Saturday, June 21, 2014

Treasury-Making 101

I Just Love Creating Treasuries!

Getting to gather together all these wonderful items. Sensory overload in the best possible way! Here are some hints on making treasuries based on how I create my collections. I've included screen shots of example treasuries; some are mine and some are created by others. Clicking on the image should take you to the featured treasury but note as they get older some of the items will disappear as they expire or are sold. Incase the links with the images don't work, I've also include a list with the treasury links at the end of the post as well as links to the treasury's curator. If there is one you really like, you can check out other treasuries made by the same person/shop by searching the treasuries by the maker's name.


You don't even need a shop to create treasuries, just a free account which is super simple to do. Here is the link to Etsy and of course to my shop ArtfulBitsAndBytes.


1- Make sure the first four items are cohesive and interesting as this is what people will see when browsing the treasuries. They can be beautiful /disturbing /whimsical /mysterious /whatever; just make sure they catch your eye. Let them start telling your story.

2- Have a color concept even if the treasury is more theme based than color based.


3- Two color treasuries are probably the easiest to make attractive. If you are new to treasury making, then I would start with a two color treasury. Ideally include a few items with both colors in them and then a few with each color individually. There some beautiful exceptions to this tip (as there are to everything else on this list) but it helps to start with some guidelines then start breaking them deliberately once you've got the hang of the basics.

slower-than-molasses-running-uphill  aqua-sand

4- In single color treasuries especially, watch out for using the same color but with fighting hues or values. A lot of first time treasury makers have trouble with this. Just because an item is listed blue doesn't necessarily mean everything blue you find will go well together in the treasury.

 simply-blushing active

5-Three or more color treasuries are fun but you need to make sure they are balanced with approximately the same amount of each color represented. I love multicolored collections. For a first three colored treasury, I'd pick two complementary colors and pair them with a neutral like cream, grey, tan, brown or black. Great neutrals are easy to find and matching hues and values isn't as critical when working with them.


6- Don't forget to notice the backgrounds in the items you plan on featuring. This especially true for treasuries with primarily white backgrounds. Some are pure white, some have a blue or grey tint and others a cream or yellow tint. Try to keep the whites consistent or at least notice and arrange them so they compliment each other. Mix it up occasionally and play with unusual or colorful backgrounds.


7- Arrangement matters: color/darkness/lightness. Think of your treasury as an overgrown tic-tac-toe board. Checkerboard darker and lighter images unless you are creating an intensionally monochromatic collection.


Arrangement matters: shape/category. Use a variety of different types of items with different shapes, textures, and patterns. Don't put similarly shaped items next to each other unless it is consciously done to reinforce a specific theme -like all circular or all heart shaped items.

9- Make your collections creative and inspiring. They should reflect your aesthetic and preferences. Give them an interesting or though provoking title. Sometimes mine will even start from the title I want to use.

brave-humble creamy-mushroom-and-pea-sauce

10- Use "Your Lists" to create color lists of items for future treasuries or of items from your favorite shops/people or those you have committed to feature. (The list button is right next to the heart button) Be creative in how you find your objects using less obvious keyword searches. Go beyond searching only by typical color names so that you can include unique unexpected items in your treasury. For example in the yellow and black Stop the Clock treasury below, I may have used the words: bumble bee and sunshine in my search even though it isn't a collection specifically about bumble bees or sunshine. Also strive to evoke an emotion. I think the Brave: Humble treasury above does quite an impressive job of this. (Don't let all these hints stress you out though, it is ok to create simple yet impressive collections without getting all deep and intense)

minty stop-the-clock-tagt

11- Try creating two treasuries at one time when you have several specific shops to include. Making one colorful and the other more neutral; this will make it is easier than trying to fit every shop into one palette. Very few shops have nothing to include as long as the item is surrounded by the right "friends". Making treasuries does serve as a reminder that you should try to make it easy for others to include your items in their treasuries by making your  own images "treasury-worthy." Some folks use the Treasurybox app. I've never used it but since people seem to rave about how easy it makes creating a treasury, I plan on checking it out at some point in the not so distant future.


12- Save as Draft while you are creating your treasury. I just started using this feature and it has saved many a treasury. First if your computer crashes (which mine is known to do from time to time) you will only lose the items since your last save. It also allows you to start a treasury, save and then come back later to finish. Another great thing about the draft feature is that while it is saved but you are not in the editing mode, you can click and go to any of the shops or items you have listed. Often the first items I select for my treasury need to be reselected at the end because I've sort of changed ideas mid-way. Being able to easily go back to the shops/items in my treasury allows me switch out items for others in the same shop before I save it for everyone to view. BUT don't forget to save for Everyone when you are completed because when your treasury is saved as a Draft no one but you can view it.
 golden-and-purple oh-my

13- Make sure people can find your treasuries. Use tags wisely -include colors and when applicable include trending tags. Share your treasuries via convos with the shops whose items you have included; most people appreciate the feature. Many teams have discussions where you can also post your treasuries and some even have treasury challenges or games. I am in a great team called the TAG Treasury Team (TAGT for short).

three-cheerssummer-sunshine brave-sweet-jainestand-out

Finally, share the LOVE I like to try and include some shops that may be new or don't have many sales. Sometimes this can be difficult when the photos aren't really ideal but I look on it as a challenge. Also reciprocate treasuries you have been featured in whenever possible. When you really like a treasury swing by the curator's shop and maybe fav a few of their items so they will go through your feeds. These aren't rules but nice ideas -not to mention it is always better to have Karma on your side.

Ta-Da! Now you are ready to start creating your own.
Have fun but I warn you, treasury making can be seriously addictive!

Eye Candy: zzzonkowl's blog highlights some of the best treasuries day by day. Looking at well curated collections and practicing with your own is the best way for you to improve your treasuries! Not everyone you do is going to be a masterpiece and that is perfectly Ok! (although if it is truly bad; don't publish it, wait until later and edit it with fresh eyes then publish it once one have a treasury you can be proud of)

Have an Artful Evening & Good Night!

Snapshot of What is Left of My First Ever Treasury!
Curators List:

Treasuries List:


  1. Awesome article and great treasuries :) I am honored to have my treasury included here :)
    Thank you, Laurie Anne!

    1. ahh forgot my signature :)


  2. I love making treasuries, but I kinda stopped this year when I realised I had better things to do. Like the washing up !
    I got about sixty of them onto the EtsyAU front page, which is an achievement !
    You can put me in a treasury any time you like (hint hint) your treasuries are gorgeous.

    1. I would be more than happy to -your dresses are adorable!
      -Laurie Anne

  3. You've done a fabulous job of describing the makings of a good treasury, Laurie Anne. I'm delighted to have one of my treasuries included in your article. Thank you!

  4. Wonderful tips and advice, I am always trying to create even more interesting treasuries, thank you!!

    Deb Obertanec

  5. Great hints and tips Laurie Anne! Thanks for including one of my curated treasuries.
    Heather @ Shyphotog

  6. great article and flattered to be included :)

  7. Great tips!! Amazing work, Laurie! I am honored to be included ;-)

  8. What a beautiful and helpful blog, Laurie! Great tips and suggestions for making a lovely and eye catching treasury!

    Thank you!

  9. Fantastic tips for making this. I especially liked the Save as Draft feature. I have lost some treasuries and hated having to start over again hoping to find those same items. Thank you for this information. SE from