Tag Archives: oh you crafty huh

So Much Fun At So So Artsy

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So Much Fun At So So Artsy

Hello! In December, I went to a paint class at the Solon Community Center with my brother that was hosted by the delightful Melinda, owner of So So Artsy Paint & Sip Studio. We had an absolute blast painting snowpeople and after learning that Melinda’s studio is very close to where I work in Twinsburg, I just had to interview her! This past week, I was able to spend a morning getting to know Melinda and her business better and I am so excited to share her amazing work with all of you. Let’s get to it:

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So So Artsy Paint & Sip Studio has been in business for close to six years and is currently in its second location in Northfield. Through Melinda’s dedication, So So Artsy has become the place to be for birthdays, bachelorette parties, graduations, and corporate events. Melinda also enjoys her time utilizing her background as a social worker and counselor when she brings her art to schools and hosts classes for people with special needs. Born and raised in Northfield, Melinda’s effervescent personality and skill is now a staple in her hometown.

Business has never been better at So So Artsy and, shockingly, Melinda credits the success to the COVID-19 pandemic. For three years, the studio was struggling to profit and Melinda began to enhance her marketing strategies. Then, the world shut down and she kicked it into high gear! Through offering virtual classes as well as her ingenious art kits, So So Artsy became fully booked within thirty days. The art kits, which include paintbrushes, paints, a disposable apron, canvas, glass, and more were also a huge driving force and were shipped in the thousands.

Melinda strives to turn every class at So So Artsy into a special event where peoples’ creativity can flourish. It is a highly interactive experience and guests are encouraged to share their ideas of what they would like to paint beforehand. The painters also have full control of the music system so they can create an atmosphere tailored to them. Although Melinda draws inspiration from the beautiful Metro Parks nearby, she loves hearing the public’s ideas for canvas art and will then paint something to be replicated.

At six years old, Melinda was introduced to art through her best friend’s mom. Every weekend, they would all get together to work on crafts and it is a memory that is looked back on fondly. In fact, one of Melinda’s favorite paintings was made when she was in twelfth grade after painting ceramic statues during her art weekends. She tried to replicate the statue on the canvas and it was then that she realized her own talent.

Instead of acquiring an art degree, Melinda became a social worker and counselor and spent twenty years working for the Cleveland Metropolitan School District. As you can imagine, such a long time in a stressful field burnt her out and Melinda knew that she needed a change. To boost her spirits, her friends invited her out to a paint and sip night and she went, albeit begrudgingly. That evening, something clicked and the realization dawned that she could do something like that too.

After her paint night revelation, Melinda began working diligently for two years to formulate a business plan for her studio. So So Artsy’s doors did not open until she was satisfied with her plans of A through Z and says that this is essential to creating a successful business. Melinda’s focus on her business plan was longevity because she knew that the money and popularity would come after being established. This plan has served her well and she is currently looking for a bigger space for her studio in the Northfield area.

If you are looking for a fun and unique outing with your friends or family, look no further than So So Artsy Paint & Sip Studio. Even if you are “eh – so so artsy”, Melinda’s welcoming spirit and expert guidance will have you feeling “so so artsy” before your class is over!

After spending time with Melinda, all I want to do is paint! You can visit So So Artsy’s website and from there, you will be able to book your party or purchase an art kit in the shop. Do be sure to follow So So Artsy Paint & Sip Studio on Instagram @sosoartsypaints or on Facebook at So So Artsy Paint Studios Northfield Ohio. Thanks again, Melinda!

Have you ever been to a paint and sip event before? What was your experience like? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

How To Integrate Art & Culture Into Your Life

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How To Integrate Art & Culture Into Your Life

It’s no secret that art and culture can have a profound impact on our lives. But what does it mean to integrate art and culture into your life? And why is it important? In this blog post, we’ll explore the importance of art and culture in our lives and offer some practical tips on how to integrate them into your everyday life. So whether you’re a die-hard museum-goer or just looking to add a little more creativity to your life, then let’s get to it:

The Importance of Art and Culture:

Art and culture play an important role in our lives – they can enrich our experience of the world, help us to understand other cultures, and give us a sense of identity and belonging. There are many ways in which we can integrate art and culture into our lives. Some of the benefits of doing so include:

  1. Enhancing our creativity and imagination.
  2. Broadening our perspective and understanding of different cultures.
  3. Nurturing our emotional well-being.
  4. Connecting us with our community.

