Craft Shows on a Budget: Your Tips?

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Original Post

I'm Working on A Storque Article about Selling at Craft Shows on A Budget.

Do you have any tips?

I'll refer back to this thread in the article and include the best ;)

thanks :)

Posted at 5:56pm Feb 5, 2008 EST

Responses

Remember that Rome wasn't built in a day. Start small and work your way to larger events. I started at flea markets and now do larger art shows. And never give up!

Posted at 6:03pm Feb 5, 2008 EST

there are lots of craft shows now geared towards diyers that are very reasonable to participate in. Also, keep an eye on local events and don't forget to use your networking skills! If you travel for a show, try to travel to an area where you have friends or family so you can relax a bit after and not have to worry about where you're sleeping.

Posted at 6:04pm Feb 5, 2008 EST

Flea markets don't seem to pay. I did a couple of high schools and those were great.

Posted at 6:04pm Feb 5, 2008 EST

Make your own displays, keep an eye on the side of the road for items you can turn into display pieces. Eat your own food. (bag lunch, craft shows have expensive unhealthy food).

Posted at 6:04pm Feb 5, 2008 EST

I'm participating in a craft fair in March and i'm on a MAJOR budget. Here are some of the things I'm doing. Since I sell children's items, i've made my own hair accessory holder using peg board and hooks and i'm going to spraypaint it and tack trim molding to the edges to create a picture frame effect. I am using a sheet as a table cloth and I am bringing my hat/ coat stand to display items and not take up table space. I found a discounted metal bowl that I'll spraypaint to go with my color scheme and it will hold my loose items. I will make my own sign using fabric appliqued letters and I'll stitch them right to the skirt of my tablecoth. I am mostly finding display items on sale and painting or altering them to go with my theme. I plan on setting everything up at home to practice and see what it will look like. I hope this helps.

Posted at 6:13pm Feb 5, 2008 EST

The Dollar Store and/or The Christmas Tree Shops are fantastic places to find wrapping materials (tissue paper, boxes) and creative displays pieces for minimal cost.

Shopping after a holiday in the markdown bins can also help you find creative ways to display stuff.

You have to think creatively tho. Don't look at things as what they're supposed to be but as what you can use them for. A friend of mine stands the top of a $9 garden trellis on her table and hangs shiny beaded things from it.

Posted at 6:28pm Feb 5, 2008 EST

Oh my gosh your avatar is just too cute!

Posted at 6:30pm Feb 5, 2008 EST

I started on a shoe string with a 6' fold up table from Target $29.99, "whimsical" and romantic looking floral tableclothes from Burlington Coat Factory $9.99 each, some lace table runners, empty large shoe boxes (draped with matching fabric) and clearance lace pillows in pink that I propped up on the shoe boxes to drape the necklaces over and used straight pins to hold earrings on. I also use the garden trellis and this year, I think that I'll use an easel with a large canvas to pin wine markers and earrings to.

Posted at 6:37pm Feb 5, 2008 EST

bijoutery says

Don't worry about spending a lot of money on 'fancy boxes' or 'fancy bags' - at craft shows/markets, just a sack is fine, most people don't really notice one way or another. In fact most just want their stuff and to go - I've even have had some just ask for it w/o any packaging so they didn't have to wait. (Although it doesn't hurt to keep a couple boxes/nicer bags if its requested - I've only had this happen once.)

You really need some type of cover for your table but that doesn't mean you have to get expensive table cloths. A great way is to get some nice fabric (figure out how much you need for table including enough to let it hang down in the front/sides), check clearance bolts and use coupons for great deals! If you can't sew or don't have a sewing machine, use fabric tape to fold the edges over so they look nicer.

Also balance out what you save money on with what you need to spend money on. Some things are worth a little extra cost as they'll look more professional and last longer in the end (thus actually saving you money).

Posted at 6:37pm Feb 5, 2008 EST