Sunday, July 5, 2015

New Product- Laminated Signs!

Well, this is something that I have been working on for a few years now.  Quite awhile back, when I first got my laminating machine, I made a No Soliciting sign for myself, and made a few extra and gave them away to friends.  I always put a few out on my table at craft sales, but never sold any.  One reason why I never really pursued making this product for my Etsy shop or other venues was because of my personal experience with my own: being that they are outside, they tend to fade in time with exposure to the sun.

The company that I buy my laminating supplies from, the Oregon Lamination Company, does offer a UV laminate that is supposed to help protect items from the harmful UV rays and resist fading.  It is not inexpensive though, which is why I had not bought any before.  My previous signs were about 6x8 inches, which would have necessitated me buying the letter sized laminate sheets.  I decided to try making smaller signs, 4x6, and went ahead and ordered the 4x6 UV laminate.  Let me tell you, every single experience I have had with the Oregon Lamination Company has been nothing short of stellar.  I bought my laminating machine from them, and soon after, I managed to jam it, and not only did they fix it for free, they had someone pick it up and deliver it back to my house, because they had an employee who lived in my area.  How amazing is that?!  I buy most of my laminate pouches from them, and though these particular pouches are on the spendy side, I have no problem paying for them, because I am happy to support a local business.  And guess what?  I ordered this laminate, along with some other laminate (for an idea I will be working on later), and it arrived in my mailbox THE.NEXT.DAY.  Yes, I had my order in 24 hours.  Ok, yes, it helps that I live 30 miles from them, but I just find it amazing that they are SO prompt to fill their orders.  LOVE this company!

So, back to my signs: now that I have the UV laminate and feel a bit better about my product holding up over time, I felt a better about offering these for sale.  Actually, my old signs, which I made with plain old Scotch 3M laminating pouches, lasted about 3 years on my east-facing front porch, and yes, the card stock border and printed text faded a bit, but it was still perfectly readable.  I want something better for paying customers, though.  I like the idea of a smallish doorbell sign- something that can just sit unobtrusively next to the doorbell for those pesky solicitors who would otherwise disturb our peace and quiet, but not be garishly obvious or out of place on my front porch.  I have, by the way, recently begun doing some sprucing up of my front porch- it is an area that I have never paid very much attention to, but after some Pinterest-surfing, have decided needed some prettying up!  I found this gorgeous bronze metal plant stand, which I have been accessorizing with plants and other cute things.  So when I remembered that the Dollar Tree had picture frames in various metallic patinas for only $1 each, I went and picked up a bronze 4x6 frame to put my sign in, and mounted it to the wall above my doorbell.  Well, I already know that it worked, because yesterday when I was leaving to run some errands, I found a business flyer taped to my door.  Hey, at least they didn't ring the doorbell!  You can see by the above photo that it is pretty and stylish and still delivers the right message.

I made some in a few different colors, and I did them two ways: with the "Youth fundraising OK", and without.  I know that some of us really appreciate our Girl Scout cookies and little league candy bars, but some don't, so I wanted there to be options for both!
These signs I have packaged up and taken to Top Drawer for purchase from my card rack- that is the other nice thing about these being a nice compact size, they fit nicely on my rack!  I have also put up a custom listing in my Etsy shop so that people can choose their own custom colors, designs, and even text.  Just think about a "Quiet, Baby Sleeping" sign, or even just a simple "Welcome to the Smith's" on a cute laminated sign!  I don't provide the frames with purchase, but they will fit into any standard 4x6 frame, and with purchase I do include 2 Command strips for damage-free mounting to a door or wall.

I'm kind of taking it easy this summer, and not pressuring myself too much to make a lot of new things, but this has been fun!  I have a few other ideas up my sleeve, so when I have a chance to try them out, I'll be posting about them here.  In the meantime, take care, and stay cool!  (Oh my, but it is a HOT summer!)