So helpful! 10 tips to have a sucussful Instagram closet sale (click through for more) There are so many ways to try and make a little extra cash off of your unworn clothes these days—consignment shops, eBay, garage sales...lots of formats to choose from. Another option that you may not have considered is to do a closet sale on Instagram and extend your reach to your Internet friends as well. I hadn't done one before this past year, and it can seem a little intimidating at first, but I asked a few friends who had done a few for some tips, learned a few of my own along the way, and ended up helping Elsie do her first sale a few weeks ago. It's a great way to share your closet with your online pals and make a little cash for some new items (or put it towards a trip or something) at the same time!

First, for some general tips, I would really suggest holding the sale under a separate account from your personal one. That way people who want to follow the sale can, but not everybody who follows you will have to be spammed with your shoe collection. Also, create the account and post all the photos of your items with their descriptions before you announce the sale on your personal account (or keep it a private account until it's ready). That way, you can get everything how you want it and make any tweaks without people starting to bid before it's open, etc. 

So helpful! 10 tips to have a sucussful Instagram closet sale (click through for more)1.) The photos are really important. Since your buyers can't try on the clothes in a virtual dressing room, it's really crucial to take clear and well-lit photos of all your items on a neutral background. It also helps to have multiple photos, especially if there is a detail that should be seen close up or a unique back on a dress. If you have a photo of you wearing the item, post that as well so they can see how it fits when it's worn.

2.) Clean your items. Make sure to wash or wipe off all the items before photographing and shipping. This is important for the obvious reason that no one wants to buy dirty clothes, but also because an item may have a spot or mark that may or  may not come out. If it does come out, then you don't have to advertise it as damaged, but if it doesn't, you may want to reconsider if it's in good enough shape to sell.

3.) Be clear about sizes and any defects. You don't want there to be surprises when the buyer gets their item, so make sure to list anything that the buyer would want to know about beforehand in the item description. Note how the item fits if it's different than the size on the tag (like if it's a size small but fits like a medium), or if it's a loose cut that could fit a range of sizes. Add a photo or note if there are any worn spots or marks that can't be removed so the buyer is aware of the item condition. You don't have to photograph every tiny loose thread (unless otherwise stated, people assume all items are gently used), but look over the item and point out anything you'd like to know about if you were the bidder.

4.) Be as organized as possible. This is probably the most important point of them all. Keep a spreadsheet or chart where you can list each item, the final purchase price, the shipping cost, the PayPal email of the winner, and their shipping address as that information comes in. You can also use colors to indicate if someone has paid for their item and if it's been shipped out to them. If you do the spreadsheet on your computer and open Instagram in another tab, you can copy and paste the winner's email and cut down on spelling mistakes. Also, if you can get a friend to help you assembly line photograph or pack all your items, that really helps too!

So helpful! 10 tips to have a sucussful Instagram closet sale (click through for more)   5.) Have clear sale rules. After you post all your items, put up a "sale rules" post (do it last so it will appear at the top of your page) and direct people to make sure they read it in your shop's Instagram bio area. List all the important details like what day and time the sale ends, how to bid (commenting with their bid amount and PayPal email is easiest), what countries you do/don't ship to, an email address if buyers need to contact you, and any other details you want everyone to know. Having clear guidelines up front will help if you have to respond to any issues or complaints later.

6.) Make a 24 hour deadline for payment. Note in the sale rules that buyers have 24 hours from the time they receive their money request in PayPal to pay the invoice, or they lose their item and it goes to the next highest bid. This will help keep the payment process from dragging out too long and will encourage people to pay quickly so they don't lose their chance.

7.) Don't sell too many items at once. Like most anything in life, all the headaches are multiplied the more items you are selling in one sale, so keep the number of items you're selling reasonable. There really is a big difference in selling 35 items at once vs. 135 items, so keep it under 50 items to make it more manageable.

So helpful! 10 tips to have a sucussful Instagram closet sale (click through for more)  8.) Be mindful of the weight when thinking of shipping costs. Shipping costs are determined by weight, so use lightweight bags to ship items whenever possible. Sometimes a box is necessary because of the fragility of an item or it's something you can't fold, but try and use the lightweight mailers when possible.

9.) Offer shipping discounts for multiple items. Encouraging people to buy multiple items is good for everyone involved—they get more stuff, and it's a 1/3 of the work to send an invoice and ship three items to only one person instead of three different people. One easy way to do it is to make all clothing $5 shipping and all shoes $7 or $10 shipping (shoes are usually heavier and more prone to need a box for shipping), and then offer a discount if you buy more than one of the $5 items. So, maybe it's only $2 for shipping each additional item after the first one, and you can put them all in a bag together and send them out as once package. Everybody wins!

10.) Add a little note or gift with each order. You may not consider this an official small business with customers, but it's a nice gesture to send your buyers a little note or special treat with each package. Especially if you plan on doing a sale more than once, you want the people who bought items the first time to have a good experience and buy again. Just don't make a heavy item your special surprise because you'll end up paying a lot more in postage than if you can think of something that is relatively light. Learned that one the hard way!

