Friday, 29 October 2010

Computing 4 Crafters

I have been thinking for sometime about starting a new site (like I don't have enough to do already). It would combine my computing "skills" and my interest in Crafts. So the site is going to be called "Computing4Crafters".

On it I would like to do a series of tutorials, both written and video, which would show people how to making there own decoupage, there own backing sheets, cross stitch patterns etc, either using commercial computer software or some of the free software which is out there. Thinks I could quite like this idea. I've been using Paint Shop Pro and other graphics programmes for over 20 years so I think I have something to share especially when it comes to the area of crafts!

Any ideas about what people would like to see on a site like this would be most welcome.

Thursday, 28 October 2010


Brewster is our very own "mascot" and will be appearing in a series of papers this year. Mainly Decoupage but will hopefully be able to make some backing papers etc to go with these and we will also be using him in some Glass Painting and Cross Stitch designs.

So far we have seen Brewster as both a paper vendor and this week he was a teacher.

Both of these images were made available as decoupage sets and were mnade specially so you could add either one of our messages, or your own message to the A Frame or Blackboard. The next Brewster set will see him in a festive setting and again it will be made so there is space for your own personalised message to be added to the image!

As I sad before we will continue to produce Brewster papers over the next year. We will slowly be adding some friends and maybe even a bit of love interest for him in time for Valentines day. We would love to hear from you if you would like to suggest ideas for Brewster Papers. Obviously we can't guarentee that we will be able to make everyone but we will select the best (and most doable ideas to be turned into papers. If you'd like to make a suggestion just leave a comment here or email us at:

If you would like to download the Free Brewster Papers we have release so far you will find them here:

www.freecraftdownloads .COM

As you probably already know our main and busiest site is However we also own For a couple of years it really hasn't been used properly, just showing a mirror of Free Craft Stuff but we finally got round to using it for something productive earlier this month.

Basically we are using it to develop new ideas on and practice web site building, formats etc but in doing so we hope to produce a site which many will find useful. If will have many of the same free papers on it that Free Craft Downloads does  but sorted in a completely different way. On free craft downloads (.com) they will mainly be filed in "Day" sets. So we have started with Christmas and Easter. Next we will be adding free New Year Papers and so on through the year. All the normal papers are there, decoupage, backing papers, inserts, glass painting designs etc but hope fully it will be easier to to find what you are looking for.

Please do take a look but remember it is a work in progress. Any comments will be gratefully received.

Loads of Free Craft Downloads

OK I've decided to create this blog so people can follow the work we are doing on our Free Craft Papers and other Free Stuff for crafters. Mainly it will follow the work on the following sites:

In addition to these we have a few "feeder" sites around which help generate traffic and / or are general craft directories such as and

So the first question to answer is, why do we do it? Well it all started off as a bit of fun (the free sites) but I have to admit it has slowly dragged us in to become more serious. THe problem is the more visitors you get and the more papers you make, then the more server space and more powerful server you need. The more powerful server you have the more visitors you need to cover your cost and so on and so on.

At the moment we have a single (quite powerful) dedicated server for the main sites and a few shared servers for the smaller ones.

Monday, 4 October 2010

Publicity for Free Craft Downloads

"Can't give the stuff away" I think is the phrase people use.

Don't get me wrong, the members of Free Craft Downloads which we have are all very nice (not met a bad one yet!) and for a site which doesn't have an advertising budget we don't do too bad. According to Stat Counter we have an average of just over 1,200 unique visitors a day over the last 30 days, but in reality that must be a pin prick compared to the number of Crafters who would use our site if they knoew about it surely. All the crafters who do use it seem to love it and appreciate it but how do I get more to look at the free papers?

What I've done so far:
  1. Increased the range of free downloads to include Free Cross Stitch Patterns, free glass painting designs, free digi stamps, scrap booking layouts as well as the normal backing papers inserts, decoupage and tags.
  2. Opened a Facebook Group
  3. Joined various Craft Top 50, 100 lists
  4. Joined some Craft Banner exchange schemes
  5. Joined loads of "Craft Links" sites
  6. Spent a bit of money (not a lot because I don't have it) on google adwords and Facebook ads
  7. Swapped links with various Craft Related sites.
  8. Worked to ensure we are at the top or near the top in search engines for popular phrases like Free Decoupage Sheets and Free Craft Downloads.
  9. Appealed to members to invite their friends.
To be honest I'm running out of ideas... I have over 40,000 sheets to give away, add to them weekly, we have forum, a projects section a useful information section and much more... all I need is more people.......