Great Craft Ideas to Sell

savings, finances, economy and home concept - close up of man coWhen it comes to crafting and making money, there are many things that can be done. If you are interested in craft ideas to sell, this article has some great suggestions to get you started.

Review over the ideas and consider what your own personal interests are. Once you do, you are certain to discover something that can transform into a lucrative home based business.

If you have any experience with woodworking, you may want to consider using that knowledge to craft a specialty set of items. Some people that do wood based crafts focus on things like dollhouses or doll furniture. Others prefer to focus their work on furniture or home decor. The fact is that there are many types of items that can be created with wood. Let your passions guide you.

Another lucrative way to create an incomeĀ is to consider making jewelry. From toe rings to earrings, there are all types of body parts that consumers are looking to decorate. Put your knowledge about cords, wires and beads to work to create some unique pieces that are sure to have your customers begging for more. Think about the different styles you can create and focus on what really excites you. A great site that can give you plenty of ideas is SewMuchCraftiness.Com.

Perhaps you prefer to get your hands a little messy. If that is the case, you may want to consider working with something like polymer clay. This clay hardens in the oven and can be shaped into all sorts of things. The fact is that you could turn this one medium into several types of craft ideas to sell.

For instance, you could focus your polymer designs on jewelry applications. This material is very popular for beads and drops. Alternatively, you may want to think about constructing miniatures. People who own dollhouses are always looking for things to put in them for decorations. You may be able to find your place in the market that way.

Sewing skills are still very in demand and can be used to create a wide range of crafted items that can be put out for sale. There are many families who do not want their children to play with plastic toys and will pay good money for toys that have been made with natural materials. Dolls and other sewn items for children are very popular.

Quilts are a great item to sell if you are capable of putting out a quality product. If you have experience with a sewing machine, this may be a great way for you to begin a home business. There are many demands within the world of quilts so that you can focus your craft in an area that you enjoy.

 

If you have experience with crafts and are interested in creating additional income, this article should have provided you some great ideas. Figure out what you really want to do and what you are good at. Then learn about starting your craft based business so that you can make your dreams come true.

Is It Hard To Learn Sewing?

Sewing is really not difficult, and it is an incredibly useful skill to have. People who can sew are able to mend damaged items of clothing and extend the life of their garments. They are also able to add adornments to garments or alter them in case of weight loss or weight gain. Parents who know how to sew can customize hand-me-downs from one child to another for a perfect individualized fit. It’s easy to see that if you can learn sewing, you can save a lot of money and get the most use out of all of your garments.

Sewing is also an enjoyable pastime and craft. You could learn to sew your own garments from scratch, create useful items for your household or you could learn to make the most of older garments by taking up such enjoyable activities as quilting. Creating quilts with intricate and precise designs or free-form, crazy quilts is an enjoyable way to get even more wear from castoff clothes or scraps of fabric leftover from fashioning new garments.

Although sewing is a simple task, it’s very helpful to have someone show you how. As with most physical activities, it’s quite difficult to learn from the written word. If you have an older relative who knows how to sew and can teach you, you would be very wise to take advantage of the opportunity.This is a great way to carry on family traditions and spend quality time with a loved one.

Sewing was once a group activity in which women and girls would sit around together and do their mending and sewing while sharing each other’s company. Learning to sew from a relative can be a pleasant and memorable experience. If you include your own children in your sewing lessons, you may rekindle a family tradition.

If you don’t have any friends or relatives who can help you learn to sew, look into classes at your local junior college, a community center or a senior center. Senior members of your community may be very happy to teach you how to sew. Providing you lessons may become the high point in a senior member of your community.

Alternately, if you are a member of a place of worship you might approach older members there to see if they can help you learn sewing. You might even set up a sewing circle.

It’s easy to see that sewing is a useful skill that will benefit you personally and may act as a way of building community. Why not seek out a friend, relative or new acquaintance to teach you today?

Papercrafts: What Is Worth Spending Your Money On?

Hobbies can become very expensive if you let them, and papercrafting is no exception. If you are on a budget, this may lead you to wonder whether there are any items which are worth scrimping on. Here we will look at why the cheapest option can sometimes cost more in the long term, and which are the areas where you can genuinely save money.

