How to Calculate the Supplies You Need When Teaching Classes?

by Laura M. Mitchell.

How to Calculate the Supplies You Need When Teaching Classes?  - Discussion on Jewelry Making Journal

I’ve just completed 3 jewellery classes at a well-known arts festival, and felt the charges for supplies were extremely high.

Is there a formula that well-known instructors use? I’ve only charged the real cost of supplies plus a little for my time preparing them.

Laura M. Mitchell
Lulu’ s Ginkgo Designs

FREE - Get 7 Super Jewelry Making Hacks

Get Rena's 7 Super Jewelry Making Hacks, plus the Jewelry Making Journal Newsletter - all for FREE.

We Respect Your Email Privacy

  • I’m in the same boat — and I’m the instructor. The venue charges $50 for a two-hour class, the instructors get about $20 of that, however there are always one or two participants who think we get it all and tell me to my face in front of the class how outraged they are that we’re all soooo greedy to charge kit fees on top of the “outrageous” class fee.

    My bracelet class kit fee is $15, and I still get complaints. Their first project to teach the technique is a bracelet they’d easily pay $25 or more for in a store. After the “official” lesson, they can make as many more bracelets as they have time for.

    I supply all styles, sizes and types of glass, stone, metal beads and findings for those, telling them what to watch out for, how to do something better, encouraging them to use all seed beads, or all big chunky beads, so I can show them to solve typical design or technical problems intrinsic to the different sizes of beads.

    I may not lose money on the kit fee, but I’m sure not making any money when amortised over all the classes.


  • Carol Wilson says:

    How about including the kit fee in the total cost instead of listing it separately?

  • I have been teaching classes for about 3 years. I use the same formula that I use for selling jewelry (materials x 4 + $/hr) so if I sell a bracelet for $25, then that’s the cost of the class (I include all supplies and use of tools)
    I have had a studio where I pay full rent but I currently use a retail store that offers Artsian Classes. They charge 30% of the total I earn so the original formula covers that cost and I don’t have to pay rent when I’m not teaching. Most people are fine with the cost and I usually like to offer a little something extra like a paper gift box (which I make). My classes range from $15-$50.

  • Karen says:

    All the comments are very enlightening. If the people who take the classes had any idea what goes into planning, transporting materials, gathering materials, securing a spot to teach and enjoying teaching, they may feel a little different about the small cost actually earned by the artist. I am just looking at starting to entertain the thought of teaching some classes. This helps with what to expect. Thanks for your time and patience with students.

  • Marianna says:

    Hi all-I haven’t tried teaching a class myself yet, but would just like to let others here know that I recently received an e-mail from Michaels Craft stores, and they are looking for Independent Contractors to teach classes at their stores.

  • Marianna, thank you for sharing this information. 🙂

  • Gayle W. says:

    Hi Marianna,
    Years ago I taught craft classes at JoAnn’s and that was also as an independent contractor – my advice is be very clear about exactly is expected of you personally (I did a LOT of [unpaid] demos at the front of the store in order to catch people coming in so that they’d realize my classes were available), as well as having to pay for the materials to actually make samples of the class projects (which was especially annoying because the National Classes were quite often not my [or anyone else’s] taste. The final straw for me was when J’s started that ‘Sign up today & get 50% off’ – and rather than them writing that off as a promotional cost, they said that since they were getting 50% from the customer, it affected what we got paid! They did increase our percentage (as an independent contractor, you only get a % of the class price), but it got to to the point where I was getting $3 per person/hour! Things have changed since then – they (I believe) have the teachers as employees, but you’ll only get any extra if there are over a certain # of students…. Anyway, I moved to Hobby Lobby where they don’t have National Classes (in other words, I get to design my own classes tailor it directly to what my students want to learn). I get paid directly from the student, but I also still do demos because they don’t have those class handouts like J’s did. But I’m SO much happier not having to teach projects either I didn’t like personally, or have to teach classes in things I didn’t really I knew well enough – “Guess what, next month you’re teaching quilling!”

  • >