Do you have an Etsy store for your handmade business? Maybe you sell items on other sites like Artfire or eBay. If you’ve ever dabbled in the handmade marketplace, you know that you’ve got to cross all your Ts and dot your Is to make a splash.
I’ve rounded up some of my favorite Etsy tips, from ways to find free promotion to learning the ins and outs of keywords that will make your listings rise to the top of search engines. Don’t forget about packaging and fulfilling orders!
Etsy API: Do you know what Etsy API is? Lauren blogs all about the topic at Handmade Spark. There’s even a free four-week class!
Photo Tips: Have you tried white poster board for photographing your Etsy shop items? Kristen Duke shares her product photography tips at Everything Etsy.
Keyword Tips: Kim blogs about Etsy’s new relevancy search, which was formerly showing items in terms of which were the most recently listed. You can maximize your products views by using keywords and tags to the fullest. Learn how.
Low-Budget Promo Ideas: This list of 40 cheap promotion ideas for Etsy sellers is full of great ideas! You can get great exposure for your handmade shop without paying for advertising. Check it out at Handmadeology.
Packaging 101: Straight from the Etsy blog comes this excellent post on packaging your orders. A little bit of presentation goes a long way.
Top 10: Amanda blogs her top ten tips for selling on Etsy at her blog, Every Little Thing. I love what she says about having thick skin and not taking criticism to heart!
This recipe is the one I am most often asked for. It’s what we make when a big group of people comes over (I think we’ve made up to 8 in one night before!) and it’s an easy to prepare meal. Basically it’s a rolled up pizza that’s good fresh out of the oven or cold from the fridge the next day. Each stromboli loaf serves approximately 3 or 4 hungry adults.
- 1 loaf frozen bread dough, thawed
- 2 eggs yolks (save whites separately for glaze)
- 2 Tablespoons olive oil
- 1 Tablespoon dried parsley
- 1 Tablespoon dried oregano
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/4 teaspoon pepper
- 1/4 pound pepperoni (or whatever toppings you normally like on pizza)
- 2 cups mozzarella cheese
- Optional: Spaghetti sauce for dipping.
- Roll or stretch out dough into a rectangle approximately 10″x14″ or larger. Mix the next 6 ingredients and spread over the dough. Cover with pepperoni and/or other toppings (sausage, onion, green pepper, etc.).
- Roll up dough into a loaf and pinch the seam together and fold over the ends. Place seam side down on greased pan (or a pan covered in non-stick foil) and brush top with egg whites.
- Bake at 350 for 30-40 minutes until top is well browned. Slice and serve with spaghetti sauce for dipping.
Step by step instructions with photos:
1. Thaw the dough. It usually takes about 6 hours to thaw. I take it out of the freezer bag and rub it with olive oil and place it in a loosely covered bowl. In the warmer months I just leave it on the counter and in the winter I put it on or near a heating vent. You can find the frozen dough in the freezer section, usually near the garlic bread and frozen rolls. It usually comes in a bag of 5 or 6 loaves. You can also make homemade bread dough.
2. Let the dough thaw until it at least doubles in size. The larger it gets, the easier it is to stretch so it’s okay if it even triples in size.
3. Stretch out the bread dough into a rectangle. Mix together the egg yolks and seasonings.
4. Spread the egg/seasoning mix over the dough.
5. Put on all your toppings then roll up the dough.
6. Pinch the seam shut and fold over the edges.
7. Place on greased pan, or pan covered in non-stick foil, or pan covered in foil sprayed with Pam with the seam side down. Brush with egg whites.
8. Bake until brown. Some cheese will probably bubble out.
9. Slice and serve! Serve with spaghetti sauce for dipping. (I usually use a can of Hunt’s Roasted Garlic and Onion.)
First things first. The winner of the Slice Fabrique is #41 Stephanie, who commented: “I am a craft buds follower.” Congratulations Stephanie! I’ve e-mailed you.
If you’re reading this and you didn’t win this time, I’d highly recommend subscribing to the Slice Fabrique blog so you can hear about future contests. (We’ve also had some great giveaways linked up this week, including fabric, craft books, handmade items and more.)
