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May 16, 2019 Events Calendar No comments

Selling Crafts 101 -- Learn How to Organize & Prepare For a Craft Show

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Selling Crafts

I've always wanted to venture into the world of selling crafts but haven't tried it. . . until now.

As an avid crafter for 35 years, most of my crafts have been made as gifts for family members and friends . However, earlier this year, my daughter and I decided to try our hand at selling our favorite hand-made items at a local, very large, very popular craft show. My sister-in-law also joined us and it made for a very fun family event.

We quickly came to realize that when you go from making things for fun to making things to sell there are a completely different set of rules that must be taken into consideration.

My daughter and I did a fair amount of research before venturing out into the world of craft show sales. We had moderate success our first time out -- not as good as we would have liked -- but we made our both rental money and a small profit. I am told this is not too bad for our first foray into the craft show business at a huge show.

For those of you who would like to try your hand at your first craft show booth, I am providing you with the benefit of the wisdom we gained during our research and recent experiences.


Selling Craft "Do's"

Selling Crafts "Do" #1 Do Start Local– Do start with one or more craft shows that are close to where you live. This will keep your expenses (such as gas, hotels, food, travel time, etc.) low. Keeping expenses low is great for any business.

Selling Crafts "Do" #2 Do Decide on Booth Rent Amount Up Front – Before you sign up for a show to begin selling your crafts, decide up front how much you are willing to pay for a booth space fee. Prices can range anywhere from $20 to $500 or more. If you are new, I would suggest starting with a small fee. Obviously, the more you spend on booth rental, the harder it will be to break even and/or make a profit. Also, the more you spend on the higher priced shows, the bigger your let down will be if you can't break even. We learned it was best to get a following doing small, local shows and venture out from there to the bigger shows.

Selling Crafts "Do" #3 Do Your Own Research We also learned it is best to visit various crafts shows prior to venturing out on your own. Try to see things from the customer’s point of view. What booths caught your eye? What did you like or not like about the way vendors were selling their items? How was the flow of traffic? Did you hear customers making comments? If so, what did they say? What size of booth spaces seemed to work best?

You can also check out your competitors -- quality, pricing, displays, etc. Try talking to some of the craft vendors. Some may be shy giving advice, but others may provide you with a wealth of knowledge and save you time, effort and money down the road.

Selling Crafts "Do" #4 Do Prepare Ahead Whether you are attending a craft show that is indoors or outdoors, prepare for the weather and wear comfortable clothes. With indoor shows it can be hard to predict whether it will be too hot or too cold. We had both circumstances and prepared by dressing in light layers. For outdoor shows, think about wind and rain. How will you shield yourself and your craft items and displays?

Selling Crafts "Do" #5 Do Give Your Potential Customers Space Most customers are simply browsing. Many customers (myself included) are less apt to buy if someone is “hovering.” Say “hello” or “how are you today.” These are potential conversation starters that can open a window of opportunity for you to engage them in conversation. Be available to answer questions.

Selling Crafts "Do" #6 Do Come Prepared With Business Cards Business cards are your most inexpensive method of advertising. While customers may not purchase immediately, they may purchase later. Some people prefer to shop around before making a decision. A business card will help them know how to contact you with questions, problems or special orders.

Selling Crafts "Do" #7 Do Have Fun Selling Crafts A craft show can be a lot of work and effort but they are a lot of fun as well. My daughter and I enjoyed the process and, in slow times, we had great mother-daughter conversations. We enjoyed meeting and talking to our customers and fellow vendors.

Selling Craft Don’ts

Selling Crafts "Don't" #1 Don't Sell At the First Show You See Advertised Do not go to the first show you see advertised. If you live in a large metropolitan area there are probably a great number of shows, festivals, high schools fairs etc. to choose from. Don’t put all of your hopes on one show no matter how much it is “hyped.” Other shows, that may have a lesser advertising budget, may actually lead to cheaper booth rental fees and more potential customers.

Selling Crafts "Don't" #2 Do Not Change Your Prices From Show to Show A big “no-no” when selling crafts is changing the price of your products from show to show. You want to develop a good reputation. If you vary your prices from show to show customers may think you are dishonest. Do your homework first. Find a price that is a happy medium and stick with it. You can do special sales discounts for multiple purchases and other incentives, especially in lower income areas. If you feel your price may be too high and you need to experiment, lower the prices but be sure to post a notice along the lines of: “Due to availability of certain items prices are subject to change." Providing this type of information up front helps your reputation.

