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Thread: Excel layout for craft business? Help please :)

  1. #1
    pinkcrafts is offline Junior Member Junior crafter
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    Question Excel layout for craft business? Help please :)

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    I have in the last few months ventured into the world of crafts as a small business from home and am pleased with the response I have had to it. I am registered as a sole trader anyway as I also sell music boxes online and record my business in excel, but I am confused as to how I lay it all out in excel as a craft business? Though I'm sure it shouldn't be much different. My craft is needle felting and I make small figures of about 3-4 inches so not a great deal of wool is used. I have bought the base wool and a variety of colours, that should keep me going for a while with only the odd colour purchase and base wool top up here and there when I need it. Spent about 40 on wool and 5 postage. The cost of the wool for each item I am unsure of as I just pick out what I need, but it is tiny, so how would I account for it? Should I rough guess the amount of wool and add to cost price of each item or should I just show on accounts the expense of all of the wool I have bought, even though I haven't used it all yet to make the items? I am confusing myself more writing this!
    If anyone understands what I mean can you please show me how you layout your excel sheets please or what method you use to keep a record.

  2. #2
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    Hi pinkcrafts, I'm a needle felter too. How I work my costs out is quite simply guessing. Mine are in euros, but it's the same principal. I pay 3 euros (some colours slightly more, some slightly less) per 'ball' - they're not really balls, but I call them that lol. When I've made a piece, I look at either how much I used, or if it's a new ball, how much is left, and simply guess how many of that item I could make. Lets say I could make 6 of the same item from that one divide 3 euros by 6. Obviously take into account other colours you might use too, and any extras (ribbons, charms, embellishments). Don't forget to allow for waste too....personally I don't tend to waste much, and any little mistakes I use as scraps to make pin cushions to store my needles, or to stuff knitted/crocheted items. So personally, I don't include scraps/waste as such, I just round the material costs up to the nearest euro if it's close. If not, I don't bother. However, don't forget to account for your time. The cost of materials with needle felting, at least with miniatures, is tiny, but the time you put in can be quite considerable. Accounting for the wool used, really is just a guessing game. With all the will in the world, you'll never be able to make two pieces exactly the same. One will use slightly more/or less wool than the previous, so you can only rough guess it.

    I only keep a spreadsheet of what I've bought and sold, not a breakdown of each items cost. I only figure that out as a rough figure in my head when deciding how much to charge for an item. The other material costs are also the needles themselves, and sponge/brush (whatever you use to felt on). The same with those, needles last me ages. They tend to wear out rather than break as long as I'm careful with them, and I use dish washing sponges (which I buy in the equivalent of pound shops) - so once again, the cost there is minimal too. But they are part of your material costs, but only amount to perhaps a few pennies onto each item.

    That's how I do it anyway, but that doesn't mean that's the right way. Unless you can weigh exactly how much wool you use, and use every last scrap of it, there really is no accurate way of working out the costs. A rough guess is quite sufficient.

  3. #3
    pinkcrafts is offline Junior Member Junior crafter
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    Ahh another needle felter hiya!

    This is actually a great help thanks very much for taking the time to share it with me.
    Yes the cost of the amount of wool you use is nothing on small pieces, but the time it takes to make them is crazy! People seem to think I can knock them up in like 5 minutes flat!
    Nice to know how another needle felter keeps track of their business.
    Oh and I have just popped on to your website, you're little bears are adorable

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