Tuesday, October 30, 2012

31 Days - Day 27: Spread the Word

As you're getting ready for your craft show, don't forget to promote yourself!  I know that the craft show organizers should be doing their share in spreading the word, you should also promote the event to your friends and family members as best you can!

The nice thing about asking your friends and family to come, and spread the word for you is that they also are great customers, especially for you!  Here are some of the places you should consider spreading the word through:

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • LinkedIn
  • Yahoo
  • Personal Email
  • Texting
  • Blog about it!
  • Flyers - hand these out everywhere you go. (You can ask the organizers for some.)
The more people that attend the event, the better your sales will be, so don't be shy about letting people know that you'll be there.  On many of these venues, you can even include a picture of some of your items that you will be selling to bring up interest!

So here's my promotion:

Grangeville Holiday Craft Show

When:  Saturday, December 1, 2012 from 8am-4pm

Where: Grangeville Elementary/Middle School Gym, Grangeville, ID

Are you able to make it?  I realize this goes out to all over the world, but hey, if you're in my neck of the prairie, please stop by and see me!

For a complete list of the 31 Day Until A Craft Show series and links to each post go Here to Day 31.

31 Days - Day 26: Storage

Now that you are getting your craft show items made, I'm sure that your house has been transformed into an interesting craft explosion, especially if you don't have a craft room just for doing crafts in.  And if you don't have a ton of storage area to put all your items to sell, you are looking for some ideas on how to store them. Of course, there is the old fashioned, box them up and put them in storage, but I try to be a little more creative with that.  (Ok, I don't alway trust that our storage is going to be dry and safe from harm.)

My best advice is to hide the items in plain sight.  Here are where some of my items are hiding being stored in plain sight:
I am using that vintage suitcase that I did Over HERE.   
 I am using this suitcase in the corner as one of my decorations in my living room.  At some point, I may have too many decorations, but hopefully that won't happen until we are closer to the craft show!
This is a chair I have redone, also being used in the living room with the express directions to all the kids not to touch it!

This one is hanging on my back door until I can find a box that it fits into.
Sometimes, things hang out in my house, just because I can't find another way to "hide" them.  In this case, this sheet music wreath, is too big for a box, so it is hanging on my back door in my laundry.  I'm the only one in danger of smushing it here!

Suitcase in my son's messy room!
I have another confession, I've even resorted to using my kid's rooms to stashing things in.  I am using this vintage suitcase for a display, so have it stuffed with items that I am getting ready for the sale. These suitcase fit nicely under beds or in a corner, or wherever I can't get them stashed.  Sorry kids!

What about you?  Where are you storing your craft show items?
Check out all the other posts in my 31 Days Until a Craft Show Series.  I promise I will eventually get all 31 Days posted here (sooner than later).   I have four out of seven sick people here and am canning around 100 quarts of apple cider for the year, in addition to trying to get ready for a craft show, so I'm doing my very best. 

For a complete list of the 31 Day Until A Craft Show series and links to each post go Here to Day 31.

Friday, October 26, 2012

31 Days - Day 25: Pack-up Plan

As you begin to  Make the Crafts and Make the Display, you will want to be thinking about how you will be packing your items up into your vehicle to get to the show.  Some may be fortunate enough to have a trailer or a pickup truck, but most probably will be trying to fit everything into a mini-van, or a contained vehicle.
This is similar to what I am working with.  It has a lot of space when all the seats are put down, but it still does limit me to how much I can get into it.  Some items, I just may not be able to make because they may not fit into my vehicle.  Fortunately, I am doing the show a few blocks from my house, so I could possibly make more than one trip.

If you are doing a craft show farther away, you may want to either cut back the size of the items you make, or come up with some way to bring the items to the craft show.  I've seen people pack things into a camper or into a trailer.  I would hesitate to do anything very expensive for the first few craft shows.  You don't want to spend more than you make, even at the beginning.

