Branding Your Etsy Shop with Avery Labels: Giveaway!

This giveaway is closed!  Congratulations to the winner!

When I posted my popular cash envelope template post in January 2010, I hadn’t even considered how far it would take me.  I was simply sharing a little template to make budgeting easier for those of us who had discovered the benefits of quitting the credit card habit.  However, once the post went viral, the requests to purchase pre-made sets started pouring in.  I was astounded at the number of requests and started thinking about the possibility of opening up an Etsy shop to fulfill those requests and speed me on my way to paying off my student loans.

A year later, in January 2011, I finally took the plunge and opened up a little corner of Kelleigh Ratzlaff Designs on Etsy where I sell an updated and unique version of my cash envelope sets with laminated papers and customized tabs.

I have learned a lot over the last year and a half!  What a massive understatement that is, too!  I’m still learning about small business and the importance of marketing and branding in the handmade product world.  So, when I was contacted by Avery and it’s partner, Red Sky PR, to test out their new line of Customizable Marketing Solutions, I was thrilled!  It was about time that I got serious about “branding” my product and my store.

I received a huge box filled with goodies to play with, test out and give my honest opinion of.  There were two-sided tags, round labels, oval labels, labels for bottles, shelf tags, bag toppers and more.  I was amazed at the number of customizable products Avery has come up with in the last few years.  Back in the day (when I worked in an office), I only thought of printable address labels and business cards when I heard the name Avery.  However, my eyes were opened (cue the singing angels) and my mind started swirling with possibilities.

The first task, however, was figuring out how to customize these goodies so that I could use them on my own product.  I will admit that at first I attempted to do it all myself using my mad Illustrator and Photoshop skillz.  That worked okay, but it gave me a bit of a headache.

My next idea was to actually use Avery’s online Design and Print program.  Duh. Seriously.  I can’t even believe how easy it was to customize my label.  I uploaded a digital paper that I wanted to use as the background (mostly for color and just a bit of texture) and then uploaded my little “K” monogram.  Then, I typed in my text and used the online tools to change the color of my type and align my design.

I previewed my label on the screen, then saved my design in my online library.

When I clicked “Print” the software created a PDF that opened up in Adobe Reader.  The key there is to leave it as it is.  I messed with the settings and totally screwed things up, so DON’T mess with the settings.  Hee, hee!  I printed a test onto plain copy paper, then put my test sheet behind the sheet of labels and held it up to the light to make sure everything aligned just right.  It did!

Then, I put my sheet up labels face down in my printer and printed the real thing.


The totally COOL thing is that the design software lets me transfer that same design onto a different type of label.  I don’t have to upload my digital paper or monogram again.  I simply choose a new label by typing the number into the field or selecting from the drop-down menu.  I chose some tags and then modified my design a bit to suit my purposes.  The tags are two sided cardstock, so I took advantage of designing on both sides!

The tags came with strings, so I went ahead and attached my tag right to my envelopes.  So stinkin’ cool!  My customer can cut the string and hand it to a friend like a business card!

My “packaging” is pretty functional, but now it is more customized.  Instead of just using tape to close the bubble wrap, I can use my custom sticker!

I must say that I am the MOST excited about those custom stickers!!  Ah, its the little things that make me happy!  :)

As a mom, I can see a lot more uses for the fun goodies I received in my box.  I’m looking forward to labeling shelves (think closets) and toy bins.  Both boys have birthday parties this summer, so I’m going to be adding a cool design to the bag toppers and filling the cellophane bags that came with them with candy!  My husband, who is also a small business owner, has plans to enlist my services to create signage for his office, too!  There are seriously so many things I can do with Avery’s Customizable Marketing Solutions!

I was walking through Walmart the other day and I saw some packages of Avery labels (these cool new ones) in the office aisle, however you can win your own huge box of goodies right here on my blog!

Just leave a comment here on my blog to be entered for a chance to win a shipment of 10 packages of Avery’s Customizable Marketing line of products.

Due to shipping restraints, this giveaway is open to US residents only.  I will choose a winner on Wednesday, June 20th.  Please send your friends here to this post to enter as well!  I’d love more opportunities to review products, and the more comments my post receives, the better my chances of being chosen again!

