Craft Show Tip: Display Design Part 2

Craft Show Tip - Display Design Part 2

Last week, we talked about display design in great detail, including a worksheet to get you thinking about your display.

Click here for Craft Show Tip:  Display Design Part 1

In Part 2, we’ll talk about where to get your displays.

Before we even start, I wanted to mention something I didn’t mention last week and that is that there are certain shows where you will be required to follow certain display parameters.

In most cases, however, you’ll be given a 10 X 10 spot and you can do whatever you like (within reason) in that space.  All my suggestions are for these types of shows.

Where to Get Displays

It’s easy to find a tent and tables, so I’m not going to get into that here.  What I’m really talking about is more the smaller display pieces that go on your tables or in your booth that really show your style.

So refer back to your worksheet from last week.  By the end of it you should have a pretty good idea of what you need to pull off your display.  Now it’s time to put it together.

The best example I have is my own craft show display.  My jewelry was whimsical and fun, definitely not serious at all.  I used light and girly colors in my booth, mostly pink and white but sometimes I used tablecloths that were flowery as well.


I have never actually used actual “tablecloths” in my booth.  I have always used sheets.  When I first started doing craft shows I thought tablecloths were too expensive, the wrong size and I could never find what I wanted.  So I used flat sheets.  (Flat sheets were a lot less expensive back then, by the way.)

I purchased mine new and I found queen size to be about perfect for my tables.

When my husband and I got married we had an eco-friendly wedding.  My mom and I sewed all of our cloth napkins and tablecloths for the wedding.  My mom and I sourced flat sheets from thrift stores, washed them and then sewed them into tablecloths and napkins.

After my wedding I had all these tablecloths, so I picked out my favorites and started using them in my booth.  The photo above is one such tablecloth.  They were a bit shorter than I like for my booth because I prefer my tablecloths to go to the ground so I can store my bins under my tables during craft shows, so I used white and then layered the floral tablecloths on top.

You can find all kinds of unique sheets to use as tablecloths.  You don’t even necessarily need to sew them to a certain size, just drape them over your tables.  If you have a vintage or more whimsical feel it’s probably going to be a little easier.  However, I’ve found black, white and other solid colors as well.

You could also purchase them new and save yourself all the looking and scavenging around.

And, of course, you could make your own tablecloths from fabric or find new tablecloths to purchase.  Maybe you could find a tablecloth at a thrift store that’s perfect.


Once you figure out the look you’re going for, you’ll start to find things all over.  It helps if you go to yard sales, auctions or visit thrift stores, but a couple of my favorite displays have been from Target as well.  In fact, my necklace display that people constantly commented on how unique it was was simply a decorative piece from Target that I actually got on clearance.

Just think about things in a different way.  If you sell jewelry, don’t necessarily look for “necklace holders.”  Look at different decorative pieces and think about how they would work with your pieces and then how you could use them in your booth.

Of course, I’ve picked up a lot of my displays at thrift stores and antique stores.  But I have also purchased them at Target (like I mentioned), basket stores and traditional jewelry display shops.

Personally, I get bored when I see a display that’s full of those pre-made necklace holders.  It may look professional, but it has no personality.  Everyone has them.  But if you mix them up with some other pieces with more personality it makes it more interesting.

You could try garage or yard sales (or tag sales depending where you live.)  You can look around your own home or garage.  You probably have all kinds of possible display pieces for your craft show booth just sitting around.

Ask People to Help

People love to help, so if you have friends or family that can help you find pieces, ask them.  If you need someone to build something and your brother is great at that kind of stuff, ask him for some help.  If your mom goes to auctions, ask her to keep her eyes open for certain things.  If you’re not a thrifter, but your best friend is, ask her to help you.  She would love to help you!

Keep an open mind and you’ll find all kinds of things to use for displays!

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Craft Show Tip: Display Design

Craft Show Tip - Display Design

A well thought out and carefully planned craft show booth design can be the difference between everyone stopping in to see what you’re selling and people just walking by.
Your displays are so very important. We want to think that our products are what is most important (and they are, of course), but you have to get someone to walk up to or in your booth before they can make a purchase.

The questions here will help you get thinking about the displays you’ll use in your booth. Simply answer all the questions and you’ll be on your way to a great booth!

After you complete the questions, I would love to hear what your ideas are! See the “homework” assignment at the end.

Display Design Worksheet screenshot

Click the image above to get a PDF of this worksheet so you can download, save and/or print!

Display Design Worksheet

1.  What do you sell? Describe it in detail.

2.  How would you describe the style of what you sell? (Elegant, fun, whimsical, industrial, etc.)

3.  Who are your customers? Describe as much about them as you can. If you don’t actually have any customers yet, you can make it up for now. As you start doing craft shows you will find out more and more about them.

4.  What would you like to convey to your customers? Think about this from afar. What message do you want to give them before then even set foot into your booth so they know this is a booth they should come in?

5.  What colors fit into your style?

6.  What types of displays do you need? (i.e. necklace displays, displays for scarves, etc.)

7.  Brainstorm some ideas of what kinds of displays you could use to convey your message. Think outside the normal realm of what craft show displays are. Set a timer for 15 minutes and write down everything that comes to mind, regardless of if you think you can pull it off or not.

8.  Now look at that list from the previous exercise and go idea by idea. Think of creative ways you could put the idea into practice. If it’s not logical, how could you make it more so? Maybe you could do it on a smaller scale. Think about the feeling you are trying to convey with that idea and how you could convey that feeling in a different way.