Making Time for Art and Culture:

In our fast-paced, ever-connected world, it can be difficult to find time to slow down and appreciate the arts. But making time for art and culture is important not only for our own enjoyment but also for the health of our communities. Set aside a little time each week specifically for enjoying art and culture. Whether it’s an hour at the museum or thirty minutes of listening to local bands, pencil it into your calendar.

If you have trouble making time for art and culture on a regular basis, try turning it into a habit. Pick one day each week or month to visit a gallery or attend a performance. After a while, it will become second nature. Check out the Frederica Wald blog to find new ideas and info on exhibits.

Finding Art and Culture in Everyday Life:

You don’t have to go out of your way to enjoy art and culture – sometimes, it can be found right in your everyday life. Here are a few examples:

  • Take a different route: When you’re running errands or heading to work, take a different route than usual and see what new sights you can find. You may stumble upon a hidden mural or an interesting storefront that you never would have noticed before.
  • Talk to your neighbors: Get to know the people who live near you and ask about their favorite places to see art or experience culture in your city or town.
  • Check out local events: Most cities and towns have regular events that showcase local artists and performers. Keep an eye out for flyers or check online calendars to see what’s happening near you.

Art and culture are important aspects of our lives that can have a positive impact on our well-being. By making the most of the tips above, you can enrich your life and experience the world in new and meaningful ways!

Featured Image By: Pxhere

Where To Look For Artistic Inspiration

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Where To Look For Artistic Inspiration

If you’re feeling blocked creatively, it can be helpful to seek out inspiration from other artists. But where do you find it? And once you’ve found it, how do you use it to create your own art? Let’s explore some of the best places to look for artistic inspiration and offer some tips on how to make the most of it:

Art Galleries:

Art galleries are a great place to start your search for artistic inspiration. There are usually several different artists featured in each gallery, giving you a wide range of styles and mediums to choose from. You can also ask the gallery attendant about the artist’s process and what inspired them to create their work. Check out the best exhibits from women chosen by Frederica Wald.

Museums:

Museums are another excellent source of inspiration, especially if you’re interested in historical art or want to learn more about a specific artist or movement. Many museums offer tours led by knowledgeable staff who can provide insights into the artwork on display.

Photography:

Photography can be a great way to get inspired, especially if you’re looking for ideas for a new project or want to explore a different style of art. There are many different types of photography, from landscape and portraiture to still life and abstract, so you’re sure to find something that catches your eye.

Film:

Film is another medium that can be very inspiring, particularly if you’re interested in storytelling or visual effects. Watching films from different genres and eras can give you a new perspective on your own work, and you may even find yourself borrowing some of the techniques used by your favorite directors.

Nature:

Nature is one of the most popular sources of inspiration for artists, as it provides an endless array of colors, textures, and forms to explore. Whether you’re taking a walk in the park or exploring a new city, keep your eyes open for interesting patterns and shapes that could be incorporated into your work.

How to Use Inspiration:

Experimentation:

When you find something that inspires you, it’s important to experiment with it and see what you can create. Don’t be afraid to try new things or to fail. The more you experiment, the more likely you are to find something that works for you.

Be Open-Minded:

It’s also important to be open-minded when looking for inspiration. You never know where you’ll find it, so it’s important to keep an open mind. Who knows? Maybe your next great idea will come from something completely unexpected.

Take Your Time:

Finally, don’t rush the process. Inspiration can strike at any time, but it’s often not something that can be forced. If you’re feeling stuck, take a break and come back later with fresh eyes. Sometimes all it takes is a little bit of time and patience.

For an artist, there can be inspiration everywhere you look. However, sometimes people can get stuck. Take the time to explore art hubs in your area and you might have an aha moment for your next great work!

