Is Your Stale Craft Booth Display Costing Your Handmade Business?

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You probably have your craft show booth set up down to a science. You know that this goes HERE and that goes over THERE, and you have gotten so good at unpacking that you try to beat your best time.

Believe it or not, that may actually be hurting your sales.

If you are selling your wares locally, there is a good chance that many people see your same booth at a few shows each year. If that is the case, it is likely they will walk right by if your booth looks the same at every show. They may just figure that you don’t have anything new. It may be time to change things up…

craft booth costing (2)

Even if you aren’t changing your inventory, a few creative displays may get people to come back into your booth, on the chance that you have added inventory they haven’t seen yet.

Here are a few creative craft show display ideas to help you start thinking about small changes you can make to your regular booth set up.

1. Show ‘Em How It’s Done

Set up a small vignette in your booth showing customers how they can display or use your product in their own homes. Try to think of unusual ideas – they can get your customers excited about your products and be a great way to get people to ask questions and start conversations with you. Hopefully leading to more sales.  

2. Move the Little Guys Around

Try bringing smaller products that used to be towards the back of your booth up front. Transfer rings from felt jewelry display cases to pretty bowls filled with grains of uncooked rice or coffee beans. There is something very tactile about sorting through goodies to find the one that is meant just for you.

The best thing about this idea is that it’s not fussy; you can straighten it back out in a jiffy once it’s all jumbled up.

You can also mass similar items together for more impact.

3. Let them DIY What They See

At nearly every show I’ve ever been to I’ve heard someone say, “I could make that” while looking over someone’s products.  Why not make it easy for them?

Make a few kits, or package up some of  your favorite elements used to make your handmade products to sell to those DIYers in the crowd. You won’t make as much as if you sold the finished product, but they weren’t going to buy it anyway. This way you still make a few dollars and they go away feeling like they got a deal. You and I both know that there is a good chance they will never make the project but they don’t realize that.

4. Brighten Up

One final tip! If you are doing a show that is indoors with rather dim lighting use it to your advantage. Take a few small spotlights with you and spotlight one product or another. People will be drawn in by the pinpoints of light – like moths to a flame.


Do you tend to set up your booth the say way at every show? What display ideas have you used in the past that have worked well? Let us know, and then check out my blog!


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Vicki O'Dell

Blogger at Vicki O'Dell
Vicki is a happy-go-lucky creative whirlwind, mom, midlifer, empty-nester (almost), tea drinker, seeker of JOY and world class hugger. She shares share craft and home decor projects as well as recipes, inspiration and my own brand of Creative Goddess wisdom on her blog each week.
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  1. says

    I never set my booth up the same way, because I have also found people pass right by, assuming they have seen it all before. I like to set up seasonal booths with a festive feeling and find they always get attention if you do it right. I never thought of selling DIY packages. That is an excellent idea I will incorporate into my next booth.

  2. Verna Washington says

    At my first craft show I wanted to capture peoples attention here’s what I did. I bought as Devil’s Egg Plate, I set a small bowl in the centre filled with colourful candies, and in each egg spot I put my Angel earrings in different colours. It was a big hit. Cost of the plate was $1.00. Candy was 1.50. I also bought a wire Pen/Pencil desk caddy and hung earrings from it.

  3. Jill says

    I am inspired by the ideas here. It is also comforting that we creative creatures, who attend craft shows with our wares, experience the same challengers, no matter where we live around the world. Do you think it is possible to have too many different items on your display? I currently have five types of goods for sale, my table is full and colourful and attracts attention, but is it possible it is overwhelming?

    • Tracy says

      I have a booth in a monthly flea market with 80+ vendors. We pack our booths full in order to make rent and off set the markets 13% commission. There will always be those people who will be overwhelmed, but most of our crowd is use to all the eye candy! I would create a display for each item and have extras on hand.

  4. says


    I’m glad to see that you benefit from changing your booth up at each show.
    Let me know how those DIY packages go for you. I know that in reality people may not actually make the project but, maybe they will and you still make a sale. Everyone wins! 🙂


  5. says


    Yes, I think you can definitely have too many items.
    Sometimes that makes it hard to see great individual pieces and it overwhelms shoppers a bit.
    If you decided to scale back I’d love to know how it works for you.


  6. says

    Jill… my craft partner and I have a HUGE assortment of items but from different “types” of crafting– ornaments, jewelry, hand made books, altered journals,barbed wire crosses, mixed media collage art, keepsake trinket boxes, summer scarves… What works for us is a careful grouping of like items together, and the idea that we have the handmade item for just about everyone. Rarely do we sell a lot of one item to the same person, but often we sell two or three items from our different “collections” . Much luck to you!