Selling Crafts "Don't" #3 Don't Neglect to Make Your Displays Visually Appealing You need more than just your space and your items when selling crafts. Give careful thought about how it looks. Your display can either be inviting or put people off. Be sure to include table cloths that cover at least 3 sides of your table(s). This makes your space more attractive as well as hiding the boxes and other items that you do not want to display. Find (or make) items that will add height and dimension such as shelving, clothing racks, hat trees, etc. Try to look at your booth from the customer’s point of view. Keep your spaces filled. You can even re-arrange items throughout the day. People who saw your space earlier may see something different. Try to keep things organized (you probably knew I would say something about it – it’s my passion)! Try to have one place where people can check out, business cards, etc. Keep your empty boxes and extra merchandise stowed out of sight.

Selling Crafts "Don't" #4 Don't Assume Don't assume craft fair/craft show promoters know what you will need in your booth space. Be sure to make note of such things as: (1) Electricity needs; (2) Whether extra tables will be provided; and (3) Whether you should not be next to certain types of vendors. For example: If you’re selling home-made lavender soaps, you don’t want to be in a booth space next to someone selling food – potential customers won’t be able to enjoy the aroma of your soaps!

Selling Crafts "Don't" #5 Don't Forget to Be Helpful Customers probably won’t notice everything in your booth. It's easy for a customer to get fixated on one particular item. If the customer is interested in one item, it’s perfectly natural to show them complimentary items that they may have over-looked. Try to get to know your customers needs and desires. Put their needs first and you will gain a loyal following.

Selling Crafts "Don't" #6 Don't Ask Other Vendors About Their Sales. Be courteous with fellow vendors. It is heavily frowned upon by vendors and craft show promoters to walk around asking other vendors how they are doing with their sales. If some vendors are doing well and you are not, this can bring down your morale. If you are doing better than they are and gloat, you have offended the other vendor and you might be dis-invited to attend next time. Treat other vendors as you would like to be treated.

Selling Crafts "Don't" #7 Don’t Set High Expectations This is your first show. You are understandably proud of your items, but this is a business. Not everyone is going to beat a path to your booth just because you set one up.

You may or may not have great success with your first show. We experienced a lot of comments such as: "How cute," "Isn't that adorable,” but then people would walk away without making a purchase. However, we knew that it takes time and repeated exposure to garner customer trust and sales. Marketing professionals say it takes a minimum of seven (7) times of exposure to the same sales pitch before a customer decides to make a purchase (which is why those blasted commercials run over-and-over-and-over-and . . . well you know).

Selling Crafts "Don't" #8 Don't Leave Your Booth Unattended You probably already knew that, but I had to mention it just in case. Since there were two of us at the booth, that wasn't a problem. If you do one by yourself, ask a fellow vendor to watch your booth if you need to visit the restroom.

Selling Crafts "Don't" #9 Don't Get Discouraged When selling crafts, it's easy to get discouraged if you don't make as many sales as you would like. Long time craft show vendors told us it can take as many as 2-3 craft shows to get the hang of them. Every show is a learning experience. It will take time to find out which shows work best for your particular items.

Selling Crafts "Don't" #10 Don't Get Carried Away Shopping Last, but not least, do not get carried away shopping at other vendors. You may find a lot of cute items, but you can easily spend up your profits!

Selling Crafts – Helpful Checklist

I'm a firm believer in using checklists – they save much time, trouble and forgotten items.

Here are my suggestions for a basic craft show check list for selling crafts. You can adapt it to meet your particular requirements but I’ve covered the basics here:

__Merchandise (make sure you have all of the bins, boxes and bags of your crafts)

Display Items:
__Tent (usually for outdoor craft shows – check ahead – some events provide them)
__Folding table(s)
__Chairs (and cushion if your chairs are not that comfortable)
__Clothes Rack
__Optional: Full Length-Free Standing Mirror
__Optional : Hand Mirror
__Table Cloths
__ Display Rack(s)
__ Lights/Flowers, etc. to make an appealing display
__Tarps & Clips (to cover up displays and hold down items during inclimate weather for outdoor shows)
__Trash Bags (keep your space clean before, during and after the event)
__Portable Hand Cart (get one that is convertible upright/flat)
__Cash Box (or other place to store cash out of sight)

Business/Sales Items:
__Business Cards
__Business Card Holder
__Price Tags
__Camera & Extra Batteries
__Photo Album (for displaying photos of items that you make – helps when items sell – people can see what’s not there in case they want to special order)
__Sale Signs
__Receipt Book
__Change (bills and coin)
__Tissue paper to wrap items
__Bags for customer purchases
__Scissors, Needle and Thread
__Safety Pins
__Sharpie Markers
__Hole Punch

Personal Items:
__ Comfortable shoes (you will be standing and walking a lot)
__ Tools (pliers, super glue, utility knife, screw driver set, hammer, electrical tape)
__ Medical Supplies (band aids, aspirin, etc.)
__ Cooler, Food & Beverages (vendors usually sell food, but this cuts into your profits)
__ Jacket, Hat, Gloves (especially if in cold weather and outdoor booth)
__Umbrella (for those pesky rain showers)
__Blanket (comes in handy for many uses)
__ Optional: Radio (if allowed)
__Magazine or Book (to read during down times)

In an effort to assist you locating some local craft fairs, please check out the links below. You can also search the Internet for craft fairs ____ (name of your state) on Google. Happy Crafting!