The most important element in getting good results from your papercrafts is the type of paper you use, therefore this is the area where you should be most willing to splurge. Value packs of paper, however pretty the colors or print, tend to be unsuitable because the paper is often thin. Thin paper lacks the rigidity necessary to hold its shape when folded into position.

Look for high quality paper which has some texture to it and which feels heavy weight. Not only will your crafts have a much better finish, the paper will be more enjoyable to work with too.

Another area to avoid scrimping on is your scissors. Papercrafts involve a lot of cutting and you will generally find that a cheap pair of scissors becomes blunt very quickly or the blades lose their alignment. This will mean that you either have to replace them or put up with rough, poorly finished edges when crafting.

A good pair of scissors may seem expensive at the outset, but in the long term you are likely to be saving money because they should last. For maximum longevity, look for a pair of scissors which is connected by a screw rather than a rivet. This will permit adjustments if the blades become loose. You should also consider opting for scissors with durable stainless steel blades as these are easier to sharpen.

The last essential purchase for serious papercrafters is a die cut machine. This is definitely the type of purchase where you get what you pay for, so it is worth paying extra for a model with more features. However, there are options for people on a tight budget. Second hand machines can be purchased for as little as $80 or you can make significant savings on brand new die cut machines by searching online for a relevant money off coupon. Many craft suppliers offer discounts of up to twenty percent to people who are willing to subscribe to their newsletter.

In addition to a die cut machine, you will need die cut patterns. Fortunately, this is one area where you do not need to spend much money. There are many websites and blogs which offer patterns for every conceivable occasion, all free to download. Familiarizing yourself with the best of these websites may mean that you never have to spend a dime on patterns for your die cut machine, yet your papercraft projects will still enjoy that special creative edge.

Creating with paper can be a very satisfying hobby. Although there are some areas where it is possible to save money, it is generally worth investing a little more in the basic supplies in order to achieve great results.

4 Tips When Looking For Vintage Patterns To Sew

A lot of people love working with vintage sewing patterns because they offer an avenue to learn about the styles of a particular era. If you’re included in this group, then you have probably looked for vintage patterns to sew and get started on your next project. This is a great way to add a unique touch to your wardrobe without having to jump from one dress shop to another. Sewing vintage patterns, however, can be a challenging task to both beginners and experienced sewers alike. The following are some tips to keep in mind when looking for vintage patterns.

1. Size
Working with vintage patterns is a lot different than working with contemporary designs particularly when it comes to size. When looking for vintage patterns, you should always go by measurements instead of a particular dress size. The size 14 vintage dress is very much different from a size 14 modern dress. You can always resize the dress, but the closer you are to the right size at the beginning, the less work you need to put into resizing.

2. Complexity
Vintage patterns are known to be a lot more difficult to sew compared to their modern counterparts. On top of that, these patterns usually do not come with detailed instructions. The number of videos you can find online about sewing vintage patterns is relatively fewer as well. This means you need to be extra careful when finding what pattern to use. You have to make sure that you do not bite off more than you can chew. If it’s your first time, it’s better to start with a simple pattern and always keep a sewing book by your side so you can readily look for help when you need it.

3. Pattern Markings
Modern patterns are easy to use because they are littered with printed guidelines. Vintage patterns are also printed, but they usually do not have as many guidelines, which means you need to be careful when sewing or you can easily screw things up. Perforations and notches are the only guides you will usually have when working with vintage sewing patterns. You have to particularly focus on all the little holes and seam allowances.

4. Shape and Fit
This is one of the biggest things you have to consider when using a vintage pattern. Depending on the era of the pattern you are using, the shape and fit may vary a lot. The best way to get the right shape and fit is to use a mock-up pattern. This involves making a calico toile. Head over to your local dress shop and you should be able to buy calico at a low price. Making a toile can save you a lot of time and money as you would increase your chances of getting things right the first time. Make sure you move around a lot with the mock-up pattern to get an idea of how it would be like once you transfer it to your pattern pieces.

These are some handy tips you should always remember when looking for vintage patterns to sew. Creating vintage designs can be a lot of fun and they may very well be all you need to set your dress apart from the rest.

