Tutorial: DIY Tassel Cutter – #EtsyCIJ #EtsyCraftParty 2016

Contributor post by Alicia from AliciasFindings

“Tutorial: How To Make A DIY Tassel Cutter” by Rina from Rinarts


What Color(s) Inspired This Tutorial? Please Share Your Advice For Creating Stunning Color Combinations.

I like to make tassels in different color combinations and combinations of different kinds of leather. Small accessories like tassels for bag charms and key chains are perfect for experimenting. It’s a great and creative way to use all of the small pieces of leather that remain after making leather bags. Every tassel can be made differently, not only in color of leather or in size, but also in shape. You can combine different kinds of leather, but cutting the fringes is a precise work and can take a lot of the time to create a tassel.


Last year I accepted a few orders for different kinds of tassel key rings in larger quantities. You can see the results of one of those orders in the photo above. One day, after cutting tassels, I was wondering whether I could get some kind of a tool to make the cutting easier I asked my husband to help me out. I showed him how to cut tassels by hand and he went to work.

Materials Used


Since I already had a “knee lever press” to cut out my leather hearts, this press could also be of use to cut out tassels. My husband made a cutter out of single blades and aluminum to hold the knives at the desired distance.


Tutorial Directions


The hand-made cutter worked surprisingly well. The only puzzle was how to reposition the cutter each time (with 12 blades; only 6 cm in width) and for a tassel I need pieces with fringes of 20-25 cm. So after each press, we had to reposition the cutter for a new series of cuts. After a few attempts, we finally figured out the right distance and marked this on the cutter. After that it was easy to place the following series of cuts in the right place. You can still see the little marks I made on the leather.


After the cutting the fringes with the tassel cutter, I cut the closed bottom part of the leather and I now have a perfect piece of leather with a beautiful evenly cut fringe.




With the tassel cutter, creating tassels is even more fun than before. The fringe is more
evenly cut and beautifully straight. This inspires me to experiment with new tassels in
other shapes and even painting the fringes in different color.


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Member Feature: Rinartsatelier And Rinarts

Contributor post by Michelle of EviesToolEmporium

Please join us in welcoming Rina of Rinartsatelier and Rinarts, our featured member!



Tell us about yourself.     

I was born in the beautiful city of Amsterdam, but spent most of my time in the cities in the vicinity, like The Hague and Rotterdam. I have a degree in medicine and originally started out as a children’s physician. Later on I worked as a manager  (Head of the Youth department) at a large public health organization in Rotterdam.

For as long as I can remember I have sewed my own clothes. I have made clothes for my children and myself and customized store-bought clothing to my liking.

Though working a busy day job as a manager/physician, I always enjoyed this creative outlet very much. Having a hobby and working with my hands helped to clear my mind and kept stress at bay (most of the time)!

Around 2009 I started with designing small purses, clutches and small bags as homemade presents for friends and family.IMG_1641 - versie 2

When did you open your business and what make you decide to do so?

May 2010 my husband and me were on vacation visiting my son, who worked and lived in Pasadena, USA. Especially for that occasion, my son invited friends and colleagues to meet his parents. I told them about my love for creating things and the courses I had followed to improve my skills on leather working and silversmithing. My son’s friends asked me why I had never sold my creations on Etsy. It was the first time I ever heard about Etsy.

The minute I returned home, I did some research on the Internet and opened Rinarts, my first Etsy shop in Oct 2010.

Six months later Etsy shop Rinartsatelier followed suit, featuring all of my small accessories.Versie 3Versie 2

Tell us a bit about your products.

At first I primarily sold leather bags, purses and clutches. Because making bags and clutches generated a lot of left over material, I could not use for anything else, I started wondering If I could somehow put all of those little pieces of beautiful leather to good use. At that time I got a lot of requests for phone sleeves and card-holders, so I set out making small accessories like wallets, bracelets, key rings, tassels, iPhone cases, etc.

Though most of my products are made from leather, last year I started experimenting with other types of material. Nowadays I use materials such as cork, wool felt, linen, antique grain sacs and post bags (often combined with leather) to create a bags and clutches.rinarts4

What inspires your work?

I’m inspired by art, architecture and simplicity in design.

I love to work with different kinds of material and often combine contrasting colors and materials to make my products more striking.rinarts5

What are your future goals for the business this year? What is your dream for this business? 