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Hi, this is Shelly Morton..the author of this website. I know you hear a lot about how to build an online business, but nothing compares to what you will see when you click the box below. Simply the best way to break the 9-5 routine!

When you work a craft show, it should be obvious that you will be handling money. But how to handle money often isn’t so clear.

The basics
You’ll need a cashbox, naturally. The ideal cashbox will have slots for different denominations of bills and coins. Plus, it’s also a perfect place to tuck other miscellaneous items—this can include credit card slips, receipt books, a calculator, assorted pens (at least five—they tend to walk away on their own), notepads, safety pins, business cards, etc.

Many people pay with cash, so come prepared to make lots and lots of change. Depending on the anticipated size of the crowd, $200 should probably be sufficient to start with.

Be sure to have coins with your startup cash, even if your products are priced evenly on the dollar ($6, $22, $35, whatever). You will need to charge sales tax for your state, changing the total. Keep a small calculator in your cashbox to assist in adjusting totals.

The $20 bill is the most common bill of exchange, so have lots of $10, $5 and $1 bills to make change. There is nothing more annoying to your neighboring vendors than asking them over and over again if they can break a $20. Be prepared.

Beware of scams
You may ask, “How can anyone scam you with cash?”

While we’ve never encountered this problem ourselves, we’ve heard instances of cash scams. A customer will hand you, say, a $10 bill to pay for an item. You put the bill in your cashbox and give them change, then the customer objects, “But I gave you $20, not $10.” How do you prove it?

If the original bill is already in the cashbox, you can’t. So instead of immediately tucking it away, place it on top of the table—anchor it with a paperweight if you’re outside—and make change with their original bill in plain sight. Don’t put it away until you’ve given them their change. If they try to tell you they gave you a larger amount, you have the original bill out to prove it.

What about checks? Isn’t the risk of a bouncing check too high to take?

We have taken hundreds and hundreds of checks in our 15 years in business, and exactly 5 have bounced. Maybe we’re lucky, but we’ve just never had a lot of problems. It’s up to you whether or not to accept checks.

If you do accept checks, take the usual precautions. If the customer acts shifty and nervous, you have the option to say you prefer cash or credit cards. If you do accept a check, write down a driver’s license number or at least confirm the phone number and address. If your customer has no identification and refuses to give you a phone number, there is a chance it might be a bad check.

This is a risk you take. However, we’ve found that the vast majority of customers are decent, trustworthy people. If a check does bounce, it may be an honest mistake on the part of the customer. In this case, they will be happy to fix the problem as well as pay any bank charges.

Credit cards
Now credit cards—that’s another story. Contrary to popular fears, we have experienced far more dishonesty with credit card purchases than with check purchases.

Part of the problem is that our shows are frequently in “remote” locations: there is no telephone landline, and cell coverage is spotty or nonexistent. We are reduced to either writing out a credit card slip by hand (just a tip: always get their phone number on the slip), or using one of those manual “chunk-chunk” machines.

Maybe people aren’t aware of how close they are to their credit limit, or maybe they are simply being dishonest, I don’t know. But I do know that if you can’t run a credit card right then and there, you risk a lost or difficult sale as you try to track down the buyer later.

Still, I’m not saying you shouldn’t accept credit cards. On the contrary, our sales skyrocketed once we got our merchant services account. However, if you can’t electronically verify the card at the time of sale, there is an increased risk that it will bounce later when you try to run it.

Here’s a little tip we’ve learned: If you’re going to be at a location with no phone or Wi-Fi service and are therefore unable to call in to clear a credit card, rent or purchase an electronic credit card machine and keep it “plugged” in and on display. The very sight of an electronic credit card machine—even if it can’t be used—is often enough to deter a buyer from passing off a maxed-out or hot credit card.

If you have electricity but no phone line, you can get a machine that will record the credit card purchase, and then everything can be downloaded that night as a batch file. Your merchant services rep can help you select a suitable machine for your needs. While you can’t catch a maxed-out credit card on the spot, this type of machine will at least weed out customers who know they’re maxed out (or who have a hot card) because they’re fooled into thinking the machine is checking their records.

