The makings of a craft stall – Part 1

Soon I will be attending (as a seller) my first proper craft market (as in, not organised by myself or a friend and requires all the PLI and proper grown up stuff!). The ‘Feel Good Fair’ at the Adelphi Hotel, Liverpool is promising to be an event filled with inspiration, energy and creativity. I saw a flyer for it a short while ago in The Egg Cafe and thought it looked good, lets hope I’m right!

Feel Good Fair Liverpool Flyer

There were two options for those wishing to have a stall, a full on booth, and a stand alone table with two chairs. Being quite new to this craft stall malarkey and not knowing exactly how much (if any!) of my investment on the table I would make back, I opted for the cheaper option of table and two chairs.

So once I had actually sorted out my PLI (Public Liability Insurance for those who are wondering!) – on which I got a pretty good deal by the way, feel free to ask about that, I got to thinking of all the organising and general work I would need to do in order for this to go well. I wrote a list. I wish I hadn’t. The list goes on and on! It fills me with the fear every time I look at it! But it is a good idea. I do need a list or else I would forget something important like my business cards or my price tags! Reading this book at the moment helped me getting organised:

The Handmade Marketplace Book

Once I had my list, and had sorted out the things I HAD to do (like the PLI, and actually paying for the stall!) my mind wanted to go onto the creative bit, the part I really like. I began to think of ideas for my stall itself.  The two or three small stalls I have done in the past have always been a little ‘flat’ – an example of which you can see below. I wanted to get some height into my display.

Linziloop Craft Stall at Cairns Street Market

The 'Right Said Thread' Group Craft Stall at the Cairns Street Market including my items

I thought of using boxes to build up the height, but whilst you get quite a bit of height, and you can arrange them in such a way you might get a little more space for things on your table, they do still take up quite a lot of table space. My mind wandered to some sort of square shelving of the kind you might find in Ikea, but this meant a fair amount of cost. A guy in work had a great idea of sewing pockets onto the fabric I lay over my table so that where it hangs at the front, items can be displayed and that space is used effectively. I absolutely LOVE this idea (I told him he’s a genius!) but with time constraints I might not get all the sewing done so I’m putting that one on the “to do in future pile”  – plus I’d need to see if my items would suit being displayed in that way.

Then I had an idea I thought really did have some real feasibility. Gains me a LOT more space than it takes up, is fairly low in cost, should be reasonably quick to make (with help!) and will display my items perfectly. The idea came from how I hang my jewellery up – on a tree I bought from Ikea. It’s a small tree made from metal, my idea was to do a fairly large tree, made from MDF.

Ikea Jewellery Tree

The jewellery tree I currently have my jewellery hanging from - not THE most practical thing to be honest, but it does work, and looks good!

At first I wanted my tree to stand on the floor, at the back of my table and be about the same height as or a little taller than me. The problem I faced with this is that I would probably struggle to get it in and out of my car, if it would even fit at all. So I opted for a tree that would stand on the table top, and be a little taller than me. I could hang my scarves, wrist cuffs, headbands and maybe even some other items from it, the base would be a sturdy cross-section, I can paint it however I choose, and it would certainly add that all important height I needed!

Cutting it out was my next problem – I don’t have a garage to do such work, nor to I have the tools to do such a job! But I know a man who does! Dad to the rescue! One swift phone call and he was all ready for accepting the challenge, so all I had to do was to decide on a design.

I was under strict instructions from my Dad to not make any of the angles too extreme. I had my instructions to myself to keep it simple – I wanted something quite stylistic. I also thought if I made the branches straight rather than angled then things would hand better rather than all sliding down the branches (learning from my jewellery tree!). I’ve hastily taken some rather poor pictures on my phone before I whisked it away to be cut out to try and show you my design (if you can see it). The board was dropped off to me Dad who confidently said “it’ll only take me an hour that!” and that’s where I’m at now! Next stage of my craft stall preparation madness to come soon!

