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Thursday, June 20, 2024

Make Money with Laser Engraving at Christmas Craft Fairs




Annie



28th May 2024

Reading Time: 7 minutes

As advanced technology becomes more affordable for crafters at home, laser engraving is an attractive hobby that could become a business. Christmas craft fairs are one of the best ways for crafters to make money – and building up stock throughout the year is easy with a laser engraving machine. Let’s take a look at what laser engraving involves and how you can make money for Christmas with it.

What Is Laser Engraving?

Why Start Now?

What Can You Make with a Creality Falcon2 Laser Cutter?

How to Choose a Laser Engraving Machine

How to Plan Ahead to Make Money at Christmas

Seasonal Ideas to Make Money All Year Around

Get a Discount on the Creality Falcon2

What Is Laser Engraving and Laser Cutting?

Previously restricted to industrial-size machines, laser engraving and laser cutting is easy to do at home. Laser cutters and engravers are multifunctional tools that enable you to create designs in a wide range of materials and even cut and build three-dimensional items.

A computer controls the machine, which uses a laser to cut or strip away layers of a material like wood or metal. When it cuts, clean pieces are created. When it strips the layers, that’s how engraving is made – the design is cut into the wood or metal, but not all the way through.

Some laser engravers also let you print a different colour on metal. This is called marking and is done by applying the marking solution in a design you want, and the heat from the laser bonds the marking solution to the metal to make the colour permanent.

Why Start Now?

Laser cutting and engraving covers the best of both worlds of crafting: creativity and speed. You can also replicate the same design over and over without variation. This means you can reliably recreate plenty of things to sell without lots of differences between each one.

Spring is a great time of year to start planning ahead on making money at seasonal craft fairs in December. Christmas fairs are the biggest sales opportunity for crafters, as it provides a high-footfall to stands with customers primed to buy. But, that means you need to have plenty of stock ready!

What Can You Make with a Laser Engraving Machine?

How long is a piece of string?! The possibilities of laser cutters and laser engraving are near endless, the only limit is your imagination.

Popular things to make include:

  • Home decorations such as family name signs or wooden map art
  • Acrylic or wooden planters
  • Bookends
  • Wedding welcome signs and personalised decorations
  • Custom engraved jewellery like bracelets and necklaces
  • Wooden mandalas for earrings, coasters, decor
  • Personalised or unique design wooden trinket boxes
  • Keyrings
  • 3D puzzles
  • Christmas ornaments
  • Customised or seasonal rubber pads for ink stamping
  • Engraving leather wallets or bookmarks

We love items that can be personalised for customers or add a little ‘something extra’ to the home. For example, you can engrave clear acrylic and place on a simple LED light stand for unique personalised lighting. If you’re selling at craft fairs, it’s a good idea to have lots of small things to sell for £5 or under, like ornaments, bookmarks, keyrings, and small trinket boxes, because these make great stocking stuffers.

However, you can also go very large and build furniture like stools and chairs and tables – which you can obviously sell for a LOT more money, too! Having a mix of small, medium, and large items for your Christmas craft fair stall will help you maximise your profits.

How to Choose a Laser Engraving Machine

One of the most important things to look out for when you buy a laser cutter or laser engraving machine is the power. They come in different wattages, such as 20W, 40W, and 60W. The higher the wattage, the more dense the materials it can cut. This means you’ll be able to make a much wider range of items.

The Creality Falcon2 is a powerful 60W machine, which means it can handle a wider variety of materials with ease. It also has an adjustment beam to 22W and 40W if you need a less powerful beam for a smaller or more delicate project.

The three in one power options allow you to create accurate and beautiful engravings and cuttings depending on your crafting needs. It’s done with a simple flick of a switch, meaning operation is simple to learn. With a 22W setting, you can cut 5mm baseboard and achieve fine engravings, the 40W power lets you cut 10mm baseboard with fast results, and the 60W is the fastest power that can easily handle 18mm baseboard for larger decorations and home furniture items.

What else should you look for?

It’s also important to look for ease of use. Things like a camera to automatically line up materials for an accurate product and air assist to make the cutting process easier are definitely must-haves to look for (and the Creality Falcon2 has both of these things).

Finally, safety is essential. Higher wattage open frame diode machines are really efficient but definitely not as safe. The Creality Falcon2 is the first 60W laser cutter with a closed frame, making it efficient AND safe to use.

