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How to build a craft fair booth

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How to build a craft fair booth
December 10, 2018 Family Restaurants 4 comments

Craft show season will be upon us soon, and I know that many Cutting for Business readers are already signing up for shows and events. Today, let’s tackle how much inventory you should take to your next show.

First, there are no set rules on how much inventory you should take. You should strive to have your craft show booth full (but not overcrowded) of inventory for customers to browse and buy. You should also have enough stock on hand that you can replenish your display as customers purchase your products. Ideally, your back stock should be under the table or behind your display so that replenishment is easy.

3 Methods to Determine How Much Inventory to Take to Your Next Show

  • Based on vendors fees. Some sellers set inventory goals based on the fee for being a vendor. Ideally, you should sell 8 to 10 times the show entrance fee. For example: If the vendor fee is $50 you should plan to sell $400 to $500 in merchandise and bring at least double the products, or $800 to $1000 in inventory. Be sure to spread your inventory across several price points. Unfortunately, if you are selling large and expensive products only; this formula doesn’t work well.
  • Based on sales goals. Other sellers set inventory goals based on their sales goals. If I attend a show and want to sell $1000 in products, I’d typically bring around 3 times my sales goal in product or $3000 worth of inventory. Again, be sure to spread this across many price points.
  • Based on attendance numbers. Other sellers compute their inventory based on past show numbers. At an average show you should expect that 1% to 3% of attendees will purchase something from your booth. First, figure out what your average product will sell for. Let’s say my average product costs $18. And, let’s say that a particular show has 2,000 attendees. If 2% of the attendees make a purchase (40), you’d multiply this by your average product price. In this case, I’d expect to sell $720 worth of product and should bring at least double the amount in product or $1440. Like the first two, you’d need to have products in a variety of price points.

Remember, these are just suggestions on how to determine your ideal inventory to bring to a craft show; but there are no hard fast rules. If I’m attending several shows in one season, I might bring much more inventory to a particular show since I can always use it at a show at a later date. If I am not attending another craft show, I might bring less so that I don’t have a lot left over at the end.

Worried about having enough time to create all these products before a show? Take a look at my strategy to quickly build up inventory in this post. If you are looking for more craft show tips, I’ve compiled my favorites in this post.

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Relating your craft show booth or table to a store window is a good way to look at your space from a different perspective and ensure you have elements that will catch the eye. (Here are other retail best practices you should apply at your next craft show)

 

And although you may only have a few feet, you also want to think of your table or booth like the inside of the store, and create a layout that draws shoppers in on one side, allows people to shop without blocking your eye-catching elements, and allows people to pay without blocking your main shopping area or eye-catching areas.

 

Check out CRAFT SHOW LAYOUT TIPS for the 3 zones your table or booth should have and how to properly set them up.

 

You may also be interested in:

>> WHAT SELLS BEST AT A CRAFT SHOW

>> 50 PROP IDEAS FOR A CRAFT SHOW

>> BOOST CRAFT SHOW SALES WITH THIS TYPE OF PRODUCT

>> CRAFT TRENDS FOR 2019

>> LAWS FOR SELLING HANDMADE

 

You only have a few seconds to grab shoppers’ attention as they walk by and encourage them to come take a closer look.

 

Of course, your amazing products will help do that but below are 10 other tactics you can use to enhance your booth and make sure you’re noticed from across the room.

 

TOP 10 VISUAL MERCHANDISING TECHNIQUES

These are techniques major retailers put to use because they translate into dollars:

  1. COLOR
  2. REPETITION
  3. LINE & COMPOSITION
  4. LIGHTING
  5. SCALE
  6. CONTRAST
  7. HUMOR
  8. NOSTALGIA
  9. MOTION
  10. SURPRISE

 

 

1 – COLOR

Colors are a great way to evoke emotion and make a statement. It’s such a powerful display element, I’d go so far to say:

Every craft show display should (properly) use color.

 

That means:

  • Planning products so their colors work together
  • Thinking about how your brand colors work with your product colors (You may also like 10 UNIQUE BRANDING IDEAS FOR YOUR CRAFT SHOW SPACE)
  • Being strategic with your use of color
    • Limit hues (3 or less is ideal. For example, focusing on purple, pink and blue)
    • Limit tints, tones and shades (for example, focusing on pastel purple, pink and green)

 

The right colors will communicate a message (think light blue for calming spa-like atmosphere or yellow for fun, cheerful products) and attract your ideal customer. You can’t know and appeal to everyone’s taste but is the person you’re trying to attract drawn to soft pastels, bright neons or deep, rich hues?

