Year-Round Craft Show Best Sellers

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I recently conducted a very unscientific survey. That is, I went to a few craft shows in my area and made a special point to notice what was selling. I wasn’t vending, just wandering around seeing if anything struck my fancy with a mind to report back here with some observations.

Keep in mind that there is no reason to change what you are doing. The items that sell in your area may be different. You may have ZERO interest in making some of the items I noticed.

CraftShowJewelryImage Source

Jewelry – Jewelry always seems to sell no matter how many vendors at the show are selling similar things. It seems that folks are buying early for the holidays as I heard a couple of remarks about pieces being purchased for gifts. Jewelry with initials, words or phrases seem to be particularly popular. Everything from a necklace with a single typewriter key or metal initial to spoons stamped with words like “lucky” or “dream” and bracelets with lines of poetry stamped in them.

Food – especially artisan, gourmet or organic food items seem to be selling well. If you are a honey farm, organic herb grower, maker of fine jams or jellies you might find that sales are good this summer. Keep food safety in mind during hot weather and if you can set aside some product for customers to sample. Attractive gift baskets seem to be pretty popular too. Maybe you can get together with a couple of other food artisans you know and create baskets for the foodies at the craft shows.

Sewn items – sewn items made with vintage fabrics or quilts seem to be really popular right now. Small pillows, dolls, tote bags, aprons and the like made with faded, much loved fabrics and trims seem to make people feel nostalgic and comforted at the same time.

Personalized items – if it has your best friends’ new baby name on it and it doesn’t cost a small fortune it makes a perfect baby gift. Everything from jewelry to dog bowls to wall art. The good thing about this is that lots of things creative business owners make can be made to include some form of personalization. Names, wedding dates and birth dates are just a few of the ways to personalize items. If you can offer personalization be sure to place a few signs in your booth stating the fact.

Bath Products – People are not only fussy about what they are putting IN their bodies but also what they are putting ON their bodies. Body washes, shampoos, scrubs and lotions made with natural ingredients were hot sellers at a couple of the shows I visited. Again, if you can have some out for shoppers to try you may convince someone who is hesitant. Just be watchful as flowery scented items can attract stinging insects. If you notice the bees hanging around a little too much you may  want to keep the cap on the items until someone asks about trying it.


Have you attended many craft shows so far this summer? What did you notice was selling?

By: Vicki O’Dell , The Creative Goddess

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  1. Pat says

    Have seen anyone with crochetted items? I crochet babysets, blankets, bibs, kitchen towels and wash or dishclothes. My dishclothes have been good sellers besides my kitchen towels.
    I have been trying to leave out my baby sets and find a great seller to replace them. I have been looking at craft mags and other sources but have not found anything.

    • Jan says

      I went to a craft fair today and there were no baby items there at all. A lot of the people were from a senior community so that may have been the reason. Only holiday items were present

  2. says

    I’ve found that recycled items are HUGE, especially at school craft shows. Kids love seeing what you can do with found objects, cans, bottlecaps, etc. I also use drapery swatches to make small coin purses and chapstick keychains that always sell out!

  3. Dawn Wilson says

    We’re new at this, but the few that we’ve done show me that your items above are right on target. Our product is extremely different and hasn’t been seen – or so we keep being told! Shellybeans makes multi-purpose hangers. What started out as jewelry hangers expanded to kitchen, bath & bedroom, everywhere hangers. Something that you didn’t mention that I saw selling like mad was seasonal items like corn stalks in the fall, Team color items, & saying signs. I’ll let you know what I see in the Christmas shows!

  4. Jennifer Sharp says

    Crocheted scrubbies were hot all summer at the weekly Farmer’s Market, along with dishcloths and gift sets with mugs. Also hot all summer was home made fudge, breads, bagels and my husband’s homemade snacker crackers. As people began thinking gift giving time, scrubbies and dishcloths remain hot, along with crochet topped kitchen towels, hats, slipper socks and baby bootie and hat sets.

  5. Jennifer Sharp says

    Another super hot seller all summer were jumbo scrubbies with scrubbie mesh on one side and cotton thread on the other made for washing cars!

    • Cheryl Murphy says

      I crochet baby blankets, but have also started to add recycles of silverware into key chains and wind chimes. They will be in the first craft show in November. Anybody out there tried this? We are in Upstate NY.

      • says

        I’m a firm believer that people should specialize and only sell the type of thing that they specified on their vendor application so that show producers can manage the mix properly.

        My friend makes silverware jewelry, but was undercut at a poorly managed craft show by the woodworking guy who also had a tray of spoon rings. I crochet and was annoyed at the same show when I saw that the hot dog vendor was allowed to display a basket of crocheted scarves on the counter.

    • Trish says

      As a former accountant, and craft fairs I have been involved with in the past, I can say that you always need a business license, and there may be other requirements depending on the state, city and organization.

  6. janice Greenwood says

    I can make crochet into dishcloths, doll clothes bears of the month , monthly wreaths with crochet decorations. I make beautiful things and people just walk by. I need HELP

    • says

      Have you tried different colors?
      When we use to go to the shows in South Dakota we would check out the prices and see how we could lower ours to beat the other guys prices.
      Just a thought

  7. Toni says

    My Biggest seller is keychains fobs, bracelets, and dog collars. Oh yeah, and my scarves were a hit. I did over $1000+ on them last winter season.

  8. Karlue says

    When I lived in PA and made fake foods i did really well at craft shows and I was the only one with that type of craft. Since moving to Georgia there really isn’t a want for fake foods. I miss creating my cakes and cupcakes.