My major goal for my business is to make my customers happy with my products. This will be my goal in future too. I love to communicate with people from all over the world. Knowing that customers are delighted with items that I thoroughly enjoy creating makes me very happy.rinarts6

What makes your business stand out from businesses that sell similar products?

I think my combinations of different colors and material-combinations and the clarity in design makes my shops stand out.  In an effort to surprise and draw continued attention, I introduce new designs every year to keep my shop fresh and interesting.

I take pleasure in designing everything myself and I create everything by myself: from design to finished product.

This goes to the extent that I even do the photography, the creating of the packaging and the shipping by myself. The whole process from beginning to end. I take pride in my quick communication and reachability and like to help my customers in making their choice.Versie 2rinarts8

Tell us a bit about your work space. Do you have a separate studio?

Yes, I am lucky to have been able to create a dedicated studio in the attic of my private home. I wrote about this in a CIJ blog earlier.

You can find more about this in one of my blog posts:

New Leather Sewing Machinerinarts9

What have you learned since opening your business that you wish you had known before hand?

Well, when I first starting this business (as a hobby), I was just thinking about making items and how to sell them on the Internet.

I was a total newbie when it came to procedures concerning payment, packaging & shipping, client communication, product photography and where to buy my material and tools.

It would have been nice to know all of these things beforehand, but I wouldn’t want to have missed the wonderful voyage of discovery. For me this was part of the fun of setting up (and learning to manage) my own business.

Any advice for those thinking about selling on Etsy?

Just go for it!

I already advised and helped a few Dutch start-ups to set up an Etsy shop. One of the most recent ones being a friend of mine (an artisan bookbinder) who sells beautiful wedding albums and ring boxes. You can visit her shop here: https://www.etsy.com/shop/1000and1weddings



When you’re not working, what do you like to do to unwind and have fun? Do you have any hobbies?

Gosh, I just have too much hobbies to ever get bored! Besides my time-consuming Etsy shops, I attend art and architecture classes at the university and I read a lot. I follow Pilates classes and swim every week to keep me fit for my yearly ski-trip. Skiing is my ultimate holiday for many years already.rinarts10

What is your favorite quote?

“It is never too late to start doing what you like most!”
And that can be a totally different thing in every phase of your life.

Where can people find out more about your business?

Besides my about pages in my shop, I have a website and a blog

Is there anything else you’d like to share?

Just follow your heart and have don’t forget to have fun being creative! If it makes you happy, you will in turn be able to make other people happy as well!rinarts11


If you would like to be featured, please go to the CIJ Etsy Forum and fill out the questionnaire. Please note you must be a member of the CIJ Etsy team to be featured.

Christmas In July Team Members Who Blog

Contributor post by Michelle of EviesToolEmporium

January is the time to relax and enjoy quiet time in front of my wood burning fireplace. One of my favorite pastimes when I’m sitting in front of the fireplace is reading blogs.

There are many Christmas In July team members who are bloggers. Please take a few moment with me as you sit in front of your fireplace tonight to read their blogs.

Sit back, relax and enjoy!

Savannah Griffith from RareRusticCrafts says:

I host my blog on my website: www.rarerusticcrafts.com/rare-rustic-crafts-blog

My favorite article was from a few months ago. I sell two different kinds of clay masks and one of my most frequent questions is how to use them. I wrote an article with instructions on how to use them. The blog relates back to a post card and an instagram post. Between the three items, I’ve been able to hand out instructions at markets and refer people back to my blog and the video clip on my instagram. It’s been a great tool for not only helping to answer my most frequent question as thoroughly as I can, but for getting my customers on my website and my instagram.

You can read the blog post here: www.rarerusticcrafts.com/rare-rustic-crafts-blog/how-to-acne-treatm…

Rare Rustic Crafts Blog

Rare Rustic Crafts Blog

Gari Anne from beadloverskorner says:

My blog can be found here www.beadloverskorner.com/blog
and I have lots of favorite posts, but one I think I have already posted here a while back. So my next favorite would be the one I did to try to help other Etsy sellers by telling the process I use for tagging my items and how it increased my sales. www.beadloverskorner.com/blog/how-to-use-tags-to-improve-sales-on-e…

Bead Lovers Korner Blog

Bead Lovers Korner Blog

Janine from AllsortsofSoaps says:

I have a blog on my website www.allsortsofsoap.com.au.

