EtsyKids Design Challenge: We have a Winner!

Posted Saturday, March 31, 2012

Congratulations to the winner of our March's challenge, Gender Neutral Baby Bib, Yellow Bee, Baby Shower Gift, 6 Months by maddywear!

"Gender Neutral Baby Bib, Yellow Bee, Baby Shower Gift, 6 Months

Maddy Wear® bibs are a unique, one-of-a-kind, handmade bib that is made with a soft durable cotton fabric and flannel lining. These bibs will protect your child's clothing and save you money! 

Before using Maddy Wear® bibs, customers stated that they weighed what types of food to feed their child based on what they were wearing, but now their clothes remain virtually stain free!

These bibs are a symmetrical tank style design, which is also reversible, so they are four bibs in one! One shoulder is sewn, while the other has a snap with two additional snaps that run along the torso of the bib. 

With this easy-on, easy-off design children don't realize they are wearing them, so the tug of war with standard bibs is over! They are also a great space saver in the diaper bag by getting you through multiple meals!"

Please be sure to visit Maddy Wear, an innovative Etsy shop that caters to little messy eaters.  It's adds style, function and fun to an important part of child's wardrobe - bibs!  

Introducing Tizzy Dee

Posted Thursday, March 29, 2012

Today We Introduce You To Courtney of TizzyDee

Q: What motivated you to start your shop?
Three years ago my sister bought me a "teach-yourself-to-crochet" book for my birthday. I got a little addicted/obsessed and after multiple requests from friends, I opened my Etsy shop.

Q: What is the story behind your shop name?
The shop is named after my daughter, Tizita Desta. Tizzy Dee is what we used to call her before she joined our family from Ethiopia.

Q: Do you have a favorite Etsy Shop (non-child related)?
I love Paint4Ethiopia. My friend Gina does amazing work with a portion of her proceeds going back into Ethiopia.

Q: What surprised you most about having your own craft / online shop?
I'm always surprised when I get international orders. It's amazing that people all over the world find my little shop and like my creations enough to purchase one!

Q: What do you find most challenging about being an Etsy seller?
It is hard for me to find the time to make all the ideas I have in my head actually come to life.

Q: What's your personal philosophy behind your shop / products?
I try to create everything from my own patterns. I also try to create products that I enjoy making so my customers can see my love and care coming through each item. Almost all my items are custom-created after the order is placed, so each item can be customized by size and color, which makes each item fun and unique for each customer.

Q: How would someone (other then you) describe you?
Outgoing, expressive, fun.

Q: What music do you have on while you are creating?
I usually watch Netflix on my computer. I've burned through all seven seasons of Melrose Place, various wedding and cooking shows, and just started The United States of Tara.

Q: What do you do when you aren't working?
Play with my daughter, hang out with my husband and my family.

Q: Anything else you'd like to tell us or share?
We are an adoptive family and the sales from my shop have significantly helped us with the costs involved in our second adoption. I don't promote my shop as a fundraiser or say that a percentage of my sales are going towards our adoption, but it has been an amazing help! I want people to know that when they purchase from my shop, their money will be well spent. :)

Hippity Hoppity Paper Bag Frog Puppets

Posted Tuesday, March 27, 2012

By Cori of Peace, Baby! Batiks

Here’s an easy activity perfect for spring days when you’ve got just a little time for an activity: paper bag frog puppets! Even better, chances are pretty good you’ve already got everything you need:

Lunch-size brown paper bag
Green construction paper
Red construction paper
Googly eyes (the bigger the better!)

My inspiration came from this blog post. We made our frog puppets on Feb. 29 (aka, Leap Day) and paired them with a few of the Froggy books by author Jonathan London and illustrator Frank Remkiewicz. But, I think you’ll find this is great for any spring day or even an “F”-themed day – especially if you’ve got a good place to go looking for frogs!

First, you’ll need some basic shapes:

Two strips of green paper that are rounded on one end for eyes
Two green arms
Two green legs
Several green circles
A long red tongue

Depending on the age of your kids, you can either precut these shapes or trace them onto construction paper and let them do the cutting.