With a little planning, you can really make the effort worth it and collect a tidy sum to put towards something special—a new wardrobe, an anniversary trip, a bejeweled cat sweater. You know, the important things. Do you have unworn items that you could find a new home for in your own Instagram sale? Quick, go check! xo. Laura

Credits // Author and Photography: Laura Gummerman. Photos edited with A Beautiful Mess actions.

Elsie Larson's Dining Room TourHi, friends! I'm excited to share with you the final room tour in my home today. This room has been through quite a few evolutions. When we first moved in, we were working from my home, and we used this room as our studio (mostly storage for our craft supplies). So we put up this fun Instax wallpaper

After we moved our work to a separate location, this room became kind of awkward. I didn't redecorate it for quite a while. It just became a nothing space. 

Last summer I decided to redecorate it and I made a plan. We noticed that we never had enough seating at parties, and especially at parties where children were invited (most of our close friends have children, so it's not uncommon to have a party with 5+ kiddos running around). We decided to make this room into a second dining room because, for us, it was the most functional way to stop wasting this big open space. 

I started with a table I loved from West Elm. We considered trying to build something similar, but ultimately decided that, when you factor in their frequent sales, it would be cheaper (and for sure what we wanted) to purchase it new (we love it!). I found our rug on Turkish Kilim Etsy, and we decorated the rest of the room around those two pieces. 

Elsie Larson's Dining Room Tour The thing I spent the most time on for this room was picking out all the art for this gallery wall. I wanted to pick pieces in a similar color scheme that felt airy and light. I had so much fun picking out abstract pieces, I could do it all day. (Anyone need me to pick out art all day? I kid.)

Print sources: (top left) Lola Donoghue, (top right) Found via Society 6, (bottom left) Kelly Ventura Found via Society 6, weaving by Rachel Denbow, (bottom right) Found via Society 6. *note: I couldn't find the specific artists on Society 6. If you know their names, please share in the comments and I'll get this updated right away! 

Elsie Larson's Dining Room Tour  Say hello to our new wine cabinet. Josh built this custom for our space. It's one of my favorite things he built during his time with ABM. This wall was previously home to our crate storage (seen here and in our book A Beautiful Mess Happy Handmade Home), so once that was taken down, it felt pretty empty. We chose to build this long side table to both fill the space and provide some much needed storage. Plus, I love pretty storage for wine bottles! 

Elsie Larson's Dining Room Tour   Elsie Larson's Dining Room Tour    Elsie Larson's Dining Room Tour    We decided to move our spirits collection to the top of this shelf because it wasn't as child-safe as we needed on our bar cart (again, even though we don't have kids, we have children in our home often, and anything that stresses out their parents, stresses us out too). 

I minimized our collection to just the things we use most often and plan to continue keeping a smaller collection on hand from now on. Less is more (well, not always, but with liquor bottles I think it is!). 

Elsie Larson's Dining Room Tour    Elsie Larson's Dining Room Tour    This Jonathan Adler vase was a gift from Jeremy's late grandmother, and it makes me think of her every time I refill it with a new single bloom (which is often). The little things in our home that were gifts or have memories tied to them are by far the most special. 

Elsie Larson's Dining Room Tour         Since we moved this record player here from the front living room, we've used it quite a bit more. My niece, Penelope, now knows how to play records and which ones are her favorites (Katy Perry and Nirvana!). I love having it in a more central location in the house and right by the kitchen. 

This record wall was a recent DIY addition. I've done this type of wall in previous homes and would definitely do it again. I like the grid for random memories. 

Elsie Larson's Dining Room Tour          Since this room has great lighting and the record player, I have been using it to paint in nearly every Sunday afternoon. I don't really have an official painting space anymore, but I kind of like just moving it around with me wherever there are good vibes. I don't keep too many supplies on hand anymore, so I just store what I have in the record cabinet. 

Elsie Larson's Dining Room Tour           Elsie Larson's Dining Room Tour           I bought this chair from Sarah (a set, actually) right before they moved. I think it will be an outdoor chair in the future, but for now I am enjoying it in here. What do you think—paint it? Leave it? Upholster it? Just add cushions and call it good? 

Elsie Larson's Dining Room Tour             Elsie Larson's Dining Room Tour             Elsie Larson's Dining Room Tour             Elsie Larson's Dining Room Tour             Elsie Larson's Dining Room Tour Elsie Larson's Dining Room Tour Elsie Larson's Dining Room Tour Just a few detail photos! 

Elsie Larson's Dining Room Tour www.abeautifulmess.comThese two blueprint copies fill up the space opposite the gallery wall and complete the room nicely. Love the neutral texture!  

Elsie Larson's Dining Room Tour Elsie Larson's Dining Room Tour Thanks for taking a tour of our new dining room! I had fun sharing my home with you! xx. Elsie 

More links and resources: Our book—A Beautiful Mess Happy Handmade Home. View my entire home tour here. Or take a video tour here

Credits// Author: Elsie Larson, Photography: Janae Hardy. Photos edited with Color Pop of The Signature Collection

Floral shadow box diyChanging up the art in my home is partially a bad habit, but mostly a great way to celebrate the changes in seasons. I was ready to freshen up my kitchen walls for spring, and this floral wall art idea was a fun and easy solution. The best part is, you won't need much time or money to make these beautiful shadow boxes. Check out the simple instructions below!

