How to Cash in on Crafts By Ruth Schiffmann

Down time, we all have it, whether it’s a lull between major projects or the quiet before a creative storm. The next time that eerie silence stalls your productivity, turn your energies in a new direction and get ready for the winds of creativity to start blowing. While selling your original craft ideas won’t land you in a monetary windfall, with a small investment of time you can punch out a project with the potential for a nifty little return.

Consider the stuff that clutters our lives: discarded water bottles, scratched CDs, worn out blue jeans. Then re-purpose that junk in a way that’s cute, clever, and current. Many children’s magazines are theme-based. By checking guidelines, you may spark new variations on your original “seed” idea. With a solid idea, begin construction. By completing the project yourself, the step-by-step instructions will be a breeze to write. Be sure to photograph the final product. Some publications request photos, while others require you to send the actual project.

Last winter, while my daughter redecorated her room, I came up with an idea for a make-it-yourself curtain using old CDs and fishing line. The curtain brought shimmer and shine to her bedroom and I decided to see if it would bring a little silver to my pockets. I wrote the how-to and proposed it to a teen magazine. Guideposts Sweet 16 bought the design and I had a $150 check to show for it. Not bad for 200 words.

There are craft markets for every age group. Teen Magazines look for projects that develop creativity while tying in with fashion, room d