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Craft Fair Survival Guide For Crafters

Updated on April 13, 2015
linfcor profile image

Professional scrapbook artist, paper crafter, and author, I have taught people how to make family memories into legacies for 20 years.


Survival List For Craft Show/Fair Exhibitors

Have you ever thought about making products and selling them at a craft fair or show. Thousands of people make extra cash sharing the things they love to make. If you have a special talent, the doors are open to do something you love and be your own boss.

If you love to do craft shows and fairs, you may have found that there are some things that you cannot do without. For beginning artisans and crafters, it may be trial by experience. But no need to fret. Here is everything you need to do a successful craft show or fair.

Create a mini kit or several kits depending on your needs and your type of products. Once you create your personal kit or kits, just store them, ready for your next event. I know that it sounds like a lot of work, but when you are finished, you will have it all together. Once you get it done, you will only have to check your kits to restock

You should always have your credentials for every craft fair or show that you do. That would include your confirmation of participation, your receipt of payment for that show, any credentials for collecting sales taxes in your state and a business license if required

Personal Item Kit

There are a few things that you may need just for your own comfort. Having these items will make your experience a happier and more comfortable one.

  • Water and Food- Might sound silly to list these, but in the course of the day you will need to hydrate and get some nourishment. Yes there will probably be vendors there, but why spend the money you make on overpriced food. Stock things like nuts, an energy bar, some fruit.
  • A Small First Aid Kit- Have a few band aids and an antaceptic cream. Have a few different size bandages. Just in case of a minor injury you will want to be prepared
  • A Sweater Or A Jacket- Even if you are indoors, you will want to have something to keep you warm. If you are outdoors, you will need to dress in layers
  • A Chair- There are going to be times that you may want to rest your feet for a bit
  • Your Camera And Cell Phone-The cell phone would be for emergencies ( never text or use your phone while you are in sales mode or you will lose sales for sure). Your camera and/or your cell phone can be sued to take photos of your booth and other booths. You might also want to carry extra batteries and a memory chip
  • A Product Activity To Do-Why not bring something that shows off your skill to do in your off time?

Don't forget to wear something that reflects your brand or product ! Either chose a color that is prominent in your display or a shirt that has your brand or name on it

General Tool Kit

These are general things that you should have on hand for your set up, displays and all around repairs

  • Extra Batteries- Have at least two extra batteries for every display or item that uses them
  • Power Cords-It's important to have several power cords for your displays, lights, ect
  • Clothes Pins/ Cord or Rope-Useful for displays or hanging things on lines
  • Small Tools- A small hammer, a small phillips screwdriver and a flat head screwdriver
  • Tape- Have a clear tape, a duct tape and some washi tape available. They are o handy for helping to decorate and set things up

Sales Tool Kit

You want to make it easy for your customers to buy goods from you. Each of these items make it more likely that you will get the most amount of sales

  • A Calculator- Helps you add up those big sales
  • A Cash Box /Bag Or Apron- You will want to be able to guard your money against potential thieves. Having someplace to manage the cash that you will be handling makes your transactions seamless
  • Change-Paper and Coin- Make sure that you have an adequate amount of singles, fives and tens so that you can make change easily. Nothing will sour a sale faster than not having the right amount of change
  • Credit Card Machine- Lots of people are using the free little Square device attached to their cell phones. If you are going to use that, make sure that your cell phone will have enough juice to carry you through the day.
  • Receipt Or Sales Book- Lots of people would like to have a receipt of their transactions, so a sales or receipt book is a must. You can buy one and stamp the pages with a business stamp, or print some out on your computer
  • Inventory Sheets- Used to determine how much you sold
  • Bags For Your Merchandise- There are so many easy and low cost ways to bag your products. One of my favorites is to use plastic bags with a logo sticker ! That way your products are being shown as people walk through the fair

Have You Ever Done A Craft Show Or Fair?

How many craft shows or fairs have you done?

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Small Area Show/Fair Set Up

Booth Display Kit

So setting up your booth or table display needs to be efficient and easy. You may not have a lot of time to set up, so you want to make good use of the time that you have, Having this kit put together makes your day easier and less frustrating

  • Your Booth Display Layout- You should have a drawing with the complete layout of your booth or tables. This way you and your helpers will know exactly where and how everything should go.
  • Tables- Hopefully you have checked with the event coordinator and know how many tables may be available or what you may have to provide.
  • Covering For Your Tables- Either tablecloths or twin sheets that coordinate with the rest of your display. These need to be clean and not wrinkled
  • A Mirror or Two-If you are displaying jewelry then you will need at least two mirrors that enable your customers to see themselves with your items on. If you are showing clothing , you might want to consider a full length mirror. You will make more sales if your customers are able to see themselves in your products
  • Extra Price Tags- You will want to have extra tags in case they are needed
  • Vertical Display Pieces- They can include shoe boxes or other boxes, vertical display pieces, any container that will help you show your pieces to the best advantage
  • Lighting- If you are in a low light area, you will need to provide some kind of small spotlights to focus especially on smaller items or items that you want to feature. Use small white Christmas LED lights to call attention to your display area. They generally run on batteries
  • A Guest Book or Sign In Sheet- have all your visitors sign in so that you create an email list. This is a good tool to notify people of your future events. You might give a freebie away for anyone signing your book. Could just be a little candy.
  • Freebies/Giveaways/ Contests-These will draw people to your booth or table and it does not have to be anything expensive. Could just be printed information like an instruction on how to do something, a tip sheet or a project sheet. Make sure that it has all of your contact information.
  • Backdrops- Coordinated with your table covers, these can be an effective way to decorate and coordinate your display area
  • Business Signs-Need close up signs for sale items and other promotions. You might also want to have a sign that can be read at a distance so that people are drawn to your area
  • Business Cards-having an adequate amount of business cards is a must ! make them yourself or have them made. It is one of the best investments you can make to your business.

You As A Walking Display

If you are marketing something that you can wear, make sure to use yourself as a walking display piece !

Would you add anything to our craft fair survival kit?

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    • linfcor profile imageAUTHOR

      Linda F Correa 

      4 years ago from Spring Hill Florida

      You are s very welcome

    • sheilamarie78 profile image


      4 years ago from British Columbia

      Craft fairs are much more successful with just a little planning. Thanks for the tips.


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