Tag Archive for handmade

Giveaway Day!

Welcome to Craft Buds, where we share sewing tutorials, crafty inspiration and tips for running your creative business!

Weekly List of Giveaways

Did you know that you can publicize your craft supplies or handmade giveaway for free any time at our Weekly List of Giveaways? It’s updated each Monday with giveaways up to three weeks in advance. Join us any time, and have fun entering some giveaways, too.

Today, you have the chance to win one of four awesome prizes.

Fabric by Fabric One Yard Wonders book cover

1) A copy of the new book, Fabric by Fabric: One Yard Wonders

This book includes 101 sewing projects and full-size patterns for projects you can make with one yard of cotton fabric, fleece, wool, oilcloth and more. If you win, you’ll even get to try out Lindsay’s pattern for a fleece manatee cuddle pillow!


Modern Fabric Studio

2) A $25 gift certificate to buy designer fabric at Modern Fabric Studio

Shop Echino, Amy Butler, Anna Maria Horner, patterns and sewing tools at discount prices. You’ll love it!


Izzy and Ivy Designs

3) (TBA) from Izzy and Ivy Designs

Boutique Style Childrens patterns, and Fantastic Bags!


Momo Freebird and Heather Ross Far Far Away
4) Your choice: Heather Ross fabric or MoMo precuts

Take your pick of whimsical Heather Ross fabrics (about 3/4 yard) or two charm packs of MoMo’s Freebird!





Only if the form is not working with your browser, leave us one comment below telling us where you are located, and we’ll enter it into Rafflecopter for you.

Giveaway closed. Congrats to our winners!

On Friday, Dec. 16 at 8pm EST, we’ll choose four winners, one for each prize. Fabric giveaways open worldwide; book and Izzy & Ivy limited to U.S. and Canada only. Have fun!


Blog Hop Party with Give-AwaysCraft Buds

Sponsor Spotlight: Craft Book Month

We couldn’t host Craft Book Month without support from our sponsors! If you love to support the handmade community, these hard-working and inventive shop owners are a great place to start.

Pattern Patti has some super cute e-patterns for sale, which will get you off to a great start sewing handmade gifts for the holiday season. She has some new patterns in her shop including this kindle sleeve and a cute mini tote bag with letter applique.

New Kindle Sleeve pattern

Pattern Patti Sewing Patterns

Shopping for holiday gifts instead of making your own? There’s a cute little Etsy shop I know you’re going to love, called My Little Sunshine Handmade. You can get ready for fall with this wool hobo satchel!

Wool Hobo Satchel

My Little Sunshine Handmade

Goofing Off‘s vintage sewing patterns and notions are perfect for unlocking your inner Betty Draper. Just check out this rare vintage buttonholer from Singer!

Vintage Button Holer

Goofing Off vintage sewing patterns

Reminder: Enter this week’s book giveaway through Friday, September 23! And, you can still enter your craft book project here through September 30 for a chance to win some great prizes.

 

Here are some more Craft Buds and Craft Book Month sponsors¬† . . . We just can’t get enough of them!

22 Free Patterns - Download Now

Lifestyle Crafts 20% Discount Sis Boom

Giveaway from Kalla’s Creations

Do you love the look of custom embroidered kids clothes and baby gifts, but lack the machinery? We recently met Michaella of Kalla’s Creations, whose Etsy shop is filled with cute custom items for kids!

This is what Michaella had to say about starting her handmade business:

I am so blessed & fortunate to be a very BUSY stay at home mom. My husband is a full-time student. That is why I took up sewing to help with some of our income & to hopefully support my new crafting & sewing addiction.


I had no idea that I would fall in love with it! My mom bought me my first sewing machine just after Christmas last year. I have to admit the only reason why I even tried sewing was out of guilt (I couldn’t just leave the machine up in the closet without at least using it).

I quickly decided I needed an embroidery machine & the rest is history. I’m always looking for some fun new projects to try out. I always enjoy making something for my children & nieces & nephews.

