From the Archives - Tips for a Successful Craft Fair

Since I spent a good portion of the night making zucchini bread, here is a post from my archives. For you beginners, here are some things to consider before your next craft show, to ensure it is a success!

1. Check with the craft fair coordinator to find out what you need to bring and what will be provided; chairs, tables, tablecloths, etc. 

2. Be comfortable and prepared - wear comfy shoes and layers in case you get warm after set-up and some healthy snacks as there are rarely any provided. 

3. Decide how you will accept payment. If you accept credit cards, make sure you have your supplies and an electrical outlet at your booth. If cash only, have plenty of change and never leave your cash box unattended.

4. Make sure all items are priced and signs are visible. Customers don't like to waste time searching for prices, they are looking for the items that catch their fancy and are easily accessible. 

5. Be a happy seller! Wearing a genuine smile and having a good time are among the best ways to draw customers to your booth. Bring a friend, string some colorful lights and relax while enjoying all the compliments that will surely come your way. 

Good luck with your next show!


Crafty Links - Babycakes Approved

With the Fourth of July holiday right around the corner, here are some fun and patriotic links on this sunny Tuesday!

  • Finally, for a healthy and easy to make flag dessert, here is my own creation - made with layers of low fat pound cake, whipped cream, strawberries and blueberries. You could also use angel food cake for an even healthier option. 

What are your plans for the long holiday weekend?


Thrifty Weekend Finds

In addition to my weekend crafting plans (still in progress, by the way), my hubby was nice enough to take me to a local indoor flea market yesterday. I love finding items that can be given a little love and made into something brand spanking new for our home. 

My favorite discovery was this spice/book rack - I knew with a coat or two of spray paint that it would look perfect to display some of the smaller, glass items that have been stashed in the cabinet. Since we have a lot of wood in the living room, I thought it would look good with a black finish, instead of the original wood. I have many black frames and decorations around the room so I think this will fit right in.

Another cute but dirty discovery is this arch mirror. My plan for this is to paint it a light green and hang it on the accent wall in our bedroom. Even though construction has been finished for some time, I still haven't finished the wall decorations. 

And finally, this little sleigh basket will have to wait until Winter so I can find the perfect use for it but I love it none the less. With some red, glossy spray paint and cinnamon scented pine cones - this will look adorable on a small accent table just about anywhere in the house!

I couldn't be happier that all these items cost me less than $10. I'll be sure to post before and after pictures once I have them...


Crafty Weekend Plans

This weekend marks the first time in awhile that I am actually going to get to my craft room for some crafty fun. I've been a little lax lately (I'll update soon as to why, I promise!) so it's a comforting feeling to know I'll be able to work out my creative juices. 

The first thing I need to do is hem the adorable black cotton maxi-dress that I bought last month. It's an easy enough task, I just haven't dragged out my sewing machine in weeks.

I've also got some cute dog bone print fleece fabric from my dear friend Beth that I would like to make into a pillow. I know that summer is not exactly the most ideal time to work with fleece but I'd love to put it in my Etsy shop or on eBay as soon as I'm done. And I might as well hop on this project while the sewing machine is already out.

Lastly, I need to go through my extra fabric so I can give it to my friend Kerry, who has been volunteering her time making pillows for cancer survivors who have recently undergone a mastectomy or lumpectomy. The pillows are used to alleviate pressures on their wounds. Not only is Kerry sassy as hell but she's got a good heart, as you can see from her volunteering efforts.

I'm sure there will be a few other projects that I can put some time into (helloooo, cross stitch project) so I'll be sure to update as to what I get accomplished. 

Hope you all have a fun & crafty weekend as well!


My Secret Unfinished Project

I'm sure every crafter has one of these - an unfinished project that sits in a drawer or perhaps sits right out in the open, in a mocking fashion...

For me, it is this adorable yet unfinished cross stitch teddy bear bib. I bought this to make and give as a gift two summers ago. The fact that I didn't start it until 6 months after that should give you some clue as to where this story is going. I finally brought it with me on our first anniversary trip to Martha's Vineyard - it was a glorious two weeks with nothing to do but shop, read, take walks on the beach...and cross stitch. I made great strides during that trip and then promptly threw it in my take-home bag. 