 

The absence of color is another way to stand out, letting your products do the talking. White walls, floor, table cloth, props, and uniform is bound to make shoppers stop and take notice.

 

USED AT A CRAFT SHOW:
Here’s a quick look at a craft show display by Don Fisher that uses color. Please see more of their photos and an explanation of all the visual merchandising techniques they’ve successfully implemented, at the end of this article.


USED IN RETAIL:
An eye-catching hot pink color is pulled from the product label and used in some oversized tassels that mimic the tassels on the bottle in a Jo Malone window. This window also uses REPETITION with the same product being displayed 3 times. (Image Source: VM)

 

An all white window with bright lighting at JOSEPH really catches the eye (Image Source: VM)

 

 

2 – REPETITION 

Repetition is another merchandising technique that should be used in EVERY craft show display.

 

It should start with your products. A craft show table should NOT be full of 101 different products; with no two being the same.

 

Limit your selection (which was proven to have increased a jam vendor’s sales by 27%, just by limiting flavor options) and be sure there are elements repeated within your products.

 

For example, every piece of jewelry a maker offers may be made out of copper and use geo shapes. The color of stones may create variety but still use repetition; each copper, geo-shaped necklace, ring, and bracelet is offered in a purple quartz, rose quartz, and green quartz stone.

 

Once you’ve sorted your product selection, you can use repetition in the way you display them.

 

*If you need help refining your selection, or putting any of this information together to create your next amazing craft show display, you can sign up for 5 DAYS TO A STANDOUT DISPLAY (it’s FREE). 

You may:

  • Repeat colors found in your products in props, signage, images, tablecloth, etc.
  • Repeat a product that is displayed (e.g. set up 3 bust forms and have them all wearing the same necklace; one in each stone.)
  • Repeat shapes within your display (e.g. create a pyramid shape by stacking bars of soap on risers. Repeat that pyramid shape using jars of cream and bottles of bubble bath)

More examples shared in 5 DAYS TO A STANDOUT DISPLAY.

 

Odd numbers tend to be more pleasing so if you’re going to repeat an element, repeating it 3, 5 or 7 times is the way to go.

 

USED AT A CRAFT SHOW:
Here’s a quick look at a craft show display by Poppiejanes and their effective use of repetition through shapes of products, colors, and patterns (notice in the top left how the vendor is even wearing a black and red buffalo plaid shirt to coordinate with her pillow covers). Please see more of their photos and an explanation of all the visual merchandising techniques they’ve successfully implemented, at the end of this article.

 

USED IN RETAIL:
The same product is repeated 3 times to highlight these accessories at Tods. (Image source: VM)

Color, pattern, lines and products are all repeated throughout this Louis Vuitton window. (Image source: VM)

A clutch is repeated 3 times in a window at Anya Hindmarch showing off the product and varying color options. (Image source: VM)

 

3 – LINE & COMPOSITION

This visual merchandising technique should also be present in EVERY craft show display (the rest of the ideas in this article can be used at your discretion).

 

Compositions lead the eye around your booth or table. This is done by deciding which element is going to grab the shopper’s attention first (usually the bigger, brighter display at eye level or above), then creating a trail for the shopper’s eye to follow, from one display element or product to the next.

 

This is why laying products flat on a table does not help attract more shoppers or encourage more sales.

 

When everything is on the same level, nothing catches the eye or creates a path telling shoppers where to look next; it’s overwhelming to shop and to make a decision (which lowers sales).

 

Line & composition can be a difficult element to master but is also an incredibly important one.

 

Once you understand it, you’ll notice it being used in store windows, in-store merchandising, photos, advertisements, etc.

 

It’s an art and it works.

 

It’s important to use line & composition throughout your entire booth AND within each element.

 

For example, when standing back and looking at your display, one product grouping or display element should grab the eye. Within that product grouping, one product should catch the eye and then lead to other products (ones that are less expensive, less profitable, good add-ons, etc.) 

 

Your eye is naturally drawn to bigger/higher/brighter/etc. objects in a display (e.g. the pink bag below). Then, the overlapping, angle, height, direction products flow, etc. creates lines that direct the eye and make sure shoppers see what you want them to see, when you want them to see it.

 

Below is a visual example take from MAKE MORE MONEY AT CRAFT FAIRS; a more detailed explanation of how to use and implement line and composition is explained there.

 

USED AT A CRAFT SHOW:
Here’s a quick look at Our Blue Abode‘s craft show display and their effective use of LINE & COMPOSITION. Notice how your eye is drawn down from the wreaths on the wall, and onto the product groupings on the table. I explain how she’s successfully created flow and share more photos of her displays at the end of this article.