Thanks Michaella! We love your personalized shirts and burp cloths.


Michaella is generously giving one lucky Craft Buds reader an applique shirt of their choice!

Enter to win:

1. Visit Kalla’s Creations on Etsy and tell us the name of your favorite item in her shop.

2. If you follow the Craft Buds blog, leave us another comment for a bonus entry.

Giveaway open in the U.S. and Canada. One winner will be announced on Friday, June 24 at 8pm (EST). Thanks Michaella!

Promote Your Craft Blog: Linky Parties

So, you make really cute, adorable things. Your Facebook friends all seem to agree, that your crafts are, hands down, the best. But how do you get the word out about your handmade goods and find new blog readers and followers?

One great way to promote your crafts blog is to participate in linky parties. Also called linkups or blog hops, linky parties are regular gatherings of like-minded crafters who are invited to post their projects via a linkup application such as InLinkz or Linky Tools.

Linky parties happen all the time, all over the place, but you just need to know where to go to find them and when! If you need a little jump-start, hop over to the Craft Buds Linky Parties Page to see where we like to party each week.

How it Works

Some linky parties allow you to post a photo, but others are text links only. (This is generally a cheaper option for the blogger hosting the party, with annual linkup services costing around $20.) I’ve personally found that linking up with text linky parties is a great way to get a lot of hits. People are often so curious about your project that they’ll click on every link and visit every blog!

Weekly linky parties happen every week on a specific day of the week. If a Linky Party is for Mondays, for example, you typically have from Monday morning until midnight to add your project, and then the submissions list will close.

There are also a few monthly linky parties, such as Fresh Sewing Day (on the first of the month at Lily’s Quilts). A linky party may also be used as a giveaway tool (like at Lily’s Quilts), where each link counts as a contest entry.

Linky Party Etiquette

The purpose of posting your project to a linky party is to 1) get more visitors to your site and 2) find new and inspiring blogs to visit. An added bonus is creating links back to your site, which will increase your SEO (search engine optimization), making it easier for people to find you online.

With all these benefits, linky parties are sometimes used incorrectly. It’s important to read the guidelines set out by the blogger hosting a linky party, because if you don’t play nice, the party isn’t nearly as much fun!

Linky Party screenshot

Screenshot: Handmade Tuesdays Linky Party at Ladybug Blessings

Etiquette for linky parties usually includes:

1) Link to a recent project post, and not a link to the front page of your blog, your Etsy store or a giveaway, unless specifically stated by the host. The Girl Creative hosts two linky parties: Just Something I Whipped Up (Sunday) is for project posts, and Creative Girls Blog Hop (Friday) is general links to craft blog. Here at Craft Buds, we host a weekly linky party specifically for giveaways at our Giveaway Roundup.

2) Visit one or more links uploaded by someone else and leave a nice comment.

3)¬†Link back to the host’s blog via a button or text link. This is a common courtesy, and it is usually appreciated if you link back in the same blog post that you are linking up, or in your blog’s sidebar. If you participate in very many linky parties, you may wish to create a separate page for all of your linky party buttons.

4) Follow the blog hosting a linky party via RSS or Google Friend Connect. This is not always required, but subscribing is a good reminder to link up week after week. Also, this will keep you in the know in case your project was featured as a favorite that week!

More Tips

If you are really a go-getter, why not leave a nice comment for the blogger hosting the party each week? It’s a bit of work to set up and manage a regular linky party, so make sure your host knows that their efforts are appreciated, and that you are not just looking for some free promo.

Try to build relationships with the other bloggers linking up by leaving kind comments and taking an interest in their crafts. These friendships will take you much farther than a few extra page views each week! You can check your blog stats to see how many people visit your blog from each linky party that week. Then you can tailor the linky parties you visit to that information.

So friends, who hosts the best linky parties on the Web? Do you party, and if so, where?

