Monday, April 9, 2012

Making Bottle Cap Necklaces, Knitting Markers and other fun stuff

Well, I do have to get back here and write.  I think I probably have had a good case of writer's block.

And the other big fact is that I have been consumed by Ebay and earning money there.  I ran out of dolls to sell on Ebay.  And I ran into a little trouble with that.  Seeing as I'm not a doll expert, one girl wanted to return her doll as there were frown lines on the eyebrows.  Must have been a manufacturing thing I would have never noticed.  So I had to give her a refund.  And then another girl decided to complain about the doll being moldy after three weeks of receiving the doll.  I was quite skeptical of that one as it had been three weeks and I know for a fact she was sent out in fine condition, no sign of mold.  I was kind of upset about that one and told her ebay's policy was returns accepted within seven days.

She decided not to ask for a refund, but instead gave negative feedback.  Since that, I went in and made sure everyone knows my return policy is within seven days of receiving item.  Seems only fair.

The other fun thing is making bottle cap necklaces, knitting markers and charm bracelets.  I got some supplies earlier to make them.  It's fun and really easy.  I like getting my supplies from China.  You tend to get more for your money and the shipping is free.

I started with the knitting markers, seeing as I have been knitting the skirt.  The fascination with them began with me needing place markers.  I started out with a bow of yarn as I couldn't find my simple cheap ones from Walmart.  Then as I was knitting for a little bit, I started looking through my jewelry and pulled out rings of my mother's and earrings with holes that I could loop through and safety pins.

Then one week I got some small jump rings and made my first set.  I sold a set of six of them on ebay and kept two for me.  Then, I caught the bug and wanted to make some more.

I went to a local bead shop and got some supplies.  I was upset though as she charged me an arm and a leg for one little charm.  $2.40.  I then went online at Ebay and found that I could get the same thing from China and get 20 instead of just one for .99 cents and free shipping.  I will not be going back to the bead store.

I bet she gets her stuff wholesale too and then marks it up.

The knitting markers became quite fun to make.  I made my second set from the supplies at the bead shop and sold it for $8 as her's were pricey.  Someone bought it at Ebay.

Then my girls and I started making some with the beads.  I started looking at other people's knitting markers on ebay and got making my own.

You need the jump rings that will fit your needles.  They come in all sizes.  8mm, 10mm, 12mm and up.  The 10mm will fit my 8 and 9 needles.

You will need jewelry pliers.  You can get some for $5 at Walmart and most places.

You get your beads.  You will need different sizes of head pins and smaller jump rings, size 4mm or size 6mm.  Then you start adding your beads to your head pin.  Then you have to bend the head pin with your pliers, attach the finished piece to the smaller size jump ring and then the bigger size.

You can do lots of different things with them.  You can add silver charms instead if you wish.  Or you can make bottle cap knitting markers.

I just finished a bunch of bottle cap ones for knitting markers and necklaces.  You will need to print small sizes of your pictures.  I like contact sheet size.  That is about the right size for the jewelry.  It's really neat to see your pictures shrunk down and you can get about thirty five to a sheet.

Then you get these cool epoxy sticker domes that you put on your pictures.  I like to attach them right to my pictures and then I slowly cut around the edge so there is no paper sticking out.  Then I glue them into the bottle caps.  You can get the bottle caps that already have the hole and the split ring or you can get the tool to punch the hole and then get your jump rings.  I'm going to do that from now on as it will probably be a little cheaper.

I've got the glass cabochons too, but I'm not sure if I like them.  I just tried to glue one to a picture and I'm seeing spots from the glue.  I don't like that.  At least with the sticker you get a clear image.  You do have to be careful not to touch the sticky part of the sticker as you can also get spots from that.  Trial and error.  My first necklace I cut and glued the picture in first and then stuck the sticker on.  Was not happy to see paper sticking out so the Audrey Hepburn necklace is now mine.

I sold one more of my knitting markers with a pretty millifiori bead in it.  And when I discovered she was from Venezuala, I cringed as I had to figure out how much the shipping would be.  But at least it was small.

If I end up selling more dolls, I am going to have to state that I don't ship out of the country in the listing.

