How to attach earring posts to polymer clay

How to attach earring posts to polymer clay

We are commonly asked by makers how they should adhere their earring posts to polymer clay. In this blog post, we provide you with lots of different techniques you can follow, test and trial yourself so you can determine which technique works best for you.

I am going to break this down into three segments.

1. Glue - Some makers swear by it, others couldn’t run fast enough away from it. There are lots of different glues on the market, but you will want to steer towards super glue for polymer clay earrings. Common ones used include Loctite super glue, Gorilla super glue gel & Zap super glue. These can commonly be found in local hardwares.

2. Resin - Makers enjoy doming the front of their earrings as well as securing their earring posts with it. They do this by embedding the post with resin, applying it to the entire surface of the back of the polymer clay. Once the resin has been applied, the clay can not cure in the oven again [unlike liquid Sculpey, which we discuss in the next point].

Please note that resin is toxic and requires full PPE gear. Working in a ventilated room is extremely important too. Some people choose to not work with resin simply due to the health concerns associated with it, which is completely understandable, but plenty of makers still enjoy using it as it’s an incredible medium to play with!

3. Liquid Sculpey is becoming increasingly popular. Similar to resin, makers embed their earring posts with liquid Sculpey and then bake it in the oven.

4. Embedding earring posts in the clay is about as secure as an earring can get. If done correctly, there is absolutely no way the earring will separate from the clay. This can be a little more difficult, especially if you are looking for a very clean finish, but like all things, practice makes perfect.

Happy making!

March 21, 2021 — Lauren Holder
What you should & shouldn't say in your business Instagram bio

What you should & shouldn't say in your business Instagram bio

Your Instagram bio is the first thing a potential new follower looks at to determine what your business is and does. Instagram only allows you to use a maximum of 250 characters, meaning space is limited and you need to really think about what to include. 

What not to include:

- What your favourite food or pet is (eg. coffee and cat lover). At the end of the day, this will not help convert the person viewing your profile into a follower. A sentence like that is irrelevant (unless you have a coffee or cat related business)! 

- Special fonts from font apps. I know it might look cool, but special fonts in your bio make it harder for people to read, especially if they are cursive or bold fonts. 

What to include:

- What product or service your business provides 

- Where you are located if relevant 

- Your opening hours if relevant

- Tell people how they can access your products if you sell them online 

- Offer a promotion or sign up code if relevant '

- A few emojis to add some pops of colour

- Contact details such as your customer service email address

- Provide all of your information in an orderly and easy to read structure, such as dot points (you can use emojis instead of dot points)

 You will be unable to fit everything we have suggested into your bio, but pick the most relevant information and apply it to your business.

We hope this helps! 

February 22, 2021 — Lauren Holder
Why Instagram follow loops will kill your engagement

Why Instagram follow loops will kill your engagement

Have you ever received an Instagram message from a fellow business owner that says something similar to:

“Small business follow loop. We are doing a follow loop to help business owners gain more followers and sales. If you follow these 10 accounts and then share to another 10 people, the flow-on effect will result in you receiving 700 new followers.” 

Let’s be honest, gaining 700 new followers in a short span of time sounds pretty good, right? But you know what? Joining in and following all of these accounts in return for you gaining new followers will *kill* any chance you had at Instagram. 

The Instagram algorithm is incredibly advanced and can track unauthentic activity, including follow loops. As a result of participating in a follow loop, Instagram will penalise you and show your posts to less followers, meaning your engagement rate will *plumet* and sales will drop. 

So please, take my advice and never participate in a follow loop. Do not fixate on having a large number of followers but instead, follow the authentic follower pathway and allow it to happen naturally. If someone wants to follow you, they will. If you are now wondering, ‘Well how am I supposed to grow my followers authentically?’, then tune back in every Monday to our blog as we are going to be sharing SO many helpful Instagram tips across 2021.

See you next Monday x 

P.S. If you have made the unfortunate mistake of participating in a follow loop and are now freaking out, please don’t. Here is what you need to do:

  1. Leave Instagram alone for 3-4 days (aka - no posting, no activity, no engaging)
  2. Come back to Instagram and start posting real, authentic and engaging content that you genuine and engaged followers will love. Slowly the “fake” followers will slowly start to drop off your follower list and your Instagram activity will start to return back to normal
February 08, 2021 — Lauren Holder
Don't make this social media mistake

Don't make this social media mistake

Want to know something I have seen a lot lately? Posts turning up in my feed from graphic designers, web marketers and social media marketers, telling their small business owner audiences that they need to be on as many social media platforms as possible for greater exposure. I couldn’t disagree more.

