You may have noticed that I’m behind on posts and I’m very sorry! One thing that China is exceptionally great for is crafting – and that’s what I’ve been busy doing. Materials are cheap, high quality and in cities like Shanghai, there are plenty of opportunities to sell the goods you make.
A few months ago I ordered cute mini cacti on JD as decorations. To my surprise, they arrived as DIY needle felting sets… I had zero experience with crafting but I began to stab that wool and my world changed forever. 6 months later and I spend my days needle felting, regular felting, making dream catchers, earrings and experimenting with resin.
It all started as a fun pass time but everyone kept saying I should set up an Etsy store. Selling things online is the last thing I would ever want to do, but the idea of having a stand a craft fair was exciting! In just five days, I’ll be doing just that – selling my crafts at a three day fair that is expecting to attract 6,000 visitors a day.
Shanghai has frequent block parties and artsy events that you can visit and join. I was really worried about a stand-fee, but sometimes they don’t even exist! For this particular fair, I just had to put down a 500 RMB deposit that I will get back at the end.
I spent a lot of this time was spent searching for the best and cheapest materials online. I found dream catcher hoops for under 1 RMB each, earring hooks for 0.01 RMB (and they don’t even make my ears green) and all sorts of beads & pendants ranging from 0.05 RMB to 1.5 RMB.
It was quite chaotic when I spent about 300 RMB on Taobao to order dozens of ribbons, hoops, felt and earring making materials because it was such a low cost for an insane amount of stuff. It took long hours and many days to get everything made, organized, plan how to present everything and print signs. But it’s all coming together and it’s been one huge adventure!
This weekend I will have 400 pairs of earrings, 15 large dream catchers, 10 small dream catchers, 8 felt Totoros, 6 felt fat cats and whatever else I can make in the next few days. My husband is chipping in with crocheted octopuses and coin purses. He spends about 8 RMB on high quality balls of wool that can make up to a dozen of adorable critters.
Long story short – Taobao and JD are full of DIY packages for beginners and all sorts of wholesale materials for unlimited crafting! If you’ve ever considered trying a new craft, do it in China. It’s cheap, fun and you won’t regret it, I promise. Now wish me luck and feel free to share your crafting stories in the comments below!