Building A Business On A Shoe String Budget

It's easier than you think

Your Own Business

You can build your own on-line crafts business

It’s easier than you think.

Paula Demers

The more I get into crafts, the more I’ve learned that everyone has something they can offer. An online business is a good way to do that, especially if you don’t have a lot of money to invest.

You can research on the internet on how to make any craft you choose. Pintrest can provide many ideas on what crafts you can make. I get ideas from various places and personalize them to make them my own. In other words, I never directly copy anyone, but get some great ideas. Sometimes I get more ideas on how to expand on some of my own creations.

One of the big things in the industry now is refurbished or reclaimed items. Taking something that is already there and making something new out of it. I do craft shows and search various on line shops. I’m absolutely amazed at some of the lovely items I find that are made from reclaimed and refurbished items. Currently, all my wooden items are made from reclaimed wood. Many of my mason jar items are also. Yard sales and flea markers are great places to find items and materials that you can use.

I’ll give you some examples on the type of things you can make. Some of them are things I make or friends or family members of mine make.

My brother in law makes furniture out of wood pallets. He gets the pallets from work before they throw them away to go to the land fill. He makes tables of various sizes, chairs, benches, etc. Some are painted, some are not. My sister then sells them at craft shows for various prices depending on the item. An example of what she made was $100 on an entry way table.

Beautiful table made entirely from discarded pallets

Beautiful table made entirely from discarded pallets

My sister has made all kinds of items from the doors of cabinets. A friend of hers redid their kitchen and she took the doors. She’s made blackboards out of some and on the blackboard she writes in chalk, “My former life was a kitchen cabinet.” She had one wonderful Christmas wall hanging that she made from a kitchen cabinet door and $1 worth of ornaments from the Dollar Tree. She placed the ornaments in the shape of a Christmas tree, and glued a piece of rope she had around it. She made $25 from it.

A friend of mine collects beer bottle caps from people who like bottled beer. She makes coasters from them. She takes cork and cuts it 4” by 4”. Then she’s cuts a piece of felt the same size and glues it on the bottom. On the top she takes the bottle caps and glues 9 caps…3 by 3. Then she puts a thin coat of shellac on them and sells them for $10 for a set of four.

Another lady I know takes the pull tab circles from soda can tops and glues them in various ways to make beautiful ornaments out of them. Her prices vary.

Wishing well made from pallets

This cute wishing well would grace any deck. It’s made from old pallets.

If you like to paint, you can go to yard sales and flea markets and buy things like salt and pepper shakers, bowls, vases etc., and paint various designs. You can go online and learn how to paint various things and how to shade painted items. Use indoor/outdoor paint or gloss. After the paint drys, preheat oven to 350 degrees, put them on a cookie sheet, and let them cook for 30 minutes. Let cool completely before you take them out of the oven. They will be dishwasher safe.

You can buy an old picture frame, paint it, sand the paint to make it look antique, put some sea shells in the corner and you have a new item. The list is endless of things you can remake or redo and make your own. It just takes a little research.

If you decide you want to have an on line business, there are a few things that you can do to help curb expenses. If you get anything in the mail…save the boxes and packing so you can reuse them. If you are going to send heavy items, such as stepping stones, use priority flat rate boxes from the post office. The boxes are free and can hold up to 70 lbs without the price going up. It it fits in the box…properly wrapped so the item won’t break, the price is always the same. I went to the post office and got one of each size and the price to mail them. If you use a regular box on a heavy item the price can be outrageous. By using a priority box, your customer receives it in 2 to 3 days…which makes them happy, and it’s cheaper to mail.

Avoiding the big $

There are some things to keep in mind when you start looking for a site on line, especially if you don’t have much money. Many sites have listing fees…a certain amount of money for every item you list, plus they make money on your product when it sells. Some also charge you for advertising. Some have a monthly fee.

At the present, I sell on more than one site. On one site I have to pay fees (monthly, advertising, and commission when I sell). Another site I sell on, Green Life Center, the only time you pay, is if you sell something. They charge 5% commission on your sale, which is very reasonable. They are also geared towards small business and working together to build your business. And with Green Life costing nothing up front, it gives you time to study and research on how to have the best online business possible.

Click here to visit my GLC shop:  

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