Plenty of craft show ideas and tips to help you make the most of your craft fair sales opportunities.
If you're taking the plunge to sell your crafts at a few shows, a bit of research, planning and preparation will help you make the most of these events. Read on for tips on finding good shows in your area, applying to juried art shows, taking great photos for your applications, creating a fabulous display, and getting organized to make the most of your day.
There are loads of craft show ideas on this page. Here's what you'll find:
I earn a commission for purchases made through links on this page.
To learn more, please see my disclosure.
Local Craft Show Directories: An easy and reliable way to find craft shows in your area is to check out listings in your area craft show directory. Here's how to find a craft show directory for your location, what to look for in the listings, and what to be wary of.
Choosing the Right Shows for You: Once you do a few shows, you will quickly discover not all shows are created equal.
Some will present fabulous opportunities, and at others, you'll struggle to make your booth fee. Some shows are great for one type of vendor, and not so great for others. Here are a few factors to consider when you're looking at committing time and money to participate in a craft show to help you choose the best shows for you.
Getting Started at Smaller Craft Shows: There are a few pros and cons to consider before you commit to doing smaller, local craft shows. Some are fabulously organized and well attended, others...not so much. Small craft shows can be a lower risk way to get started with shows. Are they right for you? Read on to decide.
Juried Art Show Applications: The best craft shows that present the best opportunity for sales are usually juried shows. And the best juried shows are the most competitive to get into. If you want to sell your crafts at the very best shows you first need to know how to show your work at its very best.
You absolutely must have great photos of your products to submit to juried art shows. That means, either hiring a pro, or becoming skilled with your camera and photo editing software.
Remember, your photos are typically all the jury has on hand to assess your work, so if you want to get into better shows, and particularly if you work in a competitive category like jewelry, you can't compromise on the quality of your photos.
If you want to learn how to take your own product shots for craft show applications (also a useful and necessary skill if you plan to sell crafts online) here are my favorite resources on product photography.
This excellent product photography course on Craftsy is designed specifically for craft business owners. The teacher, Jessica Marquez is lovely and gives clear, easy to follow instructions. If you're a beginner photographer, she'll show you everything you need to know to become a skilled craft photographer.
Learn Craft Photography: This 15-part action plan shows you everything you need to know to learn how to take great photos of your handmade products.
Don't waste money on gear you don't need, and don't waste time learning skills you'll never use. This action plan shows you the product photography essentials you'll need.
DIY Product Photography or Hire a Professional Photographer?: It is absolutely essential to submit excellent product photos in your juried craft show applications. This is not a place to cut corners. Should you take your own photos or hire a pro to do the job? Read on to help make the right decision for your business.
Lifestyle vs Product Photography: Do you need lifestyle product photos styled with clever props and backdrops, or product-only images on a plain white background?
Learn all about these two types of product photography and discover how to use each style to promote your handmade business.
How to Light Product Photography: Learn the basic techniques you need to understand to create well-lit photos of your crafts using natural light or artificial light.
Using Natural Light in Photography: Natural light is free and it's easy to learn the basics, which makes it a great option for product photography beginners. This article will show you how to photograph your crafts using natural light indoors in front of a bright window. You'll also learn how to find and use great lighting outside to photograph your crafts.
Light Box Product Photography: Light boxes eliminate a lot of problems that trouble beginner photographers. If you want to use artificial lighting for product photography, and your items are small enough for a tabletop setup, a light box is an excellent option. Here's how to use a light box to photograph your crafts.
Product Photography Lighting Setup: Everything a beginner will need to create well-lit product photos. Plus, three diagrams show you how to set up side lighting, back lighting, and front lighting in a basic home photography studio.
Photography Composition Tips for Beginners: Learn how to use the rule of thirds and the golden triangle to compose better product photos. And apply design elements like line, color, shape, light, texture, and negative space to create images that evoke feeling and tell a story.
Product Photography Styling: Learn how to use props to create beautifully styled product photos that communicate important information about your products and elicit emotional responses that resonate with your target customers and build desire to buy.
Product Photography Style Guide: How to develop brand imagery guidelines to keep the look of your product photos consistent. Plus, a printable PDF photography style guide template you can use to track all of your information.
When I started to sell crafts online and at juried shows, getting great photos was a big struggle.
The Crafter's Guide to Taking Great Photos is the product photography book I wish was around when I started.
This book will show you how to take the type of styled photos you see on great blogs.
Pixlr - A Free and Simple Tool to Edit Your Photos for Craft Show Applications: Your photo shoot is not the end of the process of creating great photos for juried craft show applications. You'll need to edit them as well. You may need to do some small touch ups, and there's a good chance you'll need to resize your photos to meet show organizers' requirements.
Luckily, the Pixlr photo editor can help you do all of that. It's a great tool for craft professionals, and it's free! Learn how Pixlr can help you edit your photos painlessly.
Craft Booth Ideas and Photos: There's so much that goes into creating a great booth - display furniture, lighting, color, flooring, booth layout - You can really have fun creating your booth.
I've written an entire section on the topic with links to multiple articles and hundreds of craft booth photos. You'll find all of it here.
Complete Craft Tent Buying Guide: There's also a lot to consider when buying a craft tent, and it can represent a fairly large financial commitment, so you want to make a smart choice. Click the link above to explore a comprehensive guide to choosing the right craft tent for your needs.
Make the Most of Your First Craft Show: Attending a craft show can be a big commitment. You'll need to pay a booth fee, create a great display, and create enough inventory for the show. With all of that invested in a show, you want it to be a big success. Here are 6 craft shows tips to help you prepare and make the most of your next show.
Craft Fair Check List: Be prepared, and don't forget anything when you go to your next show. Use this check list of items to bring to a show so you don't forget anything important at home!