  7. Rhonda says

    Looking for creative ways to display crocheted and knited items. Afghans, hats, gloves,scarves, baby items. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated

    • says

      I found a wicker bassinet at either Michaels or Joanne Fabrics, I think something like this would be perfect for displaying at least the baby items. I have also used a wooden treasure chest, found at Joanne’s and used it as a display for my jewelry.

      • says

        I was vending at a show yesterday and saw a booth with mostly baby onsies. They were adorable and she strung them up on a clothes line with clothes pins.

  8. says

    i just started my craft business. i have been doing crafts as a hobby sence 1979. selling my crafts to friends and relitives. where do you get information on craft shows? i made a website and when i make something new i add it to my site and my friends order things from there all the time . i have done a few at work but they stopped doing them. my husband made me different styles of display racks and they are easy to work with. one looks like a step so i can display different size items on them and we run christmas lights under a satin table cover. it brightens up the display table.

  9. Ed W. says

    I find that my constant is change. I feel that I don’t have enough merchandise so I expand. Then it seems like too much and I retrench. Back to expanding, then retrenching. And so it goes. On and on.

  10. says

    I have done a few craft sh9ws in the Portland ,Maine area, (knitted items)and have thought of setting the table up with the theme of The Night Before Christmas, with catnip mice, baby blankets, afghans, dishclothes etc.

  11. says

    I make & sell decorative pillows, handbags, aprons, etc. Pillows are sometimes hard to figure out how to set up in a craft booth. Right now I have small tables sitting in front of a bigger table with table cloths & set them up against the bigger table. Sometimes I use suitcases to set them in as well. On top of the big table , I set them against my plastic totes so they will set up. I am always looking for new ideas though.

    • Pamela says

      I found a wonderful folding metal bench at the HomeGoods/Marshalls store. The bottom folds up and the sides fold in so it travels flat and sets up instantly. I can fold sale items like small quilts or sweaters or aprons over the back, sit pillows decoratived on the seat, and sit/stand dolls on the bench using the back as support. most people want to buy the bench so its also a good conversation starter piece. best multipupose display piece i’ve ever found!

  12. Betty Radcliffe says

    What I would do with pillows is bring a kitchen table chair with arms and display a few pillows that way. They could see how they’re used and how they will look sitting in a chair. Or maybe you have a wicker outside type of chair you could bring with you and fill that with afghans and pillows. Just a thought!

  13. says

    Very helpful . Thank you . I am getting ready for a show in a few weeks and will implement the suggestions. We have done this show for over 10years and I will be changing things up .

  14. nnie says

    Hi what a great lot of display tips. I plan to sell wallhangings, small quilts, tabletoppers, tablerunners, hot pads, coasters etc anyone got any bright ideas to display them? thanks!!

    • says

      I bring a variety of lighting with me. If it is an outdoor show, I bring a few small battery opperated Ott Lights with clips as well as battery votive and spot lights. For indoor shows I bring all those, just in case I am not close to an outlet. I also bring a string of white LED Christmas lights, rope lights, and some great LED clamp lights I bought at Lowes. I think it really helps your booth to stand out if you can incorporate lighting.

  15. says

    Hi there! I’m at work surfing around your blog from my
    new iphone 4! Just wanted to say I love reading your blog
    and look forward to all your posts! Keep up the great work!

  16. Carolyn Thomas says

    Hi everyone,
    Everyone has good ideals and helpful hints. My daughter is my table designer. Our craft business is called Deer R.A.C.K. Crafts. She got some of her dads deer hores and hang things from and put things up agains. We got a old dressing screen that is made from shutters. We hang and put things on it. We bring old chairs and trunks to put the quits on and in and the pillows that I make. I got a clothes dryer and put t- towels hang from it. They can see how they would look hanging from there cabnet. She put bright colors on our tables and lights. So, it shows up across the room.
    I say just think outside of the box and have fun with it. Do alot of talking and enjoy the people that comes to the show. My daughter and I have more fun at show watching the people and talking with them.
    SO HAVE FUN and go for it.

  17. Joanie Smith says

    I have a new product each monthly show. It may be a very small something or it may be a major product. I always showcase the new item. I have people come ask me “What’s new this month?” For my June show I have 2 new items. Can’t wait!


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