Featured Image By: Pxhere

Planning The Ultimate Girls Night In

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Planning The Ultimate Girls Night In

Hello! It has been snowing in Ohio for the past couple of days so, as far as I am concerned, winter is officially here. While it is always fun to have a night out, the cold weather makes me want to stay in until spring! Those winter nights gives the perfect opportunity to host the ultimate girls night in because why leave the comfort of your own home if you don’t have to?! Call up your besties and find your comfiest pajamas because it’s time to plan a GNI so good that it will make you scoff at a night on the town:

So Many Activities:

While nothing pleases me more than a good old fashioned girl talk, a night in begs for some fun activities to do together. This could be anything from pulling up a YouTube tutorial and having a wine and paint night to baking and decorating holiday cookies. How about making your own pizzas together instead of ordering delivery? Or putting together an ice cream sundae bar? Hey, a girl has gotta eat!

Spa Treatments:

A girls night in staple is, of course, getting to pamper yourselves. We’re talking face masks, painting nails, and aromatherapy – the works! Have your best girls bring their favorite products and turn it into a swap so that all of you can try something new. You could even create your own face masks and hair treatments with ingredients in your kitchen. Who knows, your girls night might turn into your first small business meeting with your skin care creations!

Snuggle Up:

What is a good girls night in without some chick flicks? Pop all of the popcorn and pop the champagne! Movie time means snuggling up, getting cozy, and unwinding so lots of soft blankets and fuzzy socks are a must. You could even order matching PJs if you want to be super extra! On the subject of blankets, fleece throws are super easy to make and can be added to your growing list of activities.

Cocktail Creations:

If you plan on indulging in the drink, how about creating a girls night signature cocktail (Or mocktail!)? Wine or champagne is always a good choice but it will be a blast to shake things up literally and metaphorically. Get inspiration for cocktails on Pinterest and put your own twist on it. You or your friends might just find your new calling as the best bartender ever. 😀

Playlist, Please:

Having awesome music on as you craft, eat, and talk the night away is so essential. Even more important is your selection, which means no mopey ballads! Girls night in means girl power anthems, one hit wonders, and beats that get you in the spirit for an impromptu dance party. And, what is a girls night in without Queen Bs, Britney Spears AND Beyonce? The answer is: NOTHING!!

If the winter weather has driven you to hibernation mode, you might as well have some fun. Your girls night in will be a GREAT SUCCESS and you could turn it into a tradition with a different host every month. Now, where’s my invite?!

What are some girls night in essentials? What is your favorite night in snack or drink? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Subscription Boxes: The Gift That Keeps On Giving

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Subscription Boxes: The Gift That Keeps On Giving

Hello!! I take my holiday shopping very seriously because I love being able to spoil my family and friends. We have been discussing lots of holiday gift options here on lifewithlilred and today we are going to continue on by chatting about the gift that keeps on giving – subscription boxes. Subscription gifts are awesome because it’s not just a present for Christmas but every month! This is a gift that will always go over well so let’s talk about some popular choices to treat your giftee to this holiday season:

Entertainment:

One of the most obvious subscription gifts has to be streaming services and there are plenty to choose from. Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon Prime are all excellent for your standard viewing options and cover every genre imaginable. However, there are specialty streaming services like CrunchyRoll for anime fans or Shudder for horror buffs so bear this in mind if your giftee has one specific genre that they love. Remember, you don’t have to gift an entire year’s worth of a streaming service, either. Most of these services offer a three month, six month, or full year package.

Food, Glorious Food:

Is your giftee handy in the kitchen? If so, a meal kit subscription like Blue Apron or Hello Fresh could be a great choice. These kits offer meals for all kinds of different diets and are mindful to any allergies or restrictions. Not only will it be fun for your giftee to whip up something brand new but it is also a huge time savor too. A meal kit means that no grocery shopping is required – score! 😀

If your giftee isn’t too keen to cook, you can also do a subscription for DashPass to eliminate delivery fees on DoorDash. This is something that my Johnny would love because his favorite Sunday activity is DoorDashing Popeye’s or Steak N’ Shake lol.

Beauty:

It’s always nice to try out new makeup, bath and body care, and skin care and subscriptions to Ipsy, Sephora Play, or BirchBox allow you to do just that every month. This is a subscription that will be sure to please the beauty guru in your life and it gives them the opportunity to try products out without committing to a full price and full size item. As someone who deeply enjoys testing out new products, I would be thrilled to receive a beauty box subscription!

