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.

Tablecloths

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.

Displays

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: 5 Reasons to Love Doing Craft Shows

Craft Show Tip:  5 Reasons to LOVE Doing Craft Shows

Craft Shows are great for so many reasons.  They are such a great way to get in front of your customers in person and hear what they are saying about your art.  There aren’t a lot of opportunities to meet and network with other artists and crafters, but craft shows give you that opportunity.  You’re out in public, showing your art and it can be a wonderful – even if scary – thing to do.

Here are 5 reasons to love doing art and craft shows:

1.  You get to meet your customers.  If you sell online it’s difficult to get to know your customers.  Of course, there are ways and you’ll certainly get to know your most loyal customers even online, but craft shows are one of the only ways you’ll meet them face to face.

It’s exciting and can be scary as well.  You’re not a faceless maker on the internet.  You are a real person with real feelings.  They might not like everything you make.  (Here’s a spoiler:  not everyone will like what you make.  Not even the people who like some of your stuff will like it all.  Be ready for it.)

Some people will be mean.  They still won’t notice the person standing there who actually created all of the stuff they’re looking at.  You will be background for some of those people.  It happens.  You can be ready for it so it doesn’t hurt you so much.

But by and large the vast majority of the people will have nice comments for you.  They’ll say what they like.  They’ll tell you what they would love to see from you and that can help you shape your future creations.  You can see what they’re looking at, what they buy and what they walk away from.  You can find out how the public reacts to your art.

Use this all as an opportunity to learn about your market and what they love and don’t like.

2.  You make fans so much easier at craft shows than online.  You can get their email address and keep in touch with a newsletter and they’ll remember meeting and talking to you so much more than if they stumbled across your website.  I have found my most rabid collectors are from craft shows.

If you are able to take custom orders, this is even more the case.  People love personalized, custom work.  They’ll definitely remember you and call on you for more pieces in the future once you have made them a custom piece.

3.  You get to meet fellow artists and crafters.  This has been one of the best things about craft shows for me over the years.  Working for myself mostly alone it’s easy to feel like there’s no one who gets what you’re doing.  Meeting people who do what you do makes you feel more like a part of a community.  It’s energizing.  I have met lifelong friends doing craft shows.

4.  You get to have your own little store for a day.  No one decides how your booth will look except for you.  (Unless you’re doing a show with specific rules about this.)  You get to put your own creativity and design aesthetic into your booth design.  Unless you have a store or some sort of permanent retail space you don’t get this opportunity in any other way.  It’s another way to express yourself and express your art to your customers.

5. You make money.  When you strip everything away, you’re really doing a craft show to make money.  The best part is you leave with that money at the end of the day.  No waiting for a check to come at the end of the week.

Ready for craft shows?  Get prepared for your show from applying to planning your booth, what to do during a show and tearing down with my Craft Show Tips eBook.

Click here to learn more about it and get your copy today!