Thursday, April 17, 2014

Pretty (Cost-Effective) Packaging Ideas & Thank You Cards

Good morning! Today I'm talking packaging here at Rose & Ruffle. I think it's important to show my customers that I truly appreciate their patronage, so I try to make my packaging pretty, and I always include a thank you card. Each item is wrapped in basic white tissue paper and secured with either raffia or pretty white craft string, which I got in the knit/crochet aisle at Wal-Mart; it may even be a crochet thread/yarn/string? (It was around $2-3.)

I shared this photo on my family blog earlier this month.

I prefer to make my own cards, either with fabric scraps or stamps, or both. Since I always have fabric scraps available, I cut up little bunting flags or triangles to use for the cards (I do this when we're watching a movie or waiting around somewhere) and store them in plastic baggies- one bag with girly colors, the other with boy. I use regular old 4x6 blank index cards, folded in half. They're cost effective, and they fit better than typical cardstock blank cards.

A close-up. More often than not, I simply tuck the card into the string, but sometimes I'll use the hole punch.

I use an ink gel pen (a skinny marker does fine, too) to draw the bunting line --if that's what you even call that clothesline-type thing there-- and print or script the "thank you." Then I dab the wide end of the fabric triangle or pendant with a little glue stick and press it right on. Sticks great and dries clear.
Here is a sample of a stamped thank you card. Since I began making cards with the buntings, I usually stamp this - or Thank you - on the back of the card because I like the look of the colorful little fabric scraps better.

Lastly, I use poly (waterproof) mailing envelopes in a variety of sizes. I found mine on ebay- there are tons to choose from. I tried printing out my own postage labels and that was kind of a fiasco, so I make weekly trips to the post office. Most of the time I use the self check-out and am in and out within 10 minutes, but international orders make me a little nervous so I stand in line for the pros for those ones.

Here is a kind of lame picture of these happy little packages about to mailed out, but it shows you the type of plastic mailing envelope I'm talking about. I address these envelopes in the pretty Sharpie markers you can see in one of the pictures above, usually pink, sage green, or lilac.

Here are a few tips to keep in mind when sending your items to customers:

1. Don't send your high quality items in re-used materials - it's kind of like serving a fine meal on a garbage pail cover

2. Keep things simple - simple (but nice/pretty) always works

3. Include at least one thing that's handwritten - you don't have to write a novel (or even a letter or note), but whatever thank you card/note you do use, at least sign it by hand

Happy Packaging!

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Favorite Nightgown: Summer Dreaming

Even though it feels like summer is still a long way off, I relented and let Isabelle start wearing her very favorite summer nightgown. This continues to be one of my best sellers. (Thank you!) This particular evening the sun filtered through her bedroom window, casting its dreamy glow on my beautiful girl. Backyard s'mores and poppy fields and lazy afternoons at the sea...ahh, summer will return eventually, and we cannot wait.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

A New Website (Or Two)

Well, I've taken the plunge and created a new site for Rose & Ruffle on Big Cartel. Okay, so actually, I created one on Weebly as well, but that was before I realized to add a shopping cart is pricier than I'd thought. I'm sticking with the free plans for now, but if there's any traffic or interest, then I just may upgrade... I know, I know. Life in the fast lane here.  :)

Here's the link for Big Cartel: Rose & Ruffle

And the link for Weebly: Rose & Ruffle

For some people, this may not be a big deal at all. But for me, who is not altogether tech savvy, it was downright frustrating and a little mind-numbing at times. I really like the feel of the Weebly site, but the fees per month, not so much. We shall see... of course, they're both still very much works in progress.

Any thoughts? I'd love to hear your feedback! Thanks!

Thursday, March 20, 2014

New Clothing Labels!

I am so excited that today is the official first day of SPRING! But apparently NH has not yet gotten the memo, as it's currently sleeting (on top of the 4+ inches of snow we got during the night). Soon, I hope. I don't think I can take much more of the cold. And the boots that have taken over the corner of my kitchen. =)

I'm also excited about my new clothing labels. It's something I've wanted to do for a while now, but every time I looked online or at Etsy, I got completely overwhelmed and kind of gave up. Well, last weekend I finally took the plunge. I thought I'd use a pre-made one, since there are so many to choose from, but then I ended up making my own. One is completely girly, so that one will be for nightgowns and dresses and such; the other is a bit more neutral so it won't look so out of place on boy shorts or bibs, etc.