Avery has a Facebook Page, plus they are running a totally cool Brand It contest where they are giving away $4500 in cash and prizes to help small business owners and DIYers!  If you sell handmade products online, then you will definitely want to check out that contest!!

Want more inspiration?  Find Avery at:

  • and check out the Brand It Contest Gallery on Facebook and vote for your favorite design!  In fact, you can get started designing your label using Avery’s online software, then enter the contest (and enter this giveaway!!) for an opportunity to see your label in print!
Disclosure: I received a ginormous package of Avery products to play with, courtesy of Avery and Red Sky PR.  All reviews are honest and not paid for!  I’m seriously excited about continuing to brand my Etsy store with the help of Avery’s Customizable Marketing line of products!!  I might even enter that cool Brand It Contest!!



I’ve Been Featured on Bluebird Chic!

I’m very excited to announce that I’ve been featured on the Bluebird Chic blog!  I shared a little bit about myself and my Etsy shop, and even dropped a couple of tips for Etsy shop owners.  If you want to see what I’ve been up to lately (that I have not even shared here on my own blog), head on over!  Leave a comment over there so I know you saw it!

Bluebird Chic is my friend Leah, who makes the most adorable ruched camera straps and hand sewn goods and sells them in her Etsy store.   She has been doing a great blog series about taking good photos to showcase your product (which could translate to papercraft creation).  I highly recommend that you read through her posts if you ever like to post a photo online of something you have made.  Learn how to make it really pop so your project can be appreciated!!  (Side note:  That photo of her practically climbing on top of her nightstand to get a good pic? Yeah. I do that when I photograph, too!)


Go check out my feature, and tell Leah that Kelleigh sent you!  Thanks everyone!!

JeniLuScraps – ShirCrazy Wristlet for Cash Envelopes!

I am super excited to share an awesome Etsy shop with you all! 

JeniLuScraps is a mother/daughter team who designs awesome bags, purses, wallets, pouches, coin purses and key fobs out of recycled fabric, with the occasional new fabric thrown in.  Their Etsy shop is crammed full of useful, handmade items.

Remember when I shared the little bit of sewing I was doing a while back?  I mentioned on that post that someone {ahem} should open up an Etsy shop to sell these adorable little clutches because they fit my cash envelopes just perfectly.

Well, JeniLuScraps actually FOLLOWED THROUGH!  Yeah, I know.  You totally wish you had jumped on that bandwagon, eh?

Okay, but the coolest part is that the mama half of the team (Georgi) is really, really good at drafting sewing patterns.  Jen (the daughter, who lives here in Oregon, “Hi Jen!” {waves!}) asked me what would make the little wristlet clutch absolutely perfect.  I gave her my little opinion.  And then, Georgi actually met ALL of my criteria. And then, they sent me one.  Eeek!

Check it out:

Uhhh-dorable.  LOVE the two bands across the middle!  LOVE.

Yes. Handmade. Love the little tag! Notice the card slots? That teal bit of fabric is actually a divider, so there are two sides to this ShirCrazy Wristlet, with a card holder divider in the middle!

A zippered pocket for my change!  Wahoo!  Perfect! LOVE that she used colored zippers!!

The best part?  My cash envelopes fit inside.  I’m actually going to use this set for my coupon shopping trips, though.  My labels will say: Transaction 1, Transaction 2, Transaction 3, Transaction 4, Safeway, Rite Aid, Walmart, and 3 blank.  (Most likely, but don’t quote me on it.)

The inside, under the label, has spots for my store reward cards and gift cards! I LOVE this little wristlet!!

JeniLuScraps will work with any fabric of your choice, too!  If you buy a bit of fabric in another Etsy shop and ship it to them, they’ll make exactly what you want!!  I love that!  Just convo (message) them on Etsy to set up a private listing!  (See one of their wristlets here!)

And, I kind of hate to “publish” their price, because in my opinion it is too low.  Seriously, WAY too low for a handmade item like this!  If I were to make this wristlet, it would cost you about $125.00 in labor alone (not kidding).  JeniLuScraps is selling their wristlets for only $20.00!  Hello?  (Anyone else think that is insane?  Tell me in the comments.)  Jump on that bargain before they come to their senses, people!!