Merchant service accounts
When we started our business, somehow we were convinced that we were too small to have a merchant services account. At that time, we could only accept checks or cash. Whenever we did a craft show, the first question many interested customers would ask is whether we took credit cards. When we replied in the negative, three out of four people would regretfully put the product back and walk out of the booth. In other words, we lost out on 75 percent of potential sales because we didn’t have a merchant services account.

So if you think your business is too small to accept credit cards, or you think a merchant services account is more hassle than it’s worth, I’m telling you otherwise.

The fact is, people prefer to pay by credit card for a number of reasons, including convenience and cardholder protection. If you as a vendor don’t have the ability to accept credit cards, you stand the possibility of losing an enormous chunk of business.

If you choose to open a merchant services account, go to a reputable bank or financial institution. We’ve been approached several times at craft shows by dubious merchant services salespeople “fishing” for crafters.

I remember once, early in our business, when I did a large craft show in a big city. Sales were slow and a man came into my booth. He looked around with apparent interest, then asked if we accepted credit cards. “No,” I began. “We’re too small a business to be able to take credit cards…”

“Well, I’m here to tell you you’re not!” he exclaimed. He whipped out some brochures and business cards. “Slick Willy here, and I can offer you excellent terms to set up a merchant services account…” It was all I could to keep from throwing up my arms in defense and yelling. I pushed Slick Willy out of the booth as quick as I could.

I suspect these types of salespeople are operating under the impression that small crafters feel too intimidated to approach a larger financial institution. I’m not saying they’re necessarily disreputable, but I wouldn’t do it. Go to a bank.

That said, you may have to wait a couple of years until you have a solid business history (and assuming you have a good financial record yourself) before a bank will look at you. Ask your neighboring crafters which financial institutions supply their merchant services accounts. A little research can save you money—and hassle.

Realize that you must generally pay about three percent of your credit card sales as fees for the merchant services account. This can be a bit of a shock during a busy season. However, paying three percent of your hard-earned money to the credit card companies is better than paying nothing at all because you lost so many sales.

You may also have to rent a credit card machine, either a manual type or an electronic one.

Cover your rear end
As with any financial transaction, make sure you make every effort to cover your fanny. I suggest you purchase several receipt books with carbon or carbonless copies, and give a receipt for every transaction you make.

Take good care of any credit card slips in your possession. Shred or burn carbon copies. It is your responsibility to make sure any credit card numbers entrusted to you for purposes of a transaction don’t fall into outside hands. Needless to say, remove all cash, credit card slips, and checks after closing. Nothing should be left in your booth, no matter how good the security.

Proper handling of financial transactions is obviously a critical aspect of successfully vending at a craft show. Take sensible precautions, and you’ll be fine.

Patrice Lewis is cofounder of Don Lewis Designs. She and her husband have been in business for 14 years. The Lewis family lives on 40 acres in north Idaho with their two homeschooled children, assorted livestock, and a shop which overflows into the house with depressing regularity.

Notice of Personal Responsibility Hearing (Show Cause Hearing) Festivals, Carnivals, Craft Shows, Special Events Appointment books, brief cases, daily reports, and cash receipt books - All such documents should .. TAX often receives requests for the current balance of bills on a MOL (pay-off balance) from .

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Are you in need of craft fair tips? You’ve come to the right place. It’s Craft Fair Friday, my favorite day of the week to discuss tips to improve your craft fair vendor experience. Below is a great list of 59 things to pack for your next craft or vender fair event.

For today’s post, I am concentrating on things to help you set up your display as well as things that you will need to pack. (You can read my Top 10 Staging Tips here). Having a good looking, well kept, appealing display determines whether or not soon to be customers will stop by or keep on walkin’.

First, I will give you the packing list of all packing lists. It will include your staples like table and tablescloths, get into snacks and suncreen, and include items as a repair kit or for fixing issues. You won’t be disappointed.

Then, I’ll give you 11 tips to help your display have adequate business tools to have a successful craft fair and the ability to follow up with customers. Without further ado.


First, before we get into the setup and layout of your craft fair tent/lot, I want to give you a packing list to get you started. This isn’t wholly inclusive, but it is pretty close. You can download a checklist at the bottom of the list. Here it is:

