Friday, August 2, 2013

Project Based Learning Using Craftsy & Etsy

This project has been a huge success with my girls.

Combining jewelry making, photography, computer skills, writing, marketing, math and even geology and it all started with a few Craftsy classes purchased for Christmas presents.

Have you heard of Craftsy?

If you have always wished you could knit, crochet, make jewelry, decorate a cake, sew, paint and a few more, you can now. For incredibly reasonable rates, as in  about $20-$40, you get access to video lessons instucted by experts in each field.

The part I liked best is that you get access to the classes indefinitely! As in, go back and watch them over and over and over. You can also post questions to the teacher!

So for Christmas, I bought our daughter 2 jewelry making classes that taught the basics of bead and metal wire jewelry.

This was the first:               Jewelry Workshop

This was the second: Wire-wrapped Stones, Crystals & Clusters

She was hooked! She worked through all the lessons; then took a local workshop and came up with the idea of making jewelry for girls and their American Girl dolls.

Here are some examples of her work:


We brainstormed and came up with the idea of an Etsy shop to sell her jewelry. But before she was allowed to, I required that she do plenty of preparation.

1. She practiced her new skill to ensure that the jewelry was well constructed & would last.

2. She set up an Excel Spreadsheet to track her inventory and expenses.

3. She had to determine her costs in materials, Etsy & Paypal fees, packaging and shipping.

4. She needed to think about who her customers were and how should she market to them. How would she present the jewelry, etc.

5. She needed to study other vendors on Etsy & determine how to make the listings appealing.

She was finally ready to begin and her first Etsy shop, Design by Harper was launched. In the six months since, her sister has joined her and now their shop is called: SmithgirlDesigns

 I knew this would be a great project for math and money skills, writing and art. I was surprised to see how excited and driven she became about photography and marketing. She also loves to give her handmade jewelry as gifts to her friends and their reactions to it just make her so proud!

For the moms out there who never have time to get to a local class, I can't recommend these classes enough. They are such an incredible concept and have been executed so well. There are even some free classes and from time to time, they go on sale. Check it out! Craftsy Summer Course Gallery

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