View Full Version : Selling photographs at craft fairs...

08-02-2010, 06:17 PM
Hello everyone,

I have recently discovered this craft forum and have been lurking for a while....There is some really good info here which is much appreciated.....Although I still have questions galore......

I have booked up on some craft fairs this year, but have never done a craft fair before.

I want to sell framed and mounted prints of various sizes as well as greetings cards and some canvas prints.

The spaces that are available at fairs are approx 10 feet by 8 feet. On some shows all I get is a space that I have to fill. therefore I will need 3 'walls' to hang my pictures on.

I was wondering how people fill such a space if they are selling photos.

On this forum someone mentioned Marler Haley...whose stuff looks good, if a little expensive. I have seen pictures in magazines of stalls where the walls are made of a kind of wooden trellis from which photos can be hung, does anyone have any idea as to what this maybe?

And also I have seen pegboard(?). This is 'wall' with holes in it from which things can be hung(?) I was wondering how could this be used for presenting photography?

Blimey...I have got so many questions, it's unbelievable...I've recently returned from travelling and have a little money to support myself, so I thought I 'd try to become a photographer this year....but, the budget is getting tighter....

On another photography related note......I am sourcing my mounts and barrier boards, and have found a really good company - eframe - and also Cotswolds Mounts. These people do good value mounts but I was wondering if anyone knew a place that provided the clear cello bags. Cotswolds Mounts provide them, but their mountboard is only 'commended' quality and I am looking for 'conservation' board. Eframe don't do bags....I want bags of the size up to 50cmx70cm.....but can't find this size in a small enough quantity.....I'd really like a one stop shop for this kind of stuff so that I can maximise my discounts.....

Sorry about the long post.....Although there are only two questions there really....!!

Any help or advice will be greatly appreciated.....thanks...


08-02-2010, 08:52 PM
where are your fairs and how many days do they occur for

i think all the walls that you see may work but if you have un even floors then you have no chance, you would be a health and safety nightmare and i can see your stock being all over the floor.

i sell photos and i use tables as an easier way. with 12 ft tables i get 12 framed 16 x 12 pictures on thats two rows of six with the back row on a shelf on legs set to about 30cm high so you can clearly see all your pictures, a cheap wooden book shelf is the perfect width as it allows you plenty of room on a large table for your mounted images etc

08-02-2010, 11:03 PM
The photographers at the craft fairs I go to have 'browsers', where you can stack pictures for people to sort through. they look like big magazine racks.

09-02-2010, 11:37 AM
Thanks Lightphase and Daesul for your responses,

Lightphase....I have booked onto CraftinFocus and Traditionalcrafts at easternevents, at the moment. These are expensive shows, but with the right products and good presentation I think they may be profitable.

Two of the CiF shows provide a shell system, so that is no problem. The Easternevent shows at Gt Missenden is floor space only, so I will need to provide something here. The shows are under cover and on flat non grassy surfaces.

I have written to Marler Haley to check out the suitability of their products for hanging photos, but I definately want some kind of backdrop from which to hang photos.

propanels in the US seem to have the perfect system for photographers as they have a sturdy enough system for framed photos and a vaguely affordable price. But I don't want to ship their stuff all the way from the US.

I like the table idea, and may initially adopt a mixture of 'screens' and tables to try and keep costs down.

I have definately seen a wooden trellis type screen for hanging photos in pictures when I was thinking about this last year....but can't find any examples now. Someone else in another thread mentioned garden centres for wooden trellis....is this an option? anyone out there with any experience with this....?

At these are expensive shows, I definately need to be very careful with presentation, so this is an important issue for me.

Daesul.....I will have a number of table top and floor standing browsers as well as one of those spinny things for greetings cards.....

Anyway....thanks for the advice......although...does anyone know a one stop shop for all sizes of the clear cello bags for mounted prints up to 50x70cm in size and maybe upto 70x100cm in size...?

Thanks very much for your help.......


10-02-2010, 12:28 PM
My husband sells photographs and we found a good deal on Ebay for mounting kits - think he does all different sizes but you get the mounts, the backing board and the cello bags... all of which are good quality.

If you're interested I'll PM you the seller's details.

10-02-2010, 02:04 PM
Thanks Katherine, I would be eternally grateful for the info.

The cello bags especially have been really difficult to find at the size and quantity that I want.



10-02-2010, 10:15 PM
there are tons of bags on ebay and most are good quality if not try a company in coppul lancashire you will have to google them, they are called eco craft - the cutting edge

they will supply most bag sizes and envelopes for your cards too. very good to deal with and great for help.

there is a mirror man who has display boards on our circuit and they are great quality and sturdy. not sure who he uses will ask him when i see him

11-02-2010, 10:20 AM
Hi, I sell my photos at fairs and use some marler haley boards. I find them quite versatile and quick to put up. they have adjustable feet for uneven ground. One thing that is a must are a couple of adjustable cross braces that stabilize the "[" shape of the display.For me i think that black is a good background. With this you will need some good lighting. It would be worth looking at 12volt lights that can be run off a "leisure battery" as power points are often expensive or absent!
Jacksonsart is a source of large bags (sorry for not putting the full site as this site won't let me!).
Send me a message if you would like to chat some more.

