My regular followers will remember a story that I shared last summer about Evelyn, who hand-knitted a plethora of itty-bitty stocking caps before she passed away. I bought them at a church rummage sale, from a woman who seemed very disrespectful toward Evelyn.
I opened my online store last summer, and attempted to sell these very tiny handmade stocking caps in a way that would honor Evelyn’s hard work. When I say “very tiny,” this is what I mean:
In brief, I don’t know what Evelyn intended for these little stocking caps, but I’m sure she had some kind of craft project in mind.
But from the beginning, I wanted to honor her memory by making sure these tiny, hand-knitted stocking caps went to people who would truly enjoy them. During the summer months, as I’ve said, I sold them in my newly-established online store.
I had sold my own handmade items at craft fairs in the past, but I’d never tried to run an online store before. It was tricky to learn how to make the price of these little stocking caps fair to the buyer, but at the same time cover the cost of my mailers, postage, and the time it took to get to and from the post office.
(I live in a rural part of Idaho, so getting to the post office, in and of itself, is quite an ordeal sometimes.)
At first I tried selling them for $1.99 each, but no one purchased them. I offered four hats for $4.99 for a while, and I sold a bunch of them at that price. But after paying the shipping on them, plus the cost of the mailers, I realized I was not only NOT making a profit, but I was actually paying my customers to take them off my hands!
So I took them out of my store (you can go broke fast, if you’re paying other people to take them), and did quite a bit of research to come up with a fair way to sell them. I have currently set the shipping/handling fee at $7.99 because that’s the average of what it cost me to ship those packages that I mailed to my buyers over the summer months.
I’ve tried the little hand-knitted stocking caps on various dolls. Most of them are designed to fit very small dolls, as you can see here:
They are not big enough to fit on an average Barbie, but they do fit nicely on vintage Skipper, modern Chelsea (both shown above), and dollhouse-sized dolls.
For very tiny dolls like Topper Dawn, Pippa, Chelsea and the like, they look fine with a rolled cuff, as you can see in the image below, but for bigger dolls like vintage Skipper, I couldn’t get them to fit with a rolled brim.
There are also a smattering of bigger winter hats, that seem to be made of strings of yarn, all wrapped around a plastic ring, and then tied in a way that forms a stringy pom-pom on top.
These will fit Barbie and similar-sized dolls, but they were probably much easier to make, and therefore not worth as much money.
Here’s what they look like:
Over the summer, I estimated that Evelyn had made about a hundred hats, but I’ve since done a complete inventory and categorized the hats into various sets. There were actually 161 hats in total, not including the dozen or so that I sold last summer (at a cost to me, not a profit), and only three of them are the stringy kind that will fit Barbie.
After spending a whole weekend doing calculations that would include shipping and handling fees, I’ve divided these tiny stocking caps into six categories, and I’ve started to upload them to my store at a price that’s competitive with the cost of similar hand-knitted stocking caps on Etsy, plus my fee of $7.99 for shipping and handling.
These are the categories I came up with:
- Christmas colors of red and green (1 set of 12 stocking caps for $10 per set)
- Pastel colored stocking caps (I have 4 sets of 10 stocking caps for $9 per set)
- Winter-coat-colored stocking caps (I have 4 sets of 12 stocking caps for $10 per set)
- Multicolored mix of stocking caps (I have 4 sets of 12 stocking caps for $10 per set)
- Multicolored mix of stocking caps small set (I have 2 sets of 6 stocking caps for $8 per set)
Currently I have only posted the Christmas colors and the pastel set in my store, but if you keep an eye on my store, I hope to upload the other three sets this weekend. (We’ll see if I have time…)
I expect the Christmas colors to go first, and there’s only one set of those. So if you’re reading this blog post early Friday morning, and you have a moderate interest in buying the Christmas colors, I recommend purchasing them quickly because they will likely get sold right off the bat.
The last set that I plan to upload is sort of a set of “leftovers.” Evelyn must have been a big fan of sunflower yellow and mauve, because this last set has a lot of yellow and mauve hats in it. I’m going to toss in the three Barbie-sized stocking caps with this mix of “leftover” stocking caps, along with a traditional red and white Christmas stocking cap.
I don’t know if this set of 25 stocking caps will be hard to sell or quick to sell, but my asking price will be $15 for all 25 of these. So I think it’s probably quite a steal, if you don’t mind having multiples of the same color.
This set of 25 will likely be the last set that I upload to my store, just because it’s the most unpredictable. And frankly, if I don’t get it uploaded in time for Christmas crafting, these colors will also be fun for Easter crafting.
If you’re wondering how big these hats are, I’ve got a measurement photo below to help you decide whether or not these hats will suit the projects you have in mind for your dolls:
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Disclaimer/Credit/Affiliate Marketing Link:
To honor the trademark rights of the doll companies mentioned in this blog post, I am including links to their websites here. Please feel free to visit their website and consider purchasing one or more of the dolls mentioned.