 

USED IN RETAIL:
Depending on which way someone approaches this Harvey Nichols window, their eye is either drawn to the brightly lit group of 3 mannequins, and then follows the angled line and writing to the 2nd group of mannequins or the opposite; the contrast of the white hashtag on the black background grabs the eye first and leads it down the angled “work hard, play hard” line to the 3 mannequins. (Image source: VM photo credit Melvyn Vincent)

 

You could literally draw a continuous line from one display element to the next. The overlapping of products, props, and mannequins, the way the mannequins are angled (even the line of the leg on the mannequin in the tan coat directs your eye to the next element) and the use of light and dark (notice how they’ve used different color mannequins in the second grouping. A white mannequin makes the black dress stand out and a black mannequin makes the light sweatshirt stand out. The sleeve of the light sweatshirt also pops out when placed in front of the black dress).

The beautiful floral art grabs your eye at LK Bennett as the over sized paint tube & brush lead your eyes down to the product (colorful shoes). On the other side, if your eyes are down as you walk by, the flower paint spilled on the sidewalk will lead your eye into the window in the reverse direction. (Image source: VM)


 

Consider the flow of your craft show table too. You want shoppers to:

  1. Be drawn in at the front of your space by a showstopper
  2. Be led to the middle of your table where they can browse and try items on, pick them up, etc.
  3. End at the “cash desk” where they can be out of the way of other shoppers while they browse smaller “add-on” items and complete their transaction (think of the checkout line at the grocery store; why not, I’ll grab a pack of gum, it’s only a couple bucks, it’s right here and it’s simple to add to my cart.)

 

CRAFT SHOW LAYOUT TIPS thoroughly explains how to break your display into zones that encourage stopping, shopping, and buying.

 

The end of your table should act like a website pop up. “But wait! Before you go…” If they haven’t purchased, you want to make one last attempt to grab their attention.

 

If shoppers aren’t going to take the action of purchasing, what’s the easiest action they can take so you can stay in touch and have the opportunity to sell to them in the future?

 

HINT-HINT 😉 It’s signing up for your newsletter. If you think you don’t have enough content to start and send a newsletter…think again.

 

Here are 365+ newsletter ideas for a handmade business.

 

You 110% NEED a newsletter for your business. It’s THE most effective way to stay in touch with your target market and is 4 times more effective than using social media. Here’s how to start one in 10 minutes.

 

Make sure every shopper is leaving your space with a good feeling and a way to remember you.

 

5 DAYS TO A STANDOUT DISPLAY has tips to ensure no shopper ever forgets your booth, brand or the experience you create for them.

 

4 – LIGHTING

A spotlight on a display or product immediately catches the eye and draws it to your product.

 

Mood lighting can be effective too but you don’t want your space to feel drab. Shoppers need to be able to see what they’re buying so be sure you’re not impeding sales in an attempt to create dramatic lighting.

 

You can get creative and not only use lighting to highlight your displays but also make lighting part of the display.

 

The light fixtures and light draw attention to each individual shoe at Charlotte Olympia. (Image Source: VM)

Gucci directs spotlights on each mannequin to make their bold colors stand out even more (Image source: VM)



Macy’s uses light bulbs and their cords to create a tree design and add extra lighting to the window. (Image source: VM)

 

5 – SCALE

Adding larger than life elements can immediately grab a shopper’s attention. As they walk around the venue seeing everything in proportion, an oversized picture or prop will make them stop and take notice.

 

You don’t need to spend a lot of money either…you’re crafty! Cardboard, foam, paper mache, etc. can all be used to create lightweight, oversized (or undersized) objects that can hang above your table with the use of fishing wire. It will catch the eye of shoppers as soon as they walk in the venue.

 

Examples are shared in 5 DAYS TO A STANDOUT DISPLAY, but imagine a giant ball of yarn made from a styrofoam ball wrapped in rope and spray painted the same color found in a logo or product collection. Add a flat surface to the top and bottom and you have a cool display shelf for knitted goods.

 

How fun is this oversized pop can mimicking the print on the mannequins dress in a Moschino window? (Image source: VM)

Larger than life beauty tools draw attention to the makeup Kate Spade is selling inside. (Image source: VM)

Big props create color and interest through needles knitting a pattern at H&M and promote the knits they have in-store. (Image source: VM).

Hairpins are something that might be used with these Hermes scarves. (Image source: VM)

6 – CONTRAST 

Which objects, shapes, colors or textures will make a shopper stop and take note of how polar opposite they are to your products?

