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Forum topic by doninvegas posted 01-04-2011 02:53 AM 2588 views 2 times favorited 11 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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doninvegas

334 posts in 2375 days


01-04-2011 02:53 AM

I’m thinking of doing some craft show this year and I was wondering, for you all that do shows, what to make that might sell. Besides our Adirondack furniture I build boxes, cutting boards, tissue box covers, candle holders and such. What sells?

-- "Courage is being scared to death -- but saddling up anyway."


11 replies so far

View Gofor's profile

Gofor

470 posts in 3255 days


#1 posted 01-04-2011 04:05 AM

If you have a lathe, I hear Harry Potter wands do well. Of course, they have to be made of the correct woods to embody the desired powers.

Now if you have a froe, draw knife and spokeshave, you could make ones a bit more unique than what can be turned on a lathe.

Go

-- Go http://ncwoodworker.net/pp/showgallery.php?cat=500&ppuser=730

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Cozmo35

2200 posts in 2504 days


#2 posted 01-04-2011 04:14 AM

If you have a scroll saw, crosses sell like hot cakes!

-- If you don't work, you don't eat!.....Garland, TX

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sandhill

2128 posts in 3392 days


#3 posted 01-04-2011 04:24 AM

Check out the closetguy's Blog he wrote a major 17 part blog on doing craft shows from how he started to how he has improved on what he does now. Its everything you should need to know about craft shows.

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richgreer

4541 posts in 2542 days


#4 posted 01-04-2011 05:39 AM

This is a good topic. The core question is what can you sell at a price that will make you a decent return. I have thought a lot about this.

If you are a turner, I think you can do well with pens. A $7 kit, $1 worth or wood and 15 – 30 minutes and you have something you can sell for $25+ (If you’re good). If you produce them in mass (10 or more at a time) you can make them in even less than 15 minutes each.

A similar case can be made for pepper mills and salt mills.

If you are not a turner, I think there is still potential in small clocks, cutting boards and cheese boards. All of these can be done quite quickly. I don’t think you can make much money on boxes. They take too much time to get right.

It’s a very small item, but I was surprised at how well refrigerator magnets sell. It’s also a great way to use up little scraps of wood you would not use otherwise. Essentially, the wood is free because you are using scraps. A magnet costs about 40¢ and you can sell them for $2 each. Note that you only need a little rare earth magnet that is 5/16” in diameter. Drill a shallow hole on the underside and use a drop of CA glue (thick).

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

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Jim Finn

2417 posts in 2390 days


#5 posted 01-04-2011 05:53 AM

I make and sell toys for toddlers and 11” x 8” cedar boxes with inlayed designs on the lids. I can make $20 an hour making rubber band shooters. I wish I coulld sell tham that fast. They do pay my space rental for me though. I have made doll cradles and cedar trunks also.

-- "You may have your PHD but I have my GED and my DD 214"

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Puzzleman

411 posts in 2412 days


#6 posted 01-05-2011 01:54 AM

In my opinion, do you want to sell what everyone else is selling??

I feel that with your products, display them all and sell them all. You will find out what sells and what doesn’t. Listen to your customers and visitors about what they like and don’t like. What other items are they buying and why? (Believe it or not, I ask people this at shows that I do.) With all of this info plus knowing what you like to do, you now know what you can sell.

If this sounds like work, it is. Selling is never as easy as making and designing products.

-- Jim Beachler, Chief Puzzler, http://www.hollowwoodworks.com

View doninvegas's profile

doninvegas

334 posts in 2375 days


#7 posted 01-05-2011 02:25 AM

Puzzleman, to answer your question NO I don’t want to sell the ordinary. I know a lot of folks sell cutting boards and candle holders so I would like to find something that stands out and people say WOW that’s cool. Like closetguy’s post office box banks. I do make book marks with my scraps and coasters. I don’t turn so those types of things are out for me. I know what you mean about hard work. I’ve been trying to sell Adirondack furniture in Vegas for 3 years. In this economy and in this town it’s really tough. That’s why I started to make some smaller items that sell a little better. My wife is great with a router and makes great signs and they sell. But that’s her thing. I’m looking for ideas on unique things that are cool and not real time consuming to make I can sell. Something like my lap desks. I make a nice step stool I list for $45 and people balk at the price. I can’t see charging less for what I put into them. Your advice is spot on. Put everything out there and see want goes off the shelf, Thanks.

-- "Courage is being scared to death -- but saddling up anyway."

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Gofor

470 posts in 3255 days


#8 posted 01-05-2011 05:56 AM

How about these, in different lumber. This was made from a borg 2×4. One takes a while. 10 not much longer.

Go

-- Go http://ncwoodworker.net/pp/showgallery.php?cat=500&ppuser=730

View Puzzleman's profile

Puzzleman

411 posts in 2412 days


#9 posted 01-06-2011 11:44 PM

Doninvegas, If people don’t like the price of the step stool, ask yourself some questions. Such as can I reduce the amount of time by changing the way it’s made. Or can you change some of the components to a cheaper wood but no sacrificing the main part of the stool. I have had situations where I build a new idea. I usually wind up over building it. In talking to people, I find out what interests them the most and then I start to trim away time and materials on the parts that they don’t notice or see.

It takes work. Good Luck!!

-- Jim Beachler, Chief Puzzler, http://www.hollowwoodworks.com

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doninvegas

334 posts in 2375 days


#10 posted 01-07-2011 01:31 AM

Take a look at my step stool. It’s WR Cedar 12X14X6. It’s not real elaborate but not plane either. It takes me about 4 hours to make one but I have knocked out 5 in about 6hrs. I don’t think $45 is asking too much. I think it is where I was trying to sell them. It was a street fair and most people that came were thinking it was a yard sale and didn’t expect new hand crafted items.

-- "Courage is being scared to death -- but saddling up anyway."

View Loren's profile

Loren

8315 posts in 3116 days


#11 posted 01-07-2011 01:53 AM

I’ve seen guys sell out real poorly-crafted rustic-looking birdhouses in
a couple of hours.

People love disposable rustic yard junk. I hate to say it, but if you’re
doing loosely-juried shows, slap together some bird houses and sell
‘em pretty cheap.

If you’re doing the finer shows, you may get turned down if you’re
not doing something nice looking. I recommend mirrors with wood frames
featuring marquetry. They are easy to pack flat, don’t get as easily
damaged in transit as furniture, and people go ga-ga for marquetry,
ooohing and ahhhing about the fine craftsmanship. Go to shows and
talk to the woodworking guys – the only ones smiling will be the ones
doing marquetry, intarsia and other such crowd-pleasing stuff.

I met this Russian fellow a few times who made these boxes with an
Incra jig or something – all those double-dovetails and riotous
contrasting woods. The more crazy he went with the jig
the crazier people went to buy the stuff.

In short – go low-end or go high-end but please the crowd.

People really buy stuff to show it off and have a conversation piece – that’s
why they pay good dollars for badly made furniture made from reclaimed
barnwood. The problem with making and selling such furniture at shows
is transportation and storage, not a lack of market demand.

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