How To Sew On A Button And Perform Other Simple Sewing Tasks

Sewing Button On ClothIn this day and age, the skill of sewing has for a great part fallen by the wayside. In the old days most people, and surely all women knew how to sew. Today, only people who sew as a hobby or for a living seem to know anything about it. This is a shame because being able to sew can save you a great deal of money and a great deal of time.

These days, there are many people who will simply throw a garment away when minor damage occurs. This is even true when buttons fall off. Clearly, if you know how to sew on a button you can save yourself a great deal of money. Rather than having to replace garments that have lost buttons, you can simply take a few minutes of your time to sew the old button back on or replace all of the buttons with nice new buttons. Sewing on buttons is very very simple, and knowing how will prevent you from having to replace perfectly good garments.

Other simple sewing tasks that are well worth learning include mending a straight seam, darning and taking up or letting out a hem. There are many people who are incapable of simply sewing a straight stitch by hand. This is really a very simple matter, and if you are able to sew fairly even stitches in a straight line, you can mend garments that have seams that have deteriorated with age or when poorly sewn factory seems unravel.

Darning is a process of re-weaving damaged areas other than seams. If you get a rip or tear in an item of clothing, you can reweave the area with a slightly over-sized needle and thicker thread that matches the fabric. This is a simple skill, and in most cases it only takes a few moments to mend small tears and make your garment usable again. It’s easy to see that being able to do this can save you a fortune because you will not have to take your garment to a professional seamstress to have the repair made and you will not have to replace an otherwise perfectly good garment.

Knowing how to let out or take up a hem is an extremely valuable skill. When you know how to do this, you will never have to buy another pair of shorts again! You can simply take your older or out of fashion pants, cut them off to the length you want and sew up the hem. You can also turn longer fall skirts and dresses into short summer garments if you want. Naturally, you can also use this skill to get just the right fit in the length of your pants legs.

Learning how to do these simple sewing tasks may seem a bit daunting if you have never sewn. These days, there are so few people who know how to sew that it may be difficult to find anyone to teach you. Learning by reading an article is fairly impossible. To learn how to perform simple sewing tasks, you might begin by looking up videos on YouTube and/or seeking articles that are fully illustrated with step-by-step instructions. Alternately, taking a sewing class at a local junior college community center, senior center or other such organization could be extraordinarily helpful to you.

Today saving money is extremely important. Everything is more expensive than it used to be, and making the most of what we have is wise, indeed. When you learn how to sew on a button, sew a straight seam, darn and take up and let out hems, you will be able to repair almost any damage your garments may encounter. This will save you a great deal of money and give you a tremendous sense of capability and independence.

Ideas for Spring Crafts for Kids

Kids art kitWhen it comes to children, they are always in need of something fun to do. This is why parents and caregivers need to have a wide range of activities that are age appropriate that can keep them entertained. Among good activities are various types of crafts, especially those that are seasonal. Fortunately, there are many spring crafts for kids that can be used to keep youngsters entertained and engaged.

One of the nice things about spring is that it finally opens up the outdoors, after a long winter of being cooped up inside. This not only gives kids the chance to play, it also provides some fantastic things that can be used for creating works of art.

A simple and fun idea that can be done inside or out is to have the child or children draw a picture of what they see. Older children can reflect upon the changes between the seasons. For instance, how trees that were barren weeks before are now covered in buds. This can stimulate a great conversation regarding nature and the cycle of seasons.

Kids love bugs. Catching one in a container and allowing the child to draw the picture is another fun activity that many kids like. If you have the time and inclination, you can even create a small habitat for the critter so that it can be observed over the course of a few days. As with other activities involving nature, it also provides an opportunity to discuss the great outdoors. For instance, what does the bug need to eat.

Not all spring crafts for kids have to involve drawing or coloring pictures. Sand art is a fun activity that can be great for outside. You can create different colors of sand using food coloring. Once they have dried, take all of your supplies outside. You will need to use posterboard so that the project is sturdy enough. Then, allow the youngsters the chance to draw a simple design and apply glue into each area, filling it with colored sand and allowing it to dry before moving on to the next region of the picture.

With a few supplies, you can also allow children to create their own depictions of a variety of animals. Babies are an especially popular choice during this time of year. All you need is some construction paper, crepe paper, glue, glitter and any odds and ends that might make the project more interesting. Think about small eyeballs, buttons and yarn. The more varied your supply of extras, the greater their imaginations can be stimulated. Don’t forget to allow plenty of time for these things to dry before sending them home.