How to Plan Ahead to Make Money for Christmas

So now you know what laser cutting involves, let’s take a look at your next steps to prepare to make money at Christmas fairs.

1. Learn to use your laser engraving machine

Learning a new skill takes time and practice. Don’t leave it to November to start using your machine! Read the instructions carefully and try out lots of different materials and techniques before you start to hone in on what you think you’ll make for your craft business.

2. Research projects to try

There are lots of instructional videos on YouTube which is a great place to start finding ideas. You can also research your competitors on sites like Etsy, to see what they do (and don’t) sell. You can either sell similar things at a competitive price, or look for what’s missing and choose a niche to charge more (but you may not get as many customers).

3. Experiment with different materials

Try everything out! You might find that you love working with metal but aren’t a fan of wood, or that acrylic taps into your creative side, or that leather gives you a way to tap into unknown markets.

Experimenting lets you learn what works best with different materials, so you know you’re going to sell a high quality product.

4. Decide how much you can invest

Aside from the cost of buying your machine, you’ll also have a few other costs involved to set yourself up. Materials, fees for stalls or online platform fees, and things like gift tags and bags for when you sell at craft fairs will all cost. Decide on a budget and stick to it: you can always boost your budget next year when this year is a success!

5. Find Christmas events to sign up to

Christmas craft fairs start advertising their seller opportunities as soon as July in some cases. Sign up to local venues (common places include town halls, racecourses, and community venues) to make sure you hear about events in good time to book a stall.

You can also find your local car boot sale for a regular stall, or look at flea markets or craft markets that are becoming popular as pop-up events throughout the year.

Remember, too, that online sales will boost your business if you can handle postage and packaging with ease. Platforms like Etsy and EBay offer great opportunities for crafters to make money all year around from their skills. You can even set up as a small business seller on Amazon!

6. Work on your pricing

Research your pricing by looking at competitors. It’s important to offer similar prices for similar products – unless someone is selling SUPER cheap, which is actually something that puts off a lot of customers because they doubt the quality of a product.

You need to make a profit, too. Add up the cost of materials and the time it takes to make a product plus at least 40% on top of that to find your price. Remember: selling crafts is a business so you’ll need to register with HMRC and report your income and expenses. Thankfully things like materials and fees for stalls can be classed as expenses.

7. Make your stock!

Now comes the fun part! Spend as much time as you can designing your products. You might want to make lots of different things or specialise in variations on just one or two items – it’s up to you.

The great thing about cutters like the Creality Falcon2 is that they’re designed for batch creating, so once you know what you want to make it is easy to produce plenty of stock.

8. Profit

Sell your stuff! It’s a good idea to look for a summer or autumn craft fair to test the water, too. Or, you could set yourself up online first to see what people like to buy and what doesn’t sell so well. This means you’ll have honed your business plan by the time you get to the Christmas selling season and hopefully you’ll see plenty of profit!

Seasonal Ideas to Make Money All Year Around

It’s not just Christmas that lets you make money with laser engraving or laser cutting, either. You can make a lot of money in the run-up to summer as wedding season kicks off, making signs, wedding favours, and personalised wedding gifts.

Halloween, Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, Easter and even Thanksgiving if you want to sell internationally are all examples of how you could make seasonal gifts and decorations with your laser cutter to make your hobby into a year-round business.

Claim Your Discount on the New Creality Falcon2 Laser Engraving Machine

The Creality Falcon2 launches on 24th May and to celebrate, you can take advantage of a discount. Between 10am on 24th May 2024 and 11.59pm on 15th June, customers will receive a 15% discount when buying directly from the product page (it can’t be combined with any other discount).

Hurry though, as this only applies to the first 200 units sold globally. If you’re one of the first 100 customers, you’ll also receive a free gift worth $199, and if you’re the 101st to 200th customer your free gift is worth $50.

The best bit? One lucky customer will have their order FULLY refunded! Buy your Creality Falcon2 now to get these amazing offers.

 

Disclaimer: MoneyMagpie is not a licensed financial advisor and therefore information found here including opinions, commentary, suggestions or strategies are for informational, entertainment or educational purposes only. This should not be considered as financial advice. Anyone thinking of investing should conduct their own due diligence.



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