Favorite Holiday Item In Your Shop – #CIJParty 2018

Contributor post by Alicia from AliciasFindings  and Mairi from mairidesign

We all have a favorite item that we have in our shop. It could be our favorite because of the process it took to make it, its color or any other reason.

Here, the team share their favorite Holiday item from their shop and tell us why they like it so much.

michael tarter from BurntEarthHorseHair says

One of my favorite Xmas items is my Luminaria Bags. They are ceramic clay and have holes in them to let the candle light shine through. I crave out different designs on the bags. One of my favorite designs is the Corrales Old Church. I have several sizes available and over 20 different designs.
Taos Pueblo

Luminaria Bags

Dianna from HoneyMyrtleStudio says

One of my favourite items is my blue hand dyed cushion cover. It was one of the first items I made using hand dyed fabric that I had done myself.
Blue Throw Pillow

Blue Throw Pillow

Roses Workshop from RosesWorkshop says

I love my Harris tweed baubles. They bring the beauty of hand-woven fabric to something purely decorative. Lovely enough to be kept as heirloom pieces.
Harris tweed

Harris tweed Christmas tree decoration

Arlene from ThisandThatCrafter says

Hands down this is my favorite item… This ornament has such a sweet story behind how it came to be… I have lived in my home since I was born and one of my neighbors that had been in her home since before I was born asked me to come down to her home to look at some things 3 years ago in the summer of 2015. She then gave me a piece of a sweater that she said was one of her favorites. It was her sweater many years ago when she was much younger. She said she had reused most of it but had this one side left and she wanted to give it to me as she knew I sewed and asked me to make something so that her favorite sweater could live on. The color reminded me of dirty snow. So I made the dirty snowman out of what was left of her special sweater… I gave one to her to put on her tree. I kept one and gave my daughter one and the rest are for sale… so far a total of 6 are living on in Christmas celebrations. I have one more made and enough to make 2 more beyond that. Then all the sweater will be gone. Sad to say that she passed away in 2016 and her granddaughters came to get me and told me I could have what ever I wanted out of her sewing room… one of the things I got was many buttons that were cut off of garments once the garment was done being used. I now am adding 2 of those buttons to each of the remaining snowmen.
My Dirty Snowman

My Dirty Snowman

Patricia from TheOldBarnDoor says

My favorite item is this Christmas card featuring Miss Abbie one of our collies on an early morning walk here on the farm just after a fresh snow fall. I was never certain what captured her interest in the trees but I like the feeling and colours of this card.

Entitled Happy Collie Days this one always makes me smile. This image has been featured by The Collie Rescue Network in their calendars and on a note card they use to raise funds.

Collie Days

Happy COLLIE Days Christmas Card

This “I love cats” handcrafted wooden plaque is my favorite shop item because it declares my love of cats … I consider it to be a customer favorite as well since I have sold several of them to other cat lovers!

I think it’s a great gift idea for the cat lover on a gift list because it’s cute and inexpensive!


Cat Wall Hanging

Mairi from mairidesign says

These Christmas bauble shaped tree decorations are my favourites because of the gorgeous iridescent glass I used and, also, that others also seem to really like them. I made some for my students and one of them ordered several for her colleagues. Then, my sister and my cousin ordered several each to hang as garlands in their windows. Then, more orders came. It was great! The little beads swing and tinkle in the breeze and add a chic touch to a festive display.

Christmas Tree Decorations

I love this elegant set with 3 luxury glycerin soaps and a charm for good luck!


Trendy Soaps Christmas Gift

My favorite is this new card I created last week. I like the simple design and message. It’s warm and inviting and speaks of home.


Happy Holidays card

I love owls and these whimsical owls on a Christmas stocking are one of my favorites.


Felt Owl Christmas Stocking

I loved making these waterless snow globes.


Christmas Snow globes

This was hard! I love Christmas and keep several Christmas items in my shop year ’round, because I think holiday lovers shop whenever the mood hits them. Right now it was between my red-nosed reindeer (I’m also an avid animal lover) and this guy. I guess he won out because he’s a new addition, so I wanted to welcome him.


Felted Santa Claus

This is my favorite piece for Christmas because it reminds me of ice crystals!


Herkimer Diamond GF Ring

This ornament is one of my favs. It reminds me so much of growing up in Iowa and going sledding on my grandparents farm with all my cousins.


