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.
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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:
- 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)
- Print out your design of choice. You could offer customized charts, lists, trackers, etc., or have basic designs. It’s entirely up to you.
- Laminate the sheet and add a magnetic strip or dots.
- 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.
- 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.
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.
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.
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.
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