Looking for some craft booth ideas? Read on to find out what readers have used to create their own creative, effective, and inexpensive displays.
Tree Branch Craft Display
Pam Uttaro / MT Waltham, MA USA
A friend and I craft holiday ornaments each year to sell at various winter and holiday-time craft fairs throughout our area. We were racking our brains trying to come up with ideas on how best to display our ornaments so that they would move freely & be seen to their best advantage.
We came up with the following, which would also work for things like jewelry, sun catchers and smaller knitted or crocheted items.
We hunted around our yards for nicely shaped and sturdy tree branches. We cut them, allowing a long "stem" base in order to mount them securely, then stuck them into coffee cans and galvanized buckets filled with wet plaster. After the plaster set, we glued moss on top to hide the plaster.
The branches can be spray painted and sprinkled with sparkles, wrapped with yarn or colored twine or left natural.
The cans and buckets can be spray painted or covered with fabric and decorated as you like.
We used ribbons, buttons and various trims.
On some of the displays, we left the branches in their natural state and wrapped the buckets with burlap, secured with raffia and hemp twine strung with wooden beads for a rustic look.
What a great, versatile and inexpensive craft display idea. I can imagine making this idea work for all kinds of crafts. You could get many different types of looks depending on how you decorated the display.
Jewelry Displays Benefit from Bold Color and Height
I used to work for a department store chain as a Jewelry Department Sales Manager, and I found that bold colors and height attracted customers to jewelry displays more than anything else.
Some of my friends sell handmade items at craft shows (mostly jewelry), and I have always thought that they would get more traffic to their tables if they added some height to their displays.
Some tricks we used at the store where I worked were to take wood blocks or cardboard boxes and cover them with fabric to raise the height of our counter top display fixtures.
Necklaces can be hard to display as they tend to slide down displays and get easily tangled when hanging. We found at the store that using small sewing pins to hold special focus pieces in collections on a slanted display of fabric covered wood allowed the customer to see the boldest eye catching pieces first.
It's my experience that even if the merchandise does not have bold color, the displays should be bold to attract the potential customers' attention.
Black and beige clothing can be lovely backdrops for most jewelry items when they are worn but I have never seen a customer race over to a beige display case the way they do to a hot pink or orange one.
I would suggest that anyone trying to sell their small wares at craft shows really build up their displays with bold colored fabric covering plain wood or cardboard and using sewing pins to keep their featured piece in place.
Laura, it's nice to get some craft and jewelry display tips from someone who sold jewelry at a retail store.
Often crafters look at other craft show booths for ideas about how to create their own display, but it can also be very helpful to have a look at retail stores that sell similar items and cater to a similar customer.
Because you are limited to a small space, and everything needs to be very portable for craft show displays, not all retail display ideas will translate into a craft show booth, but a lot of general concepts (like color and height) apply very well.
One of the things I hate when I go to craft shows or vendor booths is a crowded table with everything on one level. It's difficult to see the merchandise, and if a customer wants to pick up an item to look at it more closely they often end up knocking over other items.
My solution is to take old college textbooks (I have a science degree, and our textbooks tend to be LARGE!) and place them on the rear and sides of the table at different heights. The same effect can be accomplished with sturdy boxes or plastic containers. I make sure my display cloth is large enough that I can tuck it around the books and still reach the floor on the front and sides of the booth (I store sacks, extra merchandise, etc. under the table). I generally display the more expensive items on the higher levels so they draw attention first.
If you are selling an item that allows for sampling, place your samples near the item you are selling. Giving a potential customer the opportunity to try a perfume or lotion, or taste a dip or piece of bread, increases the likelihood that you will make a sale.
One thing I've used in craft show displays that attracts customers to my craft booth is Christmas lights. They don't have to be crazy and colorful. Sometimes just the nice white ones add a simple elegance and also stands out.
If your display is a little plainer, then colorful lights might jazz it up (be careful not to get too flashy). A string of lights is generally easy to put up and take down.
Another thing I've found from doing craft shows, is customers and workers alike enjoy padding on the floor. You can get squares that connect like puzzle pieces and put them inside your craft booth. Strollers and wheelchairs are still able to roll around, but those walking will enjoy the break from the hard ground.
Another simple thing, don't make your craft booth too crowded. No one likes to be in a space where everyone is jammed in. If they can't see your product, they can't buy it. Leave extras in a car or hide them under tables. Don't clutter your valuable space.