One very neat idea when it comes to spring crafts for kids is to allow them to make their own tee shirts. Decorating these allows them to make something that they can proudly wear. Of course, they will need appropriate covering for their own clothes while working with dye or paint. Shirts with handprints, words or a special image are all good ideas.

Taking care of youngsters is a year round job that includes exposing them to various forms of art. Make sure that you keep a wide range of ideas bookmarked on your computer so that you have it available for reference. Keep your cabinets stocked as well with good basic things like glue so that you can always be prepared to have a fun time creating crafts with the kids in your life. This list of suggestions is a great place for you to begin with your spring activities.

An Overview Of The Parts Of A Sewing Machine

Part Of Sewing Machine And Fabric. Horizontal, Sepia, MonochromIf you like to sew by machine, getting to know how your sewing machine works is one of the first things that you should learn. The machine has different parts that operate together in order to produce the stitches that you want. Here is a basic guide on the different parts of a sewing machine.

Hand wheel

The hand wheel is used when you want to manually adjust the height of the needle. Turning the wheel toward you moves the needle up and down.

Spool holder

This pin on top of the machine holds the spool of thread as the thread is fed through the machine. The holder can be vertical or horizontal. Some machines may have two spool holders. Some spool holders come with a cap to hold the spool of thread in place.

Tension adjuster

Your thread is threaded through the adjuster discs so that the thread is pinched by the discs at the desired tension. As the thread is fed through during the sewing process, the tension adjuster keeps consistent pressure on the thread so that it does not tangle. The tension is adjusted with a dial depending on the type of fabric that you are using.

Stitch length adjuster

This determines how long each stitch will be.

Stitch selector

Machines offer a variety of stitch styles that you can choose. The basic stitches include the straight stitch, zigzag stitches in varying degrees, the buttonhole stitch, and others.

Takeup lever

This metal lever on the left side of the machine keeps the thread at the correct tension. The thread is threaded through the hole. As the machine operates, the lever moves up and down to pull the thread from the spool and feeds the thread through.

Pressure foot

The pressure foot keeps consistent pressure on the fabric so that it moves along smoothly as you sew. This helps in preventing wrinkles in your fabric. When you sew, you lower the pressure foot with a pressure foot lever. The fabric is held at just the right tension between the foot on top and the plate beneath. When you are done, you lift up the lever to raise the foot. The tension is adjusted by a pressure foot control.

Stitch or needle plate

This is a metal plate that is beneath the pressure foot area. Beneath the plate is the feed dog.

Feed dogs

These are two pieces of metal that have teeth. They go up and down as the fabric is being sewn. This movement pushes the fabric forward as the stitches are made. The stitch length selector determines how much fabric will be moved by the feed dogs, thus controlling the length of the stitch.

Bobbin holder and cover

The bobbin sits in the holder beneath the stitch plate. The cover protects the bobbin. You open the cover when you put in or remove the bobbin.

Needle and clamp screw

The special sewing machine needle is held in place with the clamp screw. Tightening the screw secures the needle, and loosening the screw releases the needle.

Reverse control

This can be a lever or a button. Engaging it will reverse the direction in which the feed dogs move the fabric. Instead of the fabric moving away from you, it will move toward you.

Foot pedal

This controls how fast you sew. It is similar to the gas pedal in your car. When you depress the pedal more, you sew faster.

These are some of the basic parts of a sewing machine. The machine is a finely tuned instrument that will deliver precise results if all components are functioning properly. If any part is not working correctly, you will not get good results. The parts of a sewing machine can look slightly different from brand to brand. When you have time, it is advisable to study your user’s manual so that you will understand the specifics of your own machine.

Simple And Fun Beginners Sewing Projects

Needle And Threads In Pastel ColorsIf you possess the ability to sew by hand, you can make a variety of fun, practical and unique items. From clothing and art to stuffed animals and blankets, you can design simple yet quality items of your choice. Even beginners can sew and engage in fun projects, as long as the right projects and methods are chosen. If you are new to sewing, consider trying out some beginners sewing projects to get you started.

