“I don’t feel like an expert, no matter how often people tell me I am, I am continuously learning, growing and developing as both an artist and crafter. Life is, after all, a journey, let’s take a short ride together”    —Shelly

How to Easily Design Great Crafts That Sell!

Why do some crafts sell faster than others? What makes one object feel like something you want to see while another is barely noticed?

 

Have you ever asked these questions? Well, I have, as have thousands of other artists. Here I share some great tips and principles to follow so that you can create Arts & Crafts that sell, and are admired by others!

 

 

 

 

 

 

In Crafting ... Design is a 8 letter word … an arrangement of lines/shapes created to form a decoration.. sounds easy? Does hard!

Maybe not.. check out these basic principles

 

  1. Perception

  2. Color

  3. Contrast

  4. Shape

  5. Horizon

  6. Practicality

  7. Overall Appearance

  8. Niches

 

Perception: how do you want your buyer to feel when they hold your craft? Buyers tend to fall into two main categories, practical purchases & emotional ones. The best purchase gives the buyer both!

 

Color -  always have contrast, light to dark, one color next to another color, you need to decide what you want to standout vs fade in the background.

  • Harmonious colors are similar & work together. A great way to find colors is XX website, I love the easy way you can quickly find a color group to follow

  • Hues: how saturated with color or how muted will your colors be? Red straight out of a tube is fully saturated, the minute you add a little white or black to it, you have changed it’s hue. 

  • Colors are associated with feelings. Take Teal & Turquoise.. they are great colors to work with, generally pleasing to everyone, not feminine or masculine. 

  • Click here to read a short article about the Psychology of Color from Creative Market

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Contrast plays a big part!  If you put dark Red next to Green unless you are in a well-lit room it will be hard for buyers to see the difference, and they might just walk on by your table. If you separate those two colors with a thin line of white, bam, your colors are now easily distinguishable by the human eye!  Now if you put bright Red & Bright Green next to each other you immediately get contrast. Always lay out your colors, make sure they will be seen when next to each other. A good practice is to make a fast crosshatch painting on a cheap piece of paper. That will show you what you need to know!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Shape - round shapes are more soothing & pleasing to the eye, angular shapes feel sharper, harder, you need to decide if you are using one, the other, or both. Think about the feeling you wanted your buyer to have, that will help decide which to use. ie: for a wedding, I would not use a lot of angular lines, however, if the couple were great fans of Star Wars, well then I just might add in a bunch of them! 

 

Horizon Line is important, it’s deciding on where your subject will be, and in crafting it is different than on a canvas, for any 3D object you need to consider it’s eye level view since most are picked up by the potential buyer. So consider the eye level view and select your horizon line. Generally, the subject should be:

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Overall artwork is Centered

  • Objects/components of the artwork can also be placed within the horizon either  set around 2/3rd’s of the view

    1. Horizon is lower & focus is above the line

    2. Horizon line is higher & focus is below the line

    3. OR it is Horizon is centered 

 

 

 

Practicality: how practical is your craft, what can they do with it, is it for decoration, does it have dual purposes (attractive & functional)? Can it be put in only one room or many? The broader the applications of the craft you make, the larger your potential buying audience will be. Where possible make crafts that can be both looked at and used. Here are some ideas:

 

Decorated drink & serving ware: use materials that are more permanent, and even dishwasher safe. Newer glass paints & markers exist, several options will be listed below. These are called enamels, and once baked can make it through the tops rack of the dishwasher.  

 

Dual Purpose Craft Ideas:

  • Lazy Susan’s can be hung as decor when not in use.

  • Glass Etched Cutting boards, easy in the dishwasher, just need to reverse the image and etch it on the backside.

  • Clothing, purses, and other accessories all have a dual purpose.

  • Signs: two-sided with a top toggle hanger, one side for every day, the other for special occasion or holiday.

  • Select floating glass frames for your artwork, sell it in pairs, add a toggle hanger so it too can be reversed.

  • Reversible bags, totes, lunch bags! 

 

The list is endless, truly.. 

 

Overall Appearance is the single most important factor in crafts and art. Does it ‘catch’ the viewer's eye? Selecting the right group of colors is important, the right amount of light, dark, contrast. What is helpful is to check for the Pantone colors of the last 3 years, most buyers are not remaking their homes every year, it simply costs too much. But if you look at the recent trends, you’ll find some color families that your buyers likely have, so that you are not creating bright fuchsia when it will clash with 2017’s Green. 

 

 

 

 

 

Niches.. ‘a specialized segment of a market’.. what’s yours? Do you have one? Should you have one?  These are questions only you can answer. In general, if you have a Niche you can be seen as an expert in that segment, build a customer base, and grow. Practice makes perfect too!  Most marketers will tell you it’s good to have a Niche. The trick is finding yours, one way to figure it out is to experiment, try 10 different styles on one product type, see what sells, what receives the most likes, do a pole on Social Media. Now you’re a marketer!  

 

Here are some Examples of good vs great, see if you can pick out why: Same product, 4 designs, if you were to put them into order by best design elements, what is the order? 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

1. The Red White & Blue USA Eagle stands out, it has the most color contrast. 

2. The light blue cup with PAC’s logo is a close second, having contrast & appealing curved designs

3. The copper color is often 3rd, great contrast, but the USA map on Copper? That’s an unexpected visual, not for everyone. 

4. The Teach mug is 4th, the design is too simple, glitter yes, it’s a good cup, just not great, I made it to special order, I would add a line or design to give it more appeal to a broader group. 

 

I hope this helps you with your crafty creations!   Feel Free to  Share!

If you want to make these Cups (Stainless Cups IronOn ) click here 

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Color Emotion Guide Creative Market
Psychology of Color Creative Market
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Abstract Painting