Using Craft Shows to Find Other Opportunities

Craft Show Tips

This week’s Craft Show Tip is more about overall handmade business basics.  I talk about handcrafted jewelry business, but you can translate that into whatever it is you sell.

I know that a lot of people do craft shows solely for the money they make at the show itself, but you can make great connections and interesting opportunities from them as well.

I really credit craft shows with the success of my handcrafted jewelry business because it’s at craft shows where I met shop owners, gallery owners and lifelong customers who still order custom jewelry years later.

I originally wrote about selling handcrafted jewelry here.  This is a about 30 minute audio version of that post and is perfect for you to download and listen to while you’re crafting or cleaning.  You’ll probably want to jot down some ideas as well!

Open in new window    ~    Download

Do you have some good ideas?  Jot them down, make a list and start checking that list off!

#1 on your list should be craft shows.  And to get started with them, make sure to pick up a copy of my eBook Craft Show Tips!

9 Ways to Use the Dangle Earring Tutorial

9 Ways to Use Emerging Creatively Tutorial's Dangle Earring Tutorial

I love the Simple Dangle Earring Tutorial because it’s really so versatile.  You learn a simple technique and then you can use your own creativity to really personalize it.

Click here for the Sample Dangle Earring Tutorial (includes a video tutorial!)

And here is some inspiration on different ideas:

Simple Dangle Earrings

1.  These are the original earrings.  One bead made into a dangle and added to earring wires.

Dangle Earrings

2.  These earrings have 3 dangles instead of just one attached to earring wires.  (Aren’t those sparkly colors so pretty!)

Simple Earrings

3.  These are not bead dangles, obviously.  But they are simple and the charm is simply attached to earring wires.  I purchased the feather charms and made the earring wires.

How to Make Spiral and Gemstone Chip Earrings

4.  These Gemstone Chip and Spiral Earrings are made with spiral headpins that I made.  I stacked up a bunch of the gemstone chips on the headpin and made a dangle.  (Beads from Happy Mango Beads)

How to Make Dangle Earrings

5.  In this version, I used recycled vinyl discs stacked with a little seed bead on each end.  (Disc beads from Happy Mango Beads)

Paper Bead Earrings

6.  These earrings are made from paper beads and a seed bead on each end.  The beads are upcycled from a necklace I got at a flea market.

Rose Quartz Earring

7.  These gorgeous rose quartz beads are dangling from knotted headpins I made.  (Beads from Happy Mango Beads)

Tree Bark Earrings

8.  Bark earrings.  They’re the same idea, except there’s bark in between the beads!

Dangle Earrings

9.  These earrings are made with 3 bead dangles on earring wires.  Another flea market find for the beads!  I took apart the necklace to use the beads.

I hope this inspires you to take a simple tutorial and really get creative with it! 

I would love if you would join me in my Earrings eCourse that starts on September 1st!  You get 1 earring tutorial per day for 30 days.  It runs alongside my Earrings Every Day Challenge.

Click here to learn more.  Right now it’s on early bird special and it’s an amazing deal!  ($150 value for just $25 for a limited time!)

Earrings eCourse

Earring Supplies and Tools (what you need to make earrings)

Earring Supplies and Tools

With the upcoming Earrings Every Day and Earrings eCourse, I’m so excited about earrings right now!

The best part about earrings is you can making a great piece of jewelry in a little bit of time.  Depending on the design, of course, in just 5 or 10 minutes you could have a new piece of jewelry you can immediately wear.  You can even make a pair of earrings after you’re dressed and make the earrings to match just before you run out the door!

In order to be able to have that flexibility to make earrings on the fly, it’s helpful to have a few supplies handy.

You don’t need all of these tools and supplies for every pair of earrings, obviously, but these are some things you could have on hand to be able to make earrings whenever you would like.

Tools:

Earrings Supply and Tools

The tools you need for making earrings are generally the three basic tools I suggest for all jewelry making:

  • Wire cutters
  • Chain nose pliers
  • Round nose pliers

You’ll also want to have a second pair of pliers around such as an additional pair of chain nose or my favorite, bent nose pliers.

