This post isn’t craft or sewing oriented however it isn’t random.  I wanted to share some of the ways I made a little extra money here and there which I saved to buy supplies.  You won’t make enough money on any of these or even all together to live on but if you make an effort and try them you will find you have some extra supply money.  Make yourself a money jar and put in every penny you make and don’t tell anyone.  This is your money to start your craft business, blog or whatever dream you have.

Ways to make money at home so you can start your own craft business @ wowilikethat.com

I am the queen of frugal and would like to help you realize your dreams and help you find doable ways of reaching them, and with little or no money or to at least do it as inexpensively as possible.  A tip I can offer is  have an email address designated just for sign ups.  I do this so my regular inbox doesn’t get jammed with things I don’t necessarily want to read.  Here are some good sites to start with for getting some extra cash in your pocket. Remember money saved is money earned so money you saved should go in your jar too.

Have fun.

 Bing Rewards.  Do you use Bing?  I do.  It is my preferred search engine.  I work full-time and I use Microsoft Office all day long. (I only had to work 1/2 a day today – hip hip hooray:))  I do lots of graphic work and while looking for images, Microsoft directs me to Bing to search.  It is just easier for me to use it.  I also seem to have an easier time finding what I want on Bing.  Anyway, Bing has a Reward Program.  You get rewarded for using Bing to search. The points add up quickly and monthly you can cash in for discounts at restaurants, Amazon and a ton more.  Go here to register.  Do a quick search and look at your stats.  It is an effortless way to get free things and/or money off things.  Yeah for free!!!!

 Cash Crate.  I have done this but haven’t done recently because of my limited time these days.  However, when I had more free time I would do the surveys and I did make money. Not tons of money but $20 here and there does help.  If you have some extra time and want to make some easy money, try it here.   Once you sign up, come back and read this article on Wiki How.  They explain in detail how to make sure you getting all the money you are working for.

Ebates. I’m not a big mall shopper. I do 99% of all my shopping online other than grocery shopping.  I didn’t get my check yet this year from Ebates for my holiday shopping but last year my check was over $90.00.  That is a lot.  If you are big online shopper, you have to register.  Any store special is available with Ebates too.  You get the sale price plus the refund.  It is a win win kind of deal.  For example, if Footlocker is having a sale, you log in to your Ebates account and click the Footlocker link.  Ebates lists the % back you will receive.  Make your purchase on the Footlocker site, and it is tracked back to Ebates who refunds the % agreed back to you. No effort just money.  Go here to register for your Ebates and start making money on what you are already buying.

Quick Rewards Network. Quick Rewards Network has been around for years and years.  Again, you do this or that on their site and you get paid and you get paid quickly.  This is a legit company with constantly changing offers.  You may get paid to read emails they send you (again, this is why you have a special email account for these), or you take a survey.  They have a long list of opportunities that are easy to complete.  Go here and register.  It is free and remember to save the money and we will work together to get your business going and growing.

See you next time.

Debbie

Oct 25

Craft Fairy Series – Naming your craft business – Part 2

I have already posted about how I picked the name of my site which is also the name of my craft business.  My name doesn’t follow all the rules you read on how to pick a name.  It is hard to settle on a name because it isn’t something you can easily change once you pick it.  I read constantly on starting and growing a business and  2 basic rules remain constant:

1. Keep it simple and easy to remember. Don’t mix up the spelling to make it cute.  That would be ok for a craft booth but if you ever want a blog or website, you will lose people who aren’t good at bookmarking or going back to find their pins.  They simply won’t remember the name or how to spell it.

2. If you have lots of interests and skills don’t limit yourself by picking a narrow name.  For example, you make wild crazy fun wallets and you decide to name your business “Wanda’s Wild Wallets”.  Easy to remember but what happens if 6 months down the road you decide you like making  wild & crazy tote bags? Who would think of looking for  totes at “Wanda’s Wild Wallets”?  “Where The Wild Things Are” would be a better choice. Still easy to remember but now you can sell all the wild and crazy things your creative little mind can think up.

