New professional bag sealer for Etsy

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I’ve had my Etsy shop since 2013 when I broke my arm. It’s funny to say that because I had a broken arm and I decided I wanted to start making keychains which required both hands. But I was able to make them with very little pain. I made so many keychains that people told me I should open an Etsy shop, so I did.

I only started packaging them a couple years ago, before that I just had everything in a drawer. I decided it would be easier to find things if I had them packaged in plastic bags with folded business card sized card stock hung up on the side of my desk. I had some plastic bags meant for loaves of bread which I bought specifically for my bread machine, and I bought a battery powered bag sealer which not only sealed the bags, but also cut them to size, so that’s how I discovered I could make my own bags. But, that plastic was too thin and could tear too easily, so that’s why I bought the bag sealer and roll of poly tubing plastic roll in the image above.

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So as you can see I have organized everything that is hanging on the side of my desk. Keychains, paracord bracelets, stud earrings, beaded bracelets, friendship bracelets and kumihimo bracelets, then beaded rings and knitting supplies. All the hanging earrings and packages of 8 pairs of stud earrings are all boxed up in a drawer and I currently have 1 beaded bracelet in a box on top of my desk above these hanging items. I don’t quite have enough craft items to actually open up a shop, that’s why I have an Etsy shop.

I probably don’t get enough orders to warrant a bag sealer and a professional roll of poly tubing plastic, but if I do get a sale, I at least want them to look and feel professional.

Everything is handmade and hypoallergenic, and it took a long time to make this stuff. I only buy quality ingredients like DMC and Loops and Threads embroidery floss, Pepperell plastic lanyard and paracord. I buy hypoallergenic earring hooks and plastic earring stems and rubber ear nuts from Etsy. I have very sensitive ears, I’m allergic to basically everything and I wore earring hooks and the plastic stems each for 48 hours to make sure they were hypoallergenic, because if they don’t work with my sensitive skin, they probably won’t work for yours. I wouldn’t sell something that will harm someone.

So please visit GayNerd.Etsy.com and help me make my credit card payments lol.

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Hoop Earrings

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Tie Dye Hoop Earrings

I am constantly learning new techniques to my craft and creating cool new things to sell in my Etsy shop.

These are my hoop earrings. This was what I originally had in mind last year when I started making hoop earrings. Although, I had to make them in the same pattern that I make the hemp bracelets with because the lanyard pattern confused me. I learned how to do the pattern, I just didn’t “get it” as much as I would have liked. You have to really understand a pattern to “get it”, you know?

I made quite a few ID badge lanyards and eGo e-cigarette lanyards and was thinking, I wonder if I can make these into a hoop, so I tried it and it worked. Ok, I can make it into a hoop, but how do I connect it? I used jump rings, but they really looked bad. It took me a bit longer to think about it, and I had my epiphany and figured out how to do it.

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This is what the hoop looks like up close. This was the prototype. You can’t see a seam, can you? I didn’t connect one side with the other with the help of a jump ring. I glued the lanyard on the sides so that I could cut it without it unraveling. When I cut it on both sides, I put glue on one end, then joined the 2 ends and held it in place until it was connected. Then I glued the outside to make sure it wouldn’t come apart. Although, I’m told that there is a glue that will literally melt the plastic, so that when you put the pieces together, the plastic will melt which will fuse the plastic together so it will never come apart. So that is the next thing I will look for. The Krazy Glue seems to hold it pretty good, but if a super glue will melt and fuse them, then that’s what I would much rather use.

The good thing about these is that I can make a matching pair of studs and include them with the hoops. Can you just imagine having a pair of hoops with matching studs and a matching lanyard? I think that would be awesome. The good thing about the tie dye is that it probably goes with everything.

I am working on 2 color lanyard hoop earrings because 1 single color is pretty boring. I’m working on black and orange for Halloween. I’m also working on football colors. Someone ordered a keychain and studs that were Royal Blue and Neon Green last year, so I’m going to do that with the hoops as well. I’m also working on red and white, red and green and green and white for Christmas colors.

Of course I do accept custom orders, so if you are ever on Etsy and you want a custom order, please feel free to do so. 99% of my orders are custom orders.

The Tie Dye hoop earrings with matching studs are $10 each. I have clear tie dye, red tie dye, green tie dye and blue tie dye. If you want all 4, I’ve offered a buy 3 and get 1 for free discount, so it’s just $30. I think that is a good deal.

New Keychains and Cheaper Shipping

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keychains on new packaging

I have been working hard making keychains over the last few months and have come up with 5 different styles of rainbow.  First there was the translucent with a clear center, when I ran out of those translucent colors I switched to another shade of translucent with a more solid red and light purple with a clear center, but then someone asked for a rainbow keychain with a black center so I made some of those.  When I ran out of those translucent rainbow colors, I switched to a new color combination which is what you see in the image above.  Rainbow C1 C2 and C3.  They are all solid colors except for the orange which is translucent, that was all they had.

