If you want to participate in holiday-oriented arts and crafts, you're reaching the break-even point to get moving on your designs. While there are many arts and crafts shows during the 4th quarter of the year selling gift items, I am particularly addressing holiday decorations. This is obviously a big business as I see many year-round and seasonal holiday decoration shops in every city I visit.
Advantages to Crafting for the Holidays
There are two major draws to having a holiday line of decorations:
- Using Existing Arts or Crafts Talents: No matter what your main area of arts and crafts, you can retrofit it to include a holiday ornament product line. For example, if your area of expertise is surface design of paper or fabric, you can make wrapping paper, cards or present boxes. If you sew, you can create stockings, table runners, mantle runners and other holiday themed articles.
- Usually Quicker and Easier to Make:Most of the time, you'll be taking your art or craft to a smaller scale. Therefore, it's usually less work and less expensive. Plus, you'll probably be able to set the production of the holiday craft up in an assembly-line style.
Pricing Holiday Decorative Crafts
In my experience, this is an area where you will be concentrating on selling more products for a lesser price. Let's say you are at a craft show in November or early December and you have a lot of appealing Christmas tree decorations for under $15. I venture to guess you'll sell out your inventory by the end of the craft show. Shoppers need great looking, low price holiday items for a myriad of reasons: secret Santa, stocking stuffers and last minute presents for surprise giftors.
Showing an Example of Holiday Decorative Crafts
I purchased the holiday themed ornament shown on this page a few years back at a gallery owned by a friend and was able to pick the brains of the artist. After speaking with the artist, I consider this an ideal design. With the white surface accented by the gold leaf, it is very high-end looking. In addition, while it's technically a Christmas tree ornament, it's very non-religious looking so it could also be treated as just a decorative object.
Plus, it's very cheap and easy to make. Merely roll out some white polymer clay, use a cookie cutter for the heart-shape and bake. Add some surface design, seal it up with some glossy glaze and you're done. Per the artist, it is possible to make over a hundred of these ornaments in less than a day.
For more inspiration on what can be achieved with polymer clay, check out the Polymer Art Archive.
Resources for Holiday Crafts
My absolute favorite is Handmade Christmas. Published in 1995 by Martha Stewart Living, it's a compilation of instructions from issues of her magazine pre-1995 and is an oldie but goodie. The book is organized into eight sections: wreaths and swags, cookie boxes, stockings, ornaments, gifts, candles, wrapping and outdoor displays. I purchased my copy back in the day for over $20. Luckily, it's still available in paperback for less than $6.
If you're into paper crafts, I recommend Making Origami Christmas Decorations Step-by-Step. The book gives instructions for nine difference decorations, including a Christmas tree, an angel, a wreath, and a gift bow. The instructions are clear and easy to follow. As a bonus, the book gives info on each design's significance and symbolism that would be ideal to include on the price tag or as a marketing tool.
Additionally, most people are fascinated by origami. With a little artistic pizzazz added in, origami holiday crafts should be a great holiday craft show seller. Hint: a little gold or silver gilding really adds eye appeal.
In conclusion, lacking some sort of full-scale marketing and manufacturing effort, you're not going to get rich selling $15 holiday ornaments. However, they are a nice compliment to your other arts and crafts items either online or at craft shows during 4th quarter.