Glue the googly eyes onto the eye strips and fold under the bottom (non-round) end. Glue to the base of your paper bag.

Glue the eyes and legs inside the side folds of your paper bag. Glue the tongue under the bottom of the bag.

Last, glue the green dots all over your frog. Put your hand inside and start hopping!

Tutorial:: DIY Diaper Wipes

Posted Sunday, March 25, 2012

From Emily of BusyChickadees and Raising Busy Chickadees

I started making my own disposable diaper wipes a few years ago. I love them! They are more natural and cheaper than the store-bought version.

Now, I use cloth diapers, so I use cloth wipes, but I wanted to share how to do this with my disposable diaper friends. I am going to use mine as eye make-up disposable wipes. You will be amazed at how easy it
is to do. Are you ready?

Homemade Disposable Diaper Wipes
Bounty Paper Towels (select-a-size)
2 cups water
2 tablespoons baby wash (natural if possible)
2 tablespoons oil (canola oil, olive oil, and coconut oil work)
tea tree oil (optional).

Step 1 
Cut the rolls of paper towels in half with a serrated knife.

Step 2
Pour water into container. Add baby wash and oil. Stir.

Step 3 
Add 2 drops of tea tree oil (used to prevent mold) optional.

Step 4
Drop the half a roll of paper towel into the water. Wait until water has soaked into the paper towels and remove the center cardboard tube.

Step 5
Pull wipes up from the center.

**A note of caution. **If you seal the lid on tightly, you are almost guaranteed for your wipes to mold at some point. I just leave the lid cracked open and have not had a problem with that. How about you, have you used your own wipes before?

Find Emily online at Facebook and Twitter, by visiting her blog - Raising Busy Chickadees and her Etsy Shop - Busy Chickadees:

Toddler Sensory Activity: Colored Spaghetti

Posted Saturday, March 24, 2012

I was making dinner the other night {spaghetti and meat sauce} and though how fun it would be to play with the spaghetti! I knew coloring it would make it even more fun so I did some browsing and found this video on how to color spaghetti. It's really easy...just take a look.

I didn't have any watercolors so I used food coloring. It worked just fine but didn't distribute the color all that evenly.

If you don't have a sensory table {I don't} then you can use a bowl, tupperware, one of those disposable lasagna pans {which we used}...pretty much anything your little heart desires. There are also tons of sensory table DIYs around the internet if you are handy enough to make one yourself. We also have a water table that we like to use.

Bug had so much fun playing in the spaghetti. In fact, it was an all day project! Here are all the things we did with it:

First we played with it using our hands.

 Then I broke out the toddler scissors.

 She had some trouble with them so I showed her to lay it over a cup and use 2 hands to cut.

 Then I held it and she used 2 hands to cut.

Bug served me some scoop-fulls using kitchen tongs {great for motor skill development}!

I even dared to let her take it out by the carpet to cook in her kitchen.

She stepped in the tub and wiggled her toes. {I think she liked this best - be careful though, it's slippery}

We took the spaghetti to the kitchen floor and made some shapes with them too!

It was so much fun! How will you play with spaghetti?

If you like this post and want to see more toddler activities please visit my blog, Tutus and Tea Parties. You can also follow me here: Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Pinterest.

Introducing All Wild Co.

Posted Thursday, March 22, 2012

Today We Introduce You To Nadia of All Wild Co.

Q: What motivated you to start your shop?
I’ve always lived a creative lifestyle. I worked as a fashion designer for some years before starting a family. While staying at home with my children, I felt inspired and encouraged to create something that would try and capture their full of life personalities, innocence and love for nature.

Q: What is the story behind your shop name?
For the shop’s name I took my inspiration from nature - organic, wild. Also I felt it reflected children's' infinite originality and their creative and playful spirit.

Q: Do you have a favorite Etsy Shop (non-child related)?
I love textiles, art and photography. These are some of my favorites:

Q: What surprised you most about having your own craft / online shop?
I found it to be a very rewarding experience having your own online shop. It feels wonderful to see other folks enjoying your designs and workmanship. I’ve also picked up a lot of new skills and met some wonderful people along the way.

