How to Price your Handmade Items | The Basics

Recently I've been scrolling through my older posts, and revising them as I thought was needed. In between renewing graphics to rewriting my patterns, I've been a busy bee. I can't wait until I finish it all!!!!

But today I wanted to visit the topic of pricing handmade items. In my last post, I felt like I was't clear enough. Personally, I can't stand putting a price on items. But with this easy process I never have to worry about if the number is too high or too low... 





I had to learn how to properly price my items when I signed up for a small craft fair at my old elementary school. I made a few hats, cowls, and headbands and slapped a price on them.  Back then my theory was; the cheaper I sell it for, the more sales I'll make. However after I sat there for 3 or 4 hours straight and running around town taking care of custom orders I realized it wasn't that easy. I sold myself too short.

But throughout taking custom orders and attending my second fair I've found a simple little formula that takes care of my needs. It's common sense really, but it really makes putting on a price tag a breeze.

materials


If it's already not obvious enough, part of the price must cover all of the supplies used. Until these materials are paid off, no profit is being made. Anything money that was spent on creating the item; tools, notions, yarn, fabric, embellishments. In order to make money you have to spend money but make sure that you have all pieces of the puzzle. If you use 2 skeins of yarn, add up the total cost of to skeins. If you use fabric to line a bag, find out the per unit price for each yard. 


labor

This is something that I always overlooked. I seemed to forget, somehow, that I had poured hours of attention and love into to making the product. After working so hard on something for a customer you deserve compensation!!!  These days quality handmade items are something real special, and so are the people who take the time to learn the craft.




overhead

While I was reading articles last year I constantly tripped over this term 'overhead'. It's basically your indirect expense. Anything but the supplies, time, and your labor are included in overhead. Etsy fees, gas money, advertising,  shipping, displays, tables or booths, and event fees are all just a few examples in this type of situation. 




profit

I calculate my profit a little differently than other formulas... as someone who's goal isn't to make a living. Once all the production cost is added up I consider the item and add a reasonable profit. Say for example a child's hat. I would add logical amount to be my profit. Again, all pricing formulas are made to fit different situations... so feel free to find a new way to add profit. I myself prefer a simpler method!





Now that you have a basic understanding of all variables in the equation, it's time to put it to use. Here's a FREE, handy-dandy worksheet to help you the next time you're pricing your handmade item! And better yet it's made to be printer-friendly!


Link to Download

I hope you can use this simple formula... or even be inspired to create one to meet your needs. Until next time happy crochet!!

Amigurumi | The Beginner's Quick Guide


Welcome everyone! I hope your chilly Valentine's Day preparations have gone well for you. Meanwhile, I'm sitting here in front of my desktop bringing you a new post. And what else to discuss in February (other than cozy scarves) than the adorable art of amigurumi??


Amigurumi, 'ami' for short, is the Japanese art of making crochet or knit stuffed animals. I'm not saying that amigurumi is limited to just animals... like seriously. Check out these insanely adorable amigurumi rainbow donut unicorns by Super Cute Design.

Amigurumi is a funky word, but it actual derives from two Japanese words... ami and nuigurumi. Ami means crocheted or knitted and nuigurumi means stuffed doll. Not only can we thank the Japanese for giving us the inspiration for these anthropomorphic creatures, but they actually have quite a history in textile arts. From spinning silk or practicing sashiko, to zanshi and sakiori weaving. The Japanese were definitely advance in their crafts.


But just like any other crochet project you'll encounter, amigurumi has a specific set of tools you will need. Other than a hook and yarn... there are some 'special' tools that will help you along the way.

yarn


First things first, you'll want to find the right yarn. Though every pattern varies, most amigurumi is made of DK or worsted weight yarn. You'll need different kinds of yarn depending on the circumstances.


crochet hook


Next up is to find the perfect crochet hook. Since amigurumi can get tiny, its important to find a crochet that sits comfortably in your hand. Amigurumi calls for a smaller hook than recommended. Often times I use a 2.5 mm to a 3.75 mm hook for my ami projects. The reason why is to keep your stitching tight. We use the single crochet stitch and tight tension so that the stuffing doesn't start falling out over time. Which leads me to my next point.

