Hello my friends!
As the holidays are approaching, I’m going to go out on a limb and say that if you read Creative Fashion Blog, you love to make things with your hands.
And after a year as rough as 2020, I know so many of you wish there was a way to bring in a little bit of extra money for the holidays. If 2020 has taught us anything, it’s that we could all use a wider safety net. You can see my business income and the 5 tools I recommend to grow your craft business in this article.
You might not want to start a full-time business and have zero interest in scary things like online marketing. But if there was a way to simplify it, learn the tried and true techniques that actually work, and make money sharing your crafts, that’s be pretty awesome right?
While you probably won’t be going to a crowded family dinner this year, I figured we could celebrate in a different way. (Besides dressing up to drink egg nog on the couch).
Because the only thing scarier than your great uncle’s political rants is letting 2020 pass you by without reaching your creative dreams.
This is why today I want to share with you my brand new printable worksheet to turn your creativity into extra holiday income.
After filling out this Craft Calculator Worksheet you’ll:
- Know the formula that successful artists and crafters use to price their handmade creations.
- Avoid the overwhelm and dip your toes in to selling your crafts.
- Start making extra money to help out with your holiday shopping budget.
This little free craft calculator is meant to streamline the process and show you the foundation of how to sell crafts online. The worksheet breaks down what the most successful creative entrepreneurs do and why some products fail. With this craft calculator, you can brain dump ideas, materials, and work through the process of starting your handmade side-hustle. Draw, color, write… get it all out on paper!
Since this craft calculator is free, I recommend printing out several copies. Each one really works best if you have an individual sheet for each craft idea. For example, if you like painting, sewing, and making jewelry, you might want three separate sheets for each skill. We can break it down more later.
How To Sell Crafts Online
Learning how to sell crafts online is so much more about mindset than the actual act. The most successful creative entrepreneurs go through a simple process (either in their heads or on paper) to decide if a project is worth starting a handmade business around.
#1. Ask Yourself, “What Do I Like To Make?
The first question you want to ask yourself in this process is, “What do I like to make?“ The things you like to do already are naturally going to be the things you’ve invested the most time into. They’re the things you are already better at than the average person. You likely already have the skills. Usually, we have a hard time admitting our skills and seeing the monetary value in them. In the section of the worksheet, jot down all the things that you like making. It all counts!
Bonus Tip: If you are drawing a blank, a quick Pinterest search can give you lots of ideas of fun ideas of crafts you already enjoy creating. The new algorithm will automatically pull up projects that are most appealing to you.
#2 How Much Do You Make Per Hour Right Now?
Next, think about how much money you make per hour right now. If you have a salary job, break it down to an hourly rate. If you aren’t working right now, how much would you like to make? Fill it into the box!
#3 How Long Does This Craft Take Me To Make?
From here, ask yourself, “How long does it take to make it?“ Granted, sometimes it can be hard to really nail down how long it takes to complete a certain project. Sometimes, you may be working on it for 15 minutes here in 15 minutes there. Just do your best. You also might want to jot down different projects you like to make and how long each one takes.
#4 List Materials and Supplies
Next, list out the materials and the price of the supplies it takes to make your awesome craft.
#5 How Does Working On This Craft Make Me Feel?
At this point, it’s always helpful to take a step back and think about how making this craft makes you feel. Anytime you are putting yourself out there or starting a new side hustle, it can feel overwhelming and a little bit scary. Jot down your feelings and what this side hustle is really going to do for your lifestyle, your family, and your emotions. Come back to it whenever you need a jolt of inspiration.
#6 Where Do You Want To Sell Your Handmade Crafts?
Next, where do you want to sell it? The sky is the limit! Do you want to sell it on your own website? On Etsy? Do you want to sell it at craft fairs and markets or high-end boutiques? Seeing something you have made with your hands on a shelf in a store is incredibly rewarding. Also…. it’s not as hard as you might think. I can show you how in the next few articles.
#7 Break It Down
Before we finish filling out your worksheet, we need to do a little bit of simple math. Nothing crazy. I promise. All you need to do is multiply how much you make per hour by how long it takes you to make your craft. Then, add the cost of materials. This is how much you should be selling your projects for.
If selling your handmade projects to stores and boutiques lights you up, all you need to do is double that price. When you’re selling to stores, they are going to expect a “wholesale rate“ which is usually 50% off your regular prices. Designers and artists that plan on selling any of their products to stores double their regular price on everything.
#8 Complete 5 Minutes Of Research
The reason I recommend setting a timer and sticking to just 5 minutes of research is to avoid going down the rabbit hole of analysis paralysis. Really, we just want to see if anybody on the internet is selling something similar. If they are, that is great news. Instead of viewing it as “competition” realize that since somebody else is already doing it, you should be able to as well. Why not you?
Also, don’t get discouraged by lower prices than you. In virtually every niche and area, you can find an incredibly wide range of prices. What you create is valuable. The hours and years you have spent developing your craft is valuable. For some reason, we expect to be paid more after college and developing our skills yet we undervalue the same level of time and commitment to learning an artistic skill. You have spent hours, months, and years learning and perfecting your craft. Don’t sell yourself short if you also enjoyed the process of learning it.
But Yikes…. Am I Charging Too Much?
Something to keep in mind when you are pricing your handmade projects is that you are not competing with factories in China. Usually, The people that are going to be shopping for handmade projects are buying them because they want to support an artist, a person, and someone they can email directly. People want to know where their projects are coming from and customers love supporting small businesses and individuals more than ever.
If it takes “too long“ to make something by hand, don’t stress. The extra attention to detail and craftsmanship is what sets your work apart aunt makes it worth a premium.
It reminds me of a story I heard when I was first starting out:
The story goes, there was a sweet grandmother at a trading post selling her handmade turquoise jewelry. She priced it as low as she could to try to compete with big chain stores and as tourists came through, would make sales occasionally but nothing too impressive. One day, she got so discouraged she told her granddaughter to mark everything in her craft booth down 50%. Then she left out of frustration.
The next day when she came back to her craft booth, she was surprised to see that every single thing had sold.
Her granddaughter had misinterpreted what she had said and marked everything up 50% rather than down. When the prices of her jewelry increased, the people who would pass by perceived each item as even more valuable and quickly bought everything.
The grandmother never lowered her prices again and continued to make more sales with more consistency for the rest of her life.
As a creative entrepreneur myself, I have seen this play out over and over again.
As a consumer, when we are shopping, we often respect and value the items we have made an investment in. When we are comparing products to each other, we instinctively know the more expensive one will likely be better made, last longer, or have more features. There is no shame in putting extra pride and craftsmanship into your projects. If they are priced accordingly, your future customers will see The extra value you have created.
I really hope this little worksheet sheds some light on how to price your products and how to sell your crafts online. You’ve got this!