Order your Profile Face Cane Tutorial Profile Face Cane Tutorial What people are saying about this tutorial. "Super easy to understand and great pictorials to watch and follow off your computer." "Fabulous tutorial. The video is awesome and very easy to follow, I am looking forward to making these. " "This tutorial and video are very detailed and easy to follow. The graphics in the printed instuctions are excellent. Alice your video adds visually to the printed directions beautifully. Either way you win with this tutorial. Fast and easy transaction. Thank you Alice" "Great tutorial and great service - I would recommend this tutorial to anyone wanting to learn face caning - very detailed pdf and video. Would purchase again."

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Member IPCA

Member IPCA

Blonde Headed Girl 1 – Polymer Clay Cuff Bracelet

Blonde Profile Cuff Bracelet

Blonde Profile Cuff Bracelet

Blonde Profile Cuff Bracelet Side View

Blonde Profile Cuff Bracelet Side View

Why don’t we say “blonde headed girl” ? We say Red headed girl..so  why not brunette headed? I swear I really don’t have too much time on my hands. I am just surrounded by these girls and now writing the directions, they are all I think about.

I’m trying to make at least 4 girls a day, plus work on the instructions and video script. It’s working, but the problem is the weather has changed. Oh it’s still hot, but a cool front came through last night with a cooler one coming in a day or two. They say “cold front” I laugh and say “cool” It’s like when the stores start putting out sweaters in August to get ready for fall. I want to yell, “we are in Florida, it will be in the 80s until after Christmas.”  and besides that, they take way all the shorts then too. Crazy. Okay off topic. The point is I want to just go sit by the lake and read…….

Polymer Clay Cuff Bracelets

Red Headed Girl 4

Red Headed Girl 4

I seem to be on a roll with these crazy  bracelet girls. Here’s another one going to AliceStroppel.etsy.com I’m having too much fun here. I’m trying to get my stock up in my Etsy Shop, plus keep up with special orders and my galleries. Life couldn’t be better.

Red Headed Girl 4

Red Headed Girl 4

Red Headed Girl 4 side 2

Red Headed Girl 4 side 2

Black and White Cuff Bracelet

Black and White Cuff Bracelet

This one should go with the business card holder that I listed, don’t you think. Whoever buys the one should just buy this one too. I love the boldness of black and white.

Bottle Stoppers, Business Card Cases, Perfume Pens, Christmas is Coming

Perfume Pen

Perfume Pen

Three more items going to AliceStroppel.Etsy.com. Perfume pen, bottle stopper and card case. All great gifts for the holidays.

Queen Bee

Queen Bee

I had a special request for a wine stopper for a friends mother. She was “The Queen Bee” to her family and loved a good glass of wine. Perfect! I made two so she could have her choice. This is the second one. I wanted you to see the piece of costume jewelry that I used for her crown. Another way to use found objects to make your pieces unique. There are little bees flying around and flowers on the back of this fun and crazy piece.

Business Card Case

Business Card Case

I’ve sold quite a few business card holder and continue to hear from my customers that they gets tons of compliments on their unusual case. I buy my blanks for all these great things at Boston Craft Works.

New Polymer Clay Face Cane Bracelets

Polymer Clay Face Cane Bracelets

Polymer Clay Face Cane Bracelets

I made another profile face cane this week. I am working on a tutorial to sell in my Etsy Shop. It’s coming along and I hope to have it ready soon.

In the meantime, I’ve made some bracelets with it and another mermaid with the older cane. This mermaid is going to one of my galleries and the other bracelets are going to be sold on AliceStroppel.Etsy.com

To photograph these ladies, I used the background in the pdf that I gave you in the last post. These girls are truly crazy and funky, but I have to tell you, they do get attention. One of my customers emailed me to tell me her sister was forever borrowing hers. I love that!

Free Photo Background for Your Polymer Clay

Bracelet on Graduated Background

Bracelet on Graduated Background

There are many ways to take pictures of your Polymer Clay artwork and I’m sure you have figured out how to get the best picture. Staging is popular now, making the item shine in an environment. I’m all for it and think it really show items to the best advantage.

But for an easy professional looking photo, here’s a quick way to get started. I’m giving you are free pdf of a graduated background. The background goes from white at the bottom to black at the top. It doesn’t use that much ink, and can be well worth the cost of printing it.  It is only 8 1/2″ x 11″ and will only work for small items.

I printed mine on card stock and have used it over and over again. Sometimes I use Photoshop to create a background like this after I have cut the item out. But sometimes, to save time, I use my gradient sheet.

If your printer won’t print on card stock, then print it on regular paper. Tape another sheet behind it when you are taking pictures to prevent the light shining though.

Down load the pdf gradient background now. Save a copy to your computer or print right away. Before you print, make sure the heads on your printer are clean, you have enough ink, and you might want to choose black ink in your printer settings.