Also, if you are outdoors and have an electrical hookup, consider a fan. People will enjoy cooling off as they browse your space looking at your merchandise. Make sure it's conveniently located so it's not blowing your merchandise around or in a location where it will easily topple over.
I make and sell crafts that have to do with angels. I make angel pins, angel ornaments, and cross stitch angels.
When I set up my display I hang up a white t-shirt with a number of angel pins of various colors.
I also lay out my angel pins like I would lay out jewelry. I put them against a contrasting background so they stand out.
I do not lay out a lot of the same color combinations. If people are interested I can always get more of the same from behind the table.
Last winter I picked up a beautiful gold tree at an after Christmas sale. It is not a Christmas tree so, while it displays my ornament, it does not say 'Christmas only'. I also have a few other trees made of pastel colors. This shows that my angels are 'all year' ornaments.
I also went to an auto salvage place and bought a rear view mirror. I hang an angel from it to show another way and place to hand the angels.
I also have a sample fan pull with and angel attached.
My large cross stitch angels I display on a peg board behind me. I hang them so they can be easily removed for close viewing and then easily re-hung. The smaller pieces I display in frames. I just put out a few to get the attention of the viewer. The rest are in binders in plastic envelopes.
I also do this with my bookmarks. I bought a few small photo albums and put the bookmarks in the photo pockets. I put a tag with the price on the pocket so no one has to peel off the tag.
I always get to craft fairs early so I have plenty of time to set up my display. I also take the time to look at other displays to get ideas on how to improve my own.
I love your rear view mirror display ideas. How smart to display your crafts in ways that shows customers how they might use them and to show they're not just for one occasion.
One really great idea we have used was to use broad picture frames, remove the glass etc. and replace it with vinyl netting for fish wires to hang earrings and charms, then attach hooks to the sides to the frame to hang other jewelry such a necklaces.
In helping my mother with her craft booth at a local farm and craft market for 5 years, I have learned a lot about setting up items to sell. We had changed the craft display many times to try and figure out the best way to set it up.
What we have found that has been the most beneficial for us is a simple folding craft table which we cover with decorative fabric. This is the main table, and on this would be the perfect place for the item you are trying to sell the most of.
So this table could be where you would put your best selling item or most popular item. This will hopefully then get the shoppers attention and then lead them to look at more of your products.
This is also a simple set-up by being able to use a folding craft table but to make it more decorative and appropriate for a craft show booth.
A craft show booth needs to attract attention of potential customers and show off your crafts. Small mirrors under or near your crafts can add sparkle to your craft booth displays.
Small mirrors set under the base of your items reflect the product from another angle. They catch nearby light and help to show your crafts to full advantage.
Pre-cut, small mirrors are available from tile and mirror decorating stores. They usually have beveled or smooth finished edges. Plastic or acrylic small mirrors are also available. These help to avoid any danger from broken glass. Some tile and mirror decorator stores have small mirrors in decorative colors and special finishes that will add a splash of color to go along with your crafts.
Mirrors may even reduce handling of delicate crafts. You want the potential customers to look at the crafts without soiling them or making them "shop worn". The small mirrors and mirrored tiles let you do both.
You can use special mirror finish glue to attach felt cloth or flexible craft foam rubber to the underside of the small mirror. This helps to keep the mirror in place on a table or shelf display. It also makes it easy to store the small mirrors. Simply stack the small mirrors with felt backing in a pile and bind them together with two or three large rubber bands. Wrap the package with cloth and other soft packing material and place in a box with a lid for transport from show to show. Have fun with your new craft display pieces.
If you're gifted with making something that hangs (like paintings or dried flower wreathes) this idea is for you.
You can display finished crafts on these screens then take them with you to the craft show. Here's a brief description of these screens.
They are three framed rectangular panels made of 2" x 2" boards, about 6 feet high and 30" wide with another 2" board in the middle for support.
Then chicken wire is stapled to the wood. The chicken wire serves as a reinforcement for hanging things on.
Then a fabric is stretched over the frame and stapled behind the frame (you don't want to see the staples from the front).
Choose a fabric that won't take away from your product or make it look too busy. Use Christmas hooks to hang your products onto the screen.
You can make these one of two ways.
1 - Use hinges to connect the panels together. That way they will resemble an accordion in a zigzag pattern. If you choose this option you will only have to make two supports one on each end.
2 - Make rectangular supports on each corner of each screen for support and place them strategically where ever you want.
If you want you can cover the back with fabric also and hang things on the back as well. You just have to be careful not to trip over the supports. I'd suggest maybe putting a potted plant at each corner.