Ride Sharing:

Although ride sharing programs like Uber and Lyft don’t have a subscription, per se, they do offer gift cards. If your giftee lives for a night on the town, this could be a wonderful way to go. It’s always a blast to have a night out at a restaurant, bar, or theater but it’s never as good when you have to worry about transportation. A ride sharing gift card will fully eliminate this issue and can allow your giftee to let loose safely.

Oh You Crafty, Huh?

If you have some kiddos on your shopping list, fear not – there are lots of cool subscriptions for them too! Options like Little Passports and Cratejoy can provide your littles with a fun and educational craft every month. You can sweeten the pot of this gift by offering babysitting services to their parents so that they can have a night out and you and your lil giftee can complete the craft together. This is a total two for one gift deal and one that parents and children will both love!

Pet Parents:

Is your giftee the parent to a spoiled rotten pet? If so, you can’t go wrong with BarkBox! Pet subscription boxes will send you toys, treats, and chews for the beloved pet and will help deepen the bond with their owner. This is a really good option for pet parents because they are going to be receiving things that they would more than likely end up buying anyways. The money that they save can go to even more pet products! 😀

There is, truly, a subscription for every hobby and interest and it is a gift that everyone on your list will enjoy. The best part? No gift wrapping required!

Do you use any monthly subscription boxes? What is a subscription that you would like to receive? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Homemade Gifts For Everyone On Your Shopping List

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Homemade Gifts For Everyone On Your Shopping List

Hello!! While store bought presents are always nice, I think we can all agree that there’s something about a homemade gift that just hits different. Homemade gifts are special because someone took the time to craft, cook, or create something just for you. It’s a one of a kind gift that can’t be replicated on any website and that means a lot. Today, we’re going to discuss some homemade gift options as the countdown to the holiday season draws closer so you can wow everyone on your shopping list:

Sweet Treats:

The holiday season is the perfect time to indulge in your sweet tooth before New Year’s resolutions for a healthier lifestyle begins. Chocolate, caramel, or candy apples, trays of cookies, cakes, or homemade chocolate truffles are all an easy and delicious way to go. This will also help your giftee with their holiday feast because dessert will already be taken care of!

Scrapbooks/Photo Albums:

Does your giftee have a million vacation or family photos on their phone that never got printed? Then, a scrapbook or photo album will be a much appreciated gift! Let your crafty side take over with fun backgrounds, cute stickers, and your own happy memories of your giftee to share. Your present will make a lovely addition to any shelf or coffee table and will be able to be enjoyed whenever your giftee feels like taking a stroll down memory lane.

Tech Savvy:

Are you fairly tech savvy and have a business owner as a giftee? How about using your skills to create a social media page or business website for them? Your handiwork will assist in helping their business grow throughout the new year. If your giftee already has a site or social media page, you could offer to manage or update it to keep things fresh and relevant.

Pet Parents:

Do you have some pet parents to shop for? You are in luck because there are so many great homemade options to create. Customized pet bowls, snuffle mats, and homemade treats are all excellent places to start. Or, perhaps your giftee owns a small animal who needs fresh veggies in their diet? You could make a small indoor garden with pots containing herbs and leafy greens. Your favorite Lil Red rabbit owner would definitely love something like that!

Game/Movie Night Bundle:

Does your giftee enjoy hosting movie or game nights? If so, a bundle to assist in their next event could be very easily arranged. In a small gift basket, you could provide all of the fixings for a fun night in. A DVD or board game, snacks, or a homemade throw blanket to snuggle up in will further enhance the festivities. You also just might secure an invite to their next get together. Score! PS: This option can also be modified for a date night if you are shopping for a couple.

No matter what you choose to create for a homemade gift, you are already winning the holidays. I just know that your giftee will appreciate your thoughtfulness and generosity!