Once we returned from our trip, it got to be difficult to make time to work on this project. It was back to work and back to real life. So I left it sitting on the couch, I gave myself self-imposed deadlines but somehow I've never managed to complete it despite the many projects that have been started and finished during this time. 

I'm hoping that this public declaration will light a fire under me and that this project will be finished before the next season starts.  Considering yesterday was the first day of summer, I guess that buys me some time!

What about you - do you have an unfinished project that you just can't seem to complete?


Crafty Links - Babycakes Approved

Finally, a sunny but not too hot day here in New England! I'm going to post links with a twist today - a foodie edition of some of the best projects I've found this week...


    From the Archives - Baby Diaper Cake

    Diaper cakes are a cute and crafty gift, perfect for a mommy-to-be, no matter what gender her bundle of joy will be. Here is a simple tutorial if you would like to try one of these for a pregnant friend or family member. 

    This picture of the supplies is not exactly organized but here's the basics on what you will need: 

    • Disposable or cloth diapers; decide how tall you want the cake to be or how much you want to spend, that will determine how many diapers you buy
    • A cardboard base; you can buy cake boards or cut a piece of study cardboard and cover with cute wrapping paper
    • Ribbon; choose your colors based on the gender and make sure to have many different widths 
    • Clear elastic bands to secure rolled diapers
    • Rattles, socks, lotion, pacifiers - extra items for sides of cake
    • Glue gun, tape, scissors, flowers, and wine (for drinking, not decoration!)
    • Cellophane and ribbon for wrapping
    The first step is to glue lace around the bottom cardboard base and then start rolling some diapers! 

    We used 52 for this cake and it took us about 15 minutes to roll them all. I was initially going to roll them and have Sandy tie them with ribbon but it would have taken too long. A quick trip to the store led us to the clear hair elastics in the picture and still saved about 45 minutes. 

    After the diapers are rolled, start lining them up on the base, with the edge facing in, until the outside of the board is covered in a ring of diapers. You may need to use a smidge of rolled tape under each to keep them upright while you are working. We stuffed the center with tissue paper but if you have enough diapers, you can use those to fill the entire circle.

    Then, place a slightly smaller cardboard circle on top of the bottom level and repeat the process. We tied some ribbon around the bottom layer while we worked but it's just a temporary hold. The cake isn't sturdy at this point but you can secure it all once the diapers are in place.

    Repeat the process from the first layer on the second and third (if applicable). 

    If you are using cloth diapers, you will find that as few as 30 will make a full, two tier cake but that will mean your cost could be significantly higher. 

    After we finished all three layers and wrapped the layers with thick, wired ribbon with smaller magenta ribbon on top, secured with hot glue, we realized that the top layer was too full (the picture on the side is  the goof-up before we fixed it). There was not enough of a difference between the middle layer and top layer so we simply pulled out one of the diapers from the top layer and pulled the ribbon tight with hot glue for security. Try not to get any glue on the diapers.

     You can see there is one diaper left over in the middle, we used that and the diaper that we removed from the top layer, to hold a bottle of baby lotion in place on top of the cake, creating the illusion of another tier. 

    Once we fixed the top layer and positioned the lotion bottle, it was time to adorn the sides of the cake with teeny tiny socks, a package of pacifiers, a rattle (shaped like a diamond ring for the little diva!), small flowers and an adorable star washcloth, with a happy face to celebrate the joyous occasion! 

    Of course you will want to cover this cake to protect the diapers, now that they are out of the package. We used rolled cellophane and some ribbon to complete the gift. This also keeps the cake more secure for traveling as well. 

    The finished project cost approximately $30 for all the supplies. You can adjust the size of your own cake project based on your own budget. The recipient will certainly appreciate the thoughtfulness of this personalized gift, no matter how much you spend. Happy crafting!