In theory, I understand why some people may think this. I believe this is their thought process:

More platforms = more audiences

More audiences = more sales… Wrong!

Just because you are posting on a social media platform, it doesn’t mean that all of a sudden you are going to gain lots of sales from your posts.  

Turning up on lots of platforms will do absolutely nothing for you unless you have a solid content strategy. Coming up with a content strategy doesn’t happen overnight, but instead is something that requires trial, error, changes, and more changes [because of those ever changing algorithms].


Like me, I imagine a lot of you are time poor, making it already difficult to carve time out to create a content strategy for one platform, let alone another five

So, rather than signing up on Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest, Tiktok, Clubhouse and Twitter, start with *one* singular platform and absolutely NAIL your content strategy [where followers and very obviously converting into customers], and *then* find another social platform to try out.

Don’t get caught up in the excitement of signing up to every single social media platform there is. It wastes your time that could be spent on developing a content strategy, which fundamentally should generate you cash in the long run… meaning you are missing out on potential sales by fluffing around on too many platforms. 

February 01, 2021 — Lauren Holder
BUSINESS TIP MONDAY - Where to source packaging materials from

BUSINESS TIP MONDAY - Where to source packaging materials from

As a lot of you would know, packaging is an incredibly important part of a consumer’s unboxing process. You can change the entire perception and experience of your brand and product unboxing process because of your packaging. 

You might be wondering what basic packaging you need as a handmade business owner to give your unboxing process a *wow* factor without breaking your budget? Find the answer below…

We source all of our packaging boxes from EB-Packaging on eBay. They sell cute tiny boxes which are perfect for sending a couple of pairs of earrings in, all the way up to very large cardboard boxes that are perfect for larger items or wholesale orders. They ship exceptionally quickly and have never let Jewellery Supplies Co. down. 

To secure the goods inside of the boxes, we like to use a tissue paper. We like to use tissue paper from Gift Packaging and Accessories (https://www.giftpackaging.com.au/) as they are incredibly affordable, but if you’re after customised tissue paper with your logo, we recommend No Issue (https://www.noissue.com.au/?gclid=Cj0KCQiA0MD_BRCTARIsADXoopZnxQl4JrrbXQlgqspiU2Xqs1iyCFs1OiYr9nNJ3t9cOqNfs6CWYAgaAhUEEALw_wcB). From there, you can also find stickers and packaging tape, both of which are environmentally friendly and plastic free - winning!

We are changing our sticker production to No Issue Tissue, but previously we purchased ours from Oz Sticker Printing (https://www.ozstickerprinting.com/). They also produce and send their stickers very fast. 

If you want to place your box into a satchel to avoid any risk of water damage during transit, we insist you use compostable satchels only. We get ours from Plasswitch, but you can get them from No Issue as well. They are truly the go-to for all environmentally friendly packaging.

Do you have any other packaging questions? Leave us a comment below or contact us on social media x 

January 04, 2021 — Lauren Holder
2021 handmade business goals you should set yourself

2021 handmade business goals you should set yourself

 

2020 was arguably the worst year a lot of people have seen in a while. Whilst COVID-19 was not ideal, a lot of good things came from it. E-commerce stores have *thrived* like never before, businesses have been forced to change their business model to remain profitable and business owners have been forced to learn the ins and outs of digital marketing, all of which has benefited us! 

With 2021 fast approaching, maybe it is time to take 10 minutes or so to write down your business goals for next year. Set yourself an annual financial target and break that down into monthly and then weekly targets.

Setting the target is one thing, but then you need to consider what you need to implement in your business each week to help you reach these financial goals. You may find it helpful using a rough guide. Here are the goals I have made and the actions I need to make for me to reach them (keep in mind that these goals are based around the financial year, not calendar year). 

Financial goal for 2020/21

$X amount overall

3rd quarter

4th quarter

Financial goal for 2021/22

$X amount overall

1st quarter

2nd quarter 

These financial goal figures are based on the performance of previous quarters. For example, I know the 2nd quarter will always generate more income than the 3rd quarter as it is in the lead up to Christmas. Keep in mind that these figures you write down may not always be spot on, but they are a good guide and goal for you to try and reach.

