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Holiday Craft Fair

Updated on August 24, 2011

How to host a Successful Holiday Craft Fair from Home

The Holiday Craft fair season begins as early as mid October and usually lasts until mid December. During that time, ambitious craftspeople rent tables in church basements, sports arenas and community centers in hopes of selling much of their hard earned work.

During the summer months when most people are enjoying fun in the sun devoted crafters are indoors preparing their wares for the upcoming Christmas holiday season. Below I will share with you some tips on how to run your own successful holiday craft fair.
These ideas can also be applied whether you are hosting the holiday craft fair from home or another venue.

I have been participating in holiday craft fairs for many years. My love for anything handmade began at an early age when my mom first showed me how to knit and sew. Over the years I perfected my crafting skills to a point where I was able to create my own handknit designs. I would spend a lot of my leisure time either at the sewing machine making clothes or on a comfortable sofa, knitting needles in hand creating beautiful handmade sweaters.

Years ago, I remember reading in a magazine about these 2 professional craftswomen who decided to host a craft sale from their home. Inspired by the idea, I contacted a group of vendors from around the neighborhood and asked them to join me in organizing our own home craft fair.

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I have to say that it was one of the most successful endeavors in which I have participated. The craft fair took place over the last weekend of November. For three days my home was turned into a mini shopping mall. Hundreds of eager shoppers poured in, anxious to buy original Christmas gifts. The house had 2-3 Christmas trees in every room decorated with hand-made ornaments ready to be purchased.

Do you like attending holiday craft fairs? - Get the list of craft fairs in your area from the local newspaper

One thing's for sure, if you are looking for something out of the ordinary, you will find it at a holiday craft fair. Many crafters can even personalize their work to make the gift even more appealing. There are thousands of books and magazines about every type of craft imaginable. Below are just a few.

Useful Tips on Running a Holiday Crafts Fair from home

It may be a lot of work but it is so much fun!

Here is an agenda that you can follow for hosting your own holiday craft fair.

Below are some general guidelines to get you started:

1) First and probably most important: no home craft fair would be possible without the unanimous consent of all family members. Once your spouse and kids agree get them to pitch in and help. Furniture will have to be moved and they will have to live picnic style for a few days.

2) Decide on the length of the holiday craft fair, whether it be a one day event or over the entire weekend. Ours was a three day weekend fair. Timing is important as well. Depending on the type of climate you live in, you may want to hold the craft sale before the cold weather and snow arrive.

3) Check with your local municipality to see if it is necessary to obtain any type of permit for holding such an event at your home and that you are adequately insured for it.

4) Let your neighbours in on what you will be doing to avoid any complaints.

Maybe some of them will lend a hand!

5) An event like this would require anywhere between 5 -10 crafters. It is best to start small and grow every year. Make sure you have a commitment from enough people to help with setting up, executing the craft fair, and cleaning up afterwards.

6) Offer a diverse variety of crafts, something for all ages and tastes.

7) Baked goods and preserves are always a big hit. Recrute your best friend or a family member to prepare lots of goodies. Something delicious like our very own lenmaster Freaknoodles' amazing chocolate chip cookies recipe that is guaranteed to provoke the tastebuds and entice your eager shoppers to buy! The cookies can be handed out at the door when they arrive.

Publicity

Get the word out - not only can you distribute flyers around the neighborhood, nowadays with the Internet you can reach a larger audience. You can place an ad in your local newspaper, and sites such as craigslist, myspace, Facebook and kijiji won't cost a penny to advertise. Let all your family and friends know about the craft sale. You can even offer an incentive to first 50 shoppers such as a free roll of wrapping paper or a bag of decorative ribbon.

Blog about your craft sale You can tell others about your upcoming craft fair through your own blog or even create a Squidoo lens and talk about your experience!

Free Publicity for your show! Many talk radio stations allow listeners to call in on Saturday mornings to talk about events happening in and around the neighborhood. That is the time to plug your craft sale!

Write a press release about what you are doing, it's free if you use a site such as Free-Press-Release Maybe a local reporter will pick it up and talk about it.

Have Christmas Music Playing in the Background During Your Holiday Craft Fair - Your Shoppers will love hearing this holiday music

Below is a sample of some great holiday gift ideas! Enjoy Christmas Music Cd's interpreted by some of the most current popular artists.

One of my very own handmade designs!

One of my very own handmade designs!
One of my very own handmade designs!

Holiday Craft Fairs and Fundraising

You can host a holiday craft fair for charity. Listed below are more interesting ideas

Consider donating a portion of the proceeds from your event back to your city or to your favorite charity. Mention this in your ad. To raise money, you can have each crafter donate a gift and raffle them off. People love to win prizes! Or you can all contribute a few dollars to purchase prizes from brand name stores which should attract a lot of buyers!