What is the best homemade gift that you have received? What kind of gifts have you made before? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Fall Craft Morning

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Fall Craft Morning

Hello!! I work as an Independent Provider for people with special needs and it is the best job ever! This past Friday, I spent a fantastic morning getting crafty with one of my clients and we had a blast. Even better, part of our supplies for the projects we completed came from going on a fall hike. We gathered leaves to do some crayon stenciling and also purchased small pumpkins to paint. These crafts were simple to make but so much fun and will be a great way to spend a chilly fall afternoon with nothing to do:

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My neck of the woods boasts so many different Metro Parks that it’s impossible to keep track of them all. I have been looking forward to fall hikes with my client since the summertime and the trail we went on was glorious with all of the leaves changing colors. It also was a unique twist to turn it into a scavenger hunt of sorts while we scoured the ground for perfect leaves to stencil.

After the hike was done and our hoodie pockets were filled with leaves, we bought pumpkins and headed home to get our craft on. The leaf stenciling was a huge hit and, although the directions are self explanatory, here they are:

  1. Acquire leaves
  2. Place the leaf vein side up underneath a piece of paper
  3. Rub over the leaf gently with the side of a crayon
  4. Rinse and repeat

While our leaf craft was very successful, the piece de resistance was definitely painting the pumpkins! I have never carved a pumpkin before and, honestly, don’t trust myself enough to lol so painting a pumpkin is my compromise. This is a craft that I have done with many a client and it’s an ideal way to get into the fall spirit without the messiness of pumpkin carving. I opted for a pumpkin with the lifewithlilred initials and my client painted a super colorful pumpkin that turned out amazing. Now, I have to figure out some more crafts for next week! 😀

Not only is fall my favorite season but it is also my favorite time of year to spend with the people I serve. Enjoying the beautiful nature, cooler temps, and all of the activities and crafts that come with autumn never makes for a dull moment! ❤

Have you made any fall crafts? How did they turn out? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Revamp Your Yard For Spooky Season

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Revamp Your Yard For Spooky Season

Spooky season is in full swing and what better way to pay homage to the best time of the year than in your own yard?! Sure, your house might be full of Halloween decor like mine but the outside is just as important to set all of the vibes come trick-or-treat night. At least, I sure think so, especially because I so wish that I had a yard to decorate! Let’s look at some fun projects to revamp your yard just in time for Halloween:

Decor Galore:

How cool would it be to have a front yard filled with twinkling orange lights, fake bats hanging from the trees, and zombies poking up from the ground? While you don’t have to go crazy with giant inflatables or twenty foot skeletons, a little decor goes a long way. Fake cobwebs, home made jack-o-lanterns, and makeshift ghosts in the trees works just as well!

Better yet, so many of the DIY aspects of Halloween decorating can be done as a family. You could make a bunch of creepy spiders by tracing your hands on cardboard or silly ghosts by sticking your feet in some paint. And, of course, there’s nothing better than a pumpkin carving night while watching all of your favorite scary flicks.

Autumnal Landscaping:

Mum is the word and you can purchase tons of glorious flowers to add some colorful cheer during the day. This is also another great activity to do as a family, perhaps by making a trip to your local pumpkin patch for some potted flowers? What’s more, you could paint jack-o-lantern faces on them for all of the fun of pumpkin carving without the pulpy mess!

Don’t forget to make the most of all of the fallen leaves adorning your yard too. They could easily be turned into garlands to hang around your door or porch railing. Add some fake cobwebs and you can’t go wrong. Or, just have a leaf jumping competition and warm up with some hot chocolate afterwards.

If you’re crunched for time or have no green thumb to be found (And, no, Frankenstein green paint on your hands doesn’t count!), then you could hire a reliable landscaping company that delivers great results. You can even consult with them to turn your yard into the ultimate autumn oasis.

Trick-Or-Treat Tips:

Arguably one of the most fun parts of Halloween is seeing all of the adorable costumes come trick-or-treat night. Rather than answering a ringing doorbell all evening, how about setting up shop outside? My husband and I plan on doing this in my parent’s neighborhood! We will have a crackling fire and the Monster Mash playing on repeat, obviously.

You don’t have to stop there, though! You could host a neighborhood costume contest or set up a scavenger hunt in your freshly decorated yard. Expertly placed pine cones, mini pumpkins, and fake spiders could all be things to find. The prize? Extra candy! If you don’t have a fire pit, be sure to place lots of twinkling or floodlights around your property so everyone can find their way!

One of my favorite things about spooky season is all of the great outdoor decorations. Turn your yard into one that would make me stop and stare and have the best time!

