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Resources and Examples to Keep Your Arts and Crafts Business Eco-Friendly


It's just good business to keep your arts and crafts business as green as possible. Not only do customers prefer to purchase from eco-friendly businesses, it may cut your costs to make your arts and crafts too! Check out these six resources for greening up your arts and crafts business.

1. Making Your Arts and Crafts Business Eco-Friendly

Thomas Northcut / Getty Images

Eco-friendly arts and crafts have been a continuing trend over the last few years. And, this is a trend that is not going away. The smart artist or crafter will incorporate some aspect of greening up their business both to attract customers and hopefully reduce costs.

This article also addresses appealing to customers with a social conscience by using conflict free gemstones and recycling and reusing arts/crafts related materials. Jewelers do this by collecting and either re-using or selling scrap metal. I have noticed a rising trend in the fashion crafts of repurposing old/worn knitted goods into new articles of clothing.

It also discusses using organic materials in your arts and crafts. Generally, an organic product is one made in an environmentally friendly fashion and is biodegradable.

2. Designing Sustainable Packaging

Lawrence King Publishing

Making arts and crafts from recycled products has been a continuing trend. However, reusing and repurposing raw materials doesn't do a lot of good unless our customer packing reflects the same eco-firendly stance.

Read my review of Designing Sustainable Packaging which contains information about interesting prototypes and information about materials and construction. It contains instruction for folding an origami crane to help you understand how to manipulating paper. One very interesting section is about Twist sponge packaging that includes instructions on how to convert the product packaging into a bird feeder.

3. Rummage Through Your Recycling Bin to Make Designer Arts and Crafts

Book jacket courtesy of Amazon.com

Check out these five great arts and crafts books on the topic of using eco-friendly materials. Find out about altered art, using materials from the recycling bin and stitching up a Kate Spade or Prada-like handbag using recyled plastic, vinyl and micro-fibers.

Reviews include:

  • Found Object Art, Altered Art, Eco Books and Altered Paper Jewelry which gives hundreds of examples of transforming trash into functional and decorative pieces of art and craft.
  • Making Vinyl, Plastic and Rubber Handbags is written by members of the Accessories Design Department at the Fashion te of Technology (FIT), learn how to recycle car mats, shower curtains and other household rubber items into stylish handbags.

4. Green Guide for Artists

Quarry Books

Many of the readymade supplies we buy for our arts and crafts business are toxic to use and create a hazard if disposed of improperly. This fantastic book by Karen Michel provides nontoxic recipes for paints and adhesives, gives resources to buy eco-friendly arts and crafts supplies and has an impressive and inspiring gallery profile section.

Also discussed is how to make arts and crafts supplies using flour, gelatin, eggs and honey. Plus, if you're not familiar with essential oils, the author gives recommendations for the best essential oils such as lavender and rosemary that you can use in your arts and crafts workshop to retard bacteria and chase away bugs.

5. Natural Dyes and Home Dyeing

Image courtesy of Teresinha Roberts. .

This book contains a comprehensive historical background on how natural dyes evolved, 52 dye recipes and four different mordant recipes. However interesting this book may be, many of the recipes are beyond the skill set of the casual home dyer.

If you aren't interested in finding the natural raw materials for the book's receipes you can buy natural dye extracts. For example, cochineal dye for a the vibrant red and many others for brilliant yellows and blues.

6. Amy Flynn's FOBOTS - Found Object Robots

Image used courtesy of Amy Flynn

Check out this profile of artists Amy Flynn, a creator of witty and well-done found item art. 2010 NICHE Awards winner in the Professional Recycled category, her designs are extremely popular and are a fantastic representation of this type of art and craft.

Plus, as an arts and crafts business owner you'll be thrilled to find out that when done well, arts and crafts made from found objects can come with a hefty price tag.

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