Selling Crafts at Craft Shows

selling homemade soap

Having a great display and unique items can make your craft fair experience a success. This guide is about selling crafts at craft shows.


Solutions: Selling Crafts at Craft Shows

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Tip: Displaying Crafts at Market

I have been creating original jewelry designs for many many years and selling at local farmer's and craft markets. A great tip for all you crafters out there that sell at local small markets. Display your creations with originality! They will attract attention and draw the customers. Use inexpensive props like pictured here. I display jewelry over large shells. And I display earrings inside local mussel shells, a visitor to your area will have a nice local keepsake to take home with them. Put your thinking caps on and come up with your own creative solutions to displaying your crafts.

By Linn from Dartmouth, Nova Scotia

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Tip: Craft Display Tips for Craft Shows

Need ideas on displaying your items at craft shows or in your booth?

The number one thing in displaying your crafts is make sure all of your items are priced and the tag can be easily seen. 9 times out of 10 those few items that are not priced will be walked away from because most shoppers are just simply too "shy" to ask.

Even if your not pricing your items but are using the "Here's your Sign" tactic by displaying a large sign stating something like 1 for 2.99 buy 2 for $5.00, I suggest to still price everything! Shoppers are so excited and distracted from looking through all the products and discussing the oohh's and aahh's with their shopping friends that the signs are sometimes missed especially in large craft shows where they get crowded.

Make your display booths unique and interesting to draw in attention. Using a folding table with a country plaid tablecloth are great, but why not really spice it up and use something out of the ordinary to grab the shopper's eye from across the room. These are depending on your space size of course, or could be scaled to fit.

  • a hay wagon and barrels
  • construct a mock country porch with swing
  • some heavy posts with a red tin roof to create an open barn feel with weather vane on top
  • Use real trees to create a canopy fairy land, with vines hanging from the branches and lights and fun items hanging around to walk through.
  • Create an antique gas station store front with slat boards, gas pump, license plates, etc.
  • Create a kitchen with an old dry sink, table, hutch, antique stove, fireplace and rocker.

Some other ways to display items are using baskets, ladders, stacking suitcases, crates, crocks, coat racks, stacking various sized tables, cutting barrels in half and adding shelving inside, Christmas trees, old galvanized wash tubs, dress mannequins, wood ironing boards, quilt racks, shutters, or fencing.

And one last craft display tip. Don't forget the kids! Most shoppers will be bringing along young children. Have items to catch a child's eye down low or invest in a bubble gum machine and fill it with sweets. A few turns on the irresistible machine will make you some profits as well.

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Here are questions related to Selling Crafts at Craft Shows.

Question: Popular Crafts at Craft Shows

What crafts are selling best at craft shows?

Jean from Columbus, Ohio

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Best Answer

By Cyinda [214] 03/06/2008

I do craft show for a living (I sell hand painted pottery) and the one thing that always sells and makes money is garden crafts. It may be actual plants, or seeds or live floral wreaths or flowers planted in unusual things like in boots or old chairs or tires. Wooden window boxes always sell too, or even garden art or yard furniture or bird baths and stepping stones, but let me tell you, anything for the yard or garden sells like crazy!

You gotta have 2 price scales; the pricey stuff and also something to sell that's under 20 or 30 dollars. The lower priced stuff is what people will buy without thinking to hard about it.

Craft fairs aren't bringing in the money they used to (Believe me!), with the economy these days being so bad you have to have something either people need and is useful or is super cheap that they can buy for a gift. I'm making less than half what I made before 2000. Really! Even though I have a great reputation and people know me better and better each year). When the economy sucks, so do sales at craft fairs (unless you're selling food items). I sometimes drive 180 miles (round trip) to sell my stuff "where the money is". Try to sell your stuff at a fair where the people with money live. Get my drift!?

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Question: Selling Crafts at Craft Fairs

In my community, craft fair season is fast approaching and I would like to try selling my own handmade items. Since I have never done this before, any suggestions would be helpful. What sells well? How do I determine how much to charge for each item? (For example, I like to rag quilt, so do baby quilts sell better than twin or full size? I'd rather make 3 baby quilts that sell than 2 twin size that don't.)