stuffing

When shopping for stuffing there are a few different kinds. I use either Poly-Fil or recycled yarn scraps. I won't lie, sometimes I even use buffalo snow from my Christmas tree!! Either way make sure that you keep your stuffing in a dust free area. 


stitch markers

Another super handy tool to have is stitch markers. Though it may seem like it's only a notion, they can really come a long way in these kinds of projects. Most ami patterns are worked in the round, meaning that they go in a continuos spiral without joining the row. Stitch markers help you keep track of where your round starts and ends. There are also tons of different stitch markers. Find one that suits your taste!


safety toy eyes

Safety eyes are more than likely my favorite part of amigurumi! They're the adorable little eyes on all your projects. They come in so many different sizes, shapes, colors, and kinds that its impossible to collect them all. Safety eyes are what add life to your little creatures, I think you'll agree.


misc

There are tons of hacks and extra tools for amigurumi. There are so many creatives just like you who have gone beyond the basics. to find more ideas I turn to Pinterest. I garentee you'll find something interesting.




If you'd like to see more on amigurumi tools or techniques... make sure you like and share this post! I'd love to write even more on amigurumi. Til next time!!!



Polar Super Scarf | Free Crochet Pattern

Last year, super scarves became extremely popular. I mean who doesn't want a big, soft scarf to keep you cozy and stylish?



I decided to try my hand at a design of my very own when I was gifted two skeins of Homespun Quick and Thick. I remembered working with it once before, I had loved the chunky and squishy feeling between my fingers.


Since the yarn was so thick, I wanted to find the perfect crochet hook. I ended up using a 7mm bamboo hook I had in my stash. It definitely helped me get the effect I was going for... don't you think?


I chained 27 stitches, then in the 3rd chain from my hook I made my first double crochet stitch. Then for the rest of the row I repeated a pattern of *ch 1, dc 1. I continued to the next row by chaining 2, then repeating the same pattern to the end of the row. This went on for 99 rows. I still had a little less than half of a skein left too!!


I was considering stitching the two ends of my scarf using the Whip Stitch to make a double infinity scarf, but I decided not to instead. Besides, I could always change my mind if I wanted to.


So without further a-do, here's you copy of the FREE pattern...


Polar Super Scarf Pattern

Materials

  • 2 skeins of Homespun Quick & Thick
  • A 7mm crochet hook
  • Darning needle (for  weaving in ends)
  • Scissors

Notes

  • Make sure to buy the chunkier version of the Homespun yarn, the Quick & Thick version will give you the look you want for this pattern!
  • The crochet hook size, if you's like to use a larger hook for a more loose piece then go for it! Homespun is a difficult yarn at first so do what you feel is best.
  • Though I crocheted for 99 rows, you can add more or less depending on you height or whether or not you want to make it a cowl.
  • Remember, this is your project and you can tweak it however you'd like. sew the ends together to make a cowl. Add tassels, flowers, or change the width. Tell me below what you decide to do!!

Pattern

Ch 27.

Row 1- In the 3rd ch from hk, dc. *Ch , dc. Rep from * to end.

Row 2- Ch 2, dc in the very ch space. *Ch 1, dc. Rep from * to end. For a scarf, I continued for 99 rows.

Fasten off. Weave in ends using needle or whip stitch the to ends of your piece together to form a big loop.

I've been dying to mention that this scarf is soooo warm!! The day we were outside taking photos, it was drizzling all day long. Thankfully, I had my brand new scarf to keep me toasty.



It was really satisfying to see the work grow so quickly, it only took me 2 days to finish it! I love having a project that just flies off my hook. It's too bad I made it right AFTER Christmas. It would make a quick and easy gift for someone special.


Anyways, I hope you enjoy the rest of your 6 weeks in winter(thanks to little Phil). I'll be back soon with more posts that I'm sure you'll love!!

I'll see you soon...... 

Temperature Blanket 2017

Welcome to 2017 once again!

If you were here last week, you that this year I'm taking on a temperature blanket of my own. In short,  temperature blanket is a unique way to remember 2017. To know more read lats week's post here.

