Ahhhh, I can relax now -or- Christmas craft fair done!

Hmm, I couldn’t quite decide on a title for tonight’s blog post. I love doing craft fairs and preparing for them but there is a span of about a week before it happens that I am a complete stressed out lunatic. When the power was out for 4 hours yesterday I could have had a psychotic break but instead I decided to sit in my living room with the wood stove on and knock out a few more watercolor cards (and film them as tutorials, hey my camera was freshly charged LOL, they are up on my YouTube channel) rather than throw a nutty. Cuz really, what would a tantrum have solved? I changed my craft fair booth up a bit going with an “L” shaped table and using all of my booth as “shoppable space” rather than hiding behind a table. I really like it more this way. I filmed a video showing how I set up and share tips for craft fair sellers:

What do you think? OK, you are probably wondering how the show went…

…it was S-L-O-W! But, that’s OK, the people who came were ready to shop (it’s 12 days till Christmas you know!) and I was prepared for the slowness by having my watercolors and blank cards so I could create custom cards on the spot. I also found that it drew people into my booth that might have been shy about coming over, what can I say I’m quite a spectacle to behold! LOL did I mention there was juggling?

craft3

So I thought that I would offer some  more tips for those of you selling (or wanting to sell) at craft fairs:

  1. If you make jewelry, clothes or knits wear them! I got a commission to make a wrap like I was wearing for a lady, she even paid me half up front! It may seem obvious what items will look like on but you will have more buyers if you wear it! “hmmm, this is a necklace but good heavens, what will I do with it?” I am not kidding.
  2. Demonstrate a product. I brought my watercolors, a waterbrush and blank cards along in case it was slow. I painted cards on demand and people who might have walked on by stopped to watch. I also juggled which caught the eye of another vendor who snuck over to grab a set of juggling balls for her grandson. She never would have seen them otherwise!
  3. Act like you are happy to be there! Nobody wants to buy from a sourpuss. Be friendly but not stalky. Let them know you are here to help or explain anything to them. Also get to know your neighbor because you can keep an eye on each other’s booths if you need to grab a cup of coffee or go pee..and you will need to go pee after all of that coffee!
  4. Price everything. People won’t ask. Just price it.
  5. Speaking of pricing charge a fair price, you work hard at your craft, it probably is not going to make you rich but you should at least earn minimum wage for your labor. Rather than discounting a $5 pair of earrings to $3 offer 3 pair for $10 or $5 each. That way your best customers get the best deal and no one feels ripped off.  I feel the same way about offering slashed prices at the end of the day (unless it is perishable) because how would you feel if you paid full price and then walked by a booth and they were selling it cheaper to someone else? Next time that person will wait til the end of the day to buy. My prices are the same at 9am as they are at closing. I saw people giving away their stuff at the end of the day! You need to value your work and charge for your time, you are worth it.
  6. Upcycle items for display. Buying fancy displays cut into your profits and if you are a first timer it will put you into the red. Use crates and suitcases that can be used as storage and display. Build tables from saw horses and hollow doors (nobody will know after you put on a table cloth!) and use boxes and baskets to make your table tidy! Old picture frames make great displays, you can staple wire mesh to the back or add foam core to make a pin board display. You can even glue clothespins to the backing board to clip cards and stuff up on! My standing display racks were throw-aways from a local store, keep those eyes peeled when you see a shop changing displays! They might give you the old one or sell it cheap!

videothumb_craftfair

craft4 craft1
I bet the question that you all are too polite to ask is how much did I sell? Well, we are friends so I’ll tell you:  about $220, I say about because my 3 kids were hitting me up for cash throughout the day hahaha! I not going to complain, it was good considering the low turnout for the show, with a strong turnout I reckon I would have tripled it but you just never know, factors like it being so close to Christmas, the frigid coldness today and a snowstorm on the horizon for tonight may have pushed people to go to town to hit the big stores rather than a leisurely craft fair shopping day. Still it beats staying home and making nothing! 😀 I had a hunch it would be slow and I’m glad I brought my watercolors. I had a fun day and so did the shoppers and the kids who came to see Santa and partake of the candy buffet and other activities. Go into a craft fair with a positive attitude and you will do well no matter how much you sell! Thanks for stopping by and til next time happy crafting!

Advertisements

DIY Dress Form Display & 50% Off!

