Top

Tag Archives | Rubber Stamps

Crafty Business Week – Promoting Your Business: Materials

Reported by Simone Collins

Once your crafty business is up and running, there are things you can do to promote it so that you drive more traffic to your store, designs, or blog. Besides using social media to spread the word, you can also design or purchase products that will also help.


Here is a list of products you can purchase that will help you promote your business to get you started:

1. Business Cards
This is probably the most important thing to have for any business. It is literally your calling card. If you want to give people a way to remember you and your business, this card is the first step. You can design your own card, even make your own if you want, or use a printing service.
This online printing service not only has some very low-cost options but also offers uniquely shaped glossy business cards. You can also design your cards right on their website very easily, so no additional software necessary. They also offer additional products like labels, postcards, and vinyl banners, so all of your  materials will match. I quickly made up some mock cards that are not amazing but also only took me three minutes.
There is one price that I am personally a huge fan of and that price is free. With VistaPrints, you can order business cards for free, you only pay the shipping. This free option has limited designs and will have a VistaPrint logo on the back, but if you are just starting out, you can’t beat this price. There is an online tool for designing the card yourself, or you can choose from their designs.

2. Wearables
Why not be a walking billboard for your business? It’s a simple way to spread the word without even opening your mouth.

 With Cafe Press, you can upload your business logo or a design to promote yourself, then order away. If you are an artist, you can also submit your artwork for T-shirts and products, as well as another product options. Then, put that shirt on! This is especially helpful when attending a craft event like a fair, crop, or even a class. That is where your target audience will be, so why not attend for fun and promote yourself without even trying.
Create your own fabrics with this easy-to-use online service. Whether you want to design fabrics to be used for your projects, or upload your logo to create fabric for your table at a craft fair, this website is both easy and practical.  Imagine creating a cute bunting for your booth at Renegade, or making aprons that feature your own design; really, the possibilities are endless. And the next time you hit the market, be sure to take that reusable tote with your business name all over it. It’s crafty and promotional. Just look at this cute Craft Critique fabric!
3. Packaging
It’s no secret that buyers are drawn to your designs and creations but are wowed by the packaging. I clearly remember the first thing I ever bought from Etsy because it was packaged in the cutest little box with coordinating twine, and a tiny handmade thank-you note. The seller had won me over with those extra little steps.

Stickers
An easy way to add a personalized touch to your packaging is simply with a thank you sticker. At MOO you can get your logo and a thank-you message on 90 stickers for less than $10. If you are a card maker like me, you can just add one to the back of your cellophane sleeve. A jewelry creator can use one as a seal on a gift box. Want to add just a little more? Then why not add some twine and a mini card. MOO is great because they also have some great crafting ideas with their products. If you are on a tight budget, these simple ideas can be easily be handmade with just as big an impact.


Custom Rubber Stamp
If you are planning on creating your own stickers then you can definitely get a lot of use out of a custom rubber stamp. You can even support a fellow crafter by buying a hand carved rubber stamp. Even if you aren’t adding stickers to your packaging, you may have a use for a  custom wood stamp or self-inking stamp for adding your return address info to packages or envelopes. By adding your logo to this important information, you are once again building brand recognition and doing it in an economical way.

4. Digital Watermarks
Now, if you are featuring your crafts on a blog or gallery and want to protect them from being grabbed by internet fiends who will republish your work as their own, you’re going to need a watermark. This is also helpful when you work is featured on someone else’s blog, or on an online gallery because your name will be prominently displayed. It’s pretty easy to create one with a photo editing software, but if you are unsure or prefer to have a pro do it for you, there are several options. Lots of Etsy sellers offer to create one of a kind logos with or without the watermarks included.  And boy are they reasonable. There are craft bloggers who also offer this low-cost service as well.

5. Swag aka Freebies
Like I said before, I am a big fan of things that come with a $0 price tag, and I am sure there are plenty others out there just like me. So, why not put that to good use and promote your business. By choosing small inexpensive items that people would be happy to receive, customers and friends feel like you’ve given them a gift, while you get added exposure. There are also situations where you may be able to provide a company or event a freebie that would also promote your business to a larger audience. Here are just a couple ideas about what you could buy.
Buttons
A great way to spread the love is with buttons. You can either make them yourself with a button maker or order custom 1″ buttons from an Etsy seller. People love flair, especially craft buyers and sellers.
PostCards
Another great idea for an item people love to receive and would not be quick to get rid of are postcards. You can order postcards from several places online including MOO, Uprinting, and VistaPrints. You can either print them with your designs and art work on the fronts for people to use as actual postcards, or do double-sided printing with maybe a cool craft technique or tutorial. If you are a food crafter, maybe print some recipe cards. People will be happy for the extra little freebie, and even if they can’t use it themselves are very likely to pass it on to a friend.
I hope you’ve enjoyed these simple ideas and it has sparked some ideas on how you can promote your own designs or business. What ways do you spread the word about your business? If you are a craft buyer, what ways can sellers promote their businesses to you effectively? I would love to hear what you think!

Click on the link at the top of the page to visit Craft Critique for comments, giveaways and more!

