How I prepared for my first craft fair

On 5 December, I had a stall at my first ever craft fair.  It was the Bearwood Handmade Winter Market run by local craft collective, the Crafty Muthas, and I was absolutely thrilled to get the chance to show off what I’ve been working on since October.

When I found out that my application had been successful, I started to research ideas for my stall on Pinterest and I created a whole board full of inspiration.  I was particularly attracted to this stall by NY Crochet Cutie Pie Co for its simplicity and use of wooden crates to add height.

Build stacks of boxes on either side and hang a garland (of letters, info, business cards, bubbles or products) between for visual attraction:

I also love Cath Kidston’s use of crates in this shop display.  The inside of the crates are painted in lovely bright colours and the products really pop against this backdrop.  So crates it is, now for the rest of the table!

Crates, painted in bright colors & attached to the wall, make a bright & useful storage space!:

I read a couple of great blogs: this one by Jennie of the Crafty Muthas, and this one over on Folksy. I had to think about who my customer was, how I was going to translate my branding into a stall, and, most importantly, express my personality.

My business cards are a lovely teal blue and I already had some paint left over from our living room in the same colour, so I decided that was going to be the foundation of my display.  I wanted to keep my table props as simple and clean as possible, so that my colourful items would be able to shine.  Rather than go down the shabby chic route, I wanted my stall to look modern and fun to attract parents and their kids.

I found these wooden crates in Ikea, bought two and painted them both inside and out.  Also in Ikea I picked up a couple of cheap photo frames in the right shade of blue, along with some battery-powered fairy lights to provide some light to my table.

Next up was a trip to Hobbycraft where I found a lovely wooden Christmas tree for a fiver and a larger Christmas tree shelf for £10.  Both were unpainted so I could tie them into my brand with a lick of paint.  I also bought some round kraft tags to act as my price tags and a white pen.  The tags also ended up as my name bunting after my plans for crochet bunting fell by the wayside in the pre-fair stress!

Looking at other stalls on Pinterest, it seemed important to group items together in boxes or baskets so that your items are clearly defined and don’t look like a jumble sale.  I had a couple of white boxes lying around the house which were the perfect size for my car rolls and snoods.  I painted a small wooden box leftover from one of my son’s birthday presents and used it to contain my flyers and business cards (in the bottom corner of the photo below).  I made a last-minute crochet basket to hold my tree decorations (photo below) and I found some white curtain lining in my stash that worked perfectly for a tablecloth.  All-in-all, I spent less than £40 on the props for my stall – bargain!

Once I’d gathered all my props, I wanted to have a run-through of my stall the day before the fair (mostly because I was panicking that I didn’t have enough stock to fill a table!).  The run-through really helped me to play around with everything.  I spent a good hour and a half moving things around and getting them just right, making sure to take a photo when I was happy.  On the morning of the fair, I was so much more relaxed as I knew where everything was going and I was the first stall to be ready. And here’s the finished table (sorry for the shocking photo quality!)…

Every stall holder needs a box of essentials and I gathered mine together in a small biscuit tin, which sat neatly at the back of my table.  On the day it contained:

  • Float in small zipped cosmetics bag
  • Card reader
  • Notebook and pen
  • Business cards
  • Mini-cards and sparkly yarn which I used to personalise my brown paper carrier bags
  • Sellotape, blu-tack, safety pins, mini pegs and bulldog clips
  • Spare price tags and white pen
  • Scissors
  • Flapjack (I had a water bottle too but this didn’t fit in the tin!)

The fair was really fun to do: I met some lovely stallholders and customers, and my items seemed to go down very well.  Now that I’ve got the first one under my belt I’m so much more confident to apply to several fairs in 2016 and make the most of my lovely new table props!

And maybe I’ll finally get round to making that lovely crochet bunting…      


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