Inspired by Sarahs blog from Thursday of last week called
for August only, replacing our Monday makers blogs,
we have decided to blog about diving in and making.
Just diving in doing it. With our helpful hints and guide.
Remember there is no rules, no bible. Making is personal. But we can add a few of out helpful hints to help you along the way.
Our 4 weeks of make blogs will concentrate on helping to inspire those wanting to create something new but are too afraid to take the leap.
Making and Inspiration. Good idea to finished product etc
Selling sites, Photographing the piece, etc
Marketing and Promotion
Packaging and frilly finishing touches
So if you, like Sarah, are too afraid to jump and delve forward....read the following points we felt were important to think about when starting something new.Always start with a clean kitchenSomething that all my work colleagues will all smile to themselves about as it has been literally DRUMMED into us. But actually it's true. Starting something new with dirty equipment and unorganised surroundings can be the recipe for disaster. Cleaning, editing and organising can give your head space to absorb and ponder over the next step. Plus it's great Feng Shui!It also means you know exactly what is in your fridge. No.....I am not just talking about baking and cooking. It applies to all making.If you tidy and cleanse you know what stocks you have.You re-visit papers, pens and fabrics and get excited all over again by them.It's like Christmas!Plus the added bonus that you won't damage a making with a broken or dirty tool.Start clean and in order......it helps I promise.Be inspiredIf you are having trouble knowing where to start, get up, get outside and do something completely opposite. Go to an Art gallery, gardens, or library. Something that you know you enjoy.Feeling happy and surrounding yourself with things that make you smile, will make your mind happy.Sitting at a desk drumming your fingers is not a way to start!Play... & make for youIn my opinion if you make a product hoping a shop will be interested in it (for example) it willnever sit happily in your hands. It will always be a little stale and you will not completely be happy with it.From experience of people making for the storeI used to work in I know.I believe a product/making truly shines when it has be made to make the maker happy.Then it truly satisfies everyone.So play, have fun with it, enjoy the making process. It it doesn't work first time play a bit more. I can tell if something has been made with happiness as it has come easily.Remember the only restrictions are the ones you set!Use only the best IngredientsIn my opinion there is no point cutting corners and using cheap ingredients. Again this applies to more than cooking and baking! The best cakes come from the best cream, best biggest eggs, most refined flour, best butter, gentle hands and perfect measures.A badly measured cake with cheap ingredients never ends in success.Follow this rule. Remember you cannot compete with high street prices.The high street is mass produced, with materials bought in massive quantities, made in factories where big outlets can haggle over prices as they are buying in 1000's. Don't compete.What you are making is totally opposite. What you are making is unique, made by one pair of hands, made with individuality, a little wabi sabi and much love.Never try to compete with the high street in price.You'll end up bruised and will always loose. In pocket and production.Function & aestheticDoes your product tick both boxes? Does it need to?Ask yourself does it do the task you wanted it to.Step away, put it away and look at it with fresh eyes the next day and ask the same question.Safety & fixing-Check H&S guidance's for the product you make. Especially for infant products?-Have you taken all pins out?-Have all loose threads been secured and cut-Do your colours run? Can they be fixed?-Have you copyrighted your product?-Do you have public and product liability for your name/product?*see helpful notes at the bottom for more on these pointsConstructive criticismThe maker is always the best critic. BUT...you have seen and touched this product a lot.Ask people who you know will give you constructive criticism to test the product.Ask for explanations on their opinions. The more you know the better.However brutal it is. Then, Take on board what has been said and,-Try and better the product with the knowledge you have gained.-Know that not everything that has been suggested needs to be changed if you disagree.VariationsOnce you are happy with the product, can you add alternatives?-A variety of colours?-A variety of fabrics?-A personalisation to make it even more special-And as a alternative a repeated version that a replica of the first. Runs of the same product.Take a Peek at these as a inspiration.
|Beetroot Presses illustrations|
Sarah from Beetroot Press uses a variety of colours for each illustration she creates.
Our decoupage memory boxes
Anna's original Teddy memory box has now developed into a Rabbits & Birds.Pattern and recipeOnce you are happy, take the pattern, write instructions andmeasurements so you can make again to the same recipe.That way any differences are ones that are intentional.You don't want to have an order for a product you made 6 months ago without knowing how to make it again!Be resourceful in your cutting of fabric/paper, save scraps (they may be the start of a new project) and and be wise with your buying of materials.PriceBefore you start this part decide is this a hobby or a business?A hobby means you don't need to make a profit.You simply need to cover costs and be happy.To make a business from your product you need to be more wise in your spending.Ask your suppliers if you can have a discount on your shopping.Ask for a wholesale price or a discount if one isn't possible.Chat to the supplier, can you get a discount if you name them in a blog?You can only ask.Joanne Dewberry has some helpful tips on pricing your handmade products.*Now go and Dive inMost importantly, be true to yourself and have fun!!!Enjoy and be happy making.If it's going badly put it away and come back to it another day!*Helpful sources