View Full Version : Anyone do craft fairs?

03-30-2005, 09:11 PM
Hi. We really want to go back to Disney next year. We were thinking about doing some craft fairs in the Fall to try to make some money for a trip. I was wondering if anyone has tried craft fairs. Any ideas on crafts my 8 and 15 year olds could help me with? Does anyone know of any good websites about craft fairs? Anyone craft their way to Disney? Thanks!


03-30-2005, 09:45 PM
Try this site to find craft shows in your area. It works for PA, so I am assuming that it would work for other states as well. craftlister.com

03-30-2005, 10:06 PM
That site is great. Thanks! The link in your post is for an email. Just wanted to let you know incase it's your email and you don't want it posted here. Off to look at the site! :)

03-30-2005, 10:16 PM
Thanks for letting me know about that :goodvibes. Glad it will work for you.

03-31-2005, 06:35 AM
I am a crafter and do shows quite regularly. Keep in mind that you do need a tax number from your state. Many shows will not even let you in without one. You need to display your tax certificate on your table and if you are caught without one, there is a $500 fine (at least in NY there is!)

03-31-2005, 08:02 AM

waughzee said...
"I am a crafter and do shows quite regularly. Keep in mind that you do need a tax number from your state. Many shows will not even let you in without one. You need to display your tax certificate on your table and if you are caught without one, there is a $500 fine (at least in NY there is!)"

This is true. ( I think PA's fines are even steeper.) Don't let the thought of getting a tax number scare you. You can apply for a temporary one if you aren't doing a lot of shows or apply for a regular one if you are doing multiple shows. In either case,the forms are easy to use to report what taxes you collect.

When you decide what to make, try to find ideas that are unique, at least to your area. So many people make the mistake of making the same thing other crafters in the area make. I am a decorative painter and it is often my own designs that sell best for me. Different sells.

Search places like the Delphi Forums for groups that do crafts, etc. There is an amazing wealth of craft information on the web. Also type in free craft patterns on a search engine and see what you find. They are out there.

Good luck and stay creative!
Diane =0)

03-31-2005, 09:26 AM
How did you guys go about getting your tax id number?

03-31-2005, 10:01 AM
WE are raising money the same way, we found a great inexpensive way to do things .(granted we are out in the country and there are lots of yard sales.)
We go to yard sales and buy all of the half finished crafts that people have decided they wouldn't finish after having them hang around for years. LOL !
We get the materials very cheap and we finish them! (our favorite and best sellers have always been half painted wood working stuff.)

03-31-2005, 06:21 PM
To get a PA tax number... try... http://www.doreservices.state.pa.us/
They are going to all online filing. For other states try contacting the dept. of labor or commerce.
No more
Diane =0)

03-31-2005, 07:43 PM
My craft sale experience is limited, but here are my comments:

If you really want to make some money you'll have to have a unique idea. For example, knit ponchos and Capri-Sun purses are "big" right now, but everyone else has those ideas. No matter how nice yours are, they're still going to be similar to the ones at ten other booths! You'll need to be on the cutting edge to make money. You need to sell the new item that no one else thought of yet.

You'll have to find a low-cost source for your materials. If you're buying your stuff for full price at the craft store, you'll have to price it sky-high to make a profit. Along these same lines, don't go into debt buying your materials. I saw a number of people at our craft sale who sold next to nothing. Don't over-do the first time; see how it goes before you jump in too deep.

Try to have a couple dollar items -- often people will buy something for a dollar, but they'll stop and examine the $10 items carefully so they can make them at home. At my daughter's sale, her biggest profit items were homemade spice mixes and bread mixes. She also sold a ton of bubble magnets at .25 each.

Choose your crafts carefully -- if they don't sell, you're stuck with them. Try to make items that you'd be willing to give as Christmas gifts, or items that you could sell on ebay (if things don't go well at the craft sale).

Find out how much space you'll have at the craft sale. The big one near us gives 10 square feet per person (for $45). They encourage people to bring shelves, wire grids, etc. so they can "go up instead of out". Anyway, find out how much space you'll have and plan your display ahead of time.

03-31-2005, 09:31 PM
I have a friend who does craft fairs. She makes her own wine charms. She sells them in sets of 4. I don't know how successful she is at it, but she really enjoys making them.

She has also found a local wine bar that shows her sets on a commission basis.

03-31-2005, 10:59 PM
I did a craft fair 2 Halloweens ago to try to make money for disney. I made predecorated scrapbooks in a variety of designs (Disney, School Days, A Year in Review, Teen, Baby, Brag books etc.). I also had lots of "tags" for scrapbooking that were embellished. I had handstamped cards (mostly Christmas and winter). I sold ONE scrapbook (a brag book year in review). I was really disappointed. Not only did I not make enough to recoup the cost of my table at the fair, but I purchased 2 hand crocheted baby blankets for 2 babies of friends that were on the way. So I really left in the hole! (Although the blankets saved me lots of time by me not having to crochet the blankets and they were cheap - $12). My items were priced very fairly.

The things I noticed that were selling fast was the lady across from me (took away my lookers). She had wood items (like wood signs you put in your yard). For example she had a turkey that said, "Eat beef" or something like that. She had some witches. Also lots of Christmas ones. These were flying out of there. Then, the lady behind me had these little treat bags (plain plastic baggies with a few treats in them - like Halloween candy) that were tied with a curling ribbon bow. She was selling them for like $1 and she sold out! She at least recouped the cost of her table with those items plus whatever else her "main" item was. Lots of people also bought these pipe cleaner headband/halo things that had curling ribbon trailing behind (think renaissance crown). They were selling these for $1.50 and all the little girls had them on.

Just my experience. I won't do craft fairs again.


03-31-2005, 11:01 PM
I did a few last year. My hardest one was in a church that had their frist show and stuck a few of us in a little tiny classroom that no one visited. Make sure you have a good location! Also, you need to find something unique but easy to make and cost effective to make. I had Christmas ornamets and the lady across from me (by the entrance door) had ornaments. Hers were personalized and mine weren't. I sold one and she sold hundreds.....ouch! I also make purses, pin cushions, and paperback covers. The lady across from me also made bead jewelry. That is something you and your kids could do. Most stores sell books on how to do it and it's really not expensive to buy the things to start. You would have to fix the clasp and work with the plyers but the kids could make the designs and help string them. You can also buy wire that springs back to shape and not have to make clasps on them for bracelets. I bought one at a craft show for $1 for my daughter. Cute and easy to make. You can find all the stuff to start at Hobby Lobby, Wal-Mart, etc.
I hope you find some great ideas and have fun!

04-01-2005, 09:04 AM
MaggieW -- I also made a bunch of gift tags (this was just before Christmas). They were nice: stamped and embossed, hand-colored, ribbons for tying. I didn't sell a single one. My gift tags were priced 5 for $1, which I thought was a good price.

04-01-2005, 03:28 PM
Great thread! :) My hubby loves to carve walking sticks and is in the works to try and sell them for the Charlotte Knights :)