31 Days of Crafting: Roll-up Checkerboard

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March is National Craft Month! All month long we’ll be sharing stories from your peers about what they are doing to celebrate and how they are encouraging others to discover the benefits of creativity.

For AFCI Designer Member, Betsy Burnett aka #CrazyShoeboxLady, March is a DOUBLE CELEBRATION! She celebrates National Craft Month as well as being involved in the Quality Craft Item of the Month – a time where year-round collectors from all over the world collect items to put into shoebox gifts. Betsy coordinates a group of charity crafters that calls themselves the #CrazyShoeboxCrew and they collect items to put into the shoebox gifts for Operation Christmas Child (OCC).

OCC is an international charity that sends gift filled shoeboxes to children in need all over the world. Shoeboxes are filled with: Personal Care Items; soap, toothbrush, comb, washcloth, School Supplies; notebook, crayons, markers, notebook, pencils, pens, gluesticks, rulers, toys, clothing items, a stuffed animal and more!

After creating and collecting items all year they have a huge shoebox packing party the first Saturday in November.

According to Betsy, Operation Christmas Child typically receives the least amount of boxes for children in  the 10-14 year old age range. With this said, she created a roll-up checkerboard to fit the bill!  The roll-up checkerboard is perfect for a boy or a girl it can even be personalized by the colors you choose, or the items you use for checkers.

Let’s see how Betsy put together her project!

Supplies Needed:
Fabric placemat at least 12” x 18”
“Checkerboard” stencil from Plaid Crafts “Farm Life Collection”
Acrylic Paint (Folk Art Acrylics Shown)
Stencil Brush
Masking Tape
Paper Plate
Peel and stick Fabric Adhesive Tape Therm-o-Web
24” length of Ribbon

Markers, Buttons, tokens (12 each of 2 different colors)

Optional:

Iron
1” velcro pieces

Directions:
Make sure placemat is clean and ironed flat if necessary.
With placemat facing you lengthwise, position the checkerboard stencil on one end of the placemat and tape stencil in place using masking tape.
Using stencil brush, apply paint to the stenciled areas, remove stencil and allow to dry.
Apply 2- 2 inch pieces of Fabric Fuse to the non painted end of the placemat. Fold non painted end of placemat up to the checkerboard to form a pocket. Apply firm pressure to taped areas to make sure the adhesive bond is secure.
Fill the pocket with the pieces you have decided to use for checkers and roll up board. Mark area on back side you wish to place the ribbon tie. Remove checkers. Apply 1 1/2 inch piece of Fabric Fuse to middle of ribbon (you might have to trim or fold over the adhesive depending on the width of your ribbon.) Place ribbon unto area marked, and apply firm pressure to secure adhesive.
To play: unroll mat and remove checkers
For storage: place pieces inside of pocket and roll up. Tie ribbon to secure.

Optional:

Once rolled up most normal sized tokens being used for checker pieces should stay in place for storage. For bulkier pieces apply a piece of velcro along the edge of the pocket using fabric fuse.

Would you like to learn more about Operation Christmas Child and how you can pack your own shoebox gift for a child in need? Check out their website for more information.  How to pack a shoebox!

Check out the #CrazyShoeboxCrew on Facebook.

Stay tuned for more stories and tips on the AFCI Blog and all of AFCI’s social media channels.

What are you doing to celebrate National Craft Month? Share your story by emailing aarmeni@afci.global or using the hashtags #WeAreAFCI, #CRE8TIME and #NationalCraftMonth on social media.

Post-Show Seminar Throwback: Tips for Better Email Marketing


So, you attended our Conference Program at the 2016 CHA MEGA Conference & Trade Show in Anaheim earlier this year. You absorbed a ton of information on everything from basic blogging and social media to legal and finance management.

Have you implemented what you learned to better your business yet?

Over the next several weeks, we’ll be featuring your favorite seminar speakers to remind you of the knowledge you learned and why it is important for your creative business.

This week we’re doing a throwback to this seminar: Capture Their Attention and Leave ’em Wanting More – Tips for Better Email Marketing, taught by Lisa Fulmer and Carolina Moore.

Read their seminar recap below and watch this quick slideshow to remember the key points discussed.

Seminar Recap
By Lisa Fulmer and Carolina Moore

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You may have heard that email marketing is, at worst, dead…or at best, old-school. But email is still very much alive and still totally cool, even in this age of social media, texting and instant messaging.