Craft Stall Tree Design

The full size of the board (and therefore tree) - about the same size as my dining room (aka craft room!) table

Craft Stall Tree

A close up of the branches on the top half of the tree (apologies for drawing so lightly it's hard to see!)

Do you know of any good resources for craft stall design? Have you seen a particularly good craft stall design in your travels? Got a picture? Link us up in the comments!

 

 

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16 Comments

  1. Good luck with the craft fayre.
    Looking forward to reading the rest of your blog. Lucky having a dad able and willing to make stand for you.

    Reply
    • Thank you Wendy, you’re quite right, I am very lucky and much appreciative of having such a talented Dad 😀

      Reply
  2. Helpful dads are worth their weight in gold hey? Mine is now going to build me a second workshop (out grown the first one) I think they secretly like to be helpful!

    Reply
  3. Anne

     /  March 23, 2011

    Hello
    I hope that your Craft Fair goes really well. It is interesting reading about your ideas for your stall. I too have a tree to hang my jewellery on which I bought at Christmas two years ago – about two feet tall with horizontal metal bars. I have used it to hand earrings from when doing photos for my Etsy shop. I think your idea for making a larger one of your own it great!. My Dad always used to help me – years ago he made me a great open out stall from a wall paper table. Only just started up again with my jewellery – when I am ready I will do my first stall for my shop
    I will look out to see how you get on.
    Anne 🙂

    Reply
  4. saadia

     /  June 6, 2012

    hi love your article can you please pretty please tell me more about getting the right public liability insurance, risk assessment in this case as im holding a similar stall very soon and absolutely no idea who to contact even after googling for hours im no where. it would be highly appreciated and will remember you in my prayers. many thanks Mrs Ali

    Reply
    • Hi Mrs Ali! What kind of products are you selling? The public liability insurance offered by the Artists Network covers most crafters. Their website is here: https://www.a-n.co.uk/join_in/article/663847 and they offer public liability insurance as part of a subscription 🙂

      As for risk assessment, if this is required for the stall (not all markets ask for this) then they should have a form they can provide to you in a format such as a Word document, ask the market holders before using one found online as they would probably prefer them all in the same format. If they do not have one of these forms then there is an example of one in my blog post here: https://linziloop.wordpress.com/2011/03/23/the-makings-of-a-craft-stall-part-2/

      Reply
  5. Hi! I am getting ready for my first fair next week – a Christmas one at a scarily big venue near Exeter… I am getting a little stressed and I am trying to forget about it by browsing the web for display ideas for our
    handmade ceramics stall 🙂 I too will have a little Christmas tree in the corner of one of my tables displaying our handmade wooden decorations. Thanks for your tips!

    Reply
  6. Appreciating the dedication you put into your site
    and detailed information you provide. It’s nice to come across a blog every once in a while that isn’t the same unwanted rehashed information.
    Fantastic read! I’ve saved your site and I’m adding your RSS feeds to my Google account.

    Reply
    • Oh wow Johnny thank you so much that comment really means a lot to me! Well I best get writing then as it has been a while since my last post! Thanks for the inspiration 😉

      Reply
  7. David

     /  January 8, 2015

    Hello ‘Linziloop’. First of all many thanks for your time and energy. Really appreciate your efforts, they have been an immense help.
    My daughter and I are hoping to run a craft stall at ‘One Love’. Can give any pointers as to which PLI we need?
    Many thanks,
    David.

    Reply
    • Hi David, depending on what kinds of crafts you are selling you may be able to get cover from The Artists Network (if your crafts could pass as ‘art’). What kind of things will you be selling?

      Reply
  1. See your shop shine with a little graphic design – the winner! | Linziloop
  2. The makings of a craft stall – Part 4 (final) | Linziloop
  3. First Time Festival Trader Tips | Linziloop
  4. Craft Stall Design – Making the most of height | Linziloop
  5. Inspirational Craft Stall Displays – Crinoline | Linziloop

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