Handmade Hellos: Fresh Greeting Card Projects from First-Rate Crafters
“Signed sealed delivered! In this delightful book card-making mavens Eunice and Sabrina Moyle of Hello!Lucky letterpress gather together more than 25 projects from today’s most talented paper artists. Simple instructions outline card- and envelope-folding basics plus how to screen print use a Print Gocco machine hand-bind emboss stamp stencil and much more. Ready-to-use patterns and spiral binding ease the process while easy-to-follow directions cute illustrations and finished project photos make it a cinch to create stacks of boutique-worthy greeting cards.” → more info
Making & Installing Handmade Tiles
“You’ll find just what you’re looking for in these dozen ceramic tile projects, which include everything from trivets to tabletops to stepping stones. The wealth of practical, visually breathtaking information covered here includes everything from design and formation through decoration and site installation, making this manual an absolute must in every ceramics and home improvement library. Find out about basic tools and materials, glaze application, and techniques for making slab tiles. Get the lowdown on mosaics, and stamped, carved, and inlaid designs. With these techniques, even beginning crafters can start working fast, and move on to simple stair risers, a kitchen backsplash, and an exquisite window surround.” → more info
Craft Hope: Handmade Crafts for a Cause
“It started with a pillowcase dress…and grew into a worldwide movement: crafters using their passion to help those in need. The Craft Hope blog-which organizes crafters to make handmade items for charities-has attracted followers around the world. This book, written by the site’s founder and featuring crafting’s hottest start, celebrates the cause and encourages others to join in.
Each project is matched with a specific charity, with alternative suggestions for local places to contribute the item. The projects-all with beautiful photographs, step-by-step instructions, and templates-include: cheerful quilts for hospitalized children, soft dolls for Nicaraguan orphans, tug toys for animal shelters, knit gloves for homeless shelters, a cloth backpack for schoolchildren in Africa, a stylish purse for women moving out of abusive relationships, and knit scarves for fostercare teens heading off to college. Contributors range from fabric designers Amy Butler and Heather Bailey to popular authors and bloggers such as Amanda Soule (www.soulemama.com, Handmade Home), Karri Meng (French General), Amy Ray (Doodle Stitching), Celine Dupuy (Simple Sewing with a French Twist), Vickie Howell (Craft Corps), Cathie Filian (Creative Juice), Susan Wasinger (Eco Crafts), and Betsy Greer (Knitting for Good).
In addition, there are plenty of helpful tips on how to give locally and globally, how to give thoughtfully and appropriately, and how to empower those you are helping.” → more info
Re-Bound: Creating Handmade Books from Recycled and Repurposed Materials
Handprinting seems to be gaining in popularity in the handmade community, and it can be difficult for designer-makers to differentiate themselves. This week I’m talking with Alex Snowdon, a Cheshire-based graphic designer who sells beautiful handprinted bags, cushions and cards.
A few years ago, Alex realised that she missed the hands-on aspects of graphic design, as the industry became more computer-based. With a background in illustration and hand-lettering, she went back to university to study design and illustration, which she undertook while still working full-time. Alex loved the course and reconnected with crafting and printmaking, especially the joy of creating something with her own hands.
In 2009 Alex was offered a stall at a craft fair and frantically managed to print a small collection of bags and cards to showcase. The fair was a huge success and prompted Alex to set up an Etsy shop to widen her reach. Since then, she has made a lot of sales both on and offline, including wholesale to retail outlets in the UK and Australia – a dream for many crafters!
Alex still works full-time and crafts in her free time but would love to give up her day job eventually, even it that meant sacrificing a steady income. “I love the fact that someone has chosen to buy something that’s not mass produced, that they’re supporting the growing craft industry and basically, daring to be different. I love how the whole process is more personal when you’re buying or selling something handmade, for instance I always put a handwritten note in with my parcels – it’s just nice to have the human touch.”
Aside from crafting, Alex loves to travel and gains inspiration from her experience. She particularly draws on Chinese and European papercuts as well as Scandanavian design. Alex is also realistic about her goals and wants to work on promoting her products in order to increase her customer base. “I don’t really promote myself enough. I’ve been lucky so far in that people have approached me but I know that in order to make my business grow I’m going to need to put myself out there a bit more.”
Like many savvy designers, Alex already uses media-sharing websites like Flickr and takes advantage of the groups to share her work. She is now planning to set up a Facebook page for her designs and has identified shops in Manchester that she would like to approach.
Alex also sees the value of the handmade community for promoting work and sharing ideas. “The handmade scene in the UK is definitely growing and I think the support is there if you know where to look for it. The crafting scene is very big in North America and I think it will eventually be the same here. I think the economic downturn has also made people more concerned with getting value for their money and spending what they do have on something that’s unique and good quality, all the things that come with buying handmade.”
Do you have any advice or ideas to share on promoting your work? Post here or send me a tweet to @elliethouret.