|Posted on August 4, 2017 at 11:15 AM||comments (0)|
If you're serious about starting a kitchen table (i.e., home-based) business you have to look at legal issues. The best place is your own city hall and tax departments. You can get free information there although it may cost you to register your business. None of my postings will be looking at these issues since every place has different rules and regulations. That's one of your jobs!!
To get back to my search for kitchen table business ideas, I love gardening (albeit on a small scale given the size of my balcony). With this in mind I came up with the concept of a simple garden business idea in an eggshell - and no, it's not my original idea. Gardening in an eggshell is all over the Internet. My spin is using seeds from what I buy (or grow) and eat. It always seemed to me that it was a waste just to toss seeds into my compost box (also very tiny as I live in a flat!!).
I saved the eggshells from my morning scrambled eggs. To transform these into little seedling ‘containers’, I used a sharp knife to make holes in the top and bottom of the eggshell by just gently tapping the eggshell with the knife until a hole appeared. I made the top hole larger so the egg would fall out into the frying pan for my breakie. The small bottom hole is to let excess water out when watering the little plants. I tried various seeds - lemon, pepper, orange, and cantaloupe. Only the cantaloupe seeds germinated, but, no worries. My 'soil' was really only tea and coffee grounds mixed with a little of my compost.
Et voila, in 2 weeks the little seedlings emerged.
This is a great idea for a stay-at-home mom who enjoys gardening but has got room for a garden, has kiddies to look after, or no extra money for tools, supplies, etc. This is a nice, inexpensive way to start your own little gardening biz. All you need are a few eggshells (don't forget to empty the eggs first) and some seeds.
Can't you just see yourself providing cafes and restaurants with tiny herb seedlings - perhaps in a vintage eggcup (check out local charity shops for these). These would also be great little fundraisers for your kids' school projects, a favourite charity, etc.
Cost for my cantaloupes, by the way, was zero.
|Posted on August 3, 2017 at 1:05 PM||comments (0)|
In my last two posts I blathered on about how you can perhaps make some money, even start a home-based business based on paper (and whatever paper you've got in your recycling bin or stashed away in cupboards, etc.). This morning, on my daily walk, I found another resource.
On the grounds of our City Hall that I pass by every morning, I noticed and picked up pinecones and acorns. Then the lightbulb moment came when I realized that resources for starting a kitchen table business are available wherever you look and not just in your recycling bin.
At a local park, I also came across apple trees and rose bushes. The apples were still too small to pick but would make a great harvest soon (apple pie, anyone??). The rose bushes were covered by hundreds of rose hips which can be turned into amazing jelly (rose hips are bursting with Vitamin C!!). I asked the groundskeepers about pesticides and was reassured that none were ever used and that all the produce was free for the picking as long as care was taken not to break or disturb the plants. So there you are - free stuff. If you cook, bake and can preserve, you've got a gold mine here.
Look, the Internet is full of projects and ideas that you can duplicate in your own way if you are truly into starting your own business. Having said that, remember not to just copy someone else's work. Take what you see and like, and find a way to reinterpret it. Something that will make your work stand out. For me, it's taking a process and simplying it. Find your own style and go from there.
With your own kitchen table business, you can work while the kids are in school, for as many or as few hours as you wish and make stuff that someone, somewhere will buy. If you think you don't have the talent to create something, why not sell materials you find. Sell those pinecones and acorns, your old maps and bits of paper, textiles, etc.
Take the time to see what is being sold on Etsy and eBay. I was amazed to find that you can sell anything - toilet paper rolls, kitchen towel paper rolls, wine corks, bits of fabric, empty bottles - you name it. Not necessarily creative crafting but if it brings in a few dollars for, say, to pay for supplies you may need for your real craft, go for it.
My point is that materials and resources are available all over the place, not just in your recycling bin. You can start your own little enterprise at anytime. It just depends on whether you want to put in the work and the time. Stickability is the key. It may not be the way to instant riches, but discovering that it's in your control may bring rewards unimagined.
So as that Nike ad said, Just do it.
|Posted on July 23, 2017 at 9:35 AM||comments (0)|
In my last post I talked about how to use maps to create stuff you could possibly make and sell (or give away as gifts): items like these gorgeous map paper shoes made by Jennifer Collier. Gorgeous or what!! And she does this for a living!
In this post I'll show you more paper examples of what you reinterpret in your own way:
I love this chair and will probably copy the idea for myself using a similar one!!
If you have a few chairs you no longer like or use, you can decoupage these with maps for yourself or to sell. If selling, the more chairs the better as you may find that your chairs will be in demand by decorators!
No chairs? Often on my daily walks I come across discarded chairs as well as other furniture! So head out for a stroll and lug home a chair or two. Or ask friends and neighbours if they have some they're planning to throw out. Don't be shy!! I view these as potential money earners (unless you need them for your own home and you save money!!). This idea also works for any small pieces of furniture - tables, dressers, etc.
Dishes, Plates, Trays
Forage through your cupboards, closets, basement, or attic and pull out all those old glass dishes, plates and trays that you've never used and turn them into cash! If you don't have any, head for your nearest charity shop or go to local church bazaar sales and pick these up for pennies!
Look at the following examples:
Shown above are two plates decoupaged with maps. Note you will need to buy decoupage glue but this can be a worthwhile investment. For instructions for decoupaging similar plates, click here.
Our lady Martha has great instructions for decoupaging glass trays with maps. Click here for her video.