Start making a pack up plan, whether on paper or even just an idea in your head.  I may take my ladders out to the truck some day and just see if they may fit.  I'm a little less planned, so I'm just thinking about how things might fit.  Even though I'm only going a few blocks away, I don't want to make a bunch of trips.  We'll see.

For a complete list of the 31 Day Until A Craft Show series and links to each post go Here to Day 31.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

31 Days - Day 24: Make the Display

This post is making me stumble a little.  It's been snowing for a couple of days now, and I just can't get some of my painting done right now.  I had these great plans to have things underway for actually making my display, but the snow has put a snafu into my plans.

I have two older ladders: one I got free from a rummage sale and the other happened to be my Grandfather's.  They are nice wooden ones, the free one doesn't work too well, but I figured with boards put across the two of them, it would stabilize enough to hold my display.  I was going to just brush white paint on them, to give them a more uniform look to them.

I have four large crates, two I am leaving wood with their Chinese writing on the sides, the other two need to also get the white wash treatment that my ladders are getting.  Along with these crates, I have two old wooden saw horses that I plan to use.  I am not going to change these, they have a little bit of green to them, which I love.  I also have several vintage suitcases to display, along with a metal wash bin.    That is what I am starting with.

I am sorry that I don't have pictures of progress, but I do have to say, that when you are getting ready for a craft show, you need to get your display ready well in advance, so you know that it's going to work for you. Start trying out ways to display your items the best.  Find bins that work for your things.

I promise, I will give you some updates as I get things assembled (and as soon as I can paint without it snowing!)  Here are the rest of the posts in the 31 Days Until a Craft Show.

For a complete list of the 31 Day Until A Craft Show series and links to each post go Here to Day 31.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

31 Days - Day 23: Display Ideas, Part 2

Well, are you ready for Part 2 of Display ideas?  I have them in no particular order, and also can't get everyone that's out there in this post, but I am trying to give you as many different ideas as I can.  I am doing my very best to credit the sources for these pictures, but what I find is that when people put their pictures in flicker accounts, I can't link them to the person.  Trust me, I want very much to give the person credit for their picture and their work.

Pink Lemonade (not a direct link to blog post)
I love the idea of using a dresser, but this would be large to move into a booth.  The only worthwhile use for it would be to sell the dresser, too.
Go Monkey Designs Booth
I love the hanging purse display and the buckets with the boards in the display.  Great use of height again.
Sugar Bee Crafts
What a great idea to attract people to your booth, plus you can change it because it is chalk.
Sugar Bee Crafts
This one has a great idea to vary the traditional table set up - they used a smaller table pulled out under the bigger table to make two levels of viewing items.  Also, pegboards are always great for booths because they are adjustable.  This peg board actually is hinged and folds up to easily carry it in.
Melissa Arlena Photography
This one points out so many different things that can be used to feature items.  Again with the big dressers (and Melissa isn't even selling dressers!).  She frames out things, hangs them on strings with clothespins.  Love the use of crates for height and for storage.  They are simple and cheap.  Also, the wall of ledges is great.  It's nothing really expensive and can show off a ton of things.

 I love the use of the doors across the back  here.  I would be a little hesitant to put pillows on the floor though.  It just goes against my thinking that pillows shouldn't be on the floor.  Just saying.
 Love the use of fences and benches to feature products.
 Muffin Tins work for small items to make them look neat. Be creative for storing items for sale.
Lollipops Cards shared all these pictures
Putting bookshelves up on a table can help get things at eye level.