Although helping the needy is a good thing all year round, you may decide to use this opportunity to collect non-perishable food items from family and friends. During our craft fair one of our volunteers put together several gifts baskets made up of canned food, baby items and other gifts donated by our crafters and delivered them to one of our local charitable organizations.

If any of your crafters make handmade apparel whether it is knitted hats, scarves and gloves or beautiful sweaters, organize a mini-fashion show to promote the designs.

Have a silent auction during the craft sale. Some crafters are exceptionally gifted and create beautiful original paintings.. For example, if you know any Picassos or Rembrandts, ask them if they would like to sell their work using this method.

Since we are in the "green age" use recycled boxes and environmentally friendly plastic bags into which the purchases can be wrapped.

Decorate your home inside and out for the occasion. You can even create a theme for your sale and name it. Something like "Deck the Halls" craft fair, or "From our Home to Yours".

If you use several rooms in the house, create a different theme for each room. For example one theme can be " Noah's Ark", and fill the room with stuffed animals, another one can be Victorian decorated with lace and satin and yet another can be a green theme with items made out of recycled materials.

I would suggest to begin organizing the holiday craft sale several months in advance. A well prepared holiday craft fair, will attract a lot of visitors. And with the help of enough family and friends it will certainly ensure you much success!

Decorate the Walls of your home with this and other festive posters!

You can hang up posters on your front door as well as all around the house!

I just love decorating the house for Christmas. Adding posters will add color and liven up the rooms!

Let your creative juices flow!

Do you get inspired by reading about creative projects? Why not Join me right here on Squidoo and discover your own ideas! It's a lot of fun and can be profitable for you or your favorite charity!

Handmade vs. store bought - Which option do you prefer?

Now that there are so many products readily available that have been imported from the Far East, we often ask ourselves,is it worth investing time and money to create our own items locally?

Do you think it is worth investing time and money to create your own handmade projects?

Beautiful Handmade Crafts available on eBay! - Shop early for your Christmas gifts!

Find a lot of original holiday gift ideas on ebay!

There are so many different Handmade Crafts Options

What are your favorite type of handmade crafts?

See results

Holiday Shopping

Some people are so organized and buy their gifts during the course of the year. Others always wait till the very last minute.

Have you started your Christmas Shopping yet?

See results

Have you ever participated in a holiday crafts fair at your local church or community center? If so, I would love to hear about it!

Hope you have been inspired to hold your own craft show? - Do you design and sell your own work?

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    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      @maplesyrup59: Interesting Blog.

      Did you know that there are a number of Christmas fairs running throughout the UK. Caerphilly Medieval Christmas Fayre 10th - 11th December 2012 or the Cirencester Christmas Market. - 30th November to 16th December 2012 plus many more.

      We have produced these as RSS feeds and therefore can be added to your RSS Readers or webpages.

    • maplesyrup59 profile image
      Author

      maplesyrup59 6 years ago

      @bikerministry: Thanks for visiting. Would love to hear about your fair!

    • bikerministry profile image

      bikerministry 6 years ago

      My sister and I have done church and community craft fairs, and are currently thinking about holding a combined fair inviting specific talented artist to contribute their time and items. This is a great idea to use a home. Thank you for this info.

    • profile image

      20webhosting 6 years ago

      Thanks for this awesome lens, I actually learned something from it.

    • maplesyrup59 profile image
      Author

      maplesyrup59 6 years ago

      @Wednesday-Elf: That's great! Thank you so much:)

    • Wednesday-Elf profile image

      Wednesday-Elf 6 years ago from Savannah, Georgia

      Better late than never.... finally compiled my SquidAngel Lens from my 'angel flight' last Fall. :-) So.... returning to tell you that this lens has now been 'featured on' and 'lensrolled to' "SquidAngel Blessings by an Elf".

      PS: I'm still participating in craft fairs :)

    • WildFacesGallery profile image

      Mona 6 years ago from Iowa

      I spend my summers doing art fairs and we usually host an openhouse in the gallery once a year. These kinds of things are a lot of hard work but also a lot of fun. You've given some good tips here.

    • maplesyrup59 profile image
      Author

      maplesyrup59 6 years ago

      @kimbesa2: Thank you! I am in the process of organizing our annual holiday craft fair at the airport where I work. A lot of my colleagues are very talented and some of them are already hard at work making Christmas fruitcakes to sell. This year we decided to combine our bake sale with the craft fair. I hope to make a lens about it!

    • kimbesa2 profile image

      kimbesa 6 years ago from USA

      Lots of great ideas! Thanks!

    • Charmcrazey profile image

      Wanda Fitzgerald 7 years ago from Central Florida

      Beautiful sweater and great ideas. Your lens is blessed by a squid angel.

