We are already in November, and Christmas is soon around the corner. Some of us are creating small crafts all year round to sell at Christmas markets. Others just have enough with creating Christmas gifts for friends and family. One thing is sure, This Christmas is going to be hard for a larger group of people, because of the economic situation around the world. Food prices, electric bills and gass prices has been skyrocketing, just after the pandemic has made work situation hard for so many people. So what can you do for Christmas?
What can I sell at craft fairs?
You can sell different things at craft fairs. Different countries have different traditions, and different styles. This photo is from a Norwegian craft Christmas craft fair. Cards doesn’t sell to well in Norway in markeds. This might be because Norway isn’t a large “card sending nation”, although we are a “card making nation”, so the marked might be a bit flooded with hand made cards.
READ ALSO: MY LATEST CHRISTMAS DESIGNS
How do I present my things at a craft fair?
Presentation is important. Bring a simple table cloth you can use. Make sure it is clean. Bring some boxes and stands you can put things on. This creates some height on your table. Mark everything with price (and make sure labels with prices come of, without leaving a mark on the product). Last tip is to be polite, and welcoming at the stand. It will pay of to mingle with the customers, instead of sitting on a chair with your mobile.
The difficult question about price
The price on hand crafted items vary a lot. Where you live (country and town) will effect the price. My experience from Norway, is that new crafters often have higher prices than more experienced crafters. Some use a multiplum of 2x or 2,5x the material price, to calculate the price of the craft. Some also add the time that was spent to create the craft into the calculation. Test it out here. This is not a calculation I would use. This is just because I think it is the finished project, that determines the price. How is it made, what kind of colours and what is it?
A card is not just a card, and why the prices are different
This is a simple card, where I have only used left over materials. The card has not been decorated inside, only front and back. The card has one hand made flower, other than that it’s a simple card. Price for materials in Norway: 15Nok. Value for sale: 30Nok.
The second card, is a bit mor intricate, with die cuts, fancy fold and a coloured motive. The card is decorated on both sides. The material price for this card is about 30Nok. Selling prices for cards like this could be from 80Nok to 130Nok. The time to make these cards are lot more than the card above.
The card below, is one I made for a card competions, years back. The materials to create this pop up shelf card, is also about 30Nok. The amount of time spent to create this card, with the colouring, fussy cutting, and mounting the different parts is so large, that I would never make cards like this for sale. I I was to sell it, it would be for at lest 200Nok.
So this is why I never say a card has a fixed price, or why I never add op the prices of materials to find the price of the item, but the item itself has a value. But it is wise to the the time involved in creating the item in to perspective, when you make something that you want to sell. Is it worth it?
What is worth making for sale?
People can make the most amazing things. Some of these projects have low material cost. It doesn’t mean they are worth less.
This church ornament is 8cm. The material price for this is about 30Nok. For me, when I have made the cutting file and made this once, it will take me 30 min, to create one of these. If you look at simpler ornaments from nice shops, ornaments with vinyl are sold for 200Nok. So, the price for this ornament could easily go above 250Nok.
This card was made as my wedding invitation, and it´s my own design. The cost of paper is about 30Nok. These cards were time consuming to make. Price for sale would be 250Nok per card. Remember, this is not a dies, this is specially designed and cut with a digital cutting machine. I would be easier for me to make money on the Chrismtas ornament above, than on cards like this, just thinking about the time spent on the item.
Another example is this album, with a box. A very simple album could take 10h to make. More advanced albums would take hours and hours. With a box like this, we are talking more than 100h totally.
Prices for materials for projects like this, would easily come up to 1000Nok. If you were to sell, you would actually have problems selling it for 1000Nok. Projects like this is therefor something I don’t recommend making for sale. Make them as presents, for a baby, confirmation, birthday or wedding.
As a designer, I have made several projects that would be difficult to sell. One of these, is this paper dress I made in 2015. I have used so much paper on this dress, and more than 100h of work.
Another example is this ferries wheel, made in 2012. This is about 70cm tall, and is made for a shop (and it is still on display in the shop). Other than for a shop display. Things like this is very difficult to sell. To be honest. Who want a 70 cm tall ferries wheel in their living room?