I have so many favourite posts and they are all so different from each other…some are recipes, others are about daily life experiences, some are about soap, and others range from anzac day to my experience teaching in Mongolia. It is not a blog that deals specifically with Etsy…however I do have one post that deals with #makeforgood. The blog I have chosen is the second part of a two-part blog. I think it is a piece that most parents could relate to…the deadline for an impending school assignment and nothing done! Here is the link-

All Sorts Of Soap Blog

All Sorts Of Soap Blog

rina from RinartsAtelier says:

I have a few favorite blog posts on my blog (www.rinarts.nl/blog), but a recent blog post was about a part of crafting you do not think enough about when you start selling on the internet. At least I did not!

It is a blog about wrapping your order. In this post I describe the way I walked to where I am now.

Here is the link:

Rinarts Blog

Rinarts Blog


Show us Your Workspace – Rinarts Atelier

Contributor Post by Dawn from DeeDeeDeesigns

Its that time of the week again, and this week we are visiting the studio of Rina from RinartsAtelier Rina makes a wide range of handmade luxury leather goods and here’ s what Rin had to say about her workspace :

I started creating my leather accessories with only one sewing machine on an old table in a corner of the attic space in my house. Now 5 years later, I almost took over the whole attic for my sewing hobby.
This photo was taken last year, since then I bought a few new machines, such as a letterpress to personalize my leather products. My old Singer sewing machine I no longer possess is still visible on these pictures.

And it’s a little less tidy nowadays, so this winter I have to clean up again!

Sewing Machine Day

Contributor post by Alicia of AliciasFindings

Sewing Machine Day,September 10th, celebrates a very important invention —– the sewing machine. The first sewing machines were made in France in the 1830s.

Here at Christmas in July we want you to share any sewing items and the story behind it!

Cyndi Dragonflyz Dreams from frstyfrolk says:

These 6 inch Knitted Bullion Trims are available in any color you desire and any length! Use them in sewing a Hassock, Poof or Tuffett Foot Stools along the Bottom Border. You may also surround and cover the edging of a pillow to show more ambiance! Embellishment for Handbags, and other Home Decor or Costumes. Get with it, I have several kinds and sizes available!

It might be Bohemian, Shabby Chic, Traditional, Victorian, Romantic, Edwardian, Renaissance, etc.

Please see my Shop section called Buttons, Notions, Fabrics for other similar listings.


Nautico Creations from NauticoCreations said:

Where would we be without the sewing machine? We certainly would have less clothes, blankets, quilts, etc. Hand sewing these items would take far too long!

The checkerboard baby blanket is a great example of an item that would be hard to hand sew. With so many pieces stitched together it would be a very intricate process. The blanket is super soft though so the sewer at least would have a great fabric to hold while working on the project.

Viva la France! Thanks for such a great invention to help make our lives easier.


LeAnn Frobom from pasqueflower states:

This item celebrates Sewing Machine Day in two ways. Many of us learned to sew with guidance from our grandmothers. And sewing machines have advanced in the past century far beyond straight stitches. We are now able to make sturdy buttonholes, decorative stitches and machine-embroidered designs.


Becky from LollysCubbyHole discusses:

I was inspired as a little girl listening to the hum and clackety clack of my grandmother’s 1950’s Necchi machine, upon which she created all my clothes! ( my girlfriend still owns the machine!)

I make so many things on sewing machines, and I own 3 plus a serger( which I have not mastered).


Rina from RinartsAtelier said:

I have several sewing machine, and none of them I can miss. Most of them I use every day.

Yet I donated one of the oldest machines, I did not use for a long time (A hand driven Singer 19K58 ) to a foundation that rescues tools and machines for projects in third world countries.

I hope the people there will have a lot of Sewing Machine Days with my old machine.

You can read more about this in my blog here:


Judith Messenger from FabriArts states:

Most of the items in my shop were created on a sewing machine! I make quilts, baby blankets, quilted table linens, aprons, fabric accessories, framed fiber art and fabric cards and postcards. I do lots of embellishment by hand, especially on my fiber art and postcards, but there is usually some machine stitching on these projects as well.

This is one of my favorite quilts – the bright fabrics and colors really make stitching quilts like this fun!


Chinook Design from Customquiltsbyeva says:

My sewing machine is my silent partner in business. There’s five different specialized sewing machines in my workshop to help me create my quilts day by day. Without these guys the production time would be so much longer. I love my little helpers.