Christmas Quilted Ornament

I have so many favorite Christmas items in my shop but this one stands out to me especially since I choose to use the ribbon on a dog collar. We all have that pet who is both naughty and nice which makes this Christmas dog collar even more cute, funny and true to their personality.


Naughty or Nice Christmas Dog Collar

Wow, hard to choose just one. Don’t you find that when you make something new, it is almost always the favorite – until the next one! Anyway, here is my favorite. I love winter animal pictures, and my DH love penguins. When I saw these delightful guys, I just had to buy them, and I bought lots! Just couldn’t resist. I knew right away that some would be made into pillows. The rest are waiting for inspiration, and time.


Quilted Pillow Covers



What Makes Christmas Special: AliciasFindings – #EtsyCIJ 2018

Contributor post by Mairi from mairidesign

What makes Christmas special? – Alicia from AliciasFindings 


1. What makes Christmas special to you?

Spending time with family and friends is what makes Christmas special for me. I love to go out to eat with friends and share some time together as our gifts to each other.

2. How do you make Christmas as special to others?

I love to help my family with anything they need. I will help with food prep or even wrapping packages. I also try and get them gifts they have asked for.

3. What are three words that best describe Christmas to you?

Family, food and fun!

4. What are you most looking forward to for Christmas 2018?

I am hoping that my uncle can come for Christmas this year as he had to miss last year. I am also looking forward to all kinds of good food.

5. What are your social media sites?

Facebook: www.facebook.com/AliciasFindings

Pinterest: www.pinterest.com/AliciasFindings

Twitter: www.twitter.com/AliciasFindings

Instagram: www.instagram.com/aliciasfindings

Thanksgiving And Holiday Feasts

Contributor Post by Sheila and Shannon of BeadyEyedBird 

We asked our teamies what they like to do around the November holidays such as Thanksgiving or Remembrance Day, All Souls Day, Native American Heritage days, or their own special traditions, especially FEASTS. Here’s what they told us —

Susan-Sharon Passmore from MsPDesignsUSA said:

 Thanksgiving just might be my favorite holiday! Our extended family gathers at my house, and we feast on roasted turkey with all sorts of delicious side dishes. I love to make pumpkin and pecan pies for dessert, and my sister usually brings fresh-baked rolls. After dinner, we might play games at the kitchen table or take a walk to the park to stretch our legs, let the kids play at the playground, and throw the ball for our dog.

This cute turkey applique would be perfect for a kitchen towel or a set of hot pads. I probably have time to make some for myself before the big day!


Turkey gobbler PDF applique pattern; Thanksgiving bird applique quilt pattern; farm animal quilt; baby or child’s quilt pattern

pam colangelo from PearlsVintagebyPam said:

Thanksgiving Time Holds Lots of Memories both Good and Not so Good. In the Past we had the Thanksgiving Meal at our House, Even when we were newly Married-1970’s. My Husband had the job of Carving the Turkey Which by the Way was Cooked Perfectly in a Paper Bag per a Nurse I worked with. Unfortunately We Used to Have a Fight Over how the Turkey was Carved in those Early Married Days. Sorry to my Husband!!

I no Longer Cook the Turkey and my Husband No Longer Carves it. Here’s our Turkey.


Turkey Figure-Pottery-Detailed Decoration-10 In. Wide-Thanksgiving-Centerpiece-Made in Phillippines-Unique-Clay-Art-Holiday-Décor

Melissa R from missy69 said:

Thanksgiving is my husband’s favorite holiday, and of course it includes turkey. This beautiful turkey painting, is an original painting, affixed to a large reclaimed glass pickle jar, then upcycled into a hurricane lamp, vase, candle holder, cookie jar etc. It makes a great table decoration, and being green is in this year. This handsome Tom Turkey is hoping you will change your mind and eat lasagna.


Reclaimed Large Glass Pickle Jar Upcycled into A Hurricane Lamp with Painted Tom Turkey Thanksgiving Home Decor Table Lighting Vase Cookie

Kelly from ColourscapeStudios said:

Thanksgiving isn’t something celebrated here in Australia, however I had a lovely lady from Kentucky contact me to purchase my longer thank you tags so that she could wrap them around her napkins which I thought was a lovely touch for her friends and family.