  • Dark can contrast light products
  • Rough can contrast smooth finishes 
  • A simple background can contrast a complex design
  • Etc.

 

You can also create a contrast to the surroundings. If the event is busy, bright and loud, your quiet, serene setting will be quite the contrast to the rest of the atmosphere. If the weather is cold and snowy, a warm beach theme will also stand out in contrast.

 

The crisp, clean Alexander McQueen dress stands out in contrast to the dark background. (Image source: VM)

 

7 – HUMOR

Who doesn’t love to laugh? Humor helps us let our guards down and feel more comfortable…and a comfortable shopper is more likely to stick around and buy.

 

Don’t try too hard; you don’t need each passerby to keel over in laughter; a simple smile or chuckle will immediately make them relax. Be sure your humor isn’t offensive and it doesn’t need explaining…keep it simple!

French Connection uses their FCUK campaign to have some fun with phrases that will make you chuckle and maybe even shock you at first glance. (Image source: VM)



A giant whoopee cushion uses humor, scale and nostalgia to make you take notice of Fred Perry’s back to school children’s clothes. (Image source: VM)

8 – NOSTALGIA 

Don’t you love seeing something that reminds you of your childhood? It evokes a strong feeling, which is incredibly important when it comes to being memorable; do you remember products that made you feel nothing?

 

Items from our past, or “before and afters” reminding us how far we’ve come, will encourage people to stop and have a closer look.

 

This Moschino window brings us right back to playing dress up with our Barbies. The oversized toy packaging grabs your attention and makes you envision how the bright and fun outfit will look on the mannequins…or you! (Image source: VM)

 

Theo Fennel’s window immediately reminds you of the sound and feel of spinning the tin top that’s used as a prop, along with wooden blocks (spelling out Theo), both used to display beautiful jewelry. (Image source: VM)

 

9 – MOTION

Something moving among static products (aside from other people) can catch a shopper’s eye.

 

You don’t want it to become a hazard or annoying (strobe lights are not the way to go), but something that makes people want to stop and watch a prop go through the whole motion, can work to your advantage.

 

The more complex the movement is, the further out of reach it should be (up high or behind your table). You don’t want moving objects to be in the way of products shoppers are trying to browse.

 

Movement can also be implied through displays to show off components of your products or to create a feeling. Pulling the end of a scarf up using fishing wire can imply the movement of wind and make the shopper think of chilly days.

 

This Anthropology window is so serene. Fans gently blow scarves to show how delicate they are while sunlight highlights the beautiful colors. (Image source: VM)



Movement is implied in this windy Hackett window, creating an interesting scene to stop and look at. (Image source: VM)

10 – SURPRISE 

An element of surprise is involved in many of the ideas above but you can make an even bigger impact by creating a moment shoppers aren’t expecting at a craft show. It should leave them amused and excited to tell others about it.

 

You can also add intrigue. Make shoppers do a double-take and hang around a little longer to check something out or solve a puzzle.

 

For example, encouraging shoppers to come closer to peer into a shadow box or behind curtains to see what they’re missing out on. Having something out of place or missing intrigues the mind and forces it to figure out what the missing piece of the puzzle is or how to solve the equation, which gets shoppers hanging around a bit longer. Perhaps long enough for you to make a sale?

 

You may be surprised to see an island backdrop set up in the middle of the city for you to have your own photoshoot. And if you’re not quite camera ready, it’s a great opportunity to head in and try some of Liz Earle’s beauty products. (Image source: VM)



A broken chair may make you take a second look as you walk past The Conran Shop, which is pointing out that their furniture is well constructed and will last a lifetime. (Image source: VM)

 

 

TAKE ACTION

I know what you’re thinking; Well this is all fine and dandy but how do I apply it to MY craft show display?

 

Let me get you started 🙂

 

 

STEP 1

Assess how many of these elements you’re using in your current craft show display.

 

You don’t want to use too many of these visual merchandising techniques or you run the risk of overwhelming the shopper.

 

 

STEP 2

Start with your products and your brand. What’s their message?

 

Think about your:

 

  • Style – how would you describe the style of your products? That must come across within the first few seconds of shoppers seeing your space. Are your products for someone who likes to stand out with bold accessories? Someone who’s quirky? Someone who’s feminine? (*Do you have a signature style? If not, check out this article because you absolutely need one.)

 

  • Story – what’s the story you want to tell through your display? Are you painting the picture of a spa day at home using your bath & body products? An elegant night out while wearing your jewelry? A stylish way to stay warm on the way to the office? (*Props will help tell a story, here are 50 PROP IDEAS FOR YOUR CRAFT SHOW DISPLAY)

 

STEP 3

Figure out how you will communicate that information through your display.