Supplies:

Earring Supplies and Tools

An assort of beads. 

If you are new to jewelry making purchasing beads can be overwhelming — and a lot of fun, of course.  It can seem expensive to get a good supply of beads.  But the thing to remember is you don’t have to get them all at once.  You can slowly grow your collection.

Typically you won’t use all the beads from a strand in one project, so over time you grow your collection.

You can also watch for sales and deals and see what you can find at flea markets and thrift shops to take apart and use.

And, of course, not all earrings require beads.

Earring Supplies and Tools

Wire

You’ll need wire if you’re going to be making your own earring wires, for sure.  And if you’re making most of the earrings that I show you, you’ll definitely need wire.

To start you may want to use copper or artistic wire.

I use 20 gauge half-hard round wire the most of any wire.  This size is perfect for earring wires.  It’s also great for making your own headpins to use in your designs as well.

A note about artistic wire:  It’s typically silver plated or coated copper.  Usually it doesn’t state a hardness (like half-hard) but it works similarly to half-hard in my experience.  If you have metal sensitivities, you probably will not want to use this for earring wires.  Either practice on it and when you’re comfortable make your own earring wires with sterling silver or just purchase pre-made earring wires.

If you are custom making your earring wires and findings yourself, that’s really all you need.  You might want some chain, too, for certain designs.

Pre-Made Findings:

Earring wires

Earring Supplies and Tools

Like I mentioned above, you can make your own earring wires or you can simply purchase them pre-made at the jewelry supply store.  I often buy my earring wires even though I know they’re easy to make myself.

You could also make a bunch of earring wire sets ahead of time so you have them ready to go and you don’t have to purchase them.

Headpins:

Earring Supplies and Tools

Also with headpins you can make your own or you can purchase them from a store to save time.  You can really customize your designs if you make your own.

Jump Rings:

Earring Supplies and Tools

Again, you can make your own jump rings or just purchase them.  I rarely make my own and typically purchase them.  You’ll need jump rings for some designs.

I usually have a variety of jump ring sizes on hand from 3 mm all the way up to 12 mm.  Most often I use 4mm jump rings for making bunch earrings.  Occasionally you’ll need larger jump rings as well.

Other Earring Findings:

Earring Supplies and Tools

There are a variety of earring findings out there to create chandelier earrings.  These are great to have on hand.

Of course, making your own shapes with wire and then adding beads is also a great and fun option, but sometimes it’s nice to have that part done already.

Charms:

Earring Supplies and Tools

Sometimes it’s fun to add little charms to your earrings (like above).  I made the spiral charms, but purchased the dragonflies.

This is another thing (like beads) you tend to collect over time as well.

Other things:

Really, you can use most things that you use for making any jewelry in earrings.  The one thing you have to keep in mind, however, is the weight.  You do not want your earrings pulling down your ear lobes, or worse yet, ripping the hole!  So make sure that whatever you do decide to use isn’t too heavy!

Are you excited about earrings? 

Want to learn how to make 30 pairs and participate in a jewelry-a-long?  Check out my brand new Earrings eCourse!

Earrings eCourse

 

5 Day Creativity Challenge Wrap Up

5 Day Creativity Challenge

So how did you do this week on the creativity challenge?

I know that some of you were very successful and some of you emailed me to tell me you were having trouble getting started.

But that’s the whole point of it really, the getting started.

It doesn’t particularly even matter what you do as long as it’s something that makes you feel creative.

Here are a few things I worked on during the creativity challenge:

Rose Bangle Bracelet

A new bangle bracelet for myself.

Bracelet

This bracelet that seemed like a good idea – but it’s not particularly working out when I’m wearing it – so I will be working on the design more.

And the other days I worked on my wedding scrapbook.

Scrapbooking

I think this has had the biggest impact for me.  I had started this scrapbook over 2 years ago.  I got married May 19, 2012.  I love scrapbooking, but I haven’t done it regularly for many years.  I knew I wanted to make an actual physical scrapbook for my wedding.

(Truth be told, I also want to do a digital version that I can have made into a book as well….but one step at a time.)

