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Commited myself to my first craft fair!

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  • Commited myself to my first craft fair!

    I have gone ahead and booked a table for my very first craft fair. This one is not until December and I am really hoping to do one before then.

    Just wanted to ask a bit of advice please. First off, I know I should lay my table with a nice plain cloth and because I will have loads of small items, I will be trying to put them in different layers. Now I could either place boxes of different heights/widths under the cloth, or I could cover the boxes with paper/cloth and place on top of the cloth. I also want to get maybe a couple of small shelves for the items to be sat on.

    Can you give me any advice on which would be the best way? Also advice in general in what to put on the table and if its best to just leave people to look or try and talk them?

    I was thinking of also getting some larger shelves to place right at the back of the table and I can put on those items that I wont want people to be handling! Do people tend to handle a lot of stuff?

    Would it be better to have stock already packed up under the table instead of taking off stuff from the table?

    Any tips at all would be great please - its not for a few weeks yet and I still have to build up my stock and already I'm nervious about it!!!

    Pauline
    Personalised Wedding Cake Toppers

  • #2
    Hi Pauline i was lucky enough to pick up a couple of 'whatnots' at the car boot sales and have made them into a 3 shelf corner unit that i can put at each end of my table (i make and sell handbags) so i can place a bag on each self and still have room on the table for a good display as for the rest if you can have some stock packed and ready under the table - saves time if you are busy and if they are packaged nicely it gives a professional quality to the items (not that we're not always pros)
    while i knit i think

    http://foxyscraftythoughts.blogspot.com

    http://thecraftyfox.misi.me.uk

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    • #3
      Well good luck!!

      Swirly and I have our first craft fair in 13 (agggggghhhhhh!) days and I think its pretty fair to say that we are both worrying about anything and everything!!

      I think different heights and especially if you don't want things to be handled as you say.

      And if its any help regarding table cloths, I went to Dunelm on Saturday and they were selling off some of the 'student bedding' (non iron stuff) - I got super king size sheets for £7.49 - half price! I thought 2 would be enough as I can always overlap in the middle and hang over the sides so no-one can see what I'm hiding (or if I am hehehe!) under the table So even if I never do another craft fair, at least I can use the sheets!

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      • #4
        A lot of people outlay an awful lot of money for their first craft fairs. Try as much as possible to use things from around your house to start with. Once you decide whether craft fairs are for you you can invest money. Some people attend one fair and realise that they are not right for craft fairs.
        I'd use boxes to provide height for your stall. If they can sit inside one another then it will be easier to get from your car to the table.
        You'll probably change over time how you display things. Even having a run through at home does not really prepare you until you actually see how your table is situated you can't make hard or fast assumptions. it may be that your neighbouring stalls effect how you show certain items.
        I always take the following woth me: clamps, sellotape, drawing pins.
        full time mum and very very part time crafter.

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        • #5
          I always take the following woth me: clamps, sellotape, drawing pins.
          Me too - plus Blutack, pricing labels, notepaper/book - for contacts/orders/ideas, pen, couple of spare cloths (I use a tablecloth and traycloth inherited from my grandmother. kitchen roll, bag for rubbish, something to eat and drink, a few business cards (occasionally someone will ask for your contact details, and very often they will contact you will details of other craft fairs they are doing/organising).

          My table covers are actually single sheets that I bought in a local charity shop - think they were £3.49 the pair - and they are just the colour I was looking for . They are large enough for standard six foot tables and will drop down to the floor at the front of the stall, leaving the back part open and easily accessible for the transporting boxes, reserve stock and other stuff to go under the tables.

          I add height to the stall using a variety of:
          collapsible plastic boxes (I have a couple of bits of card cut from rigid cardboard boxes to make a stable top as the surface is ridged)
          cardboard fruit boxes (the shallow ones supermarkets received their fruit in then put out for customers to use) - small and large
          Woven baskets.

          I also treated myself to a couple of wooden shoe racks from Poundstretcher recently - they come flat packed and are just a couple of slatted shelves separated by wooden uprights. Again, I have cut some suitable sized pieces from rigid cardboard boxes to act as shelf covers.

          I've given up trying to sort out the set up of the stall before I get to the venue as I used to spend hours setting it all out and drawing plans of what I'd put where only to find when I got there it wasn't right and I did something noticeably different. I have a vague idea of where I want the height to be and work around that.

          Hope some of this ramble is of interest to you.

          Linda
          Last edited by craftdancer; 24-09-2007, 01:19 PM.

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          • #6
            In addition to the excellent advice given here, I would also suggest taking something to sit on! Also possibly something to read, depending on how large the craft fair is and if it has quiet periods.

            Also work out what you want to do for toilet breaks as there is nothing worse than desperately needing to go and having a queue of potential customers!

            Best of luck to you.

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            • #7
              good luck Pauline. i think you're stuff is lovely so hopefully you will have a successful first fair. i have my first one lined up for November and all the above advice has been very useful to me to.
              http://AMIdesigns.etsy.com
              http://www.folksy.com/shops/amidesigns
              http://amidesignsjewellery.blogspot.com

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              • #8
                Everything above is good advice - I've done some craft fairs and have used boxes under the cloth (single sheets are great for this). Keep items you don't want handled, on the higher levels towards the back but not so they will obstruct your own view of items at the front (in case of light-fingered folk). Keep your cash box close to you under the table. Take food and drink as you may not get a chance to leave the table too often. Try letting people browse on their own at first but exchange pleasantries if they look like they are interested in something.

                Most of all, don't panic - it will be fine once you get there and start setting up. I wish you lots of luck and hope you enjoy it.

                Bren
                Bren
                www.digby-bears.co.uk

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                • #9
                  Thanks a lot for all your suggestions, advice and tips - I have taken them all on board and now i'm going to panic because I have accepted a booking for the 13th October!!!!!!!!! NEXT MONTH!! arrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr.

                  I'm going to sleep at night with images of what I can put on the table, how I can set it out, what colour tablecloth to use, how much shall I price them at, shall I tag each item separate or do a price list that everybody can see (maybe put it into a photo frame and have it on display on the table?)... my poor brain cells are hurting!

                  Pauline
                  Personalised Wedding Cake Toppers

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                  • #10
                    I'd tag individually cos if you get a few people at your table they might not see the price list and walk off if you look too busy to ask...

                    Good luck for the 13th - mine is the week before on the 7th!!

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                    • #11
                      Good luck with your craft fairs I have been searching but cant find any
                      in my area. I am in fife and any I have found are run by fife craft association I tried to join and I've been waiting 2yrs.apparently they have too many cardmakers and I have to try again in february.
                      Does anyone know of anything in my area as I am drowning in a sea of cards with nowhere to sell them any ideas gratefully received.

                      off to bed now sorry
                      paulinespassions

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