 

Sound like a lot?

 

It’s not hard to do but it also doesn’t come together without some effort. I’ll walk you through the easy steps in the FREE email course: 5 DAYS TO A STANDOUT DISPLAY.

 

You can set up your products at a craft show without all this effort and makesales.

 

But my guess is…since you’re here…you want more sales. 

 

You want:

  • More shoppers to stop by your table
  • More of those shoppers to buy
  • More shoppers to remember you
  • More shoppers to talk about you to friends
  • More sales coming in after the event

 

To do so, you must make an impact with your display and tell your product’s and brand’s story.

 

I’ll walk you through each step of setting up a powerful display that actually impacts sales in the FREE email course: 5 DAYS TO A STANDOUT DISPLAY.

 

“I am brand new at doing Craft Sales. I started in November 2017. Did my first sale sold nothing. Did my second sale and sold a couple of items. Took the 5 day challenge and made a profit at the last sale.”

~Just for you cards by Kathryn

 

“I applied some steps from the challenge and it was AMAZING, it really helped and improved my display. More people came to see the booth and many bought from me.”

~Beatriz, Owner of Pretelie from Brazil

 

CRAFT SHOW EXAMPLES

Try testing your new-found knowledge. Take a look at each photo, think about the visual merchandising techniques they have implement and then read the caption.

 

EXAMPLE #1

Abagail from Our Blue Abode, sells beautiful home decor pieces and these are a few photos from craft shows she’s participated in. She clearly has a talent for creating compositions and photography. Please check out her website or follow @ourblueabode on Instagram

In these two displays, there are several well-implemented design techniques, but she’s focused on a few key ones:

  • COLOR – colors used in her display are limited: cream, white and green with a few touches of black. The colors have a very natural, earthy, and calming feel, which match her brand. The absence of color in her backdrop curtain, tablecloth, props, etc. allow the products to stand out. The neutral colors used in her display props (backdrop, tablecloth, props) create contrast between the dark rich color of the greenery.
  • REPETITION – She’s limited her product selection, which naturally implements the “repetition” technique. You see the same circular shape repeated through the wreaths. The texture of the glass jars is also repeated, as well as the color of the greenery used in each product. Colors, shapes, and textures have created repetition.
  • LINE & COMPOSITION – in the second photo, your eye is drawn to the highest object in the display; the wreath. It’s then drawn to the two lower wreaths. The greenery on the left side of the bottom wreath catches the eye and draws it to the grouping of glass candle holders on the stack of books (which create a composition). The rolls of paper and eucalyptus stems create a line over to the second table composition. And the eucalyptus stem and candle in that composition create a line back up to the wreaths, so there’s this continuous loop (instead of the eye being drawn over to someone else’s table). It sounds complicated when you dissect a display into lines and compositions, but just as the eye is naturally drawn to red, without thinking about why, the eye does naturally follow a path. Properly using lines and composition helps keep shoppers eyes on your products.

 

Here’s another example of Our Blue Abode’s display at another event and an example of many visual merchandising techniques successfully implemented:

 

EXAMPLE #2

I have been admiring this company for years. I first noticed them because of their craft show display, I just think it’s so genius and creative.

Don Fisher was started by Julia Castaño (and her boyfriend helps where he can…like dressing up as Captain Don Fisher). Julia is a graphic designer based in Barcelona, Spain, and has studied branding and design. She started her business with fish-shaped pencil cases and now offers a wide variety of fish-themed bags. Check out their website and products; the details are amazing.

This is a photo from their first craft fair in 2013:

Here are a couple of photos from a more recent craft show, after a logo and brand update:

In these two displays, there are a lot of well-implemented display techniques but they’ve focused on:

  • COLOR – the color scheme varies for each display. In the first craft fair display, they’ve focused on pink, blue and turquoise. The color of the wood is also repeated in signage, the fish crates, business card holders, etc. The color palette in the first display evokes a fun, playful feel. They’re still having fun with their second craft fair display and letting their brand come through, but the colors used have a softer, more elegant feel to them.
  • REPETITION – in both displays, the main colors are repeated throughout, as well as the wood & wooden crates are repeated. Their products and the way they’re grouped creates a strong repetition through shapes and lines.
  • LINE & COMPOSITION – in the first display, the lighting helps catch the eye at eye level. When the spotlights are on, they would help lead your eye down to the crates of fish-themed bags. But the big chalkboard sign also catches the eye, then leads the eye down to the bucket of fish and crates. Both displays use the angle of the crates and groupings of products to draw the eye down and from one product to the next.
  • HUMOR / SURPRISE – both displays have a playful feel that would put a smile on any shopper’s face, and I’m sure Captain Don Fisher’s beard got a few chuckles that day. Their displays also add an element of surprise; who’s expecting to see a mock fish market in the middle of a craft show? They’ve even placed their fish bags on material that looks like ice…to keep them fresh of course. It’s such a fun idea that I bet every shopper stops at their booth.