With the scrapbooking I am now motivated to continue working on this book and complete it!  I’m excited, energized and enthusiastic about it!

So for me this 5 Day Creativity Challenge has been a big success!

Other people shared that they were knitting, doing digital art, painting their nails, making jewelry, writing, among other things.

Here’s the final video:

If you would like to work with me further on your creativity, I have this great 6 week eCourse called Rediscover Your Creativity Through Making Jewelry.

Each week for six weeks you get a creativity booster, jewelry making lessons and jewelry projects.

People new to jewelry making have taken the eCourse and had their creativity energized and I have had professional jewelry makers take the course and get a lot out of the creativity parts.

Get $50 off for a limited time.  It’s normally $89, but I wanted to offer it to you for just $39 so you can keep the creativity going!

If you have not gotten started on the challenge, then this will help you with specific creativity boosters to do.

If you have done the challenge and want to keep going, this will help you, too.

Use the code:  CreativityChallenge50

  • Click here.
  • Click add to cart
  • Put CreativityChallenge50 in the discount box
  • Click update cart
  • Check out

You have until Sunday, August 24th at midnight and then this discount will no longer be available, so act now.  Don’t wait!

Learn more about the eCourse by clicking here.  And please do not hesitate to contact me to ask any questions you may have.

ECT TV Episode 24: How to Make Beaded Hoops {And Earring Wires}

ECT TV Episode 24:  Beaded Hoop Earrings

This week we’re making a sweet pair of hoop earrings.  I love the muted colorfulness of these beads, but I invite you to use any beads of your choosing to match your own style and self-expression.

And as a special bonus, I’ll teach you how to make your own earring wires, too!

Here’s the video:

Mentioned in this episode:

5 Day Creativity Challenge.

If you’re seeing this when I post it, I invite you to join in now!  Just do something creative for 15 minutes each day for 5 days.  You can check in at my Facebook page.

Click here to learn more.

And if you’re watching this later, you can still have your own 5 Day Creativity Challenge!  Just do something creative 15 minutes each day for the next 5 days!

My upcoming craft-a-long, Earrings Every Day!

I’m so excited about Earrings Every Day and my Earrings eCourse.  Watch for more information about both soon, but you can get on the Earrings Every Day (EED) list now and I’ll let you know when more information is available about both!



Earring Wires Tutorial:

How to Make Earring Wires

I purchased my earring wires for years (and frankly, I still do sometimes!)  Then one day I made my own and realized how easy it was (and inexpensive!)

Even if you plan to keep buying pre-made earring wires, it’s good to have this technique handy in case you’re making earrings and don’t have earring wires on hand.  Or you’re using a different metal and don’t have the right earring wires to match.

How to make earring wires by Kimberlie Kohler

Tools and Materials:

  • 20 gauge, half-hard wire.  You’ll need 3″ for each earring wire
  • Wire cutters
  • Round nose pliers
  • Chain nose pliers
  • Sharpie marker
  • File
  • Rawhide or nylon hammer and steel block or anvil

Step #1

How to make earring wires by Kimberlie Kohler

How to make earring wires by Kimberlie Kohler

Cut 2 pieces of wire to 3″ each.  (It’s more important that they’re the same length than that they’re exactly 3″.)

Flush cut each side of each wire.

Step #2

How to Make Earring Wires, Emerging Creatively Tutorials

Use the sharpie to make a mark on your round nose pliers near the tip of the pliers.  (It doesn’t matter exactly where this mark is.  You mark it so that all your loops are uniform in size.)

Step #3

How to Make Earring Wires, Emerging Creatively Tutorials

{Tip:  As you go through these steps, it’s good to make the earring wires in pairs so that they’re the same.  So do a step on one wire, then the other and so on.}

Hold the wire in the round nose pliers.  The top of the wire should be at the top of the pliers, but not poking through.  Line it up with the mark you made.

Step #4

How to Make Earring Wires, Emerging Creatively Tutorials

Twist your right wrist away from you while wrapping the wire around the round nose pliers with your other hand.

Once you have twisted as far as you can go, readjust your wrist, make sure your wire is still lined up with the mark and continue to form a loop.

