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How to start a craft vinyl store

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How to start a craft vinyl store
July 23, 2019 Events Calendar 2 comments

Looking for cheap vinyl and craft supplies? Then this is the post for you! I am sharing all my best tips and favorite shops to help you find vinyl for Silhouette and Cricut at a good price! Let’s talk about where to buy cheap vinyl and supplies for your Cricut or Silhouette! This post contains affiliate links, which help to support this site at no extra cost to you.

If you have been around here much, you probably know how much I love crafting with vinyl and my Silhouette. I even created a whole online class all about it! But just because I love crafting with vinyl doesn’t mean that I want to spend a whole bunch of money on it, and I know most of you probably feel the same way! And that’s what this post is all about – how to get that vinyl and those Silhouette and Cricut supplies on the cheap!

I’ve spent a little bit of time writing out my best tips for buying cheap vinyl and Cricut/Silhouette supplies, and I hope they will be helpful for you! If you have any tips or favorite shops to add, please share them in the comments!

If you are new to working with craft vinyl, don’t miss my Vinyl 101 page for all of my vinyl resources!

Where to Buy Cheap Vinyl and Craft Vinyl Supplies

If you are anything like me, then you have spent your fair share of time browsing the aisles of your local craft store. While browsing, you have probably come across a Silhouette/Cricut/Brother Scan N Cut aisle with a bunch of rolls of vinyl hanging from the displays. You can definitely find vinyl at most brick and mortar craft stores, but before you throw that roll of vinyl into your card, let me share my number one tip for finding great, inexpensive vinyl.

In general, avoid buying craft vinyl in big box craft stores.

Nothing against Hobby Lobby, Michaels, JoAnn and the like – they are some of my favorite places to shop! – BUT in my experience they are not necessarily the places to buy vinyl. Here’s why –

  1. For the most part, the prices on the rolls sold in stores are much more expensive than what you can find online. In my local craft stores, vinyl seems to go for around $8-$15 per roll (of course, this varies according to brands, types of vinyl, sales, etc.). One thing I have also noticed is that often these “rolls” will sometimes have much less material on them that you expect – maybe only 1.5 – 2 feet. When you contrast that to the prices you can find online, you can regularly save quite a lot.
  2. Another downside of buying vinyl in stores that you almost always have to buy by the roll instead of by the sheet. You may not need four feet of neon yellow vinyl! I love being able to only order a sheet if that’s all I need.
  3. You never know what colors and styles you will find in your local store. For instance, maybe you need red iron on vinyl, and drive over to your local shop to get some, but they are out of stock! Online shops tend to have a much larger selection, so you are more likely to find what you need.
  4. Going along with that last point, the brands of vinyl carried in craft stores is often limited. There are some great Cricut and Silhouette brand vinyls, but my go-to brands are Siser and Oracal, and I have only very rarely found those to be carried in big box craft stores. (Check out this post to read all about different types of vinyl and find some of my recommendations and favorites.)
  5. Finally, you might be thinking, “I will just use my coupon and get 40% off,” but I have bad news. Often Silhouette and Cricut products are excluded from store coupons. Sad Face.

So, all of that considered, my recommendation is to skip the craft store (at least for vinyl) and order your vinyl online. I think it’s the best way to find cheap vinyl for your Silhouette or Cricut projects.

Okay, so we know that I’m a fan of buying vinyl online, but WHERE online? That’s the question, right? Here is a list of my favorite online vinyl shops.

Where to Buy Vinyl Online:

  • Expressions Vinyl – I have worked with Expressions Vinyl for a couple of years now, so I definitely have a soft spot in my heart for this shop. They have a great selection of vinyl in all types and colors. They also have their own line of adhesive vinyl (a permanent vinyl and a removable vinyl), which is really affordable and works great. I am a super big fan of their transfer tape and highly recommend it. They also do a weekly grab bag of small vinyl pieces for just $5 that is a great way to get started playing around with vinyl! Finally, I have to say that their shipping always goes out super quick so you won’t have to wait too long to get crafting. I love Expressions Vinyl!
  • Happy Crafters– Happy Crafters is one of my newest favorite vinyl shops. They specialize in vinyl and vinyl cutting supplies, and have some great products you won’t want to miss. They have a really cool iridescent shimmer HTV as well as some great patterned vinyls. I just got some of their foil adhesive vinyl in the opal colors and I’m obsessed. They also have a huge selection of blank apparel just waiting for you to customize!
  • Swing Designs– I also recently discovered Swing Designs, and I am already a big fan! Swing Designs carries Oracal 641, which is a matte permanent vinyl, a beautiful transparent vinyl, and a great selection of patterned vinyls.
  • Silhouette America – You can also buy silhouette vinyl directly from Silhouette. They often have promotions on their vinyl (and great bundles!), and you can always get 10% off regular price items using this link and the code 10OFF.
  • Amazon – Yes, you can get vinyl on Amazon! And that Prime 2 Day Shipping is always so nice! Try searching for specific name brands such as Oracal or Siser to make sure you get a good product, and be sure to pay attention to reviews. There are imposters out there! I have had a good experience buying from Kate’s Craft Store through Amazon when I needed vinyl fast.