I take my pictures on my porch in the brightest part of the day. You could set a small table outside in the shadow of your house. The key is for it to be a bright sunny day, but your item is in the shade so that there are not shadows yet plenty of light.

Tape the top (black part) of the background to the wall of your house or a box and the other end to the table. It just needs a slope so that the background goes up behind the item.

Place you item on the background, turn off you flash and take your picture. If you have a photo editing program of any kind on your computer, download your photo into it, make any adjustments and crop it.

Hope it helps those of you who have been wondering how to get started. You can always do something different as you become more experienced.

Creating Tags for Your Polymer Clay Creations

Tags Layout

Tags Layout

I always include a gift card with any purchase online. It just makes your item look more professional and it is a great place to promote your name and contact information.

I begin by laying out several tags to be printed on one 8 1/2″ x  11″ sheet of card stock. I use 90# weight. Again, I use Adobe InDesign, but I know you can do the same thing in word.

The tags are 2″ x 3″ and will be cut and folded in half to equal 2′ X 1- 1/2″. The picture of my “girl”, my logo,  is on  the front and any instructions and contact information is on the back. This makes a very nice gift tag for the customer if they are giving the piece to someone else.

I also send these along to the shops, it’s a nice place for the retailer to put the price and inventory numbers. There is one difference, the retailer usually doesn’t want your contact information anywhere on the item. The customer has found your work because of the gallery or shop, the retailer wants that customer to return to them to buy again. You can’t blame them and it’s good for you if you sell more items in the retailer’s shop.

If possible, use your name or the name of your online shop or blog as your business name on the tag in some way.  Or the other way around, name your blog or online shop after your business name. That way, if a person doesn’t live in the same town as the shop, perhaps a tourist passing through, and really wants to find your work online, she/he will google your name.

Tag Before Folding

Tag Before Folding

This is a tag before folding. I would have all my contact information on the back for an internet sale, ask the retailer what they prefer. On the back of this one, I’ve included instructions that came with my perfume pens. It is a perfect place to add this kind of information or a story about the item, an explanation about polymer clay or whatever might engage the customer.  Retailers really appreciate this kind of service and so do your direct customers.

I was somewhere the other day, showing one of my mermaid bracelets to someone and she asked, did you paint the bracelet? I know many of you get the same question. Boy do we need an explanation on the our pieces!  In fact I think that I need to do that right away for my next batch of tags. We have to educate the public and let them know the time and skill it takes to create something in polymer clay and more important, that if they purchase this item, they will have a unique piece and something to start a conversation.

Tag Folded

Tag Folded

I fold my tags in half, punch a hole only on the top back side and add a bit of stretchy cord. I attach it to my item and off it goes.

You could make the tags a single piece and not fold it over, you could make it smaller. There are so many things you can do with this idea. I’d love to see what you already do or what you come up with after reading this.

Oh and by the way, don’t forget to add a few pennies to the cost for paper, ink and time to produce the cards and tags. Yes you have to have them for promotion, but it is the cost of doing business and you have to recoup the cost through your sales.

So there you have it. Lots of items to get you on your way to a clean, smart look for your masterpieces in polymer clay. Good luck and remember please, to have some fun along the way.

Part 1 Selling Your Polymer Clay Artwork
Part 2 Pricing Polymer Clay Artwork to Sell Wholesale
Part 3 Mermaid Bracelet Listed on Etsy
Part 4 Inventory Lists for Your Polymer Clay
Part 5 Display Cards for Polymer Clay Pins and Necklaces
Part 6 Creating Tags for Your Polymer Clay Creations

Display Cards for Polymer Clay Pins and Necklaces

Card for Pins

Card for Pins

I put my pins on cards that I create and print on my printer here at home. I lay out several cards in Adobe InDesign to fit an 8 1/2″ x 11″ sheet of card stock. You could use word, or other programs instead.  I cut the cards to size, using a paper cutter to make sure my cards are even and look professional.

Then I punch two holes for my pin. I have a hole punch that I bought from a scrap booking company that has a longer reach than a normal punch. The trade mark on the handle is, Close to my Heart. I use the 1/8″ circle. You can custom fit each pin to the card.

Fish Pin on Card

Fish Pin on Card

Then I thread the pin through the two holes and fasten  to secure. Normally, I would have my website, my blog, and my email address on the card. On the card above, I don’t have any contact information, because this pin is going to a gallery that doesn’t allow the artists to attach it to their items.  But I have the name of my business on the top and my name on the bottom. If the customer really wants to find me on the internet, they could.

However, the smart  and most honorable thing to do is to ask where the customer heard about about you and your work and see if you can’t work with the retailer to offer this customer more of your items. It will cement your relationship with the retailer and it’s the right thing to do.

