Tuesday, 8 February 2011

Craft News

As some of you may know, I make a few crafted items (bags, purses, aprons, cushions etc) to sell at craft fairs.  I quite like doing it but I've still got mixed feelings when it comes to craft fairs.
There are several advantages:
1) I like chatting to people about fabric and it's lovely to get compliments on what you've made.
2) It's extremely satisfying when somebody buys something you've handmade yourself.
3) It's nice to make some extra money.

At the same time, there are a few disadvantages:
1) It's a lot of work making enough items to make a stall look good.
2) It's also quite hard work lugging everything to the venue, packing, unpacking and selling all day.
3) I happen to be rubbish at selling, if I was on The Apprentice I'd be sacked in the first week.

But at a craft fair before Christmas I had some good luck (which is a very roundabout way of telling you about my exciting craft news).  Somebody saw my work and consequently got in touch with me.  This lady sells other people's work but it's all hand picked, so everything she sells has a cohesive look.  She also exhibits at a far broader reach of craft fairs, including county shows etc and actually make a living out of it.  She wants to add a few new lines to her range and asked if I would be interested in making them for her!   Yippee! An actual, proper order.  She wants me to make Tooth Fairy Cushions!  Now I've seen them on Folksy and a few other places but never actually made any myself.  

They're basically a tiny cushion (mine are about 12cm square) with a little pocket on the front for the child to put its tooth.  You then hang up the cushion on the edge of the bed, neatly bypassing the whole rigmarole of putting teeth under pillows and trying to retrieve it without waking up the child.  The fairy come along, takes the tooth out of the pocket and leaves some money depending on the going rate (an extortionate £1 per tooth in our house)  I did some research, made a few samples which she liked and she's now placed an initial order. Here are some of the boy's cushions:

and some for the girls:

Based on the first samples she also asked me to make a range of drawstring bags:

Boys bag...
...girls bag...
... ooh, lovely contrast lining
and zippered purses.  This is my sample, whilst we decide which fabrics to use.

Apparently it was the fabrics which drew her to my stall, so my online addiction has been worth it! This initial order will make me the same amount of money as exhibiting at two or three craft stalls.  I'd far rather make things at home in my lovely sewing room, at my leisure, so for me it's perfect.  She also happens to be lovely and we have very similar taste, so I think it will be good fun to work with her. Result!


  1. How fabulous! I've decided to try and sell some of my own sewing. *crosses fingers*

    Love your tags! Where did you get them?

  2. Congratulations Jane! I've been pondering about craft fairs but it's all a bit scary. Your cushions and bags are lovely - so pleased you've found a way of selling your goodies that suits :)

  3. Congrats! That fab news. I make tooth fairy cushions and always find they sell really well. Yours are gorgeous. I'm just about to make some drawstring bags so I hope they look as good as yours! x

  4. Excellent news! Love the poodle fabric, it's so sweet.

  5. Aw those tooth fairy pillows are just gorgeous!!! What a great idea :)

  6. Congratulations Jane, this is excellent news!!! Your fabrics really are gorgeous, online shopping sure does pay off ;o)

    By the way, I'd never heard of tooth fairy cushions before...what a fantastic idea! Keep us updated with your progress, x

  7. Congratulations! That is fantastic news. Now you can do what you love to do without all the stress of dragging it to a market.

  8. Congratulations!! That is wonderful news! And the stuff is so cute! Can't wait to hear and see more as this expands.

  9. Great news, well done Jane. The stuff is lovely, Tilly will be so excited to get her cushion, now we just have to wait for some teeth to drop out :)

  10. They all look super-lovely. Ooh, yes, where did you get your labels from? I think I'd be paranoid about the neatness of my sewing, especially inserting zips! Not sure I'm at this level of excellence yet.

  11. Congrats, that's excellent news! The little tooth fairy pillows are so cute, I'd definitely have wanted one of those as a kid.

    I would also love to eventually sell stuff at craft fairs once I've got a bit more accomplished in my technique, but not sure how one would get started - if you have any tips I'd love to read them!

  12. Ah thanks everyone! My labels are just school name tapes, much cheaper than proper craft labels, I think they're about £3.99 for 72. I get them from www.wovenlabelsuk.com but just googling 'school name tapes' should bring up lots of companies. Wandafish, don't let my laziness put you off doing craft fairs! If you do book a stall, e-mail me as I did lots of research on what to take, how to set your stall out etc which may be useful. xx

  13. Just saw your comment Carly, if there's enough interest, I'll get some info and pics together and do a post on craft fair tips in the next couple of weeks. x

  14. Congratulations! That's brilliant news, and sounds like the perfect partnership.

  15. That is so exciting, and great to have an excuse for buying more lovely fabric!

  16. What lovely things, I hope they sell well!
    I've nominated you for an award at my blog today, cos I love your crafting!

  17. The cushions are lovely and a very good idea - they should help the tooth fairy actually remember to call - they can be a bit unreliable in our house!
    I'm starting to investigate craft fairs - which ones are good, how much stuff do you need, etc, so any tips would be very much appreciated...

  18. Oooh, just returned to this and saw that you may post some craft fair tips if enough interest is shown. Yes please,I'd love some advice ;o)

  19. Nice :x
    They are so lovely
    Thanks for sharing

  20. I love the prints of your fabrics especially the fairy print of the one that made it in the magazine article. Where do you purchase your fabrics? Congratulations on your endeavours.

    1. Thank you! I purchase my fabrics at lots of different places, mostly online. The fairy fabric you mention is from Sew Scrumptious and is still in stock here: http://www.sewscrumptious.co.uk/michael-miller-periwinkle-fairies/. They have lots of lovely children's fabrics. x



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