Sunday, 18 November 2012

Craft Fair Frenzy..

Craft Fairs run all year round, but the main 'buying season' is well underway. I hope that you have queues of eager buyers trying to give you money in exchange for your beady creations!

If you are still preparing makes for Winter Fairs - here's a few tips and ideas from the mad cows. Please feel free to add any of your own ideas in the comments section.

On a Roll - and making like mad?


Stop! Before you get into a mad making frenzy, have a think about what type of customer will be at your Craft Fair. Work out their age, what they might be looking for and how much they will have to spend. Then you can make sure that you create items that your potential customers will love to buy!

Generally, School Fairs and local shows with a low table fee tend to have a similar clientele (although there will be more children at the School Fairs!)

  • Children looking for small presents for their parents, friends and teachers. 
  • Their parents looking for stocking fillers and little tokens for neighbours. 
  • Tourists and browsers that may be tempted by an impulse buy.
  • People who have come in to be nosey / get out of the cold!
These products are idea for this typical customer base:

  • Bookmarks
  • Beaded Keyrings
  • Stretchy bracelets
  • Bag charms
  • Specs chains
  • Christmas decorations
  • Santa / elf keys
  • Wine glass charms
  • Memory wire items
  • Pendants on chains
When planning to make these items, cost out your time, and choose inexpensive beads. One large acrylic bead and some seed beads make a great impact at a very low cost. Because these items typically sell well at low prices, you need to cost them out accurately and save money wherever you can, without skimping on the quality of your making. 


Try these ideas to keep your cost low and your School Fete items flying off your stall!

  • Santa /elf key - spray old keys with hammerite or use big key charms and trim with sparkling ribbon for a great item that easily sells for £1.50-£2 - fabulous for children who are worried about their house having no chimney! You can also make 'vintage' style ribbon out of patterned fabric from charity shops. Just cut 25mm strips, fold inside out and press well before machining the edge. Use a safety pin and a crochet hook to turn the right way in! I was lucky enough to find some 'Liberty print' shirts in a local charity shop - they were a bit faded & thin for wearing - but now have a new lease of life decorating my presents this year!
  • Present dangles (see top pic above) - these are like a tiny keyring - use a 16mm jump ring, tiger tail, a few beads, crimp beads, 5mm / 7mm jump rings and one charm. These look so lovely on gift tag dangles, or even on a table top Christmas tree.
  • The little Dolls House wreath in the 2nd picture is made with a 20mm earring crimp, 4mm glass beads, seed beads and 1 charm, and the keyring is for an elf! Again, 4mm glass beads, seed beads and a key charm. Much cuter in real life!
  • Bookmarks - always a great seller, and quick to make - look brilliant with a single charm and seed beads to keep your costs low and your customer delight high!
  • Large pendants - like this one: 

These are personalised with an image - search the internet for royalty free images to print off and use. Seal the image and then apply Sakura 3D  for a glossy finish. Pictures of pets and inspirational words and messages do particularly well, but I have seen lots of different things used - you can even spread with pva, fill with beads and crystal glaze them! Add a jumpring, thread the pendant onto an organza necklace

Goddess bracelets are very popular - you'll find a tutorial here - my only comment about these is that they can be a little time heavy, so take account of this when pricing! Use a 'wow' button for a really effective bracelet that will sell for £5-£10 with 'normal' beads :-)

I hope these ideas help you with your makes for School Fetes and Fairs this Christmas.



1 comment:

Guy Deller said...

Hi Georgie,

Love the blogs, love the crafts. Not sure if you're an eco-centric blogger but I couldn't help notice that you used Hammerite to spray your keys. Hammerite uses a lot more VOCs than Plasti-Kote sprays and you'll find your head spinning a lot quicker.

Check out http://www.uktoolcentre.co.uk/Shop/Decorating/Paint/Plastikote.html for the safer (and cheaper!) option.

Guy x