So there you have it! Where to buy cheap vinyl online! One last tip before you go:

Get extra discounts through rewards programs and newsletters! 

Once you have found a shop (or shops!) that you love, you can get extra discounts by signing up for their newsletters and rewards programs. Here are a couple of extra ways to save:

What do you guys think? Am I missing anything? Do you have a favorite online vinyl shop that I need to add to my list?

Until next time, Happy Making!

Check out some of my vinyl project posts:

Alexis3 CommentsFiled Under: Craft

  • 1

    Decide what to sell and how much you'll need to sell to make a profit. A craft store could sell products that you produce as well as crafts made by other artists. This could be purchased through a consignment program or wholesale. In addition, you could sell supplies and hold classes and craft parties. Study the competition in the area to see what is offered already and find a niche.

  • 2

    Start writing a business plan and a marketing plan to get a better understanding of your business and market and learn more about how to start a craft store. This can be as simple as a few pages or a complex document written by a professional, depending on your needs. If you plan to get investors or bank financing, detailed, standard plans will be needed.

  • 3

    Find the necessary space that you will need to run your craft store. For a home based store, you'll need a place to work and a place to store supplies and finished products. For a retail location, you'll need to purchase or rent a store that has a lot of foot traffic and enough square footage to display the products you want to sell. If you plan to run classes, you'll also need space for people to work. Ideally, there should be room to set up a space for children to play while their parents shop, without having to worry about them damaging merchandise or disturbing other shoppers.

  • 4

    Get an understanding of the administrative and financial tasks you'll need to take care of to run your business, including bookkeeping, inventory, accounting and advertising. Either learn how to take care of these tasks and prepare to do them, or prepare to hire someone who can.

  • 5

    Create a website or online store, depending on what you are going to sell and how you are going to sell it. To sell craft supplies, set up an online storefront and an eBay store. For finished products, set up your own website and storefronts on eBay and Etsy. For a brick and mortar location, a simple site that gives information about your store and its location is a good starting point. Be sure to register with Google, Google Places, and online directories related to your location and products. Keep an online presence with blogs, copy that is optimized for search engines, membership in forums and online press releases and articles. Advertising through Google is another way to gain an audience online.

  • 6

    Get all necessary licenses for your state, municipality or location. You'll also need a tax identification number for ordering wholesale products and paying taxes and applicable insurance for your store and items.

  • 7

    Design a logo for your store, or hire someone to do it. This will be used on signage, stationery and website pages. Choose colors that will be used in website graphics and store fixtures and decoration.

  • Craft Vinyl store UK selling Oracal high quality vinyl rolls and sheets for with Silhouette, Cricut and all other electronic cutters | Free.

    How to Start A Vinyl Business 2019 | Hassle Free Decal Printing

    By Colin · April 05, 2019 · Leave a comment

    The art and crafts industry is booming, and people are becoming more interested in making crafts and ultimately selling their handwork and starting a vinyl business is lucrative. Vinyl cutting is one of the many arts and crafts endeavors that you can quickly pick as a side hustle. If you’re a natural DIYer, vinyl cutting might be the right business for you, it is easy to set up, and it doesn’t require much capital.  In this action-packed post, you will learn how to make vinyl stickers, which can be applied a variety of ways such as:

    How do you start a Vinyl Cutting Business?

    To start a vinyl cutting business, you will have to be conversant with a vinyl cutting machine and a home computer system that has a design software. A vinyl cutting machine is controlled by a computer that scans the design on your computer and converts it to an outline.

    The machine then cuts the design with a sharp blade from a sheet of vinyl. Most vinyl cutters look like a regular computer printer. This allows you to make stickers, logos, and several designs for your home, office or clients. 

    How to Make Vinyl Decals: What Supplies Are Required for the Business?  

    Starting a vinyl business requires little capital, only 1% of sellers required loans to start their business to get what they need to make vinyl decals. So, while this business requires little capital, it requires dedication and hard work – there are some vinyl cutter business packages available. Some of the supplies or materials you’ll need to set up a vinyl cutting business include:

    • Personal Laptop or Desktop:

    This is probably one of the first things you already own, and if you don’t own one, you’ll need to buy one for your starting vinyl cutting business. The minimum specifications of the computer should be 4Gb of RAM, 2.0 GHz processor and enough space on the hard drive. The monitor should be big enough to project realistic images, a 16-bit 1366 X 768 resolution is advisable.  You’ll need broadband connectivity.

