Sunday, April 6, 2008

Tags, Business Cards, and Pattern Making


Hey Needle Cohorts. So, I really, really want to tap your knowledge and insights on a few different plushie-related business things...


1) TAGS: what do you use for tags on your plushies? You know, like the little clothe ones you would sew right into your plushies? Where do you buy your tags? What are they like? And more importantly, are you happy with them? (I have been getting custom printed ribbons from Namemaker mostly that I use for tags...but am not entirely pleased with the effect).


2) BUSINESS CARDS: Are any of you really happy with your business cards and the price you pay for them--if so, where do you get them? Got any unique alternatives to business cards? (I have been printing my own on my ink jet printer--but I hate that the ink runs if they get wet...I mean, I live in Minnesota, it is either raining or snowing here 50% of the year...).


3) MAKING YOUR OWN PATTERNS: Any of you into doing this? I am really interested in creating my own patterns--some as a give-away on my soon-to-be blog, and others I would like to sell in my Etsy shop...but I currently draw my patterns free-hand...and would like to create something a little cleaner and professional looking...any ideas? Is there a software you use? A little elf you purchase who comes to your home and drafts your patterns for you while you sleep? Any secret tips your are willing to divulge on how you create your patterns?


Thanks for taking the time to share your wisdom...

11 comments:

Karen in Wichita said...

I use Inkscape, but sadly I lack elves. So my free patterns page is a mishmash of nice Inkscaped patterns, photos of my paper patterns (from when they were Flickr-hosted and Flickr objected to non-photographic stuff), and CorelDraw in-betweens.

dredredoll said...

I hand stitch my own tags. Time consuming but personalized. I try to do a little drawing with a description for each doll design, reduce it down and laminate. Waaaay time consuming but again more unique.

Kate said...

Great questions - I can't wait to see what others do. I have been using moo cards as I live in quite an isolated place and they are easy for me to get. I use labels from Fancy Weaver on ebay for sewing into my toys for the same reason, easy to get and organise.

jenni said...

I bought my tags from Emily Rohm on Etsy (http://www.etsy.com/shop.php?user_id=33603) and I've been using them for a few years. She's great.

You can find TONS of label makers/designers on Etsy.

I print my own business cards, too, but am thinking about the moo cards.

planetjune said...

For business cards I use www.vistaprint.com (well www.vistaprint.ca actually as I'm in Canada, but they are worldwide). They have some great deals if you sign up for their mailing list and I have always been very happy with the quality (my tip: pay for the glossy upgrade if you want to include photographs on your cards - it really makes them stand out). I just received an order from vistaprint and I've posted photos of them on my blog if you want to see examples.

q.D.paToOtieS said...

I really kind of "gave up" on printed tags. I have used Namemaker and find them to be slow as all get out. Try their personalized ribbon if you're unhappy with their woven tags. It's a bit better, I think, and you get more for your money. I also use InkJet Shrinky Dinks and make little hang tags for my creations that way. I put an example on my Blog Blog a couple of days ago.

I use Vistaprint for my Business cards and have for the past 10 year. I love them. I've also used Overnight Prints. A little better quality but then you pay for it.

I do make my own patterns. I make probably one a week, sometimes more. It's an addiction. You can find a whole slew of free ones on my Blog if you're looking for examples.

Can't wait to see what others say...

s glasscock said...

hi, i'm new to your blog, but am loving every bit of it.
currently i use moo cards and lovelovelove them (and get the most comments/compliments on them). i haven't really gotten into plushies; i just admire others work, so i don't have a suggestion for labels or patterns.

good luck to you on finding all the answers to your questions:)

Jessica @ Crabtree Studio said...

Amy and I use Overnight Prints for our cards. We love the speediness of delivery and the quality of the cards. Plus, you can do fun things, like rounded corners. We get compliments on them all the time. We also make all our own patterns. We start out drawing freehand, but make templates out of them once we've done up some prototypes. I use heavy construction paper or posterboard for my templates. You can scan them into the computer and use Photoshop or another program to make the patterns into PDFs.

Holly said...

I don't know about the tags and cards, but I'm obsessed with Computer Arts magazine and they have a free tutorial online about making plushies and how to make patterns on the computer. They use Illustrator, and the tutorial may not be super helpful if you know nothing about the program, but I think it's a pretty good tutorial just the same. Enjoy:
computer arts tut

Jhoanna said...

First up - love your softies! Each one is always so full of character with a little spark of mischief in their eyes :-)

For labels I use woven labels from www.minilabels.co.uk. I am very happy with the quality although I do need to plan in advance as orders can take between 2-4 weeks to complete.

I don't actually have any business cards as I'm not convinced about their value.

In regards to patterns, I use Photoshop or Illustrator. What I usually do it draw them out by hand, scan them as files to my laptop then use Photoshop or Illustrator to clean up the lines and add text as needed.

Also in regards to patterns and similarities between doll designs, you may have heard of the latest rip-offs of Wee Wonderfuls patterns (see her blog for details). I also raised the issue on my blog and the ongoing discussion has been very interesting (see here).

Beeper Bebe said...

Thanks for all the suggestions and comments, everyone. Really helpful. Now I need to go check out some of the tag and biz card makers you recommend...

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