Crafting For Craft Fairs

First, let me express my admiration and respect for all those folks that enter craft fairs. Although I have crafted since age 9, I had no idea the amount of work involved.

When I decided to enter a 3 day craft fair I initially expected to be sharing a table with someone. That fell through. This means that I now have to make enough product to last the 3 days.

Originally it was a way to use up a large stash of  CotLin DK Yarn I had in my stash. I love this yarn for spa cloths (aka facecloths) because it is thinner than crafter cotton. It makes really beautiful cloths.

Cloth Cakes

I had visions of all the blankets and scarves and things I would make to go along with the cloths. Rude awakening! Even someone that is as fast as I am cannot make everything they would like to make unless they start two years prior.

In rethinking my strategy, I decided to make smaller items. Little did I know that even smaller items take up a lot of time. I have combed Ravelry and other sites looking for ideas. My cloth cakes shown above came from an idea of rolling baby onesies into cupcakes for shower gifts.

My focus for the craft fair is Fun and Funky for You and Your Home. There will be all sorts of handy items for homes. Including swiffer type pads, dish towel holders and even a few Urban Charm blankets. There will also be messy bun hats and scarves.

Want to Enter a Craft Fair?

Here are some of the things I’ve learned

  • Decide how much effort you are willing to put into it
  • Decide how you want your packaging to look
  • Comb online sites to get an idea of pricing
  • Decide on the kinds of materials to use
  • Make sure your items look professional

Let me cover off each point.

Effort

How many hours a day can you reasonably work on your crafts? Consider your work schedule, your social schedule, how long it takes to make the items. There are crafts that can be done in a matter of a few weeks. Crafts like knitting and crocheting take a long time to make enough for a fair.

Professional Packaging

This doesn’t have to add a huge cost to your individual pieces but it is vitally important. Practically every craft fair I have been to has knitters and crocheters just dumping their wares on a table or in a basket with signs or little paper tags. To me it looks like they don’t really think their work has any value and they have no respect for it. Remember if you don’t treat your work with respect no one else will either and the value of your hard work will be diminished.

There are a number of options for plastic bags and boxes. I decided to belly band my cloths with bands I created myself.

Dish Cloths

Pricing

Anyone that does crafts will be familiar with non-crafters undervaluing their items. The term “can you make this for me” strikes fear in the hearts of crafters. Luckily I have a few customers that understand the time effort and cost involved.

In this day of throw away dollar store items, this is insulting. You have to pay money for the raw materials. You need to recover that at least. Getting paid for your time is laughable. If you have an established sales channel that  will pay you a decent amount for your time kudos. Also please contact me so I can learn from you.

To price for the craft fair you enter make sure you know the type of people that will attend. Is it a gallery event? Is it a church fair.

Next you will want to check out stores in person and online to see the price ranges for the type of items you are selling.

Keep in mind that pricing low does not guarantee sales. Set a reasonable price that reflects the value you put on your items.

Materials

This was an eye opener for me. I really expected to use more wool and acrylic and less cotton. There are things you will need to consider. Speaking from a knit and crochet perspective some of these are

  • What is the best material to make the item from
  • Do I want to use embellishments
  • Should I use a single color or mix it up
  • How quickly can I make the item

I discovered a specific dollar store that caters to crafters. I managed to get items that matched what I was making there.

Wash cloths

I have gone through a lot of crafters cotton for my dishcloths

Unfortunately I have found a lack of color options in crafters cotton and have turned to KnitpicksLowest prices on the best yarn - guaranteed at knitpicks.com for most of my yarn. Not only are they my affiliate partner, they also have the most amazing color palettes.

No matter where you choose to get your materials, make sure they consistently have the items you are using. This will save you a lot of stress.

Craft fairs can be as much fun as they are hard work. If you decide to enter one make sure to give yourself time to make everything.

Speaking of time, I meed to go crochet!