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Designing a craft fair booth can be nerve-wracking – standing out in a crowd without spending a lot is even more difficult. So, I’ve put together some ideas for how to draw attention with your display at a craft show (disclaimer – I do not guarantee it will be attention of the positive sort…but it should help you get noticed!)

However, there is one thing to remember, whatever method you choose – at one point, a customer will inevitably come up to your stall and attempt to buy your display items, at the same time ignoring all your actual craft work.

  • Buy some inexpensive but pretty picture frames and mirrors, and hang or drape necklaces over them – just gently tack or hook the clasp/ends to the frames’ backs to prevent the necklaces from slipping.
  • Make dramatic, theatrical jewellery? Buy a few mini-puppet theatres (like this: Tabletop Theatre) and suspend your pieces from above. Or make a lightweight frame yourself and top it with a mesh grid, then use illusion beading wire to let your pieces ‘fly through the air’.

  • Or perhaps you create jewellery with a vintage, decadent feel? Kid’s mini treasure chests are a funky prop, ideal to fill your table; have some of your jewellery overflowing from within them to really amp up the ‘olde world’ theme. (Seriously, there are some pretty cool looking ones – search ‘treasure chests’ in the Amazon toys section.)

  • You know the rolls you get from the center of wrapping paper, kitchen rolls, and yes, toilet paper? Try taping them to your table with masking tape, in little configurations, as well as placing tightly folded towels on the table too. Then cover the whole table with a lovely piece of fabric or table cloth, and you’ll end up with a ‘landscape’ on which you can place your items.
  • Saw large holes in your display table. Bribe a few good friends to crouch under the table and stick their heads through the holes – voila, interactive mannequins to wear your jewellery. Don’t forget to cut arm holes too if you have a lot of bracelets!
  • Fruits and vegetables. Long cucumbers make great bracelet holders when suspended horizontally between two blocks (try using some carved taro root for the blocks). For necklaces, try hanging a few around the neck of a pineapple, and use torn lettuce leaves as earrings cards. Remember the carrots for any rings you may be selling.

  • If you’re like me (and if you are, you have my deepest pity) you’ll have a lot of stuffed animal from childhood. Well,  I’m sure that cuddly ALF figure would look just dandy in a wirework tiara (I think I may be showing my age with that reference…), and My Little Pony hooves are just made for showing-off rings.

As a final note, it’s up to you to judge how serious you think I am about any of these options – but even the most dramatic ones may spark something in your mind :D .

 

I was making some long bi-cone beads from polymer clay, because the elegance of that shape in lampwork beads is gorgeous. But while I’m making them, I realised that these beads looked more interesting and quirkier with a curve through them (hee, yep that’s right, I arrived at this conclusion through meticulous research. It’s not like, you know, I accidentally squashed one and thought it looked cool. Nope.)

So these are some simple versions, in my Etsy shop now. Next step, more caning experiments on them.

Pendants

In other news – and note my apparent casualness, despite being in paroxysms of self-doubt – a line of my beads are in an on-line bead shop. One that isn’t my own Etsy shop! You can see them at Big Bead, Little Bead Shop
It’s a really cool bead site anyway, with helpful gadgets and lovely vintage beads.

 

Although my main shop is on etsy, when I first wanted to set up shops I did what a lot of people seemed to do, and registered my name with practically every online craft venue! So rather than leaving them dormant, I’ve made over my Misi shop into a place for my mother to sell her hand-knitted scarves.

Hand-knitted Scarves on Misi

I know I’m biased, but I love her scarves: I already have seven, so I’m running out of neck!

On a side note, this made me realize how much easier it is to sell someone else’s work. I had no problems writing descriptions, or posting about the scarves on forums. Maybe it’s because I didn’t see all the work that went into it, all the self-doubt; it drove it home that other people probably won’t notice all those things we see as imperfect, and so we should just be confident about our work.

Sounds easy, doesn’t it? So hard in practice though!

 
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