The only down side to selling on Ebay is that they really do take their cut, and I also learned that Paypal takes their cut too.  So in the end, I am probably not making as much as I think I am.  But still, I am doing better than I ever would at a yardsale.  And I am clearing more than I ever made at my retail job last year.

I just made my first charm bracelet last weekend.  You get your charm bracelets and then you add charms and different spacer beads and murano beads and other ones that fit.

The one I made has a Twilight theme to it and I have listed it for $10 plus a few bucks shipping.  I'm not sure if it will sell.  I might have put the price too high to start.  But am testing it out.

And I have four of my bottle cap necklaces on and one of my bottle cap knitting markers of iconic actresses.  So am just testing it out to see if someone wants them.

It's hard with the handmade stuff.  I will not list my handmade paperdolls.  They don't go.  And my photography cards don't go, and my first knitted doll outfit hasn't sold.  But then it might not be the best knitted outfit.  Next time I am going to go by a pattern.  I just winged the first one on my own creation.  I also printed up the instructions for it and tried to sell the instructions.  I was able to sell one of my instructions for the yo yo pincushion patterns.  That was cool.  Then she sent me a cool thank-you card with two of the yo yo's on them.  That was a nice surprise.  She did that as I ended up having to resend the instructions to her new address as Paypal still had her old address.

I guess you just have to keep trying the handmade stuff as sometimes people do end up wanting it.

I had a few things on my etsy store which is new and my zazzle shop, but haven't had any luck with etsy and I only sold one postcard with Zazzle so far.  Those two places you really have to advertise a lot in order to have any success.

I don't advertise all the time for Zazzle, but some days I have a day of advertising some of my products on facebook, pinterest, linkedin, igoogle, digg, myspace, twitter and a few other places.  I notice after a day of advertising on facebook, I go back to Zazzle and I have had 139 visitors in one day.  But they don't buy anything yet.  But I guess it is better to have visitors than no visitors.  And maybe eventually someone will buy something.

Pinterest is a really fun site.  I like that one.  I heard in the news recently that it is going to be the new Facebook or even bigger.  I love that it is so visual.  It's so addicting to look at the pictures and repin the things that you like.  One day I repinned one for koolaid flavored popcorn.  It looked so pretty!  Haven't actually tried it yet.  It will surely gross out my older son and my girls might go for it.

And one day I discovered a copycat site, PinStyle.  Signed up for that one too, but really love Pinterest.  Some of my friends and family are on Pinterest too.

But the knitting markers are really fun to make and if they don't all sell on ebay, I will surely use them.  I am looking forward to finding jewelry at yardsales and maybe taking some of it apart and reinventing it into the markers and other stuff.

Jennifer Jo Fay

Copyrighted April 11, 2012

That's the knitting marker set that sold with the pretty millifiori beads.  It was fun to make.  I also like the iconic actress knitting markers.  I'm hoping someone will buy this one and I have a set for me too.  I've been charging cheaper prices for my sets than other people and am surprised that some of them aren't selling.  Oh well.  It's worth a try because you just never know who wants it.

I've also made some with my photography in it too.  And I printed one of a picture of my Nana when she was in high school. I'm thinking two of my aunts will get a necklace of her this year.

And then I did one of my two neices for them for christmas as a necklace and I'm going to make my sister a charm bracelet with the three of her kids on it and another one for my sister n law.  Not sure what her theme will be yet.  Maybe a crochet queen charm as I think she likes to crochet.

And then after my skirt is done, I want to knit up some smaller doll outfits going by the patterns and then try selling some of them.  Maybe better luck as I get better at it.

And I have to start firing up my sewing machine.  Or trying to figure out how to use it.  I've cut up doll patterns to sew up and it will look better if it is done by the machine.  And now I have another reason to start getting it running.  My boyfriend wants me to sew up some of his jeans.  So that is going to get me sewing on the machine.

And I can hardly wait for the yardsales as will be looking for yarn and other craft supplies.  And outfits to sell.  People love the outfits.  The kids stuff sells well and people have been buying outfits that don't fit me anymore.  I put them at $1.50 to start and sometimes they go up.  I sold a Hanna Anderson brand dress for almost ten dollars.  That was cool.  And some people are uping the anti on a Spongebob Squarepants bathingsuit that doesn't fit my daughter this year.  Cool.

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