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Making Useless Crafts

Posted by enjoyingspring (My Page) on
Thu, Aug 16, 07 at 7:32

I hate to sound negative, but do you think that people are getting sick of "useless crafts", things made from plastic bottles, buttons, canvass glass coasters, some of this stuff you see at baazars is totally useless.

I really wish I could find a worthwhile craft to make that people would appreciate and not toss to the back of the closet.

One thing I do plan on making are "Xmas Corsages", years ago woman would wear them on their coats during the Xmas season, I think maybe that may be appreciated.


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Making Useless Crafts

I have noticed over time that some craft booths tend to not get much business at craft shows. They are usually the ones that are doing the older crafts. I don't think that the crafts themselves are useless and people don't like them, it's just sometimes the colors chosen (like the dishtowels with the crocheted tops and the top if BRIGHT ORANGE...research what's big in kitchen decor before doing them. Most people aren't going with cutesy themes anymore so maybe use a solid colored towel) or how it's done I think that discourages buyers. I think some of the things need spiced up a bit really!


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RE: Making Useless Crafts

In my mind there's a line between crafty and handcrafted. I go through craft fairs and shudder at some of the things I see displayed, stuff I did myself in Brownies or summer rec decades ago. Other booths have interesting and quality unusual crafts.

Sweets pinpointed it--keep up with current decorating and fashion trends and adapt the colors and styles of the crafts to suit.

Right now I think the nation is going green. Simple, sleek, clean, basic. The trick is figuring out something unusual that combines those elements.


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RE: Making Useless Crafts

Yep - and I think of the amount of work and money that goes into some hand crafted items that really don't look all that great.

Crafting can be so theraputic, but I really feel for the people at booths that people just walk on by. And I hate to see the big crowds around the booths that have all "made in China" stuff being passed off as crafts.

I have never sold any of my crafts - I only subject friends and family to it, LOL! I always tell them I do it for fun - they DON'T have to love it and the DON'T have to keep it. For the most part, I think they look forward to getting my "goodies" every year.

Sometimes - beauty can be found in strange things though. I know what you are saying about the bright orange crocheted towel tops - but if a favorite great Aunt made it for me, suddenly it can be the most treasured item I have.

I would never want to discourage anyone from doing what their heart desires, but I do think people have to be realistic about selling things and expecting to make a profit on it.

My personal thought is that cutesy crafting is done. Higher end quality is what goes now.


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RE: Making Useless Crafts

Sweets98===I agree, people do not put a lot of thought into the color of materials, I think a lot of people just buy what is cheap and on sale. I think the days of the theme crafts, like "roosters, pigs" are gone. People are tired of country crafts and tole painting I think.

The Cutesy crafts are definetly gone, we need more high end ideas and projects.


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RE: Making Useless Crafts

I think it's all in the eye of the beholder and what they're looking for. I wouldn't agree that rooster and pigs and other theme crafts are out as I decorate my kitchen in roosters and know of a gal who claims she has a gazillion pigs in her kitchen. My rooster theme inspiration came from the border I have in there and the whole concept was new for me so I just love it, that and country/prim decorating. As for tole painting, I don't think that's out entirely either. If you have a person who doesn't paint and finds your items truly beautiful in their own eyes, then you might a buyer, all depends on price and how much they want it. As for the ole' time crafts, my sis and I were at an antique store in which one room we both thought, OMG, this is Mom's kitchen. It had all the ole' time items. In that I mean, if you have an ole' time craft that someone might have made years ago, they just might be interested in picking one up just for the memories. I have an old meat grinder which I want to display in the kitchen. Why, cause it reminds me of my Mom.

I will agree that folks are looking for something unique these days. Some folks like cutsie, some don't. Other's like dolls as decorations, some even still like the velvet pictures (had a ex-boyfriend who wanted his huge velvet tiger picture on my living room wall - no way in you know what I told him!!!). Check out craft mags and I think you'll find these are some of the newer craft items that folks are interested in. You might not like that bright orange or gaudy purple, but then again, it might be someone's favorite color. Go to the craft stores like Michael's and Joann's and see what they have on display. Those stores stay on top of hot sellers. I doubt they'd still be making the (expensive) floral decorations if people weren't buying them. Then, it's just a matter of having those specific folks look at your craft goods and say, wow, I really like that! I also think it's in presentation at a craft fair also. Make your display table eye catching and folks will be drawn to it.