Another project, also made to order for the same shop, is this tram. It is a copy of the first tram in Norway. This is made after inspiration from Graphic 45´s stand at Creativation a few years ago. More than 100h to make, and 500 Nok in materials. This project might be something more people would have, compared to the ferries wheel, but I dont think the price people would pay would be more than 1000Nok.
READ ALSO: QUILLING A WREATH FOR CHRISTMAS
A mixed media project. Very fun to make, but almost impossible to sell. These kind of projects are projects you can use much money on materials, and there is almost no limit to how much you can use on materials. Using old flowers, in ugly colours, old lace, diecuts in layers, old pearls, bits from inside a sewing machine or computers, you can get the material costs down to a minimum. This is a typical project where you could ut price yourself on materials.
If you are really in to mixed media, you can make large projects that are sellable for a good price, like art. The project below is made from parts from sewing machines, Prima flowers and mediums. This is on my living room wall. But making these with sewing machine parts, camera parts and so on, would have a marked – if it is well done.
Gift ideas and ideas for markeds
Chocolate boxes are always good gifts. Tutorials ans templates for different kind of chocolates can be found in this article.
This box has been created with two pieces of cardboard and two sheets of patterned paper. Material price is about 55Nok, and can easily be sold for about 100Nok. Template can be found in this blogpost, if you are interested.
Thsi gift box is made for the Norwegian “smil” and “melkerull” . Material price is about 40Nok. Adding chocolate to the box, and you could easily take 150-180Nok for this. You can find tutorial and template in this blogpost.
Card and tags
Another idea is to create a large amount of tags and sell them or give them away in small piles. These can easily be made out of left over papers, and the material cost doesn´t need to be large. These tags were made in 1,5 h. For me it was just about using left overs. If you put 4 of them in a bag, and sell this for 50Nkr, the price for all these would be 250Nok, which is a good price.
These cards are 10×10 cards. These are quite simple cards. We all need simple cards like this. Materials per card is from 5 to 12 Nok per card. These cards can be sold for 30Nok per card. You can also add 3-4 cards together, for 100NOK. A little bunch of cards like these are also good as a present.
You can also sell more well advanced cards. For the larger accessions like weddings, confirmation, baby birth and big birthdays, these cards can be something people really want. On these cards I decorate all sides of the card, and have a little white space for writing a message.
Other paper projects
There are lots of different paper projects you can make. Here are some of my templates and ideas for Christmas gifts and markeds. Pinterest is also a fantastic place to find ideas. Remember that Pinterest is only a place to tag links, this is a second source and not the primary source. When linking back, always link back to the primary source, not to Pinterest.
The first project is a little Mistle Toes bag. In the bag, I have added a nail file, nail polish and a little snow man. A simle small gift or stocking filler.
A small bag with hand made soaps, is also a really cute gift. These are easy to make, and can be made in a large relatively large scale, and be given away in small bags.
You can also fill a jar with sweets. At the top of the lid here, I have added a small acrylic bouble to the top, with a little Christmas scene inside. A nice little gift.
Small baskets are also nice to fill with a little present or with sweets. The tutorial can be found in this blogpost .
Acrylic boubles are always nice to give away .I normally build my own paper houses to add to these ornaments. Not everyone make their own houses, so you can find small wooden houses or other items to have inside these.
Matchboxes with tea lights is also nice gifts. Wrap them up in a small plastic bag, as a gift.
Vinyl on fabric
Du you have a digital cutting machine? It is worth investing in a machine, if you plan to make a lot of presents with vinyl. You can add text to socks, t – shirts, pillows, Christmas ornaments or other items. Making money on craft projects, and getting money back to pay of the machine, is relatively easy.
Wooden vintage sign
Wooden signs, made with left over wood, and paint, is also something that is popular. Here, I have used a digital cutting machine, to create a stencil to paint the letters. The glitter pattern at the edges, is made with a Tim Holtz stencil. These sign can be made for next to nothing, if you get free wood and use old paint.
Good luck with your Christmas projects.
Kirsten Grue Ulset is from Norway. Kirsten has been writing for TPC since 2016. Kirsten started paper crafting in 2005 and she makes cards, layouts, Mixed Media, Altered and 3D projects. Her paper projects are made in many different styles with a lot of details.