How to make simple scrolled items nicer to sell?

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17 Jan 2014
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Now first of all i am not expecting to retire on proceeds, but as something to do in my spare time and if someone wants to pay money, even better.

Also initial requirements is to break even with wood and tools, time will be here and there, so a spare 1/2 hour in the day and suchlike.

so from what i have googled seem to be popular, but as the market is saturated with all the similar items probably only a low availability to sell to friends/etc, will try etsy (saturated already though), ebay (not sure if that would be a suitable outlet), facebook selling page (anyone here got one?) and then friends/family.

Keyrings, so 1" - 2" scrolled items in attractive wood and nicely finished with some sort of chain. Trying earlier and some tests have come out nice, wood is a bit too thick but not too bad to cut and finish. Can imagine that Christmas themed could be popular (trees/snowmen/angels/etc) and quick turnaround. Maybe even a red keyring chain for hanging on trees as well, stocking filler prices (so £3 or so) that people will not need to think about. loads of ideas for this online, but as the SS is not that good at internal work may need to keep it simple.

Egg cups. these seem to only sold by a handful of retailers, but seem to be a straightforward design, cut something with a large surface area, round off the edge, sell. online they seem to be circa £15-20, so without the 'brand' could probably be nearer £10 depending on the size/finish. Again tried one earlier and seemed to work well, that was a easy cut, hole saw and a few minutes tidying and oiling, and quite easy to do bespoke versions if needed of different shapes.

Name Plaques, i know these are popular on here, and some members do a good trade with them, but thinking of an initial and an animal, or even an animal puzzle for some added interest, dont know the costs of these but again probably in the £10-£15 range when done well. need to practice first....

So what do you all do to make your stand out, as sending a keyring in a padded envelope is cheap, but looks cheap, what can be done to enhance the customer experience, whilst not breaking the bank!
I haven't got a scroll saw yet!, but while i have been researching them i have also been thinking about things to make, i have got a few ideas in mind which as far as i can see nobody else does them, now wether that is because no one has thought about doing them or the fact that they don't sell i don't know, but it seems that the stuff out there already is all very similar, making one off's and bespoke items might bring in more pennies,
As said, i have read a lot on here and elsewhere, and not expecting anything major, but just got the saw back into action so starting to have a play around, and nothing on here that 95% of scrollers have either done or did better just for practicing!

But Oak is loads nicer than pine to scroll and finish and doesnt take much to get them to a nice finish

so a chicken fridge magnet, only issue is i tried with the one i use for the drillpress key so need to buy more now :mrgreen:, but as proof of idea it has worked, plus other non-scrolling things could be attempted (google wood magnetic bottle opener)


Egg cup, you can see where the measurements didnt quite work, but fits eggs nicely (this is an egg laid today from the brood in the back garden 8) )


Basic 'shapes', to be fair these can be anything, add a magnet for a fridge magnet, a hole and beading for a keyring, and thinking (but need to investigate if worthwhile) a pen topper, but probably 101 different things depending on holes or things added.

That bottom pic makes me think- what about some sets of farm animals or Noah's arc animals for kids. Painted bright colours or as oiled wood I think that they would do well.

My daughter has a nice wooden arc that my mum bought her. It is very simple. Made from pine and ply and has MDF animals. There are maybe 30 animals or so. She has loved playing with it. I would think that you could make the whole thing on your across saw.
Hi. I have been attending craft fairs for many years and if you wish to go down the same road there are two main things you need to be aware of. The first is the quality of your work and the second is presentation. You do not have to be an expert salesman, wood sells itself. Most people love things in wood, they like to pick things up and feel the wood, to smell the finish.

Ideally most of the things you make should have a rounded edge, things like name signs can be left with a square edge. Forget items that need painting, they are not cost effective. There are three main things you should consider selling. Name signs, Key racks and animals. I make name signs in a few different designs and have maybe 4 of each design on display. I have about 10 main designs of key racks and with the animals I tend to make them in sets, things like horses, elephants, penguins etc. Other things to consider which sell well are key rings, especially letter key rings and also key rings with different animals. Heart key rings are also good sellers.

Everything you make must be presented well and your display will need careful thought. Red tablecloths are best and build a display up to eye level. You can do something simple with shelves or something more elaborate. You will need tissue paper to wrap things in and small paper carrier bags. Prices vary from area to area. I have to sell on the cheap side here in Wales but if I were in London or Brighton I could probably treble my prices.

Forget working in pine, it is too time consuming to get a decent finish on it. I only use hardwoods for the things I make. Craft fairs can be lucrative and if you have the right sort of items on display you could take £300-£400 on a good day. On an average sort of day you may take about £100. I hope what I have written has been of some help.
2 more points that have occurred to me.

1. If you search chippygeoff's posts he has written several articles that would be of interest, specifically about selling your work and craft fairs.
2. Claymore with his intarsia, and another member whom I forget the name of, but who made a wooden periodic table of elements for a university have shown that you can produce some one-offs which you would never believe were cut on a scroll saw. So my point is that there are opportunities out there for selling your work without selling to the public at large.

Thanks all.
The egg cups, afraid that was something I read about ages ago and researching and found there is one retailer that does sell these at quite a price, also doubling as napkin holders, but the original article was from someone who sells them but put it on a blog.

But it's a case of trying to improve or offer. Something different, but the farm of egg cups is good, everyone has their own and can go from one to any number as long as there is a free animal..

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