15-02-2010, 05:45 PM
Hello people......

Thanks for the advice.......

The ebay site doesn't do bags bigger than 16x24, or something like that...Unfortunately I want bags a bit bigger....there are some online companies that do bags the size I want, but only in lots of 1000 bags! I think that will be about 20 years of bags for prints that size.

Thanks Lightphase lot for the eco-craft link....much appreciated....I also found another company called polybags who do eco-freindly products.

The only thing about bio-degradable plastic bags is that if a mounted photo doesn't get sold for a year, will the bag start to 'rot'? . Anyway, there is loads of stuff on those sites that I might use for packaging etc....

I am thinking that I will make my bags for larger prints as there wont be too many of them. I have seen rolls of clear plastic for sale, and I would just have to use it to 'wrap' my mounted prints up in. Any thoughts?

fubsy...I got a quote from M-Haley for panels to cover an area 10x8 feet...but the quote was 2500....!! way over my bugdet. For a 10 foot back only (using tables for the sides) the quote was 950. That was for their Bigscreen product.

An MH tablecloth for a six foot table was 150...yikes!

What MH system do you use, out of interest...?

Anyway, as far as my stand is concerned, I am now looking at the gridwall system which is much cheaper. My thinking is to buy enough gridwall to cover the 10 foot back area and two 8 foot sides. To make the gridwall look more presentable I was thinking of covering them with fabric. Ive found a place online that sells calico (cheap untreated cotton) for 2.30 per meter in 60inch strips. That's wide enough to cover two attatched gridwall panels. If I use the reinforced T-feet for extra rigidity I can make a solid system that provides two sides and a back for a 10x8 stand for around 250.

I think that done right such a system could look professional and slik, as well as a bit rustic and craft like. Maybe!?

I was also thinking of stenciling on my trading name onto the Calico fabric, from which I could also use to make my table cloths.....

And....the same fabric company does hessian for about 2.50 per metre, so I could use a mixture of fabrics.....

Again...any thoughts on this...do you know if this would be possible...? I will talk to the gridwall online shop tomorrow and get their thoughts...As weight will be an issue...weight of framed pictures that is.

Sorry for the ramble....but this is all new to me.....it's stressful and exciting at the same time.

Thanks for any help and advice....


16-02-2010, 12:35 AM
I didn't realize MH was that pricey. I got mine 2nd hand some time ago. Your idea of the grid frame sounds good, though still think about some form of bracing across the top. I don't know what sections the grid frame comes in, but it may be worth thinking about smaller sections that are lighter to move and also more versatile with different pitch sizes.
How do you plan to hang the pictures? I use perlon cord and hooks.(perlon stretches less than nylon).Having the clear line is less visible than, say, metal rods.
For larger plastic bags there is a company called "Conservation by Design" who do archival bags, however these are a bit expensive!


26-05-2010, 12:42 PM
These are exactly the questions I've been asking for years!
I find it really hard to sell phtots at fairs as so many people browse and love your work but everyone has a digital camera now-a-days and thinks 'pretty but I could do that myself if I could be bothered'!

I have zero money so at the moment I set up my stall using two wooden shoe racks that you can pick up for like 5.00 from argos, to make a higher level at the back and have some storage containers filled with prints at the front but I've been looking into getting a print browser. You can get them for about 40.00 on ebay but that's still a lot for me so I'm trying to make my own out of a cross standing linen basket.

I've also been looking for back drops but they are soooo expensive. Was thinking I might try a garden centres wooden trelace but don't know how well they will stand up.

As for bags I just asked this question myself and was linked to musicandmovieicons on ebay who have bags up to 16" x 20" and quite cheap mounts, I usually mount myself but I was working it out and it's probably cheaper to go with them as the raw materials cost more!

Anyway - good luck to all of us eh?

29-05-2010, 06:45 PM
that sounds like a great idea and very orderly - good design and attractive

15-06-2010, 12:42 PM
I know this might be a bit late, as you've probably sorted it by now, but I wanted some larger bags for my mounted photographs, and in the end I got a roll of florist cellophane from Hobbycraft. Cut it to size and secure it with clear circular sticky pads - from same place.

15-06-2010, 04:59 PM
Im in th eplanning stages of selling some of my prints at a local fair.Im having fun(too much fun)buying all the bits and bobs to make some kind of display.
So far I have a decorated cork board for some keepsakes, I photo albums to put 6x4" versions of my pictures in so people can browse through them instead of finding room to display them all, the albums will say what size I can have them made to, and I need some ornate/swept frames to show off some a4 sizes to make a bit of an impact.