Saturday, June 30, 2012

Handmade Gift Pouch Tutorial

You have probably seen my new gift/jewelry pouches in my previous blog post. Did you like them? I am so in love with the colors of the bags and cannot wait to send it to A Cup of Sparkle customers. As I promised, here is the short tutorial showing you how to make them:

Materials: Fabric, matching thread, scissors, sewing machine, cord or ribbon

Tutorial on how to make gift pouches
1- Choose the fabric. Always consider what you will be using the bags for to determine the colors, the material, and how much fabric you will need. Pick fabrics with small patterns. I recommend geometric or symmetric patterns which saves so much time when you are cutting the fabric.

2- Cut the fabric according to the size of the bags you want. This will be the vertical length of the pouch. I made the bags big enough to put a business card inside. 

3- Fold approximately 1" of the fabric inside and sew it as shown in the photo. Sew the whole length of the fabric - this will save you so much time. This size of the channel depends on the ribbon you will use.

4- Cut the fabric again to suit the size of the pouch you want. 

5- Fold the cut outs and sew the two sides to form a pouch. Turn the bag inside out.

6- You want sharp corners for the bags. In order to do that, use a pointy object like a pen or scissors and gently poke it to the each two corners. It is very easy, but makes so much difference.

7- Draw the cord or the ribbon inside the channel you create in step 3. I used a velvet ribbon in matching brown color of the fabric.

7- TA-DA... Your gift pouches are ready to keep your jewelry, make-up, shoes, coins or anything you like. 
Handmade jewelry bag by A Cup of Sparkle

Hope you enjoyed this quick, easy tutorial. All the A Cup of Sparkle jewelry and accessories will come in these cute bags until I am out of the bags.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

A Cup of Sparkle is now open for business!

Sign via Jessica Lanan Illustration
 A Cup of Sparkle is now open for business after a short vacation. In addition to the A Cup of Sparkle's signature birds nest jewelry and accessories,  I will be adding tons of new and unique jewelry in the store every week. Come visit A Cup of Sparkle on Etsy and receive free shipping with the coupon code SPARKLINGSUMMER until July 1st.  
I look forward to working with all of you!

Monday, June 25, 2012

Branding your Etsy shop Part 1: Name Recognition

I am reopening my Etsy shop this week after a couple months of vacation. Yayyy :) I am so excited! This summer and fall season I will be focusing more on branding my Etsy shop to increase my online presence. I thought I'd share what tools I use and how I use them with my awesome readers via my blog.
NEW Jewelry packaging by A Cup of Sparkle

I will start with a simple, inexpensive step for branding just before my shops re-opening: Name Recognition using labels on packaging. (Talking about packaging, these are my brand new jewelry bags. Make sure to visit again to see the tutorial on A Cup of Sparkle jewelry bags). Here are the five questions and answers I prepared to guide you through the process. 

Why are we labeling? 
I use handmade jewelry bags, so instead of printed labels I recently purchased iron-on labels which will be kept permanent on the bags. Given the fact that the bags are reusable, my goal is to have people remember my shop even if they don't frequently visit my online store. I just want to create that mental, visual signature in people's head with these labels. This is a step that I have to wait to see the impact on the overall sales, but I think it will worth the wait.  

How to choose labels? 
Since I am doing a test run, I choose depending on the price and picked cheap labels. You can get sew-on or iron-on labels. Since I don't have a sewing machine, I got the iron-on labels.  
Version 1 with the URL link and Version 2 without the URL link

What to have on the labels? 
This depends on your business and also on what you want emphasize. I wanted to emphasize my shops name and leave a visual image on customers using a design. I think it is important to have a picture that people can associate to your shop name. Think about your products and make sure to be original... I didn't include my shop's URL, but that can be also added to your label. Usually space and font on the label is the limiting factor. Large font is better then having too much with small font.

Where to buy?
There are tons of shops on Etsy to choose from. I started with only 60 labels from GloriaSticker. They are very simple and feeds the purpose100%. Just search iron-on labels on Etsy and it will give you more options then you want :)

Tutorial on how to iron-on labels to a fabric
How much?
I paid $6 for 60 labels, so each one label costs 10 cents. Depending on the fabric of your choice and customization you want on the label, the labels can go up to $1-$2 per label which are usually made of organic cotton sateen.

This is the first step to branding my Etsy shop. Make sure to come back again to get more tips on branding.

Friday, June 15, 2012

Ombre Packaging with Paint Chips

I love ombre coloring trend, whether it is on furniture, clothes, shoes, hair or home decor. I was having fun with new jewelry packaging for my shop. I decided to use some of my left over paint chips for this small project. Remember the coupon book I made for Valentine's day using paint chips, which might be a great handmade gift idea for Father's Day actually? This is a bit easier to do if you want to add some originality to your handmade packaging, whether you are wrapping a jewelry box or something bigger. I also used my "handmade with love" stamps on my gift box to make things a bit more special.

Don't they look pretty? My favorite ombre tones are dark brown and black transitions which is what I picked in this project, but you can use more brighter tones for a more festive packaging ideas. Alternatively, you can finish it with a colored ribbon.

Here are some of my favorite darker tones ombre picks around the web... Enjoy!!!

Photos via Pinterest
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