 

EXAMPLE #3

When I was scrolling through Instagram, Poppiejanes‘ photo of their craft show display instantly caught my eye. Poppiejanes sells pillow covers that have a farmhouse vibe; many also have a “buffalo” theme, incorporating a buffalo shape or buffalo plaid. Check out their Etsy shop or Instagram feed for more amazing photos of their work and lots of inspiration for your home.

I wanted to point out how she’s successfully implemented these techniques throughout her display; even within a smaller section on her table. I also love the attention to detail shown in this close-up photo.

  • COLOR – tan, cream and black create the base for this display and little pops of red and gold help lead your attention around the table. She’s kept this color palette consistent from her products to her props and display fixtures. It’s consistent right down to the twine used to attach tags and the bow around the base of the small spruce. This attention to detail creates a clean, cohesive look.
  • REPETITION – this display is another great example of repetition, but just look at how many places it’s implemented. The burlap is repeated in the tablecloth and on the base of the spruce. The font on the pillows is repeated in her signage. I also want to draw attention to the placement of the repeated elements; red touches are perfectly spaced, and the darker tan pillow covers are broken up by the lighter tan and cream pillowcases, so they don’t blend into the tablecloth.
  • LINE & COMPOSITION – the pillow sitting on top of the wooden crate, along with the small spruce tree, help grab attention, with the bigger pillows sitting on either side, drawing the eye down to the pillow covers sitting flat.
  • LIGHTING – there’s a subtle touch of lighting in her display through the use of mini-lights inside the wooden crate. The mini-lights help to highlight the pillow inside and also create a bit of focus in the center of the composition.

 

More craft show examples to come…

 

 

Thanks for reading!

 

You’re so far ahead of the competition if you just took the time to read through those professional merchandising techniques.

 

I’d love to hear your thoughts now…

 

Which standout display elements do you currently use at craft shows, and which are you going to try at your next event?

 

Reference: Visual Merchandising & Display (4th Edition) Martin M. Pegler



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and they are sharing standout craft show booths from the stellar artists exhibited over the last seven years, we've seen our fair share of booths! No matter what you make or where a show is being held, you can create a.

Does Your Craft Fair Display Match Your Products?

by Lisa McGrimmon

Does the ambiance of your craft fair display match your products? It should!

When you start to develop your booth design, it's important to think of your company image and your products as a whole and communicate that in your display.

A booth that doesn't create a cohesive feel that underscores the image inherent in your products is a lost opportunity to draw customers in. And a booth design that actively works against your product image and customer expectations can cause you to lose sales.

Your booth often creates the first impression people have of your work. This is particularly true if you sell smaller items that aren't easily viewed from a distance. Your booth setup presents a huge opportunity to communicate to customers. What do you want to say to them?

Some Examples Of Craft Fair Displays That Make the Right First Impression

Pictures speak louder than words. So, to illustrate this point, here are several photos to show you how a great match between display and product make an impact. I've grouped them based on the type of item sold (i.e. soaps, clothing, tableware, etc.) to make it easy to see how items in the same category can have a very different feel and, therefore, require very different displays.

Soap Displays

The exuberant, colorful soaps pictured here are bright and fun.

The display is a riot of colors with the soaps tied up in brightly colored bows and displayed on cake stands. It makes you think of parties, and the soaps look treats that are good enough to eat.

The look completely works with the fun, bright colored soaps.

Compare that booth to the more muted colored soaps in this next picture. The look of the soaps says natural, back to basics, and possibly organic.

This craft fair display is simple with neutral colors, and the vintage washing machine is brilliant.  It's related to the product, it catches attention but then draws you in to inspect the product - the soap that's in the washing machine.

For anyone old enough to recognize what it is (I'm 40-something, and I remember my grandmother doing laundry in a machine like this one) it instantly says vintage, homey, and made with care just like grandma would have made.

Note: This booth is at a huge, indoor show. I wouldn't want to drag a vintage washing machine around to a bunch of smaller shows, but it makes sense here!