Q: What do you find most challenging about being an Etsy seller?
Not enough hours in a day!

Q: What's your personal philosophy behind your shop / products?
I pledge to develop fresh, fun, functional items, and to try my best to make them as eco friendly and safe as possible. All my items are made of either 100% organic cotton, hemp or other unique eco friendly blends. I hand dye with non-toxic dyes and screen print with water-based inks. Always trying to support local business, I strive to source fabrics that have been grown and milled right here in the USA.

Q: How would someone (other then you) describe you?
A little shy, friendly...

Q: What music do you have on while you are creating?
Right now I enjoy music by Of Monsters and Men, Adele, Nina Simone, Billie Holiday, and Fleetwood Mac.

Q: What do you do when you aren't working?
I have two children and when not working I devote most of my time to them. However, when ever I get a moment, I like to play piano, try new recipes, and skim through design magazines and blogs.

Q: Anything else you'd like to tell us or share?
I would like to mention how much I’ve enjoyed being a design challenge coordinator for this team. Every month I’m astonished by our members’ creativity and craftsmanship.

EtsyKids Design Challenge: It's time to Vote!

Posted Wednesday, March 21, 2012

It's time to vote for your favorite item! Voting will be open until March 27th. This month, EtsyKids members were challenged to create an exciting new item based on a theme "Bumblebees, Bugs, and Butterflies". We received a bunch of fantastic entries from some talented people. Please vote for your favorite item from the list below.

Tutorial: Spring Chick

Posted Tuesday, March 20, 2012

From Steph of NewMillie of This Homemade Life.

Has your weather been as crazy as it has been in Texas? Last week we had a few days of high 70's, low 80's with humidity and now for the last 3 days it has been pouring rain and 50 degrees. It's confusing, and I decided we needed a bit of Spring in our lives, and I want to share with you this little Spring Chick tutorial!!

Here's what you need:

1.  Yarn. I used yellow, pink, black and orange, but you could make your little chick whatever color your little heart desires.
2.  Hook. I used a 4.25 mm, but once again it's whatever you want.
3.  Felt.
4.  Hot glue
5.  Hair clip or headband

Stitches used:
ch- chain
sl st- slip stitch
sc- single crochet-
hdc- half double crochet
dc- double stitch
tr- treble- Yarn over hook twice, then insert hook into next stitch. Yarn over hook, then draw yarn through the stitch (there will be four loops on your hook) *Yarn over and pull through two loops (three loop remaining), yarn over and pull through two loop,(two loops remaining) yarn over and pull through last two loops.
dbl tr- double treble- Same process as the treble, except yarn over hook three times to start the stitch
trp tr- triple treble- Same process as the double treble, except yarn over hook four times to start the stitch

Are you thoroughly confused informed? Okay! Then we are ready!

Chick Body
Chain 4, sl st to form ring

Round 1- 10 sc into the ring

Round 2- 2 sc in first st, sc in 2nd st, 1 hdc and 1 dc in 3rd st, 2 dc in the 4th st,
2 dc in 5th st, 2 sc in 6th st, 1 sc and 1 dc in 7th st, 2 tr in 8th st, 2 dbl tr in 9th st,
2 dbl tr in 10th st.

Round 3- starting in the first stitch of the previous round, 2 dbl tr and 1 trp tr in st,
ch1 and sl st in same st (this is your tail). I also pulled my starting string to close up the hole.

Chain 4, sl st to form ring

Round 1- (crocheting into the ring)- sc, hdc, dc, 2 tr, dc, hdc, 2 sc, hdc, dc,
2 tr, dc, hdc, sc, sl sp into next stitch.


1. Sew wing onto chick

2. Use black yarn to make a little eye

3. Use orange yarn to make a little beak. (I just found the stitch I wanted to be the beak and attached yarn, sc, ch 1, sc, ch1, sl st all in the same stitch.)

4. Finish and weave in all your ends

Now, cut a piece of felt in a similar shape to your chick. Get out your hot glue and glue it to the back of your chick, hiding all your ends. Then get your clip or headband and hot glue it to your chick. I like to put one last piece of felt over the clip or headband just to ensure it is going to stay.

