Works-In-Progress

Need Craft Show Display Advice!

Can you give me some advice and feedback about my craft show display tables?  I have participated in craft shows since autumn of 2010.  But up until last October, I did not realize the importance of having vertical and multi-level displays.  I had always laid out my items on a table – a thought at which I cringe now!  😀  So last fall and spring I started experimenting, at each craft show, with improving my displays with either objects from around my home or with inexpensive, interesting-looking thrift store finds.

Following are some photos of those experiments.

The first two photos were taken at a fair where I was shocked upon arrival to find I only had a four-foot table to use!!  I had to do some quick-thinking to set up.

brooches and hats craft show display
brooches and hats craft show display
colourful craft fair display table
colourful craft fair display table

The next three photos were taken at a fair which had eight-foot tables – ahhhh, what a relief!

craft fair reversible batik bags, brooches, art notecards
craft fair reversible batik bags, brooches, art notecards
craft fair flower brooches, hats, cards
craft fair flower brooches, hats, cards
craft show table - flower brooches and art notecards
craft show table – flower brooches and art notecards

The last photo was taken at the last fair I did in the spring of 2013.  This time I left the “wings” of the gull-wing clothes dryer down and displayed the bags flat against the sides.  I also put balloons in the hats, and set them on little plates.

craft show, bags, hats, art notecards, wristlets
craft show, bags, hats, art notecards, wristlets

Over the past months, I’ve been giving some more thought to displays for the fall shows I’ll be participating in.  Since I love shopping at thrift stores, I’ve been keeping my eyes open for display prop possibilities.  And I have scored some deals!!  At one thrift store I found a bookcase with one shelf in it (plus the bottom and top horizontal surfaces) for $2!!!  I also found a beautiful, wood-framed mirror with a section of corkboard below it – the price was $1!!  I will use this to let people see themselves when they try on hats.  In my garage the other day, I found a small, forgotten wooden coffee table.  And today at the same thrift store, I found a small wooden, two-shelf display rack for $1.50.  When I was searching, I kept thinking “stackable horizontal surfaces.”  And on top of all this, I have the usual household stuff I could use to pretty up a display – trays, pretty dishes, baskets, wire racks, etc.  I’ve also had ideas of using a fabric-covered piece of cardboard vertically on which to pin my brooches.  And possibly screwing cuphooks to the undersides of some of these horizontal surfaces for hanging things (maybe wristlets?  Christmas ornaments?).

The other fun thing was that I wanted to paint all these wooden props I’ve been finding, so I primed them outside one sunny afternoon.  I thought I had some eight-year-old gloss red paint in the garage, but alas, it had dried up.  So I decided to open up the eight-year-old can of (what I thought was) semi-gloss black paint and try that.  (I should note here that these cans of paint were cans I had bought years ago from the “colour mistakes” sections of local hardware and paint stores – $10 per gallon!!)  Perfect, it hadn’t dried up yet.   So I grabbed the stir stick and began stirring.  And what appeared was not black paint, but a deep and dark plum purple. At first I was disappointed, but as I stirred and studied the developing colour in the sunlight, I got excited!  It was beautiful, and I decided the colour would be a great backdrop for all my more brightly coloured products!  So on the paint went.  I still have to add another coat of colour, and then I will try to remember to take photos of the finished props to post here.  Update:  photo here.

Anyway, all that to say, if anyone has any input for me (based on what I’ve described here and on the props you see in the photos above) about show displays, I would love it if you could post a comment or post links to photos.  I’ve started a booth display pinboard over at my Pinterest account (link in sidebar if you want to see) and have collected some photos there.

Thank you for any help you can give me!

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6 thoughts on “Need Craft Show Display Advice!

    1. Thank you so much, Sharon! People keep saying that (on my Facebook Page, too)- I was fully expecting some critique! Oh well, it’s good to hear that others like the displays so far. I hope to make them even better this fall.

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    1. I will get photos up after the second coats of paint are on. I’m hoping also to get a chance to do a complete setup (so I can attach photos to future show applications)and post a photo of that.

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  1. You can make a hat display using a candle holder and nail or glue a Styrofoam ball to the top 🙂 Where is the thrift store I’d love to check it out 🙂

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    1. I saw some Styrofoam balls the other day at a dollar store (can’t remember which one), too. But I think they were just slightly too small. I saw some in Michaels, but they were very pricey! I’m keeping this idea in mind; thank you!

      The thrift store is in Sackville on Cobequid Rd. http://www.beaconhousens.org/bagday.html Cash only. Bag Day is awesome for clothing a family!!! Lots of yarn, needles, and other craft supplies are always available there, too. 😀

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