    • maplesyrup59 profile image
      Author

      maplesyrup59 7 years ago

      @Wednesday-Elf: Thank you so much, I love craft fairs and am so happy that yours was a success. Hope you make a lens about it. Thank you for blessing this lens. Last year I organized a craft fair at the airport where I work. We had a huge food drive. Employee donated everything from food to baby clothes. This year we plan to do the same and I hope to make a lens about it.

    • Wednesday-Elf profile image

      Wednesday-Elf 7 years ago from Savannah, Georgia

      Hi my crafty friend. Your ideas for a home craft show were so helpful to me last year when I adapted them to a town square holiday craft fair in my town, so I've returned to tell you our local craft fair will run again this year. My 'partner' of last year will run the craft fair alone, as I'm moving away in 2 weeks, but she has all the ideas we used from you to make it successful. I just wanted to return because I find myself now with some 'angel wings' and wanted to ~~bless~~ this very helpful lens and thank you for all your advice here, which I'm sure will be invaluable to many other crafters.

    • profile image

      poutine 7 years ago

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      poutine 7 years ago

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      poutine 7 years ago

      Very interesting and useful lens.

      Poutine

    • profile image

      thewishpearl 7 years ago

      @Wednesday-Elf: That's wonderful news! I am glad everything went well. I also organized a craft fair at my place of work which happens to be the Montreal airport. It went fairly well considering the fact that we were not allowed to sollicit any passengers, only airport employees. The fair helped us to raise funds for a local food bank as well as our company Christmas party

    • Wednesday-Elf profile image

      Wednesday-Elf 7 years ago from Savannah, Georgia

      I came back by to tell you how our Holiday-in-the-Village Christmas craft fair did in Pendleton, SC last month. The Holiday Fair ran for 4 Saturdays in a row, beginning the weekend after Thanksgiving, and was quite successful. It was held outside in our lovely Village Square and we had beautiful weather 2 weeks, very cold the other 2 weeks, but luckily no rain and we had good crowds. All the vendors did well and the event brought a lot of visitors to our town, which also helped our local merchants. Another crafter and I organized the event this year and, for never having done anything like this before, we were quite pleased with how well it turned out. We were even written up in our local newspaper the second week, which helped to get the word out, in addition to our flyers and press releases. Our event was community-based, but, as with having a home holiday craft fair, it takes a lot of planning and organizing. It was fun to do.

    • profile image

      anonymous 7 years ago

      great ideas to have a home craft show. I added my crochet lens to your plexo.

    • TreasuresBrenda profile image

      Treasures By Brenda 7 years ago from Canada

      Great idea for a lens! Well done & blessed.

    • profile image

      anonymous 7 years ago

      Well done Carol very informative!

    • paperfacets profile image

      Sherry Venegas 7 years ago from La Verne, CA

      I am working on my Christmas things right now.

    • profile image

      anonymous 7 years ago

      Very inspiring !

    • profile image

      anonymous 7 years ago

      Great lens! 5****

    • AppalachianCoun profile image

      AppalachianCoun 7 years ago

      Great crafts. Thanks for the wonderful ideas. 5 stars*****

    • Eklectik1 profile image

      Eklectik1 7 years ago

      I showed this to my wife and she loved the idea!! Great lens...

    • squid-janices7 profile image

      squid-janices7 7 years ago

      Great lens! I have spent many a Saturday at holiday craft fairs with my Mom. Perhaps that is why I have countless tubs of Christmas decorations that my husband just loves (he-hee:) Thanks for stopping by my Christmas Cookie Exchange lens. 5* for you!

    • JenOfChicago LM profile image

      JenOfChicago LM 7 years ago

      Great ideas - I never thought of having a small craft fair in my house with neighbors!

    • justholidays profile image

      justholidays 7 years ago

      Very interesting lens! I'll lensroll to my Xmas Basket Ideas!

      Have fun with your craft fair :)

      Dom.

    • ZenandChic profile image

      Patricia 7 years ago

      Love your lens!

    • profile image

      thewishpearl 7 years ago

      [in reply to Wednesday_Elf]

      Thank you for visiting my lens. Your Christmas in the Village Fair sounds interesting! Would love to hear how it went!

    • Wednesday-Elf profile image

      Wednesday-Elf 7 years ago from Savannah, Georgia

      I have participated in Holiday craft fairs at churches and community sponsored events for the past two years with my handmade 'crocheted critters', and am helping to run one here in my town this Holiday Season. I spent the summer having a craft table at our local Farmers Market and am signed up for two more events this Fall before we get into the Christmas in the Village Square 4 Saturdays in a row event. I admire you having a Craft Fair in your home - I can't even imagine how much work that would be. You did a wonderful job of outlining what such an event would involve and how to run it in this lens.

