My First Craft Fair – The Prep

This weekend I will be in my first craft fair ever, Snap*Crafted*Pop! I’ve never done a fair before mainly because I don’t usually make things in what I would consider quantity enough to fill a booth. I don’t know what made me say yes to this one, it’s been a crazy dash to this weekend trying to getting things ready.

First of all I need product. I sat down and made a list of what I could make in quantity in the time allowed and what I already had made. I had three embroidered pillows and a quilt finished, but that was really it. I knew I wanted a mix of small, $5 items and larger, more expensive items. I made my choices based on what I could make in short amounts of time (this nixed any heavily hand embroidered items) and what was popular on this site and in the Etsy store. So, here’s what I’ll be selling.
Lego Soap Glittery Snowflake Soap
For smaller items, I made about 400 Lego and snowflake shaped soaps. It took two afternoons to get all these made. I’ll package them in sets of 3 – 5. I stuck mainly to Lego colors, but also made some in Vikings and Packers colors. I’m hoping people will grab these up as easy stocking stuffers.
Gnome Christmas Ornament
I also whipped up 30 of my gnome ornament that was featured in Better Homes and Gardens Holiday Crafts this year. These little guys have been the most popular seller in my Etsy store, so I hope the appeal is the same in person.
IMG_1097
Last minute, I added in some tiny toques because I was having so much fun making them and people seemed to like them so much. I have about 12 done, but will continue to knit them up to fair time.
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For bigger items, I started by making 8 of the appliqué reindeer pillows I featured here on the site. These have a minimun of hand sewing, so they came together easily. Plus, the reaction to these when I posted them on the site was so good that I knew people liked them.
Other White Meat Apron - Red
My other large item is my pig parts apron. I chose to make these because they make a great unisex item and I can easily get the aprons. They are a little time consuming, it takes me an afternoon to embroider one, but I also wanted something that wasn’t Christmasy. I still need to whip out some Minneapolis skyline pillows.

Secondly, I had to think about money. I need to get a tax ID number from the state, so I could charge and pay sales tax. Luckily, MN makes this very easy. I was able to fill out the form online and have an ID number immediately.
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I also wanted to be able to accept credit cards. My husband suggested I get a Square reader for my iPhone. The reader is free and they send it to you in about a week. Square does take a small fee for each sale, but then the money is deposited right to my bank account. I think this will make buying from me easier for shoppers, especially those interested in more expensive or multiple items.

The third thing I have to prep for is how my table will be set up. My vendor fee includes a 8′ x 30″ table covered in craft paper. It’s nice to not have to worry about getting my own table (if I do more fairs that is something I can invest in later). The gnomes and toques will be displayed on two small Christmas trees, one I already had and one I purchased for 70% off.
Tiny Toques Iron Craft Challenge #46 - Tiny Toques
I’ll also bring a wine bottle to how how the toques can be used on them. Aprons will be neatly folded with all the colors on display.
Lego Soap
The soaps will all be packaged in clear bags with a ribbon and gift tag. The snowflake soaps will come in a small soap dish. What I haven’t figured out yet is how to display the pillows. I’m thinking I need something they can stand-up and lean against, perhaps a bookend or wrapped box.

If you are in the Twin Cities area, please stop by and see me. Snap*Crafted*Pop! is Saturday, Dec 3rd 4pm – 9pm and Sunday, Dec 4th 10am – 5pm at Northwind Lofts 2400 North Second Street, Suite 305 Minneapolis, MN 55411. There will be craft and gift vendors, champagne, a photographer to take pet and human photos and gift wrapping.

Have you ever done a craft fair? Any stories or advice you’d like to share with me as a venture into my first?

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5 Comments to My First Craft Fair – The Prep
    • DrRuss
    • Use vintage suitcases for the pillows. They serve double purpose in that you can store and carry your smaller items in them. You can also use plastic milk crates that are covered with paper on all of the closed sides. Display it closed side down. Flip it over and it can be used for a carry box as well.

      Just some ideas that worked for me in the past. Don’t forget signage though. It is the most important part–including cards with contact info. Have a great craft fair–DrRuss

    • Jenny
    • The stuff looks great. Thank Matt again for standing in my place. We should be home in time for me to stop by I think on the way to pick up the dog.

    • NameGrandma bee
    • Kathy, stuff looks great–wish I could be there to shop–specially like the knit toppers-would take ten! Dr. Russ is right about signage–I made tags like a business card with all the info–mine was called the back room cuz that’s where I did all my work. Also looked at the other vendors–you are right to have smaller(less expensive) items–people are looking for stocking stuffers. Good luck!

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