Both booths are great, and both products are great (I have purchased soap from both of these companies and love them both), but if they traded booths, and the bright soaps went in the vintage washing machine, and the natural, neutral soaps got tied up with bright bows and went on the cake plates, neither booth would be particularly effective. 

They wouldn't communicate a cohesive message, and they wouldn't be as enticing to customers.

Clothing and Accessories Displays

One quick glance, and you immediately know this next booth is full of whimsical dress-up clothing for little girls. 

The eye catching product, which is very easy to see on the outside corner of the booth, combined with the vivd pink curtains tells the story in an instant. 

When you walk by this booth, you'll instantly know it's the place to look if you want a cute gift for a little girl.

Although the clothing makes a strong statement on its own, if the curtains had been any other colour, the booth probably wouldn't have communicated "whimsical little girl items" quite as clearly. 

This display in the next photo is the height of luxury.  The elegant simplicity of this booth immediately communicates a high-end feel and will help this artisan command higher prices for each item.

Notice the booth isn't jam-packed with product, which helps to highlight the specialness of each shawl. The textile designers might have many many more shawls packed away out of sight, but by displaying just a few in an open space, they create an air of luxury.

Next up is a clothing booth in a completely different vein.  It's fun and whimsical.

These items are trendy impulse purchases, not investment pieces, and the display communicates that.  Compared with the previous photo, there are more pieces on display, and they are more casually arranged.

The blackboard with pricing information carries through the fun, relaxed feel.

Next we have an artisan who sells men's ties. This booth completely stood out from all of the others at the show because of the pure masculinity of this craft fair display.  There's no question who these items are for.  

Although it also has a feeling of luxury (like the scarf and shawl booth), it still carries a different vibe than the handmade shawl booth, which is more modern.

All four booths sell some type of clothing or accessories, but the message that's communicated to customers is completely different in all four cases.

HAndmade Tableware Displays

The next two craft fair display pictures show displays with modern style dish ware. Although the looks are different, there are a lot of similarities in the booths including simple floating shelves (i.e. no fancy shelf brackets to disturb the minimal look), good lighting, and no extra adornment.

The third photo also shows tableware, but this time it's wooden with a very natural vibe.  Although they are also displayed on shelves, the wood poles supporting the shelves tie in with the look of the bowls.  

You might have noticed that the modern tableware booths pictured above also have wood shelves, but the sleek, smooth finished wood creates a completely different feel compared to the unfinished wood in the more natural booth.

The fourth tableware example shows items that are more traditional in style. These pieces are displayed on the type of warm wood cabinets you might expect to find in a modern farmhouse.

It helps customers imagine the pieces displayed in their own homes.

The sleek lines of the floating shelves that work so well in the other displays pictured above simply wouldn't fit as well with these items.

Paintings on Display

I love the twist on the standard easel in both of these art booths. Each of them show fairly natural, rustic paintings of trees, so instead of the standard easel, these artists have used easels made from wood that could very well have come from branches of the trees in their paintings.

This rustic type of easel would be completely out of place in another style of painting, but it's a clever match for the work of these two artists.

Garden Decor DIsplayed at Craft Shows

The next two booths have a similar feel.  Both display whimsical garden decor, and their booths work to bring the idea of the outdoors into a craft booth.

This third booth of outdoor garden decor has a slightly different feel.

It isn't evocative of the outdoors, but instead the rustic feel of the birdhouses is carried through with the display, particularly the old wooden ladder used as a shelf.


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Seeking clever ways to display your crafts? Here are some of my favorite frugal DIY craft show displays that are simple to make and uncomplicated. Get inspired, find items to repurpose, or discover affordable places to purchase premade displays that won’t break the bank.

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This cute ornament tree can be built for around $10 and used for any small items that dangle.

I use something similar for a keychain stand that I found at a flea market and repurposed.  It was originally a coffee mug holder.  I really like how fancy this one looks and it’s a very easy project.  It’s a great way for me to have a small display for a lower cost item.

Click on the image to visit the tutorial over at Shanty2Chic.

You won’t believe how easy this adorable project is and it’s very versatile.  A high heel shoe, some paint, hot glue and scrap fabric make a super cute ring display.

Use your hot glue gun to embellish a shoe with flowers, beads, bling – whatever your heart desires.  Paint the bottoms.  You can purchase and clean up and disinfect a flea market find – or buy a new pair.

The tutorial is linked through the picture.

I created these shelves using wine crates, some scrap wood for the center shelf, some scraps of fabric and acrylic paint.

Paint (or stain) the crate inside and out, then decoupage your fabric into the inside bottom of the crate which will become the back wall.

