Tournament of Made-It-Myself Finals

This year’s blog tournament started a few weeks ago with the goal of letting creative people display their talents on the blog in exchange for fame, pride, some charity money, and an iPod Shuffle. After a number of eliminations–many great projects and people among them–we’ve reached the finals.

For the finals, I only asked one thing of Elaine and Mary: To tell me why they think they should win this tournament. Accompanying their justifications are photos of the projects that won the other rounds of the tournament.

The polls will stay open until this Sunday at 2:00 CST, at which point either Elaine or Mary will be crowned the winner of the tournament. Good luck to you both!

Here’s why Elaine thinks she should win:

I’ve been hand making gifts for myself and friends since I was 6 or 7, from pins to ornaments (I have some stellar penguin ornaments made of empty egg shells) because I like putting a bit of myself into a gift. And my friends and family — after YEARS — have still kept those hand-crafted gifts and seem to treasure the time and effort I put into the personal touch I put in everything. The glitter ornaments (round 2 entry for me) were my way of passing this hand made gift idea on to my nieces. I had fun watching them make the gifts carefully, and LOVED how their faces lit up when their gifts were opened Christmas Eve by grandparents and parents.

Today, I’ve transformed my love of making things into a fun (very small) business with my sister, Mary. The wine charms we make together (round 1 entry) are truly a labor of love. Unlike the ornaments, the wine charms were thought up on our own. Similar products on Etsy use “epoxy dots” (stickers, essentially) – which make the product more expensive to make (and thus, sell). Our charms are unique because we mix the epoxy resin on our own (which requires the EXACT right proportions).

It’s a four-day process, from pouring the resin onto scrapbook paper (and being careful not to overpour!), letting that dry, sealing the back, spraying them to remove any tacky feeling, punching holes in the dried product, looping the charms on rings, placing the charms on the hand-cut memory wire with decorative glass beads, then transferring to our packaging to sell.

It took MONTHS to get the wine charm process to be perfect (and with ZERO guidance from Pinterest), but we’re finally there!

Today, what started as a funny gag gift for our mom has become a really fun hobby that we’re taking to craft fairs now – and I LOVE the feedback we get when people say how cute the charms are. It’s amazing to thing that total strangers who bought sets of wine charms at craft fairs are using them at their own homes. I like crafting because it allows me to put my own talents to use for a functional product.

Elaine - AnimalPrintCharms

Elaine O Ornaments

Here’s why Mary thinks she should win:

I’ve been using my creative skills to craft ever since my mom introduced me to the world of Michael’s. I draw inspiration from other crafters but I think I bring a new element to the game. I think outside the box and put a little bit of myself into every project. I think I should be the champion of making things myself because I take on multiple step projects and turn them into signature pieces for any home. I take pride in the projects I create and I love sharing my creations with others to recreate. I’m always looking to start my next project and look forward to sharing my finished crafts with friends and family!


Mary Lawler String Art

Time to vote!

Visiting this blog for the first time? You can see what it’s all about by clicking here for an overview.

9 Responses to “Tournament of Made-It-Myself Finals”

  1. Jamey Stegmaier says:

    Wow, nearly 200 votes already?! I can’t tell if this is a battle of made-it-myself creators or of social-media savvy people. Either way, it’s exciting that this is such a close contest!

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