Materials for first craft show

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Forum topic by yellowtruck75 posted 11-11-2010 03:19 PM 1544 views 2 times favorited 7 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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469 posts in 3308 days

11-11-2010 03:19 PM

I am in the process of applying for my first ever craft show, the show will be in July in Boiling Spings PA. I have never done a craft show so I don’t know what to get as far as booth supplies. Right now I have nothing so I am definityly starting from scratch. I also need to submit a picture of my booth and don’t know how to do that since I have never set one up. Should I set up a mock one in the garage and take a picture with everything setup like it was the show? I was following a blog on here a few months ago about a guy attending shows and what he bought but I lost the blog. What does everyone suggest for supplies? I don’t want to spend huge amounts of money but I also don’t want to go cheap and not have things last. Even though this is my first show I plan on doing a few more in 2011.

I plan on displaying my rocking chairs as well as items that I turn like pens and wine bottle stops.


7 replies so far

View richgreer's profile


4541 posts in 3316 days

#1 posted 11-11-2010 04:23 PM

It’s hard to know how to advise you because we don’t know what kind of craft show you are participating in.

I personally participate in one show a year for charity (I only get reimbursed for my materials and all the proceeds from my sales go to the charity.) This is a low scale, indoor, craft show and all I need is an inventory of goods to sell.

If I were to attempt to sell at the farmer’s market in town (not going to) I would need a awning, tables, etc.

If you are selling large ticket items (rocking chairs) you really need to be able to handle a credit card transaction. There is a lot of hassle and expense associated with getting set up to take credit cards.

One of the problems for doing occasional craft shows is that you really need to have a lot of inventory on hand. You will never sell it all (unless you are very lucky) but you will have it for the next show. Your display just doesn’t look right if it is not full or close to full.

-- Rich, Cedar Rapids, IA - I'm a woodworker. I don't create beauty, I reveal it.

View yellowtruck75's profile


469 posts in 3308 days

#2 posted 11-11-2010 04:40 PM

This is an annual Founder Day show that will be outdoors. I think that spaces are around 15’ x 15’

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robert triplett

1566 posts in 3346 days

#3 posted 11-11-2010 08:44 PM

I started selling at craft shows about a year and a half ago. I bought a cheap canopy at Ace and it lasted a while. I have since bought a Caravan which can withstand wind better. You NEED shade, both for you and any wood items. Take a comfortable chair for slow times. I always have food and water because it can be hard to leave your booth. Have a lot of inventory- inexpensive items will pay for your entry fee and gas if the more expensive things don’t sell. Be friendly and helpful to your neighboring crafters. They will share info about other shows and things that have worked for them. Be patient and friendly, even though it can be slow and people may just look. I built shelves that I saw in a potters booth. Hinged and folding shelf supports and shelves that slide into them. I covered the shelves to look better and protect the boxes, bowls, etc. I built a rack to hang my cutting boards. I have learned to take a dolly to move my storage boxes- they are big and have covers that latch. I print business card labels for each item and have a lot of business cards (Vista Print?) to hand out. I talk to people about custom orders, but realize my limitations. I sometimes do very well and not well at others. Read Closet Guys Blog about his experiences. It is great.
Good Luck, Robert

-- Robert, so much inspiration here, and now time to work!!!

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469 posts in 3308 days

#4 posted 11-11-2010 11:00 PM

Robert thanks for the advice and the blog that I lost

View DrDirt's profile


4526 posts in 3984 days

#5 posted 11-11-2010 11:31 PM

Closet Guy’s Blog

Now on part 17 but it is really really comprehensive including dealing with people. Really nice guy I would PM him if you get stuck. His name is Dennis.

There is also a great magazine I used to subscribe to called ‘Sunshine Artist’ and it covered all of the show like a newspaper, but also had general articles on issues facing folks doing the craft show circuit. I was only doing a couple of local things so never renewed – but if you intend to hit the road, sign up.

-- “The two most important days in your life are the day you are born and the day you find out why.” Mark Twain

View TurnTurnTurn's profile


614 posts in 3351 days

#6 posted 11-13-2010 06:02 PM

Here is what I have learned so far. If you want to ensure your stuff does not get wet (rain) get a tent with walls that can be rolled up and easily opened up before the clouds open up. My tent proved to be able to withstand a torrential downpour that occurred during my first outdoor show (thus it has already paid for itself). Not sure what you are selling, but displaying items on different level helps to improve the ‘look’ of your display. I bought some free standing, easy to assemble and disassemble, close out shelving units from Pier 1. They look good, are easy to transport and set up quickly. Make sure you take plenty of miscellaneous items such as duct tape, shims to level stuff, pens, receipt books, and change. How much change to take is always a challenge, I always price everything so I do not have to deal with coins. That all I can think of for now, you will learn a lot during your first experience. Good Luck!!!!! Oh yeah one more thing, make sure you have weights to hold down you tent.

-- TurnTurnTurn

View Jim Finn's profile

Jim Finn

2688 posts in 3163 days

#7 posted 11-14-2010 06:36 PM

I have made display shelves that fold up for transport that serve well. I clamp them to my 6 tables. I have a list of “Items to take to shows” on my computer that I referance before leaving each time.

-- No PHD just a DD214 Website>

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