In the spirit of reviewing what I did right and wrong last year with craft shows and fairs I want to talk about set up. My friend Abbe and I joked that we never set up the same way twice, which is certainly a little bit true. However we did manage, on our crafting journey last to come up with several different things that worked for us. Before I talk about that I will say that with any sort of craft show or set up you have to be prepare to be fluid. Go in with an idea of how you want to set up and then don’t be shocked if you have to change it a little…or even a lot. You might forget a piece for your set up at home. You might end up in a bigger or smaller space than you originally imagined. You might have done a craft fair the night before and have less stock than you originally intended. Be prepared for changes. That is the nature of this sort of thing.
Now on to what I liked about last year:
This was probably my favorite set up the entire year. This was also a set from the very end of the year. I started setting up at craft fairs last May and by December I was semi pleased with everything. I think I set up at roughly 20 shows in that time frame. It takes a lot of hands on experience to figure out what actually works for you.
For that I primarily used these cheap fruit crates that I had hand stained over the summer. I did not start out with these crates. In fact I started out with just a table and my wares. The crates are a much more effective selling tool. The other good thing about the crates is that I can and do pack things in them to cart from show to show. If possible all of your display pieces need to serve multiple functions. Here is my tutorial for the wooden crates.
For the smaller pieces I used a wooden frame to display them. Originally i just set the frame up against the back of the crate as you can see from the picture above. Eventually I added a backing fabric and put it up in an easel.
Another display trick that I have found useful is to use pieces that people will find interesting.
This suitcase was $2.00 originally and then I lined it and made it into a display piece. People will look at whats inside just because the piece itself is interesting. I started putting wreaths in it, then eventually I stacked my record bowls in it.
With display pieces you want to remember function, but it is just as important to remember style and creativity. Your whole booth should reflect your ability to craft and your various skills. Some of the best display pieces are picked up form thrift stores and repurposed or yard sales. So scour Pinterest, scour the blogs, take a good hard think about what you are selling and how best to display it and go to work.
What is your favorite display piece?