  9. Fran Wilcox says

    remember that to sell food. you must have a license from the State./county etc from the health dept. Actually it is your kitchen that has to pass inspection for this license.

  10. Lisa says

    I would also like to add that the items that sell also depends on where you live. I live in southeast central Florida and crochet items don’t sell very well here, even dishcloths. I crochet and have for 30 years and never seem to be able to get rid of what I make. I’ve even tried to make layettes for Christenings and they don’t seem to go far. What sells here is bath items, especially natural organic stuff, and jewelry. Food items don’t sell well here unless you’re selling out of a food truck. Many of the craft shows and flea markets I’ve frequented both on and off season do pretty good selling team sport items (pro and collegiate), jewelry. I guess the bottom line is, go to the shows and see which booths have the most people flocking around them, then you’ll know what’s selling and what’s not.

  11. Phyllis C says

    I too sell at craft shows – all over Central Florida, and now I little bit into Georgia……… I am finding that Craft Shows are changing dramatically; it used to be you went to and bought at a craft show the kind of things you couldn’t find in the “mass Market”, and people were willing to spend the $$ ( not overpriced) for the hand made and unique items. I have found now, that “most” are “looking” for a “deal” and will walk right by if you don’t have rock bottom pricing or if you won’t sell it “cheaper” that what you have it marked. Very important to mark your items.
    I find we have to be constantly evolving, and should try ( if possible) to carry enough of a variety that you can appeal to (1) one that appreciates the hard work we do and is looking for good quality, (2) the “average shopper” who is looking for good deals (without undercutting everything), and (3) the total cheapskate. ( sorry, they are out there)………..

    I sell Stainless steel and Sterling Silver jewelry, Women’s and Men’s, many with Swarovski elements, and larger size women’s clothing that I embellish ( add to the basic design with embroidery, beads, sequins etc. I also have some silver plate jewelry, and some “end of season” dresses available for those who want to spend very little.

    My Standard response for someone who wants me to “cut a deal” or lower my prices is:
    “Thanks for your interest. My pricing is based on my costs of materials, show fees, time and advertising. I am pricing everything to make it fair for all. ” There is no shipping and you can take it home with you today!! Note: I also have a printed sign that I hang in my tent that says : THIS IS NOT A FLEA MARKET……
    It works 🙂

  12. Jess Gregg says

    I too have noticed that people at certain types of craft shows/ fairs for example ones at schools or even the church bazaars really don’t want to even pay you for the cost of materials let alone any time spent on handmade items. One year I made wreathes that I only calculated my cost of goods and people still didn’t want to pay the price. Crocheted items of all sorts just sat there and I was getting annoyed after the 18th person asked for combos like 2 for 10.00 scarves, hats etc… Ummm no thank you as I don’t use red heart yarn so the yarn itself was 10.00 each item but seemed like most people wanted pretty things on a dollar tree budget… Or just being ignorant of the fact that I sat there during chemo and crocheted my little heart out but it seems people have forgotten “crafts” and craft fairs are where artist of all sorts go to showcase their talents and I spent 25.00 on a table plus donated a 50.00 Christmas wreath ( just COG) and went home negative $70.00 because I sold one school color/team beanie for 5.00 to a kid that was freezing otherwise it was 10.00 so I cut out and never did that again… Burned twice… So now, where to go? I’m horrible at actually shipping things so like to do local but I’m chronically ill and don’t have time for games lol!!

    • Katrina says

      You might have better luck at the more expensive craft shows. Plus, nurses have a lot of spending money. You could let the nurses you see know that you sell these items you are working on during your visits. Carry of bag of finished products with you. Best wishes!

  13. Kelly says

    I have been doing craft shows for a little over a year now. My sister-in-law, niece, and I do primitive crafts and goats milk soap and crochet items, we haven’t been doing much selling at all. The best one we did was in the fall we each made a little over $100. People seem to be looking and not buying. I think advertising for the event is a big thing too. We keep plugging away, but it is frustrating when you spend a lot of time and talent and money on making things and people just walk by. I may try the crochet dish towels (I love mine), sponges, and dish cloths.

  14. Kim says

    I do “mostly” papercrafts…I find that women LOVE a “complete” gift – packaging, tag/card, and contents. I do lots of little things that are great for teachers, office/co-workers, etc. Most of my items are under $5. I don’t do many greeting cards…people will spend $6 at Hallmark, but they won’t pay “me” $6 for a hand-crafted work-of-art.

    I appreciate PHYLLIS C’s comments about “This isn’t a flea market” … I too have had people (WOMEN) ask if I’d “take less” for this, or discount for multiples…once I talked myself out of punching them, I say “no, I’m sorry…I spend the same amount of time making EACH item. I believe my prices are fair.” (My hubby says I don’t charge enough!)

    It can be discouraging, but I made up my mind that I craft because I love it, and have a NEED to create. Some will appreciate and value that.. The rest can buy crap at Dollar Tree or Walmart.


  15. Debbie McManus says

    I love making my hair accessories and I don’t know how to even started on a web site. Yes I know all about zesty everybody and their mother (lol) are selling them on there. I make dish cloths and towels to hang on a stove handle also. My best customers are my grand daughters (non-paying) of course lol. But from time to time I do sell to people i know. I also make ear warmers in many colors

  16. says

    I make 18″ doll clothes and tooth fairy pillows and have the same problem. Some people actually tell you that your prices are too high. If they shop at the American Girl Store, they would pay an extremely higher price, plus tax. And if they order online they will pay for shipping as well and wait to see how the item actually looks like. Fabric, lace, ric rack, Velcro and elastic are not cheap. Oh well I still love to sew and it is a great pass time for me.

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