DIY Kits and Tutorials

Contributor blog post by Jennifer  from CaffeinatedPapercuts

Good morning everyone – Jennifer here from CaffeinatedPapercuts to talk all about DIY Kits and tutorials. I know I love browsing Etsy shops for new crafts to try or for a quick and easy way to create what I need. DIY kits are wonderful for beginners or for someone who just wants a quality product without having to buy all the supplies themselves. I even enjoy giving them as gifts!

I reached out to our CIJ team for their thoughts on kits and tutorials, both why they use/offer them and why they don’t. Definitely food for thought when you’re shopping or considering offering them in your shop!

I had to chuckle; both Christine from cwagenblass9 and I offer DIY card kits, and her gingerbread house card is adorable!

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I created a gingerbread card that kids could decorate – the kit comes complete with icing, gingerbread man and wife, and wreath and candy. I had several requests from people for gingerbread templates and thought this might be a fun project.

Me, I love scrapbooking, but don’t always have the time or supplies I want. Enter scrapbook page kits; paper and embellishments to make two 12″x12″ layouts, but you can easily redesign it any way you wish.

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Savannah from RareRusticCrafts formulated her own clay masks for DIY facials to follow the trend of pampering yourself at home. After all, just because you’re on a budget doesn’t mean you can’t treat yourself!

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I do sell 2 clay masks that are used for DIY facials. Both masks are a great way to give yourself the spa facial treatment in the comfort of your own home. The masks range from $12 – $14; the last facial I got was upwards of $80. It was also about 2 hours of my evening; I can use my clay mask at home while I’m doing the laundry. My target market thinks along the same lines, and the clay mask has been a great option to carry in my store.

Who doesn’t love quick, easy, and quality results while you wander around the house chasing stray socks? LOL Savannah also had some insights on DIY kits:

The last DIY kit I bought was a latch hook rug about 10-12 years ago. I like to buy supplies for DIY projects, but I guess I don’t really like to buy kits. If I take a second to think about that, I guess it’s because I like to really personalize my projects. It’s fun to get instructions on how to do something, but then do it with your own flare. The last bunch of supplies I bought for a DIY project was a ton of polymer clays, a clay roller, tools for shaping it, and paper for mokume gane polymer projects. So, it was a DIY project that I had watched a ton of videos on, but I didn’t spring for the DIY starter kits; I went for the specific colors and tools that I wanted.

I’d hate to say that the DIY kits I reject are “bad”. But I suppose when you’re putting together a DIY kit, you should consider that you may have those people who need a simple starter kit to learn the craft, but that you may also have seasoned crafters who need a kit with options or more than one use.

Variety is definitely the spice of life when it comes to DIY kits; having something for beginners and something to keep seasoned crafters interested is key. In this day and age of video tutorials, don’t be afraid to browse for good how-to videos, and shop owners, don’t be afraid to jump in and create them!

Kosmosa from GiftyTreasures enjoys tutorials and, like many artists, sometimes uses them to get over a creative block:

I love DIY tutorials, although I do not buy DIY kits. I know my art supplies and what to expect from them, but DIY kits usually don’t seem to offer enough information on what’s included. So tutorials are a great alternative and you can improvise if you don’t have all the materials, it makes you more creative.

This is also a good way to overcome creative block perhaps. Too much artistic freedom can make you indecisive, you want to paint too many things at once and just end up not doing anything. Tutorials provide some direction, it’s kind of like homework, but in a good way. I like the ones where you don’t have to copy everything exactly, so you still end up with something original.

Some days though, when looking for inspiration, I end up watching YouTube videos all day on how other artists paint. Well it may be just my thing, I like watching the paint dry. ;P

We’ve featured some great tutorials here on the Etsy CIJ blog – just check out our Tutorials category and find something new to try!

How about you; do you love to DIY? What are some great places for tutorials?

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