Now that I know my financial goals, I can’t just sit here and hope they happen...  neither can you! Instead, set yourself small actionable goals that you can follow that will help you reach your financial goal. Marketing attributes largely to my revenue, so I break these marketing streams into smaller increments:

  • Instagram/Facebook feed
  • Instagram/Facebook stories
  • Facebook Ads
  • Google Ads
  • EDM newsletters
  • EDM automation
  • Pinterest

Even further, I have narrowed down what type of content I will post on these feeds and email campaigns that will help drive customers to my website. For example, the type of content I will post on them. 

If you aren’t fussed about the revenue and profits and instead do it for the fun of it, write down some projects you have been desperate to try or been putting off!

Bring on 2021 and lets smash some goals!

December 28, 2020 — Lauren Holder
BUSINESS TIP MONDAY - SHOPIFY VS ETSY

BUSINESS TIP MONDAY - SHOPIFY VS ETSY

What's better? 

Selling your products through Etsy or through a website provider like Shopify or Wordpress? Let's talk Pros and Cons...

Etsy

Pros 

- Minimal setup required to create a user interface (the "face" of your shopfront)

- As Etsy is a marketplace, you immediately have an audience of hundreds of thousands of customers 

- No monthly setup costs, instead you are only charged when you upload products 

- Suited to businesses who are just starting out and have smaller social media followings

Cons

- There is not much opportunity to customise the shopfront 

- The more products you upload the more it costs 

- Etsy is full of a lot of similar products such as polymer clay earrings. It is easy to get lost amongst it all

Shopify

Pros

- Great for businesses with a large product catalogue 

- Extremely customisable 

- Uploading products costs nothing 

- Options to integrate many apps that can generate sales leads, increased order value, shipping operating software and more

Cons

- Monthly or annual fee (approx. $40 per month)

- It is slightly complex to use to begin with. You need to invest time and patience into learning a new system 

- It is not a marketplace like Etsy, meaning you have to give customers a reason to go to your online store 

December 07, 2020 — Lauren Holder
BUSINESS TIP MONDAY - LOGOS

BUSINESS TIP MONDAY - LOGOS

 

Hello & welcome to our new weekly blog post segment called Business Tip Monday!

If you are considering turning your hobby into a business, creating or outsourcing the designing of your logo is really important. Having a nice logo will instantly make your business look more legitimate and professional. Not everyone has a large budget to spend on creating a logo, so here are our tips on how to create a beautiful and professional logo on a budget. 

Tip 1

Canva.com is your best friend! They have a dedicated logo section with *hundreds* of customisable logos at the end of your fingertips. Best part? Canva is completely free and was founded by an Australian super star, Melanie Perkins. 

Tip 2 

Etsy.com or Envato.com pre made logos are a life saver. Search upon thousands of pre made logos, pick one you like, make the payment and the graphic designer will adjust it to your business name and requirements in a quick turnaround time. 

Tip 3

Wanting something a little more custom? Head to Fiverr.com or Airtasker.com and search up logos. From there you can find an appropriate styled designer and price for what you need.  

Have a larger budget? Get in touch with a graphic designer. Graphic designers are everywhere. Search Instagram, Facebook or simply type "Graphic Designer Walkerville" into Google (use your suburb instead of ours though)!

We hope this helps you out! Any questions? Send us an email to contact@jewellerysuppliesco.com

See you next Monday! X

December 07, 2020 — Lauren Holder
TUTORIAL / HOW TO PREVENT CLAY FROM GETTING STUCK IN YOUR CUTTER

TUTORIAL / HOW TO PREVENT CLAY FROM GETTING STUCK IN YOUR CUTTER

Is there anything more annoying that cutting into a polymer clay slab and the clay getting stuck inside the cutter when you pull it up? Then when you try to push the clay out of the cutter, it sort of distorts the original shape? Here are our tips on how to avoid this from happening...

1. Use a tile as a surface when cutting into your polymer clay. Clay sticks well to the tile, so when you cut into the slab and pull the cutter out, the clay will stay stuck to the tile surface. 

