Polymer Clay Canes for Beginners

27 videos, step by step, beginner cane workshop beginner Cane Tutorial What people are saying about this tutorial. jennifer rose Just finished this first workshop on how to make canes, and I must say I learned so much. This is exactly what I have been looking for, someone who could explain cane making in a step by step that process that I could replicate. I watched the videos, went into my studio and began to create all of the canes Alice showed. I finally have results I can be proud of, and I say thank you so much for doing this workshop. My only question now is when do we get more workshops. If you are only going to take one online class let it be this workshop. Thank you Alice for your hard work, and your dedication to helping others learn the joys of polymer clay.

Online Workshops with Alice Stroppel


[caption id="attachment_102" align="aligncenter" width="100" caption="Member IPCA"]Member IPCA[/caption]

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

4 comments to Mermaid Bracelet Listed on Etsy

  • I’m trying to keep much better records thanks to you. It’s really difficult though because I get busy working and forget to log time, etc. but I’m improving. Thanks so much for your info.

  • Alice

    Lynda, thanks for letting me know it’s helped you. I know exactly what you mean. I do it all the time. Get started and forget all about the time. But it really makes it hard later to decide what to charge for something. We end up short selling ourselves.

  • Always sobering to do the math for items we sell. This is why almost everything I sell is production work – beads based on recipes, canes based on well practiced designs, jewelry that is similar in technique. I still make OOAK items on occasion but those rarely get to Etsy – the are mostly the showstoppers at shows, gifts and gallery items.

    The mermaid bracelet is *lovely*!

  • Alice

    Oh Elaine, how right you are, it is sobering. You’re smart to produce the way you do. Production work is practically the only way to really realize a profit. You’re work is beautiful and well done. It’s important for you and for your customer. Thanks for sharing your view.

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