I like this post because it has Martha working with Ben Busko who makes and sells decoupaged trays with maps and other materials. Check out his website here.
If he can do it, so can you!
No Maps? No Problem!
If you don't have any maps, what other kind of paper resources do you have? Old books, used envelopes, magazines, etc. Almost anything you can make with maps, you can make with almost any kind of paper.
Remember Jennifer Collier's London map shoes at the start of this blog? Well, she's also made shoes out of book pages ...
and also with envelopes ...
Jennifer doesn't stick to just shoes. I'm just using her shoes here as examples of things to make with paper. She makes other objects using paper as well. Go visit her site and be inspired.
One last item ...
and I'm done with paper (and map) ideas. If working with glue or cutting up paper is not your thing, but you are a sewer and have always wanted to create your own pillow covers, etc. head over to Spoonflower to find out how you can have your very own material printed.
The above is an example I found on Etsy (no longer available) using a map. You can recreate your own drawings and designs on paper. To find out more about printing on fabric, click here.
Liked any of these ideas? Remember that all the above are someone else's work and be respectful when choosing to use an idea. The object here is not to copy exactly what you find but to take an idea and create your own, in your own way.
|Posted on July 18, 2017 at 9:25 AM||comments (0)|
When I came upon my horde of maps, I thought that I could just blog about what you can do with maps, right? But then I realized that it didn't matter what kind of paper, you could use whatever kind you had to create the same things. So if you don't have maps, do you have magazines, old music sheets, newspapers, calendars, junk mail, leftover wallpaper or gift wrap and what about old telephone books, or just old books? I can't think of any more kinds of paper but what I'm trying to say is that you can use whatever paper you have to create things to make and sell (or give away as gifts).
That's what the ice cream cone covers symbolize - use whatever kind of paper you have and you free your imagination and creativity.
Let's Get Started
By the way, you don't have to have a lot to get going. The above examples is what I made from ONE map AND still had bits left over. With these bits I can make mini cake bunting or garlands. In my Magazine Recycling Workshop, I hand out a magazine to each participant and each one leaves with several completed project and with loads more magazine pages left over to create more stuff at home. Enough to keep them busy for quite a while!
Remember - if others can make and sell these goods, you can too. But you have to be patient, you have to be professional and you have to be willing to do the work. And remember also, anything you can make from a map you can make from all kinds of paper.
For the items you want to repurpose from only paper (you can also use paper with other materials but we'll talk about that later), you have to have the paper (of course), and make sure that it doesn't emit an odour. Some paper if stored in attics, garages, basements or storage units can acquire a pong that is hard to get rid of - don't use these, send them out for recycling instead!
NOTE: Make sure you have the tools you need on hand. You'll only need, scissors (or exacto knife and blades), ruler, pencil (and pencil sharpener), eraser (for getting rid of pencil marks), and glue - be sure it's the best glue you can afford. After all you don't want your creations to fall apart. You may want to use Elmer's glue which is somewhat eco-friendly but it does contain some plastic. And don't forget your work space - the kitchen table!!
PAPER CRAFTING IDEAS
There is nothing new under the sun, they say, but having said that, don't copy things exactly as you see them. For some products that's not easy, after all an envelope is an envelope is an envelope. BUT can add your own special twist. For example you can specialize in making envelopes or card in different categories: Weddings, Kid's Birthdays, Christmas or other holidays and package them in a cool way that can be your personal signature. So here we go.
Did you know that you don't even have to download a fancy template to make envelopes? Nope - just take apart any envelope you have and use that as your template. Easy, no? You can make these from maps (see above) or ....
from magazines (calendars, books, newspapers, junk mail, etc., etc.). You get the idea!
If you are serious about using paper as your means to riches, always look for ways to make your product unique and special. People are constantly looking for something new and different, so make your product stand out from everyone else's.
Take a look at what Debbie Hughes over at Lime Doodle Design does with a map to create wrapping for a gift It's the little extra - the wee paper airplane - that makes this so appealing. Maps make great wrapping for gifts as they are large. If you have a map you don't want to cut up, take it to a print shop and have it copied. It may cost a bit but well worth it as you can reuse it over and over again.
If you have the patience and talent, paper roses are amazing sellers. Not many people have these qualities to make them but those that do, can make plenty. I once met a woman in London, UK, who had a 'flower' shop and it was all just paper roses but what roses. Her least expensive roses were sold for over $50. I bought 3 and gave them away as gifts!
Tabitha, the owner and editor at United With Love, shares her easy tutorial for making roses. For her rose tutorial, click here.
Paper wreaths are also something most people don't have the time, patience, or talent to make, so you can make this your own niche (or one of your niches - don't limit yourself!!)
You can find a tutorial for making a paper map or music sheet (you can also use book pages) at the Gunny Sack. Click here.
Now It's Your Turn
Don't limit yourself to what you see here. Think of what you might enjoy making. If you make it fun, it's not really work, is it?
Go do some research and see if you can find that one thing that tickles your fancy and inspires you. You can go online or check out craft books and the magazines at your local library.
By the way if you don't have any paper at all, libraries usually discard their magazines regularly. Just call and ask them when they will be doing so and ask if you can have them. I often pick up foreign newspapers for free at the library as well.
You don't have to tell anyone what you're up to (although you can act mysterious about what you are doing!!). The time to reveal all will be when you have mastered making your own special product be it a tag, a card, a rose - whatever.
Practice, practice, practice until you have a professional (and unique) looking product. Remember, all it takes is time and if that's all you have, you're well on your way.