Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Craft Fair - Framed Scripture Graphics

I never got around to posting about the Craft Fair that happened here in late November. So, here goes:

My three sisters and myself (in the hat). One had gorgeous floral creations and one had fabulously beautiful jewelry and the last was there for moral support and childcare (thank God for that!)

I've participated in my church's annual craft fair (and some others) for four years. I have sold a variety of items including, but not limited to, pre-made scrapbooks, calendars, notepads, journals, dayplanners, squashbooks, hanging scrapbooks, paper ornaments, and cards. I didn't think I was going to do it this year because of the move and Kevin's deployment. I didn't have a huge stash of pre-made items and didn't want to take the time to make more.

But, it was also the time that I was starting to look ahead to Christmas and prepare those gifts. I had an idea (which I thought was pretty good) of revising an earlier project and customizing it for some of my friends as gifts. Then, I thought about how easy it would be to reproduce copies en-masse and sell them at the craft fair ... this brilliant idea turned into something of a monster, but much easier to deal with than any other paper crafting project.

First, let me explain about the project. Last year, I did an inspiration piece by creating a background graphic with a Scripture verse on it that was missing one word. (You can see my post about it here) I then had the graphic printed out in an 8x10 by the local printshop and purchased a suitable frame with a mat. I chose some chipboard letters (Making Memories) and painted them with Tim Holtz crackle paint and adhered them to make the missing word. The end result:

(Yes, bad picture)

So ... I consulted my friends and got the thumbs up - i.e. they wouldn't mind if their gift wasn't exclusive. So, I gathered some more Scriptures and created a bunch of different graphics in different colors (and then different sizes) ... and bought a ton of different frames in all sizes ... and then the only issue was the letters.

It would be expensive to buy a whole alphabet for just one word when chipboard alphas are at least $5 each, so I thought of using a die-cutting machine. My friend had a Cricut, so I borrowed hers and borrowed some alphabet cartridges from her and another Cricut-owning friend and tried it out (I now have my own little Cricut as a housewarming gift and love it! even though buying my own cartridges will be expensive!).

Then came the beginning of my problems. The fonts weren't quite what I envisioned. I'd picked some Scriptures with longer blank words. The Cricut wouldn't cut the chipboard very well and trying to paint paper or cardstock with crackle paint was disastrous. The crackle paint in the color I was planning to use the most was all dried out. I was running out of time! The list goes on ... so I ended up moving on to Plan E and digging out all of my alpha stickers, chipboard letters, etc and coming up with a custom word for each graphic ... it was quite time intensive and I found that I had a whole lot more alphas than I had realized!

The end result was fabulous, but you can't really see it from the photos I took:

The colors popped, the letters were fabulous, the frames were awesome ... and I love it! They sold quite well actually and this was the first craft fair that I actually made money ... I still have a lot left over, though. As usual, it's the smaller, cheaper ones that really sell, so I have a lot of large ones left.
Almost every single graphic is an original photograph that I took myself, re-colored, layered together and used to create a unique design.
This is my sister's handiwork:

Once again, the pictures do not do the work justice. They do such good work!

I hope you enjoyed this review of our craft fair!

Any extra inventory is available to any interested parties and custom items can be made!