A Joy of Caking DIY Project –Happy Hour Coasters

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I decided to make some trendy coasters for  gatherings where cocktails just might be served.  Once I made these coasters I decided this would be a great DIY project to share with all of you.  As most of TJOC DIY projects are; this project is fun, inexpensive and simple to make.  You will need to break out your Mod Podge though! 

Fun fact; I just found out that Mod Podge  was created in 1967.  That makes it a couple years younger than I am.   Jeez, I really hate to admit that…  I guess that’s why I feel like Mod Podge is a retro kinda thing.

I found my inspiration to make these coasters from two crafty bloggers,  Sarah at DIY or Don’t and Sandra at The White Library.  Sarah opted to use decorative craft paper to make her coasters, while Sandra opted to use a stamp.   I love both techniques but I decided to use paper for my first project since the tiles I had on hand were glossy and would have made stamping impossible.

For this project you will need:

4”x4” ceramic tiles (I used white and off-white tiles.)

Mod Podge

Foam brush

Hot glue gun

Scissors/Xacto knife

Decorative craft paper of your choice (Also can use photo’s wrapping paper, etc.)

Foam, cork, or felt

Clear lacquer spray

The 4′’x4” tiles,  lacquer spray, and foam brush can all be found at your local Home Depot or Lowes.

As far as the other supplies go, you will  need to visit  your local craft store.

Steps to make these coasters:

1.)  Cut out decorative craft paper, pictures, or images that you wish to use on the face of your tiles.  (I cut each drink glass out individually.)

2.)  Working with one tile at a time, use your foam brush and lightly coat the top of the tile with Mod Podge. 

3).  Place the image or piece of paper you selected on the tile that has been coated with Mod Podge.  *Keep in mind that once the paper is applied to the coated tile it cannot be moved.   Carefully smooth out any air bubbles under the paper.

4.)   Allow 1st coat of Mod Podge to dry completely before applying 2nd and 3rd  coats.  *Always allow full drying between coats.

5.)   Cut out foam, cork, or felt; set aside

6.)   Spray each tile with the 1st coat of lacquer spray; allow to dry completely.

7.)   Apply 2 more coats of lacquer.  *Always allow full drying between coats.

8.)   Glue your choice of foam, cork, or felt to the bottom of each tile.

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With  coasters like these there is no need to worry the your good furniture getting ruined from wet glasses.  Goodbye water rings!

I imagine you could go crazy with Mod Podge and tiles if you wanted to.  I can envision coasters being made for the holidays, family reunions with old photo’s, party or wedding favors, and the list goes on and on.

Go ahead and let some of that creativity you’ve been bottling up out!

Can’t get enough DIY projects?  Head over to Mike and Molly’s House for this week’s Show & Tell! 

Be creative; make your own cupcake picks

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When I was a little girl my mom would take my sister and I to a local bakery, and on occasion, she would let us pick out a cupcake as a treat.

The first criteria in picking out my cupcake was usually it’s flavor.  Chocolate usually won out over vanilla.  But sometimes the decorations won me over before the flavor did. 

I loved the cupcake picks the bakery used, and I imagine today they might even be described as vintage.  Ah, nostalgia…

Recently, I decided to make my own cupcake picks.  Although they are not identical to the picks I got in my cupcakes as a little girl, they are very bright and cheery.  Something most of us could use a little more of during the winter months.

With a little help from a Cricut that my hubby bought me a couple years ago – my plan came together.  

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You can be as creative as you want making these.  Different shapes, colors, layers – it’s all up to you. 

 

 

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I opted to make a variety of hearts since Valentine’s Day is just around the corner.  And I couldn’t resist making a large bouquet of flowers that radiate fun.

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The only thing these picks are missing?  Cupcakes…

Now for the best part of this post.  I just couldn’t keep all of these bright cupcake picks to myself.  So, I’m giving away one dozen picks (6 hearts and 6 flowers) to one lucky winner.  All you have to do is leave a comment on this post between now and when the contest officially ends at noon  January 18th. The winner will be picked randomly. Good luck!

Thanks for entering the giveaway.  The contest is officially closed and we have a winner.  Congratulations Debbie Alve!

The Challenges of Selling on Esty

I’ve tried my hand at selling on Esty before.  Earlier this year I attempted to sell some vintage costume jewelry and a few other vintage items I’ve collected over the years.  Needless to say my efforts didn’t prove very fruitful.  I ended up selling one item.  The sale of that one item paid for my for my listing and selling fees which were very reasonable. I quickly determined that selling on Esty was not a get rich quick endeavor.  Eventually my listings expired and I threw in the towel and carried my treasures back up to the attic.  At that time, I found my biggest problem was driving traffic to my Esty site.

I recently decided to give selling on Esty another try.  You know the old saying “If at first you don’t succeed, try-try again.” This time I decided to mix thing up a bit.  I opted to sell some of my handmade embossed Christmas cards, homemade dog treats, and some vintage buttons.

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Aside from the same old problem of driving traffic to my site, I’ve found that one of the hardest things about selling something homemade or otherwise, is pricing your items fairly.  I always cringe when it comes to this part of the selling process. I think a fair price for a handmade or homemade item should accurately reflect the labor you put into making that item, along with the cost of materials you purchased.  Vintage items are slightly different however, they are often priced according to the current market trends.  Of course you can ask yourself the ultimate question “Would I spend that kind of money on that item?” But that’s not really a perfect way of deciding on your price.  Everyone’s idea of cheap versus pricey varies, and also depends on how capable you are of producing that item yourself, or finding it elsewhere. 

I recently read that a lot of people who sell on Esty are already very crafty themselves – very obvious. It’s quite likely that most Esty users are sellers, not buyers. 

The trick is getting buyers who aren’t Esty sellers to your site is just that – tricky.  That’s hard to believe especially after reading that in February 2011, Esty sold 1.85 million worth of merchandise in just that month alone.  So what is the trick?  I suspect that advertising your shop outside of Esty, using upgraded selling features that are considerably more costly than the typical listing fee, proper tagging, and building your circles of friends through Esty are just a few ways to draw attention to your site.  Many tips on selling can be found in the sellers handbook which offers a wealth of information but it is quite voluminous.

The bottom line, running a business on-line or elsewhere takes time.  You need to be creative, be able to think outside the box, and devote yourself in both times of success and failure.  There are no easy answers, or rarely get rich quick opportunities.  Hard work, persistence and patience are the key.

The question I ask myself?  Do I have the patience it takes to build my small Esty shop?  Time will tell.

Do you sell on Esty?  What’s your opinion?  Please chime in….