Make these simple floral shadow boxes to give your walls a bold and beautiful touch of Spring.Supplies:
-shadow box (I found mine at a local craft store, but you can find the same ones here.)
-cardstock or poster board in the color of your choice
-artificial flowers
-spray adhesive (Super 77 is my favorite.)
-hot glue gun
-cutting materials (I like to use a cutting mat, steel ruler, and X-Acto blade.)
-wire cutters (not shown—use these for trimming flowers)

Make these simple floral shadow boxes to give your walls a bold and beautiful touch of Spring.Step One: Remove the sturdy back of your shadow box and spray mount your cardstock or poster board to it. This will make a stable backing to glue your flowers to.

I sprayed the smaller cardboard piece, not the larger piece of cardstock, since I would be laying my ruler on the cardstock and didn't want to get adhesive on it. After pressing the sprayed cardboard onto the cardstock, I trimmed the cardstock to size.

Make these simple floral shadow boxes to give your walls a bold and beautiful touch of Spring.Step Two: Arrange your flowers using your mat as a framing guide, if you're using a mat. Then use a hot glue gun to secure it in place. Try to hide the glued areas behind flowers or leaves so the glue won't be visible.

Make these simple floral shadow boxes to give your walls a bold and beautiful touch of Spring.Assemble all the pieces into your frame, and your wall art is ready to be hung! If you leave off the glass from your frames, your pieces will eventually collect dust. But doing so allows you to layer pieces of your floral arrangements in front of the mat, which is a really nice look. If you do use the frame's glass, you may still be able to tuck those overlapping pieces between the mat and glass, as long as they are flat pieces, like leaves.

Make these floral shadow boxesThere they are, brightening up my home just an hour after beginning the project. Quick, easy and beautiful! That's a winning project in my book. -Mandi

Credits // Author and Photography: Mandi Johnson. Photos edited with Stella from the Signature Collection.

Pretty handmade spoons and floral chocolateHappy May and happy weekend, everyone! I hope you're already getting jazzed for the month. I absolutely love the spring and summer, so I'm already making lots of to-do lists and plans (which is apparently what I do when I'm happy). Just wanted to pop in and share a few awesome things from around the Internet. 

Left / I am swooning over all the handmade goodness at Board & Bread, including these pretty handmade spoons. Right / OMG edible floral chocolate! This might be perfect for Mother's Day?

Tacos and a pretty floorLeft / Brussels Sprout and Kimchi tacos?! Um...yessssssssssss. Right / Looking into doing some concrete floors in a new space (so many secrets!), but I absolutely love the idea of adding a phrase in metal words at the time we pour the concrete. What should it say though?

Other things I'm loving lately:

-Very interested to read this book after seeing the author on the Daily Show. 

-Speaking of books, did you see that Kazuo Ishiguro has a new book out?!!!

-Did you see the latest Game of Thrones? Which queen?!?! It's killing me! 

-Don't know if you saw on IG, but I'm headed to NOLA this month for a short (4 day) vacation with Trey. If you have any recommendations, I'd love to hear them! xo. Emma

Elsie's video home tourHappy Friday! May is already here, and that means it's time to go through our favorite posts from April! Let's start with home tours. We loved sharing Elsie and Emma's video home tours with you! You can see Elsie's here and Emma's here.

Chocolate mousse filled strawberries (dairy free!)One pot creamy broccoli pastaChocolate bubbles wafflesSpring salad nicoise So many great recipes this month! We shared chocolate mousse-filled strawberries, baked vegetarian sloppy joes, one pot creamy broccoli pasta, gummy candy, chocolate bubble waffles, spring salad nicoise, baked asparagus fries, cookies + cream baked donuts, and more!

April Happy Mail and Messy BoxWe did an unboxing video of the April Messy Box and Happy Mail subscriptions. If you haven't already seen April's Happy Mail, it's seriously one of our favorites. Both are still available in our shop!

DIY glitter sunglassesEye manicure DIYLaura showed us how to make glitter sunglasses and how to create this awesome eye manicure!

Favorite wallpaper sourcesTips for painting dining room tableElsie shared her favorite wallpaper sources, the best gold spray paint, and tips for painting a dining room table.

Easy clay votive DIYYarn fringe pillowMake your own patterned photo matsHow to use drawer knobs as wall hooksWe showed you how to make easy clay votives, pleated pom pom curtains, a yarn fringe pillow, a wooden sofa sleeve with a cup holder, patterned photo matsdocument plush pillows, how to use drawer knobs as wall hooks, a DIY utensil organizer, and more!

Ways to promote your blogEmma shared some great self-promotion tips and a recent read, The $100 Startup.

At Home seriesLast but not least, we brought back our "At Home with" series. So excited about this! You can see all of our featured homes here

Have a great weekend! -The ABM Team


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