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!

il_fullxfull.818370462_mavl

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.

il_fullxfull.456957705_ynfv

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!

il_fullxfull.819383873_9wtf

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?

Advertisements

August – New Arrivals

Contributor post by Michelle of EviesToolEmporium

Join the Christmas In July team as we celebrate August – New Arrivals.

Judy from BestDressedBaby says:

I love this little boho chic sweater and matching headband! The colors are perfect together, and coordinate perfectly with any outfit. The ruffle along the yoke adds a girly feature. This sweater will take your favorite baby through any season. The matching headband has a nice stretch to fit easily on baby’s head and the flower can float along the headband to position on either side, or top, of the head.

BestDressedBaby

BestDressedBaby

Roberta Wills from SquishyHugsDesign says:

I really don’t want to make Santa hats for Christmas, so am making hats in Christmas colors that can be worn for more than a few days. This one is for under 6 months. I make most of my items for children from Caron simply soft wool since it has a sheen to it that I like, it is very soft and cuddly, and it is made in the USA.

SquishyHugsDesign

SquishyHugsDesign

Julia from Fabpatterns1015 says:

This is a Vintage pattern (NOT the finished product). It has to be sewn. This is a cute dress for someone’s young girl. This was a pattern given to me (there were a lot of them) by my friend’s family. They were getting the house ready for an estate sale.

Fabpatterns1015

Fabpatterns1015

Natalia from KMalinkaVintage says:

This vintage blouse I found in a Palm Springs Thrift store. It has an awesome historical print of compass sometimes called a wind-rose, is a figure on a compass, map, nautical chart or monument used to display the orientation of the cardinal directions—North, East, South and West—and their intermediate points. Just amazing and one-of-a kind item!

KMalinkaVintage

KMalinkaVintage

Kristy Jo from KrystalKlarityBeads says:

In keeping with what is in my heart, I have been starting to make more things related to cancer awareness. I do not want to charge much for these things as I want them available to everyone – and so this is the part of the shop where my heart is at the most and where I am expanding and always looking for new products and ideas. I have many plans in the works for adding much to this section by early fall. This keeps me on the right path in life and grateful every day!

KrystalKlarityBeads

KrystalKlarityBeads

Lorraine from EyeGloArts says:

I have always been interested in actually being able to create the type of wonderful flowers I saw everyday growing up in a 10,000 square foot silk flower business. I have combined this with my love of all things that glow in the dark and 40 years of working with different clays to bring you this line of fun forever flowers to wear and share!

EyeGloArts

EyeGloArts

Andrea Mados from EveryKnotIsAPrayer says:

I love making friendship bracelets, they take my mind off my worries knot by knot, and I also love experimenting and trying out new patterns and color combinations. I consider that Every Knot is a Prayer, every purchase is a little contribution to my son’s treatment, who was diagnosed with Leukemia at the age of 2 years. He still undergoes chemotherapy, and thankfully responds well to it. He’s 6th birthday will be on the 18th of August!

EveryKnotIsAPrayer

EveryKnotIsAPrayer

Rachel Placek from LoveandPetFurCrochet says:

Hi! I’d like to share my Yellow Duck Coffee Mug Cozy. I just created him this week. I’ve had owls, penguins and pandas for over a year now and since the owls and penguins are so popular I decided to add a yellow duck to my line! I am very happy with how he turned out, especially with the quacking beak. I think he would mainly be a gift for her but I could see him working for a man if I chose a more manly button to fasten him on with. He is a made to order item and I am able to customize him a bit like changing the background color if desired or using a different kind of button or even making the duck a different color. I could also give him sleepy eyes if someone preferred but I think ducks are usually though of as bright-eyed. Thanks for letting me share a little bit about Mr. Yellow Duck!!

LoveandPetFurCrochet

LoveandPetFurCrochet

Judith Messenger from FabriArts says:

I started making little wallets like this to have some small items to sell at craft shows. Not everyone attending a craft show can afford to purchase a quilt! The little wallets are great for holding credit cards, business cards, gift cards, transit passes and more. I use them as an attractive way to present a gift card as a present to friends and family. They have proven to be a great seller both at craft shows and in my Etsy shop.

I’ve just started making coordinating tissue cases, so this is my first listing to offer shoppers either the set or individual pieces.

FabriArts

FabriArts

Debbie Gilbert from License2Craft says:

Just in time for Back-to-School, this Keyboard & Mouse Wrist Pillow Rest is an excellent way to personalize that new dorm room and make sure your student is getting proper Ergonomic Relief from those hours of computer use doing homework.