Now go make some chicks! And as always, if you have any questions, please let me know!  You can find me on Facebook, at my Blog, or in my Etsy Shop

Handmade Business 101: Revenue or Profit?

Posted Sunday, March 18, 2012

Business 101 is a new monthly series from Sarah of CuriousWorkmanship designed to help you improve the success of your handmade home business.  

We crafters are so creative, we often spend more time on the “craft” side of the craft business than the “business” side. With this series of monthly blog posts, I’ll introduce you to some of the business concepts that will help you make your business more profitable. Don’t worry—there’s no math more complicated than simple arithmetic!

Today’s topic is revenue and profit.

Revenue is the amount of money that comes into the business. Let’s make up an example to illustrate it. If I sell a baby dress for $35, my revenue is $35. But even though there’s now $35 in my pocket (or in my PayPal account), I don’t really have $35, because I have to figure that I spent money on materials and selling fees. Profit is what’s left over of the revenue after you subtract the costs you had to pay to sell the dress. To figure that, we need to make a list of the costs associated with this dress. Let’s say I spent $10 on materials for the dress, $1.43 in Etsy fees, $1.32 in PayPal fees. These costs total $12.75. So my profit, what’s left over of the $35 revenue after I subtract $12.75 in costs, is $22.25. That’s how much I’d be getting paid for my hour of work making the dress.

Suppose, though, that I discover that somebody else is selling a similar dress for only $15. I don’t want them to undercut my prices, so I am thinking of dropping my price to $15 also. What does that mean for my profit? Well, even without the labor costs, my materials and fees still come to $12.75. That would leave me just $2.25 to pay myself for an hour’s work! Is that really worth it for me? I would wonder if my competitor is doing the math on this, because her materials and fees must cost something like mine.

Why do we want to calculate profit? Because we’re usually in business to make money. Let’s say I’m earning money so I can take a $1000 trip. How many of those dresses will I have to sell in order to earn that much money? If I sell them at $35, I will have to sell 45 dresses to make $1000 profit. But if I sell them at $15, I will have to sell FOUR HUNDRED and forty-five dresses to make the same amount of money. As hard as it is to find buyers at the $35 price, it’ll surely be easier to find 45 buyers than 445 buyers. Plus it will be much less sewing for me.

Now let’s apply this to craft shows. Many people think they’ve had a good show if their revenue is bigger than their booth fee, but they’re often wrong. Let’s say my competitor sets up at a craft show where the booth fee is $100. If my competitor sells 10 dresses at $15 each, they have $150 in their pocket and they think they’ve done well. But have they? The cost of each dress is $10 for materials, and instead of Etsy and PayPal fees we have to add in the booth fee. So the cost of selling 10 dresses at $15 each is $100 for the materials ($10 times 10 dresses) and $100 for the booth fee. This show actually cost them $200, but they only brought in $150 in revenue. Not only did they not make any profit, they paid $50 for the privilege of being at that show! And that’s not even counting their time making dresses and displays, the gas they had to use to get to the show, etc. Don’t let the revenue fool you—a craft show can be unprofitable even if the revenue is more than the booth fee.

Next time we’ll look at how to find the right price for your items. Pricing your items higher and getting fewer sales may actually give you more profit.

EtsyKids Design Challenge for March: Bumblebees, Bugs, and Butterflies

Posted Friday, March 16, 2012


"Bumblebees, Bugs, and Butterflies" is our challenge for March, picked by our last month's winner Elizabeth Lauren Art. This month we'll be featuring a variety of items embellished or inspired by bumblebees, bugs, and butterflies, all handmade by our talented team members.  
EtsyKids members will have until March 20th to submit their entries, and voting will be open to everybody from March 21st to March 27th. So, be sure to come back to the EtsyKids blog for a new post on the 21st to see all of the entries and VOTE!  In the meantime, please click here to get a sneak peek at some exciting entries so far!