Ok, well that was a lot of ideas to get you started.  Stay tuned while I make an effort to keep up on this 31 Days Until a Craft Show.  One of my next posts is to actually make my display, not dream about it.  (I say one of my next, because that means I need to get Mr. Right on board for his help and also get my act together to do it! lol)

For a complete list of the 31 Day Until A Craft Show series and links to each post go Here to Day 31.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

31 Days - Day 22: Display Ideas, Part 1

I have to admit, this is probably one of the most exciting part of getting ready for a craft show - the pictures of display idea.  Go ahead and admit it, you really don't care about all the business of getting ready, but you can't wait to see the pictures of other people's craft booths!  Of course, I can't show you all the pictures out there on the internet, but I have been pinning a ton of them in expectation of this post, so I will share them with you now.  Please give a shout out to those that I am using for idea.  I will be giving a link to each of their posts so you can look closer.

Oh, I will be taking two posts for the Display Ideas.  I figured this would be more than one post worth.  Be sure to check out all my other posts that I have done in this series: 31 Days Until a Craft Show.

 Wouldn't these pallets work great for hanging things on and giving height to your booth?  Not only that, but they are free!
Sunshine and Carousels
 I love the height she gained by putting the pennants up on sticks.
Go to Day 8 of my 31 Day series to see the rest of our booth

A Quiet Curiosity from Carosello's blog

Nice use of boxes for display.
The Vintage Nest

I love the use of a ladder.  (I apologize for not  finding the exact link for this ladder, but it seems to have come off a flicker account, which won't let me get to.  Originally, I got the picture off of Pinterest, which apparently lets you use photos freely, even if you copyright them in flicker.  I linked you to the blog. )
Lynn Minnie Designs

Using a Vintage suitcase for display. (and to store the items until the craft show and carry them to the show safely.)  This one has a tutorial on how to make this.
Another Suitcase display. 
Craft Show Designs
A picture frame display with a tutorial.
Stella and Hodge
This has a great tutorial on how to make this display!  If you do jewelry, you should check this out!

Stay tuned for more tomorrow!  There are a lot more exciting thing to come.

For a complete list of the 31 Day Until A Craft Show series and links to each post go Here to Day 31.

31 Days - Day 21: Money

In the quest to get ready for doing a Craft Show, one of the things to plan for and decide is how to take money.  Of course you want to be sure to have enough change on hand when you take money, but you also should consider and decide ahead of time what you will take for money.

Will you take checks?  Of course, there are pros and cons to this option.  In our area, I would say that the majority of people are going to be local, so taking a local check, should be pretty safe.  If you are going to major show that may attract customers from farther away, you may want to reconsider that.  Can you afford to lose the money if the check doesn't clear?

Will you take credit cards?  This is something that is fairly new for availability for small businesses.  To take a credit card has become easier.  As far as I can tell, you have to have an Android or an iPhone.  Unfortunately, I don't have one, and can't quite justify the cost of one just yet.

One of the places that I recommend to take credit cards through is Paypa.com, if you already have an account set up there.  (The transition to this wouldn't be a far stretch if you are already familiar with Paypal.) Paypal is a free option and you only pay if you use it.

Here is what they say about using Paypal for credit cards:

  • Accept credit cards, debit cards, PayPal, and checks
  • Low 2.7% rate
  • Funds are quickly available in your PayPal account
  • Encrypted and backed by PayPal's world class risk management system
When you download the app for this feature, you will be sent a free credit card reader for your phone.  I know that some don't care for Paypal, but listen, my experience with Paypal is that they back their transactions that that the money comes right away.

Another option is Square.com.  The information about Square is:
  • Accept credit cards: Visa, Master Card, Discover & American Express.
  • 2.75% rate
  • Next Day deposit into your checking account
  • Free Card reader
You would need to make this decision for which to use, but if I had to choose today, I would go with the Paypal option, for three reasons:
  1. Lower cost to you.  I know it's only .05%, but it all counts when you are trying to make a little money.
  2. You can take more options according to Paypal, such as debit cards, Paypal and checks.
  3. You get your funds right away and don't have to wait until the next day. (In other words, you can actually make sure the transfer works.)
Another option that you may consider, if you don't have an Android or iPhone, is to charge people using Paypal when you get home.   This is a big risk, because you would need to bill the person through an email, and trust that they would pay the bill on the internet.  You really don't have any repercussion if they don't pay.