If you only like making things for children, including Kids, Tikes, Tots, Little Ones etc., in your name is great. Those names give you lots of room to grow.  Same as with cooking or baking.  If you really are only going to make cupcakes by all means use the word cupcakes in your name but if you also like making cookies and cakes, use something along the line of Delectable, Yummy, Tasty etc. in the name.

You decide you are going to call your craft business “Where the Wild Things Are” and you know you want to blog too so your business can grow and your customers can find you.  You do a quick domain search and you find that WhereTheWildThingsAre is already taken. Ohhhh nooooo. Don’t worry, this is ok. This little hurdle won’t stop you.  You make handmade wild things. Right?  Now if you do a domain search for WhereTheWildThingsAreHandmade.com you find that it is available. Hip hip hooray.  Even if you have no idea how to build a blog, buy the domain.  You don’t have to do anything with it at the moment and you can buy a domain for a year for 99 cents so buy it before someone else does.

See how easy that was.  I’m good at thinking up names and if you need help, just ask and I will be happy to offer some suggestions.

Check back soon as I have a notebook full of craft names I like.  I don’t know if any or all of them have available domains, I simply like looking at names and I write them down so be sure to check back for some inspiration.

See you next time.

Debbie

 

Jun 26

Make your own dip mixes – Part 4

Hi All,

Some more dry dip mixes for you to make and make money with.  Or….simply to enjoy some more natural delicious dips.  If you missed them, you can find the other dip mix recipes here: Part 1, Part 2, & Part 3.  I still have more, so be sure to either sign up for emails or check back soon.

Parmesan Herb Dip Mix

  • 2 T Parmesan cheese
  • 1 T dried parsley
  • 1 tsp. minced onion
  • 1 tsp. sugar
  • 1/4 tsp. dried oregano
  • 1/4 tsp. dried basil
  • 1/4 tsp. dried thyme
  • 1/4 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1/8 tsp. pepper

Combine all ingredients and mix well.  Place in ziplock baggie and seal.

To serve-Mix dip mix with 1 cup mayonnaise and 1 cup sour cream.  Stir till well blended.  Cover and refrigerate.  Dip is best if you refrigerate up to 8 hours or overnight.  Serve with veggie, crackers or chips.

wow i like that

Fiesta Dip Mix

  • 1 T chili powder
  • 2 tsp dried parsley
  • 1 tsp. sugar
  • 1/2 tsp. plus 1/8 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1/4 tsp. plus 1/8 tsp. onion powder
  • 1/4 tsp. plus 1/8 tsp. dried cilantro
  • 1/8 heaping tsp. cayenne pepper
  • 1/8 heaping tsp. pepper
  • 1/8 heaping tsp. salt

Combine ingredients and mix well.  Place in ziplock baggie and seal.

To serve-Combine dip mix with 1 cup mayonnaise and 1 cup sour cream.  Cover and refrigerate 8 hours.  Serve with chips, cracker or veggies.

Cheesy Onion Dip Mix

  • 1 tsp. beef bouillon granules
  • 2 T minced onion
  • 2 T Parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 tsp. garlic salt

Combine ingredients and mix well.  Place in ziplock baggie and seal.

To serve-Combine dip mix with 2 cups sour cream.  Stir till well blended.  Cover and refrigerate at least 1 hour before serving.  Serve with chips, crackers or veggies.

I still have more recipes so please check back.

See you next time.

Debbie

 

Jun 22

Make your own dip mix – Part 3

Hi All,

Here are some more tried and true dip mix recipes.  Dip mixes are big sellers at craft fairs and shows, are easy to make and cost very little to put together.  They also make great little gifts for neighbors and teachers.  The mixes are also perfect to keep on hand when you want dip.  The premixed dip at the grocery store  is expensive and doesn’t taste good and have you ever looked at the ingredients?  Even if you mix your own with Hidden Valley Ranch dip mix – which I think tastes good, the ingredients in the mix containing things I can’t pronounce. You can see the ingredients here. Plus the Hidden Valley Ranch Dip is so expensive.  Below is a copycat version of Hidden Valley Ranch Dip that I have made.  It makes a lot, but I like it a lot so it works for me.

