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5 Tips for Awesome Yet Affordable Craft Fair Displays

Updated on July 26, 2015

Displays that Rock!

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Merchandising Much?

I have been thinking of selling some of my handmade sewing projects at art and craft fairs, flea markets, vintage markets and such. It was a great opportunity to tap into my fashion merchandising experience to get things moving.

A huge fan of craft fairs, art fairs, flea markets and vintage stores and more. I always make it a point to support these creative enterprises.

Looking around at the vendors for years and how they do it gave me some ideas on how to do on a budget and minimise the amount of displays needed. Sad to say, displays in Singapore aren't as exciting as those in the US or Australia. It's a pity because we have such great talent and such gorgeous products.

I want my booth to be exciting and inspiring but I don't want to be lugging around a ton of things on top of the products, cash box, personal items plus chairs, etc. I want it to be consistent with my brand and who I am.

So here are my top 5 tips, please do share your own experience, I would like to hear it!

Also, join my Facebook Group - Handmade Singapore, a place for crafters, artists and handmade enthusiasts to buy, sell and discuss ideas.

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Beautiful O Bliss Display

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1. Find a Theme

Finding a theme that suits your business can come from just about anywhere. Chances are that you already used the theme in all if not selected areas. For a collective look that reinforces your brand, you want to remain consistent at all times.

Jewellery designer C.S Alexis says she "started with a business card and actually grew everything else in my handmade jewelry display from there." Garnering inspiration from the colours, she started designed her display from there.

Brainstorming inspired keywords that describe your business is a good way to start. For example young and contemporary plush toys evokes the idea of a clean but cute display. Or vintage and limited edition jewellery could mean utilising a repurposed vintage drawer and each item displayed individually on velvet necklace display busts.

If lost, create a visual inspiration board. Pin what you love on it and when you are done, you will see a common thread that represents you and your business. For a digital version, go to Pinterest. It could be a colour, a style, a texture, a size (miniature) or a feel. You want to achieve something that makes you stand out. Not just say knitting or sewing but your unique interpretation of it. Look through the pictures and ask what you like about each. Write a list and take it from there.

Check out Krissie Shields's booth display inspiration on Pinterest here.

Visual Merchandise Techniques

2. The Art & Science of Displays

Bruce Baker, A jeweler, gallery owner and nationally recognized expert on booth design says,

"Few handcrafted items are actually packaged (the way the commercial goods are), so the booth, the display techniques and the ambiance make up the packaging. It is important that your booth creates an environment that shows the product in a setting the customer can relate to — especially if it’s meant for the home or garden.

One of the first things we noticed is how many booths have obstructed entrances. The entrance to your booth must be open and inviting. Products, display fixtures, chairs, benches or the artists themselves blocking the entrance to the booth can be a visual or a physical barrier.

Booth openings should be a minimum of six-feet wide. People should be able to pass in and out of the booth freely — essentially like a two-lane highway — without obstructions or barriers."

Keeping in mind the following tips by Jose, the display should,

  • Attract the customer’s attention
  • Sell products
  • Facilitate the selection of products
  • Provoke impulse sells

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3. Use Displays You Already Have

Budget is always a consideration when you are a small business owner. Keeping in mind the dimensions and regulations of the market you are interested in (different markets have different specifications). My suggestion is look around for things you already have!

Go from bottom up,

Choose a mat or flooring for shoes to keep them clean

Choose a tablecloth. You can use relatively large pieces of cloth you already have. For example bed sheets, large scarves, sarong wraps, blankets.

Choose objects for a layered display effect. Lot of markets allow stacked displays but are relatively small in terms of overall desk space. Use boxes you can easily cover up with fabric. Try to use light weight materials so it is easy to carry around. Best are foldable boxes.

Choose a display method, you can hang, stick or take it apart, etc. Remember removable strips that leave no residue like Scotch Mounting Squares or blu tack, double sided tape are your best friends. You have to remove it so make sure it doesn't destroy your display or things provided by the flea market.

Draw attention to your booth. Think out of the box. Use cups for hanging earrings, plates for rings, a cupcake carousel for brooches. Hang bikinis on a clothing line with colourful wooden clips. Display large eyecatching items to draw attention to your booth or interesting items like a vintage radio, colourful artwork or a large sized poster.

4. Create Affordable DIY Displays

All is not lost if you can't find anything at home. You can also create affordable DIY ones. See my favourite tutorials below. Create a jewellery frame, a multiple ring holder, dress up your clothing hangers and much more!

DIY Multiple Ring Holder

DIY Vintage Hangers

DIY Jewellery Display

DIY Wrapped Hangers & Covers

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5. Purchase Affordable Existing Displays

If you are pressed for time as many small business owners are, head to a few of my favourite places to buy a few items.

Hock Siong sells second hand items from hotels, estate sales, etc. You can get really good deals there. I got a few bowls for SGD$3 (US$1.75) each and a vintage style lamp at SGD$40 (USD$25). They carry a range of items from sheets, to containers to bowls, plates, etc. at low cost. Reusing is a great option as it is environmental friendly. Their turnover is pretty quick so check back often for fantastic deals.

Jennifer's Vintage & Antique is a good place for vintage finds. Choose from cups to plates to records to larger items to draw attention to your booth.

Ikea is a sure win for basic items. Check out the limited time deals for even more offers! Watch out for lightweight, colourful, foldable items. IKEA Singapore has several clothing racks options is different colours. Look through the online catalogue first before heading down. Each country has its own collection. Be creative, look in every department for suitable glasses, bowls, drawers, containers, boxes etc.

To chose your domain name, go HERE.

For DIY Eye Mask Tutorial, go HERE.

Good luck! More updates soon about my adventures in creative land.

© 2014 Min

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