  1. Tables
  2. Tablecloth or sheet/neutral tablecloth
  3. Risers for table legs
  4. Sign with your Business Name
  5. Catalogs & Monthly Specials, if applicable
  6. Product samples labeled with your info
  7. Displays for Merchandise
    • rises
    • baskets
    • ladder
    • decorative boxes
    • crates
    • shelf
    • risers
    • furniture- dresser, secretary, desk, apothecary cabinet
    • birdcage
  8. Rug
  9. Mints/gum
  10. Sunglasses
  11. Deodorant
  12. Sunscreen
  13. Bug spray
  14. Chapstick
  15. Cooler
  16. Water bottle
  17. Lots of snacks
  18. Lunch
  19. Wet wipes/Sanitizer
  20. Camera
  21. Trash bags
  22. Power Strip
  23. Phone Charger
  24. Door Prize or Email SignUp List
  25. Notepad
  26. Price Tags
  27. Petty cash *
  28. Cash box or apron
  29. Card reader + PayPal account
  30. Calculator
  31. Safety pins
  32. Binder Clips
  33. Pen & Sharpie Marker
  34. Extra pens
  35. Double Sided Tape
  36. Zip ties
  37. Clothes pins
  38. Twine
  39. Inventory Checklist
  40. Tent with side panels – easy to assemble
  41. Tent weights
  42. Hand truck
  43. Bungie cord
  44. Totes for inventory
  45. Business card holder/display
  46. Business cards
  47. Bags for purchases
  48. Tall folding chair(s) (IKEA has a great one)
  49. Comfortable shoes + layers + jacket
  50. Extra price tags/price lists
  51. An activity for slow times:
    • book
    • knitting
    • paper craft
  52. Receipt book
  53. Hard candies/chocolates for customers
  54. Dog treats
  55. Painters tape
  56. Screwdriver & hammer, meausring tape
  57. Ibuprofen
  58. Custom order form
  59. Portfolio

59 Items – Craft Fair Packing List Download it Here: CRAFT FAIR PACKING LIST

Insomuch, this list is the minimum maximum. What? It doesn’t include everything you should pack, but it is a very solid basic list. There will be things specific to your trade that you need to bring.

However, I’ve set up many vendor displays, interviewed other vendors, scoured craft fairs and really taken into account what works when setting up. Feel free to tailor your display to your product needs.

Related Posts: How to Make, Package, Price & Sell Glass Pebble Magnets – A step by step tutorial

Ten Staging Tips for your next Craft Fair Display


Alright let’s talk about some of the items on the List and how they relate to your Craft and Vendor Fair setup. By making sure these 11 things are in order, you are setting yourself up to produce a good customer experience and make the sale.


For a 10′ x 10′ booth, I suggest using an 8 foot table and two smaller 6 foot tables. Tables of this size can be configured a few different ways to lay out inventory: a U shape, T shape, or an L. (I have 6 example booth layouts under #6).

TIP: Make sure you verify the size booth you are allotted (bring a measuring tape).  I have vended fairs before and when I get there I am squeezed into an 8×8 space when I registered for 10×10. Don’t be afraid to let the organizer know & work out the details- you pay for your spot and that is what you should get. You will be armed with a setup plan specific to that square footage and you can’t risk your tables not fitting because the organizer did not correctly figure the space.

Trial Run

First, set up in your garage/home to see how you want things laid out. I highly recommend measuring out your space and setting up a mock area with the table orientation, how you want items laid out and such. Take photos so you don’t forget how you want it to look. This will save you a TON of set up time.


Use a queen size black or neutral sheet because it covers the table better than a tablecloth and is cost effective (hello, Walmart). Use safety pins to tack a fabric or printed “Your Business Name” sign to the front of your display.

What color table cloth should I use?

BLACK, WHITE or LINEN. In the hundreds of displays I have set up,  consulted and observed, using a solid color that is neutral is the best way to go. It makes the colors of your products pop. Don’t believe me? Search Pinterest for craft fair displays. Which displays do you like?  The ones where there is a color theme throughout. You can see the color of the products when the tablecloth doesn’t detract from it.

Natural Linen

Linen is neutral and doesn’t detract from the items. This is the only exception. Burlap and linen are trending so this would fall into the neutral color category. Your items can still be the shows toping highlights of your booth and won’t get lost in the light color of your linen backdrop.

But I love PINK, you say. DON’T DO IT. It looks tacky. Maybe your friends won’t tell you, maybe someone complimented you. They lied. Don’t do it. Stick to neutral and let your crafts do the talking. Go to Bed Bath & Beyond and buy the $12 black tablecloth or Walmart twin sheet. You won’t regret it.


Use products to incorporate color, not the tablecloth.  Organize your products by color. Examples: arrange soap handmade by color, group quilts by pastels, brights, neutrals, paper crafts can be sorted by type and each type organized by like colors.


Having a SIGN IS A MUST. You should have a sign that is large enough to see/read from a distance and matches your branding.

Example: You sell paper crafts- don’t use a sign that has dinosaurs on it; if you plan children’s birthday parties- you can use a dinosaur or tea party themed sign to convey what you do.

Make wedding/bride items? Don’t use a sign with cute puppy dogs, it doesn’t translate to what you are selling. You get the point.

Make sure the color, font, and name brand are all consistent with your products.