This week’s Fresh Picks include some goodies from the garden, a way to give back, and some 10-minute crafts:
DIY Nursery Art: Put broken crayons to good use with this cute and simple idea for decorating a child’s room! Lisa shares the monogram artwork how-to at The Pursuit of Happiness.
Upcycled Plant Markers: If you have some old business cards sitting around, cover up the outdated text with chalkboard spray paint and create these garden markers! Brilliant tip from Kim at Yellow Songbird.
Around the World: Help someone learn to sew around the world. You could even win some sweet fabric! Read more details at Handmade by Alissa.
More Veggies, Please! Have some extra zucchini growing in your garden? Turn it into something unexpected. Natalie shares her recipe for zucchini brownies at A Turtle’s Life for Me.
Round and Round: It’s easy to make this giant pinwheel for an end-of-summer party! Or, why not switch out bridal bouquets for these whimsical paper flowers? Get the tutorial at Sunla Designs.
Thanks for checking out this week’s Fresh Picks!
Weekly Giveaways Linky | Submit Your Project
These cute little softies (plush animals) are fun for kids and adults alike! There are lots of patterns available for purchase on Etsy but here’s a few you can try out for free.
First up is this adorable little hedgehog from LollyChops. I’ve always thought a hedgehog would be a cute pet but this version would be a lot easier to care for.
Hedgehog from LollyChops
Molly Monkey is from mmmcrafts and you can customize her colors and clothes for any kid!
Molly Monkey from mmmcrafts
Chez Beeper Bebe created this Mooshy Belly Bunny from recycled T-shirts. Just like the name says, it looks squishy and delightful.
Mooshy Belly Bunny from Chez Beeper Bebe
And lastly, we already featured Pippa the Fox and Rascal the Raccoon from Ruffles and Stuff awhile back in our Fresh Picks. They’re just so cute here they are again in case you missed them the first time around!
Pippa and Rascal from Ruffles and Stuff
The winner of Margot Potter’s book, New Dimensions in Bead and Wire Jewelry: Unexpected Combinations, Unique Designs, chosen by random.org is Shaiha! If you’re Shaiha, I’ve sent you an e-mail with more information. Don’t forget to enter our current giveaway for the Slice Fabrique!
Sometimes, life doesn’t go as planned. Like yesterday, when our server went down for about 8 hours. Though the Craft Buds site was inaccessible, we’re back up now and planning to change servers to make sure we can continue to give you the best Craft Buds ever!
Please bear with us over the next day or so if you get an error message when logging into the site. We’re aware that there may be a slight delay in switching servers, and we’ll do our best to continue everything as planned, including our . . .
Giveaways! You can still enter the Margot Potter book giveaway (through Friday night) and the Slice Fabrique giveaway (through Tuesday night). We may adjust those end dates if we experience more delays with our site, so please bookmark these links and check back if you get an error message.
Here are this week’s Fresh Picks!
Fruit Salad: Learn how to make these fruity mini cards at Little Lovelies! Allison explains paper piecing with stamps and colorful paper to make little gift tags that really pop.
Shake Your Pom Poms: It’s a bright twist on the traditional pom-pom trim. Learn how to make your own fabric pom poms from this colorful tutorial at Maureen Cracknell Handmade.
Leather Be: Can you believe these baby girl sandals are handmade from faux leather? Get the tutorial at Make it and Love it.
Before and After: If you’ve ever attempted to redecorate a room from start to finish, you’ll appreciate this family room re-do at I Am Momma Hear Me Roar! It has lots of cute decorating ideas, like this jar filled with whimsy.
For a Cause: Go shopping for a cause at the Gotta Have Faith Fundraiser Auction, to support adoption. Online bidding for handmade items starts Thursday at noon and ends Monday! Thanks to Kristy at Hopeful Threads for sharing.
*** This giveaway is now closed. Make sure to check out all the current handmade giveaways around the web in our Giveaway Roundup! ***
Making Memories is generously giving away a new Slice Fabrique starter kit to one lucky Craft Buds reader!
This prize package includes the Applique Basics design card, PLUS the new Secret Garden design card! It’s a $200 prize value, and you can read our review of the Slice Fabrique here, including a project made with the Secret Garden cartridge.
* Giveaway now closed.
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