I used to make genuine leather doll furniture for collectors as well as regular
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
wood finishing. I like a little wood for trim.
Along with the brass escutcheon pins I used tacks like these.
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
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
too beat up or damaged for resale. They throw them out. I used to have them save
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
was 20 years ago. Not every day, but it was a great pleasure to be able to make
off items and sell them at a profit. I used to advertise in Doll World magazine,
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..:)
The butterfly stand has rebar in it to prevent breakage in case you are
This stuff sells very well BTW..so if you're tired of the cost of hardwood <g>
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.
I have no idea Swingman. I don't even know if Doll World mag is still around. It
pulp in those days, not glossy but had huge circulation. Ads were cheaper than
paper ads in the day.
I sold stuff all around the world including Israel and Russia, through my ads to
trusting people. I expected payment in advance and got it. One customer in Texas
me $400US in CASH for a Spanish style couch (30 inches in length) and chair
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
anything I had already seen.
My concrete work is like that as well. If you see something that looks like
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,
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
additives and aggregates.
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