General chatter - How much would YOU pay for something like this? (and... how I spend my free time...)

07-03-2010, 12:34 AM
Ok... so... to give a little disclaimer:

I'm not planning on selling these until I know how long it actually takes me to finish one of the "normal" ones. And I might not even then, depends.

But... I'm just curious. I can't really find any of these online, and the one I did find on etsy was of obama and was $200... so yeah. I just honestly don't even know what to price anything even SIMILAR to this at.

These are crochet portraits. Hand crocheted in my free time using a chart, hook, and yarn. I used a single crochet stitch, and trailed all the yarn colors together, which gives it the "seamless" look you see in it. :)

I just finished this one. It took me around 5 hours a day the past two days, and that was to finish half of it, I had the other half finished from quite a while ago. So, if I was to calculate it all, probably around 25 to 30 hours of work. If you can't tell what it is, it's a death eater mask, y'know... from Harry Potter. I misunderstood the chart, and ended up with it being almost twice as long as the face should have been. But... for my first... it's not that bad.

(here's a size reference, that's my foot, I'm a size 8 1/2 to 9)

(it looks much better in real life. The "in between" "threads" you see in the photo are barely visible in real life)

And I'm also working on one for my Grandma of her dog using really bright colors (I had them, I want them used up). I'm staying up late tonight and will be working on it on and off, so I might post a progression photo a little later depending on how much I have done.

Like I said... I might or might not sell these (if I did they'd be custom, using the customer's photo and the colors and fabric they choose, and could be made into pillows or bags for a small extra fee). I'd just like to know what you guys might think a possible price for these would be. Because... I HAVE tried to do research online... and am really not finding anything. Then again... I might not be looking in the right places. I tried etsy, and googled some... but couldn't really find anything. A lot of charts for sale... but almost none of the actual product.

07-03-2010, 03:06 AM
You could look up something on Etsy that is similar in terms of labor time/material expenses (once you figure that out). How much labor time/material expense is this compared to a quilted hanging, say?

Start doing some themes from the Twilight series and I suspect you can choose your price. Look up some "Edward" or Jacob" themed objects maybe for comparisons.

Sorry I can't give you a better price estimate because I get all my crocheted and knitted stuff from grandma!

07-03-2010, 03:47 AM
Twilight stuff could definitely earn me some money... :p Too bad I despite Twilight. Oh well... ;)

Thanks. :) I've been looking on Etsy... just haven't been finding much. It's not quilted... technically. It can be a wall hanging, a bag, a pillow, part of a blanket, pretty much whatever you want it to be. I'm using this death eater mask as a wall hanging currently, though I'll most likely be turning it into a pillow.

But yeah... thanks. :)

ETA: oh... reread what you wrote about exactly WHAT to look up on etsy. I'll take your advice and try and figure some stuff out. :)

07-03-2010, 04:52 AM
Twilight stuff could definitely earn me some money... Too bad I despite Twilight. Oh well...

Well, that depends whether you're doing it for the money or the art then.:)
I've never been into Twilight either, I have just seen the crazy things that people are willing to pay big bucks for on Etsy (and Regretsy, also). So you could use that to catch people's eye and then on the page advertise your custom productions also. Timing now is right for Twilight, with the movie just coming out. For Harry Potter... whenever that new movie shows up, I don't remember when that is. The trailer just came out though.

If you can make it afghan sized it probably would sell very well also.

07-03-2010, 01:35 PM
Thanks. :) I'll finish my grandma's one... get some more yarn (I'm almost completely out of black), and then make a couple twilight ones. ;)

07-03-2010, 03:05 PM
Check out ravelry. There's a ravelry group there devoted to this technique. The group's name is Crochet by Numbers.

I joined the group, because I want to learn to do the technique, but I have so many other projects started and on my to do list, that it'll probably be years before I get around to it.

The moderator of the group converts patterns into non-chart instructions, also I believe.

At any rate, some of the group members sell their work (I know the owner does), so they may be able to share where they sell and what kind of prices they're charging.