10% Off Christmas Sale Thank You Gift Tag, Rectangle Gift Tag, Small Gift Tag, Wedding Tag, Party Gift Tag, Kraft Gift Tag, Slim Gift Tag, M

Dawn Whitehand from DeeDeeDeesigns said:

Being in Australia we actually don’t have any of these holidays, however, here, as the weather warms, family and friend get togethers become more frequent as people venture outdoors!

So there is a celebration of the change of season – just as you guys celebrate your holidays – and to celebrate there is lots of sharing of food and drink!

And for me celebrating the sharing of food is made all the more special with handmade table wares – so this bowl is perfect!


Ceramic Bowl for Salad and Fruit Textured Green Stoneware Unique Handmade Pottery Home Décor

willowvalleyvintage from WillowValleyVintage said:

I’m fortunate that my husband has taken over all the cooking on Thanksgiving day!

He has the preparation down to a science–and follows a timeline to ensure that everything is ready to serve at the appropriate hour!

My daughter and I found this fun trivet on a buying trip to Shipshewana, Indiana. We like the retro illustrations and instructions for “Meat Cookery.”

I can imagine a new bride receiving this from her mother-in-law in the 50s or 60s!


Metal Trivet Wife and Husband Kitschy Art Pro-Tex Retro “Table of Meat Cookery” 50s Kitchen Midwestern Life Insurance Advertising Decor Gift

Carola Bartz from CarolaBartz said:

I grew up in Germany and only came to the States when I was over 40 years old. So Thanksgiving is not really a tradition for me. However, we embraced it because I like the gratitude part of it. Around the end of November when the days are shorter, it’s getting considerably colder and the days are often grey, I like to curl up on the couch with a journal and take a look back over the year, writing down everything that I am thankful for. It is such a treat to read later what I was thankful for in the previous years and I see how rich my life is.


Autumn Leaves Journal with Matching Bookmark, Handmade Notebook in Fall Colors, Altered Composition Book with Lined Pages

Heather from ArabellaBlossoms said:

Although we don’t officially celebrate Thanksgiving Day here in Australia, like many around the world, cooking for family and friends is often a way to show we are thankful for their love, friendship and support.


Handmade Pink White Green Apron, Medium Size Vintage Cotton Gingham, Vintage Doily and Lace , Full Apron with Pocket, Women’s Gift Idea

Many thanks to everyone who shared their wonderful memories and items with us. Happy holidays and celebrations and FEASTS to All!

Until Next Time,




Story Time Listing Blitz

Contributor post by Alicia of AliciasFindings

Here at Christmas in July we decided to do a Listing Blitz a bit differently! We made the blitz become a story revolving around the blitz listings.

There were specific rules to follow, but mostly the purpose was to blitz (promote) the other members listings as much as possible.

Alicia from AliciasFindings states:

Autumn is a wonderful time of changing colors and harvests. There are many items to be harvested here at team CIJ including jewelry,wood crafts,card notions and more. Come and experience the bounty of the teams harvest…


Kristy Jo from KrystalKlarityBeads says:

….where you can surround yourself with your favorite things. Shop at your leisure from home. It is easy here in an Etsy Autumnland to find all those gifts for the upcoming celebrations and…


Arlene from ThisandThatCrafter said:

My BE THANKFUL banner gives a wonderful message during the Thanksgiving season. My granddaughter last year made one for her teacher to hang in the classroom… when I gave her 3 choices… HAPPY THANKSGIVING, GIVE THANKS, BE THANKFUL… she choice BE THANKFUL and she said that a lot of the kids in her class need to BE THANKFUL for what they have and are not. A good rule for all of us.


AliciasFindings states:

Yes we all need to Be Thankful during Harvest Season! Some are thankful for friends, family or health. I am thankful for my ability to still create…


Gari Anne from beadloverskorner says:

I am thankful for all of those things and also the cooler weather and the beautiful color changes around us. Leaves are falling and the landscape takes on the beautiful colors of the fall.

Ina from InaSudjana said:
Let these colours fill the Northern hemisphere. Absorb the gorgeous orange hues and let the pretty season begin…


MOJEART from MOJEART states:

 We all need an Angel. This Angel use to be out every year a top a Christmas Tree. The past two Seasons she has not been on display. The crown is just for fun.
Rheta Parziale from VintageEves said:
And as the angel looked down from the tree, the family gathered round the table for a Christmas feast. The ham was cooked, the bread was broken and the good china came out of the cabinet ….
Richard and Tatiana from DesignstheLimit says:
Sharing a meal as a family and enjoying each other’s company is the best part of every holiday and something to be truly thankful for. Set your table with a personalized touch and invite others.



