Christmas Craft Fair Tips

Folksy is host to a very active crafting community, with many of our sellers regularly attending craft fairs and craft markets throughout the year. Christmas markets are a great opportunity to catch the bug of selling face to face as most of those attending have bought a little extra cash to buy some unique Christmas gifts or stocking fillers. You are not guaranteed a sell-out fair, but it’s probably one of the best times of year to have a go!

Christmas isn’t Christmas without a visit to your local craft fair or market, sampling locally produced mince pies and some mulled wine as you look around the craft stalls. Twinkling lights, carols and a wintery nip in the air all add to the  festive atmosphere.

Wherever you are in the UK, Aberdeen, Abergyvenny or Aylesbury, with a quick search on the internet, or a visit to the Folksy UK Events forum you will find a wonderful Christmas craft fair or perhaps a Victorian style street market happening through November and December somewhere nearby. Hopefully you’ll meet one or two of our folksy members handing out copies of our Folksy Newspaper too! (more details on how to get your copy to come)

The Folksy blog has a number of articles all about selling at fairs and markets for those looking for practical advice on choosing which fairs to attend as well as how much stock is needed and how to display your handmade products.  We thought that you might need some extra advice specifically for Christmas so we’ve put together a few extra tips especially for the festive season.

Christmas Craft Fair Display Ideas

Here are a few tips on creating a fabulous stall at your upcoming Christmas fair or market, but do read this more general advice on setting up your craft display too, especially if you are new to it all and feeling a bit overwhelmed.

  • Work out a budget to cover extra display items and stick to it – the aim is to make a profit, so don’t get carried away!
  • Only make specific Christmas versions of your products to sell if you’re certain there is a market for them.  It may be wiser to set the Christmas scene with your stall display not your products.   If you have a slow day you still have stock made up for other times of the year.  Most people want to buy products that represent good value for money and can be used all year round.
  • Lighting is perhaps the most important consideration for a Christmas craft fair (especially an evening market!) and it’s probably where most of your budget should be directed.  Even in an indoor fair extra spot lighting can highlight your items, bringing out the colour and detail of your pieces and attracting customers to take a closer look.
  • Consider the overall look of any decorations you add, pick a theme first – be it natural, red, sparkly or snowy, this will  help you focus and simplify your display ideas.  A display should ultimately enhance your products not detract from them.
  • Keep your display in keeping with your target audience -  pink tinsel may attract 7yr old little girls but is it right for selling expensive handbags or ceramics? Perhaps a few large luxury pink baubles would be better suited.
  • Invest wisely, buy items to decorate your display that can be used again and can be easily customised for different times of the year.
  • Your garden or local park may be full of beautiful pine cones, holly, mistletoe, twigs or fallen bare branches that can be sprayed or glittered – or just leave them naturral if it suits your branding, a great way of adding a little festive detail and very cost effective.
  • Make your stall decorations, after all you are a craftsman – so show off your talents – simple paper chains and tutorials for making bunting are very easy to find on the internet.
  • Make sure you have considered ways of fixing additional items to your existing display and bring plenty of tacks and tape.
  • Electricity – do you need extra sockets or an extension lead
  • Freebies – parents are often not pleased to see stall holders handing out sweets or biscuits and may avoid your stall as a result.  Try to think of an inexpensive alternative, stickers are usually a big hit with kids under 12 and can be printed at home very easily. Identify your target market and create a freebie with them in mind. (remember your budget)
  • Business Cards – offer an incentive for customers to purchase online by adding a discount code or add a personal touch by handwriting a Christmas greeting on your cards, little details make people smile.
  • Make sure you leave room for your products!  Have a trial run and check it doesn’t look overly cluttered with the extra decorations – remember that the venue is likely to have a very Christmassy atmosphere already and it may be that your stall looks better left as it is!
  • Have a fantastic time and keep smiling, the sherry and mulled wine all help with the sales banter :)

If you’re unable to attend a craft market this year but you are still looking for unique, handcrafted Christmas gifts for family and friends, a visit over to www.folksy.com is a must.  It’s also free to open your own shop at Folksy. We have thousands of artists and craftsmen from hobbyists to full time artisans who use Folksy to display and sell their portfolio of work.  It’s Christmas sorted in a few clicks and it’s all under one roof, yours!

Why not leave a comment telling us about your experiences of Christmas craft fairs – as a buyer or a seller.

6 Comments

  • Reply October 25, 2010

    Anthea

    I had my first Christmas fair on Friday- just a small village hall with just under a dozen sellers and it was a great experience! The turn out wasn’t amazing but I sold more in 2 hours than I have in whole days at other fairs. Best advice I can give is to keep it simple and make sure you have plenty of change!!

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  • Reply October 25, 2010

    heather aka NiftyKnits

    Good ideas here! As well as having lots of change (good tip Anthea!) think about your pricing. If you price at £x.95 you are going to need lots of 5ps. I’ve always priced to exact pounds, it makes life much easier – and I’m not convinced anyone really thinks £4.95 is significantly cheaper than £5!
    Despite Hilary’s advice about avoiding giving out sweets, I’ve always found that VERY successful, so I guess it depends on the day.

  • Reply October 29, 2010

    Lady Luck Jewellery

    Great advice!!! Also think about order times if you’re taking orders for custom makes near Christmas – check with your suppliers in advance that they have things in stock and can offer quick delivery if needed. You don’t want to loose out on the ‘can I have that in a different colour’ orders so close to Christmas!

  • Reply October 29, 2010

    Hilary

    Yes Heather that may just be me! I have little kids and it drives me nuts when people offer them food without asking me – and if they do ask me I feel guilty to say no – wrapped sweets can be stuffed in a pocket though and kept for after lunch so maybe they’re ok! (Oooh I sound like a mean Mummy now!)

  • Reply November 29, 2010

    Christmas Parties UK

    I am new to craft fairs but I am looking forward to doing my first one in just under 2 weeks time! There is some fantastic advice on here and then button christmas trees are VERY cute! Thank you :o)

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