    A vinyl cutter is where you will spend most of your capital since it’s your money making machine. You cannot afford to cut cost on this machine, especially if you’re planning to expand your business in the long term. It’s a must have to start a sticker business.

    You’ll need to get a quality cutter. One of the best desktop machines you can buy are Silhouette Cameo 3 and the Cricut Explore Air 2. Both machines are inexpensive and most small businesses today started with one of these machines. For a more sophisticated and pricier machine, you can invest in Klic-N-Kut’s KNK Zing Orbit or KNK Force.

    Although they are more expensive, they are recommended for successful home business because they cut the most accurate vinyl decals in the fastest time.

    Other things you’ll require include;

    •    Heat Press; used for transferring print
    •    Vinyl Rolls; in different colors like white, black, blue, silver, red, and pink for your products such as banners
    •    Transfer Tape
    •    Cutting Mat
    •    A squeegee
    •    Application tape
    •    Camera
    •    Accounting software
    •    Packing and shipping supplies

    What Software Can I Use?  

    Vinyl cutters come with their software. It will enable you to design basic vectors or load bought or downloaded templates that will be cut out by the machine.  However, to create a competitive advantage for your business, you’ll need to be able to cut out your designs. There are a lot of software’s available online, but most professional software include;

    This is an affordable vinyl cutting software used by many designers. It is easy to learn and ideal for both beginners and advanced designers. It has user-friendly tools that enable you to edit your designs with professional grade application and will help with your vinyl cutting designs.

    Thousands of users use Easy Cut Studio vinyl cutting software. It is user-friendly and allows you to draw your images on the cutting mat quickly. It has functions for auto-tracing, freehand drawing, Bezier operations, Lattice design, rhinestone design, and the list goes on.

    The sure cuts a lot pro is an easy to use vinyl cutting software. The software allows you to create images for decals, t-shirts, signs, and others. It has features like Photoshop, and other Adobe editing software’s into the SCAL workflow (easy-to-use guidelines, magnetic snapping, and even masking).

    Commercial Licensing and Copycats

    Most of the designs you’ll be using might be downloaded designs except you’re planning on creating all your designs ideas. Downloading designs is typical, however, you will need to buy a commercial license if you intend to sell online.

    Buying a commercial license is not a cheap investment, unlike a personal license. If you sell downloaded designs online without a commercial license, it is theft, and you can get sued. If you do enough research, you might find a discounted commercial license.

    On the other hand, if you’re skilled at creating your own designs, you can create your own commercial license. This allows you to send a cease and desist letter through your lawyer to anyone using your designs without permission.

    Starting Your Vinyl Cutting Business Locally

    Before opening an online or offline business, you’ll need to check the US patent and trademark office to ensure you’re not using another company’s name. Choose a name that is descriptive and is not on Pinterest, Facebook, or Instagram.

    You can start selling your crafts to family and friends, and then branch out to your local community. You can ask them to spread the word to other acquaintances and friends who might need vinyl decals, stickers, labels, signs, cards, or party accessories. You can participate in events/craft fairs at schools or convention centres. Other places you can sell locally include;

    •    Sports teams for schools
    •    To wedding planners for invitations cards, menus and stickers for décor
    •    To party planners for baby shower cards and decors.
    •    To interior designers for vinyl wall decals
    •    To local businesses for signs and stickers for their clients

    During crafts shows, you want to display beautifully finished products so that potential clients can pick and handle your craft. You can display mugs, t-shirts, and tumblers or the loose decals and stickers.

    Pros of Selling Locally

    •    Building close-knit clients and organizations in your community
    •    Clients and potential clients get to see your craft first hand

    Cons of Selling Locally

    •    To sell locally, you must be socially adept, basically a people person
    •    It is limited which means that your business might not expand exponentially
    •    You will have to work with the client’s deadlines.

    Starting Your Vinyl Cutting Business Online

    For most new businesses, starting an online business is usually the first step to getting recognized and selling while for others selling online is often the next step after setting up their local store. You can set up your website if you don’t want the additional fees that come with sites like Etsy.

    You can also open a business social media profile on Facebook and Instagram. Sites like Etsy offer crafters a platform to sell to people in need of their craft at an affordable fee.

    If you want to start on Etsy, here are a few helpful tips

    •    Use gorgeous pictures
    •    Have people you know buy your products and get them to leave feedback
    •    Pack and ship on time
    •    Start with low prices
    •    Optimize our keywords to get noticed quicker
    •    Have a good customer service

    Pros of Selling Online

    •    You get to reach a broader audience that isn’t possible with local stores
    •    If you’re not a people person, don’t fret! You don’t need to have face-to-face interactions
    •    You can make sales while sleeping or cooking
    •    You get to have your own schedule

    Cons of Selling Online

    •    Huge competition and is quite slow to get noticed
    •    You must be responsive to online messages
    •    Packing and shipping is a hassle
    •    Most of your work will need to be photographed and which means clients won’t be able to touch your craft physically.