Nancy from FredsDiscoveries tells me:

 quilt making can be done on the sewing machine or by hand. Here are some great gift ideas for the quilter in your family. Yes, I love to make quilts.





Summer 2015 Trend: Personalization

Contributor post by Michelle of EviesToolEmporium

I am fascinated by trends. Are you? There are weather trends, work place trends, business trends, job trends, food trends, real estate trends, hair trends, fashion trends color trends and so on.

The definition of a trend is a general direction in which something is developing or changing. In college I took several classes on trends. I remember distinctly studying pre peak – peak – post peak timelines. I find trends intriguing. They pique my curiosity.

Trends unite us. Give us a common ground. A connecting point.

During the #CIJParty 2015 I introduced you to the Summer 2015 Trends. Over the next few days I would like to share the CIJ team member trends in more detail!

The fifth summer trend we’re going to explore is Personalization. This article is inspired by the Trend Watch Summer 2015 on the Etsy blog.

rina from RinartsAtelier says:

Last year I met an artisan bookbinder who had a hot foil press she worked with to press names and symbols in the linen of the books she made.  She printed these hearts on leather for me.

I was so enthusiastic about the results, I bought a letter-press myself, and now I can do it myself. This is one of my first personalized items, but there are many to come!

I am experimenting with personalizing some of my items on Etsy.
I wrote about my experiences on my blog:



Michele from chelkay says:

I have designed several personalized pieces with a vintage, antique, retro style appearance. The characters have an imperfect rubber stamp like appearance from the days of old which matches the sepia antique color of the font.

The custom lettering is ‘fused’ to the glass at a high temperature of over 1200 degrees.



Kristy Jo from KrystalKlarityBeads says:

I love to make custom things to support cancer awareness – I am a 4 year survivor of lung cancer – and I love to offer as many different charms/customized colors, and more! I try to keep costs down on anything related to these type of listings also, as it is my way of giving something back.

I just got started with personalizing and you will see added personalization available very soon – especially with anything cancer related, awareness in general, or inspirational.



Kristen from KestrelCollection says:

A good luck charm pendant that has a birthstone option for personalization. Make a wish!



Rasa Nenart from Toyfifi says:

Big bear with big heart is so so cute! At least a lot of people say so! I hope it is true.

This bear was born in my drawing.

Firstly it was without heart and with no name on it, but I had another toy which was holding a heart in his hands, but still it had just a heart, but no name on it. One day a custom order came which said:

“I just love this bear, but I need a name on it, maybe it could be in a heart like another toy has?”

It was amazing Idea. I just loved final image of it.



Chinook Design from Customquiltsbyeva says:

I can personalize any item from my shop for you.

The owl pillows have the requested name on the tummy usually.
I can also embroider a name onto the quilt.

I wrote about how I create the owl pillows in my blog a little while ago. It’s not a full step by step blog, just some thoughts.



Ina from InaSudjana says:

Here’s one sweet felt name banner I made for my little girl.

Whilst her diet is mainly veggies and fruits as these are what we eat at home, she is our lollipop in the house. She’s bubbly, cheery and she talks non stop – well, most of the time!

And of course she loves her ice cream!



I have been quilting for a long time, only last winter I decided to quilt this Christmas Stockings using the English Paper Pieced Technique, I fell in love with them immediately! These Christmas Stockings are to last forever so I thought that to personalized them would be a good idea. And here they are!



Amy Spock from BeadsandThreadsbyAmy says:

We offer custom embroidery on just about anything imaginable-even our customer’s own items. We created this one for a prize for a kid’s fishing tournament. We sponsor one of a very few High School Fishing Clubs in a high school in Colorado (Cyclone Anglers). We decided to list this item as a fund-raiser for our club, as we frequently take kids fishing for fun and for competition. We have taken kids to local events, state events, and to events as far away as Arizona and Arkansas.



Sue and Misty from shabbyshopgirls says:

We love vintage Monogrammed or Initialed Handkerchiefs! Wonderful wedding gifts as well as re purposing into an ingenious craft!



Edita Mel from MONOFACES says:

We love dogs. And I believe we share this love with millions of people.

This is a personalized baby bodysuit we made for the human brother of Labrador Lilly. When baby arrives, we don’t want dogs to be forgotten! People send us photos and we create graphic image of the dog. We print them on ethnically sourced garments and use eco-friendly inks.