Do you know how to sew a button? If not, this is one sewing project that is easy to learn and ideal for practical and creative purposes. You can sew buttons to mend old clothing items. You can add bright, colorful buttons to purses and bags to spice up your accessories. If you have a lot of buttons, you can even make bold patterns on shirts, bags and more. You can find simple instructions online to teach you how to sew buttons if you are unfamiliar with the process.

Cross stitching is a timeless and fun sewing project that is optimal for new sewers. There are many easy-to-use patterns readily available online and in sewing stores. Cross stitching projects require only basic skills and materials, so you can easily get started with no hassle. Cross stitching is great for pillows or wall art, and these products also make excellent gifts for loved ones.

If you want to liven up your kitchen and bathroom, purchase plain hand towels to get creative with. Adding a simple hand stitched pattern to these towels makes them useful accent pieces for these household rooms. You can add flowers or simple patterns, and use the edges of the towels as guides to keep straight lines. With a bit of practice, you can branch out to more bold designs like lettering.

Does the idea of livening up towels sound enticing? Branch out and apply this same fun idea to other household items. You can add colorful, unique patterns to tablecloths, baby bibs, aprons, fabric place-mats and more. You can spruce up the items you own or purchase plain, ready-to-use items from craft stores. Once you get good at these items, give them as gifts for special occasions.

The ideas listed here use sewing tools that are extremely affordable. You can purchase thread and needles for mere cents or dollars. Embroidery floss and plain fabric towels are very cost effective, too. All of these items can be found in craft stores or through online retailers. If you plan to make sewing a long term hobby, consider purchasing sewing materials in bulk.

Overall, there are many exciting and unique beginners projects you can sew with the most basic skills. Simply purchase sewing materials for very low prices, and explore the options mentioned here. Use these ideas as basic stepping stones to bring out your own personal creativity. You may find that you have many great ideas of your own for fun, useful sewing projects. With practice, you can turn your simple skills into a rewarding hobby.

Sewing Terms You’ll Want to Know

Sewing MachineWhen you first start sewing, it’s likely that you’ll run into a lot of sewing terms you’re not familiar with. In some cases, a lack of knowledge can make it difficult to complete a pattern or finish a project.

However, it’s easy to familiarize yourself with the sewing basics. Once you’ve learned these terms, you should be able to take on any project with ease.

Baste

A baste is the term that describes temporarily joining pieces of fabric with stitches that will be taken out and replaced later on. This is something that most seamtresses will do quite often.

Armscye

When making a dress, you’ll need to leave an opening in the bodice where the sleeve can be attached. That opening is known as the armscye.

Darting

Darting is a technique that’s done to give a garmen more shape. It involves stiching out wedge-shaped pieces of fabric, usually at the bust or the waist. This is commonly done in more complex garments.

Muslin

When a dressmaker makes a test garment, it’s usually made with the material muslin. Because of this, the test garment itself is also referred to with this term.

Seam

The place where two pieces of fabric are permanently joined together by thread.

Notions

Any small tool or accessory used during the sewing process can be described with the term “notions.” Usually, this is used to describe a group of tools rather than a single tool.

Facing

Many finished garments are left with raw edges. The fabric that’s used to finish those edges is known as facing. There are two types of facing: shape facing, which matches the edge it’s going to face, and bias facing, strips of fabric that are cut on the bias.

Interfacing

Sometimes, pieces of fabric need to be used on the side of a garment that won’t be seen. These pieces are commonly referred to as interfacing.

Lining

The inner layer of fabric. This is often used to conceal things like interfacing and other garment construction details.

Overlay

When a different fabric is underneath the top layer of fabric, that top layer is known as the overlay. Lace is one of the materials most commonly used as an overlay.

Binding

In order to give a seam or a hem a more finishes look, seamtresses often roll the seam, then press down. This process is known as binding.

Serging

When the edge of a cloth is binded off, it’s described as serging.

Right Side

Pieces of fabric often have distinct front and back sides. When this is the case, the front is called the right side.

Wrong Side

When a piece of fabric has a clear front and back side, the back is called the wrong side.

Now that you know these common sewing terms, you’ll easily be able to follow along with any pattern’s instructions. Sewing isn’t as complex as it may seem at first glance. With time and experience, it will soon become natural to you, and you’ll be able to handle a variety of projects.