Finally, use your scrap board and screw in a shelf. – Simple.

Love the look of crates? They are quite easy to build and very versatile.  You can create any sizes you need, then paint, stain or decoupage them to match your business colors/theme.  You can build a couple of small crates like this for about $5.

Larger unfinished crates sell at Wal-Mart for about 10 dollars and can be painted, stained or customized however you like.  Be careful, I’ve found a lot of these have splinters! They are quite rough and should be sanded.

Here is another simple DIY project that can add height, dimension, and visual interest.  Oh, it’s also super easy and inexpensive to make.

This project consists of a 4 x 4 cut to various lengths – whatever your heart desires.  (Home Depot does free cuts) Wood plaques you can purchase at any craft supply store or online, some paintable caulk and wood glue.

Click the image to view the full tutorial at landeelu.com.  She made hers for a Halloween display, but I think these would be fantastic to highlight some pieces for a craft display don’t you?

Pretty up some PVC pipes and connectors to create custom displays in various heights, widths, and colors.

PVC is durable, cheap and also easy to assemble and disassemble.  You can use displays like this for headbands, jewelry, bows or anything else you want to hang. You can even create floor stands.

The image leads to a quick tutorial on how to create them yourself.

Saw this on Pinterest and can’t find the original tutorial, but according to the pinned image, this was created by cutting down the sides of a wire crate with wire cutters and applying small magnets to hold the boards in place.

The use of magnets over adhesive makes this a collapsible display that is easier for transport. Clever idea!

This adorable DIY clothing display rack would be perfect for a craft fair because it’s collapsible.

The tutorial requires only a few basic tools and some paint and can be done in an afternoon.  This would be adorable for baby clothes, but could also be used for other hanging items.

Check out this cute display made out of popsicle sticks.  I like the use of cascading colors, but they could probably be done in one solid color also.

Super cute and you can’t beat the price – popsicle sticks are incredibly cheap to buy in bulk. Dowels would look more polished and professional and they can also be purchased for a reasonable price.

Hula Hoops are another inexpensive option you can convert.  We spray painted a dollar store hoop that we suspend from the top of our canopy.  I placed shower curtain rings around it and hang my sun catchers around the hoop.  It’s a simple, inexpensive display for hanging objects.

I also like the way the lady in the images below transforms a hoop to hold images.  The blog is not in English, but you can tell by all her images how she makes this – very clever and I think it would be a great way to display photos of your products, particularly for those who do custom orders etc.

What clever DIY craft show display ideas have you come up with?

DIY Sheep Crafts | Start Your First Craft Booth for Under $ | Shepherd Like A Before you get into planning your first ever craft fair booth set-up, here are a.

13 Imaginative Craft Show Display Ideas to Get You Inspired

Vending at an out-of-town craft show can be thrilling, but it also may mean rethinking your craft fair display ideas.  This is especially true if you have to lug your products and displays in suitcases and on airplanes. 

The goal is to pack light and pack with a punch!  When thinking of craft fair booth ideas that travel well, look for attractive, lightweight containers that can hold your product safely in place.  Below, you’ll find three thrift store staples that can be transformed into craft fair display ideas that do double duty every time.

The simple picnic basket 

This craft fair display idea can hold lots of product when you're traveling. Find a basket that will latch closed and can fit into your suitcase.  Bring a hotel towel or two with you to the show to fold into the bottom. This will puff up your product and make for easy shopability.  Use a couple of thumbtacks to string a sign across the back of the basket. 

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The romantic photo album

Flat items like bookmarks, cards, and some jewelry can be easily stored between the pages of virtually any book or photo album to create a great craft fair booth idea that also travels well.  Use rubber bands, removable tape, or ribbon to secure during travel.  Once you’re ready to set up your display, simply remove the stays and lay your goodies across the pages.  For fat albums and books, stand your book upright.  For thinner volumes, such as children’s books, lay the books flat on the table and lay your pieces right on top.

The swank-a-rific cassette case

These lightweight lovelies are an excellent craft fair display idea if you have gear that needs to be protected against breakage during travel. Simply remove the cassette trays, slice long-ways, place upside down, and you’ve got a tiered display!  Pin or tape your sign to the back and you can leave it in place for multiple shows.

how to build a craft fair booth

WATCH THE VIDEO ON THEME: Craft Show Success Tips - Make More Money - How to sell more at your craft show

There are a lot of mistakes a seller can make at a craft fair. Thanks to a few great articles that I found online, I've gathered a list of what can be considered the top.

how to build a craft fair booth
Written by Nanris
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