Next, let’s take a minute to talk about what branding is and how to achieve it. Branding is by definition the name, symbol, and design that represent your company. It relates to so much more than just the design aspect of your business. Branding sets the tone for the type of business- casual, formal, professional, fun, technologically savvy, etc. It tells the customer about you and your business. If don’t correctly, it leaves subtle hints letting to help them determine whether they like you and want to work with you or buy your product.

Let me give you two examples.

Example 1:  A company has a website with a bright colorful logo with a scrolly font. It has an illustration a ball of yarn. What do you expect to see? A cheerful person selling brightly colored scarves and hats. You get to the shop and it’s a colorful booth full of hand knitted items and the owner quickly introduces herself and asks how you day is and offers you a coffee while you shop.

In example 2: This vendor booth has a sign with with small font that you can’t read from a distance. You get up close and it is a printed banner sign in plain text with a “Jane’s Handmade Clothing & Accessories”. Then when you look at the items they all appear to be flea market finds- lamps, a few candles, some holiday decorative items and a few knit scarves.

Was the second stall what you were expecting? Probably not, you would expect a whole lot of handmade scarves, hats, sweaters and the like. This is an example of inconsistent branding or connecting your brand with the wrong items.


I brought up branding with regard to your sign and how what the sign looks like should reflect your overall image- what you sell, how you sell it, and how it looks. Take some time to really think about what and where you want to be and tailor your message to that and apply it to your logo, signs, business cards, website, flyers, and anything that has your business name attached to it.

For a more in depth look, read this article: What is Branding?

And you can download this Awesome Brand Workbook from PWC.


If you sell from a direct sales company, have catalogs. Chances are, if people like what you are making or selling, they will like other products in the catalog as well.

Make sure your contact info is on them- name, phone, email, WEBSITE.

If you aren’t in direct sales, but have handmade items, having a custom order binder would be an asset. Use photos of past work, other custom orders, colors and themes for which you can customize to and place them in clear plastic sheet protectors in a binder as your portfolio. Don’t forget the custom order forms as well.


This magazine basket at Pier 1 Imports is great for holding a few catalogs upright and business cards in the front.

Business cards are easily accessible for other vendors who want to network and place special orders. Fill the other sections with spare pens and door prize forms or contact cards. Place it by your checkout station.


If you have a handmade product for which samples can be made, this is a HUGE winner. Examples: mini cold process soap, note card/paper craft, paint your own mini canvas, jewelry charm, mini candle. A takeaway will can lead to a future sale, a product referral to a friend, a good review, a purchase the second day of the event after thinking about how much they love it.

Before you dive in, know your market. Make sure that the customer base/location you are having the event is one that is known for selling a lot of inventory and having traffic. If the event is full of non buying shoppers, it can be a money pit. If you find this is the case, pull the samples or be selective- keep them under the table and offer them individually if you think it will seal the sale.


It’s time to talk about your table display for craft fairs. You’ve brought your inventory and supplies and your emergency items for any potential disaster, so let’s get to setting up.

Do a trial run

Use painters tape to tape off the vendor space, typically 8’x8′ or 10’x10′. Set up the table positions and inventory in your garage/living room. Typical table sizes are 6 foot and 8 foot long. There are a few common layouts- L, U and T.

Here are those common layouts visually.

Once the tables are arranged, you can start to place product. Pare down selected products that you think will sell best for that event as well as look ascetically pleasing. Don’t overcrowd the table tops. Stick to a selection of products and colors, but leave room on the table.

You don’t want customers will be scared to touch and look at anything because they might bump other products or knock something over.

Keep extras organized under the table, easily accessible but not within sight, preferably in tubs.  If you keep inventory in tubs, it is easy to transport, store under your tables and bring out more as needed to keep the tables properly stocked.

Keep in mind your movement patterns and checkout station when choosing inventory placement. You’ll need space to take payments (by card or money box), wrap and bag items, and mark your inventory list as sold. You also want customers to easily navigate through your booth, so be mindful of the table layout and how they will love through the space.


Do you need a door prize? YES. Yes, you need a door prize. It is a great way to get customer contact information. Make sure to include their name, email address, phone number with an “okay to text” box or an email sign up checkbox.

Offer a free gift or coupon code for signing up for your newsletter. Grab a pretty bucket or bowl- I use a pitcher (like the one below) that customers can fill out the form and drop it into the bowl.

WHAT YOU NEED: Door prize forms (make a Word document with 4 to a page), bucket of pens, bowl/pitcher to collect them in, mini clipboards to use for filling out form & CHOCOLATE to attract your customers. Use chocolate to lure them over to the door prize form!

