Craft Fair Tips. How to Make Your Craft Fair a Success

Craft Fair Tips – how to have a successful craft show

Craft shows can be really fun but also daunting. We all worry (and to be honest I still do before each one even though we’ve been very lucky to do very well at markets!) if people will like our products and whether we will be able to sell! In this round up, we share our best craft fair tips for a successful show.

We first wrote this post on tips for a successful craft show after our first-ever craft fair in 2021. Since then, we have done several markets and keep updating this post with our best craft fair tips, as we continue to learn and grow! We hope you will find these tips useful for your next market.

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pIctures of a craft fair display. The text overlay reads "top tips for your first craft fair"

Craft Fair Display Ideas: How to Stand Out

craft show table display

Make your craft fair display visually pleasing by using props that stand out

When we decided to do the craft market, we did a mock craft fair display at home to figure out how we were going to get all the products to fit on our table in a visually pleasing way.

Craft market display of amigurumi animals in a crate

We decided to repurpose old fruit crates (yay mango season!) to create a little stand for our toys from our Juna series of amigurumi animals. The stand was cheap to make and gave it a very rustic look (they looked like animals in a barn!). A number of people commented on how cute the display was plus it allowed the crochet animals to be easily noticed from a distance.

The crates were complimented with cute baskets, making for an adorable craft market display. (The best part about the crates? We had one facing backwards under the top stand that served as a little shelf for us.)

Add a touch of handmade decor

We had crochet bunting and a string of amigurumi hearts as part of our craft fair display. It really made our market stall stand out (we even had people asking if they could buy our crochet decor lol!).

The best part is that you can reuse this for your next market. So we have been using the same bunting since 2021 so it has been really worthwhile!

Keep your craft show display at varying heights.

Your display at your craft market should be at varying heights to draw attention to all of its parts (plus it gives you more room to display things!). Make sure you have something low for the kids to see – they are the best people to market your products to their parents 🙂

We usually put a display to the side of our table that children can access easier. Often, whatever we have on that table is our best seller!

Make sure that your most popular products are displayed prominently

It is essential that you ensure that your products, especially your most popular ones, are displayed prominently. At our first market, we had cricket dolls based on our Zayd crochet doll, which surprisingly didn’t sell well. Pakistan is a cricket-mad country and these dolls are some of our best sellers online! At the end of the fair, a customer came to us as we were cleaning up and saw them and said, oh I never saw these! We realized that we had put them behind other toys and so you couldn’t see the uniform to know that these were cricketers – no wonder they didn’t sell!

Since then, we make sure they have a prominent position in our markets and, as expected, we usually sell out!

Have a prominently displayed sign

It is essential to have a prominent display sign for brand recognition and future sales. We had a large sign printed on an easel in front of our stall with our Instagram and Facebook handles. After the market, our follower count increased substantially! So even if someone didn’t buy, they may follow you in social media and buy from you at a later date.

Craft show sign with dolls sitting on the sign

During our most recent craft show, we added a few small dolls to our sign to add a touch of whimsy to it. I think it turned out really great. I want to still work on this look a little more to make it look even more whimsical (maybe wrapping green yarn around the stand where the dolls are to make it look like grass). What do you think?

If your market is going to run into the night, make sure that your sign can be seen prominently in the night. You can string battery-operated fairy lights around the stand or you can get yourself a light up sign, depending on your brand and budget.

Cluster similar items

We put similar items together, which made it easier for people to see the diversity of our products. Our table was divided into zones with different types of amigurumi. So that means dolls were on one side, animals on another, and baby items are clustered together.

You may also want to cluster your items by colour in a gradient. Essentially, you want people to be able to see what you have on offer, rather than see it as a jumble or products where nothing stands out. Think of the difference of a budget store that has clothes clustered together that you have to sort through versus a high-end boutique that has clothing in small clustered. Which experience is a more pleasant shopping experience? If you create a visually pleasing display, you can often charge more!

Have a gimmick or a game

In our last market, we ended up with a table that was quite far from the entrance. To get people to come to our table, we decided to have a lucky draw.