Go check out the JeniLuScraps store on Etsy.  There are all kinds of fun things to look at!  I actually bought my son a little Zipster Pouch in soccer ball fabric to keep his garage sale money in.  He loves it and is so excited to have his own wallet!  Shipping was fast, there was great communication, and it is exactly what I was expecting!

“Like” JeniLuScraps on Facebook and check out their fabric selection so you can custom order your ShirCrazy Wristlet!

Thanks Jen and Georgi, for letting me test out this awesomely designed ShirCrazy Wristlet!  It’s absolutely gorgeous!

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How To Add The Pinterest Pin It Button to a Blog Post

I admit that I am completely in love with Pinterest I could go on and on explaining what Pinterest is, but it’s been done.  Instead, let me sum up: It is like a giant online cork board that you can pin great articles, cool pictures and fabulous ideas to without having to tear a page out of a magazine.  When you see something that you like online, you “Pin it” to your Pinterest Style Board so you can come back to it again or share it with a friend.  So cool.

I have discovered recently that Pinterest is also a really great way to get the word out about a post or product, especially for those of us in the crafty field or home decor niche or blogging world.  I get most of my blog hits from Pinterest these days, and just yesterday I had someone tell me that she found my Etsy shop and made a purchase because a friend of hers pinned my cash envelopes to Pinterest!  Gotta love Pinterest!

When I first signed up, I found it to be really easy to figure out how to add the Pin It button to my search engine toolbar.  In fact, Pinterest has a video tutorial.  Easy.

What it doesn’t have is an intuitive tutorial to explain how I can add the Pin It button to the bottom of one of my blog posts to encourage my readers to share my content on Pinterest. I think I finally figured it out!

This little tutorial will explain how to add the Pin It button to a specific post on your blog.  It is not javascript and it will not work to embed the Pin It button into your WordPress template so that it appears on every post of your blog, but it is really not difficult to add to a single, remarkable post once you have figured it out.

First, finish writing your blog post (or work with an existing blog post) and get all of your images in place.  It might even be easier to quickly publish your post and then come back and add the button so that all of your urls are in place.

Next, go to Pinterest > “About” (upper right) >choose “Help” from the drop down menu > Choose “Goodies”


Fill in the boxes with the following:

URL of the webpage the pin is on: = Copy and paste the post url from your browser.  It will start with http://

URL of the image to be pinned: = Right click (or control click) on the image that you would like people to pin and go down to “Copy Image Location”.  Paste that code into the box.

Description of the Pin (optional): = The description you write will show up in the box when people pin your post! Use obvious key words so that your post will show up in searches!

The code in the box will change as you enter the information.  When you are done, copy that code.

Now, go to the HTML edit mode of your blog post (indicated by the red circle in the screen shot below).

Paste the code at the bottom of your blog post.

That’s it!  Go preview your post and test your link.  It works! Yay!  Now, publish your post again and invite others to “Pin It!”

I’d love your feedback! Please let me know if this works for you!


Pin It

Laminated Cash Envelopes!

I’m so excited about the new service that I am offering in my Etsy shop! I bought a laminator (on Amazon with Swagbucks!!), so I have been laminating my little heart out.  So much fun!  The laminated cash envelopes turn out so nice, and I’m so proud of their sturdiness.

Last night I laminated two sets of cash envelopes that I sold yesterday, and I was SO impressed at how they turned out that I just HAD to show you.

This particular paper is already very thick and sturdy, but by getting them laminated, the new owner can be confident that it will hold up for years!

Check out that glitter!! Yes, the lamination makes the glitter on some of the envelope sets just pop! So pretty!

I decided to add the labels after laminating the sets so that if your budget changes over the next few years you can just peel the label off and put a new one on. At least, I think you can peel. In theory, I suppose.  However, the glue I used is super strong and I was amazed at how well the paper adhered to the plastic! Very cool.

I designed these sets so that the flap can be inserted into the checkbook slot or large slot of your wallet as shown.

However, my personal wallet actually has the slot on the opposite side, so for my set I just flip the insert over and slip it in!

The cool thing is that now that we are dealing with a laminated set, you really could just toss the whole set right into your purse without having it in your wallet. Of course, if you want it to last longer, you’ll protect it from the contents of your purse by putting it in a wallet or maybe a clutch, but you technically COULD!