Jaclyn Machowicz from JacolinisCeramics says:

“Lets Eat” Turkey has always been a big hit at craft fairs! I tend to get orders on him to personalize the writing in his belly with the family’s last name or another Thanksgiving saying. It’s a great centerpiece for your Thanksgiving table or a gift to bring the host/hostesses of your Thanksgiving dinner.



Design’s the Limit from DesignstheLimit says:

We specialize in personalized! With our inspired design listings customers can request any ideas they have in mind and even send us a picture of the photograph they want to frame. We create a custom design just for them.

A customer recently sent us a picture of her two boys dressed up like pirates and we created a pirate themed picture frame which we will be adding to our shop soon. Let us know if you need a personalized frame to display your picture perfect moments.



Inga from FaufulisFashion says:

Personalized button for a baby! This greeting card can be personalized with the baby’s name or birth date on the front of button! Write in the card a greeting, a wish or a poem, sign it and enjoy the pleasure of presentation!



Kelly from ColourscapeStudios says:

I created this bag tag as a thank you for my daughters 3rd birthday, and once I decided that I was going to create my first line of tags and cards to sell here, these were an obvious choice to include. I think having personalized tags on a party bag adds that extra personal touch, which people connect with.



Pauls and Daiga from ThreadandPaintStudio says:

This is the first personalized item from the personalized painting series, other items are coming soon. I love to make my customers happy and in the same time create something which is different, not the same like thousands of other copies, that’s why I love to also personalize my items, than I can imagine how would the new owner of the painting look like, it helps to also make the creation more intimate.



Stock Lane Studio from StockLaneStudio says:

As a former teacher, I know they are ALWAYS prepping for school, so even though school’s out, our personalized Welcome signs might be of interest. This Welcome Kindergarten printable sign is designed to be very simple so everyone can read and recognize it, parents, teachers and our youngest learners alike!



Amanda Jaeger from AlphabetArtPrints says:

Everything in my shop is pretty much personalized/customized, and I love it! This in particular is one of my favorites. When my babies were born, one of my favorite things to do was to make sure they had something specific to them and their story for their rooms. I’d like to share this concept with my baby themed alphabet. Anyone can personalize any alphabet to read whatever they would like, but the baby themed alphabet is fun to write out baby’s name and include their birth date and measurements. So sweet!



Beth Stephens from BethStephensArt says:

Santa Bearing Gifts was painted by Beth Stephens and is offered as a personalized art print. We can add 6 or more names on the blank gift tags. You can add your children, pets, parents, friends, etc. We also can fill in the bottom three gift tags with words too.

Each print is printed on archival linen paper and is matted with a white, acid-free mat. The matted print is protected with a white foam core backing and sealed with a clear wrap bag.



If you are on Pinterest here is the Summer 2015 Trends board!

While you’re on Pinterest please follow the Etsy Christmas In July team!

#CIJParty 2015 – Leather Bags And Accessories Designer Rina

Guest blog post by Rina of RinartsAtelier

Personalizing an item is a wonderful service to offer and is absolutely fun to do! Customers who prefer handmade products are, more than other people, looking for something special, unique. Personalizing a handmade item turns it into the ultimate gift.



I already had a branding tool  for branding my name  in my products, but I had no single letters for this machine. Therefore a handmade monogrammed item was not possible. Consequently I hand stamped the items with initials and colored them by hand. You can see examples of the luggage tags I made for my own suitcase below. But the possibilities in size and typeface were limited and it was a struggle to align the separate letters.





Last year I met an artisan bookbinder who owned an amazing professional letterpress. I  became enthusiastic about the quality of her work with this machine and she did some examples in leather for me. In the time we worked together, I learned a lot from her.
A few months ago I bought a second-hand letterpress (a Marshall) and this hot foil machine is awesome! My husband searched the internet for weeks and found some very nice sets of letters  in upper and lower case.





I looked for more colors hot foil (other than the silver and gold I had up till then) and set out experimenting with the Marshall.



When the new colors hot foil arrived, I immediately tried them out on several of my items and with great results!







The results I yielded with the letterpress inspired me to use other shapes and forms than just the letters. It was a lot of fun print small rounds, hearts and stripes as decoration. I’m really getting the hang of it and look forward to offer i as an extra service to my customers. Especially for this years’ Christmas In July I will be offering a free monogrammed tag with all CJI 2015 orders.





My social media sites:

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/rinarts/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/rinartsbags

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/RinartsBags

For the next #CIJParty post please see main party post.