For example, if you sell flip flops that you crochet or decorate in unique ways, you might want to have a beach or a boardwalk in your booth. Maybe it’s not practical to make an entire beach out of your stand, but maybe you could have a tray or a table that holds sand you could display your flip flops on. Maybe you could create the look of a boardwalk in your booth or make the top of your tables into mini boardwalks.

9.  Now take it a step further. How could you put this together? What do you need to accomplish this?

10.  Consider that you’re going to have to carry this around to craft shows. How mobile is your idea? How can you make it more so? How can you make it light? How could you make it easy to put up and take down.

From my flip flop example, what can you use to construct a beach? Maybe you could just use a small tray that fits a couple pairs of flip flops that you could fill with stand or maybe several trays. You could have a tub that you carry the sand in and just fill up the trays at the show. At the end of the show you dump the sand back in the tub and pack up.

11.  What do you need to learn or who can you call on that has the skills you need?

In the flip flop example, you may not have constructions skills to make a mini-boardwalk on a display table, but maybe your bother does. Maybe you want to make a big tray for the top of a table. Can you construct it? Who has the tools or skills you need to accomplish it?

Your ideas don’t have to be big and grand like that. In my Craft Show Tips eBook I dissect my booth display for you. My craft show booth doesn’t have any big, extravagant pieces, but I always get a lot of compliments. I always have a lot of people coming in my booth. I use colors and unique display pieces to convey my style and to attract the customers that want what I sell.

Make sure to take the colors from the question above into consideration as well as your style and who your customers are.

12.  Now, make a list of everything you need. Reevaluate if it is practical for traveling to craft shows, setting up in the morning before a craft show and of course tearing down and traveling home with it. Do you have room to store the displays in between shows?

Next week I’ll be talking about where you can get displays (traditional places and not so traditional places). Have your list ready and I’ll have ideas for you to actually start pulling your booth together.

Email me (, put Craft Show Display in the subject line) your list of everything you need from the last question. I would love to address specific ideas you have and give you ideas of where to get them!

Pink star

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Tutorial: Canvas Earring Holder

Canvas Earring Holder
Do you have your earrings in a drawer hoping that the 2 earrings of the pair are close enough that you won’t have to spend 15 minutes just looking for a matched set?

I did, too.  That’s until I came up with a solution that not only cuts down my time looking for a pair of earrings, but also is beautiful and displays my earrings like the little works of art they are.
Canvas Earring Holder

Canvas Earring Holder Tutorial
Canvas Earring Holder

Materials and Tools:

  • Canvas that is mounted on wood
  • Tissue paper
  • Mod Podge
  • Scissors
  • A variety of lace or ribbon
  • Hammer
  • Small nails
  • Floral wire

Step #1

Canvas Earring Holder

Prepare your canvas.

Whatever you do on your canvas will be the background for your earrings when they’re hanging.  You could choose to do whatever you like such as painting it.  However, I have a unique technique that I really love.

I used an 8″ x 10″ canvas, although I have made these with larger canvases to fit more earrings.

Canvas Earring Holder

Add a thick layer of Mod Podge to the entire canvas and around the sides.

Canvas Earring Holder

Crinkle a sheet of tissue paper and place is on the canvas, wrinkling it places as you go along.

Note:  If you happen to rip the tissue paper, just add more.  You won’t even notice when it’s done and dry.

Canvas Earring Holder

Go all the way around along the canvas edges.

Canvas Earring Holder

Allow it to dry completely.  After it’s dry, trim any excess tissue paper.

Step #2

Canvas Earring Holder

Cut out several pieces of lace or ribbon to fit across the canvas with extra to wrap around the back and be secured.

I used a variety of lace, which works really well.  You can use all the same type of lace or use ribbon.

(In the photo you’ll see I cut out 6 pieces, but I ended up only using 5 of them.)

Step #3

Canvas Earring Holder
We’ll work on one piece of lace/ribbon at a time.

Wrap the lace/ribbon across the front and around the side.  Hammer a small nail through the lace/ribbon into the wood from the canvas.  Do this for both sides of the lace/ribbon.

Note:  Make sure that your nails are not longer than the thickness of the canvas or they’ll poke out the front.

Canvas Earring Holder

Step #4

Canvas Earring Holder

Repeat Step #3 for all the lace/ribbon.

Trim off any excess.

Hint:  Consider what kinds of earrings you’ll be hanging when you’re deciding how far apart to place your lace/ribbons.  Do you have a lot of dangle earrings that require more room?
Step #5
Canvas Earring Holder

Hammer in a nail on each side of the back of the canvas near the top.  Allow some room and do not hammer them in all the way.  (We’ll secure wire to them to hang the earring holder.)

Step #6

Canvas Earring Holder
Canvas Earring Holder

Cut some floral wire and twist it around the nails on each side to create a hanger.

Step #7
Canvas Earring Holder

Canvas Earring HolderCanvas Earring Holder

Find a place to hang your earring holder and fill it up!

I eventually needed to add more:
Canvas Earring Holder

Now, you may need some more earrings to fill up your Canvas Earring Holders!  Why not sign up for my 10 Day Quick Start Guide to Wire Wrapped Jewelry?

By the end, you’ll make a pair of earrings (and you’ll be able to make many more to fill up your earring holders!)Plus, I have an Introduction to Making Earrings Guide that I’ll include as well!

Quick Start Guide to Wire Wrapped Jewelry

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