I have been a DC Producer since 2008 and I would like to share some of tricks of the trade that has helped me along the way.
Being a Disciple's Cross Producer can be pretty tough. The concept of making a wire-wrapped cross necklace is pretty easy. Just bend a few nails, wrap wire around them and attach a leather cord. Now your necklace is ready to wear. NOT!!!
Now, I'm not going to go into everything it takes to make a Disciple's Cross necklace, you can find out all you need to know by going to the Disciple's Cross website here.
What I would like to share with you is some of the short cuts I've learned while making the necklaces. Hopefully, I can help someone out that's just starting as a DC Producer and make their life a little easier.
So let's get started shall we......?
Buy pre-bent nails. I purchase all my pre-bent nails through Ebay from other people that bend them or through a search engine (google).
I can't tell you enough how much of a time saver it is not having to bend your own nails. Yes, you do pay a little bit more but the extra cost is worth it.
Cross Drying Board
As a DC Producer, one of the steps of making these cute little crosses is the drying process. Each cross has to be dipped twice in a clear acrylic. The first dip takes 20 minutes to dry. The second dip takes 2 hours or sometimes more to dry before you can continue to make the rest of the cross.
While the crosses dry, you need a place to hang them. I used to hang mine on a tie rack on a cupboard door in my kitchen. Everytime someone went in the cupboard to get a glass or plate, the crosses would get moved to a new cupboard door. And I could only hang ten at a time. Once they were dry, I could hang 10 more.
Now......I have a Cross Drying Board that my wonderful husband made for me. He saw that I needed to speed up the drying process and built me this drying board............
It's nothing pretty to look at but it sure gets the job done. Now I hang approx. 50 crosses at one time to dry. Woo Hoo!!!! As a DC Producer, this is a must have!!
Wooden Display Stand vs. Mug Tree
Okay, this one is according to preference. I can only tell you what I used before versus what I use now.
I have sold my cute little cross necklaces at various craft shows and I have sold them at my girls football games.
I set my table up, drape my table cloth over it, put my wooden display stands on the table, get my necklaces out and proceed to put them on the stand. I can fit at least 40 or more necklaces on one stand putting 10 or more necklaces on each arm.
Kids came along, pulled on one of the necklaces and tipped the whole necklace stand over. What a mess. The cords were all tangled up in each other. Not only did it happen to me once...it happened to me four times in one night. I finally took them off the stands and spread them out on the table.
Conclusion: The wooden stands are not heavy enough. The base is too small.
What do I use now? I'm sooo glad you asked.
A mug tree. Cast iron to be exact. I love it. It has several arms to hold just as many necklaces (if not more) as the wooden necklace stand and it's heavy enough (being cast iron) that it doesn't tip over all the time. Now I have two mug trees that I take everywhere that I want to display my necklaces. They're awesome!
Where did I purchase my set of mug trees you ask? At Garden Ridge. You can visit their website at www.gardenridge.com. They don't offer a on-line catalog at this time but you can check out the store locater for a Garden Ridge near you.
Here are some resources for you to get your wire. Of course you have the Disciple's Cross Website where they have a large selection of colors and they cut them for DC Produces in the lengths of the Disciples Cross. They have a large selection of colors and your can also buy your small pliers and the plastic bags to put your crosses in when your finished.
And lastly.....Have you heard of Fun Wire!!!!! The folks over at Toner Crafts have some really bendable wire called "Fun Wire". This wire makes wire wrapping so much easier (especially for beginners).
They also have some really awesome colors to choose from like Bubble Gum Pink, Icy Kiwi, Sour Apple, Grape Soda, and many more.You can purchase Fun Wire in kits, by coil or by spool. You can also find Fun Wire at Walmart, Hobby Lobby and Michael's in their craft section. I have also seen some wire on Ebay and Etsy.
If you are looking to order by the spool, Parawire.com and ArtisticWire.com have some beautiful colors. You can order them in 18 gauge through 26 gauge spools. I get a lot of my colors from them. The prices are good and the shipping is reasonable.
If you have any question regarding the process of making the Disciple's Cross Necklaces or the materials that are used, please feel free to contact me.