Craft Seller Success Podcast Episode 37 - Crafting in Hot Weather

Welcome to Episode 37 of the Craft Seller Success podcast – Crafting in Hot Weather

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To see the other episodes available – Craft Seller Success Podcast Main Page

Welcome to the Craft Seller Success Podcast – helping craft sellers sell their crafts

Hi, I’m Deborah Richardson from Tin Teddy.

This is the Craft Seller Success podcast from Tin Teddy. Episode number Thirty-Seven – Crafting in Hot Weather – Craft Seller Success Podcast 37


At the time of recording this, here in the UK it is June, the start of the summer months.

Whilst it is actually pouring of rain today. And there is more predicted for the coming week. But we are all hopeful that some actual summer weather will be here soon.

And whilst the hot weather is nice for lots of reasons, it can cause some issues for those of us who run crafty businesses. And, of course, those who are crafting for a hobby too.

So, in today’s podcast, I am going to share some hints and tips to help you keep crafting, and keep your cool when the temperatures are hot and humid.

I know that some of you will have lovely, air-conditioned homes and studios, so the hot weather may not seem much of a problem. But stay tuned if this is you. You may well find some useful content in this podcast – hint, especially tip number 10.

And for those of us in countries where air-conditioning is not common in homes and small businesses, but summers can be jolly hot – this podcast is definitely for you!

Of course, some of these tips are pretty useful in cooler weather too, come to think of it.

I would love it if you were to share any tips you have for surviving hot weather as a craft seller, or cold weather!  Let me know in the comments below the show notes on the Tin Teddy Blog.  If I use your tip in a future podcast, I will, of course, credit you. And I will give a shout-out to your craft-selling business, if you include the name and what you sell in your comment!

So let’s go…

1 – Rearrange your working hours to take advantage of cooler periods

Often the early morning, or late in the evening are cooler than the rest of the day.

Prioritize your tasks so you are doing the ones that need cooler weather at the most suitable times. And have other jobs for during the hotter parts of the day.  

I know a couple of craft sellers who actually “go nocturnal” in the middle of summer and craft through the night. They then sleep during the day.  If your lifestyle allows this, it may be something to consider if you struggle to craft in hot weather.

Get into the habit of checking the weather forecast so you are warned of potential heatwaves, and can adjust your plans and working hours to suit.

2 Consider your storage in hot weather

So, crafting in the cool parts of the day is all well and good. But it is also important to remember that you may need to store your supplies and finished products during the hot parts too.

Obviously, food products are susceptible.  But many crafting supplies and creations are potentially at risk.

Glue, paints etc can separate and spoil in scorching weather.  

The finish on items, such as varnishes or paint, can become sticky.

Candles, soap, resin products and similar may melt or change shape.

It is worth reassessing your storage solutions to be sure that your materials, tools and saleable stock will be safe when the weather hits the highest peaks.

You may need to temporarily move stuff to a cooler part of your house or studio.

3 Keep hand sanitiser or water on hand to wash your hands regularly.   

It is amazing how quickly human hands can get sweaty and a bit grubby. Even an extremely elegant lady like myself has this issue, hehe. It is just a fact of life that we have to try to deal with.

I keep a big pump bottle of hand sanitiser next to my crafting area, and I use it regularly whilst I work.

Once in a while, I wash my hands in the bathroom, with good old-fashioned soap and water. I also put on hand cream because the hand sanitiser is inclined to dry my skin.

Avoid handling light-coloured fabric, yarn or other easily marked materials during hot weather. This tends to be the easiest, and safest way to ensure your precious supplies and products are not soiled.

You may find that lightweight, white cotton gloves could be useful to help with this problem – but of course, wearing gloves may also make your hands hotter!

4 Be extra careful using any powered tools or machines in extremely hot weather.

Powered tools and machines are a useful and important part of many craft sellers’ businesses. But they may overheat during the summer months.

Components may expand in high temperatures, causing parts to rub against each other, seize up or break.

Some tools with batteries may not work properly in extreme heat, or even have a fire risk.

And, of course, such issues are bound to happen when you are in the middle of making a large, lucrative order!

Or even be downright dangerous!

There are often temperature guidelines in the instruction book for your tool or machine, which definitely should be followed.

Handy Hint – if you live in a part of the world that gets extremely hot at some times of the year, always check before buying any machinery or power tools to see if they have recommended operating temperatures. You may need to choose a different model or brand to avoid potential issues.

