handmade winchester nov 11

Craft Show Countdown

November 1, 2012 , In: General
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It’s that time of year again when I’m stocking up on business cards and jewellery boxes, checking that my fairy lights work and ironing table cloths. Yes, it’s Christmas Craft Fair time! It seems as if it comes round earlier and earlier each year.

It’s also the time of year that I put into action the plans I’ve been making to update my jewellery displays. I try to keep the look of my craft stall simple – partly because I want people to see my jewellery rather than be distracted by displays that are too colourful or too busy, but also because I have to carry or wheel it from my car to the venue! I keep to the same colours as my website, logo and business cards (my corporate image!) as the dark brown is a perfect background for all the different colours I use in my jewellery designs and for showing off the designs that are made just from silver, and also in the hope that when customers visit my website it will be recognisable as mine.

I also keep to the basic craft show display rules that I expect many of you have read before. I make sure that some of my displays are at an eye catching level, that at least some of my jewellery is displayed on something – a bust, a tag or a decorative plate or dish – rather than flat on the table to show it off better, I lay items out in almost a grid pattern so that I can keep an eye on things easily and would be able to notice quickly if something “went walkabout” (not that I’ve had problems with that so far, thankfully) and I group items together so that, for example, a customer can easily see a pair of earrings that would go perfectly with the necklace that she’s been admiring.

As the years have gone on I’ve swapped busts that I’ve made myself for more robust shop-bought ones. I’ve changed the boxes that I used to drape with a table cloth and sit my busts on for ones that are covered in fabric and fold up – I love displays that fold up for carrying and storage. I’ve done whatever I can within my budget to make my stall look more up-market as I’ve used more expensive materials in my designs and started doing more up-market shows. Now, however, it’s to upgrade again as those fabric covered boxes have started to fray and the busts don’t hold the longer necklaces that are popular now. I’ve finally invested in a banner from Vistaprint to replace the handmade sign I put in a frame, I’m planning a visit to Ikea tomorrow to pick up some stands to replace my frayed boxes and maybe a small light set of shelves to add more height to my displays, and a visit to the local timber merchants has bought me some lovely and surprisingly affordable oak that I’ve started to saw into simple necklace and pendant stands – ones that are hinged and fold up of course! The photo below is of my stall at one of shows I did last November. Hopefully in a few weeks I’ll be able to show you my new look!

The other photos here are some of the craft show display pictures I’ve pinned on my aptly-named Craft Shows board on Pinterest – some are inspirational photos to hopefully get some ideas from, a few are tutorials for making your own displays. Not all if them are of jewellery displays, as its useful sometimes to see how other crafts are displayed.

So, what’s your style for jewellery displays? Do you display your upcycled jewellery so displays made from upcycled items? Or is your jewellery in a vintage style so better displayed on items such as pretty tea cups and saucers? Have you made your own displays, or have you found and adapted great bargains that show off your designs beautifully?

 

 

Jo Tinley

I am a jewellery designer and tutor, and a regular contributor to Beads and Beyond magazine. I am also mother to two beautiful boys, so you may see a bit about them on here as well! You can email me at [email protected]
  1. Reply

    Thanks for sharing these great display ideas! Like you, I'm looking to update my display while keeping the sleek, unclutterd look. I use white, brown and black displays set on a tan cloth. It looks great but I need a bit more height. Also, lighting is a huge issue for me.

  2. Reply

    I so wish I could come to your show!!! I like the display ideas and keeping it so your jewelry is the focus but the display draws you in!

  3. Reply

    I agree with you on everything! It never ceases to amaze me when people post pix from their shows with way too many bulky display items. If you are doing shows with any frequency, you appreciate the portable, the fold up, the streamlined yet stylish look! And at my shows I have ceramic tiles and shrines in addition to jewelry with my ceramic pendants. (The car is full!) I always display a tile with a pendant of the same motif… mermaids here, dryads over there….Since my work is diverse in style it shows the continuity of motif.

    Your display looks lovely, and I hope you have a smashing Holiday Season!

  4. Reply

    There are some great ideas here – my first show is tomorrow and getting that one show under my belt will give me a much better idea of what I need to do for the future. Looking forward to seeing your new "look" and getting some new inspiration!

    • Reply

      Good luck Francesca! Your jewellery is beautiful, so I know that you will do brilliantly!

  5. Reply

    Great tips! My biggest issue is that I hate spending money on display pieces…especially because I may only do 2 a year. My other issue is that it needs to be lightweight, compact, but that is difficult to achieve sometimes. I also prefer to keep color to a minimum and mostly in the black or white family.

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