Do I need to claim my earnings on my taxes and do I obtain a tax-exempt number to buy my materials? If so, how? I have been told that I can't sell fabric items with licensed characters on the fabric, why? Thanks for the help?

By Marie from Idaho Falls, ID

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Most Recent Answer

By Ivalou 05/11/2013

Here in Lawton, Oklahoma our craft club has one large craft show a year. We mark off 211 10X10 ft booths. We rent these booth to mostly crafters. If we do not fill all booth we will allow select comercial booths. Items have to be sold not party set up. We have great sucess each year. We are always looking for new crafters.

Many of our crafters have campers and stay on the grounds where the show is happening. There are hook ups for campers. We provide security inside the building each day and over night to protect our booths. We have some members who live out of state. Many of our crafters who are not members come back year after year. Contact ivazimmerman AT aol.com for more information.

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Question: Participating in Craft Fairs

I'm looking for craft fairs that will give you a booth for low cost or free. I'm a first timer and don't want to spend a bunch of money for a booth right now. Are there any craft fairs in Minnesota that have really cheap or free available booths for selling?

By Danica

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Most Recent Answer

By Marla Ball 01/16/2013

You're so right in thinking of doing the lower dollar craft shows. These shows are so. Participating in such shows can be so iffy. You just never know how well things will go. Keeping the expense of participating down betters your opportunities of doing well. Googling "Craft Shows" is a great way to get links to various sights that list shows around the country. I know there is a Church there in MN that does a Summer event each yr. I've donated a gift basket to them for their event before. Best of luck!


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Question: Selling Crafts at Craft Shows and Festivals

Does anyone know of a website or place that lists all upcoming craft shows, fairs, and markets for a certain area? I am in Chicago and I'm interested in selling handmade purses and pillowcases. I am having trouble finding places other than online. I have never sold anything, but now I'm ready with enough product. Do I really have to wait until summer? Don't these things happen indoors throughout the winter?

By down n dirty from Chicago, IL

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Most Recent Answer

By Georgetta Ruth [72] 01/01/2011

Here is a link that I have used in the past.
http://www.eventlister.com/. You can also check with local churches, schools andevent planners. Where at in Chicago are you located. I use to live there and I did a number shows in the area.

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Question: Determining Prices for a Craft Fair

Please help. I would like to sell my handmade patchwork tote bags (made out of old jeans and new fabric) at a local farmer's market this summer, but I don't know how much to charge. I know how much the jeans and fabric cost, but I don't know how much to charge for labor, thread, use of my machine, etc. I would also need to invest in a canopy and tables for my booth. The bags are an easy technique, but it takes 2-3 days to make a bag, if I don't have any other wife/mom things to do. Plus, I live in a community with a lot of crafters who could make the items they see at a craft fair and people who like to negotiate for a good price. Thus, I need to find a fair price that will not scare away potential buyers, but will give me room to negotiate and still make a decent profit. How do I make my craft fair dreams happen?

By Marie V.O. from Idaho Falls, ID

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Thrifty Fun has been around so long that many of our pages have been reset several times. Archives are older versions of the page and the comments that were provided then.

Archive: Crafts to Sell at Craft Shows

My daughter Katie and I would like to make crafts items to sell at local craft shows. We have some ideas but would like more. Does anyone know of some good websites for free craft patterns and ideas? Thanks! Sharon Young from Benton, AR

RE: Crafts to Sell at Craft Shows

I have a suggestion that is fairly inexpensive to make and seems to sell well for me. At Michael's or Hobby Lobby you can purchase tiny canvas (about 5 1/2" x 6") They come in colors as well as neutral. Next use just about anything to decorate them. I use buttons, rick rack, fun fur trim, beaded trim extra. I sell mine for $5.00 ea., but you could get more. I am going to try and send you a picture of a couple of mine to give you a better idea. I mostly glue my trims on with Fabritac and glue buttons etc. with Gemtac. Sometimes I sew the buttons on. Contact me if you would like more ideas. Judy (07/23/2006)

By bjptl

RE: Crafts to Sell at Craft Shows

Go to this web site and download this computer software for free! You can use it to make bags, shawls, hats, and slippers. It supplies you with the patterns and sewing instructions - you supply the labor, supplies and creativity. It's great. The link is: http://www.wildginger.com/products/wildthings.htm Have fun crafting!!! Sincerely, CaseyT6 (07/26/2006)