2. Wriggling the cutter in the clay once you have pressed the cutter into the slab is a good way to detach it from the clay. 

3. Lay cling wrap on top of your polymer clay slab before pressing your cutter into it. Once the cling wrap has been applied, simply cut the clay and pull it out like usual. The cling wrap in between the cutter and clay will prevent it from sticking to the cutter. 

4. Let the clay cool down before cutting shapes in the slab. Clay heats up as you condition and roll it out, meaning it gets stickier, therefore it is more likely to stick to the cutter. Let the slab sit for a while or even consider putting it in the fridge if you live in a warmer climate. 

5. Are you using a clay that is too soft? Do you live in a warmer climate and are using a clay like Cernit or Sculpey III? We recommend switching to Premo, Souffle or Fimo clay instead.

6. Lightly dust your cutters with cornflour before cutting into a slab. This will help separate the sticky clay from the cutter. 

Let me know if these techniques work for you! 

December 02, 2020 — Lauren Holder
TUTORIAL / HOW TO MAKE A GRANITE AFFECT IN YOUR POLYMER CLAY

TUTORIAL / HOW TO MAKE A GRANITE AFFECT IN YOUR POLYMER CLAY

This has to be one of my favourite tricks in the book. Turning a beautiful colour into granite polymer clay makes all the difference when making jewellery. Best part? It is *so* easy - YAY! Here are our three recommended ways to create a gorgeous granite effect in your polymer clay.

1. Mix Premo Granite Effect with whatever colour you want! Whilst Premo Granite appears grey in colour, it does not really compromise the colour you mix it with, which is perfect.

2. Mix fine black glitter into polymer clay to make it look like granite specs. This is personally my favourite way to create a granite effect. We stock fine black glitter here.

This video tutorial quickly runs through this concept!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5FOXduFLU6Q

 3. Adding cracked pepper to your polymer clay! No, you're not reading wrong, I mean edible cracked pepper! Look how cool it looks when mixed with clay.

 

There you have it! 3 easy and affordable ways to turn any colour polymer clay into granite polymer clay!

 

December 02, 2020 — Lauren Holder
RELEASE / SILK SCREENS & NEW PAINT

RELEASE / SILK SCREENS & NEW PAINT

Look what's back! Our favourite silk screens PLUS some brand spanking new heavy bond acrylic paint, which perfectly accompanies the silk screens. Wondering how to use a silk screen?

1. Roll a polymer clay slab
2. Choose a silk screen and lay it on top of your polymer clay slab
3. Apply a line of paint to the top of your silk screen
4. Use an old credit to spread the paint across all areas of the silk screen
5. Carefully peel the screen off the polymer clay slab and then allow the paint to dry
6. From there, cut shapes out of the slab and then cure your clay in the oven

To view a video tutorial on how to make these, head to our Instagram feed!

Want to give silk screens a go now? Click here!

 

December 02, 2020 — Lauren Holder
TUTORIAL / HOW TO MAKE RESIN EARRINGS

TUTORIAL / HOW TO MAKE RESIN EARRINGS

Making resin earrings is so much fun, especially considering how individual and different each batch can be. Here are some tips on how to make these earrings:

- A small amount of resin is actually surprisingly a lot and will help you make a lot of earrings.

- Mixing your two resin parts together will create a lot of air bubbles. Sit your resin to the side for a bit after mixing the two parts and a lot of those bubbles will rise to the top and then disappear

-Pour your resin slowly, otherwise it comes out very thick and fills too much of the mould

- In this tutorial I add glitter to the mould first rather than mixing it in with the resin. Both ways work!

- When using moulds that come with a hole in the earring (like the moulds pictured above) you need to be really careful that the resin fills in all the way under and behind the hole. A couple of my pieces could not be turned into earrings because I didn’t pour enough resin into the mould for it to fill all the way around the hole.

- You can pop bubbles with a toothpick or anything sharp. Let it sit for 20 mins after pouring and a lot of bubbles will rise to the top for you to pop.

- If you have a lighter or heat gun, you can also use that to hover over the resin to pop the bubbles. Keep in mind that a flame can burn/melt the silicone mould, so be extremely careful.

- I let these pieces set for 24 hours, but they will still a bit bendy after taking them out of the mould. I’d allow 48 hours for them to firm up completely

Enjoy x 

December 02, 2020 — Lauren Holder