Getting Ready for the Holidays


Contributor post by Sheila of BeadyEyedBird

Happy Upcoming Holidays from Us to You – we hope you have happy days, little stress, many sales, lovely creative & quiet time, and hopefully – some rest. We appreciate our Christmas in July & other Etsy friends and followers so very much, and look forward to hearing about your interests, your work, and YOU!

In the meantime, here at The Bead (& family) we’re sorting out who will ‘Do’ Thanksgiving & ‘Where’, while looking forward to a little free time to do simple stuff like bake cookies and walk the dogs. I’ll share a little thing I found on Pinterest* that makes our holidays extra special, in case you’d like to do it. I have cooked this stuff up three times so far and I think I will do it many more times before the holidays are over – the house smells heavenly.

Here’s what you’ll need…

a medium-sized pot or crock pot
1 tablespoon vanilla
3 cups apple cider
sliced oranges
sliced lemon
fresh cranberries (the grocery store didn’t have fresh cranberries when I wanted to do this, so I used dried ones and they worked just fine)
whole cloves
cinnamon sticks
fresh rosemary

Once you have all of your ingredients in the pot, fill it up with water all the way leaving about an inch from the top. Then pop it on your stove and let it simmer away. Within MINUTES, your entire home will be perfumed with the scent!

You can do this about 20 minutes before you have guests over. I do it when I’m all alone or just with the animals – it just makes the house smell lovely and puts me in the holiday mood.

I hope you enjoyed this little tip on how you too can make your home smell like the holidays. I’d love to know if you’ve done this before, or if your recipe is a little different from mine. Leave me a comment below or on The Bead’s Facebook page, letting me know what you do to make your house smell like holidays (and/or about your latest projects, sales events, new items, etc.!)

Until Next Time,


*Here’s the link to the original recipe: http://www.firsthomelovelife.com/2013/11/make-home-smell-like-christmas.html

Thanksgiving Day Decorating

Contributor post by Alicia of AliciasFindings

When the Holidays roll around there are always a few things we begin to think of, including: family,friends,gift buying,food and of course decorating!

The CIJ team got together and told us how they would use some of their items to decorate, from the table to the little details.

Marjorie Scenna of mscenna says:

Thanksgiving is a time for family and feasting! What’s better than a glass of wine to make a toast? With many so many folks around, having charms to distinguish the glasses is a great addition to your place settings! I have fall colored wine charms to do the trick!


Sue of HomeHolidayAssecori tells me:

Table centerpieces are daunting – you want something for the occasion but not to tall so as to obscure the person(s) across the table. The turkey centerpiece can be filled with gourds and nuts or use it as a caddy for the rolls.



Sue and Misty of shabbyshopgirls says:

We love to use “Vintage” for our Thanksgiving Table! Set yours with a vintage tablecloth and centerpieces such as these! Great conversation pieces and can be used for generations to come!


Diana of AcarrdianCards talks about:

Personalized place cards for thanksgiving tables. Can also be used to label food on a buffet.


Cindy R of PlethoraGifts lets me know:

Here are some jute webbing table setting pieces I’ve created that would be perfect for Thanksgiving!


Brooke Luallen of teandsugar says:

Great items to add to your beautiful tablescape for Thanksgiving or autumn family gatherings. The table is a place to create memories, catch up, and enjoy time with loved ones.


Rebecca G of PearlandPoppyShop spoke about:

Banners can be a festive touch!


Terry Tillman of TheFabricScore states:

This could be made into a great welcoming banner for all your Thanksgiving Day guests to see as they walk in the door!


Nautico Creations said:

This would be great on a fireplace mantle or on a side table.


Patricia and Rebecca of northandsouthshabby discussed:

he days surrounding Thanksgiving are ones filled with nostalgia and warmth. What better way to spread that cozy feeling than with some vintage shabby goodness!

Our updated Syroco Fruit Swag, a 70’s version of the traditional Thanksgiving cornucopia, is done in a neutral creamy white. It would blend in with any decor hue. A welcoming greeting on a protected doorway, wall, or even laid flat on a mantle or buffet!


