Furniture tacks and leather. How to avoid wood finishing and create collectable stuff. AND CONCRETE!!

I used to make genuine leather doll furniture for collectors as well as regular folks for their daughters and also leather covered boxes and small chests. Why? Because I hated wood finishing. I used a TON of decorative tacks and my leather was almost free. :) A pine box that cost me a few bucks to make sold for 30-50 times with less labor than wood finishing. I like a little wood for trim.
Along with the brass escutcheon pins I used tacks like these. http://www.fisco-fasteners.co.uk/Uphnails.htm The tiny brass conical being a favorite. On black or blue leather they looked great. All these tacks can be picked up with my vac tool. The beauty being that the vacuum tip if you shape it correctly can only attach to the shaft of the tack.
I'm sure you are wondering about that almost 'Free" leather. Secondhand clothing stores. They get a ton of leather coats some full length that are too beat up or damaged for resale. They throw them out. I used to have them save them for me and I paid $5 for a garbage bag full I could barely carry.
I could sell a 18" high leather wing back chair to doll collectors for $300 and this was 20 years ago. Not every day, but it was a great pleasure to be able to make one off items and sell them at a profit. I used to advertise in Doll World magazine, the ads were ridiculously cheap for a magazine.
You can make beautiful leather boxes for almost nothing this way and almost NO FINISHING OR SANDING. I hate both. <g>
Now I do very little woodwork these days and work mostly in concrete. Talk about your cheap materials. This bowl was my very first and cost me $3 to make and it will look like this 200 years from now..:)
http://home-and-garden.webshots.com/album/297728185cqLAFj The butterfly stand has rebar in it to prevent breakage in case you are wondering.
This stuff sells very well BTW..so if you're tired of the cost of hardwood <g>
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
$300 and this

make one

magazine, the

Is it still that way in the Doll/collectible world?
20 years ago my oldest sister, creator of the "Sugar Britches" porcelain doll, was grossing around $12mil/year selling/licensing molds around the world. Today, with the advent of copying in China/Pacific Rim, she's lucky to pay the mortgage and is now portrait painting/sculpting instead.
--
www.e-woodshop.net
Last update: 1/27/07
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

I have no idea Swingman. I don't even know if Doll World mag is still around. It was pulp in those days, not glossy but had huge circulation. Ads were cheaper than news paper ads in the day. I sold stuff all around the world including Israel and Russia, through my ads to very trusting people. I expected payment in advance and got it. One customer in Texas sent me $400US in CASH for a Spanish style couch (30 inches in length) and chair UNSEEN. I hadn't even made it yet. My stuff appealed because it was one off and possibly collectable itself one day. I'm hoping...:)

Wow! That's a pile of dolls! I made $11,000 one year from my hobbies. :(

It's really tough now. If you want to get noticed and sell stuff you have to be unique and if your stuff sells you won't be unique for long. I never did this as a living, always as a profitable hobby. I always avoided making anything I had already seen.
My concrete work is like that as well. If you see something that looks like mine, I probably made it. The hypertufa/concrete hobby world is still a small one and a secretive one as well. I have recipes no one can duplicate. I can do coal black or blue, or green, concrete that glistens in the sun like metallic paint and the beauty of it is it will look that way 100 years from now. I've never shared the recipe with anyone... It a fun hobby because there is so much left to discover for anyone willing to experiment. I'm always wandering through industrial supply warehouse looking for new additives and aggregates.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here. All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.