CopyCat Hidden Valley Ranch Dip

  • 15 saltines
  • 2 cups dry parsley flakes, minced
  • 1/2 cup instant minced onion
  • 2 tablespoons dry dill weed
  • 1/4 cup onion salt
  • 1/4 cup garlic salt
  • 1/4 cup onion powder
  • 1/4 cup garlic powder

Directions:Dump all ingredients into a blender or food processor and blend until completely powdered.

To Use: combine 1 tablespoons dry mix, 1 cup of may & 1 cup of buttermilk.

Spices1

Ranch Dip Mix

This is another ranch dip recipe.  Not as close to the Hidden Valley Ranch as the one above, but I like this one too.

  • 3/4 T dried parsley
  • 1-1/2 tsp. salt
  • 3/4 tsp. dried chives
  • 1/2 tsp. dried oregano
  • 1/2 tsp. dried tarragon
  • 3/4 tsp. garlic powder
  • 3/4 tsp. lemon pepper

Combine ingredients and mix well.  Place in a ziplock baggie and seal.

To serve-combine dip mix with 1 cup mayonnaise and 1 cup sour cream.  Stir until well blended.  Cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours before serving.  Serve with veggies, chips or crackers.

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Chive & Garlic Dip Mix

  • 4 tsp. dried chives
  • 2 tsp.minced ionion
  • 1 tsp. garlic salt
  • 1 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1 tsp. celery seed
  • Pinch of pepper

Combine ingredients and stir well.  Put in ziplock baggie and seal.

To serve-Combine mix with 3 cups sour cream.  Stir till well blended.  Cover and refrigerate at least 2 hours before serving.  Serve with chips, crackers or veggies.

I have many more recipes for dip mixes so be sure to check back often.  Happy Saturday to all.

See you next time

Debbie

 

Jun 20

Thrifty Thursday – Make your own dip mixes for gifts or sale.

Make your own dip mixes. Part 1

The last craft fair I attended had 4 different dip mix vendors.  Every booth selling dip mix was crowded. It may be that their tables were lined with dip and pretzels or crackers for sampling.  People do get hungry and free is free. Sometimes even if you aren’t hungry and it is free, you take some.  At least I do and I am sure you do too.  Not everyone bought but they all had lines of people waiting to pay so enough were buying.  Even I bought some.  They were $4.00 a pack or 3 for $10.00.  I bought 3.  They were delicious.  You mix sour cream with the mix and poof – creamy deliciousness.

Try doing a search for dip mix recipes. There aren’t many recipes out there.  These people are hoarding their secret recipes from us.  Way I see it, there are lots of craft fairs and lots of people to buy the mixes and not sharing isn’t right.  I have spent hours looking through every recipe website, went to the library looking for recipes and finally charmed threatened a vendor to share some beginning recipes.

Below is the collection of my efforts.  It is a starting point.  All recipes are tried and true and all can be tweaked to be made into “your special recipe”.  For those who aren’t graphically inclined, I will be posting some pretty labels to put with the mixes.  Be sure to sign up for email notifications of my posts so you don’t miss anything.

Shop around for spices.  You can get many at the dollar store.  My local grocery store also has a $1.00 spice section.  The dip mixes are easy, cheap and they sell.  If you are already selling at the craft fairs and need something to pull people to your booth, sell some booth magnets (aka dip mixes). They also make great gifts.

Note:  The baggies I use aren’t from my local grocery store.  They aren’t your regular baggies although you could use them.  I use small ones that I got from Amazon. (I posted a link to these at the bottom of this page.)  They are the perfect size and look cute too.

If you have other recipes you would like the share, please email me and I will make this a continuing growing list.

All the recipes are for 1 package of mix for testing and trying.

Plate of Red Chili Peppers

Cajun Dip Mix (Spicy)

  • 1 T. paprika
  • 3/4 tsp. dried thyme
  • 3/4 tsp. dried oregano
  • 3/4 tsp. onion powder
  • 1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1/4 tsp. pepper
  • 1/4 tsp. sugar

Combine ingredients and stir.  Place in ziplock baggie and seal.