Finding Inspiration for Your Handmade Business

Hi, I’m June, and I blog at June Bug’s World. When I signed up to do a guest post on “Inspiration” for Craft Buds, it didn’t occur to me that I would have trouble writing the post because of a lack of inspiration. That’s irony for you. But being stumped really helped me to see the biggest issue I face when it comes to finding ideas. There are just so many cool ideas out there it’s hard to distill down to that one project you just have to try.

pinterest

We’ve heard about Pinterest, Etsy treasuries, bookmarking your favorites, “liking” craft pages on Facebook… but have you ever counted up all the sources you’ve marked? It can get overwhelming. There’s not enough time in the day to look at all the creative talent out on the web.

So this is how I (try to) keep it simple. I bookmark pages, “like” things on Etsy, but first and foremost… I use my brain. If I see an image or hear a song or have an idea I will trust that if it is brilliant, it will stay in my brain. If it doesn’t, then it wasn’t a strong enough idea to work out as a real project for me. If it doggs me, keeps me up at night, pops into my head whenever I sit down at the computer, then I know it’s important enough for me to turn into a design.

Etsy treasury

Then I pull the picture into my design folder. Or sketch it out. Or let it fill all my thoughts until it solidifies into a real project. A project that I can pick fabrics for and start cutting. Most of the time I’ve thought about it enough that it comes together just as I hoped. Sometimes it doesn’t, but always it’s something I really enjoy doing and can feel really proud of.

For example, with my Swooping Solids Pillow, I saw this picture on one of my regular blogs (elsie marley):


And I just COULD NOT get it out of my head. I kept going back to that post, over and over, until I decided it would be my next project. It fit all of my prime design criteria: curves and color. The fact that it was all laid out in “blocks” helped too. So I went and picked out some fabrics and started cutting away. I didn’t sketch anything – I kept it all in my head – and I made some modifications along the way. In the end? A design of my own, inspired by art:


And while this project was a little too time consuming for me to use it in my Etsy shop, the basic idea stuck and turned into some very marketable items:


And I think that’s the best way for inspiration to flow – from an image I found all the way into a signature item that I can use to grow my store inventory.

Things that help?

  • Pick your favorite 5-7 craft blogs, and visit them regularly. More than that is too much. Less and it’s feeling like not enough sources.
  • Enter contests. Visit those linkups and browse around. Comment on other people’s posts that you love. But remember that “it’s gotta stick” is what matters.
  • And I try really hard to only work on 1-2 projects at a time. Because for me, completion is what counts.

Blogs I like to visit for inspiration:
Noodlehead
Grosgrain
Stitched in Color
Elsie Marley
The Long Thread
I am Momma Hear Me Roar
Pink Penguin

Contests and Linkys I love
Bloggers Pillow Party
Quilt Story Fabric Tuesday
Sew Modern Monday

What is your favorite way to find inspiration for your handmade business or personal craft?

Fresh Picks for Thursday, 3.17.11

Here are this week’s inspirations! If you’d like us to consider your project for Fresh Picks, fill out the submission form here.

Tokyo Subway quilt

Elizabeth at Oh, Fransson! is raffling off this beautiful Tokyo Subway quilt to one lucky winner. To enter the giveaway, make a donation to the Red Cross Japan Tsunami fund by Wednesday, March 23 and let her know.

DIY "Lucky Charms" Notebook

Kirsten’s Lucky Charms notebook at The Crafting Chicks, with tutorial

A Despicable Me birthday party at Obsessively Stitching

Despicable Me games, attire and minion birthday decor at Obsessively Stitching

Quilted pan handle

Meg’s quilted pan handle at Monkey Beans

 

Giveaways Roundup

If you haven’t stopped by, make sure you check out the Craft Buds Giveaway Roundup, with 22 current giveaways to enter! It’s updated each week, and you are always welcome to link up your craft supplies or handmade giveaways.

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