I'm using Lion Brand's Vanna's Choice in 8 gorgeous colorways.

Vanna's Choice is my favorite yarn. Seriously, I've bought TONS of this stuff. I decided to choose this because not only did I know it well, but it's super durable. It's a size 4/Medium weight yarn made up of 100% sturdy acrylic. Because it's acrylic you can throw it into a warm cycle and it's even machine dryable. The recommended needle and hook sizes are 5.5mm(knitting) and 6mm(crochet), however I am using a 4mm crochet hook for this project.



I'm really happy with the colors I chose. I honestly can't believe that I was able to choose only 8!! The color palette I chose was as follows; Linen, Silver Blue, Colonial Blue, Dusty Green, Dusty Purple, Dusty Rose, Scarlet, and Wild Berry. I've put together a handy dandy scale for you,Craftsy has all colorways available (not a sponsor).




I love how all the colors come together to make a smoky kind of blanket! What colors would you choose?


Here are the first seven days of my temperature blanket so far. I'm really pleased with the way that the Moss stitch is showing off the different colors. This texture is made by crocheting chains in between single crochet stitches to make little "pockets". Then in the next row single crochets are made in the chain spaces to create the stitch! Technically, the Moss stitch isn't the moss stitch until each row is a different color... but it's the Linen or Tweed stitch.

Now here's the pattern blanket!!

2017 Temperature Blanket Pattern

Materials

  • Vanna's Choice Yarn (in different colors represented on your scale)
  • 4mm/G/6 crochet hook
  • A Temperature Blanket scale (make you own or use the one below)!
  • A pair of scissors
  • A darning needle (for sewing in ends)

Notes

  • You can use any yarn that you'd like, it doesn't even have to be a size 4 yarn! (See my post on buying the perfect yarn here). Use whatever yarn will best fit you and your needs. Another great and affordable alternative is Hobby Lobby's I Love This Yarn which is available in tons of colors as well.
  • Like the yarn I'm using, a 4mm hook isn't necessary. Use the hook recommended to your yarn and your tension as well.
  • Above you can find the temperature scale and yarn color ways that I am using OR you can make your own. Another option is for you to find one on Pinterest. There are many ideas floating around the web!!
  • Remember:

Pattern

Using the color of the first day, ch a multiple of 2. It should be about 51'' to 53'' wide. I chained 230.

Row 1- Sc into the second ch from hook. Sc into the 228 last chs.

Row 2- With the same color, ch 1, sc into the first stitch. *Ch 1, sc into the ch space. Rep from the * to end. Sc into the last st.

Row 3 to 365- Change color, rep Row 2 until all 365 days of the year are crocheted. Fasten off.


I'm really excited to watch our blankets grow, so be sure to share your photos either below, on Facebook, Pinterest, and on Google+.  If you have any questions please feel free to ask around! I see you next week with a cozy new pattern!!!

xxxx,

Hello 2017

Welcome back!! Soon the new year is beginning, and I'm here today with a fun new project. If you've been around, this past year exploded with colorful and unique temperature blankets from all over the globe. Unfortunately for me, it was mid-January that I found out about this crazy project.

In short, all you need  to make a temperature blanket is a scale, some yarn, and the daily temperature. Each color of yarn represents a temperature. Everyday you add 1 or 2 rows to your project representing the color in your scale. The point of the project is to see how the temperature from each day comes together to make a gorgeous rainbow of unique colors.

I'm really excited for this year because I love the idea that the colors choose themselves. I hate standing forever in the yarn isle deciding which colors go with my project which ones don't. This way I'll never know what "color" tomorrow will be.

Originally, I planned to use Hobby Lobby's I Love This Yarn in 8 different colors. However, I didn't take into consideration that Hobby Lobby was closed on Sundays... and January first landed on a Sunday. I ended up being o impatient that I ran into Michael's and bought 8 shades of Vanna's Choice.  Maybe I'll use I Love This Yarn for another project...

This year, I have a lot planned. I hope that 'til then you can enjoy your time with your family and plan your very own temperature blanket! I'll see you soon!!!