Those are the options that I know about for collecting money.  You can check out all the other steps of preparing for a craft show here: 31 Days Until a Craft Show.  Be sure to check out those blogs in the right column that I love to link up to.

For a complete list of the 31 Day Until A Craft Show series and links to each post go Here to Day 31.

Monday, October 22, 2012

31 Days - Day 20: Bagging

I hope you've been enjoying all the posts on 31 Days Until a Craft Show.  My intent was not only to get myself ready for my craft show this year, but also, to get all the information in one place for doing a craft show.  As I was doing searches online, I couldn't find a lot of places that had all the information in one place and put in the pictures too.  I hope this can be a resource, so please comment if you have more ideas or links to posts about getting ready for a craft show.

I don't know about you, but when getting ready for a craft show, one of the last things that I really think about is bagging.  I'm thinking back to my first few craft shows, and don't even think I had bags at all.  After this last craft show, where my friends were doing the most organizing, I realized that I may have missed this important item.

Of course, you could just plan to use old plastic Walmart bags, but I think it's nice to have a little extra touch by bagging it up nicely.  Don't go crazy with this.  Of course, if you have large items, they don't need to be bagged up, but for smaller items, it's nice to have it bagged to protect the item and keep pieces together.  Also, your bag can reflect more business.  When people walk around and see a nice bagging job, the wonder and may even ask someone where they got it.    I have to say that I fancy these small clear cellophane bags.  I actually find them in Walmart in the party section for under $2 for 20 of them.  One tip, you can find them in the cake decorating aisle in the Wilton items, but they are more expensive there. That makes them just $.10 each, and I don't have to pay for shipping.  I actually will bag up the small items before the show.
Here are some of our button tacks all bagged up and ready to go.  I put out a basket on display with a bunch of these all ready to go.  The customer can see them through the bag, it keeps the items together and it saves me time in the long run.

This leads to medium and large size bags, which I haven't been able to find in stores for a decent price.  I have searched it out a little and found quite a few place to get bags either cellophane, plastic or the kraft bags.
I was able to find these larger bags for between $.20-$.30 a bag.  I hate to recommend a company just yet, because I'm not sure how credible they are.  I do recommend Etsy sellers for one place to look.  The other place , but a little more spendy is Oriental Trading has Craft bags for $6.95 a dozen.  Another place I would recommend finding bags would be on either Ebay or Amazon.com.

 I found these frosted bags on Amazon for $18.90 for 100 of them.  They are 12"x15", so I think they would be a nice in between size for putting both medium and small items in.  They are frosted, so others can get a view of what people are buying too.  With Amazon, at least the items are backed and their customer service is wonderful.  (Just my opinion, of course)

For large items, you won't need to wrap them at all.  Those items will need to be carried out as is.

Over all, be sure that you find a reputable company and that you don't spend a ton of money for your bags. I love the small bags at Walmart, because I can easily access them, and even return them if I buy too many.

Where do you get your bags for bagging?  I'd love to hear about how you package items up.

For a complete list of the 31 Day Until A Craft Show series and links to each post go Here to Day 31.

31 Days - Day 19: Tagging

Tagging is one of my favorite things to do, aside from actually crafting.  Ok - I find this to be a very crafty thing to do.  This is the tool that I think is essential:
Tag Maker
I love this tool and would love it it you would consider purchasing it from my website HERE.  I have used this Tag Maker for many years and probably hundreds of tags and it is showing no wear and tear!  It makes a 2"x3" tag that is a perfect size for writing not only the price on it, but also a complete description.  I plan to use my tags as my way to track what I have sold, so it's nice to be able to put a clear description of the item on each tag.

I make the tags out of paper bag, but I have also made them out of cheap 3"x5" note cards, depending on what I have on hand.  I did find that the paper bags in our area in WI were too thin to work very well.  Here on the prairie, the bags seem to be more sturdy, so that's what I use.