To serve – combine the dip mix with 2 cups sour cream.  Stir till well blended.  Cover and refrigerate for 8 hours or overnight.   Serve with veggies, chips or crackers.

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Garlic Onion Mix

  • 1 T garlic powder
  • 1 T onion powder
  • 1-1/2 T dried parsley
  • 1/2 tsp salt-free seasoning blend
  • 1/2 tsp salt

Combine all ingredients and stir till well blended.  Place in a ziplock baggie and seal.

To serve-combine dip mix with 2 cups sour cream.  Cover and refrigerate 8 hours or overnight.  It is best if refrigerated at least 8 hours but it still delicious after sitting only 1 hour if you are rushed (or really hungry).  Serve with veggies, chips or crackers.

PS.  For the salt-free seasoning blend I used Mrs. Dash.

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Onion Dip Mix

  • 4 tsp. beef bouillon granules  (You can find this right next to the bouillon cubes at the store)
  • 2 T. dried minced onion
  • 1/8 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1 tsp. dried chives
  • 1 tsp. dried parsley
  • 1/2 tsp. powdered onion

Combine all ingredients and stir until well blended.  Place in ziplock baggie and seal.

To serve-combine dip mix with 2 cups sour cream.  Stir until well blended.  Cover and refrigerate at least 1 hour before serving.  Serve with chips, crackers or veggies.

I have run out of time today.  Check back tomorrow as I will be posting more.  Be sure to sign up for email notification.

See you next time.

Debbie

 

Jun 13

Craft Fairy Series – Part 6 – Business cards continued.

If you don’t have time to make your own creative, original business card. (you can see my previous post on creative cards here.)  Printing your own is the next best thing and done in 5 minutes.  Can’t get much quicker than that.

Go to Microsoft Office Templates here.  There are 165 free business card templates that are free for you to use.

Choose a template that you like.Template

I have chosen Flower Personal Business Cards.  Click the picture of the template that you would like to use.  It will open up, click the Download button.

download

If the template does not automatically download, the below box will appear.  Click the “Download Manually”  button.  A dialog box will then appear.  Click “Open”.  The template automatically opens the proper Microsoft Office application.

**Pay attention when selecting a template that you have the correct version of Microsoft Office for the template.  Even if you have an older version of Microsoft Office, there are plenty of templates to work with and easy enough to customize.  Easy Peasy – Honest Injun.

Template Open

The template has allotted space and fields for common information found on business cards.  If you want that information on your new card, simply fill in all the fields.  I however did not.  These business cards will be given out at a craft show and I don’t have a separate business address.  I do not want my home address listed on the cards.   I will use that space for my website address.   You can substitute any information you want in the fields.  You also have the freedom to change colors, etc, just as if you are working on a Word document.

If you don’t like the image on the card, go to Microsoft Office clipart and find something you do like.  It is as easy as cutting and pasting the new image on your card.

I have replaced the flower with some other images that would work for my craft business.

B Cards

A copy of this template with the variety of images can be found here. card template

I, however, opted for all flowers.  I think they are plain but pretty.

deb card

SAM_0480

I printed mine on what I had on hand.  Yellow card stock. I didn’t use business card paper from Staples or Walmart.  That stuff is too expensive.  My card stock was just plain ole card stock paper and I cut them out on a cheap paper-cutter.  I think they are adorable.

Everyone needs a business card.  Now go print your own.

See ya next time.

Debbie

 

 

 

 

May 20

Craft Fairy – Making Crafts Your Business – Part 4 – Picking a Name

Picking A Name For Your Craft Business.

You want a business name that jumps out at your customers.  Something that is easy to remember. Cute, clever and creative names work best for craft businesses.  Start a notebook with name ideas.  Look for inspiration or ideas. Look at the successful shops on Etsy.    If you want to blog too, pick a craft name that still has an available domain available for it.