What do you think?

I have no idea where they're showing up with a grey background - it's supposed to be white. The white makes the colors look a little folksier, I guess, and well, I think grey and white is kind of self explanatory.

I can't wait to see them! I've got several items about 85% completed because I'm waiting on the labels, which, if you know me well, is just shy of torture because I do not like to leave things lingering. I hope they're worth the wait!  =)

Saturday, March 8, 2014

A Recipe for Amazing Homemade Brownies

Good Saturday morning! Hope your weekend is off to a great start! We had dinner with friends last night, Caleb's soccer game this morning, and Ethan's neurologist has cleared him for sports, so he'll be playing soccer again tonight for the first time in over five months! I can't wait to watch him!

And to make our weekend even sweeter (ha ha), I think I'll make my Amazing Homemade Brownies with Cream Cheese Topping. I posted the recipe on Celebrate, my family blog, HERE. Enjoy!

Thursday, March 6, 2014

New Spring / Summer Nightgowns & Pajama Sets

I thought I'd share some pretty new things that are currently for sale in the shop. I am smitten with several of them. Oh, who am I kidding? I love them all!  =)

These items are all made from 100% premium, untreated cotton.

You can visit my shop - Rose & Ruffle - HERE. Thanks!

Have a great day!!

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Making Store-Bought Clothes...CUTER

Good Wednesday morning! I can hear the wind howling just on the other side of the wall to my right, and it sounds brutal and terrifying. I think it's safe to say that the majority of us are freakishly kind of anxious for Spring this year! Oh, and if you've popped over from the post on my family blog, so glad to have you...welcome!

So onto the heart of this post: clothes. Specifically, making your average, store-bought items cuter.

These ideas are certainly nothing original to me; in fact, I'm a better copy-cat than an actual thinker-upper of creative ideas. That said, I haven't actually ever seen the embellished glove before, so I'm pretty darn proud of that one.  =)

Oh the gloves.

They were literally pleading with me to pretty them up. I started out with all these complicated ideas and designs, and in the end, these simple little hearts won me over. Mittens and gloves never look cute for long around here because they get absolutely trashed, so I didn't want to invest a ton of time of effort. They've held up much better than I thought they would have, but I know Isabelle Kate takes extra special care of them because she likes them so much more now. Win win!
Just a plain fabric heart stitched in place with embroidery floss, and a sparkly button for kicks. This has also been a WONDERFUL way to keep track of her gloves because everyone knows who they belong too.

I don't have a before picture of the t-shirts, but I think you can tell- they were basic, plain tops, and now...
they're really cute!
Of course, because of this year's perpetual Arctic conditions, girly girl wasn't terribly willing to keep them on long enough for a photo shoot. I'll spare you the sad, sad drama.  ;)

The one with the double ruffle was ridiculously easy- I didn't even trim off the hem! I was going to add the bows to the shoulders, but then, obviously, didn't.  =)  The other shirt required a teensy bit more effort, mainly due to keeping the ruffle straight around the shirt. I made a chalk line and followed that. Then I stitched the ribbon in place to cover up the raw edges, as shown in this tutorial. There's also some ruching on each side down by the hem, and the ginormous flower because I thought just a little something more. It's super cute!

This works really well if you're looking to add a little length to a too-short sleeve when the rest of the shirt still fits fine.

I cut the rectangles for the ruffles, folded and ironed them in half, and gathered and stitched to the sleeve hem as I went- I didn't cut the hem off these either.

She kept holding her hands out like she was about to be arrested every time I tried to get a decent shot of the ruffles, ha!

I know that working with knits can be intimidating,, but you should try it! These are easy projects, and they don't have to be perfect to look pretty and cute. =)

ps- As for sewing needles, I used a stretch needle when I remembered, but then not when I didn't. That makes total sense, right? It all worked out just fine.

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