I read this advice on another forum about craft fairs. I thought it was pretty good advice. The crafter was telling a newbie to craft selling this:

A lot of folks who go to craft shows are crafters themselves, looking for ideas. Remember these words: Twenty Dollars! Crafters know how much supplies cost and what they can pick up on sale, at a supply store, after the holidays, etc. Some will think, for $20, can I make that, or is that about right and I can just buy it and save the time and effort of making it.

Didn't mean to talk your ear off, just voicing my opinion. Thanks for listening!


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RE: Making Useless Crafts

I see alot of useless crafts at fairs. I think these vendors don't really care about what's new - what's hot -- they do the fairs because they make what they like and it's a chance to get out with people. I've listened to alot of vendors at fairs -- they're having a ball socializing and mingling .... it's their enjoyment whether they make a profit or not ! These are usually the older crafts . Serious crafters keep up on trends. Alot of crafts are just decorations - but when I Stumble on a rare useful craft - I'm excited ! LOL


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RE: Making Useless Crafts

IMHO some of the biggest craft trends for the next generation seems to be what I would call useless crafts - check out etsy or craftster. you see all the fake food crafts, tones of kitchy one eyed stuffed ugly animals or skull and crossbone crafts. the rest seems to be recycled clothing that is done with no hemming or proper finishing, but then again, underwear straps, oversize and holes in jeans is the style they grew up with. alot of big crafts are "home decor" like prim, with the "grunge" factor, yet we see craft pieces going for $100's on ebay. "vintage" styles also seem to be coming back which to me just look outmoded. Somethings are cute, but I hate to dust and my shelves are filled, LOL. I myself too prefer to make usable modern items: purses, pillows, totes, diaper or towel cakes (combo decor and use), jewelry etc. personallized things when I can


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RE: Making Useless Crafts

I agree that buyers are now looking for useful handmade items. If they are buying it for a gift ...it doesn't matter if stores carry the same thing ....It is the fact that the crafters work is unique or better quality with a nice printed gift tag and poem that makes a a more personal gift item.

Even on small items, there is no comparrison to the hot chocolate cones from Walmart for 1.99 with a barcode sticker slapped on the side and my chocolate cones for 3.
with ribbons and a cute poem and gift tag.

My DH and I are into crafting to make a serious profit,
so I know it can be done... One the other hand when I was younger and doing shows alone It was enough for me to make the cost of my space and a little extra to eat and buy some goodies or go around and trade with other crafters,,,,It was more of a fun, hobby sort of thing to do. Not all crafters care if they sell, some are lonely people looking for some interaction with people.

I do large shows in my area and nice jewelry, priced right is a good seller and other booths that do very well are
the ones that do all the kitchen stuff. Towels, crochetted dishcloths, hot pads, nylon scrubbies and all that sort of thing.....Your prices have to be right .
High prices will kill your sales.

I know good quality supplies cost money, so if you are
serious buy wholesale in large quantities and then you can afford to keep your prices down.

I try to stay away from anything that looks like kids, crafts....not good enough for shows.


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RE: Making Useless Crafts

What do you people think of "Address Plaques" as a useful item.


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RE: Making Useless Crafts

I think Address Plaques are very nice, it adds "style."


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RE: Making Useless Crafts

I don't totally agree that all themes are out...just some of them. Like many people today aren't collecting owls like was done in the past or the mauve and blue and ducks. That sort of thing.

Tole painting isn't out. Again, it's WHAT you are painting!

In our area, Prim stuff sells! The only thing is, you have to think of something different! It also has to be a nice quality. I see some things each year at the same old craft shows that seem to have been taken there year after year and they're just cheaply made with a crappy paint job. You also have to have a good price. I love this one lady that I'll see this week that buys an old coffee pot at a yard sale, paints like COFFEE on the front, ties a homespun bow to the side and puts a $15 tag on it! @@

I decorate in Prim but I don't buy much of it at sales because I can usually do what is out there better than it is. I only buy stuff that I can't do.


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