Howdy folks! First up I want to let you know that Everything at Lindsay’s Stamp Stuff is 50% off today only, yay!  Next up I want to share a dress from display I made:

DCF 1.0

Guess what, I made it from an empty dish soap bottle. When I saw this tutorial on Beansie Babbles blog I knew I had to try it! Of course with my housekeeping {or lack there-of} style I don’t empty a bottle of dish soap that often (everything, I mean EVERYTHING gets crammed in the dishwasher so I rarely use the wash-by-hand soap) but when I did happen to empty a bottle this week I had to try it!

DCF 1.0

I think if I make another one I will use a bottle of JOY or AJAX because the bottles are slimmer. My Nature’s Place all natural bottle is a bit full-figured…well, I guess the old adage about every piece of art being a self-portrait is true LOL!

DCF 1.0

After covering the bottle with tape I painted it:

DCF 1.0

I used up my matte decopague glue on my jewelry display board last week so all I had left was glossy Mod-Podge, I’m not crazy about the shine, I should have used watered down glue I think…

DCF 1.0

The decorating is the fun part, I used some papermart tulle and elastic to make a removable tu-tu, and added scraps of lace and plastic bead strands. I think I will use it on my craft fair table to hold a sign or hand jewelry off, I’m not sure.  I decided not to have a pedestal under it because I did not want it to be tipsy but I bet an old candle stick would work if you wanted one.

DCF 1.0

Tacky or classy? What do you think? Thanks for stopping by and til next time happy crafting!

DCF 1.0

Craft Fair Success!

Happy Sunday evening! I wanted to pop in earlier and tell you how my craft fair went yesterday but I had to get the house in order first. I vacuumed, mopped and scaled Mt. Washmore and I am pleased to report the place is clean and neat and I am relaxed and happy. Before I get to the nitty-gritty I want to remind you that you still have a few hours to sign up to win a stamp from about Art Accents, just leave a comment on last Monday’s post.

OK, folks, I luckily took some photos Friday night when I set up because I was way too busy on Saturday to take any. Here is a look at the front of my table:

cf_frontbooth

I scored the same corner spot I got last year (and have requested for all future craft fairs) so I had a lot of display room! At the corner of my booth I put a rack of mounted/matted watercolors, all original, and they sold like freaking hotcakes! I priced them cheap, $15-$30 but I am a fast painter so it works for me:) I even got 3 commissions! BTW my hubby built me this print rack years ago when I used to do sidewalk art shows.

cf_watercolors

I was stressed all week that I did not have enough product for the fair, I crafted like a mad woman and I was still afraid I wouldn’t fill my table. 20 minutes into setting up I realized I had way too much to fit on my table and I had to run home and grab something else to put stuff on, I had this garden cart in my cellar and I hauled it to the fair. I like it!

cf_gardenrack

You haven’t missed any tutorials, many of these projects I made this week and I will be sharing the tutorial later. Like the one for hand warmers. I sold the for $3 a pair of 4/$10 and they seemed to be a hit! I have so many baskets of finished cards that I rotate around to different shops and I grabbed them all for the sale. I scored this card rack for free because the cards were discontinued and the slots are 7″ wide and that accommodates all of my cards (although some might have to be sideways…LOL…oh well, beggars can’t be choosers!) I put small dumbbells in the bottom of the stand to weight it so it would not tip over and cold-cock any of my potential customers 🙂 Oh and the tall white spinner stand (also a freebie) holds my kids handmade jewelry 🙂

cf_tallracks

My earrings were a big hit, they were $5 and sold like the proverbial hotcakes I mentioned earlier.  People really liked the x-mas earrings too, I offered them at 3/$10 or $5 each…not each, a pair…who need 3 earrings?!?

cf_earrings CF_xmas_earrings

I think $5 must be the “sweet spot” for craft fair sales, the juggling kits were $5 too and I sold all but one set!

linny_juggles2

But hey, I did give free lessons!

linny_juggles

Who is that crazy girl? I juggled off and on (mostly on) the entire day between ringing up sales that were surprisingly brisk! I think I had a dumb grin on my face the entire day, “They like me, they really like me!”

