In my last post I talked about different ways to make money from your crafts. One of the ways was to design patterns, and sell them online. This post is going to delve a little deeper and show you other ways to earn from your designs.
- Printed copy. I don’t do this with all of my patterns (but I should). Offer customers the option of purchasing a printed copy of your pattern, which includes the cost of postage and handling. There are those who do not have access to a printer, even though they are able to go online. My lingerie bag pattern is the only one I offer as a mailout at the moment, but after I finish this post I will most likely be editing my listings to accommodate a printed copy.
- Approach local businesses. Getting your designs in front of people in your community is not a bad thing. If you have a fabric or craft shop in your area, contact them to see if they would be interested I displaying your patterns. A nice touch would be to combine your pattern made with materials from their shop (a quilt pattern, for example). It would be beneficial for both parties. Offer them a commission for each pattern sold, with the premise you will supply the stock as needed. I have not taken this approach yet, but it has been years since I have made anything quilted. We have a couple of quilt shops in our area, but my designs are of the crocheted variety these days.
- Make kits. This is a good way to increase your customer base. Sometimes people want to try something new, but do not want to spend a lot of money; just in case they don’t like the craft. I can relate to this, as I thought I would enjoy making jewelry. I went out and bought the wire, the tools, the beads and a book. After making a couple of pieces, I realized it wasn’t something I enjoyed. Needless to say, I still have a lot of wire and beads. Perhaps I will be able to utilize them in my crochet and spinning. The bottom line here is, I should have bought a kit first. So, when making your kits include all necessary materials, the pattern and a list of household items they can use (scissors, ruler, and so forth). I have a Weaving Stick Kit available in my Etsy Shop, complete with sticks, pattern and an assortment of yarn.
- Classes. I also spoke about classes in my last post, but here I’ll focus on your designs. When looking at expanding your customer base, teaching others your techniques is twofold. You will not only sell your designs, but you will also be building your brand. Plus, you will be seen as an expert – and who wouldn’t want to hold that title? If you do not have adequate space in your home (such as a studio or large craft room), you can approach your local library or community centre and rent the space for an evening or weekend. The library where I work encourages community members to utilize the space after hours. As we are a not-for-profit organization, donations are accepted for the use of the space. Some facilities do have set prices for space rental, so be sure to inquire ahead of time. When it comes to scheduling, ensure spots are prepaid. We have found this way to be the most logical way, as when people pay they are committed to attending.
Whether you design crocheted items, quilts, jewelry or paper crafts, getting yourself out there is essential if you want to make a steady income from it. As with crafting in general, it is rare to make a steady income from just one platform alone. By utilizing your community resources and your computer skills, you can subsidize your bank account with your designs. It does take work, and it is by no means a get-rich-quick method. As with anything, you get out of it what you put in.
Social media is a wonderful platform to share your crafts. I have used a Facebook page myself, but after doing some research, I am adding Pinterest to my list. The key is to get yourself out there in front of as many people as possible, without being spammy. Share not only your creations, but the work of others. You will be helping them earn the money they need as well, and I am a firm believer of what goes around, comes around.
The photo is a screenshot of my Patterns and Tutorials section in my Etsy Shop. My Airy Crocheted Top is my most sold pattern so far.
What is your favourite method of letting others know about your creations?