I want everything branded.  I want my blog name the same as my Etsy shop and my craft booth.  I had at least 25+ names that I thought would work great and I prided myself on being so creative for thinking up all these great names.  Guess what?  I wasn’t all that creative, at least not anymore than the 25+ other people who already owned the domains.  I picked “Wow I Like That” not because the domain was available, it wasn’t.  It was however ready to expire and there wasn’t an active domain using it.  So, I patiently waited for it to expire.  I had to wait two month for it to expire, then I had to wait several more before it finally showed up as available and for sale.

If you think you may want to blog or sell your goods online, look for a domain when picking your name.  Domain names are available for as little as $1.99 a year. Anyone can afford that.  Do a Google search for “Cheap Domains” and  you’ll find hundreds of sites offering domains for sale.  I paid for my domain name for 2 years so I wouldn’t risk missing the renewal before I even got the blog up and running.

You can blog for free but you will not have your own domain.  For example, if I wanted to blog with Google, my site name would have been www.wowilikethat.blogspot.com.  Or if I had taken the free WordPress blog my site name would have been www.wowilikethat.wordpress.com.  I didn’t want Blogspot or WordPress in my blog’s name and I pay for hosting to avoid this. (PS, I did sign up and have both the wowilikethat.blogspot.com and wowilikethat.wordpress.com names only so someone else wouldn’t come along and take them to confuse my all ready confused world.)  I will explain the self hosting another time.  The thing to remember now is to pick a name that you can own the corresponding domain. Buy the domain.  You don’t have to do anything with the name until you are good and ready but it is available when you are ready to move on.

You can search for domain names at any site that is offering domains for sale.  Here is IPage they are who host my service & you can check to see the availability of a domain name here.  Pick a name, see if it is available, then search for the lowest price to purchase.

Debbie

 

 

 

 

May 19

Craft Fairy – Making Crafts Your Business – Part 3 – Signs

Making Crafts Your Business – Part 3 – Signage

My Craft Fairy Series focuses on doing it yourself and doing it inexpensively.

I love this booth.  Look at the paper bunting.  If your craft business has a name, string it across the back of the booth or across your table. I got this picture from Flicker. Adorable.

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Click picture to be taken to Flickr page.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I have created a similar one in a Word Doc.  I have attached in an older version of Microsoft Word.  If you don’t have Microsoft Word, you can download and install OpenOffice, it should work perfectly.  (OpenOffice is free).

Paper Bunting

How to change bunting color

Some string, yarn or twine, add some clothes pins from the Dollar Store and you have super cute bunting.

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Chalk Board Sign from Flickr. Click picture to go to Flickr.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Here is another inexpensive item for signage.  An old chalkboard. Love it.  They are a little pricey if they are new so hunt garage sales if you don’t have one. Looks to me the letters on the chalkboard are brown paper – like from a grocery bag. Cute, Cute, Cute.

Let’s make some money.

See you next time.

Debbie

 

 

 

 

May 18

Craft Fairy – Making Crafts Your Business-Part 2

Making Crafts Your Business – Part 2

Eeek, you registered for your first craft show, now what?  Prepare, Prepare, Prepare!

ca. 2001 --- White Daisy --- Image by © Royalty-Free/Corbis

I feel that luck is preparation meeting opportunity.   Oprah Winfrey

There are no secrets to success.  It is the result of preparation, hard work, and learning from failure.  Colin Powell

Before anything else, preparation is the key to success.  Alexander Graham Bell

“By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.”  Benjamin Franklin

Preparation, I have often said, is rightly two-thirds of any venture.  Amelia Earhart

Talent is cheaper than table salt.  What separates the talented individual from the successful one is a lot of hard work.  Stephen King

Got that? Preparation is the key.
Here is a list of items you will need just for your booth decoration and set up.
  • Signs
  • Business cards (an absolute must have)
  • Do you have a website? Do you sell on Etsy?  Offer discount coupons. Have them in your booth.
  • Mailing List
  • Table clothes
  • Risers or baskets
  • Stool – don’t use a chair, it places you below eye level of potential buyers
  • Backdrop, banner or bunting – something to make your booth attractive and unique
  • Mirror (if needed)

Let’s make some money.

Debbie