Anyone who has children will know how testing rainy weekends can be! The videos have all been watched, the board games done with, and don’t even mention baking a cake!
For a change of pace, why not try sewing fun stuff that together, will help educate your kids to learn something new, as well as giving them something that they can be proud enough of to take to show and tell at school the following week. There are a number of easy – but fun – projects that anyone of any age can learn – and who knows, Mom or Dad may have a great time too!
Teaching The Basics
Before you get into sewing the fun stuff, make sure you teach each child the importance of safety using the pins and needles, and how to do a basic stitch, practicing on a piece of material.
If you can afford to, give each child their own little sewing kit, as this may give them a sense of importance and an encouragement to sew more often. However between projects, it may pay to store these kits in a safe place out of reach – random pins and needles on the floor aren’t a lot of fun for anyone!
Pin Cushions – Great Place To Start
Pin cushions can be a great starter project as these are simple, quick and easy to make. As well as this, when the project is finished, it can be added to the child’s sewing kit for future use.
All that this project requires is a scrap of fabric, some stuffing, and a needle and thread. Sew a shape of the material together like a pillow (a square is easiest however you can also sew a circle, triangle or otherwise), leaving a small section open for the filling. Stuff the shape, sew up the hole, and you’re done.
Decorate Shirts And Bags
Decorating shirts and bags is another was of making sewing stuff fun, as it can get your children’s creative juices flowing and creates an end result that they can wear. Rather than sew the whole shirt or bag, buy a plain t-shirt or bag from a second hand store or department store, and decorate with fun sewing stuff like patches, buttons, felt or fabric paint.
Fabric paint is an excellent option for younger children, as there is no sewing required whatsoever – which means no pins, needles, or chance of needless accidents.
Quilts – Easier Than You Think
If your kids find sewing stuff fun, and they get the basic stitches down pat, an easy project to take on is the humble patch work quilt. All you need is an old quilt or blanket, needle and thread, and a bag of rags. Sift through the rag bag, sorting out the patches and materials that you like, then starting from one corner of the blanket, stitch the patches on, over-lapping each one as you go. These long-term projects will not only keen them occupied, but it will help teach your kids commitment, and give them a sense of satisfaction when they finish.
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As a jewelry artist, familiarity with all the ways of marketing and selling your handmade jewelry will send you out of the pool of ordinary. Why do some jewelry makers have great success and can earn a good living while others work year after year and consider themselves fortunate if they sell a few pieces per year?
The difference is in marketing. With no marketing, you cannot guarantee sales success. They work in a cycle like the pedals on a bicycle. You market on one rotation, sell as a result of that marketing.
A lack of marketing knowledge results in many would-be success stories to fail. You do not need to be an advertising pro to market. You only require ideas – think outside the box – and you need determination that you will give the marketing a chance.
With any marketing, you want to be creative. Think about the advertisements that stay in your mind. There was something about them that made them different, they broke away from the standard, ‘buy this product’ pitch. There are a few ways you can market your jewelry and all of them are basically easy and inexpensive.
Marketing and selling your handmade jewelry on target rich sites is a wonderful way to begin. For example, if you offer jewelry for teenagers, get on social sites where teenagers are known to hang out.
Set up a page on Facebook about your creations, another one on MySpace. Social networking is the best way to spread the news about your jewelry. Write some articles concerning jewelry making and what’s involved in the process and become a Squidoo lensmaster. Have links on your Squidoo articles that point back to your other websites.
Know what’s trendy and get visual with it. Create a YouTube video that’s funny and will resonate with the audience you’re trying to reach. Always utilise the various ways to get free publicity for your art. Send out free press releases on the internet.
Put together an ‘about my business’ or a media kit to ship out to good markets. For example, if you know that a certain group of people would love your items, do a magazine search geared toward those of that age and demographic. Send out media kits to the appropriate person at those magazines.
Word of mouth is still a powerful tool to use. Join your Chamber of Commerce in order to market and sell your handmade jewelry. Think about getting involved in a joint venture as a way of promoting and selling your jewelry. You can find connections that can become a joint venture through a jewelry making association.
When people find that they are living on their own or that they are tired of paying someone to always help them, they find that buying a sewing machine of their very own is a fine thing to do. While many people find it difficult to sew properly by hand, a lot of people find that they have no problem working with a sewing machine for any sized project they have to work on. Whether it is fixing a small hole in something or you are trying to fashion your own curtains, there are many projects that you will be able to finally do on your own.
The thing about the sewing machine is that you should really get one that you will be able to learn how to operate. Not all machines are the same and there are some that do very difficult tasks and those are generally best suited for someone with much experience. If you are looking for something to get you through the everyday repairs that may be needed around the house then you want something basic and easy to use. You certainly would not want an antique sewing machine unless you want to use it as decoration.
Where To Find Great Deals
Often people would like to make their purchases online. Because of the weight of a sewing machine that may be something you would want to rethink. Since shipping charges are always based on the size and the weight of the package, it would be less expensive for you to drive to the store that is an hour away from you. If you are looking for bargains though you could always check out yard sales for a machine that someone is trying to sell. Generally, sewing machines can be found in places like that for a very nice price.
Of course, if that does not work for you or you would really rather have something that is brand new, then any of your local department stores would have a sewing machine that would work for you. You must understand that the more tasks the sewing machine can do the more the price is going to rise. Your basic everyday sewing machine will generally only cost you around one hundred dollars. If you are observant you could always find a sale somewhere and end up with your sewing machine at low cost.