Have you checked out my Etsy shop lately?  I’ve been working on filling it up!  I added 6 new sets yesterday, then cut out another 9 last night (which I’m hoping to work on tonight). I have more paper waiting to be cut, plus I’ll be buying even more with that Groupon I purchased yesterday!!

I’m having so much fun with Etsy, guys! I wish I had discovered it long ago! What an amazing place!! Go check it out!

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I Love Etsy and Mom-Preneurs!

I’ve been wanting to write up a little post about how my brand new Etsy shop is doing, but it is doing SO WELL that I can’t seem to keep my envelope sets in there to show you all! Crazy!  Good crazy, of course.  Makes me wonder if I should have done this a long time ago!

For those of you who are new to online commerce, Etsy is “the place to buy and sell all things handmade”.  It is an incredible source of inspiration, filled with unique, personalized and handmade gifts for yourself or someone you kinda like.  I’ve purchased funky fabric, jewelry, a camera strap and sewing patterns from Etsy, plus I’ve received gifts of handmade buttons and a personalized charm that were purchased on Etsy.  You could get lost there for hours and hours, just browsing the shops and enjoying the eye candy.  The best part: your purchase supports artists and mom-preneurs.  Love that!

As you may know, I set up a shop to sell my handmade cash envelope sets. So far, I have sold seventeen sets!!  AMAZING!  I’ve had a couple of learning moments, as you might expect, but I think I have most of the kinks worked out.  I didn’t anticipate selling so many, so quickly!  These babies take a while to make and then I have to take the time to photograph them, edit photos and list them in my shop.  Plus there is the customizing of labels and shipping it out!  My boys are a little tired of going to the post office, so I’ll have to schedule that when they are at school. I’m totally willing to do all of these things, because every set I sell gets us that much closer to being able to pay off my student loans this year! Wahoo!

I had thought about setting up an Etsy shop in the past, but I didn’t really know where to start. Yes, I am typically the type who likes to jump into things without researching it to death first, but I knew enough about Etsy to know that I needed to be prepared.  Thankfully, a few months back I had purchased Tip Junkie’s e-book called Mom-preneur Blog and Etsy Guide.  When I purchased it, I figured that it would be useful to me as a blogger and as a mom-preneur with my little boutique over at The Digichick.  Perhaps I could learn a couple of new things to promote my business.

In the 37 page e-book, Laurie (Tip Junkie) compiled a huge list of questions and answers by Mom-preneurs who sell their handmade wares in several different venues: Etsy, website, facebook/craft fairs/etc, and their blogs.  It includes information on branding, websites, advertising, quality photos, customer service and more.

My favorite Questions that people answered were:

  • “Say you just uploaded a new product online. What would you do next to get the word out?”
  • “What is your favorite way to promote your business?”
  • “If you have an Etsy shop, how do you use the site to promote yourself?”
  • “What types of giveaways have the most participation on your blog?”
  • and LOTS more!

VERY valuable information, and a fun read, too!  The ladies who took part are all mom-preneurs selling their handmade items or promoting their blog to earn additional income.  I love that!

What the book did for me is that it got me thinking and brainstorming about how I could improve my businesses and get the word out about what I have to offer. I’m always watching other successful bloggers or digital designers, etc, to see how they are running their businesses and to see if I could incorporate what they are doing into my own brand.  Some ideas I keep and some I toss, but they all get my mind whirling, and that is the most important thing.  (Gotta get those synapses firing!!)

I can wholeheartedly recommend the Tip Junkie’s Mom-preneur Blog and Etsy Guide to any of you who are wanting to brainstorm about starting your own business or growing the one you already have.  I’m giving it a second read today, now that I’ve opened up an Etsy shop, and I’m excited to see what pops out at me today!

One thing I learned in the book (well, okay, I already knew it!) was how important word-of-mouth advertising is.  So, my faithful blog readers, will you do me a favor?  Will you tell others about my customized cash envelopes in my Etsy shop?  I’d love you forever!!  :)

Your turn!  Do you love Etsy?  Do you have a favorite shop?  Do you sell in an online store of some sort?  Link us up in the comments so that we can continue to buy handmade!