My sister and a friend walked around the market with a couple of our toys in hand, handing out tickets for our free lucky draw. We told people that the lucky draw was free but they just had to submit their ticket at our stall.

We got a lot of traffic to our table with people submitting the lucky draw. Inevitably, people saw our cute toys and bought some! We announced the winners on Instagram so that helped increase our followers.

lucky draw prizes in a basket with a sign saying lucky draw

Another gimmick you could try would be either a vending machine with small items in it (and the ticket at a nominal price) or a claw machine would be fun too.

What Products to Take to Your Craft Fair

Small amigurumi dolls and animals in a basket at a craft market

Take a diversity of craft fair inventory to tailor to customers with diverse needs and tastes

We had a variety products that do well for us at craft markets. Broadly, they included:

plush crochet animals at a craft show
  • Larger dolls from our Zayd and Zoya crochet dolls series
  • Baby rattles and lovies (from our crochet baby gifts series)
  • Design Your Own Crochet Monster Kits – we turned this into a kit that included the design your own monster worksheet, crayons, child-friendly scissors, and glue. People could buy the kit at the market and then send us a photograph of the finished monster to crochet for them. The cost of the kit included the materials included, the finished crochet monster, and delivery.

Take as much craft fair inventory as you can.

You don’t want to run out and you may surprise yourself in how much you sell! And if you don’t sell it all, well, that’s a bit off pressure taken off for creating product for your next craft fair, isn’t it 🙂

You don’t have to (and shouldn’t!) display everything at once. Keep extra stock under your table in weather and dust-proof bags. As you start selling out of things, you can replace it with your backstock.

Keep products at varying price ranges

Not everyone can afford pricey toys. Children were drawn to our stall but having lower-cost items, such as our Kozu Palm Pals mini crochet dolls and Kozu Palm Pets small animals, allowed parents a more reasonable option that they could easily pick up. We now also have a couple of crochet keychains that work up fast and can add even quicker low cost items to your craft fair!

Add price tags to all your craft fair products

Add individual price tags that people can look at to know the price. Having to ask for a price can drive away a customer.

Upsell using customizations

Another way to add value to your products is to offer customisations to the products. We often will add a name or a keychain to a product. This allows you to stand out from your competitors and allows you to charge extra.

Just be sure that you give yourself adequate time. If you’re manning the booth alone at a busy market this is probably not a good idea. If you have help and you give a longer lead time, then you can offer this service. You could also offer it, charge for delivery, and have it delivered over the next week.

How To Price Your Craft Fair Products

This is question we get all the time from fellow crocheters – how should we price our products? And, honestly, there is no simple answer. It depends on the area you’re selling in, the products you have, the quality of your products, and so much more!

People often share a number of formulas that are seemingly scientific. How many of us have heard that you must charge the cost of your yarn times X. Formulas such as this may sound scientific but they don’t make sense! They look at the cost of materials but don’t take into account the time put into the production of each piece – which is a big component for handmade crafts!

First calculate what the product costs to make

The advice I would give is to think about it like this. Your product essentially has three main inputs:

  • the materials that you use to produce it (i.e. yarn, stuffing, safety eyes etc)
  • the packaging that you use (if you give a bag with it, care instruction cards etc).
  • your labour (i.e. the time it takes you to produce each piece plus the time you spend on marketing online, selling at markets, and developing your business)

The materials and packaging all have a fixed cost and so you need to account for that in the price. Then you should estimate a cost for your labour (you could use minimum wage in your country or whatever rate you feel is something you would feel comfortable with giving your time for) for each product. Once you add up the three, you have your cost.

You may also want to add on some amount of profit (a percentage perhaps). Just note that sometimes on larger items you can have a larger profit than on smaller items. So we have a larger profit margin on our Kozu Palm Pets animals when made with super bulky yarn versus when they are made with DK yarn, as people are more willing to pay for the larger product and the labour costs are the same (the yarn costs are higher for the super bulky yarn but the profit is still higher when accounting for that).