Falcon Grove Studio Art Haul

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Falcon Grove Studio Art Haul

Hello!! I took an awesome watercolor painting class with my mom and sister in July. It was taught by the amazing Ana of Falcon Grove Studio and we still talk about how much fun we had all together. This past week my best friend, LEA, turned twenty-eight and I decided to treat her to some beautiful artwork made by Ana on her Etsy shop. They will be perfect for her office at work and don’t worry, they are already in her possession so this post won’t come as a surprise! Check it out:

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It is so important to support local artists and I try to do so as often as I can. When Lea’s birthday began drawing near, I had Ana’s Etsy shop in mind because her work is just the type that she likes. Ana’s art is so elegant and bold without being “too much” and I am in love with both pieces that I chose. I am especially partial to the framed painting with the 3D butterfly. I wish that I bought one for me too!

Shopping on Ana’s Etsy shop was a great experience. My order arrived quickly, shipping was free, and it was packaged with so much care. I also received a coupon for fifteen percent off of my next purchase, which will definitely come in handy this holiday season. I have a feeling that I will make great use of it. 😀

Lea and I have been best friends for fourteen years and it has been a joy to celebrate almost a decade and a half of birthdays together. It was also a joy to shop for all of them too lol. Do be sure to check out Ana’s Etsy shop for a handcrafted gift that yourself or your giftee will adore!

Who is your favorite local artist? What is the link to any of your online stores? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Considering A Used Sewing Machine? Follow These Tips

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Considering A Used Sewing Machine? Follow These Tips

The cost of a sewing machine is significant. You need a reliable, sturdy machine with all of the capabilities you want right away and a few that you will probably desire in the future. A fantastic way to save some cash is to purchase a secondhand machine. But beware the buyer! The purchase of used equipment has its drawbacks as well. The following factors are important to think about:

What can it do and does it work?:

Any sewing machine, new or secondhand, must pass the most fundamental test – it must operate! Test out any equipment you want to purchase as soon as you can. Some stores will provide test models on the floor for new equipment. However, if you’re buying a secondhand sewing machine, you should test the actual machine, not simply the same model. Try the features out. Does the sewing machine produce uniform, skip-free stitches? Does it run without making any strange noises?

Bring along both delicate and more durable fabrics in different weights to test the machine’s capabilities. Remember, your results won’t be adequate if you don’t take the time to correctly change all of the parameters between these two, including switching to a heavy duty needle and thread.

Is it in excellent shape overall or has it undergone any repairs?

A sewing machine’s condition may not always be apparent at first sight. When buying from a store that sells old equipment, find out if the unit has been restored and what that entails. Find out the prior owner’s maintenance schedule and the most recent service date if you’re purchasing from them.

Who is the machine’s seller?

The safest option is usually to purchase a used or refurbished machine from a store because these items are frequently cleaned and fixed before being put back on the market. They could even have a modernized repair warranty. Unfortunately, the price difference between one of these machines and a new one won’t be as great because of the additional maintenance required. Directly purchasing from a prior owner may give you more wiggle room, but there will also be greater quality variety.

What does it include?

This is a crucial question to ask in relation to accessories. What comes with the purchase? Make sure you understand what you’re buying and what the final price includes. This is also a good time to double check that the machine is compatible with gear that you might already have.

Is it user-friendly?

It’s likely that a secondhand machine won’t have a user manual. It’s a relief that many of these can now be downloaded, but if you’re a novice sewer, it might be difficult to even know what questions to ask when getting started with a new machine. This is just another incentive to test a machine out before purchasing it!

Will it satisfy your needs?

It’s great to get a good deal on a used machine but is it going to be able to do everything that you want it to? What might be a smart purchase now could end up costing you more later if you realize you do want all of the bells and whistles.

What is the price being asked?

Last but not least, how much money can you afford to spend on a sewing machine? You’ll need to do some research to figure out what a fair price is for the item you want. Older machines are frequently pricey due to their enduring appeal, while more recent versions can be surprisingly affordable.

With all of these tips in mind, you will be better prepared to make a good decision if you’re on the market for a new to you sewing machine.

Resources:

Featured Image By: Alex Andrews from Pexels