Lia Russo of Ghirlandiamo told me:

I’m from Italy and Thanksgiving is not celebrated here.
I appreciated a lot your interesting comments about celebrating this holiday, also with your nice items too, that I faved with pleasure.

Anyway what I love in this period and in Thanksgiving is warm colors of decorations too.
Fot this reason I tried to be near you in spirit, by creating some fall wreaths, suitable to adorn your homes for your important holiday.

I hope you can feel that and enjoy my wreaths.


Myrna Neal of ShopOfCraftsByMyrna spoke of:

Decorative Fabric Pumpkins! Use them in so many places for your Thanksgiving entertaining…They can be used with placement cards attached at no extra charge. Then let each guest take home their individual pumpkin….Use a color scheme with all the colors of the pumpkins being the same or switch the colors around to enhance your Thanksgiving feast. Everyone enjoys a little bit of home and handmade fabric pumpkins are just that…. I make large, medium or small what ever size you like. The large sizes would be wonderful to decorate the table and the area around the table. Bring in the true colors of Thanksgiving with some live pumpkins and candles. When all brought together it brings in the warm feeling of family and home. I can smell the turkey hot in the oven, the yeast rolls, the potatoes, the gravy and the pumpkin pie!


Amy Spock of BeadsandThreadsbyAmy said:

No matter how you decorate your home for Thanksgiving, don’t forget to take a little time for yourself! Dress up, fix your hair, and take a little me time. Be sure to protect your party dress with an apron. This bleachable, color fast apron also reminds those around you to show thanks for, well, you!


So when the holidays come around don’t forget to decorate and most importantly to Have Fun!

May your Thanksgiving be filled with family, food and friends!


Small Business Holidays – Black Friday, Cyber Monday And More

Contributor post by Alicia of AliciasFindings

Every year small shop owners look forward to the sale days around Thanksgiving.

This year Black Friday is on November 28th, Small Business Saturday is November 29th and Cyber Monday is December 1st.

I asked Christmas in July members “How do these sale dates benefit your shop?”

This is what they told me….

Patricia and Rebecca of northandsouthshabby told me:

Our shop will be offering a 10% discount on all items purchased from November 28 through December 7.

This year we will be increasing our advertising about our sale on social media venues. We will be doing this before and during the sale. With all the changes on Etsy, promoting on sources other than Etsy is becoming more important.

We hope to incorporate more visuals in those ads, perhaps creating staged vignettes with our items. Right now though, that’s only an idea, and time is flying! LOL!


candy frizzell of TrueEarthDesigns said:

I think having sales on these dates gives you a chance to change your shop around and renew older pieces. It is 4 days of posting new pieces, using social media sites to bring people to your shop and sales allow you to restock (look for new gemstones). I am using Etsy on Sale for discounting my items, but also you can use a discount code for an extra discount, a push for that maybe sale, for those 4 special days.


Alicia Bell of AliciasFindings states:

Having sales on these dates helps you to find new buyers. By networking and having a sale,it gives you the ability to widen your reach to a new bunch of buyers (target market). I am using a coupon code from now thru December 1st.


So while you are enjoying the Holidays with family and friends, remember to shop Small!



#CIJCookieExchange – BUNS (kourampiedes in hellinic)

Contributor post by Alicia of AliciasFindings

Let’s Make BUNS – Recipe from Ifigeneia of fifrixtra

1. What is your recipe?


Recipe from Ifigeneia – Greece


600gr almond
600gr fresh butter
2 egg yolks
225gr isugar
900gr flour
1 cup brandy or liqueur
3 vanillas
flower water
icing sugar
you cut almonds in big pieces and you fry them.
Mix all the materials together and bake them 10 minutes at 180 C.
As they are hot, sprinkle them with flour , water and icing sugar or if you prefer with chocolate! they are ready!



Buns And Holiday Goodies

Buns And Holiday Goodies

2. What is it about this cookie that you love?

They are very easy and they taste like mamy!!!

3. How did you learn to make this cookie?

It’s my mothers recipe.

4. Please share a story or memory to go along with the cookie.

The first Christmas with my daughter she was 10 months and she dragged herself in the sitting room to take 2 of them! One in each hand!!