Do your market research for your area

I would then say do some market research to see what prices are like for similar products in your area and assess your prices. You can look at other markets or on the social media or websites of your local competitors. You can also look on Etsy but remember that the market there is wider, as people are shipping all over. When you are researching your competitor, keep in mind the quality that they are offering. We often charge higher than our competitors because the difference in quality is self-evident to the customer who is then willing to pay higher.

The bottom line

The bottom line is that sell at a price that you feel comfortable with receiving. The time that you spend making your crafts has an opportunity cost – you could be using it to earn in another way or even for leisure. Often we undercut our prices and then are resentful – as if it was not us who set those prices! So just make sure it’s something that you’re willing to sell for.

What to Else to Take to a Craft Fair

Business cards or QR code sign

We didn’t have any, thinking that are they really necessary in this digital age? But people aren’t going to go to Instagram at that moment to follow you and may forget later – so you can lose potential customers. Luckily, we had our little thank you product cards with our social media information on them (that we put into the bag with our toys when they were bought) which we started distributing to people at the craft fair who asked for business cards.

You can also have a QR code in a frame leading to your website, Instagram page, or Facebook page so that people can start following you right then and there.

Inventory list of craft show products that you can cross off

Take a list of your craft market inventory that you have that you can cross off as you sell items. We also kept a separate order sheet in which we had 3 columns: what the person bought, the amount, and their mode of payment (i.e. cash, credit card, Paypal etc) so that we could tally our cash and various accounts quickly at the end of the day.

Weather-appropriate clothes and supplies

Our craft market was on a really hot day (and in Karachi, hot means HOT!). We ran through our water within the first few minutes and it was difficult to get more, as our stall was really busy (plus who wants to pay hiked up prices for water!). Luckily, our family came to the rescue but do yourself a favour and be more prepared than we were! And bring ice – lots of ice!

Of course, if you have a Christmas market, then be sure to bring warm clothes and layers!

A small folding work table with you

We took a small folding table with us that we kept in between our chairs, which we used as our checkout table with our bags. It allowed us to keep the entire table for our product, while giving us a work space.

A cash box and lots of change!

Have a cash box to keep your money and to easily make change. Make sure you bring change with you! Think about the prices that you have on your toys and the denomination of the currency in your country – and bring change accordingly. You don’t want to be scrambling around for change!

Have options for people without cash

The thing with markets is that there is so much to buy that people often run out of cash! If you don’t have non-cash options for customers to pay with, it can make you lose sales because how many times have we all gone to a market and run out of cash? So be sure you have options for credit cards or Google Pay or Apple Pay. However, if you don’t have those options available, allow customers to pay you via Paypal or Venmo so that you don’t miss out on key sales!

Have packaging that stands out

We package out amigurumi in a black mesh bag with our logo on it – so that the toys are visible through the packaging. When we were planning the craft fair, we were wondering if we should keep brown paper bags for people to put their toys in, in case they brought multiple toys. But then someone told us that we should give the toys in our branded packaging, so that other people will see people with our toys and will be drawn to our stall. And, guess what – it worked! There were people walking around with Zaggy bags and toys, which was our best marketing strategy!

Supplies to Set up and Repair Your Display

Don’t forget everything you need to set up your display once you get there. This may mean a small tool kit, glue, tape, and scissors. Murphy’s Law is real so bring things for repairs if something goes wrong.

If it’s a windy day and your market is outside, the wind may knock down your sign and display shelving! We also always bring some small rocks with us to weight down anything in our display.

Crafting Supplies

You may also want to bring some supplies for your craft in case you notice something that needs repairs. I always have a crochet hook, needle, basic yarn, and a scissor with mePlus, if it’s a slower day, it’s nice to have a project to work on (which also fascinates people and can bring in sales!).

If you are going to add some customization, bring the tools for that. For example, I always have black and white embroidery thread, a needle, and scissors on hand to add on a name to the toy someone is buying.

Final Thoughts on Craft Show Tips

We hope this helps you in planning a successful craft fair. Above all, enjoy yourself! As crafters, in these days of online selling, we rarely get to interact with our customers. It is so nice to meet new people, get face-to-face feedback on our products (although sometimes you need a thick skin!), and just enjoy a festive market atmosphere!

Wishing you the best of luck and let us know how it goes!

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