Sunday, August 11, 2013

Rock, Paper, Scissors

Well there is not rock but lots of paper and scissors this week.  I have been busy getting things for the fall craft sales.  I know I am going to do at least three but might try to do more if I can swing it.  Part of having an Etsy business is not just making and posting things, it's trying to market, cost control, cost control, and more cost control.  So this post is about my Cost Control methods for one aspect of the business.

The thing I love most about having my own business is I am not restricted by what I can and can not do...well the lack of funds sometimes.  For the most part the lack of funds leads me to try creative ways to still do what I want, but finding an expensive path towards my goal.  

This week's goal is inexpensive packaging.  I love that so many businesses have a certain color or a certain paper that is identified with their name.  The most famous is Tiffany's packaging.  You know when you get this, you are getting something very special.  I want my clients to know that I think they are special by hand making as much as I can for my business.  I make all the jewelry myself, the paper beads, the paper bead jewelry, the mobiles, the quilled trinket boxes, etc.  So why would I buy pre-made packaging?  

I have been searching the internet for weeks trying to find packaging that would work for my business.  I have found two things that are going to work and so I have been making them; envelopes and boxes.  

Paper Source is where I got my envelope templates.  I have seen loads of cute handmade paper things on Pinterest but never found a template that I could use over and over.  I stumbled on to Paper Source and finally found what I was looking for.  I made the investment and it has been a blast playing with them.  I mostly used the smallest two in the set, but eventually I think I will use the others.  My main goal was the smallest one.  Here is what I did with them.
These are made from scraps of scrapbook paper that was large enough to lay the template on.  Then I took a bone tool and made the creases more crisp, glued them and let them dry.  When a customer buys earrings I can slip a business card and the earrings into the envelope.  The envelope is the same size as a business card so that's perfect for what I wanted.  When I made these I didn't know my business card would fit.  Worked out well just by luck.

Then I had to move on to boxes to put my quilling and necklaces into.  I found this pattern on via Pinterest and then followed the link.  I made the box twice between the YouTube video and her picture tutorial.  It took me a bit to get the hang of it because she does it so quickly.  I had to keep starting and stopping the video.  And these are what I came up with.
These bottoms of the boxes were made from origami paper that I had on hand.  The lid has to be larger so I had to use scrapbook paper for the lids.  I had a ball making these.  Once you make one you are hooked.  Making them takes no time at all.  You can make any size you like as long as the top is 1/2" larger than the bottom.  If you make the box from scrap book paper, it's a 12X12" square.  That part would be the lid.  The bottom would measure 11 1/2"X11 1/2" square.  I have made about four different sizes.  I can put cotton in them to make them look nice.  
This is a box totally from scrapbook paper using the above measurements.
To contrast the different sizes, the green one was made with origami paper on the bottom and scrapbook paper for the lid and the bottom one is the same box as above.
I tried these which I don't think are going to work for the business but I made two of them with one sheet of scrapbook paper.  I got this idea from here.

I have another box in mind to use but have to make a few to see if they are going to work for the business and how cost effective they would be.  So these are what I have been up to lately.  

If you were my customer and made a purchase, would having a handmade box or envelope be the "cute" factor that would be the icing on your purchase?

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