Email marketing is an integral part of your overall sales and marketing efforts. Email helps you capture quality fans and followers who are more likely to become paying customers. By creating customer-centric emails that support your brand, you can build more loyalty.

Successful email campaigns are like a favorite TV show. If you produce great “can’t miss” stories with characters they love, your customers will want to watch every episode, then tell their friends…and they can’t wait for the next one!

Here is a quick slideshow on the topic that we gave in a seminar at the 2016 CHA MEGA Conference & Trade Show. If you missed it, here are some of the key points we discussed:

  • Email is vital for bringing customers through each stage of the marketing funnel and it augments your customer service.
  • You can attract new customers, deliver exceptional value and generate repeat business with email campaigns.
  • Email allows you to provide exclusive, subscriber-only content that helps you build stronger relationships and makes your customers feel special.
  • You can craft more commercial messaging with email than you can with social media to build revenue – just make sure you comply with CAN-SPAM laws!
  • Email marketing is highly measurable with many automation features, plus you can test and target by demographics and interests.
  • Many email services are free at first, then fees kick in as your subscriber list and/or email frequency grows. Most can be fully integrated with your customer database and social media platforms.
  • There are many tactics for making your emails more engaging and effective – an easy way to start is by taking note of the mass emails you receive from the lists you subscribe to. What do you like or not like about them, what impression does the email give you, how compelled are you by the message and visuals?
  • Content is king – whether you’re sharing inspiration, special offers, company news or funny trivia. Give them great reasons to look forward to your emails.

Let us know if you have questions or need help with your email marketing!

Lisa Fulmer

Carolina Moore

31 Days of Crafting: Challenging Your Crafting

Featured


March is National Craft Month! All month long we will be sharing stories from your peers about what they are doing to celebrate and how they are encouraging others to discover the benefits of creativity.

“Isabella is seven years old and enjoys crafting on a daily basis. She learns how to make various things using Youtube Rainbow Loom tutorials. Most recently, she took on creating a Star Wars C-3PO character using Rainbow Loom elastics.

Isabella1

This year for National Craft Month Isabella is going to spend her crafting time challenging herself to see what else she can create using her Rainbow Loom.”

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Listen to Isabella share with us how she is celebrating!

That concludes our 31 Days of Crafting series for National Craft Month!

Keep us informed of your events that encourage creativity all year long. Tell us your story by emailing marketing@craftandhobby.org or using the hashtags #WeAreCHA and #CRE8TIME on social media.

 

 

31 Days of Crafting: Aunt Maureen’s Art Club


March is National Craft Month! All month long we will be sharing stories from your peers about what they are doing to celebrate and how they are encouraging others to discover the benefits of creativity.

Nothing gives Maureen Walsh, CHA’s Vice President of Membership and Marketing, more joy than spending time creating with her nephews and nieces. Read about the “side business” she runs after work and on the weekend, where she gets paid in paint, smiles and sugar crafts.

“I’ve always been the ‘artsy’ one in the family and enjoy sharing my talents with the next generation. I started sharing my love of all things creative many years ago with my first two nephews, Jack and Alec, who are now college age and fabulous people! I’ve continued to invite my nieces and nephews to join me for creative projects and lessons.

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My siblings are quite happy to send the children to Aunt Maureen’s Art Club, where they learn painting and drawing techniques, or often choose a new and interesting creative process to explore. We will be gathering this March for an official meeting and mosaic project!

Last Spring we made our Club official, painted a sign, elected my nephew Tyler as president, and got down to some serious acrylic painting. Another meeting involved shamrocks, glitter, glue, clay and 3D St. Patrick’s Day cards for Grandpa and Grandma!

Since that time, I’ve watched my niece Katie and nephew Tyler blossom into talented young artists. Tyler has his own sketch pad and draws regularly; Katie has won an award for her work. A bit like Cezanne in technique, certainly the most passionate about creativity, Tyler told me he likes that you can ‘design anything you think of and make it into something beautiful.’ His words, not mine.

And recently, my nephew Liam drew an amazing sailboat for his Grandma as a gift. While my nephew Dylan is more into sports than artwork, he too has been part of our Club and shows his stellar intellect and talents in everything he does, especially when he convinces me his time would be better spent watching hockey and calling the play-by-play! He’s a better artist than he realizes!