Although my tags are simple and cheap to make, they look professional because they are all uniform and consistent   I tie them to my items using a piece of twine.  As I showed you on Day 9, that is my business card underneath the tag.  When people purchase the item, I plan to tear off the top tag and leave the business card and the twine there.

You can be as creative as you like with this, but be sure that you are not taking away from the main thing, making your craft to sell.  Your tags should be something that is quick and easy for you to do.  You could purchase your tags premade.  I like the look of these a lot:
  I just think they look industrial and simple look of them.

Miss Mustard Seed's Tutorial
Miss Mustard Seed did a tutorial on printing her tags out on cardstock and then using a punch to cut it out.  Just a side note, she used a separate hole puncher  to make the hole, but the Creative Memories Tag Maker has a built in hole punch that lines up the hole in the exact place for you! (Also, did I mention, it helps my family out if you use my link?)

I even saw an example of cutting out tags from felt and then hand embroidering them.  I'm just not going to share, because that makes no business sense in my opinion.  It would be time consuming and for something most people throw away.

Passing the Time Tutorial
Passing the Time also did a nice tutorial to make gift tags from a spirograph and a Scallop Circle Maker.  You could stamp just about anything in the background if you'd like.

One thing that I haven't talked about is making a sign instead of individually marking items.  I have to say, you need to be careful about using this as your only pricing technique, because the sign needs to be clear, concise and where everyone can see it!  I think it helps to have signs in addition to price tags (and I know that price tags can be tedious to make), but tagging each item can make it easier for your customer to know your prices.  I find it intimidating to ask for a price on something and then feel bad when I don't buy.  I don't think I am alone in this thought.  I've walked away from things I might have purchased, just because I can't figure out a price without asking.  I just don't want to bother if the seller didn't bother!

How do you tag and price your items for your Craft Show?  Check out my other posts in this 31 Days Until a Craft Show. For a complete list of the 31 Day Until A Craft Show series and links to each post go Here to Day 31.

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Vintage Suitcase Redo

I've been working on my items for the craft fair, and was so excited about this one, I just had to share!  Sorry for the little break from my 31 Days Until a Craft Show Series, but I did warn you that I like to do new things all the time.  There is a ton of info on my series so far, and you'll have to stay tuned for more very soon!

I found this project here at Graphics Fairy.  If you have not been to Graphics Fairy's website, yet, you need to get over there.  She has so many awesome FREE graphics and a ton of ideas on how to use them.  I was looking through Pinterest, and ran into her tutorial on how to make a sheet music covered suitcase.  I knew right away that I had to do this and that I had the perfect suitcase for it!

Stain Ridden Vintage Suitcase
It is actually a wood suitcase, but had holes worn through

Very stained looking
 This looks so amazing, I almost hope it doesn't sell!  I can't believe how much Mod Podge can improve an old dilapidated item!  I promise that no music was injured in this project.  I found a couple of music books that were in really bad shape at a rummage and I knew that I wanted to do some projects with vintage music.
Back side after
 I even like the back side that has no picture on it.  That picture really adds to the suitcase!
Side view

I was worried as I put the music on the front, until the sides were finished.  The sides really makes it look professional!   The only thing I changed about this project from the Graphics Fairy, is that I put the print face right side up when you stand the suitcase up.  I wanted it to be the right way when you set it in a corner for decoration.  This would be great for storage of extra music, decorations, or whatever.

Please let me know what you think!  I love it.  Also, if you have suggestions as to pricing, please let me know..

Friday, October 19, 2012

31 Days - Day 18: Assembly Line or Item by Item

Assembly Line or Item by Item - that is the question.  I don't know that I really have a clear answer for this question about how to make your items for the craft show, but I do want to at least present to you the pros and cons to both, so you can decide.  Possibly, you may be a little like me and do a little of each.  Some of the crafts necessitate doing it item by item, while others, you may save time by doing it assembly line.