    • profile image

      anonymous 7 years ago

      By the way, fantastic lense Carol! Full of useful info!

    • profile image

      anonymous 7 years ago

      Craft fairs arealways a lot of fun. You get something handmade AND original and the crafter is definitely proud of their work!

    • justholidays profile image

      justholidays 7 years ago

      This is really great lens, well detailed and worth 5 stars, for sure!

      Dom.

    • pkmcruk profile image

      pkmcr 7 years ago from Cheshire UK

      This really is an excellent lens which I was delighted to add some of mine to the other day. Blessed by a SquidAngel

    • WhiteOak50 profile image

      WhiteOak50 7 years ago

      I use to always set up at Christmas Craft Fairs. I use to make a lot of crocheted Christmas pins, and paint orniments. I loved it! Have not done it in years though...

    • profile image

      thewishpearl 7 years ago

      [in reply to OhMe]

      Great idea ohme! I will add this to the list of useful hints for organizing a craft fair!

    • profile image

      jbarnhart41 7 years ago

      My mother is having a Christmas Craft Sale next weekend. You have given me some great tips to share with her. Blessed :)

    • profile image

      Joan4 7 years ago

      I always enjoy seeing creations by talented craftspeople! Blessed.

    • OhMe profile image

      Nancy Tate Hellams 7 years ago from Pendleton, SC

      You have sure done a super job on this Holiday Craft Fair lens. I hope you will add it to the Plexo about general festivals and fairs information on my Festivals, Fairs and Other Special Events lens. You give some very helpful suggestions. As far as advertising an event, I think creating a Squidoo Lens is so useful. Blessed!

    • pkmcruk profile image

      pkmcr 7 years ago from Cheshire UK

      Great lens and thank you for the opportunity

    • Mihaela Vrban profile image

      Mihaela Vrban 7 years ago from Croatia

      Beautiful lens with many really helpful tips! Blessed by an Angel!

    • Sylvestermouse profile image

      Cynthia Sylvestermouse 7 years ago from United States

      Great lens with excellent tips. Thanks

    • profile image

      Leanne Chesser 7 years ago

      This is a fabulous lens with some great ideas that will be very useful to me. Favorited!

    • aka-rms profile image

      Robin S 7 years ago from USA

      I love all the options you've presented.

    • KOrazem profile image

      Seeking Pearls 7 years ago from Pueblo West

      Lovely lens. I always enjoy visiting craft fairs.Good luck with yours this Holiday Season. i love your sweater, it is beautiful.

    • luvmyludwig lm profile image

      luvmyludwig lm 7 years ago

      Great job! I love craft fairs!

    • profile image

      boutiqueshops 7 years ago

      Christmas is my favorite holiday! I enjoy knitting, crocheting and sewing my gifts year round. And holiday craft fairs are to die for! Thanks for such an informative page! Favorited!

    • profile image

      anonymous 7 years ago

      It's been years since I attended a Holiday Craft Fair...you've made me want to find one this year.

    • puzzlerpaige profile image

      puzzlerpaige 7 years ago

      I love to go to craft fairs. There's always one or two things I fall in love with and have to purchase. My friend in Charlotte, NC just started doing this very thing - hosting a craft fair in her home! Thank you so very much wishpearl for featuring my Pasta Angels lens.

    • justholidays profile image

      justholidays 7 years ago

      Very nice lens. I'm crazy about holiday season so this one is useful resource to me :)

      Dom.

    • lollyj lm profile image

      Laurel Johnson 7 years ago from Washington KS

      I don't have a creative bone in my body but envy those who do. I love craft fairs and often buy hand made creations for my sisters and friends.

      That white sweater you made is GORGEOUS!!

      Great lens as always.

    • seashell2 profile image

      seashell2 7 years ago

      Great lens... years ago I used to do tole painting and woodwork projects and sell the items at craft fairs.... too much work! Now I just design and create on Zazzle! Thanks for sharing...

    • mbgphoto profile image

      Mary Beth Granger 7 years ago from O'Fallon, Missouri, USA

      Great idea! Sounds like a lot of work...but perhaps a lot of fun too!

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      anonymous 7 years ago

      What a wonderful idea for this coming christmas thanks! and by the way I love that white cardigan that you've designed!

      Simply love your lens! ^_^ 5*

    • hayleylou lm profile image

      hayleylou lm 7 years ago

      I absolutely love craft fairs - you can get some really original gifts from them. I love Xmas too - favourite time of the year, its just too short! This lens is really well done, 5 stars - off to visit your How to Make Yogurt lens now. :)

    • Dianne Loomos profile image

      Dianne Loomos 7 years ago

      I'm not much of a crafter but I do like attending craft shows. I'm always amazed at the cool ideas people have. Love the white sweater that you made.