If possible, only use heavy machines during the cooler parts of the day.

A good fan, aimed at the machine or tool, may help keep it cool.

You can get cheap little thermometers that you could fix to, or near, the machine so you can keep an eye out for potential issues.

5 Avoid using glues, paints, inks, liquid resin and other fluid or gel-based products in the hottest parts of the day.

You may well find that they dry much faster than normal, which could make them difficult, or even impossible to use properly.

You may be able to use a different brand than usual during the warmer weather – it could be worth some experimentation.

Some supplies may still be usable, but extra care is needed. For example, polymer clay tends to be easier to work with in warmer weather, because the heat makes it softer. But it is also much easier to get fingerprints and dirt on your creations.

Handy hint – 100% acetone can usually remove fingerprints from polymer clay

Test products before using them on important jobs, just in case.

For some crafts, you may need to consider switching to different product lines during the summer, as your usual ones may be temporarily impossible to make.

You may be able to create and stock up some of your products during the cooler weather so you can continue selling in the summer.

7 If the weather is particularly hot, it may be safer to charge your phones, tablets, laptops, cameras and other chargeable items during the cooler hours.

Nowadays, many of us are using multiple electronic products to help us run our craft businesses. And most of them require regular charging from the mains.

Be extra careful when charging electricals in extremely hot weather, they can quickly overheat and cause fires.

9 Keep water nearby so you can remain hydrated as you work.

I am sure you already know that dehydration is potentially very dangerous indeed.  Even being a little bit dehydrated can have unpleasant effects on your body.

And when we are over-hot, our concentration levels can drop.  For some crafters, a lapse in concentration could be costly, painful or at least bloody annoying!

Keeping yourself well hydrated can help your body to better cope with the hot weather. Meaning you can work better, for longer.

I strongly recommend you keep your water in a lidded bottle of some sort, to limit the risk of spilling.

I have a couple of bottles with built-in straws that flip up when you want to use them. Even if you knocked it over when it was open, very little can spill out – great for a klutz like me!  They are very cheap and come in a variety of sizes.

I have a 2 litre bottle that I keep beside me whilst working at home, a 1.5 litre one that I keep by my bedside at night and for use on long journeys, and a little 300 ml bottle that is perfect to slip in my bag for shorter journeys, such as shopping trips.

An insulated bottle will help keep your water cold for longer, though they cost a bit more than regular water bottles.

If you have one, keep a spare bottle of water in the fridge to swap out when you finish one.

Many people swear by those reusable ice cubes because they don’t melt and dilute your drink.

A few summers ago, I bought some very cheap ice pop moulds. They are simple silicone tubes, with lids. You fill them with squash, fizzy pop, water, tea or whatever beverage you wish, then pop them in the freezer for a few hours.  They are very refreshing and you can keep a continual supply on hand when you can make your own like this.

You can even stick them in a glass of drink as a funky ice cube.

10 Hot weather can cause postal delays and issues.

If you know there is a heatwave coming, try to get your orders completed and on their way as soon in advance as you can. 

If you ship internationally, or across a large country, it is worth keeping a close eye on where your orders are going.  It may be nice and cool where you are, but crazy hot where your parcel is headed.

If your orders will be en route to their new homes during the heatwave, consider letting your customers know that there may be delays for this reason.  Be prepared for customers contacting you to find out where their parcel is if it is delayed.

Some items will require extra consideration if being shipped in hot weather. Food products, plants, candles, soap  and other things made from meltable materials can all be affected.

I know that some people who sell this type of product switch to other lines during the summer because posting their usual lines is too risky.

There are some things you can do to protect your precious products if they are travelling during hot weather.

  1. Insulation. You can buy a variety of insulated boxes and containers that can protect your products from the heat.  These work particularly well when coupled with ….
  2. Cool packs. Don’t leave it to your customer to decide whether one is needed in a shipment. If the parcel doesn’t reach your customer in good condition, you are the one who is going to be out of pocket.  Decide for yourself whether you need the cool pack, and use it if so.  Don’t forget you can include this cost in the product price if you feel it needs to be used.  Nowadays there are different options, so shop around before deciding what cool pack suits your products and business model.
  3. Package items individually. This can help keep them cool, but also means that if one product should melt or spoil, it won’t ruin the whole package.