If however the customer live too far away from the retailer and would not be able to buy your work any other way, then be happy she took the time to find you and see if you can find just the right piece for her.

You could also use this cards for necklaces, simply punch one hole in the middle and thread the chain through to the back and secure with tape. You can suggest to the retailer that they could punch a hole in the center top and hang these items.

Next Post, gift tags.
Part 1 Selling Your Polymer Clay Artwork
Part 2 Pricing Polymer Clay Artwork to Sell Wholesale
Part 3 Mermaid Bracelet Listed on Etsy
Part 4 Inventory Lists for Your Polymer Clay
Part 5 Display Cards for Polymer Clay Pins and Necklaces
Part 6 Creating Tags for Your Polymer Clay Creations

Inventory Lists for Your Polymer Clay

Inventory Sheet

Inventory Sheet

I add pictures of the items to my inventory sheets that I send to galleries with my items. It takes time, but makes things a lot easier for all of us. Especially if the work is on consignment, there won’t be any question about what you sent, what you get paid for and what comes back to you if it doesn’t sell.

Shops and Galleries are going to want item numbers too. You need them for your records as well. You could just name everything if you don’t mind that sort of thing. But I have a hard time thinking of clever names.

The shop owner can list the inventory number on your item and be sure you get proper payment. They’ll be delighted that you have prepared your work this way.

I make my lists in Adobe InDesign, just because I like working in that program. Not everyone has that program, but you can make a list in Filemaker Pro, Word or Access or Excel. In fact the data base programs are probably the best way to do it. If you don’t know how, ask a friend to show you.

First thing is to make sure the name of your business, your name and your contact information is listed clearly on your inventory sheet. You should have a place for the retailer’s business name, their name and contact information and a place for them to sign acknowledging that they have receive all the items listed. You might have them initial each item as well.

For my inventory numbers, I use letters and numbers. The letters usually say what the item is. The top item on my list above is -

1. Item # – BRWF-210 (BRacelet With Face)

2. Description – 2″ Bracelet With Face.

I’ve assigned the 200s to 2″ bracelets with face canes. The next BRWF will be #211. So all 2″ bracelets with faces will have the prefix BRWF and they will be in the 200s.

3. Wholesale price is next. In this case the gallery will be marking the items up by 40%.

4. Quantity

5. Retail Price   –  For the owners use, they actually may want to mark it up even more. A long as they pay you what you agreed to, they can sell it for whatever the traffic will bear. Just make note of the price  they are getting,  so that you can adjust your wholesale pricing if you see a trend. Make sure that they  actually sell the item at the higher price before you consider raising your prices.

I take this one step further. I provide display cards and tags with all my items and I’ll show you how I do it and some sugestions to follow in the next posts.

Part 1 Selling Your Polymer Clay Artwork
Part 2 Pricing Polymer Clay Artwork to Sell Wholesale
Part 3 Mermaid Bracelet Listed on Etsy
Part 4 Inventory Lists for Your Polymer Clay
Part 5 Display Cards for Polymer Clay Pins and Necklaces
Part 6 Creating Tags for Your Polymer Clay Creations

Mermaid Bracelet Listed on Etsy

Polymer Clay Mermaid Cuff Bracelet

Polymer Clay Mermaid Cuff Bracelet

Okay I’ve figured my time and materials and have listed my mermaid bracelet in my Etsy store, I’ve listed her for a price of $60.00. She is all clay, no other materials were used. I don’t have a metal base on the bracelet like I do on most of my other ones.

However, there is much more clay used. The clay itself wouldn’t amount to very much money, maybe $4.00 or so, but the  time that has been spent on the canes amounts to about 4 hours total. Plus the baking cost and spending time on the photos. Yes, I have some canes left over, but the point is, without spending that time in the first place, I wouldn’t have the canes to make my mermaid, so I’m generous in figuring the time spent.

Then I add the time spent on the mermaid bracelet, about 2 hours and I come up with about 6 hours to get this bracelet to my Etsy shop.

So, at the price of $60.00 minus $4.00 for the clay and $4.00 for the oven, that leaves me $52.00 for labor. Divide $52.oo by 6 hours and I will make 8.66 per hour. Hmmm. Oh I forgot, I still have to list it for $.20, then I have to package the bracelet nicely to send to my customer if it sells and drive to the post office. Then I have to pay a commission to Etsy, and one to PayPal.

Plus I have to spend time on my blog, Twitter, and Facebook to make sure everyone knows I’ve posted a new item. But I still don’t have the “right ” customers linking to my blog, Twitter and Facebook.

By that I mean, unfortunately, other polymerclay artists aren’t really interested in buying my polymer clay creations, they have their own.

