So You Want to Join a Craft Fair…

You’ve mastered your craft and made enough items that you want to sell. Now what? Joining a craft fair for the first time can be intimidating–and, to be honest, I had to ask myself a hundred times if I was ready before I actually signed up for one. But there’s nothing more satisfying for a crafter than to have her items purchased and appreciated by others. The key here is to be prepared. Here are some things that may help you if you’re a fair rookie:

  • Choose which event will best suit your craft. Some events purely showcase art works, some sell handmade wearables like accessories and clothes, while some may even have food booths in them. Study which fair will showcase your items the most and will be attended by your target market.

  • Gather your materials. Your products are a given, but what else do you need? Make a list of equipment that you need for the event. I always make sure to create two lists: 1) Things to bring and, 2) Things to buy. Don’t forget to make a note of the little things you need like thumb tacks, frame holders, table cloth, non-skid mats and bubble wrap for fragile items, pen, paper, receipt booklet, scissors, etc. Most of all, never forget the bags to put your sold products in. It is also a good practice to take note of the booth inclusions offered by the organizer to avoid bringing unnecessary and bulky items. For instance, some will provide tables, while some will not — which leads us to the next item.

  • Read the event guidelines. This should include the size of your booth, inclusions, and ingress and egress details. Your booth size will determine how your display will look. From that, everything else will follow. Some examples of booth inclusions are electricity, tables and chairs, racks, etc. The ingress and egress details will help you plan your schedule including the time you need to leave your house to set up your booth.

  • Think of a fun gimmick to sell your items. Remember, you are just one of the many booths showcasing their products. You need to stand out–or at least be inviting enough for potential buyers. Aside from the aesthetics of your booth, think of quirky things you can offer like free gift wrapping for a minimum purchase, small freebies, discounts when they follow your social media page, etc. The list is endless. You just have to get creative.

For the specific event in the photo above, I added Christmas design elements since it was held in December. Candies were also for free!

  • Do a mock set-up on the day before your event. Set everything up, table, table cover, the works. This will ensure that you do not forget a small detail. It will also help you pack things efficiently, i.e., the first items you need to unpack on the event day have to be the most accessible.

  • Finally, have fun and relax! This is your first craft fair and it will always be a memorable moment. Take advantage of the opportunity to meet other makers, as well as create a bigger market for your products.

Good luck! 🙂

Thank You, 2016!

It’s the 28th of December — just 3 days short of it being 2017. I could’ve sworn I’ve just written a recap of 2015 in my blog, but hey, this year flew by like it had a mind of its own and no one could’ve stopped it if they tried.

Papel de Pinay had a late start in terms of kick-starting this year. The first craft fair I joined
for 2016 was at Estancia on March 19th. That was also my arm-knitted scarves’ debut. scarvesThe following day, March 20th, I held a small papercutting workshop at Spectrum Lifestyle Store in Alabang. Spectrum was also where I had been a consignee since late last year. Unfortunately, the store ended its run in October. It was a good experience for me, though. It’s healthy to explore and take risks from time to time. spectrum display
Summer was the highlight of PdP’s year. April and May were all about exposure. LOL. Minimal exposure, yes, but who am I to be picky? In April, Maker’s Market collaborated with HGTV. An event filled with local and independent crafters was held at the Alabang Town Center on April 3rd. The place was packed mainly because the event was held in the atrium and a program with hosts was held late afternoon. The hosts took time to interview all makers — including myself 😉 — so the shoppers became more interested with the items for sale. I was told it was shown on HGTV, though I have yet to see it.

 

May came and I received a call from GMA-7 (a local TV network in the Philippines) inviting me to guest in an early morning show to showcase my items and teach the hosts some basic papercutting techniques. You could imagine my nerves then, especially that it was on live TV. Thankfully, I managed to calm my shaky hands and was able to move my lips when it was time to talk.

The craft fairs I joined in were spread throughout the year. Some of them were back-to-back events (I don’t encourage this if you want to have a life), and boy, was it tiring. Fulfilling, nonetheless. 🙂 It was also at a craft fair (my first 10a Alabama experience!) that I met Mai of Fake Alchemy through a common friend. This friend suggested that we do a collaboration of our works, thus, the birth of the handmade papercut glass pendants that we now both sell. Amazing how things come about, huh?

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craft-fairs

The third quarter of the year brought about my first ever radio guesting and my last papercutting workshop for the year. The radio guesting was at RX 93.1’s Heard on Thursdays show. I got to talk to Hazel and Raffy about my craft and experiences with papercutting.

It was also the perfect time to promote my then upcoming workshop in September, which by far is my biggest workshop to-date. I’m hoping for more of these next year. 🙂

Looking back, it makes me wonder how all of these happened considering the other things on my plate which kept me busy, too: a full-time job (including the wasted hours spent in traffic), my personal life, and a litter of puppies my family had to take care of since August (note: not an easy job!). But I guess, more than time management, cheesy as it may sound, it’s the people around me who made everything happen. I’m thankful for every single one of them. ❀

HAPPY NEW YEAR, FOLKS! Cheers to a more craft and love-filled 2017! 

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Papercutting Workshop in Makati

You can now register by going to my Upcoming Workshops page. 10 to 15 slots only.

In this workshop, you will get to learn the basics of papercutting and some helpful tips and tricks. You will also get to take home a Papercutting Starter Kit, special paper for papercutting, and enjoy sumptuous treats from J.cuppacakes.