It is a craft that is likely to pay poorly, because most people won't realize how much work is in something like this. One possible exception may be doing commissions from people's family photos. People will pay a lot more for personalized items, especially portraits of family and pets.

It's meticulous work, and it's time consuming, so before you even think of selling price, consider the cost of material and supplies, and the minimum value of your time.

It's easy to forget this in crafting, and you can end up charging 50 cents an hour or less. I've seen folks on etsy sell stuff at a price that has to be barely covering the cost of supplies (a few I wonder if the selling price even did cover the cost of supplies). My guess is that they're selling to recoup losses not to make any profit, and that's fine if that's your goal, but you need decide your personal minimum wage before you start (and it may be differnt for photos you choose vs. special requests/commissions).

07-03-2010, 05:10 PM
OMG! How could I NOT know about this!! This technique would solve some major problems for me! Are there any directions and how to's online? I would love to learn how to do this!

07-04-2010, 01:25 PM
HoneyMustard... I learned the specific "technique" on my own... kinda. I used the "changing colors" tutorial video on .

You crochet over the colors, and right before you are to crochet a certain color, you crochet half of the sc, then change the color, and finish the sc with that color, and then do your next stitch. Kind of fun when you have three color changes on a one by one type of thing. :p

kaplods... I'm doing one of my grandma's dog, and if I did do something, it'd most likely be of people's pets or family photos (not of deatheaters... ;) ). And thanks so much for all of the info! I have tried making and selling things in the past (haven't sold anything actually... :p ), and that's why I'm not sure if I even want to sell these... but never really knew how to do it. The cost of the supplies for this particular thing was around $4 a skein, and I bought 5 skeins, used up a little over half of them, so would cost of supplies be $20? Or $10? And then it took me probably 25 to 30 hours total, so if I did 50 cents an hour, that's around $12.50 to $15.00? So total price would be around $22.50 to $35?

Please correct me if you think I'm doing this wrong... :p

ETA: Thanks for the ravelry group name! I'm on ravelry, but I've really never done anything on there except to look up patterns. :p Guess I'll have to look around on it some more. ;)

ETAA: Ok... been looking at the crochet by numbers, and that's not all how I do mine. Maybe that's why mine doesn't look "as" neat. I dunno. I carry all my yarn through the sc... and I don't tie anything off until the end. This one's just confusing me. I am going to watch the video... to see.

07-04-2010, 01:31 PM
Funny, I was looking for something on etsy the other day and the seller was selling some "Twilight" objects and I decided not to buy from them because of that. Maybe I'm the only one like that though :)

Not sure how much you should charge but definitely factor in the cost of materials and your time although it won't equal anything near a living wage depending on how long it takes you to make it. You could always make some samples and put them up on Etsy and see what happens.

07-04-2010, 01:58 PM
Haha... I'd feel the same way nelie. "oh... twilight... blech" *runs in the other direction*

Thanks. :) I need to finish the one of Bella (my grandma's dog). I'm about 25% done with it. She's going to be purple. :p I'm using up old yarn I have that I'm sick of looking at... So.... bright colors that may hurt one's eyes. ;)

07-04-2010, 02:05 PM
Thanks Serbrider! I've been trying to figure this out ever since my last post to you. I don't know whether to hug you our sock you! lol! Good Luck!

07-04-2010, 02:20 PM
Working your hourly rate out to 50 cents is pretty cheap. Why not try selling it for $50 and see what happens (also pretty cheap hourly rate)? If there are no takers, put it "on sale" for $40. Harry Potter, Twilight, Star Wars, Star Trek, etc., tend to really interest people so take advantage of that. Consider patterns for upcoming holidays. Maybe make a bunch of cute Halloween ones to have ready to go. Turkeys, Christmas motifs, etc.

Good luck!

