Front loaded with pics, since we all know that is what we are here for
Last year I did a tiny run of Cat-O-Lantern puzzles with Colorshop woods (that I had leftover from when they were only !$7 a sheet). It was a bit of a last minute idea, so I ended up constructing a display stand/frame from black spray painted plywood, and included a CR2032 with a couple of LEDS, a small acrylic holder for the battery, and masking tape to keep it all together
This year I knew that I could definitely sell more, so I upped my display-stand game by cutting and engraving LED light up stands, a much more professional looking option!
And because I love cats, of course I added a new puzzle design – a Scaredy Cat! I found that the black Colorshop wood doesn’t need masking on either side when cutting, so that saved me oodles of time. I would just use a soapy squeezed out microfibre cloth to clean off as much smoke/resin deposit as possible on both sides.
This is the biggest puzzle project that I have made so far – most steps involved (cut puzzle, clean/remove masking on both sides, cut and engrave acrylic, cut stickers, cut bases, bend acrylic, glue on bases, not to mention ordering all the supplies: acrylic, Colorshop woods, bases, gauze bags, and more logo stickers to label the tins I already had, then QCing all the bags and bases to check for holes or non-working electronics ), and most individual orders shipped out in a week (22!).
I also cut out custom masking stickers for the backs of the puzzles (stuck on overhead clear plastic sheets, which worked much better than the sanded parchment paper that I used last year!). And bent the acrylic at the base to give it a slight viewing angle, and glued on a base to the acrylic for resting spot for the puzzle. Did you know that a flat iron for hair gets hot enough to easily get acrylic to the bending point?
I did one batch release and held a Facebook Live birthday party on October 8th at 3 Cat Max (celebrating being in business with my Glowforge for 5 yrs!), and sold out later that weekend. I’ve been madly finishing, packing, and shipping, and making more for another batch update – I’m crossing my fingers that once some of the puzzle people start posting their new puzzles on social media, I’ll be able to sell out of the rest of the Halloween puzzles and not have to carry over stock till next year!
Have you ever done a Facebook Live event? Or has an item that you make gotten popular in a specific community? I’m lucky to be in the smallest niche of puzzle-making, where it is a tight but large community, and I can design crazy elaborate puzzles that people want to collect. Granted, I don’t make as much as some of the high-quantity producers on here, but it is nice to get virtual wedding invites, family puzzle night photos, and cat pics from my customer/friends!