The Best Collection of Craft Fair Display Advice in the World! *
This article contains craft fair / craft stall display advice from Folksy. At the foot of this post is a list of links to other helpful websites for you to browse to ensure your handmade items are shown off in the best way possible at your next craft market.
That’s the sort of reaction most of us would like to hear as someone spots our craft stall. If you have spent time and effort creating beautiful handmade items for sale, allow enough time to plan your display and do justice to your hard work. A display should complement and highlight your work. In this post we have compiled some of the most important factors to consider.
Pictured: Craft fair display in featured image by Nook of the North
Brand your stall:
A craft fair stall can be first time a buyer sees your work, so it’s your chance to make a good impression. A coherent stall with strong branding is more likely to catch their eye – and make them remember you when you leave. Your stall should reflect who you are and what you make. So if your work has a vintage vibe, for example, reflect that throughout your display, from the tablecloth right down to small details like the lettering you use for your price labels, and how many products you choose to display. If your brand is eco-friendly, you could use recycled materials for your display. Or if your work is simple and modern, make your display crisp and uncluttered, and consider ditching a crumpled tablecloth for an alternative table covering. If you can, carry your branding through to your packaging too, so that when a customer buys something of yours they will be taking it home in one of your paper bags, accompanied by one of your business cards.
Theme your display:
Picking a theme can help to focus your ideas and simplify your display. Think about who your target customer is, and work out a theme that will appeal to them and ties in with your brand. So, if your items are expensive, they will probably suit a more sophisticated display. If you make contemporary jewellery, maybe you could try displaying it on wooden blocks rather than on plastic display stands? If you’re selling items for children, make your display young and vibrant – you could use children’s books and a couple of vintage toys as props? But bear in mind that the theme should complement your items, not outshine them. Try to make your stand look as appealing and approachable as possible, so customers don’t feel too intimated to interact with you or your items. We’ve created a Craft Fair Display Pinterest board packed with different ideas to inspire you.
Build up your stand:
You want people’s eyes to roam all around the space you have, not just skim across and move on to the next stall. So instead of lying your items flat, use furniture, props, boxes and shelving to create height and bring everything up to eye level. Adding height adds interest and gives you more space for your stock. It also means your stand and your products can be spotted from across the other side of the fair (and over people’s heads if your stall is busy!), which will help draw people across to your stand. Displaying things at various levels allows visitors of all sizes to view your items without stooping or standing on tiptoes! If you have a traditional market-stall set up, you could also hang products from the frame, or even erect shelves, sides and backboards which can be attached to the frame.
Pick the right props:
Props aren’t there just to look pretty – they can also help you catch the eye of your target customer. Pick objects that fit your theme and that will attract your perfect customer. So, if you make ceramics, displaying one of your bowls filled with lemons, fresh coffee beans or peppercorns could help you attract someone who loves beautiful kitchenware and is a keen cook, and would be much more appropriate for your target customer than filling it with cheap sweets. Not only that, but picking the right props can also show potential buyers how they can use your products, and help that sale. For example, placing an old mobile phone into one of your phone cases will help customers instantly identify the function.
Set of two pouring bowls, by Jude Allman on Folksy
“I only have one real pet peeve about a craft stall and that’s a stall that has more stuff on it which isn’t for sale than the stuff that is. I saw one a couple of years ago selling jewellery and the stall had candlesticks and jewellery boxes and strategically placed silk scarves and glass dishes, like a proper diva dressing table. It looked lovely, but it was difficult to spot the jewellery casually draped here and there that was actually for sale :) Leanne from See the Woods“
Bring a banner:
You want people to remember your stall, but also your company name. So it’s important to have a banner or sign on your display. Also, a customer might be coming especially to visit your stand, and a banner makes you so much easier to spot. You needn’t go overboard though because a large banner can be expensive – or time consuming if you are making it yourself. Think about your branding and your display, and keep your signage in line with that. Incorporate your shop logo or font, if you have one, to unify your brand.
Rather than having a huge professionally printed banner, which can look a bit corporate, why not show off your talent as a maker by crafting your own signage? It doesn’t have to be complicated – take advantage of your skills, so if you’re a printmaker, you could print a sign and hang it or frame it alongside your work. If you make textiles, you could sew or embroider a banner or spell out your shop name across some bunting. Or use old school chalkboards (or make your own using blackboard paint and plywood) as an simple alternative. Have a flick through our Craft Fair Display Pinterest board for more signage ideas.
Use all your available space and “think outside the table”, so you can maximise the number of people that can be at your stall at the same time. Is it possible to add a stand to the side or in front of the table? (You’ll probably need to ask the organiser about this when you book the show, as sometimes there are extra charges for bringing a clothes rail or print rack). It may also be possible to remove the actual table and reconfigure your space so people can walk around your stands and racks. Ask in advance about the position of your stall too – if you are against a wall you can use it to hang your banner or display more goods (check with the organiser which fixings you can use first though).
Make space for your business cards:
Even if people don’t buy anything on the day, if they take a business card it could lead to a sale another day. So make sure your cards are placed where people can easily pick them up.
