I forgot to mention that I had some good news the other day. I had talked about the new ghost and pumpkins stand up figure vignette and how I was thinking of offering the wood pieces as a kit for the painters that don’t have access to a woodworker or cutting.
Below is a picture of the set that I am referring to:
This set is cut from 3/4” poplar and there are five pieces that make up the set. However, the other similar sets that I have, such as the snowmen:
The snowmen pieces were cut from 1/2” wood, and they are certainly thick enough to stand properly. I feel that if I were to make the kits for the ghosts and pumpkins 1/2” thick, the project as a whole would not suffer in the least.
The other day I mentioned that my main concern with offering these kits was the shipping costs. Unlike shipping ornament kits that are made of 1/8” plywood, which can be easily shipped in a padded envelope, these stand up figures exceed the thickness limit of basic shipping costs and push these pieces up into another category. Of course when that happens, the cost also increases dramatically to ship.
You can imagine that purchasing these pieces for say about $12 a set and then having to pay $12 to $15 additional shipping would be pretty discouraging. While the set is cute and nice, I don’t think that the blank pieces would be worth almost $30 to anyone. It just wasn’t feasible.
I currently offer the snowmen pieces as an 1/8” kit only for this reason. And while they are nice as refrigerator magnets or ornaments to be hung in a wreath, on a mantle or in a tree, I somehow think that the “Boo” ghosts lose something in the translation from stand up pieces to flat ornaments. They really are meant to be something that stands on their own.
I have explored the idea of making stand for the pieces. The skating pond set that I designed last year had clay stands:
I had made longer tabs on the bottom of their feet and had the customer mold clay stands around them as part of the project:
While this worked fine for that, I don’t think that it will look good with these types of pieces, as there is something really nice about the thickness and chunkiness of the wood that gives the project substance and makes it look nicer.
So I brought the actual pieces down to the post office to see my options, and for a change, I was pleasantly surprised.
If I could fit the pieces in a padded envelope, it would definitely bump the package up into another category, however the increase in cost was much less that I had imagined. While I would have to pay a couple dollars more than if I mailed just the paper pattern itself, it was not as expensive as I had thought and it would definitely be within reason to be able to work. That was great news.
I believe that I will indeed be able to try these pieces out for sale as kits, without having to double the price of the kit to make up for the shipping costs.
I am sure that customers understand that I don’t (nor do I try) to make any money on shipping. Even with shipping paper patterns, there are some cases when I actually lose a little money when actual shipping exceeds the range of charges that my site is set at. In those cases, I tend to let it ride, as it is usually not the case and it balances out from when perhaps actual shipping costs a bit less than anticipated. I just don’t want to offer these kits knowing that I am losing money each time one is ordered. I wouldn’t be able to stay in business that way.
So hopefully we can go from here and create some new kits to accompany the new painting patterns. While I may not sell a huge amount of them, I like to have them available for those customers that don’t have access to people who cut wood for them. I think it is a nice service to offer, and will add to our site.
With that said, I have only one more pattern to complete before our update. Things have been slow the past couple of days, as I have been distracted by a couple of other things going on. But I want to focus on the new avenues that I am exploring right now and look at the positive things that are in front of me.
I also wanted you all to know that Lee Valley has free shipping from now until September 24th on orders over $40. That is an easy number to reach (for me, anyway!) and it is a great chance for you to stock up on your woodworking supplies for your upcoming autumn and holiday projects. Their website is here:
Have fun shopping! :)
Have a wonderful Sunday.
-- Contributing Editor, Creative Woodworks and Crafts, Sheila Landry Designs http://www.sheilalandrydesigns.com "Knowledge is Power"