Of course they might just be wondering “Who is that crazy juggler chick in the Santa hat?” but whatever, it brought them into the booth, now didn’t it. Another conversation starter was the wine bottle display…not sure how effective it was because I did not sell a single piece of jewelry displayed on said bottles but again it made people stop and take a closer look and then they noticed my wine bottle bottom candles. I sold most of them too and I considered not bringing them because I though people would think they were tacky (personally I think they are chic)…I am obviously very concerned with what people think of me…NOT!

cf_more_jewelry

Apparently people bought the candles for gifts. I brought tiny alpha stamps so I could personalize the wine labels…I did not thing to bring another table so I sat on the floor and stamped…not a new thing for me…people thought I was quirky and delightful…or maybe just weird…

CF_soap_candles

The gift bags that I made in this post were surprise grab bags filled with jewelry I was too lazy to repackage with my snazzy new ATC card labels. I optimistically priced them at $10 but dropped the price to $5 a couple hours into the show when there were no takers. Again, $5 is the sweet spot I think. I sold all but 4 of the grab bags…I though more people would like a surprise…huh.

CF_goodies

Oh, I made some goodies too and they sold out, I’ll be sharing the printable for the Santa S’mores later this week so you can make some too! I sold the S’mores for $1 and the pretzels for $2. The kids made the pretzels so they got to split the spoils 🙂 The lip balm purses were quick to make using my Nifty Gifty Template and I sold them for $1. All but 4 sold but I have an order to make more for a customer because I did not have the amount she needed. I made these for my daughters scout troop last year and they were a hit! Oh, in the upper right hand corner I have knot tying kits, they were a also hit and I sold almost all of them! I’ll have a video tutorial on that later this week.

CF_jewelry

OK, lets get down to brass tacks. Sales were great! I’m not comfortable telling people exactly how much I sold but it was a couple hundred dollars more than I sold last year and the only money I had to shell out was the $25 for the space rental and about $22 for the ingredients for food goodies and lip balm and a few beads that I used for the xmas earrings.  I think the increase in sales this year had to do with the fact that I had some paintings for sale and they were more expensive. Also this being the second year of the show we had more traffic. It also helped that I offered a variety of items at a variety of price points. I had a hope in my mind to make a certain amount but I did not know if it was possible with mainly $1-$5 items but I surpassed my “pie-in-the-sky hope” by $58! Wow!

I was surprised that my Christmas cards did not sell at all this year when I sold out last year but maybe because this years fair was a week later had an effect (too late to send x-mas cards?) but my blank and occasion cards sold very well.

I didn’t need half of the boxes I brought my wares to the show in to bring them home in and after I unpacked the van I sorted and organized everything and packed it away neatly for next year. What was left fit in 2 crates! Hooray to getting rid of stuff! I hope I don’t sound like I am bragging, but it was a great day, I am grateful that people liked my stuff, it can be a little nerve-wracking to put your creations out there for sale, there is the fear that no one will like them or buy them but the payoff is great when they do. I can’t wait til next year! Thanks for sharing this adventure with me and til next time happy crafting!

 

Eureka! Jewelry Display Problem Solved!

Of course I’m not sure if this looks classy or trashy…

…but it did solve my dilemma about what to do with all of the wine bottle tops I have leftover from my wine bottle candle experiment AND it solved my jewelry display craft fair conundrum. But then I came up with a better idea, I stamped 4″x4″ tags that I could write the price on the back and slip in a clear bag with the jewelry. When I put the sets on a bottle for display I simply attach the tag to a popsicle stick with removable poster putty and place the stick down the opening of the bottle so customers can see how much it costs. Also it will keep my jewelry sets together and safe in transit. Win win!

What’s more is that this display was FREE! Gotta love that and I think the glass bottles add a bit more sparkle and light to my jewelry. I like it!

Shiny!

So, that is what I have come up with. Also I plan to cover some Pringles cans and mailing tubes with black velvet for bracelet and headband displays. And I will probably cover some sheets of foam board with the black velvet too for the kids to pin their creations on (we will have the most extensive collection of bottle-cap jewelry this side of the Mississippi!

That’s all for today, tomorrow I hope to share my wine bottle candles with you…I’ve had a request for a crock-pot candle tutorial…we will see how that goes because I have an extra kid here today and there is a lot of mayhem and foolishness going around (and I supply enough of that on my own!) Thanks for stopping by and til next time happy crafting!

%d bloggers like this: