Thursday, September 27, 2012

"I can make that!" Thoughts when the public says this about your product!

Crafters and artisans hear this all the time.  You're at a craft fair and you overhear someone looking at your beautiful product saying, "I can make that!"

Sure you can!  But will you?? Will you take the time to find 300 buttons in the size and color that you need to re-create one of my beautiful bouquets?  And put in the hours spent creating it?

 As artisans, we want to produce a fine product and the meticulous work that goes into each product is mostly unknown to the browsers who make comments like the one above.   Should we post a sign?  Let it slide?  Is this a problem for you and how do you handle it?

As a demonstration, I was curious about how many tiny steps go into one of my products so I tracked the steps to creating my cork place card holders.  While documenting the steps, I realized there are many things that customers don't even think about - like sticky glue strings!

I just finished an order for 35 simple but rustic elegance cork place card holders.

1. First, find at least 105 usable corks.

2.  From that collection, combine the corks in sets of 3 of approximately the same height and width keeping in mind the styles and designs that create an artistic combination.

3.  Glue 3 corks together, choosing one as the front cork and leaving a space for the place card to slide into.  This is an important step because if the place cards have nowhere to sit, they are useless!

4.  Figure out the length of twine needed.

5.  Cut 35 pieces of jute twine.

6.  Wrap, bow tie and knot this twine around the corks.

7.  Glue the knot to the center cork to keep it from slipping off.

8.  From a selection of tiny shells, choose 3 for each place card holder that are visually appealing with each other.

9.  Carefully glue each shell to the top of one of the corks, being mindful to put just enough so that the shell stays, but not so much that the glue spills over. 

10.  When the glue dries, look over each cork place card holder removing any strings of glue that were left.  I did this at least 3 times!  I also removed any excess glue that I found so the corks didn't look sloppy.

11.  I slipped a place card into each cork holder to make sure that I had left a space to slide them into.  I found 2 that had accidentally turned upside down so I was glad I checked!

12.  I counted and counted and counted again to make sure I had exactly 35 and wasn't forgetting any or missing any.

13.  Find a box that perfectly fits 35 corks.

14.  Pack them up, one by one, including pretty tissue paper and a lovely note.

15. Weigh the box and print postage.

16.  Wrap and tape the box and label.

17.  Deliver to the Post Office.

17 steps and so many hours to create these simple rustic cork place card holders.

So the next time someone says, "I can make that!"  Say, "Of course you can!  But will you?"

Angela's Artistic Designs


  1. I know what you mean, Angela. I think it happens with my work too. I applaud you making a list of the steps. I have decided to do an "infographic" - a graphical display of the steps involved. I can't say it has helped comments, but at least it can help add value to your product range.

  2. I read your article and was amazed at how many steps it takes to do your beautiful artwork and it is artwork because of the time and effort you put into making it the best it can be! I really hate when I get those comments, I knit and crochet and other knitters/crocheters who check out my items always say they can do it or can come up with something better. That really annoys me! It takes me quite a bit of time to knit customized orders and it scour yarn shops for good quality yarn for reasonable prices, so that I can keep my prices reasonable. So I applaud you in writing this article. Not many people would go through all of those steps and spend that much time on making what you've made.

  3. Very good article. I am going to share it in my facebook page to make people realise how much time we have to spend to produce something.

  4. That's awesome!!

    'clapping hands'


  5. The beautiful and artistic design by the author shown here is too good. It takes time and effort to make it and is not so simple

  6. Thank you so much for your comments! florist, I appreciate the positive encouragement.

  7. When you've devoted time and skill to create something you're proud of, it can be hard to hear others saying they could easily do it. Chances are they won't, many people couldn't, but if they do, you've been their inspiration!

    Luckily there are people who know that can't or won't and do appreciate your idea and careful execution.


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