    A useful tip for driving sales on your website or Etsy site is to do giveaways or offer discounts on your products. And finally, make sure your image is consistent on all your social media profiles.  You can also use apps like Stickify, uSticker, and Sticker Maker Pro to make custom stickers.

    How to Price Vinyl Decals

    Pricing them is simply a matter of looking at the work entailed, competition prices, and your reputation.

    No matter what, look at how competitors are pricing them. If you are a local print shop you can just look at nearby shops but if you’re online you’ll want to look at the big competitors business to consumer pricing.

    If you’re just starting out you may want to be on the cheaper end. After all, if you’re new it’ll be hard to get customers if you’re selling at the same price or higher than more established customers. It’s possible to sell if you have a unique selling point, but generally, it’s pretty hard.

    Finally, if certain stickers are harder (which you’ll understand through more experience, and have an idea by looking at prices) then charge a little more. As your reputation goes up you can move prices up (a little) as well.

    White labeling and Print on Delivery (POD)

    White labeling is when companies remove their logos and brand from their product and services which can be rebranded by your company for sales and distribution. For example, you can buy a generic set of cups that have no labels and use your vinyl cutting machine to create labels for your clients.  Here at FoamCorePrint  we offer white labeling and reselling at great prices to maximize your margins and ship quickly to make sure your customers are satisfied.

    While POD is when you sell your own custom designs on products like t-shirts and mugs.  With POD you can pay for the product and services after it has been sold, which reduces the need of buying in bulk or doing inventory.

    Pros of POD  

      • Mass Production: Since the products and services are readily available, you won’t have to go through the hassle of producing your own.
      • Depending on the supplier company you use, the shipping and fulfillment is usually their responsibility. All you have to do after sales is customer service.
    • You can test ideas, and since you’re not doing any inventory, it reduces investment and risk.

    Cons of POD

      • Cost per item is usually higher than buying in bulk and might yield meager profits
      • Shipping might get complicated since you’re not in control.
    • You have limited control on customization.

    Category: vinyl banner, Vinyl Decals, vinyl printing

    Step-by-step guide on how to start a craft business

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    I spend a lot of time researching reputable wholesale suppliers for Silhouette Cameo and Cricut small business crafters. But, everyone always wants to know where they can buy vinyl wholesale! Let’s talk about that today.

    To understand how to buy vinyl wholesale, we have to look at the flow of the vinyl before it gets in your hands. First, a manufacturer makes the vinyl. This takes place in large factories with large equipment. Some well known manufacturers of vinyl are Siser, Chemica, 3M, Orafol, Avery, and more. Next, the manufacturer sells vinyl to distributors. These distributors buy large rolls of vinyl and cut them down to size. Distributors also often have large warehouses. (Note: Some manufacturers have their own distribution centers.) Now, the vinyl is sold to retailers who sell the vinyl to end consumers either online or in a brick and mortar store.

    How to Buy Vinyl Wholesale

    1. Make sure that you are a registered business in your state or county. Vinyl manufacturers will not sell to hobbyists.
    2. Be sure that you do not have any conflicts of interest. This means that you will only sell vinyl, not sell products made with vinyl. Unfortunately, this is a deal breaker for most crafters. Most vinyl distributors will not allow you to buy wholesale vinyl and sell handmade projects directly to consumers.
    3. Have a written plan that you can share with the manufacturer detailing how and where you will sell the vinyl.
    4. Reach out to the manufacturer of the vinyl you would like to buy wholesale. You’ll be expected to purchase several thousands of dollars of vinyl for your first order and, in most cases, meet monthly minimums. Some specifics for popular manufacturers: Orafol – the opening order is around $100,000. Siser – the opening order is around $10,000 with monthly minimums of around $5,000.

    Let’s Recap

    If you want to continue selling handmade products – you’ll need to continue buying vinyl from your favorite distributor. If you would like to abandon selling handmade products and become a vinyl retailer – make sure your paperwork is in order and contact your favorite vinyl manufacturer.

    Links to Distributors

    Which business do you prefer: making and selling handmade products or selling vinyl to other crafters? Let me know in the comments.

    Save this post to Pinterest:


    Running a craft store can be a lucrative and rewarding business. A craft store is versatile; it can be run online, from your home, or from a retail location. You also have a choice of selling finished crafts, craft supplies, or a mixture of both.

    Cricut® Vinyl

    Open Your Own Craft Store

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    The guide also includes many samples and checklists, including:

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    how to start a craft vinyl store

    Vinyl Expressions: How to start a Vinyl Business (part 1) Vinyl Expressions: Starting a Vinyl Business: Tools you'll need List of best .. Dollar Store Crafts.

    how to start a craft vinyl store
    Written by Kazigal
    • Akim

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