Generally, Art Club is a sleepover event and involves some sugar craft when we’re done with our projects, which generally ends with sprinkles, icing and frostings smeared on faces and fingers and walls and gigantic smiles on all the Art Club members.

This family creative adventure has become so important to all of us and is as much about sharing love as it is about sharing our imaginations and creative energy. I have seen my very special group grow in confidence, self-esteem and pride as we come together to make stuff! This year we will welcome two new members, Ainsleigh and Brendan, who are just old enough to put on their smocks and get busy. Ainsleigh already loves purple crayons, especially on the wall. And we have another little one ready to join us next year, Gracie ‘Van Gogh’. Her first art project from day care is already framed and hanging in my living room.”

Stay tuned for more stories and tips on the CHA Blog and all of CHA’s social media channels.

Keep us informed of your events that encourage creativity all year long. Tell us your story by emailing marketing@craftandhobby.org or using the hashtags #WeAreCHA and #CRE8TIME on social media.

31 Days of Crafting: Crafting in the Kitchen


March is National Craft Month! All month long we will be sharing stories from your peers about what they are doing to celebrate and how they are encouraging others to discover the benefits of creativity.

When CHA employee Keli Bell-Cole isn’t in the office, you may find her at home doing something creative in the kitchen. Read about how she involves her family in her creative hobby, no matter how busy the week may be!

“With the world being enamored by technology, I try to involve my family in hands on activities as much as possible, despite our crazy schedules! I have never met a craft supply that I didn’t like; my love is in baking and cake decorating. Lucky for me, my daughters (ages 16 and 6) love to help, so it is an easy distraction from iPads and the Disney Channel.

I love how baking is a science and very left brain, but decorating can be whatever you want it to be and very right brain. It’s an opportunity for them to experience both worlds and have fun in each.

Keli1

I often get caught up in my projects and have to force myself to go to bed. These are usually the more technical projects that the girls can’t help me with…yet.

keli2

So in those times I will give them blank canvases and let them have their own fun; no rules, no expectations.

keli3

This month we will have to check our craft supply wish list to see what we will purchase to increase our decorating fun. New cutters, molds, edible paint? Who knows? We enjoy the journey, no matter where it leads!”

Stay tuned for more stories and tips on the CHA Blog and all of CHA’s social media channels.

Keep us informed of your events that encourage creativity all year long. Share your story by emailing marketing@craftandhobby.org or using the hashtags #WeAreCHA and #CRE8TIME on social media.

31 Days of Crafting: Crafting With My Grandkids


March is National Craft Month! All month long we will be sharing stories from your peers about what they are doing to celebrate and how they are encouraging others to discover the benefits of creativity.

Society of Decorative Painters employee Sheryl Born coordinated a craft day with her six grandchildren. You heard that correctly – six grandkids, with number seven on its way! Read about her craft day below to get a free project that you can use in your store or for your next family gathering.

“Crafting is a wonderful way to hang out and connect with the most creative group I know – MY GRANDKIDS! Celebrating National Craft Month with them is a good way to share what I enjoy doing – exploring and having fun with crafts!

My grandkids, in Wichita, KS, are between the ages of 17 months to 3 ½ years. I wanted to do a craft they all would have fun making without getting frustrated. It had to be simple, colorful, and a way to explore textures and shapes. So, I decided to make colorful butterflies and flowers with them.

PREPARATION
Preparing the project ahead of time keeps it simple for the toddlers.
Step 1: I designed the butterfly and flower patterns, and used the templates to cut the pattern out of foam paper and glitter paper.
Step 2: Cut out the center of the pattern.
Step 3: Peel the back off the contact paper and press the pattern on sticky side up. Trim.
Step 4: Cut up various lengths of ribbon and different shape from the paper scraps and place in a bowl or in the center of the table.

LET’S CRAFT
I gave my grandkids the butterfly and told them to stick the ribbons or shapes onto the contact paper in the center of the butterfly. They did not need much help unless they asked.

sheryl1

The older toddlers started sticking on the ribbons right away. The younger toddlers explored their project, getting their hands stuck to the contact paper, examining the ribbon rolls, and dumping the shapes on the project and the floor. (Nothing wrong with that, I consider that creative exploring and part of the activity of crafting.)

sheryl2

 

sheryl3

When done, we taped the finished craft to the sliding glass door to admire with the light shining through.