EZ Mount Premium Static Cling Mounting Cushion

Reported by Erin Bassett

Stampers have many choices of what to use to mount their rubber stamps to acrylic blocks. As a stamper myself, I’ve used double-sided tape, repositionable glue, window cling film, and static cling cushions. My favorite way by far is the EZ Mount Premium Static Cling Mounting Cushion for a number of reasons. First off, it has a “you love it or your money back” guarantee. -what’s not to love about that?!
Secondly, the cling side of it is super smooth so you get a fantastic seal against your acrylic block (there’s nothing that drives me more crazy when stamping then to have my stamp fall off the block just as I’m ready to stamp it!!).
Thirdly, the adhesive on it is SUPER sticky! The manufacture says you’ll never have to remount your stamp again, and while I can’t verify that I can testify that the ones I mounted with it years ago have never had to be remounted…in fact they look just the same as they did the day I mounted them.
EZ Mount comes in 8 ½” x 11” sheets. There are two thicknesses: EZ Thin Mount (1/16” and black in color) is best for small or narrow stamps such as sayings or verses. Since it has less cushioning it keeps your stamp from wobbling while you’re stamping. You can also use the EZ Thin Mount on top of stamps that already have foam on them (ie: Stampin’ Up stamps) if you’re converting them to unmounted stamps.
The regular EZ Mount (1/8” thick and gray in color) is best for stamps that are larger, such as backgrounds, since the extra cushioning allows the stamp to stamp more evenly. For medium stamps you can use either one, but I prefer to use the regular EZ Mount when ever possible since the extra cushioning allows the stamp to stamp uniformly.
To mount your stamps onto either the EZ Thin Mount or the regular EZ Mount follow these steps:
Pros:
  • Easy to use.
  • Guaranteed for life!! (according to the manufacture, the cushion won’t go flat, tear or wear out over time and the adhesive will withstand time as well).
  • Sticks fabulously to smooth surfaces without a sticky residue.
Cons:
  • Not always readily available in craft stores, but may be purchased online a variety of retailers.
What products do you use to mount your rubber stamps for use on acrylic blocks?


advertisement



My Creative Classroom
is an online arts and crafts learning center. Our interactive and in-depth courses are instructor led and filled with projects and techniques to help you get the most out of your supplies.

From die cutting machines to Copics to mixed media to photography and everything in between. Over 100 online courses available this fall see our entire class schedule and sign up for our FREE class Everyday Moodlings.

Click on the link at the top of the page to visit Craft Critique for comments, giveaways and more!

Event Review: StampScrapArtTour

Reported by Julie Tiu

(picture featuring InkyAntics)

It was sort of a fluke that I happened across an ad for the StampScrapArtTour in a crafting magazine, and even more a fluke that it wasn’t too far away from my home. So, with eight-year old daughter in tow, a friend and her daughter, I was off to my very first craft show. Our entrance fee was $6.00… well worth the 2 hours I was able to spend there.

The tour featured 21 vendors at the Clock Tower Conference Center in Rockford, IL, and it was the perfect size to break in my novice-ness. I was so amazed at the card samples and artwork posted! Paper, crafting supplies, embellishments – you name it, it was probably on the floor. And, the amount of rubber stamps in the place was astounding: unmounted, mounted, rubber, acrylic, and designs for every occasion to cover a huge spectrum of individual personal style.

One of our stops was Bugawumps, where Laura Jacobs was holding a demonstration on liquid masking and another demonstration using glass paint. She had these cute glass pebbles you could use for embellishments or maybe a cute magnet. We brought one home.


Actually, I was really impressed with the number of technique and product demonstrations at the show. This one from Darcie showed their Shrink Plastic Project Kits. Passers-by were mesmerized, but who wouldn’t be? It reminded me of the days of “Shrinky Dinks” and my mom burning my permanent marker and plastic creations in the oven because we didn’t have easy-to-use heat guns at back then, but these shrinkies are much prettier than the ones I ever made.

Ruthie from Darcie’s is showing the technique here.




There were plenty of opportunities to purchase wares, too, from markers and inkpads to industrial adhesive rollers. Polkadots and More! from Mukwonago, WI brought displays to inspire easy and thoughtful gift-giving, and brought stamp kits from Unity Stamp Company.

We found this non-stamping demonstration really interesting. Tessler Stamps and Stencils showed how to stencil using daubers with ink pads. Then our demonstrator spackled embossing paste to make the image come to life.

One of our last stops included InkyAntics, a company started in 1997 by Jackie Lewis. InkyAntics features over a dozen artists… trying to make “the world a cuter place”.



And just to mention the other vendors, because it was just such a fun time to meet them all:

Just for Fun and their blog, Rubber Cottage, Peddler’s Den, Repeat Impressions, Seaside Stampin’ Ink, Lost Coast Designs, Pretzel City Paper, Stamp La Jolla, Art Gone Wild, Stamp Camp, Stampers Anonymous, Designs Unlimited, Close to My Heart, Stampit Crazy, Altered Arts and ScrapHD.

Thanks for showing me a little peek into your worlds.

Have you attended this show in years past or the one this past month? What did you take away from the show? We love hearing from you!

Click on the link at the top of the page to visit Craft Critique for comments, giveaways and more!