    Amazing Creations with Hot Glue

    I've posted projects and updates from my good friend Dr. Grymm in the past but here is a creation that will blow your mind! Fish Boy is made entirely of aluminum foil and hot glue, finished with some funky paint colors and sealed with clear spray paint. He measures almost 3 feet long! Here is a small picture before he finds his permanent home. (picture below)

    This piece will be featured at the Pirates of the Hudson event in Sleepy Hollow, in Dr. Grymm's Museum of Oddities during the upcoming 4th of July weekend. 

    Here is Fish Boy resting in this jar of 'boiling' water, in all his glory...

    Pretty creepy, right?


    Fun with Buttons

    Buttons are a great crafting accessory - you probably already have a ton of them laying around the house and they can be used for many different projects. Here are some lovely ideas from Pretty Petal Handmade blog - click here to check out the full post and many other fun projects!

    Button Flower Greeting Card

    Adorable Rainbow Card

    Heart Shaped Button Brooch

    Be sure to stop by her blog and let her know how cute all of her creations are!


    Homemade iPad Hat

    Check out this handmade iPad hat, worn to the annual Ascot horse race, near Windsor, in Berkshire. 

    This is definitely one of the most unique creations I've ever seen! Here are some other fun hats, as seen at this event...


    Crafty Links - Babycakes Approved

    Happy Tuesday everyone! I know I've been light on new crafting projects but check out these great ideas in the meantime... 


    From the Archives - Decoupage Fabric Plates

    Every so often, I like to post popular tutorials from my archives - here is a full tutorial on how to make decoupage plates, using clear glass plates and cotton fabric. Don't let the Yankees fabric fool you, I am a proud Boston Red Sox fan!

    Here's what you will need to complete this project: 

    • Round or square glass plates
    • Cotton fabric, in any design
    • Modge Podge, regular or with glitter
    • Scissors
    • Table covering
    • Paint cans to hold the plates while they dry
    • Matte or gloss clear spray paint

    Start by finding some inexpensive glass plates, either at the consignment store or home goods store. Wash them and dry them completely. Next, cut the fabric about 1-2 inches wider than the plate you are using.

    Put your first plate face down on a paint can and the piece of fabric face down on the table covering. Cover the back of the fabric with Modge Podge, flip it over carefully and cover the front generously as well. Then, lift the fabric off the table and place the design face down so that the design of the fabric is facing out (see picture). Use additional Modge Podge if necessary.

    Use your hands to work out any air bubbles in the fabric, from the center out. Depending on the thickness and texture of the fabric, this may take some time. Move the plate to another paint can to dry thoroughly. Modge Podge goes on white and dries clear so you will be able to tell when it is ready for the next step.

    Repeat for as many plates as you have. I made 3 New York Yankees plates, a gray & pink bird plate, which are both in my Etsy Store and a black striped plate, which didn't turn out the way I wanted and was scraped before the final step. Here is a production picture of them drying.

    Once dry, carefully trim the excess off with a razor blade so that the edge is flush with the plate. (step not shown

    In a well ventilated area, place the plates face down again on the paint cans. Using your clear spray paint, spray the backs of the plates completely. 

    Finally, clean off any excess glue or fingerprints on the front with glass cleaner and paper towels. 

    When you are all finished, your plates should look like this:

    Happy Crafting - feel free to send me a link or picture if you try this project!


    Craft Fairs & Things to Do in Connecticut

    Are you looking for ideas for ways to spend your upcoming weekends in Connecticut? Some of these are crafty and some are just plain fun. Read on...

    June 11th - Lutz Children's Museum  Touch-A-Truck Event in Manchester CT, as part of Heritage Day. Includes free admission to the museum from 11:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

    June 11th - Gallery on the Green in Litchfield CT, featuring over 100 artisans and crafters. No admission charge, event runs from 9:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

    June 18th - Craft/Vendor Fun Fair in Colchester, CT, sponsored by the Colchester PTO. Lots of events for kids, many of which are free. Click here to download the application if you would like to participate as a vendor.