Sheryl4

As you can tell, they had a lot of fun and they did a great job! I love doing things with my grandkids; they have a lot of creative energy and a great imagination that I love to be around. It’s fun to play in crafting!”

Sheryl5

Stay tuned for more stories and tips on the CHA Blog and all of CHA’s social media channels.

What are you doing to celebrate National Craft Month? Tell us your story by emailing marketing@craftandhobby.org or using the hashtags #WeAreCHA, #CRE8TIME and #NationalCraftMonth on social media and we will share!

31 Days of Crafting: Aviation Creation


March is National Craft Month! All month long we will be sharing stories from your peers about what they are doing to celebrate and how they are encouraging others to discover the benefits of creativity.

Our International Sales Director Andrew Morton has always been an avid aviation enthusiast. Read on to find out what his passion inspired him to do for National Craft Month.

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“At one stage of my life, I was learning to fly; however, rising costs and family life curtailed this pastime. Recently, I started to make aircraft models again, a pastime that I thoroughly enjoyed in my childhood. So, this month, I will be making a Typhoon Fighter jet model. Making models is a great stress reliever and, for me, the fact that the model I am making is related to aviation enables me to dream……..Could I have been the next Top Gun?”

Stay tuned for more stories and tips on the CHA Blog and all of CHA’s social media channels.

What are you doing to celebrate National Craft Month? Tell us your story by emailing marketing@craftandhobby.org or using the hashtags #WeAreCHA, #CRE8TIME and #NationalCraftMonth on social media and we will share!

31 Days of Crafting: Helping Our Veterans Heal


March is National Craft Month! All month long we will be sharing stories from your peers about what they are doing to celebrate and how they are encouraging others to discover the benefits of creativity.

Veterans_pic

Help Hospitalized Veterans is a nonprofit organization that distributes therapeutic arts and craft kits to military personnel and their families and caregivers as a means to help them heal and rebuild their lives. Watch this video to learn what the organization is doing to celebrate National Craft Month and how your business can help veterans heal.

Stay tuned for more stories and tips on the CHA Blog and all of CHA’s social media channels.

What are you doing to celebrate National Craft Month? Tell us your story by emailing marketing@craftandhobby.org or using the hashtags #WeAreCHA, #CRE8TIME and #NationalCraftMonth on social media and we will share!

Why Only 31 Days of Crafting?


March is National Craft Month! All month long we will be sharing stories from your peers about what they are doing to celebrate and how they are encouraging others to discover the benefits of creativity.

For CHA employee Donna Cennimo, every day is a reason to craft something! Right now, Donna’s craft of choice is art journaling. Read about the project

“With the amount of crafting I do, you would think every month is National Craft Month! For the official National Craft Month, I’m journaling every day! As you can see in the pictures below, I’ve taken a blank journal and turned it into a piece of art! I’ve created backgrounds for all of the pages, and will continue journaling and really bringing them to life throughout the month. I’ll also try out some new techniques that I’ve learned from Pinterest and watching YouTube videos.”

donna

Stay tuned for more stories and tips on the CHA Blog and all of CHA’s social media channels.

What are you doing to celebrate National Craft Month? Share your story by emailing marketing@craftandhobby.org or using the hashtags #WeAreCHA, #CRE8TIME and #NationalCraftMonth on social media.

31 Days of Crafting: Mother Daughter Painting Night Out


March is National Craft Month! All month long we will be sharing stories from your peers about what they are doing to celebrate and how they are encouraging others to discover the benefits of creativity.

Nidia

CHA employee Nidia Negron and her eldest daughter try to have a mother daughter date night each month by doing some type of craft project. To celebrate National Craft Month, they had a social painting night out!

“We’re both so busy and, as you can imagine, trying to schedule a date with a twenty-something-year-old can be challenging. Yet, she says I have more of a life than she does! Our mother daughter dates are something that we both always look forward to. It’s our time to connect, be creative and do what we love.”

Stay tuned for more stories and tips on the CHA Blog and all of CHA’s social media channels.

What are you doing to celebrate National Craft Month? Share your story by emailing marketing@craftandhobby.org or using the hashtags #WeAreCHA, #CRE8TIME and #NationalCraftMonth on social media.