Tuesday 26 March 2013

Guest Post: Should You Charge People for Your Beaded Creations?

Today I am honoured to have a guest-blogger on Marigolds' Loft.

Welcome to Adrienne who is a craft blogger with a point.

She will be giving you tips on:

 Should You Charge People for Your Beaded Creations?

beading jewelry

If you've been indulging your passion for making beaded necklaces, bracelets and other jewelry for very long, you've surely gotten a lot of compliments, and this request from friends and family usually isn't too far behind: “Can you make me one of those?” 

The problem is, making jewelry can be an expensive and time-consuming process, especially if you’re making it to someone else’s specifications. You’re arguably better off selling your own designs to strangers, but is that a step you want to take? Here’s a quick primer on when and whether it’s wise to sell your beautiful beaded works of art to other people.

You Have to Recoup Your Costs

Many people don’t even consider the cost that goes into making jewelry when they request a memento of their own. They think they’re complimenting you by requesting something lovely that you've made. 

And while it is very nice to see the popularity of your creations, the reality is that if your aunt Nancy has now asked for a matching set including a necklace, bracelet and earrings, you’re probably losing out on some serious dough. 

Tally how much you've spent from your own pocket making jewelry for others. If the cost is starting to get too high, don’t be shy about asking your friends and family to at least pay for parts, if not the actual labor.

Is This a Hobby or a Vocation? 

Like chic tops or falling snowflakes, your creations are unique. You probably enjoy sharing them with the world. But you have to ask yourself, is this a hobby or do you see it as an income-producing job?

If it’s a hobby, then it’s probably not worth charging people for your beaded jewelry, no matter how gorgeous and intricate. Hobbies are meant to help us relax and unwind. You don’t want to be stressing about whether you received a payment from this or that friend. 

Your Life’s Work

If, on the other hand, you view jewelry making as a potential job, it’s time to change the way you see your onetime hobby. You have to get organized.
I like to keep tally of my expenditures in an Excel document. I track how much of each material I've purchased and used, and I also keep track of how long each piece takes me – it’s important to know if that intricate bracelet is going to take six hours longer to make than that lovely pendant necklace someone asked about. Through trial and error you are certain to find a system that works for you.

Don’t rule out giving away some of your jewelry as a marketing device. The more people see your creations, the more will want to buy them; however, be judicious in who gets the goods. Give them to friends who you know will generously steer business your way, not those who will give a blank stare when someone asks where they got their exquisite necklace. If they’re particularly enterprising, give them a small stash of business cards to keep on hand for doling out to admirers.

With the right promotion, your hobby could start earning you money. Just be sure that’s the direction you want to take, because you’ll need to find a new hobby to unwind from the stress of your old one!

Adrienne is a crafty blogger who enjoys beading and binding handmade books. You can read more of her work by following her on Twitter.

Thank you so much for visiting, Adrienne, it has been a pleasure :)

If you would like to be a future Guest-Blogger on Marigolds' Loft I would love to hear from you. Go HERE to find out more.


  1. This post is so true. It's amazing how many people want gifts of your creativity but don't want to pay for it. Even if it's a hobby, they should at least pay for the supplies.

    My aunt loves to sew and buys gorgeous expensive fabric for the creations she makes for me. I try to give her a Visa Gift Card, when she will accept it, to help feed her hobby which I have benefited from.

    1. Hi WonderWhyGal,
      I so agree, most people are totally taken with homemade goodies, but seem to think that because they are handmade they should cost less than most things or better yet nothing - strange phenomenon - especially when you think of the love and hard work put into each handmade item!
      Thanks for visiting.


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