    June 24th-25th - Strawberry Festival in Bethlehem CT, includes children's activities, a community tag sale and all things strawberries...

    Keep an eye out for future posts with more fun & inexpensive ideas for your summer weekends!


    Decoupage Candle Holder Tutorial

    Awhile back, I posted the results of one of my weekend projects - some fun zebra decoupage candle holders. I wanted to post a simple tutorial for anyone looking to make these themselves. 

    I started with a set of small wine glasses, passed along to me in a box of craft supplies by my grandmother. I cut up some zebra tissue paper into rectangles, not too worried about them being the same size but not making them too small either.

    With my trusty bottle of Modge Podge, I got to work attaching the tissue paper to the glass with a small paint brush...

    You don't have to be too careful during this process, a little bit of texture looks very cool when it's all dried.

    When I was finished with the tissue paper and the candle holders were dry, I added a line of strung sequins to the top rim. Voila!

    This set was the first sale of my first craft fair of 2011. I would definitely like to make more! Finding glass pieces to use is easy if you check out your local consignment shop or tag sales. Here is another variation on this project, using hot pink tissue paper, black sequins and leopard print ribbon. 

    And finally, one more candle holder project using this technique...

    I always sell these with LED candles inside so they are safe for homes with children and pets.

    Hope you enjoy this tutorial and happy crafting!


    Crafty Links - Babycakes Approved

    I love Tuesdays because it gives me time to share some of the fun and impressive craft projects I've found over the past week. Here goes...


    Best Foot Forward

    In honor of my self-declared Modge Podge Monday, I wanted to share some amazing Modge Podge shoe creations from some very talented crafters. Click on the links for full tutorials.

    A pair of cork heeled wedges, from flowery to dark and dramatic from Sugar Bee Crafts.

    And for a truly one-of-a-kind creation, check out these shoes made with comic book clippings. How cool! By Just a Geek Named Jess.

    Hope everyone is having a great start to the week!


    Ants on a Log

    This weekend will be our first weekend out in the wilderness, that's right - it's camping season! Now, I'm not exactly an outdoors girl so I should add the disclaimer that my idea of camping doesn't involve tents or public showers. My in-laws bought a decked out camper last year with closed off sleeping areas, a full bathroom and the convenience of modern appliances.

    Even though most of the food is made on the grill, I like to bring along some healthy treats as well. One of my favorites is Ants on a Log - even though Bunch swears he had never heard of this before he met me. 

    All you need is some celery, low-fat peanut butter or almond peanut butter and raisins. Voila!

     (photo courtesy of Eat This, Not That)

    What are your favorite healthy summertime snacks? Have a great weekend, no matter what you make!


    Overnight Etsy Sale

    Nothing makes me happier than waking up to good news in my email. Today, I found out that there was an Etsy sale in my store overnight. I've been a little worried lately because Ebay has been my main source for selling crafts in the last month or so. I like Etsy because everything is handmade and it's fun to get to know other crafters on the site. So I'm thrilled to make a new sale and hope to ride the momentum.

    Here is the Pirate Treasure Map plate that sold - it's had tons of views so I guess I shouldn't be surprised but I pleasantly am!


    From the Archives - Crafty DIY Bird Feeders

    I'm using all my might to "wish away" the impending storm, set to hit parts of New England. While I sit here and hope that the tornado activity stays away from CT, here's one of my favorite posts from the archives:

    Here are a few of my favorite tutorials that I have discovered for making your own crafty bird feeder.

    First up is the idea that inspired my post today - a fun project with a rustic feel & nature-friendly results via Cassy as of Lately. The best part is you probably already have everything you need in the house!

    This cute idea I recently came across is an easy weekend project and would work perfectly if you have young kids around. Courtesy of My Own Ideas, click here for the tutorial to make these pretzel birdie treats. 

    Another fun idea to do with the family, requires simply a bag of bird food, gelatin, twine and some fun shaped cookie cutters. (Alpha Mom)

    And my personal favorite, because I love any teacup and teapot related crafts, this tutorial comes from Tip Nut.