A few weekends ago, I had my first big craft show! And by big, I mean that it involved a tent, a 10x10 foot area, and (rumor has it) about 56,000 attendees! For those of you out of towners, I thought I'd share some photos of my booth, and a little behind scenes look at my setup!
First things first: the tent. I borrowed the tent from a friend (thanks April!) It had a red cover, with the IU logo on it. So, I whipped up a cover for the cover in a burlap-y looking fabric I had laying around. This fixed the red and IU issues, so that the color worked with my business look, and I wasn't in any sort of violation of the rules as far as using IU's logo goes. (you never know) In order to keep the cover on the tent, I made button holes at each of the four corners, and we threaded the tent ropes through these holes to secure it. Glad we did because it was quite windy last weekend!
We also set up the tent on top of cinder blocks to give it extra height (because it was quite short. Anyone taller than me would have had to duck to get in!) and then used clamps to secure the tent to the blocks. (once again, necessary because of the wind. Our tent neighbors had to take their tent down because it kept trying to blow away!)
Under the tent, I had room to set up two 6 foot tables, a clothing rack, my dress mannequin, a trunk, and a hay bale. The hay bale isn't going to be a normal thing. It was just for the whole Halloween theme we had going on.
To give us some extra room, we also used our vertical space. Zip ties were used to put up a few curtain rods in the tent. The one I actually hung curtains on, for decoration. The other, I used those curtain rings with the clips on them to hold up several of my Indiana pillows! This did the double duty of giving me more space on the tables, and not having to worry about finding a way to stand all those pillows up to show them off. This pillow display really seemed to be the thing that caught people's eyes, and drew them into the tent!
More zip ties were used to hang up some framed images in the tent. This DIY kit sign was a last minute addition to my setup, but I am so glad that I made it! The photo (by Elise of course) and very straightforward message really caught people's attention the way that the kits themselves did not. I highly recommend signs!
I had lots of fun keeping to the Halloween theme for this show. I made sure to highlight my Halloween products by making a little graveyard section of my booth for the tombstones. I also used my fake trees, a battery operated crow, and our pumpkins :) Lucky for me that the basic style of my business screams fall!
My second show this year was a Holiday Bazaar at St. Luke's, which was inside, and only a 6ft by 5ft area, so I really had to switch it up for this one. I decided that I really liked hanging the Indiana Pillows, it was a great attention grabber, and cleared a lot of space on the table for more products. So for this inside show, I decided to put up two big wooden posts that I could not only put a rod between to hold the pillows, but also string up my sign, and hang my picture frames from! It also let me put up a little extra light, to make it a little easier for my customers to see my products back in my little corner.
I used 4x4s for the posts and used L brackets and 1x4s to create a base at the bottom. This did not work out as well as I had hoped. I found out too late that the brackets were not exactly square, which means that my 8ft poles were not exactly sturdy.... but luckily I was right next to a wall, which gave some extra support. I definitely need to redo this construction before my next show. But the success of my poles was with the awesome homemade wood stain that I created! Some old rice vinegar from my cabinet, some rusty nails, and some black tea, and voila! the wood looks aged! I get such a nerdy kick out of this!
Other than the new posts, I used a lot of the same set up as my first show, but with more holiday decor than Halloween. Lots of burlap and garlands and christmas tree ornaments! And of course my Indiana stockings helped with the holiday spirit as well!
I'm already thinking about my next show: Yelp's Totally Bazaar on Dec 8th, and how to adjust the setup to work in the Central Library!
creative business owner. designer. hoosier. crafter. runner. sewer. swing dancer. outdoor enthusiast. entrepreneur. wife. material hoarder.
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Madeline Stage email@example.com
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