5. What are your social media sites?

Χριστίνα Άνθη φυτά

Handmade Felt Christmas Ornaments From fifirixtra

Handmade Felt Christmas Ornaments From fifirixtra

Craft Shows – The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

Contributor post by Alicia of AliciasFindings

I recently asked a few members of Team Christmas in July about their experiences with craft shows. They had a lot of tips and tricks, as well as advice.

The Good:

Amy Spock of BeadsandThreadsbyAmy says:

1) My husband (reluctantly) agreed to help me. Crowds are not really his thing as he’d rather be on his boat, but I was really glad he was there. His muscle and his ability to cram every inch of the back of an empty truck with tables, display items, and product were invaluable! He was also able to run to a nearby store to grab what we forgot at home.

2) I met some wonderful people who have since hired me for custom work. I even embroidered the sails of a boat!

3) Starting out small was a great idea! I made a list of do’s and dont’s, and will refer to it for my next show.

4) I landed next to a lady that had been doing craft fairs for 30 years. I listened up to her advice!


Marjorie Scenna of MissScena says:

I did a few craft shows last year and then did 4 this past fall, right before the holidays. I really enjoy the interactions and conversations with the customers as well as fellow crafters. I took a peek at some great ideas for the future as well.

What I brought that was helpful:

-A small box of tools that I could use to make repairs/adjustments to my jewelry
-Some beads, wire and supplies to make something – people like to see what you are doing
-I used plastic storage containers for my supplies that stacked and were able to load them into large shopping/tote bags – made carrying easier
-Printed a bunch of labels/signs with prices and descriptions to attach to my displays, some I also put in small frames on the tables
-I invested in a banner from Vistaprint – it was eye catching
– I practiced my set up and displays at home first, took pictures at each show
– I had friends and co-workers stop by, made it fun but also caused others to stop by as the table was “busy”

While I didn’t make much money, mostly only broke even, I gave out a lot of cards and got great feedback from the people who did purchase. I also took note of what I sold the most of and what prices those items were. I do plan to do some more this spring to see what happens. Being in the Boston area, the weather definitely has an impact on turnout!


Rebecca Jimenez of SouthernTrend says:

I have only done one craft fair for a couple of years and a nightclub a few times when I sponsored an event they were having. I have done really well at both considering at the craft fair I only had a 6 foot table and an even smaller table at the nightclub.

Because the “booths” were small set up and tear down was very easy and interacting with people at both types of events was great!!!

Since I had done so well there I thought this year I would up my game!! A friend of mine suggested I try selling at a bike rally (motorcycles….bikers). I looked it up and signed up for an 8×10 booth. I knew I didn’t have enough inventory to fill it up by myself so I incorporated some other things people I know make and (sigh) bought some “filler” items.

I was pretty disappointed but I learned a lot. I did make my booth money back plus some extra and got some great feed back from people as to what they were looking for in handmade items as well as items to purchase to re-sell.

Set up and tear down was AWEFUL!! I got there and had three hrs to set up!! I barely made it. I have to figure out a faster way to set my jewelry out!! That’s what got me. I’m gonna be investing in some stackable trays!!
Biker rally’s are WAAAAAY different from a craft fair!! LOL!!
For now I did have to buy some biker related merchandise because I foolishly signed up for 4 more through out the year!! LOL!! I have already started planning on what I can make that is geared to this particular fun bunch of folks!!
Things in black or made out of leather are on the list FOR SURE!!
I think also that at any event you go to people want to get to know you. The second time I go back to every event I do better than before.
Give an event a second chance….change your inventory or at least add something new and try to be different from the other vendors!!
I can sleep and craft better now that I have purchased the biker inventory I know will sell till I replace it with hand made items.
Still ….learning….I’ll let ya know how it goes at the next one I go to!! LOL!!


The Bad:

Jennifer Loftfield of CaffeinatedPapercuts says:

Oh boy, get comfortable; I’ve been doing craft shows for 3 years now and grew up a ‘craft show brat’ as my mother did them with her fabric goods. I’ve seen the good, the bad, and the offensive when it comes to table setups, buyers, and sellers though mostly it’s good.

The worst was a first-time show that had a bad location, poor planning, and evidently all the wrong kinds of advertising. We had maybe 12 people come through all day and half the vendors packed up and left! I barely made my table fee back, but it did help reintroduce me to the world of shows and teach me to be a good sport. Was the show horrible? Sure, but the coordinator appreciated the fact that I actually stayed to the end. I may never attend one of her shows again, but we parted on good terms.