How to Make Earring Wires, Emerging Creatively Tutorials

Step #5

How to Make Earring Wires, Emerging Creatively Tutorials

How to Make Earring Wires, Emerging Creatively Tutorials

Bend the wires around the sharpie.  You can do both wires at the same time so they’re the same.

Step #6

How to Make Earring Wires, Emerging Creatively Tutorials

How to Make Earring Wires, Emerging Creatively Tutorials

Using chain nose pliers, make a slight bend in the long end of the wire.  I like to do this near or just below where the loop on the other side is.

Step #7

How to Make Earring Wires, Emerging Creatively Tutorials

Use a rawhide or nylon hammer and hammer the earring wires to harden the wire so it keeps its shape.

Step #8

How to Make Earring Wires, Emerging Creatively Tutorials

Finally, file the end of the wire to smooth out any rough edges.  I like to make it rounded.

How to Make Earring Wires, Emerging Creatively Tutorials

Beaded Hoop Earrings Tutorial:

Beaded Hoop Earrings Tutorial

In a recent order from Happy Mango Beads I got these really pretty beads.  I love the colors and they’re muted, so they’re colorful without being too bright.

I invite you to try these earrings with any small beads of your choice.  Just remember to consider the weight of the beads since they are earrings.

Beaded Hoop Earrings Tutorial

Tools and Materials:

  • Small beads 4mm or seed beads.  I used Assorted Rondelle Glass Beads 4-6mm
  • 22 gauge half-hard wire (20 gauge would work just fine, too)
  • Wire cutters
  • Chain nose pliers
  • A second pair of pliers such as bent nose pliers
  • Round nose pliers

Step #1

Cut 2 pieces of wire.  I cut mine about 8″ and they were about medium sized hoops.  You may want smaller or larger, so adjust accordingly.

Step #2

Beaded Hoop Earrings

Loosely form the wires into a teardrop shape.  We’ll make sure they keep this shape later, but just loosely bend the wire now.

Step #3

Beaded Hoop Earrings

Bead each hoop, leaving a couple inches at each end of the wire.

I just measured the 2 pieces against each other to see if they were the same size.  You count all the beads and make sure the same amount is on each if you’re more of a perfectionist.

Step #4

Beaded Hoop Earrings

Beaded Hoop Earrings

Make sure the beads are close together and then twist the wire at the top twice.

Step #5

Beaded Hoop Earrings

With a sharpie make a mark on your round nose pliers about halfway.  This is so the loops we’ll make at the top of our earrings will be the same size on each one.

(Again, it doesn’t matter so much where the mark is but that you use it for both earrings so they are uniform in size.)

Step #6

Beaded Hoop Earrings

Hold one of the wires in round nose pliers, lining up the wire with the mark you made.

Step #7

Beaded Hoop Earrings

Wrap the wire around the pliers toward you and then between the twist you made and the pliers

Beaded Hoop Earrings

Step #8

Beaded Hoop Earrings

That loop will not be centered, so you have to straighten it.  You can either do this when you still have the round nose pliers in the loop and simply roll back a little.  Alternatively, you can just straighten it with chain nose pliers after you remove the round nose pliers.

Step #9

Beaded Hoop Earrings

Hold the loop in round nose pliers.  Using another pair of pliers (or just your hand if you’re more comfortable that way) wrap the wire around.  Then wrap the other wire around.

I like to go around at least a few times.  Then trim off any excess wire.

Beaded Hoop Earrings

Step #10

Beaded Hoop Earrings

Beaded Hoop Earrings

Open the loop on the earring wires you made earlier (or you can use commercial earring wires.)

To do this hold the earring wire in one hand and use chain nose pliers to open the loop by pushing straight forward.  Do not pull the loop out.  The circle should stay intact, but just be open.  (If this is new for you and you’re confused, watch the video for more clarification.)

Step #11

Beaded Hoop Earrings

Place the beaded hoop onto the earring wire.

Close the earring wire in the opposite way of opening it.

Beaded Hoop Earrings

Beaded Hoop Earrings

See you in a couple weeks!

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