WHAT TO DO: Take notes on them. After Suzie Shopper walks off and she raved about that handmade wreath in your shop, discretely pull her door prize form out and jot down a note about her- the word “wreath”, “call for wreath making party”, wants more as gifts, “newsletter” – something to remember her by or that was significant for you to follow up with. You can also pull out the form and jot down her name in a notebook.


This is debatable. I have heard vendors say you should keep it discrete and I have heard some say make it big. Whichever way you choose, I suggest having pricing easily readable. Tags can be placed under the item so it is discreet or on a handmade tag attached to the items.

We know a customer is more likely to walk away than ask the price of an item. To avoid losing a potential sale, having the price on the product or on the bin is the best choice.

Pricing boards are another option, but can be confusing to the customer who has to guess what the product is called to find the price, especially if it is handmade goods. I do not recommend this.


This one is easy.  Have a bag of petty cash in $1, $5, $10, $20.  Overestimate- have $100-300 for a small event (high school fair, local community center) and a larger wad for a multi day event with 200+ vendors (concert, outdoor event regionally known, state fair).


  • Safety pins
  • Sharpie Marker
  • Double Sided Tape
  • Inventory Checklist
  • glue, stapler, calculator, twine, scissors

Have an emergency repair kit put together. On the list of 59 Items to pack, there are a number or “fix it” items. You should group those together and put them in a large ziplock bag or 31 Tote (shoutout to 31 for handling all of my bag needs). When you group them together, if something goes awry, you’ll know where you put the supplies to repair or fix the issue. You won’t have to hunt through the 45 plastic bins full of inventory to find the fix it kit.


While it’s not something you can pack, knowing customer service and sales skills are important. Stand up and take genuine interest in your shoppers. Nothing looks worse than a seller hidden behind the table, seated, reading a book, not paying attention to the lovely people taking time to shop at their booth.

Be alert, friendly, and stand up to greet them. You can have a seat when there are no shoppers around. Opt for a high stool for times when it is busy and your feet need a break, but you want to maintain a presence.

Offer suggestions or products. Offer samples freely. Ask your customers if there were any interesting booths and what great products they found throughout the fair. Overall, be genuine. Have a cheerful attitude and enjoy their company.


In conclusion, there are 11 major takeaways in addition to the packing list preparation. Use these summarized tips to have the best craft fair selling experience.

  • Use a sheet, it’s bigger than a tablecloth. Keep it black, white or linen.
  • Use color wisely.
  • Have a sign and consistent branding.
  • Don’t overcrowd; you don’t have to put out everything!
  • Have a door prize drawing and free samples. Lure them with candies.
  • Invest in a catalog/info display piece.
  • Have business cards available for the taking.
  • Make a custom order portfolio and forms.
  • Have a checkout station.
  • Stand up! Nothing looks worse than an uninterested seller.
  • Interact. Talk to patrons, smile often, and offer to help.

I hope this post has been helpful in your craft fair endeavors or in upping your game for the next event. Attending events is a great way to make income, network with other vendors, and find new customers.

If you have any questions or need staging help, feel free to leave a comment below or shoot me an email. I offer consulting services and advice on staging your event as well as troubleshooting for specific problems. I appreciate you dropping by!

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Tags: craft fair ideas, craft fair pricing, craft show, glass magnet tutorial, stampin fool tutorial, stampin up birthday, stampin up craft fair, stampin up magnet tutorial, stamps

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April Bailey Waltrip

April Bailey Waltrip, author of Starbucks addict. Design obsessed. She created Stampin Fool as an outlet to share colorful, affordable home decor that works with family life.

18 Items You Should Bring with You to a Craft Show

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A Great Big Craft Show Checklist:

In my last post  I wrote about my best tips for selling at craft shows and promised to provide this big checklist of items to consider taking with you to a show. While not every item on the list is a must, I hope it will be helpful to have a list for all the aspects of your booth to take care of, including you!  Every product provides a unique challenge for display and packaging, and creating a mock up at home is a great way to test drive your booth display and plan ahead. Checking out online photo galleries of craft show booths is also a good way to get some ideas and visualize what you’ll need to succeed.

Clear tape – scotch, masking, packing and maybe duct tape too
Safety pins
Push pins and tacks
Paper clips
Super glue
Hot glue gun
Zip ties
Wire cutters
Hammer (if you will need to stake the tent on grass)
Water jugs, cinder blocks or tent weights – stakes if you are on grass
Trash bags
Tools of your trade to demonstrate your craft
Tupperware containers to transport materials to show
Dolly to carry your supplies to your booth
Directions/contact info for the show
Candy dish
Pocket mirror
Breath mints
First aid kit
A friend – if you don’t want to leave your booth unattended while you go to the bathroom (you’ll have to eventually!), bring a friend