Introducing Armadillo Dreams

Posted Thursday, March 15, 2012

Today We Introduce you to Dustin from Armadillo Dreams

Q: What motivated you to start your shop?
There’s a lot of things that motivated us to start the shop. First, our two children Luciana (born March 2007) and Lincoln (born August 2010). We always wanted to be able to provide them with wooden toys, but they were always super expensive. The second was a desire to do woodworking that I discovered during the summer of 2010 while constructing a backyard chicken coop. I had a lot of fun building it and was sad when the project was completed. I then started dreaming up woodworking projects. Other reasons include the desire to be independent and to be able to devote my professional time to something that I truly enjoy.

Q: What is the story behind your shop name?
The name Armadillo Dreams is a long standing inside joke between my wife and I, but does have a deep meaning. I will say that in essence it is our dream of freedom.

Q: Do you have a favorite Etsy Shop (non-child related)?
Yes, The Man Cave (!!! Their men’s shaving and soap products are the best I have ever used and I am really picky about what I use! They all smell very manly without smelling too strong or too generic. I’ve have the least cuts and razor irritation when using their products out of any I have ever used. Highly recommended!

Q: What surprised you most about having your own craft / online shop?
The thing that surprised me the most was the super kind feedback that we have received from customers and admirers. Everyone I have ever heard from has always had nothing but nice things to say about our wooden toys. Most people don’t just stop at a simple compliment either, a lot of our customers love to go into detail about just what they think makes our toys special. Many people will even blog about our products to help us spread the word about Armadillo Dreams. In all of the jobs I have worked at I have never encountered such nice people. Sadly, I used to think people like that didn’t even exist. It’s just so refreshing to know that there are nice people in the world who are willing to take a small amount of time out of their life to tell someone what a good job they did. The world needs more people like Etsy customers!!!

Q: What do you find most challenging about being an Etsy seller?
I would have to say the hardest thing about having an Etsy shop or being a business owner in general is having a work/life balance, especially during the fourth quarter of the year. I can see where it would be really easy to get so into creating and having fun with the business that one might loose sight of their family. I have to remind myself to take breaks and have family time. I’m not perfect at it, but I work hard at it.

Q: What's your personal philosophy behind your shop / products?
We believe it's important for children to have high quality, natural, simple toys that they can dream, imagine and play with.

Q: How would someone (other then you) describe you?
We are both very hard working and driven to succeed. We are also very involved with our children. We have a huge love of the outdoors and are pretty active. I think most people who really know us would describe us the same way.

Q: What music do you have on while you are creating?
We have music on a lot of the time while we are working, but it really varies widely based on the time of the day or what’s going on. Lately it’s been a lot of blue grass. Sometimes it’s rock. Sometimes it’s ambient. Sometimes it’s something in between.

Q: What do you do when you aren't working?
We have tons of hobbies, but just to name a few of the big ones we enjoy spending time with our children, long walks, camping, fishing, geocaching, gardening, beer brewing, cycling and movies. Amanda also enjoys knitting, sewing, garage/estate sales, and graphics design. Some of this does cross over into work though. It’s hard to know when to call something work or not sometimes!

Q: Anything else you'd like to tell us or share?
In addition to our Etsy shop, we will be launching a full shop and blog on our own website Should be up in the next month or two! You can also follow us on Facebook ( or Twitter ( for news and our daily specials.

Tutorial: Monster Page Corner Bookmark

Posted Saturday, March 10, 2012

From Sabrina at NeverlandNook.

Like many of you out there, I am a self confessed addict to Pinterest!!! I just can't help it, so I decided to "Pinterest Challenge" myself. I decided to start with an easy challenge and so I chose the Monster Page Corner Bookmark. This is something you can just do for fun or with your kids! They would love it!

  • Paper (I used double sided paper - 1 side had a pattern)
  • Glue Stick
  • Pencil
  • Scissor
  • Ruler

First I drew the pattern on the non-decorative side of the paper. Each small square is 2.5" x 2.5".

Next I cut the pattern out along with a 2.5" x 2.5" square from the paper.


Glue the square piece so that you see the pattern because next you will fold the triangle pieces over and across the square and glue them together.


