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Table Talk: How to Create an Eye-Catching Display at Your Next Maker Fair
Table Talk: How to Create an Eye-Catching Display at Your Next Maker Fair

What’s the secret to a successful craft show display?

If you want to draw shoppers to your craft fair booth, put the same care into your display that you put into your crafts. Here are seven smart strategies to help you get started.

1. Keep it neat. Cover your table in wrinkle-free, floor-length fabric (solids and light colors work best) to hide extra boxes, bags, and electrical cords. A tidy display tells shoppers you pay attention to detail, which speaks volumes about the quality of your crafts. Don't overcrowd your table with products, but do bring enough merchandise to restock items that sell during the show.

2. Think vertical. Visibility is vital, and you're more apt to catch bypassers' attention if your crafts are at eye level. Plus, building up gives you more display space. As an affordable alternative to buying pre-made stands, pack your crafts in wooden crates that you can turn into makeshift shelves by stacking them on your display table. Some crafters also bring bed risers to adjust the table's height.

3. Make a backdrop. Rather than purchase premade banners and backdrops, use your DIY talents to build a frame from PVC pipe. Drape it in burlap or another material that suits your brand's style, and secure it with clamps. Or repurpose lightweight screen doors as backdrops by attaching brackets to the bottom to make them stand up. Replace the screens with chicken wire (it makes a great material for hanging lightweight crafts).

4. State your name. Clear signage is crucial. Everyone walking by your booth should be able to read your company logo easily. Paint it on your backdrop or hang a sign from your backdrop's frame. For a nostalgic look, try a chalkboard. If you're at an outdoor craft show, draw your logo on the ground in front of your booth in colored chalk.

5. Use props. Eye-catching decorative touches can help capture people's attention, provided they don't overpower your crafts or clash with your brand's aesthetic. If you make garden-themed items, attach a garland of artificial ivy to the edge of the table. Use an antique birdhouse as a centerpiece for a collection of avian-themed accessories.

Try a battery-operated tabletop fountain for woodland-themed toys. String strands of miniature battery-powered white lights to set a festive tone for holiday crafts. And don't forget essential extras, such as mirrors if you're selling wearable items.

6. Mind the details. Make sure all your crafts have price tags. Set out plenty of business cards, placed where people can take them easily. Bring an ample supply of boxes and bags for purchases. These should be stamped with your logo and should match your color scheme.

7. Do a trial run. Confirm the dimensions of the space you'll have (10' x 10' is standard). Find out about restrictions on the height of backdrops and requirements for extras like sidewalls. Set up your display at home and measure it to make sure you're using all the space available. Confirm that your displays are sturdy and that you like the way they look. Arrive early on the day of the fair so you'll have lots of time to set up.

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