The reason I am making the rainbow keychains is well, um… because I am gay and the rainbow is basically my flag, so it only makes sense, right?  Not to mention they are pretty.  Speaking of flag, I have also made some American Flag keychains for the 4th of July.  I really like both the DNA and the Crinkle Cut style.

The shipping went down from $3.20 to $2 because I was able to buy cheaper padded envelopes, so I am passing along the savings to you.

The keychains are around 6 to 6 1/2 inches long.  My earlier keychains were a bit longer and thicker, but that was because I wasn’t tightening them enough, so they seemed to be a bit loose in some spots, but I have gotten better at making them tighter so they look more uniform.  Uniformity is very important when I am making the rainbow keychains because I want them to blend evenly when I change colors.

Since DOMA has been found to be unconstitutional, you can now take 25% off your keychain order by entering the coupon code NODOMA.  That is my gift to you.  That coupon code expires on July 31st, 2013.

Thank you for reading.  I am off to go make more keychains.  Have a nice day. 🙂

I sold my first keychain on Etsy

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I have been having a blast making these rainbow DNA keychains. I spent a lot of money on the materials, and I spend a couple of hours making just one keychain, not because I feel that I have to, but because it’s fun. I decided that I should probably sell them on Etsy because if I don’t, I’m going to have the biggest keychain collection of all time if I didn’t get rid of them lol.

I wasn’t sure what I should charge for them, so I browsed other people’s lanyard keychains and finally came up with $4 for the keychain and $1 for shipping, but after I shipped the first order out today, I ended up with less than $2. The reason being, the padded envelopes were $1.50 and the shipping was $1.67. That brings my profit down to $1.83. So I’m not actually getting $4 for the keychains. I decided that I’m going to keep them at $4, but just raise the shipping to $3.50 just because I want to use those profits to buy more material to make more keychains.

Of course I don’t know if anyone else will buy a keychain or if this one sale was my first and last, but I don’t care because I don’t want to stop making them. It’s too much fun for me.

I am currently still working on the rainbow keychains, I made 3 yesterday and I still have enough material to make 12 more. After that, I’m going to buy some white and blue and more of the clear so that I can make some patriotic ones. I already have a big roll of the red. July is coming and people love to be patriotic, so I figure they will probably buy the patriotic ones. Of course that’s a crap shoot, but it’s still going to be fun to make even if nobody buys them.

Who knows how long I will be able to continue making them before my hands just give up on me. After all, I do have carpel tunnel syndrome. I think that’s why I would like to get more money for them, not just the time that it takes to make them, but also for the pain that it will eventually cause me.

I would also like to make some trans colors and some bear colors. I think someone out there would like to have one of those. Of course if I have the materials, I would take requests for specific colors. I don’t just know the DNA pattern, I just love that one compared to any other I’ve seen. I hope other people do too. 🙂

New Etsy Store

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all DNA keychains

I’ve been quite the busy little bee lately.  I decided that I wanted to start making lanyard keychains, but then a friend told me that I could make other patterns, not just the square and the round, but more intricate.  She sent me to Laneyards on YouTube where I learned how to expand my horizons by making this complicated DNA strand pattern.  I went a bit further though, instead of just making it with the clear and color, I decided that I wanted to make one of each in the rainbow colors (purple is not in picture, but it is on Etsy), so I went shopping and found the translucent (which by the way makes it even more difficult to make) and I found the gold and the pink (which isn’t for sale yet).  But then I made one with all of the rainbow colors which I never in a million years thought I’d be able to do.

So what the heck am I supposed to do with all of these keychains?  People are suggesting to me on Facebook that I should sell them on Etsy, so that is what I have done.  I opened up a store called GayNerd.  I didn’t just come up with a price on the spot, I did some research and found that people were selling the DNA strand keychains made out of paracord for $8, although as I type this some of them have them for $1.50 to $5.  There are some DNA keychains made out of hemp as well for around the same low price.  I decided on $4 for the colors, $5 for the rainbow and $5 for the gold.

The rainbow one is really hard to make and takes a long time and these keychains are probably going to ruin my already messed up hands (carpel tunnel syndrome), so that’s why they are that much.  Also the gold is $5 because it’s not cheap at Michael’s.  I figured the colors are inexpensive to buy, but still a long time to make and they are hard to count because of how clear they are.

I’m not expecting anyone to buy these, I am just having fun making something neat out of nothing.  Who knows, I might get out of the DNA phase and move on to something even more complicated.  I like a good challenge.  And even if these keychains are mine forever, sitting on my desk collecting dust, at least I know that I had fun making them and it was a learning experience for me.

If I never sell them, well, let’s just say you can expect to see me on Hoarders in a couple of years LOL.