By CaseyT6

RE: Crafts to Sell at Craft Shows

If you are going to stay with local craft shows, then why not make your crafts fit the area . I am thinking calendars with local photos even local events on the calendars. The same crafting picture frames. Candles are a great sale along with wrapping them with homemade stitchery. Shaping your candles into figurines are very salable. Perhaps figurines that are high school and college mascots . Unique flower arranging using containers that would normally be called trash but made so beautiful and unique that they outshine the norm. My trick in making crafts is to spend much less money but invest much more time on my projects. I wish you and you daughter well. Mr. Thrifty (08/07/2006)

By Mr. Thrifty

RE: Crafts to Sell at Craft Shows

I just found a REALLY cool site with TONS of FREE patterns its called craftbits.com check it out. (01/06/2008)

By Amber

Archive: Selling Crafts at Craft Fairs

I live in Essex in the UK and along with a friend, we would like to start making and selling at craft fairs to enable us to continue to stay home with our children.

I thought I would ask for suggestions on here as being an american site, you would probably come up with suggestions that we don't have over here.

Thanks in advance,
Tracey from Essex

RE: Selling Crafts at Craft Fairs

Get some really nice business cards, business name or your name, some kind of tag line that really explains what you sell, phone number, email address or some way to contact you. Use them as tags on your goods. It will help people know how to contact you after they get your crafts home. Also, pass them out to people who ask. Even if you make the cards yourself with a stamp or handwriting it is worth it.

Make sure your displays are really good. If you sell earrings, look for earring racks or some unique way to display your earrings. If you sell dolls, make sure they can sit or stand to display them best. Whatever you are selling, make sure that it is easy to see from a distance what you have. Use nice table coverings that match and tie your booth, table or displays together.

I've bought and sold crafts for years and just like the big merchandisers how you present yourself and your products really helps make sales. It doesn't have to cost a lot but always stand back and look at your displays before starting your sale. Anything that distracts you from the "goods" should be avoided (i.e. a rusty table leg, a stain, dirty mirror, papers sitting around, loose threads).

Once you are selling, figure out what sells the best and concentrate on those items. Also pay attention to where the items were placed as that can also make a difference. Make sure all of your items are priced.

If there are two of you, avoid both of you sitting staring out waiting for people to come. Have one of you stand up, walk out and walk up to the booth, people tend to go to tables where other people are. It's funny but it works. (01/20/2007)

By Susan from ThriftyFun

RE: Selling Crafts at Craft Fairs

I find that having to buy my supplies at retail stores increases the cost of my items. If you could find a supplier that is a wholesaler you would get better prices for your supplies and then could sell your items at a lower price or have a bigger profit margin. (01/20/2007)

By Persnickety Paula

RE: Selling Crafts at Craft Fairs

Hi Tracey,

My friend and I have been setting up at craft shows for about 8 years. We have gone with all homemade items and we have made items that are on the normal persons budget. Most of our items are $5.00 and under. We make crochet towels, crocheted slippers, mittens, hats, dish cloths, scrubbies out of nylon net, barbie cloths, and we also make many gag gifts that we sell for 50 cents a piece. We are busy from the time we get set up to the end of the day. People love to be able to buy something even if it just a little item. We do have a few higher priced item at different shows but keep your booth friendly and bright. We sometimes have a tape player playing very soft music, helps make people feel welcome. Good luck! (01/22/2007)

By dameemag

Archive: Selling Crafts at Craft Fairs

I am a stay at home mom that wishes to earn extra income selling crafts at craft fairs/flea markets. Any ideas or suggestions of crafts that sell well?


Archive: Selling Crafts at Craft Fairs

I am going to start selling at a local market day in my town and I was hoping for some advice. I like to sew and so far I have decided to sell children's aprons and chef hats.


Archive: Selling Crafts at Craft Fairs

Is it necessary to disclose the origin of fabric at a craft fair? I sew dog dresses to sell at craft fairs and although I do buy new fabric from the store, I also get fabric from my local Goodwill.


Archive: Selling Crafts at Craft Shows and Festivals

Does anyone know how I would find out who to contact about selling my crafts at craft shows or festivals in my local area?