New to the forum and to GF, definitely a novice with the machine. I’m looking to see if anyone has some thoughts on what this machine could be used for in relation to creative fundraising items - essentially customizing or creating projects. I’ve had the thought of doing key tags and plates, but I’m not entirely sure how to go about that or get access to the blanks. We are a nonprofit group and pretty much open to anything. We deal with public safety people if that gives you an idea as well. We also sell flashlights and have been working a few things on that.
Welcome to the forum! I must say upfront, I have not made things to sell on the GF. However, I do like to make things on the GF that help me to make other things. I tried to keep the amount of time to create objects in mind.
Here are a few of my humble ideas:
Coaster Stamps. 100 blank coasters cost about $16. Creating coaster sets of 4-6 coasters, each coaster with a different funny or uplifting statement, might be attractive to folks. Sell coaster packs for $5 each.
Using Delrin/Acetal to make a leather stamp. Sure, we can engrave into leather, but cutting out an interesting shape on the GF and then pressing a shape into it (embossing) is quite gratifying. I made several simple leather keychains for a friend’s band. I made 20 for about $5 of product cost (and about 30 minutes of stamping). He sold them for $5 a piece and made $100.
Cut out a useful safety tool to connect to a keychain or in a wallet. I like GF’s idea of the “Gift of Good Measure.” Something like that, but related to safety.
This is just what I can think of off the top of my head in about 3 minutes. If I think of anything else, I’ll post it here. Maybe my suggestions can spark ideas in other forum folks wanting to suggest something here?
I’m made a number of things for fundraisers, and ended up making the most by raffling these off. I made one item for a silent auction, and it did make a few hundred dollars, but not what I’d hoped. Min are bigger it, but it looks like you might be looking to make smaller items. If that is the case, I agree with Jules, and you have to personalize them.
If all goes well, I’ll be getting an order from the company that services our home backup generator to cut / print about 200 key chains (out of basswood) with their phone number and logo on them, to give out to people who either have them service their generators, or who sell them new ones. (They typically have a key for access.)
You might want to speak to local businesses that use keys (e.g. - Car Dealerships, Locksmitsh, etc.) to see if they might be interested in placing an order with you, or even to offer up 50 or 100 key tags as a promo gift for a raffle (for businesses). Using a small key tag format, (slightly larger than a lot of the barcode keytags some retailers used to hand out), you can get about 56 to a sheet of proofgrade. Material costs (for basswood) is $12, plus the cost of key rings from amazon (far less than 20 cents each.) At $4-$5 per tag retail, you would probably get a number of people bidding / buying fundraising raffle tickets, and you would come out far ahead.
I’ve also found that wood (vs. metal blanks you buy elsewhere) tend to be more “interesting” and eye catching, so you will probably do well with them (they look more original and custom).
You could also do Business Cards in plywood as a neat promo item too.
I am lucky to have a Ridout/Johnson’s Plastics near where I live. If you find some Delrin, there are settings in the forum. If you cannot find them, PM me and I will send you the settings I’ve found and use.
Also, I have an old book press. It makes leather embossing easy. I’ve had much more luck with pressing than using a hammer to emboss.
I have a little Cuttlebug that I use for some diecutting, but mainly works with my own logo dies about 1"x3" or so (purchashed, this was years before my GF) and use the CB to emboss leather with my own stamps (up to 6" wide)… With idea of doing more and bigger than the CB, I bought an Itaglio roller press, 12" wide, which I’ve not used yet! Now i usually laser etch my logos into my goods!