Booth Decoration and Shop Information:
Brochures, catalog, free literature (optional)
Business cards (a must)
Discount coupons for your website
Portfolio (optional, great to show people who might want a custom item or to a potential wholesale client)
Mailing List
Table cloths
Additional fabric draping
Chair or stool
Lighting (if an option)
Carpet or floor covering (this is also optional)

Bags with your shop’s name on them – we print our logo on stickers
Tissue or butcher paper for fragile items
Gift wrap

Signs with prices or
Individually price each item using hang tags or stickers
Cash box with change – ones, fives, tens and coins
Squareor other credit card reader for your phone
Knuckle buster and imprinter slips
Wholesale Order forms
Receipt book
List of inventory to mark off your sales
Sales tax chart
A copy of your sales tax certificate
Notebook to keep track of your expenses during the trip – mileage, hotel, etc.
Clipboard (for customers who want to write checks, fill out a custom order or need to sign cc slips)

Don’t forget to bring your smile and interact with potential customers. Most importantly, bring lots of inventory!


Here are more craft show tips. 


Anne Burton

or. FIND YOUR STORE Each sales order booklet comes with 50 numbered blank receipts with blanks for Customer name, date, address, quantity, description.

Stories To Tell Books BLOG

If you sell your art at an art fair I will greatly appreciate your input. list and receive my newsletter (explaining what it contains and how often they'll receive it) . And because Receipt Books make it easy for you to keep all your sales . For some art/craft fairs I've been to, I'd say most of the exhibitors would. A cash business might also use cash to make payments, to vendors, or employees. There are . My Business Received an IRS Notice—What Should I Do?. A craft fair is a lot of work with a steep learning curve from start to finish! Here are . Paperwork: Receipts, Custom Orders, and Inventory Checklists This tally of how much I had made thus far also motivated me to keep selling hard! A book I have loved for handmade selling and marketing advice is The.

When you work a craft show, it should be obvious that you will be handling money. But how to handle money often isn't so clear. Plus, it's also a perfect place to tuck other miscellaneous items—this can include credit card slips, receipt books, Keep a small calculator in your cashbox to assist in adjusting totals. The $ If you sell your art at an art fair I will greatly appreciate your input. list and receive my newsletter (explaining what it contains and how often they'll receive it) . And because Receipt Books make it easy for you to keep all your sales . For some art/craft fairs I've been to, I'd say most of the exhibitors would. Whether they are women's fairs, book fairs or a craft fair – I love them all. . Spending a little bit of money to offer quality packaging goes a long way in the professionalism Tip: Store a tote under your table containing various colors of yarn. If you do donate, make sure you get a receipt for tax purposes!.

Every time I have been involved with organising a craft fair there are makers who will forget Can you create collections of your products that work well together? Also think about how your display can help you to keep your stand looking tidy, . receipts of any payments so make sure that you have a receipt book. A craft fair is a lot of work with a steep learning curve from start to finish! Here are . Paperwork: Receipts, Custom Orders, and Inventory Checklists This tally of how much I had made thus far also motivated me to keep selling hard! A book I have loved for handmade selling and marketing advice is The. Ideal for those who sell at craft fairs, events or online, this DL-size (21xcm) receipt book is personalised to match your branding perfectly.

Here's a craft fair checklist that has 30 basic things you'll need to bring with you. Receipt book: It just makes sense that you have some way to record all of your sales If you don't have an online presence, think about starting up a store at a place Make sure the table cloth is long enough to reach the ground on all sides . Bring water and snacks with you – it's important to keep your energy up Some people will want receipts, so make sure you have a way to magazines, books or online, and pick up some great craft fair ideas I usually take pretzels and a drink so that if I have a customer I am not chewing for long either. There are a lot of mistakes a seller can make at a craft fair. Another good tip is top keep your displays dynamic, you don't want your products just books or online, and pick up some great craft fair ideas and tips along the way. .. I have been attending, and selling at, various festivals over many years.

Organizing a Craft Fair By Don Buchan Much of this document is written from the point Using the combined set fee and commission also allows for you to keep Some artisans need time to build up enough stock, while yet more often the . being their confirmation and receipt, or a form will be sent with table location, etc. But which receipts should you keep? Or raw materials to craft into things to sell ? If for some reason you can't get a receipt, keep the invoice and cancelled Since only a portion of your mortgage is deductible, you'll want to show how. Some useful tips and advice on selling your work at a craft fair, maximising your potential for sales, Unfortunately, the details are a little long for this article, so we would recommend that craftally available on the app store - UKCraftFairs You should have a receipt book available, just in case someone does ask for one .

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WATCH THE VIDEO ON THEME: Craft Fair Series 2019-Chunky Little Photo Brag Books- Idea #15

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craft vendor how long to keep receipt books
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