Assembly Line

Ok - so maybe your house doesn't look this bad, but I know that when I am trying to get a bunch of the same items done, it does feel like it.  


  • Save time by having one step going at a time.
  • Conserve materials - often you can plan out better by doing all the cutting at the same time.
  • Faster - You don't have to stop to go to a new step over and over.
  • More efficient - you can get into a pattern while assembling.


  • Backlog can be frustrating - I find if I have one step I don't care to do as much, I may be reluctant to get it finished, and therefore backlog.
  • Squelches Creativity - I find if I can't see a project to the end sometimes, I have a problem with a lack of creativity.
  • Boredom - I struggle with this when making the same thing over and over, I get bored easily and want to work on the next project.

Item by Item


  • Creativity grows - sometimes even if you are seeking to make items the same, you may personalize them a little more by making each one from start to finish.
  • Personalized Items - items can turn out more personalized if done individually.
  • Keeps Interest - you're not as easily bored this way.


  • Time Consuming - it can be more time consuming to do different steps separately.
  • Less Efficient - you may have to take out new materials for each step and then clean them up (of course depending on your craft.)
  • Easy Distractions - this is one of my biggest downfalls!  I get so easily distracted when I go start another part of a craft.
I'm sure there are more that I missed.  Maybe you know some from experience.  I'd love to hear them all.

For a complete list of the 31 Day Until A Craft Show series and links to each post go Here to Day 31.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

31 Days - Day 17: Fun For Everyone

Making crafts and getting ready for a craft show can be a drain on everyone in your family.  The house is a mess, regular chores get set aside, and of course, there's always a project to be done.  I want to suggest that it's important to make sure that everyone is on the same page and supportive as you get ready for a craft show.  Some ways to include everyone in getting ready are:

  • Set a family financial goal - maybe it's getting a new video game or even earning a trip to disney for the family.  You'd be surprised how much kids want to "help" if they know what they get out of it.
  • Find a craft for each child to sell  and let them earn their own money.
  • Give kids a "job" assembling crafts (kids of all ages love to help out)
  • Have a craft night, where you make some things to sell together.
By making the Craft Show fun for the whole family, you will find it easier to get ready for your craft show.  Also, when you want to do it again, your family will be more supportive.  You may even consider having your children help sell things at the show.  No shame in using cute children to sell your items!

How do you make craft shows fun for your family?For a complete list of the 31 Day Until A Craft Show series and links to each post go Here to Day 31.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

31 Days - Day 16: Make Crafts

I will admit, today's post is not rocket science, you need to make your craft!  Make some, make some more, and make some more!  You are going to need to try to make as many crafts as you can possibly make from now Until Your Craft Show!

Genius, right?  Well, here are the pictures...I'm going to share some of the things that I am working on for my own craft show!  So here goes.  I love to hear what you think (oh, yeah, and it helps me feel like I'm not out here in the computer space by myself! lol)
Burlap and Ticking Table Runners (I plan to get these done this week)

Snowman Painted Books - I made these last year

Lathe Stars - I have these made, but we have them in a local shop.  I may have to make more or sell my own.

Burlap and Ruffles Table Runner

Burlap Reversible Purse

Crate Birdhouse - I need to get my son to make some, they sell well on Etsy

Burlap Bird Ornaments - boy I need to make these!

Chenille Stockings - I need to make these and burlap ones soon!

Chenille Pillows

Blocks with different words

Chenille Bird Ornaments

Whew!  As I put up these pictures, I realized how many things I have yet to make or finish.  I am also working on a bunch of frames, chalkboards, and painted tables.  It finally rained here, and I am of course having regrets about not getting my painting things finished!  I knew I would.  Oh well, check out the rest of the posts in the series: 31 Days Until a Craft Show.

For a complete list of the 31 Day Until A Craft Show series and links to each post go Here to Day 31.