Learning How To Hand Quilt

Woman's Hand Sewing QuiltUnderstanding some of the basic stitches for hand quilting will be able to help you work towards achieving a wide array of beautiful hand-finished pieces. What you should know as you are learning how to hand quilt, however, is that many people have their own ideas on how to do the basics of the stitch techniques. When you really want to know how to get into a variety of hand quilting projects, you will see that learning all about the different ways to stitch will help you to have plenty of techniques and tricks in your arsenal.

Many quilters like to use the quilter’s knot, which is a basic stitch for hand quilting, when they start or stop their stitch patterns. In order to sew a quilter’s knot, you simply wrap your thread around the threaded needle three times, then pull your loops that you created over the thread so that you can make a knot on the bottom. Once you trim the thread, you can start stitching in the center of the quilt, working to pull the knot all the way through the top of the fabric and then to the back portion of the quilt.

The basic running stitch is something that many hand quilters will use when they need to establish a more steady technique for hand quilting. You insert the needle through the front portion of the fabric, working to catch small amounts in the back of the fabric, then insert through each layer over and over again in a steady pattern. A lot of quilters like to use a thimble when doing the basic running stitch so that they can achieve a good angle for inserting the needle into several of their stitches before they pull the thread back through.

The tunneling stitch is another technique that you will want to know when learning how to hand quilt as it helps you to make sure that the needle will stay parallel to your fabric. This rocking stitch will use a bit more movement of your needle and your thimble. Actually, your need will be perpendicular to the fabric for a lot of the time that you are stitching with this technique. After you have the motion and rhythm of this and other hand quilting stitches down to a science, you will see that it will be easier to complete them without even thinking about it much.

Unlike a lot of the quilting stitches that are made with a machine, hand quilting will produce a stitch that is a lot further apart. Learning how to properly start and stop any line of stitches can be a bit of a learning process. The basics are all going to give you what you need to grab a hoop and start in on your next project. The more that you use them, the better you will become and before you know it, you will be taking on some of the more involved hand quilting projects that you have been wanting to tackle.

Learn To Do Your Own Sewing Machine Repairs

Women's hands behind her sewingYou finally have that sewing machine to help you do all those projects you have been thinking of and it is a wonderful feeling. That is until it breaks down. Usually it happens at the worst possible moment. You take it to a repair shop and find the price to fix it is a bit high and will take a couple of days before you get it back.

If that were the end of it, you could accept it happened. But in many cases a sewing machine will break from time to time. It is just a simple fact of the machine. Even well-made brands have this problem. It doesn’t take long before you find that it is very pricey and time consuming to keep having to bring it in for repairs.

It is for this reason that many decide to learn basic DIY sewing machine repairs for their sewing machine. Once you do, you realize just how much you were paying for some very basic work. You will want to kick yourself for spending such high prices and having to wait sometimes up to a week to get your machine back.

If you find that you like doing sewing machine repairs, or that you are good at it, you could even consider offering your services to others who want their machine fixed when it breaks. It is one of those businesses that can often be started right from the home.

Now that you have decided to repair your machine you will need to learn the basics. It is not as difficult as you might first anticipate. Recently repair manuals have become readily available. You can get them at shops that sell the machines or on the internet. There are some things you will want to be sure of when buying your manual.

1. It should explain in a clear fashion how to properly lubricate and clean the machine properly. Often when the machine is not correctly lubricated it can be the cause of a breakdown.
2. The manual needs to demonstrate the correct way to pick the correct needle and how to wind the bobbin pin.
3. Look to see that it shows you how to repair or replace lights, motor, controls and wiring.
4. A good manual will cover how to test the different parts of the machine and when doing so, how to understand if there is a problem.
5. Setting the timing on the needle bar is also one of the needed features the manual should cover. You will further need to learn to set the timing for the shuttle and hook and feed on the machine. Once you have it set correctly you will be amazed how well it can sow almost anything with ease.
6. Finally, the manual should show you sellers and wholesalers of the parts and tools needed to repair your machine from home.

A machine that is used even moderately will usually require being serviced at least once a year. If it is being used aggressively, then it could need repairing as much as four times each year.