Do you want to ditch your day job and work full-time for your homestead? It is a dream many, if not most homesteaders share. Maybe you want to become a homesteader but just are not sure how you can still earn a living after moving away from the suburbs or the city. Perhaps you just want to find a way to bring in some extra income, or to find new ways to enhance the money-making endeavors you’re already engaging in.
No matter why you want to make some extra money without leaving the comfort of your own homestead, either of these two fun and fairly simple ideas should help you reach your goals.
This make money from your homestead idea is really geared more towards the ladies, but my husband was enthralled watching me do it, so that made it kind of a group project. making supplies.
Free Standing Lace Jewelry
In a previous how to make money on the homestead post, I offered advice on how to start an embroidery business for only a $500 investment. Once you have your machine, you can start making all kinds of things, blankets, embellish clothing you make yourself or upcycle from a yard sale find, etc.
One thing many folks (see I am not being sexist here, men can embroider too!) do not think about when contemplating items they can make using an embroidery machine, is jewelry.
Free standing lace (FSL) jewelry is incredible simple and super cheap to make, even though the end result looks like an intricate and delicate piece you surely must have spent hours laboring over to create.
I made this FSL earring set for our daughter-in-law. Our oldest granddaughter is in Boy Scouts and I thought she would look adorable wearing these to scouting family events. I used my go-to glue that will adhere virtually anything but liquid, E600 Glue, to put the fleur-de-lis symbols onto the center of the earrings.
All that was left to do after they dried (the glue dries clear) was to slide hoop attachments through the hole at the top of the earrings. From start to finish this project took about half an hour, including the time to embroider the jewelry hands-free using my machine.
A multitude of FSL jewelry designs can be purchased and saved online for an extremely nominal price. I purchased an earring design and a bracelet design for a little more than $1 each – and will use them to create hundreds if not thousands of pieces of jewelry. I can also use the same earring design to make pendants.
My embroidery machine has just a 4 X 6 hoop, as do all models that have a price point on the low end of the digital machine spectrum. I can make tons of large projects with it, simply by moving my project material into different parts of the hoop one at a time.
To make bracelets for adult wrists, I simply used the digital design to make essentially to make front and back sections of the bracelet so it was large enough. I hooped my embroidery medium so I could connect, nearly overlap, the end of one front piece with the end of one back piece so I would have one single strand of bracelet. I sewed some Velcro onto the open ends to use as a closure.
Now, you could simply make a free standing lace bracelet and not adorn it; they look beautiful enough as they are. But, I chose to add a decoration to the front and back center of each of mine.
Some FSL jewelry are designed for beads to be added at specific points during the progress, the little wearable pieces of art look stunning when worn on the wrist, around the neck, or as a set of matching earrings.
You can embellish the jewelry using “mini” embroidery designs you can also get them for free or for a nominal price from the internet. Listed below are some of my best selling embellishments:
• Sports balls
• 4-H symbols
• School mascot
• Maltese Cross – firefighter symbol
• Military Branch symbols
Free standing lace jewelry commonly sells on handmade marketplaces like ETSY for around $10 per pair of earrings. They go for around the same price when I market them to local customers via Facebook, flea markets, and at community events.
Gather the kids around the table and let them help make jewelry with you. They will enjoy watching the creations appear before their eyes, and can help make color and design choices to create pieces of their very own to either wear or sell to earn their own money – or both.
Let them put self-adhesive magnets on the back of the designs and make homemade gifts for family and even their teachers. The more folks who see what you are making on the homestead, the more potential customers and orders you will receive.
How Much Does FSL Jewelry Cost To Make?
• I only paid $4.53 for 24 sets of earring hoops.
• A large spool of embroidery thread that I only used a very tiny portion of, cost $1.99. Prices per spool of thread, depending upon where you shop, could range from $4.99 to $20 per spool – for the over-priced exclusive name brand type of stuff.
• The non-adhesive water soluble stabilizer roll I purchased for making free standing lace jewelry cost $8.59. I used three sheets of it because it was very thin. It was a large role and I still have enough left for 100 more FSL jewelry hoopings.
All told, the earrings pictured above probably cost me approximately $.25 to make.
Water soluble stabilizer is used as an embroidery backing for a host of different types of projects, not just for FSL jewelry. I have used it to create designs on tutus I make out of tulle. The stabilizer provides a surface for the embroidery thread to form upon and create your desired design.
This type of self-adhesive embroidery stabilizer has a consistency somewhere between plastic wrap and medical tap. As you will see in the video below, the stabilizer disappears within mere seconds after it is exposed to water.
The slightly gummy residue that comes off of the material will cause some bubbles in your sink, but the lace will be firm and completely unsticky once it dries.
Do not use water soluble self-adhesive stabilizer to make lace jewelry because the needle will only be going through that material without an outer barrier and become incredibly gummy and perhaps even so sticky it pulls when making stitches and causes the needle to break.
When you are embroidering outside of the hoop, like when putting a design on a ball cap, you want self-adhesive stabilizer, or you will have to use spray adhesive to get the hat or other item to stick to it firmly and around with the hoop while the design stitches out.
How Do You Make Free Standing Lace Jewelry?
It is super easy, folks. The embroidery machine does 99% of the work, that is why what you use when making projects on a digital machine is called a design and not a pattern.
I watched one YouTube video before purchasing the FSL jewelry designs to garner a better grasp of the process and to make sure not a lot of outside the hoop work was required. The only outside the hoop work I had to do was to glue on the embellishment and slide the earring hoop into place.
1. Purchase a design and save it offline.
2. Put the digital design on a jump drive, and plug it into your embroidery machine or connect your laptop/tablet to the machine using the designated cord and upload it.
3. Select the design from the menu and make any dimensional changes you desire using the machine’s on-screen tools.
To conserve stabilizer I always move the design start point from the auto-set middle center to the top left, so I can fit a full set of earrings and a pendant turned sideways or embellishments on the same piece of material and complete the group project during the same hooping to save time.
4. Hoop up to three layers of water soluble stabilizer. It does not tear as easily as it might look, but it will tear. Gently, yet firmly pull the material until it’s just a tight as any felt or fabric you would hoop for embroidering.
Give it the tap test, if it feels and sounds a like you are tapping a drum, it’s hooped tightly enough.
5. Press start and sit back and enjoy watching how the free standing lace is created – you will really want to do this during your first one, but later on just get up and go do your dishes and come back and it the first stage of the process is complete.
6. Remove the hoop from the machine.
7. Take the project out of the hoop.
8. Run the project under cold water for a few seconds, then lay it out to dry on the counter.
9. Add any embellishments you want to adorn the jewelry.
10. Add the jewelry closures: earring hoops, string or chain for pendants, or Velcro for bracelets.
I made the mistake of placing the project into the sink the first time I made free standing lace jewelry. The project was fine, but it was a bit like going fishing when I tried to find the white lace earrings as they curled up and swirled around and then looped themselves around the drain stem.
It was much easier and quicker to just hold the project under the water with one hand and catch the released jewelry with the other hand.
Tara lives on a 56 acres farm in the Appalachian Mountains, where she faces homesteading and farming challenges every single day, raising chickens, goats, horses, and tons of vegetables. She’s an expert in all sorts of homesteading skills such as hide tanning, doll making, tree tapping, and many more.