Now offered individual or as a set. This set is filled with a combination of Flax seed & Rice for contour and comfort for any wrist. Use “as is”, or added comfort is easily achieved by heating in the microwave for soothing heat, or place in the freezer for cooling relief.

The Keyboard rest measures 16 x 3″ inches in Length & Width. This versatile size can adapt to either standard keyboard or across or in front of your laptop. Got a tense neck after hours of computer use? Just heat or cool this pack for instant relief!

The Mouse Rest measures 7 x 5″ inches in Length and Width (at its widest points). Unlike most on the market, this pack is designed with a curved indention allowing for added comfort and free mouse movement. When using it can either lay flat or “tip up” allowing the sides to come up around the wrist. Caution: You may not want to stop working at that computer – because “it feels so good!”
.
This “New” fun Leopard fabric pattern has been requested several times, so that tells me it is time to add it to more products in my shop. We have several other patterns available and always enjoy working with buyers for special requests. Contact me today and let’s get to personalizing that work space!

License2Craft

License2Craft

Heike Birkmann from KarlasWoodDreams says:

I went with my dogs and my partner to the Irish sea and it was a wonderful day in the sun.

We all brought something in this decoration, even my one dog found one driftwood. So it is for us a wonderful memory at a beautiful day at the sea!

KarlasWoodDreams

KarlasWoodDreams

Ina from InaSudjana says:

Here’s a new product from my shop. I’ve been meaning to create and add some wall hangings to my shop.

The idea came from some customised mini floral wreaths that I did for a customer. The directions that I decide to take from this wreath are endless.

I’ve chosen pastel floral this time as winter is soon to finish here in Australia and we’ll soon be welcoming spring. These butter yellow, pale pink and pale blue are just perfect for it.

InaSudjana

InaSudjana

CartoCreative from CartoCreative says:

This was a really fun project that accidentally became a map. I was experimenting with different fonts and wanted to see what it would look like putting a whole bunch of them together. Obviously I’m obsessed with maps because that experiment turned into a map of the United States with each of the state initials in a different font.

CartoCreative

CartoCreative

kosmosa from GiftyTreasures says:

This summer I went to an art store I have not previously been to and discovered they had a selection of very interesting papers. Instantly I got a bunch of ideas on how I could use them. The person packing them for me asked what I’m planning to do with them, and I told her I paint with watercolors. She said those are not really suitable for watercolors (they have a texture that would make it very difficult to paint on), but having a poor art teacher in the past, I learned to ignore “advice” that limits creativity. I knew I’d come up with a way to make this stuff work for me, even if it took some trial and error first.

And here’s the result: you could call it a mixed media project, because that’s what a lot of people call this kind of collage technique these days. I only used my watercolor supplies, so I guess it is still technically a watercolor painting. One reason is I know those are high quality and will not fade or change color over time.

I see a lot of people endorsing bad quality art supplies for mixed media projects on the internet. I’m not sure the artists realize this, but I remember it’s very disappointing to see your artwork change appearance over time. It takes a bit of research and testing to find the good quality supplies, but it’s worth it when you look at your colorful artwork and know it’ll be just as beautiful in the future as it is now.

As you can see I love colors, and you might ask: What is this rainbow spill nonsense? Well this is abstract art, so you can look at it any way you want.

Some artists would advise to limit the color palette to just a couple of colors when creating artwork. But there’s that word again: limit. That’s not how I roll.

GiftyTreasures

GiftyTreasures

BeLuli Designer from BeLuliDesigns says:

This is my newest item, Apple Fabric Table Runner!

I use quite a lot of retro style fabrics & I love GREEN so this fabric is a definite favourite of mine. I also make co-ordinating placemats in sets of 4, 6, 8, 10 or 12. It’s certainly a gift for a woman & especially if she loves green or has a vintage decor theme in her home.

My most popular fabric is my ‘Retro Coffee’ & I sell so many placemats, table runners & sets.

BeLuliDesigns

BeLuliDesigns

Rose Baker from RosebudsOriginals says:

Every Saturday, my husband and I have started a tradition of hunting for wonderful one of a kind finds. objects of beauty and charm from years gone past.Yesterday, as I was picking this sweet bowl was hiding in the back of a nest of other bowls. I love the warmth and the rustic farmhouse feeling that it gives. The thought of those cold winter mornings, to come to breakfast with a breath of sunshine.

RosebudsOriginals

RosebudsOriginals