07-04-2010, 02:45 PM
Thanks midwife. :) I'm not going to sell this one. It's my first of this type of thing... and I'm pretty dissapointed in how it turned out. I could have done much better... so I'm not going to sell this one. I will make a few Twilight ones (I wouldn't mind looking at taylor lautner's or robert pattinson's faces for a bit... :p ), and put them up for around $50, to see what happens. And maybe make some halloween, christmas, and thanksgiving ones. Those are great ideas. :D

I have a TON of travel coming up (15 hour plane rides), so depending on how much yarn my parents are willing to let me take, I might be able to finish one per plane trip. That'd be nice. ;)

07-05-2010, 04:23 PM
kaplods... The cost of the supplies for this particular thing was around $4 a skein, and I bought 5 skeins, used up a little over half of them, so would cost of supplies be $20? Or $10? And then it took me probably 25 to 30 hours total, so if I did 50 cents an hour, that's around $12.50 to $15.00? So total price would be around $22.50 to $35?

Aaaagh, I didn't mean that you SHOULD charge 50 cents an hour! I was using that as an example of what not to do (sell yourself too cheaply).

My point was that you have to decide what your time is worth. Don't charge 50 cents an hour unless you'd be willing to take a job for 50 cents an hour (Slave wages? Really? You're not worth more?)

As to the question about calculating in the cost of supplies, it really depends. If you know you'll use the remaining yarn for other projects, it's perfectly fine to calculate the cost of supplies as $10, but it's also perfectly fine to count the entire $20. It's your judgement call.

$50 seems ridiculously low-priced to me. You're barely paying yourself a dollar an hour. While I'd expect custom pieces to be more expensive (and I'd expect customers to know this too) - if someone sees you sell this at $50 and then tell them it will be $300 to do a portrait of their family, they're going to feel like you're ripping them off.

If you want your crafting to be a source of actual income (not just partial reimbursement for craft supplies) you've got to think like a business owner. What are your skills and your time worth to you? Yes, there are crafts that you will never be able to sell at a profit, and if you want to make money you'ld have to find different crafts (or be willing to sell at a loss, because you enjoy it so much).

To my way of thinking, if I pay myself less than minimum wage, it would make more sense to work for someone else (where the pay is guaranteed).

Now there are some projects that I love so much that I don't mind if I don't make much profit. My first centaur (the one attached to my first post) for example, I will have to sell at a loss. There's no way I'm going to be able to charge enough to get back what I put into it. But it also was a learning experience, and I will either decide centaurs aren't worth the cost they require, or I'll try to sell tham at what they're worth to me (maybe someone will agree) or I'll learn ways to make centaurs faster at a lower cost (for example, in hindsight I wish I had been more stingy with the art plastic armor. I could have made just as cool a doll using less of the art plastic).

I'd recommend you see what other people are selling similar crafts for, before you price yours. At local craft fairs, I've never seen even a very plain, very small lap afghan in a very large gauge sell for less than $50. That's a big hint to me that $50 is too low, because you can't compare a lapghan in a simple stitch, that may take only 5 hours to make, and compare it to a portrait (personalized or not).

07-05-2010, 05:03 PM
Whoops... totally and utterly misread that! :p

Thanks so much. :) I'm about halfway finished with my Grandma's dog... and then I have to go get more yarn. I'm almost completely and utterly out of black... and that's like... my most important color. :p So... yeah. :)

I really am reading your thread, and thinking it over... I just can't think of anything to reply except for... well... "thanks". :p :D

07-05-2010, 05:42 PM
No reply needed. I just want to share what I learned. When I first started selling craft items, I underpriced my items ridiculously. When they didn't sell, I priced them even more cheaply (to the point I think I sometimes was losing money even without putting my time into the equation).

Then I read in a book on selling crafts, that you can lose customers by underpricing just as much as overpricing. The author argued that if you price your items far lower than other comparable artists, people will often assume there must be something wrong with yours. They often assume (without evidence) that more expensive, means better quality and workmanship (even if it's not true).

Finding the perfect price is as much of an art, as the craft itself.

There are some really good books on selling crafts. The only one that specificually comes to mind is The Savvy Crafters Guide To Success: Turn Your Crafts Into A Career by Sandra McCall