3 Products You Can Make & Sell

Finding products to make that won’t break the bank in postage can be a challenge. This post not only gives you the products, it also gives you the instructions on how to do them.

Disclaimer: Links within this post are either to my own products, or products I endorse. I may receive a small commission should you make a purchase through an affiliate link, at no extra cost to you. My blog is supported through commissions and sales of my products. Plus, if you like what you read you can show your support by pinning this post, sharing on social media, or buy me a coffee.  Thank you for your continued support.

1. Dry Erase Sheets

Are you a list-maker, or do you have family chore charts that you fill out each week? Are those lists and charts tossed when complete?

If you answered yes to either of those questions, chances are you already have a good idea that there’s a fair amount of wasted paper. And if you’re tossing a lot of paper in the trash, then so are others who have the lists and charts like you.

Sure, you can go to a stationery store and buy a whiteboard, but they are rarely tailored to your needs. It’s easy to make your own, and they can be as plain or pretty as you please.

This is a nice way to share your designs with others, plus earn a little side income as well. If you already make printables, this is the perfect addition to what you’re already creating. The only difference is this is a tangible product you will have to mail to your customer.

What you’ll need:

  • Paper
  • Printer
  • Laminator (or access to one) and laminating sheets
  • Magnet strips or dots (optional)
  • Hole punch (optional)
  • Ribbon or thin cord (optional)
  • Dry erase markers (optional)

Directions:

  1. Print out your design of choice. You could offer customized charts, lists, trackers, etc., or have basic designs. It’s entirely up to you.
  2. Laminate the sheet and add a magnetic strip or dots.
  3. Or, punch holes in the top corners and tie a thin cord or ribbon to it so it can be hung on a wall or door.
  4. When listing your item you can give your customer options in size, hanging method, and whether or not they want a marker included. Do keep in mind that shipping with a marker in the package will be more expensive as it will be heavier and thicker.

It’s up to you whether you want to offer customized/personalized sheets. Keep in mind if you do, it’s a little extra work on your end but that service can set you apart from the competition.

Be sure to specify the thickness of your product in your listing so customers are well aware they are not getting an actual “board”. These sheets will only be as thick as the paper you use plus the thickness of the laminating sheets.

2. Blank Notebooks/Journals

If you have an artistic hand you can hand draw designs and pictures on the front cover of a blank, lined, or dot grid notebook. I have ordered my spiral dot grid notebooks from Amazon and am happy with the quality.

The neat thing about them is the firm clear plastic cover. This enables me to design my own title page and have it protected. Plus the cover is thick enough to act as a firm writing surface.

These are just under an inch (2.5 cm) thick so shouldn’t be too expensive to ship. My advice is to package one and take it to your local post office so you know what shipping will be to your selected countries. When I ship physical items, I generally only ship within Canada. I know that cuts into my customer base, but I have been burned on shipping more than once (because I didn’t do my homework).

If you want to take it one step further, you could include weekly and daily layouts that your customer can replicate within the book as they choose. Remember this will take more time and you should adjust your pricing accordingly.

Or, if you’re really creative and have a flair for bookmaking, you could make your own saddle-stitched notebooks. These would truly be one-of-a-kind, and you could customize as much or as little as you like.

3. Cards

Cardmaking is a lucrative business.

You can choose to offer handmade cards with the ribbons, cutouts, washi tape, and handwritten verses; or computer designed and printed on cardstock. Or you can offer both.

Cards are light and do not cost much to mail to your customers. Packaging so they are not bent in transit is essential, because the last thing you want is an unhappy customer.

You can offer customers cards for all occasions, or you can niche down to a select few. If you’re offering computer-designed cards you can give the customer the option of purchasing a digital file, or you can send them a printed copy at a higher price.

I love receiving handmade cards, and I can appreciate the work that goes into them. There are papers of all colours, punches, stickers, adhesive dots, ribbons, rubber stamps, embellishments, etc. to make any type of cards and envelopes you desire.

I have a friend who will sit down and make several cards at once, and she always has a variety to choose from when she (or someone else) needs a card for a special occasion. She has streamlined her process so she isn’t making each card from start to finish one at a time. Her cutting, stamping, and embellishing is done while she has all of her tools out.

This cuts down on her time to make each card, plus she can make several the same but different if she so chooses. It’s easier to make several Christmas cards at a time than to make one Christmas, one birthday, one wedding, one sympathy, etc.

I have only ever made cards for family and friends, but I have been the recipient of her cards on more than one occasion and am envious of her talent.

This is a card I bought from an Etsy Shop when I needed one. I printed it at home, and even though my printer was having some colour issues I think it still turned out pretty good.
Pricing

When it comes to pricing your work, my first suggestion is to do a search on Etsy to see what others are charging for like products.

Next be sure to calculate the cost of your materials plus the time it took to make the item start to finish. As you make more of the same item you will be more efficient, but if the price point is working, don’t sell yourself short by lowering your price.

And if you got your materials on sale, do not lower the price of your products to reflect your lower cost. The reason for this is because next time you may have to pay full price for materials. Having your prices yo-yo is not good business. Staying consistent is best.

Conclusion

As you can see, it doesn’t take a big item to make a difference. I will be adding more printable cards to my TOLA50Printables Shop in the upcoming weeks for a variety of occasions.

I hope you are able to utilize one or all of the ideas in this post. Let me know what worked for you, or what didn’t.