Register now! 🙂

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Papercutting Workshop at Crafters Marketplace

Hey, everyone!

Papel de Pinay will be holding another workshop this summer at The Crafters Marketplace in Shangri-La Plaza Mall on April 16, from 4PM to 6:30PM.

Fee is PHP 1,600, inclusive of a starter kit and snacks. Register by sending an e-mail to craftersnscrappers@gmail.com.

Register now! 🙂

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Papercutting Workshop – Please express your interest! :)

Hi guys,

I’m planning to hold a Papercutting  Workshop in Alabang on either February 13 or 20, and I need a show of hands (virtual hand, that is) so I can plan accordingly. Venue will be at the Spectrum Lifestyle Store at Commercenter Alabang. Comment below with your e-mail address so I can add you to the preliminary list. Thanks! 🙂

Wendy

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Papel de Pinay at the All One Piece Exhibit

Last October 3, the first ever Katipunan Art Festival was held in Katipunan, Quezon City. Several shops, art stores and restaurants alike, held workshops and craft fairs the whole day. It was unfortunate that I was not free that day, but I’m proud and grateful to have been a part of it through the papercut exhibit organized by Hey Kessy, the All One Piece Exhibit. 

The exhibit features artworks from 10 papercut artists, including, well, me. I’m really happy to be a part of this. For those who may not know,  I learned papercutting from Mansy Abesamis of Hey Kessy, so it was great to somehow collaborate with her on this. 
  
Here’s my submitted artwork. The title is “Pamana (Heritage)”, in honor of the Philippine eagle which was unjustly killed two months after it was released from captivity. 

  

  
The piece is cut from a single sheet of paper, and is approximately 10×10 inches in size.

    

The exhibit will run until the end of October, so you still have time to check out the other artworks. 

Emergency Cuts

Imagine this: you are making your last cut for a commissioned artwork. You’ve been straining your neck for the past 2 hours. Finally, you hold the paper with both hands, raise it to eye level, and admire your hard work for a few seconds. You’re about to give yourself a pat on the back when… Bam! You realize you’re missing an entire line of three words. You’re world crumbles (exaggeration) and you swear to yourself that you did double-check everything when you made the draft. Or so you think.

How in the world of Van Gogh did that happen? You must have been singing along mindlessly to a favorite song. You could have also been enjoying (more than a normal person should) the flawless feel of your prized stone paper against your fingertips. Or maybe, your hands are just faster than your brain at the moment. There could be a thousand reasons for all we know. Never mind the how’s. This calls for an emergency. 

Here are some tips that you can follow when trying to save a “wounded” papercut art:

1. Look at the artwork as a whole. Does the mistake visibly pop out? If it would take a microscope and an overly obsessive compulsive person like you to see it, let it go. Remedying it may just compromise the entire project and you will just waste the hours you’ve spent on the whole thing. Of course, if it’s text that you’re missing, then that’s a different story. In that case, read #3.

2. If you can, try to look for the papercut debris of the part you were making. You must have cut more than you should, and that bit of paper can be attached using an invisible glue or a clear double-sided tape. Emphasis on invisible and clear. A glue stain and peeking tape will just put more attention to the damaged area. 

3. When you miss a word or phrase (try not to do this one!), don’t scrap everything yet. You may still salvage your artwork (but you will only realize this after a few minutes of cursing at yourself). 

  

 In the image above, I missed the phrase you’ll know it. It was a good thing that there was a line connecting the phrases. I removed everything below that line, recreated it, measured the remaining space, and figured how to fit the rest of the sentence in that space. Finally, I secured it in place with double-sided tape. If you look hard enough, you’ll see (the goal is that you won’t) that the diagonal line holding the additional phrase is on top of the old line.  

For the papercut project below, instead of missing a word, I duplicated the word be. This was easier to fix as it’s as simple as cutting out the extra word. The result was a gap between always and be. It bothered me for a bit, but I was told that It looked like it was deliberately done, so I let it go.   

No matter how good you are or how long you’ve been crafting, making a mistake will always be inevitable. When you do, try not to be too hard on yourself. Mistakes are there anyway to be corrected and learned from. 

Elephants

It’s been a week since my bazaar stint at Estancia Mall in Capitol Commons —  my second time to join the Maker’s Market — and I’m still over the moon. It was a successful one! I can’t wait for the next one in September. (More on my bazaar experience in my next post)

One of the people who paid my booth a visit was an old friend. She was my first ever best friend; we’ve known each other since grade school. I’m going to spare myself the task of revealing my age by not going into more details (*cough*specific year*cough*). Let’s just say it was in the 90’s. Yeah.. We’ve been friends thaaaat long, and so, it was really a lovely surprise for me to see her there. 

She commissioned me to make her elephant papercuts: a bookmark and a framed papercut. I’m posting just the framed papercut as I haven’t gotten a good photo of the bookmark yet. Anyway, here it is: 

 

  
I love how it turned out. I used stone paper for this piece as the lines are very fine which made the papercut delicate, then framed the final piece in double glass. Total time to make this: about 1.5 hours, including the sketching bit.

Fun fact on elephants: Did you know that when elephants meet up with family or friends, they entwine their trunks? That’s elephant-style hugging right there!

I’m ending this post with a song which played while I was just about to finish my elephant papercut. Spotify is magic.