You may want to consider using a faster shipping method than usual.  Be sure to change your prices to reflect this additional cost. As with the cool packs, don’t leave it to your customer to choose whether it is needed. It is your responsibility to get your products safely to their new owners.

Warn your customer about the issues with warm weather. Be sure they know if they must get the products into a cool environment quickly.  Mark parcels with warnings and email or message your customers upfront.

I recommend including details in your product listings too, and even putting an image in your shop listing with details of this.

There are often postal restrictions on sending batteries through the mail, but if you can do this where you live, be extra careful during hot weather to ensure that they are protected from the heat en route.

Some delicate products, such as musical instruments, could warp in extreme heat.  

I strongly recommend doing some research and, ideally, a few tests, before you try sending delicate products out in hot weather.

Post some samples to yourself or a friend, and inspect them carefully on arrival.

Or try putting the products in the hot sun or somewhere warm for a while, to simulate the conditions of traveling.

If you are not confident that you can get your products to your customers safely, put those products on hold until the weather cools back down.

11 Consider closing your online shop during, or just before, the hottest days.

This can save a lot of stress if it is just too hot to create your products, but you have open orders that need attending to.

12 Whilst a fan can help to keep you cool most of the time, be aware that experts say that above about 35°C (95°F), a fan can actually warm you more than cool you.

Before buying a fan, remember that many work by BLOWING air. Be careful not to switch one on and blow tiny supplies or paperwork off your table.  Yes, I have done just that!

13 Open and close windows to make the most of the changing external temperatures.

Whilst the temperature outside is lower than it is inside your house (ie during the late evenings and night) have the windows and curtains open.  Once the temperature outside becomes hotter than it is inside, close the windows and the curtains.  This is the optimal way to keep your room as cool as possible.

If you have problems with insects and creepy crawlies coming in when your windows are open, then you may want to invest in window nets or screens that stop them.  

And do be careful that lightweight and tiny items are not left by open windows. A sudden change in weather, or wind direction and your little treasures are all over the floor!

14 Bamboo needles and other adaptations.

Many knitters and crocheters find bamboo and wooden needles to be more comfortable to use in hotter weather than metal ones.  

Though, if you have multiple metal needles of the same size, you could put some in the fridge and keep swapping hot ones for cool ones as you work.

I have found that some watercolour brushes with natural bristles are not as good at holding water in hot weather compared to Taklon and other synthetic bristles.

A surprising problem can be coloured pencils!  I have some, from a well-known, quality brand, that stain coloured marks on my fingers if I use them when my hands are very hot!  The colour is jolly hard to remove as well.  Luckily it doesn’t come off on my work, but it is still annoying.

So it may be worth experimenting with alternative materials or tools during the summer.

15 Computers, even laptops, can get very warm when used, and give off a surprising amount of heat.

Turn off computers if you are not using them, to help keep your room cool. If you can wait to use your computer during the cooler hours, this may help keep the room temperature down so you can craft more easily.

Using computers during hot weather will require their fans to work harder to keep everything safe and cool – which means more electricity is used too.

16 If it is too hot to wear safety clothing or use safety equipment, it is too hot to do your craft. 

Compromising your safety is never a good idea!

17 Create a list of “Things I Can Do When It is Too Hot to Create”. 

This could include things such as:

  • thinking about new product ideas
  • Setting and scheduling new goals
  • reading books on business, SEO, marketing or your niche
  • listening to podcasts
  • Catching up on social media with what the movers and shakers in your niche are doing
  • Watching videos related to your niche
  • Planning marketing campaigns
  • Doing non-crafty things that need doing such as housework or calling friends and family
  • Chatting with fellow crafters on forums or social media
  • catching up on sleep!

I hope some of these ideas help you keep your craft-selling business thriving during the hotter months of the year.

Please share your hints and hot weather stories on the Tin Teddy blog!

As usual, a full, illustrated transcript of this podcast is on the Tin Teddy blog, together with links etc.

And that’s it until next time, stay cool guys!

The Craft Seller Success Podcast from Tin Teddy.

Featuring Deborah Richardson

Original music by Matthew French

Crafting in Hot Weather – Craft Seller Success Podcast 37
Crafting in Hot Weather - Craft Seller Success Podcast 37Crafting in Hot Weather - Craft Seller Success Podcast 37
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