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Handmade Artists' Blog


How to turn your unused craft supplies into cash

handmade lampwork beads

Periwinkle Persuasion Handmade Lampwork Rounds Set of 8 Beads by twoglassyladies. These lovely lampwork beads are perfect to get with your earnings from your old supplies! Click on the pick to see more images of these lovelies!

Now that the holidays are over, you’re probably wondering how you can generate income in January. This is a great time to think about turning some of your excess craft supplies into cash so that you can pay off those holiday bills (or purchase more supplies.)

We all have supplies and tools that we purchased on impulse and either haven’t gotten the inspiration to use them yet or lost interest in them.  Sure, there are plenty of bead shops and mega-craft stores around and online sources for craft supplies but they are lacking the inspiration that you as an artist or designer can provide.

Here are a few ways you can sell those unused components of your craft:

Bundle your supplies to make up kits with simple instructions and of course include a photo of the finished piece. When someone can see what you make out of the materials, they are more attractive than the same supplies look loose in a craft store.  Your market is not only crafters but family and friends of crafters who give them as gifts.

You can list the kits on an auction site or this site or put them up on your own blog.

You can also host or ask your friends or co-workers to host a “Make and Take” party where you have kits already made up with supplies to be purchased and then do a quick lesson. Everyone leaves with a gift and they can purchase additional kits to make at home and you’ve turned some excess inventory into cash. (As a side note, if you set up a display of your own finished work, attendees will often purchase pieces from you as well. Particularly if the participants are novice crafters, keep the instructions simple and sell your more difficult pieces that they wouldn’t make themselves.)

You can also offer to do this as a fundraiser for a club, church or school and donate a percentage of the revenue to the cause.

Repeat this throughout the year whenever you have excess supplies or are in need of quick cash. I used to do this annually before I went to gem shows. I made myself sell any supplies I didn’t use since the last buying trip and had more to spend on the new treasures I found. I also found since I had to purchase materials for my own work, it made sense to purchase in quantity and get a better price, right?

Author Terri Belford writes about the business of craft at Craft Biz Blog.com

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