Throughout the year, scores of craft shows and fairs are held across the country. They make a perfect venue for creative vendors to display and sell their goods. If you would like to venture into the craft show market, here are a few ideas for products you can make. From easy to slightly more complicated, there are ideas here to appeal to the artisan in everyone.
Here Are Some Great Ideas
Wooden growth charts are a fun, simple project for craft shows. Remember to use a very accurate yardstick or measuring tape to draw your measurement lines.
Depending on how you would like to decorate the growth charts, you can use a 1×4″, 1×6″, or 1×8″ piece of wood. Decide what height you would like your charts to go up to, and then choose boards one foot shorter. (Growth charts are generally hung 12″ off the floor.) Paint boards using a base color. Use a tape measure or yardstick to draw the measurement lines up the middle of the board and write in the numbers at appropriate increments. Go over the lines and numbers with a dark paint color.
Then you can decorate the charts however you like. Use stencils, stamps, or freehand a design. Leave room on one side for parents to write their child’s height and the date.
Embellished overalls for babies and toddlers have become increasingly popular in recent years. Store-bought overalls are embellished with appliqués of various characters and themes. Additional embellishments, like ribbons and trim around the cuffs may also be added. They sell like hotcakes on eBay.
If you are inexperienced with appliqués, there are many free resources online offering tutorials. See the Additional Resources at the end of the article for links. You can either freehand your appliqués or use pre-drawn patterns.
You might want to consider limiting your sizes to 4T and below. Overalls can be purchased from Wal-Mart for around $10. Once you get into older children’s sizes, your costs start going up.
For a craft show, I would select several themes that might be appropriate for your targeted market, and concentrate on sewing a variety of sizes in each of those themes. For instance, in my area, a rural ranching and farming community, children’s clothing with western, rodeo, cowboy, farm and John Deere themes sell very well.
Few people have the time or inclination to can their own foods anymore. If you enjoy being in the kitchen, why not whip up some batches of canned goods to market at the next craft show in your area?
Dilly beans and apple butter are two well-liked products that are difficult to find at grocery stores but simple to make. Dress your jars up with custom labels and a ribbon tied around the rim. Check with the craft fair organizer for any stipulations they may have on food sales.
Little girl’s hair bows are another popular item. Bows are readily available in stores, of course, but it’s difficult to find ones with the flair that handmade bows have. Supplies are inexpensive, and bows are usually simple to make once you get the hang of it. There are a number of booklets you can now buy on eBay and from other sources with instructions for bows, but I’ll let you in on a little secret. I found a website that has free instructions for nearly any bow you would want to make. See the Additional Resources box for the link.
Scrapbooking has become an art form of its own. However, there are still some people, like me, who just haven’t got into it. For this reason, pre-made scrapbook pages are a great way for scrapbooking enthusiasts to market their art.
I love buying pre-made scrapbook pages. They have allowed me to attractively preserve my best memories without actually having to scrapbook.
Just use your own scrapbooks for inspiration. Of course the pages you make to sell will be more generic than your own personal pages. You can still add relevant quotes and leave room for journaling, though. Consider putting together entire scrapbooks, too. For instance, you might make one dedicated to a child’s first year of school, with pages for photos of his first day, holiday programs, and class parties, as well as space for favorite art projects. Or maybe a pregnancy scrapbook with a page or two for each month, a place for sonograms, and a page dedicated to the baby shower.
The pricing of all products depends largely on your area and the originality of your product. You might scout out several craft shows in your community before deciding on your craft. You might have an idea for a product that is already being sold by others. You can also see what kind of prices other vendors are asking for their merchandise.
Craft fairs are a wonderful opportunity to network with other artisans in your area and to make a profit from your artistic endeavors. I hope this list of product ideas for craft shows will spark your creativity.