Price your work clearly:
Clearly label items and display a price list if possible (if you have masses of different types of items, a huge list will be far too difficult to read, so pricing each product individually is probably a better option). Customers may not want to ask how much an item costs in case they can’t afford it, which means that unless they can see the prices easily you might miss out on a sale. Take time and effort to match the style of your labels with your display and the type of goods you are selling. Beautiful labels will add to your overall presentation; shabby labels will detract from it. And make sure your prices and labels are legible! If you have terrible handwriting, print out your labels instead, or use a stamp to print them.
Show something inspirational:
Think of your market stall as your shop window. If you have something incredibly eye-catching and aspirational on display, it can draw people to your stall. Even if it’s expensive and doesn’t sell, that one very beautiful thing can lead customers to buy your other, more affordable, products, just so they can leave with a little bit of something you made.
Can people reach your items? Do you want them to? Picking an item up or being able to get really close to it can only help with a sale, but beware of children’s sticky fingers – place your valuable items in elevated and stable positions. Or have some tins and boxes full of your less expensive products at the front for people to rummage through.
A well-lit display will really help to show off your items, so ask about power points in advance. Think about the time of year, the event location and the finishing time too. If it’s a Christmas market, it will get dark early, so you’ll need more lighting than you would for a summer show, for example. Battery powered lights are a great option and available in all sorts of shapes, from tea lights that give off an atmospheric glow to spots and fairy lights you can string across your stand. The key thing to remember is that the light should illuminate your work, or highlight your best pieces, not blind customers!
Show people you are the maker:
Although it sounds strange, it’s not always clear to visitors that you are the maker, and that what you are selling is the fruit of your labour, not something you have just bought in. Depending on the event, some people will have no idea that you actually made that bead / printed that fabric /wove that scarf / drew that illustration. Try to think of a way to show them that instantly – it could be as simple as a small sign saying “all work made by me”, or you could display some of your tools, or even set up a mini demonstration. Be willing to talk to people about your work too – knowing how something is made, and having spoken to the person who made it, can be a huge selling point for buyers.
If you make fantastic props, stands and banners, be sure that they are sturdy – not only to prevent your goods being damaged but also to ensure nobody gets hurt. Keep wires out of the way and ensure your table covering is not too long and your boxes are tidied away under your table and not causing a trip hazard.
Do a mock-up at home first
Eliminate the stress of setting up on the day (especially if you’re tired from night-before making!) by planning your stall in advance. Ask the organiser for the table dimensions, and set up a space at home where you can practise your display. Experiment with what goes where, and look at it from the front as a buyer would, and then also from behind to make sure you have space for your market essentials (cashbox, paper bags, sales book, card machine etc). It’s also worth considering where you will stand – will you be behind your stall, or in front or by the side? If you’re standing behind it, have you left plenty of open space so you can talk to your customers without being blocked in by products? When you’re happy with the layout, do a little sketch or take a photo on your phone, which you can refer to while you’re setting up.
“I always have a practice, almost like a stage rehearsal, even if it’s the night before on my kitchen table. I like to see what fabrics/colours look nice together. I always put my best sellers near the front, work out what is going where. I like to use pretty storage to display my items, like cake stands, pretty baskets, nice holders for all my fabric hearts. I think it makes such a difference if things are displayed nicely and up to date/on trend.”
Mary – Polkadots and Posies
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The Big List of Craft Show Tips
We’ve scoured the web to find more information as much information as we can on craft fair displays. The links are in no particular order, just click!
- The Essential Craft Fair Checklist – Folksy Blog
- Craft Fair Inspiration – Big Ideas for Small Tables – Folksy Blog
- How to sell more at craft fairs, markets and trade fairs – Folksy Blog
- Craft Fair Secrets – Not sold much? Here’s What to Do – Folksy Blog
- Craft Fair Stall Display Ideas on Pinterest – Pinterest
- Craft Market Survival Tips for new sellers – Crafty Fox Market
- 9 last-minute marketing tips to make your craft fair a success – The Design Trust
- Four Essential Planning Stages to make your craft fair more successful – The Design Trust
- Craft Show Booth Idea– Academy of Handmade
- Top Tips for Selling at Markets – Craft Fox Market
- What to bring to a craft fair – The Design Trust
- Craft Stall Displays – The Evolution of our market stall display by I Am Acrylic
- Craft Fair Displays on Flickr
- Packing List for Market Traders & Craft Fair Sellers – Crafty Fox Market
- How to stand out at craft fairs – Made Urban Blog
- Tips and Pics on Building Great Booth Displays for your Craft – Meylah Blog
- DIY craft fair and jewellery display ideas – Jessica Joy
- 13 Imaginative Craft Fair Display Ideas – Creative Live
- How to Sell at Craft Fairs by Beach Shack Project – Create.net
- 10 Tips for Craft for Craft Fair Displays – Dear Handmade Life
- How to display your jewellery at craft fairs – London Jewellery School
There are lots more articles with craft fair tips and advice in our Craft Fair Advice series: articles ranging from what to say, how much stock to bring, how much to pay for a table, as well as craft fair reviews. We think you will find some excellent advice from the expert Folksy members we quizzed.
Featured images: Craft Fair Stall display by Twiggd / Embroidered Clutch Bag by Irene Campsill aka 1 off handbags