TIPS

Tip #9:
Customizers:

When I have to remove thick curly hair from a head and I know the new scalp isn't going to show (ie: dreads will be applied), I put a sanding attachment on my Dremel and slowly "shave" it off at the root. Be careful around the hairline in particular. This will save your hands tremendously and cut the scalping time down to minutes.


TIP #8: 
Painters:

When looking to buy art supplies, ask fellow artists if they want to split an order with you. Sometimes there is a substantial discount if you buy in bulk and it might be beneficial to both of you to share the cost. At the very least you could save on hefty shipping charges.


TIP #7: 
Sellers:

Whether you're just starting out with sales or have been selling for a long time, it's always helpful to do this little trick. Package an item up the way you would normally send it out and send it to yourself. Really! Go through the whole process, post it and wait until it comes back to you. When you get the package make a note of what it looks like. Then open it. As objectively as possible look at how it's packaged: Is it attractive? Does it have an odor? Is this a good representation of your product? Is this a package you would be excited to receive? Maybe you're satisfied with your packaging or maybe you find something you can improve upon but at least you are in touch with what you're putting out there.


TIP #6:
DIY:

A fun, quick and easy way to spice up your doll at Halloween is to make ponytail dreads. All you need is some sturdy elastic bands and yarn for the basic version. I like to vary the colors, sizes and textures of the yarn to make them more interesting. You can vary the length depending on how long the dolls' hair is but 14" is a good place to start. It's a good idea to seal the ends to prevent fraying and in case you want to add beads later. Fray Check, Elmer's Glue or singeing all work great. You can also vary the amount of strands. For this I used 5 pieces of yarn. Cut your yarn, seal it, tie it around the elastic bands, trim and you're done! If you like you can vary the lengths, add beads or ornaments to the knot to jazz them up.


TIP #5:
DIY:

Craft store butterfly wings make great Fayrie Wings. There is a varied selection to chose from with everything from feathers to rhinestone covered mesh. Smaller wings give a dainty look and oversized ones make the doll seem smaller so you can't go wrong. Many sets come with the wings separated but if the butterfly is complete then cut the wings down the center. Glue a 3-4" piece of heavy wire to the back of the wing if they're are not separated and on wire already. If you can't find wire you like, you can use anything from thin popsicle sticks to cut bamboo skewers. I like to buffer the end so it doesn't scratch the doll so dip the end in rubber glue and let dry or glue a round bead to the end. When everything is dry and secure, slide the wings down the back of your fairy's dress or shirt. Voila!


TIP #4:
Props:

Unless there is something new you are dying for, try to hold off buying seasonal props until the 3rd week of the month. You can usually save 50-75% of the ticket price. If you can hold off until after the holiday even better. I've saved 90% on Christmas items before! Well worth planning ahead!


TIP #3:
Collecting: 

With my frequent photo shoots, it's helpful to keep accessories viewable and compartmentalized so I know exactly where they are when I need them. My jewelry is placed in individual clear plastic bagies and kept in clear drawers. I have separate drawers for conservative looks, colorful looks and rhinestone sets. 

I like to use clear bead containers to hold my shoe collection. They are indispensable for keeping your shoes separate, clean and categorized by doll. ConsumerCrafts online has them for $2 a box along with a huge array of crafting supplies you'll go nuts for. If you're looking for something immediate then Wal-Mart has them for $2 as well. 



TIP #2:
Collecting:

If you have an older repaint that doesn't make your heart pitter patter the way it used to, here are a few options:

A. You can sell it on the secondary market. Depending on the doll, you might not get much for her but at least she's with someone who loves her. 
B. If you don't need the money, I suggest putting a call out on the boards for a trade. You are more likely to get the full value or close to it and you both could end up with "new" dolls that you love. 
C. The final option is to contact the artist and ask for a sprucing. This can be a perm, a couple of tweaks here and there or a full lip and nail change. Most artists are happy to accommodate depending on their schedules. Be sure to ask if the upgrade you want has an extra charge. If it's a minor clean up of wear, I'll usually ask the owner to just cover shipping but an overhaul would be more. Either way, artists want their owners to love their dolls and asking never hurts.*                                                   
*Be respectful though. Free sprucing is intended for the owner to fall in love with their doll all over again, not so they can turn around and sell the doll for a better price. Likewise, don't abuse it by sending in dolls every 3 months to get new lips. We have ninja monkeys and are not afraid to use them.




TIP #1:
Painting:

This tip is both practical and green. When painting, I always keep my palette on a shallow tray of ice to keep the paint fluid (thank you, Lisa Gates of Dazzle 'em Repaints!).  Instead of relegating them to a landfill, I have found microwave dinner trays work wonders for both the palette and the ice tray.  Use a smaller, sectioned tray for the palette, enabling you to have segregated areas for different mediums (ie: paint and glue) or for close proximity storage of toothpicks and q-tips. Use a larger shallow undivided tray for the ice.

If you are looking for something more permanent, treat yourself to a small plate, bowl and glass (for rinse water). They don't have to match but you might discover a pattern or color that inspires you. For something like this I like going to my local thrift or charitable store. You never know what you'll find, the price is right and your purchase goes on to help others. If you are looking for something more upscale, Anthropologie has a charming selection of kitchenware.