If the item doesn’t sell right away on Etsy, people suggest that you re-list your items over and over. Just figure out the right time to re-list when the most people are on the front page of Etsy and there you go. What???  I know it probably works, but I’d rather spend time making something.

But I do like Etsy, I’ve had a few good sales and I’m happy. But I want to branch out further and continue to find galleries and shops to take my work.

Back to the money…..So now that $8.66 per hour isn’t looking very fat. (Not that it was a ton of money anyway) But that’s okay. I enjoy making my items and I really like it when other people buy them and I know they are enjoying them too.

If I sell it wholesale, because I could by the way I priced it, I would divide the 8.66 in half. Leaving me with $4.33 per  hour. Not even minimum wage. But I don’t have to do anything but get it to my retailer. With my items I can send them by mail and send several at a time.

I’ve made  the seconded mermaid bracelet, using the same canes. this bracelet took less time because I already had the canes, increasing my profit somewhat. Providing they both sell. I’m going to send this one to a gallery and see which one sells first. I’ll let you know.

Part 1 Selling Your Polymer Clay Artwork
Part 2 Pricing Polymer Clay Artwork to Sell Wholesale
Part 3 Mermaid Bracelet Listed on Etsy
Part 4 Inventory Lists for Your Polymer Clay
Part 5 Display Cards for Polymer Clay Pins and Necklaces
Part 6 Creating Tags for Your Polymer Clay Creations

Pricing Polymer Clay Artwork to Sell Wholesale

Polymer Clay Mermaid Bracelet

Polymer Clay Mermaid Bracelet

Figuring out how much to charge for your work is difficult. Especially when you are just starting out and don’t know how well your work is going to sell anyway.

Which brings me to the first thing that you have to look at and be seriously honest with your self about. How good is your work? Is it well made? Current? Something that many people might want to own? I really believe that most people already know the answer to this question. If you are honest with yourself, you can compare your work with what is out there and know how it stacks up.

I’m not saying that it has to look like someone else”s work.  You really don’t and shouldn’t want that. In fact the more unique your items are the better chance they have of grabbing a buyers attention. But is it well finished, would you buy it, is it different, colorful, eye catching…….would you take a second look at it if you were a buyer?

If you can answer yes to most of these questions, then good, you’re ready to market your work. But please don’t judge your work by what your relatives say or by the lack of sales on your online site. You know deep inside yourself if your work is good enough. If it’s not, then try harder, learn more, practice, we can all improve by spending the time. If you know it’s good and nothing is selling online, then it’s time to do something to improve your odds.

Next comes one of the most important elements in selling your work. Pricing to sell! The most important thing is to know how much it costs you to produce your item.

1. Cost of Materials – Calculate exactly,  don’t guess. Try to buy wholesale if possible.  Don’t forget the cost of having the items shipped to you or gas and time to buy it at a store.

2. Labor – How long did it take you to make the item? How much do you want to make an hour? How much is your time worth? Don’t forget to add prep time, ordering, preparing work space and tools etc.

3. Promotion – Spending time on your blog or any of the social media sites promoting you and your art.

4. Fees – Listing items, PayPal, internet fees.

So now that mermaid bracelet I just made cost me more money than I thought. But I can’t afford to charge less for the bracelet than I have invested in it. So I have to take the figures above and come up with a basic cost to make the item.

I could just charge this amount and feel like I made my money back plus a little bit for labor. But then I wouldn’t have left any room to sell at a wholesale price or give a commission to a consignment store.

Retailers typically keystone the price, meaning they double  it. So if you ever want to have the opportunity to sell wholesale, then you need to price your item from the beginning with that in mind.

If you have calculated that your item’s base cost at $10.00 then your selling price would $20.00.

Selling it yourself, (for $20.00) you actually make a profit that can be reinvested to help your business grow.

Selling it wholesale, (for $10.00) you still have covered your costs  and are being paid for your labor. Plus you don’t have to spend the time to market this item yourself.

Selling on consignment, same as selling wholesale except the commission is usually less that wholesale. Generally from 30 to 40%.

And last but not least, you really have to respect yourself and your work. If you undersell yourself, you are not only doing a disservice to yourself but to the art of polymer clay and all the other polymer clay artists out there trying to make a living.

We have many wonderful artists that are trying hard to raise awareness for the art of polymer clay. Some of them produce work that most of us will never achieve, but we can all strive to improve. We need to support their efforts and remember to value our own work.

Part 1 Selling Your Polymer Clay Artwork
Part 2 Pricing Polymer Clay Artwork to Sell Wholesale
Part 3 Mermaid Bracelet Listed on Etsy
Part 4 Inventory Lists for Your Polymer Clay
Part 5 Display Cards for Polymer Clay Pins and Necklaces
Part 6 Creating Tags for Your Polymer Clay Creations