Next you will want to draw out a pattern by teeth. The triangle should be 2.5" x 2.5" x 3.5" to fit in the square. Draw teeth however you would like! It's fun to create different characters!


Once you've glued the teeth in, cut out some circles for eyeball(s).


Glue them on and Ta Da!!!!! You have the perfect Monster Page Corner Bookmark!!!

So gather up some different shades of green paper and a variety of circles and let the kids make-up a slew of green toothy monsters to mail their bookworm friends for St. Patty's.  Thanks Neverland Nook for sharing this fun tutorial.

You can find Neverland Nook online at these different locations:  Etsy Shop, Blog, Facebook & Twitter

Introducing Mia4Art

Posted Thursday, March 08, 2012

Today We Introduce You to Mia from Mia4Art

Q: What motivated you to start your shop?
My children motivated me to start painting children's custom orginal canvases. Before my daughter was born, I was preparing her nursery and was inspired to create original art work. Parents put a lot of work into their children's nurserys with unique, personal, personalized items. I did not want a reprint of children's art for my daughter.

Q: What is the story behind your shop name?
My shop's name on Etsy is Mia4art...My first name, my favorite number and my love for art. My children's painting business is called "Naptime Creations by Mia" because I started my business during my first child's nap time!

Q: Do you have a favorite Etsy Shop (non-child related)?
No, all my favorites are for children .

Q: What surprised you most about having your own craft / online shop?
No surprises yet!

Q: What do you find most challenging about being an Etsy seller?
No challenges, feel that it is user friendly.

Q: What's your personal philosophy behind your shop / products?
I paint each canvas as if it were for one of my babies. I believe in my heart that no customer will be disatisfied. Each canvas grows with their child bringing joy, inspiration and design into nurserys, bedrooms and playspaces.

Q: How would someone (other then you) describe you?
Creative, perfectionist when it comes to designing.

Q: What music do you have on while you are creating?
Carribbean or standup comedy.

Q: What do you do when you aren't working?
Being a mommy to my 3 year old daugther and 1 year old baby boy.

Q: Anything else you'd like to tell us or share?
Prior to painting, I was a Graphic Designer and Elementary Art Teacher. I feel that through working with children and having my own children, I am able to create paintings that inspire and capture chidren's eyes.That my paintings make great gifts for baby showers and birthdays. Perfect for big girl and boy rooms. Please come over to my facebook page and connect with me:

Tutorial: Shake an Egg

Posted Wednesday, March 07, 2012

From Lauren at crocheting4baby.

Have you heard of Laurie Berkner?

She sings songs for kids that we just love here in our home. She makes kids music enjoyable, instead of annoying. I must say I can listen to her music non stop while playing with Bug and not get sick of it. She has 5 CDs {i believe} plus a The Best Of CD and I can't tell you which is my fave. I love them all!

On her CD "Whaddaya Think of That?" there is a song called I Know A Chicken, it's also on The Best Of CD.

The song is so much fun and she tells you different ways to shake an egg. If you don't have a shaky egg you can just shake your body, but we made some shaky eggs from old plastic eggs we had in our play food cart since Easter.

What you will need:
  • Plastic Eggs {one per kid, or as many as you'd like}
  • Small items to put inside the egg to make noise. We used yeast, rice & small noodles. We wanted to make ours soft and loud shakers. Other ideas are oatmeal, cornmeal, sprinkles, beads...
  • Crazy glue
  • Tape
First you are going to want to tape the inside where the holes are {if any} so there are no leaks.

Then fill half an egg about 3/4 of the way. Place glue around the edges and let it dry. {don't glue your fingers to the egg} If you are lazy and impatient like I am you can just wrap some packing tape around the egg so it doesn't open easily. You might not want to do that meathod with younger ones who will try to open it. Bug was a good listener and didn't even attempt it.

Give it to your little one, turn on some Laurie Berkner and shake an egg!

See more of Lauren's toddler friendly activities on her blog, Tutus & Tea Parties, follow her on facebook and see her crocheted offerings in her Etsy shop:  
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