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Friday, September 3, 2010

Craft Show Booth Design

I thought that it might be fun to post some photos from our last craft booth setup.  We had not done a show in a few years, so we needed to come up with a dare I say, cheap, set-up. 

I think that this turned out pretty well and I plan on using the idea again with a few changes.  The basic booth set up is that I used 2 sheets of heavy pegboard (because I have it in the garage) cut to 2 foot x 4 foot panels.  Then, I zip tied them together onsite to make the zigzag walls.  On top we put a 10' long shelf on each side.  When I use this next time, I am going to have laminated poster board where you see the fabric with samples of my items stuck down with velcro and a place to write in the prices with dry erase marker.  We had both scrapbooking and baby/kids crafts showed into the booth.  I actually like to get 2 spots, but this was last minute.  The 1st day everything was mixed together.  The second day we got there early and divided the booth in half.  The 1st day we had the monster hanging on the back of the tent.  We barely sold any.  No one wants to look through things with you sitting there.  On day 2 we put the monsters on the front on the booth.  They sold like hotcakes. 

We also put the radio flyer filled with monsters at the front of the booth so people could really look through.  The front also has the flip flops and bows.  These really brought people into the booth.  I just wish I had made adult sized flip flops, not just kid's.  Behind that I have all of the baby stuff and then doll clothes.   
On the shelf we displayed our felt play houses. 
This is the front of the booth on the scrapbook side.  I actually brought shelves to put art, jewelry boxes and paper bag albums on.  It worked out better than I had hoped.  This side really drew in the tweens and teens. 

The suit case was filled with paperbag albums with themed dividers.  It sounded great, but didn't work well in reality.  Next time I am putting shelves with samples from each theme on an easle with similar albums hanging from bags underneath. 

This was part of the baby stuff I was trying to get rid of.  I used my daughter's old moses basket and people did look through it. 

This is the display for our custom t-shirts for dolls.  I had each design labeled with shirts packaged under the table. 

 On the last day, we used our table to display the felt food, so we did sell more felt food that day. 

All in all it was a decent design for being cheap down and dirty.  I think that we worked out some kinks and got a really good idea for the next show of what worked and did't work.

It actually was more colorful the 1st day as I had giant butterflies hanging up, but they got ruined by the rain.  It was sopping wet the entire time, which made it a little difficult, but that is what you get with outdoor shows.   

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Free Tutorial Fridays - MONEY

Check in with us every Friday to get your free tutorial/patterns.  I thought that Friday was a perfect day to find a great weekend project.  You can sew the money double as I did for added durability or make it a single layer if you don't sew.  You could also craft fuse the layers together or hot glue (high temp).

This week's project is a little thing I worked up a few months ago, felt play money.  Also, I realize that this isn't a step-by-step photo tutorial, but on this project, I figured that cutting rectangles and circles should not involve photos for every step. 

I hate that paper money you get at the store.  It ends up ripped, wet, and in the garbage in a couple of days.  This is a really cheap and easy project.  You can make as many pieces as you want and it is a fun way to teach young children about counting and money.  This is also a fun addition to a play kitchen or store.  This would also make a nice donation to your child's preschool classroom if you have a little extra time over the weekend. 

I started with felt-by-the-yard.  I use polyester felt due to my severe allergy to wool (which is not uncommon).  Felt squares will work too, but they usually are not as nice as the yardage. 

Step 1

I cut out 6 bills (doubled) that were 4.5"x3".  Like I said, you can make more if you want more money denominations or more money to play with. 

 Step 2

Then, I cut out many circles in dime, nickle, penny, and quarter sizes.  This is pretty simple, just trace around a few circular objects in your house to make circle shapes.  I would make the shapes larger than standard money or they will just get lost. 

Word to the wise, sizzix makes an awesome circle die cutter for your cuttle bug or sizzix and you can cut felt with it. 
Step 3

Then I sewed everything together.  This is the point where you have some options:

a) just use a single layer - this will not be as durable but it will still make your child happy

b) use fabric glue to glue two layers together - you can probably even use Elmer's white glue because you are not going to wash these

c) use high temperature hot glue - high temperature hot glue will hold fabric together practically forever - be careful not to burn yourself - this stuff gets very hot and will blister your finger - I speak from experience

d) finally, you can use craft fuse - you can by it by the yard - you want doubled sized - lightweight or medium weight is fine.  - you can also by it in a convenient roll package that is at Walmart, Michaels, JoAnn, & Hobby Lobby in the craft area - its normally in with the sewing notions 

 Step 5

Once you have the pieces together, you want to print the money template on t-shirt transfer.  I actually use the transfer for white t-shirts on the dark felt.  The dark transfer will leave a white background.  The light transfer shows the felt color through.  Make sure to mirror image the print so that the writing doesn't go on backwards.  You can also design your own money with your child's face, name, etc.  That would be so much fun for them and might be a huge motivation. 

Get the full size image on flickr

Step 6

 Follow the directions on the transfer to iron down. Make sure you use a sheet of paper over the transfer. Felt will melt onto your iron if it gets too hot. That's why you need to use plain white paper as a pressing cloth.

Have fun!


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Thursday, September 2, 2010

Mini Twinkle Toes for The American Girl Doll

Proof positive that I have a sickness when it comes to crafts is my newest project for the day.  I just spent almost two hours making this tiny pair of "twinkle toes" for my daughter's American Girl Doll.  What a pain, but they did turn out pretty cute if I don't say so myself.  They were a much needed break from patterns for the day. 

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Wednesday, September 1, 2010

A Labor Of Love - My Newest Deluxe Felt Toy Patterns

These three patterns and tutorials took me forever to create.  Each one is inspired by my daughter and 2 nieces.  They turned out so cute.  I saw that everyone was making felt food patterns, so I wanted to make something a little different.  I went with a toy pattern.  There is a camp out, pirate adventure, and the doctor kit.  Next, I am going to work on my Cinderella Cleaning Kit.  I made one for a friend's daughter, but it needs some fine tuning.  Can't wait to figure out how to make a broom from felt and fleece.  That ought to take a while. 

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Monday, August 30, 2010

Felt Food Patterns - Yum

In my never ending quest to create new patterns everyday, my sister and I just durmmed up three delicious new entrees for our daughters' kitchens.  I love felt.  I almost love it as much as I love fleece.  You can pretty much make anything you imagine.

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Sunday, August 29, 2010

My Newest Pattern: Animal Inspired Chemo Caps for Newborns

I made some of these little hats for a friend's baby.  I thought that these would be a great place to kick off my newest project, pattern-making.  I finally decided that pattern making combines everything that I love, making crafts, coming up with new ideas, challenging myself, and exploring my creativity without the tedious mass production involved in actually making and selling items.  Eventually, I hope to phase out selling items other than my samples and to completely move into patterns. 

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My First Official Pattern: Infant No Scratch Mittens

I finally completed my first pattern and tutorial set for sale on etsy and in my shop.  I think that these little mittens turned out so adorable and the pattern is easy enough for a novice sewer. 

I am so delighted.  It took longer than I expected to work out the details of creating a PDF pattern, but I did it and I am so happy with the result. 

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