by Lisa McGrimmon
Accessories display booths need to be designed to draw attention from a distance and encourage customers to touch and try on your products. Most accessories are small, so you'll likely have a lot of items to display in your space, and you'll need to find a way to show off those smaller items from a distance.
If you're working on your handmade hat or purse display, or you sell other types of accessories at craft shows, you can see what works and discover how to create a booth that draws customers in with these 13 examples.
You'll find booths that make great use of commercially available as well as custom handbag racks, millinery trees, and mannequins to display your accessories at craft shows.
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Here's a great purse booth which is a combination of hanging displays and shelves.
I believe the yellow tote bag display stands are custom made, possibly from PVC pipe. Just on the right of the photo, you can see a commercially available purse rack adding to the display space.
If you look closely, you'll see two big trunks underneath the yellow shelves. They would provide excellent storage for extra inventory plus any supplies that might be needed for the show but should be tucked away out of customers' view.
The tote bags displayed up high help the booth get noticed from a distance. This designer's fun, bright, graphic style is striking. Because these bags are larger than most accessories and eye-catching, they can speak for themselves. There's no need for this designer to use other strategies to get noticed as customers approach the booth.
Here's that same booth, but this time it's set up at a large indoor craft show that runs for several days where vendors can set up more substantial booths than you would see at a smaller craft show.
These two photos show you how, with good planning, a booth can be transformed for outdoor and indoor shows.
Notice the big trunks are still at the bottom of the shelves. The fabric hung at the back of the display to hide neighboring booths and define the space is used in both the outdoor and indoor versions of the booths. A lot of the same shelves are used with just a few changes.
The display racks used to show the bags are tall to make full use of the height of the booth space, but they aren't particularly wide. Narrower display stands provide more flexibility in the booth setup. They can be arranged in any number of ways depending on the space you have to work with.
A rug has been added to cover up the not-so-lovely carpeting at this indoor show. This show actually requires vendors to use some type of portable floor covering in their displays, and the rug is a simple solution.
The most significant change moving from an outdoor booth to an indoor display is the extensive use of overhead lighting in the indoor booth. While lighting can still be quite helpful at an outdoor show, it is absolutely essential at indoor shows because you don't have the benefit of bright sunlight, and overhead lights in large convention hall just won't do your products justice.
This booth uses a simple, commercially available, portable purse display rack. The designer has made full use of the space by displaying purses not only on all of the hooks, but also on the slightly elevated base of this stand.
A stand like this would be great positioned an an outer corner of a booth and filled with some of your most enticing and interesting designs.
That outer corner of your booth is a prime spot for placing items that draw attention and bring people further into your booth.
This next photo features a booth that has to win the prize for most compact and portable accessories display. This simple DIY purse display stand is clever and would take up very little space when transporting and storing it.
Look closely at the wooden racks in the photo. I bet they screw apart and can be broken down into a few long, thin planks. It's perfect for easy transportation and storage.
The final purse display ideas features several handbags hanging on clothes hangers on a clothes bar. Several of the purses have been turned outward to make them more visible to passing shoppers.
The tall rack makes full use of the height of the booth, and the handbags displayed on the top shelf may not be easily reachable, but they are doing another job - drawing attention to the display from a distance.
Want more ideas for displaying your purses? You'll find nine more handbag display photos here.
Show your customers some love, and encourage them to shop handmade with these printable craft booth signs in my Etsy shop. Click the images below to see more.
Next up, how to display handmade hats at craft shows!
I love the colorful felted hats and scarves in this handmade hat booth.
The booth uses a simple millinery tree to highlight some of this designer's most eye-catching pieces at the outer corner of the space. Plus, there's a table with risers to provide more display space further back into the booth. If you peek under the table covering, you'll see a nice big bucket probably full of extra inventory or craft show survival supplies.
The next photo shows some more handmade hats on a simple hat rack.
A good, portable millinery stand really is one of the simplest and most effective ways to make your handmade hats look fabulous at craft shows.
Next we have an accessories display booth that features unusual diamond-shaped shelves at the back of the booth.
Simply turning boxes on their sides to create a diamond-shaped grid adds a lot of interest and movement to this accessories display. This display is at a more casual craft show, and the simplicity of the boxes, while not right for every situation, works well within this space.
Notice the mirror is also turned on its side to create a diamond shape that echoes the shelves.
I love the bright white backdrop that forms the foundation of the photo on the right.
Mannequins aren't just for clothing designers! They are a great option for creating a focal point and highlighting accessories. In this booth, the knit poncho and hat on the mannequin take center stage. Without the mannequin, customers might completely miss these items.
This next hat display booth makes great use of space.
The gridwalls provide a lot of display area without taking up too much floor space, so customers have plenty of room to browse and try on hats.
Looking for even more ideas for displaying your hats? I've shared 10 more hat display photos here.
Here are a few more accessories display booths that don't quite fit a single category.
This booth features a gorgeous mix of handbags, belts, and handmade jewelry on display. Although there's a big mix of product types, the booth is unified.
The accessories have a clear style of their own, and there's a cohesive color scheme throughout the products, so they all work together. The white accessories display items simply fade into the background where it belongs letting the accessories take center stage.
Here's another display that makes good use of a white backdrop and white display furniture. Using a white backdrop and white display stands in combination with wood-look portable flooring is a surefire way to create an effective, professional look. This combination creates the foundation for a display that works almost anywhere.
I saved this next photo for last because it is just so clever. I love these buttons covering a mannequin bust.
Here's a perfect example of how to take something tiny and not noticeable from a distance (the buttons) and create a display that makes them into something larger that draws attention and pulls customers in.
A few things stand out among these photos.
You can't go wrong with a white backdrop and wood-look flooring. It's a neutral, modern foundation for your booth that lets you build on it to create almost any look.
It's important to look for clever ways to make your small items noticeable from a distance. Commonly, designers will use large, poster-sized photos of their products to achieve this goal. But, as you can see with the buttons on a mannequin bust example, if you think creatively, you can find other ways to achieve the same goal.
Finally, often the best display furniture is the one made specifically for the accessories you sell - hat racks for hats, purse racks for purses. Craft professionals love to DIY something on our own. It's in our nature. Sometimes a handmade display solution works beautifully, but don't discount the ready-made display options available to you. They are designed to do exactly what you want, and they can often save you some of the time and headaches that can come with building your own display furniture.