If you like what you read you can show your support by pinning this post, sharing on social media, or buy me a coffee.


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How to Add to your Product Line Quickly

Fall is here. The leaves are turning quickly, and falling to the ground. It’s such a pretty time of year; both my favourite and least favourite. I’m not excited about winter at all. What I am excited about is learning how to create products quickly. Read on to find out more!

Disclaimer: Links within this post are either to my own products, or products I endorse. I may receive a small commission should you make a purchase through an affiliate link, at no extra cost to you. My blog is supported through commissions and sales of my products. Plus, if you like what you read you can show your support by pinning this post, sharing on social media, or buy me a coffee.  Thank you for your continued support.

I have spent the past couple of weeks getting some yard work done, enjoying the warm weather as much as possible, and working on designing new planners and printables for my new Etsy Shop. I am gradually moving some of the printables over from my first Etsy Shop, as they are mopre in tune with the new one.

Something I have learned recently is PowerPoint can be used to make planners and printables just as easily as Affinity Publisher or Canva. If you have Microsft 365 (or any MS product) you should have access to PowerPoint as well. I’m taking a course now on creating products over at Share Your Brilliance entitled Create 30 Products in 30 Days and it has me spending several hours in the evening at my computer. Between it and trying to finish up the computer side of our community history book, it’s a wonder I get any sleep at all.

I’m having so much fun with this one.

In the course mentioned above D’vorah shows students how to create colour palettes, streamline a filing system (so you can access your products quickly), and replicate the same planner in different themes. My first was a Thanksgiving Planner, which is now in my TOLA50Printables Etsy Shop. I’m happy with how it turned out, and since Canada and the US celebrate at different times I feel it has potential for this holiday season.

A little word of advice: follow the instructions for saving your files just how D’vorah instructs. I thought I could skip a step, and my file DID NOT save like I wanted it to. I now have a PDF but cannot edit the original because I didn’t save it the way I should have. I’m glad it’s done the way I want, and that I created a short video of it for my Etsy listing before I messed up.

The bonus to this course is you get a template to work with. It has so many options: dated, undated, one page per month, two pages per month, weekly pages (at least 3 if I recall correctly), and a small variety of daily layouts.

I personally prefer to create undated planners as they are evergreen (meaning they can be used year after year; simply print a new copy when you fill the old one). Plus, they don’t have to be constantly updated, so you can spend your time creating new products instead of updating old ones. To me that’s a win-win.

There will be times you want to use images, or use different pages than what is included in the templates with the course. Yes, you can find free stock images online but I prefer to pay for mine. I use Creative Market for the majority of my graphics. One of my recent purchases has been this Halloween Bundle which I have used to make a card for my Etsy Shop. With Halloween being just around the corner it’s a good time to get some cards and games listed.

As with any products you create planning ahead is beneficial, especially when it comes to holidays. Have you noticed the Halloween and Christmas items in the stores yet? It seems like summer is barely over before Christmas stock starts making an appearance. I don’t know about you, but I find it showing up earlier and earlier. By the time Christmas rolls around I’ve had enough. (I love Christmas but hearing nothing but Christmas music in every store from the beginning of November gets a little old.)

Okay, back to product creation. If you want to maximize your earnings, start planning and creating for the holidays at least 2 or 3 months ahead. It takes time for customers to notice your shop, especially if you’re not advertising. Create, list, and utilize Pinterest. If you have a newsletter be sure to mention the upcoming holidays and link to your products. I’m the first to admit I’m horrible at pinning, mainly because I get sucked into the Pinterest Rabbit Hole. It’s good karma to pin the content of others more than your own.

Time to go out and enjoy the warm weather for a little while, then get my butt back in my chair and do my “homework” from my 30 Products course. I think a walk is in order, and perhaps take some pictures for my autumn planners.

Have a wonderful day, and let me know what you’re working on.

If you like what you read you can show your support by pinning this post, sharing on social media, or buy me a coffee.


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Merry Christmas!

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Merry Christmas to all!

It has been a busy few days with putting the finishing touches on the decorating, final gift wrapping and family meals.

Last night my kids (both in their twenties) and my father-in-law joined us for supper, along with my daughter’s boyfriend. It was a fun evening and we all ate much too much (as always seems to happen when we cook so much).

Today we went to my younger sister’s house and enjoyed more family time, ate too much and took family pictures in front of the Christmas tree. I was blessed with gifts on my list, but the family time is much more important.

The day also marks the sixth Christmas without Dad and the second without Mom. I miss them being with us but as is said, “life does go on”.

I think the best thing this year is I was able to spend both Christmas Eve and part of Christmas Day with my kids. They usually split the time between their dad’s place and with us, but this year their dad went to spend Christmas with his in-laws a couple provinces away. For that I am grateful.

Tomorrow will be a day of relaxation and making room in my kitchen for the new dessert dishes, gravy boat and coffee press. I may or may not have to do some rearranging in my cupboards.

The older I get the more I prefer practical gifts. It’s better to have something a person can use and enjoy than something that gets tucked away in a drawer or closet.

In less than a week we’ll be ringing in the new year. I have set some goals for 2020 which involve increasing my client base, creating a new passive income stream and spending more time with family. I’m excited to make 2020 my best year yet and look forward to sharing my progress.

What are your plans for 2020?

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