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Sewn Homemade Business Cards {& CFL Blog Con recap}

Sew Woodsy: Sewn Homemade Business Cards {& CFL Blog Con recap}

Friday, July 22, 2011

Sewn Homemade Business Cards {& CFL Blog Con recap}

Last Saturday, I had the opportunity to attend the Central Florida Bloggers Conference at Park Maitland School, in Maitland, Florida. I was excited to see some of my blogger friends in real life, finally put a face to a name with those I chat with on Twitter, meet new bloggers, and of course learn new blogging techniques. The number one rule when going to any type of networking event is to have a business card. Let's face it you will be talking with many people and you aren't  going to remember each and every person you speak with. It's great to hand a business card to that person, so that they can check out your blog once they are away from the chaos and in the comforts of their own home. I'll be the first to admit I procrastinated and originally wanted to have professional cards printed; however, I know deep down inside my "West Elm taste on a WalMart budget" was kicking into full gear. I just didn't want to spend the money! Plus with our impending blog re-design right around the corner I knew I would just need to print new cards once again. I opted to make a homemade business card after doing some extensive research. Actually, this card, was part inspiration to the cards I created. 
I spent all of last Friday evening cutting paper, aligning paper with the printer, and in the end they were a huge success. My only regret is that I didn't make 20+ more! I gave away 48 cards in no time, and each time I handed my card to someone the receiver would get giddy, exclaiming "you're the one with the unique homemade business cards"! I thought it was pretty cool that people were talking about my business cards! I had multiple blogging professionals tell me to keep up with the homemade cards, since they match our niche so well. So I guess once the blog is redesigned we will not be getting professionally printed business cards. Instead, we will be making our own... card by card. 

Here is a quick tutorial on how I created my own sewn homemade business cards. 
I put my logo in a word document along with a text box that had my name, web address (in bold), telephone number, email address, and twitter handler. I moved around the logo and text box until I was happy with how it was printing out. I wanted the paper to wrap around the card, so that I could sew the ends. I think I got the positioning of the logo and text on the third try. After I printed out a few sheets of my logo and information I then started cutting scrap cardstock I had on hand. *The pink and beige metallic are actually leftover cardstock from our wedding invitations I made over three years ago! You will want to cut the card stock, 3.5 inches long by 2 inches wide (standard business card size).  

Next, I used a boning tool, to make a crease in the paper which makes it easier to fold a heavier card stock. Once the card stock is folded I then placed one glue zot near the side where the logo is to secure the logo/information to the business card. 

Next, you'll run the cards, individually, through your sewing machine. I choose to use some decorative stitches, along with basic straight stitches and zig zag stitches. As pictured above, this is how your cards will look prior to being trimmed. I ran the cards through the paper cutter, and then trimmed the loose thread from each card. 

Here is how the final product will look! 

You'll notice I used a variety of different cardstocks I had on hand, along with stitching styles. I absolutely LOVE how they came out. When I go to work on a new batch after the blog revamp is completed I plan to use all recycled paper (pictured on the left). 

They are relatively thick, so make sure if you have a carrying case you'll have enough room to store them in! 

----Central Florida Bloggers Conference Recap----
I love going to conferences, and highly suggest if you've never been to one and want to learn some new techniques and network to find the closest one to your house and go! It is the best motivator and if you want to ever turn your blog into more than a blog or if you just want to improve your blog they help. 

Upon checking in to the conference we were asked to sign up on the "blog" wall! Since there were not a lot of other craft blogs at the conference Sew Woodsy was placed under "other". 

Our conference started off with Keynote speaker, Marc Middleton from Growing Bolder. He was an amazing motivational speaker. Pretty much reminding each of us that if we put our minds to it that we can succeed. His show is in 171 markets and 550 stations. They began in 2009 with only 1 station! 

Here are a few of Marc's Tips:
- "Don't spend a penny you don't have to"
- "Future proof your work product"
-"The power of repurposing"
- "Simplify in every way possible"

Ben, from Adventures with Ben, spoke about taking your blog beyond the guest post. As Ben stated "Potential blog readers are everywhere... and that's exactly where I want to be."

Here are the points that Ben touched on during his presentation: 
-Find writing partnerships, repurpose your content, get featured in the paper, write for a paper, write for a business, participate in speaking engagements, engage in your niche community, and engage in your local community. 

The last session I'd like to share was with Rachelle of the Travel bite. Rachelle, spoke about building a media kit. Something I've been wanting to do for Sew Woodsy for a while now, and am currently working on! 

A few items you should including in your Media Kit? 
-Biography, who are you?
-Why do you write? 
-What experience do you have?
-Real life examples
-Photos of yourself, both candid and professional headshot
-Work, what other services do you provide? 

With all of Rachelle's examples I can't wait to start building my Media Kit! 

There were so many other great sessions throughout the day, and two tracks to follow along with, which meant 2 topics every 30-45 minutes to choose from. I'm so glad I had the opportunity to attend this conference. I gained so much more knowledge and by the end of the day my brain was on mental overload! I can't wait to start implementing a few of the new techniques and tips I learned in the coming weeks!

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At July 22, 2011 at 3:21 PM , Blogger Anngela said...

Kaite--these are awesome!!! Hope you don't mind that once my homemade cards are completely ran out (I probably have a small handful left!) that I will be brainstorming a new design using this technique!! :)
Glad you had fun at the conference--maybe next time I'll be able to join!

At July 22, 2011 at 3:35 PM , Blogger While They Snooze said...

They are even more awesome in person! You did a great job. They are really cool and look very professional yet hand-made at the same time.

At July 22, 2011 at 4:06 PM , Blogger Abby said...

Very cute idea! I love how they look!

At July 23, 2011 at 11:40 AM , Anonymous Sarah Forhan said...

I love the business cards!! They make a lot of sense with your blog's theme. Good luck with your media kit!

At July 23, 2011 at 11:19 PM , Blogger Melissa said...

Oh my gosh, these are the best business cards ever! I've put it in my favorites. I have to try these. I found you at Truly Lovely's blog hop, and am now following you. Great great idea!

At July 24, 2011 at 1:39 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm making my own too!
Granted, they aren't as professional, but they're a start! And they're fun to make. And isn't that the most important part of being crafty? :)
You did a great job on them.
Thanks for passing on info about the conference!

At July 26, 2011 at 11:26 AM , Blogger Baye said...

Love those cards! Perfect for a crafter, too. Should I ever get my butt in gear and start doing something remotely business-ish, I'm gonna have to try something like this. Thanks for the inspiration.


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