The best was my second big holiday show; I was on the wait-list and got the call 6pm the night before, as I was leaving my first big show, that I was in! I left the car packed, refilled what I could, and set out the next morning. The best all day was when I woman noticed I took Visa and proceeded to hand me nearly $100 worth of cards and stocking stuffers because of it! I still do those two shows, back-to-back, every year and they’re still the best.

I have found, for my products, that the best time of year for me to do shows is the holiday season; I start in November and end the second week of December. That said, the year I tried a spring show is when I realized I needed to diversify my stock; removing all of the holiday cards left my table nearly empty!

Amy Spock of BeadsandThreadsbyAmy says:

1) The weather was TERRIBLE. We almost wrecked three times getting there, and, in retrospect, should have turned around and gone home.

2) Due to the weather, set up and tear down was difficult. Also, turnout wasn’t great.

What I learned:
1) To set up and tear down at home first. I mean EVERYTHING. Tables, table cloths, merchandise on displays, everything. I will play with it at home and find the perfect arrangement, take pictures, then setup in the display area using the pictures as a guide.

2) Take plenty of merchandise and create a custom order form for people to use and pay a deposit there.

3) Remember a phone charger to use Square or other credit card on my phone, and have a charged phone at all times.

4) Take a long extension cord. I paid for electricity that I couldn’t use because the outlet was too far away.

5) Have a variety of merchandise with a full booth. Take cards and give them out. Some of them find their way into the circular file cabinet, but some will lead to sales. You can offer a discount code for future orders, if you’d like to track your on-line sales after the show.

6) We sat in front of the table, then moved behind the table. We had a lot more traffic (and sales) behind the table.

7) HAVE FUN! Talk with the other vendors during slow times, mingle, talk with the coordinators, and smile the whole time. Be sure you pay attention to other vendor’s booths to get ideas for setup and marketing (NOT PRODUCTS).

8) Be selective. If you sell handmade, I would recommend a juried show that you apply to be a part of. Being next to an Avon booth was very smelly all day! Visit the fair first, if possible, to get a sense of customer base and what they are buying.

9) Did I mention have fun? That’s really important!


The Ugly:

RosesWorkshop says:

Today I was a visitor at what seemed to be the worst show I have ever seen, and I’m very glad I didn’t have a table there. Most of the problems seemed to be related to the venue – it was in a casino!

Apparently there are restrictions on advertising a casino; that meant no posters or signs outside. I only knew the fair was on because one of the sellers told me last week.

Then of course anyone who wanted to attend had to prove they were over 18, so no families could come in even if they found it. Anyone who got past security then had to get past the slot machines and the bar to find the area allocated to the “craft fair”.

The sellers had tables provided – they were those bean shaped card tables with raised edges. Can you imagine the fun laying out your stock on that? And they were still in two lines down the room, so each seller was looking at the back of the head of the next seller; pretty hard to chat to your neighbour while waiting for a customer.

How many people do you think go out on a wet Sunday lunchtime to the casino and actually have the intention and money to buy handmade cards or baby cardigans?

My commiserations to all those stallholders on their wasted day.


What it all boils down to:

Jennifer of CaffeinatedPapercuts says:

-what sells best online may not be what sells best in person. My cards are barely touched on Etsy to where I don’t even list them all anymore, but fly off the rack at shows. Conversely, my chevron tags aren’t touched at shows and are my best seller online. Listen to the crowd and see where you can grow your product line.
-accept credit cards. Both PayPal and Square have inexpensive fees and encourages people to buy the bigger items they don’t have the cash for.
-when possible, attend a craft show before you vend at it to get a feel for the crowd, the atmosphere, and to see if they’re truly handmade only or if they’re overrun by Avon and Shush shoes.
-don’t buy one of those craft show site subscriptions, just get on Google and go. Does your church/community center/school do a show every year? Start emailing them for applications!
-make your table inviting, not too cluttered, and reflect your business image. Pinterest is full of boards that involve beautiful and thrifty booth setups, and be sure to do some mock setups at home first.
-Etsy has a wonderful Craft Fair team that everyone is welcome to come read for tips, tricks, and comical vents.
-do bring a buddy when possible, or at least have one stop by around lunch. After all, we all need potty breaks!

I greatly enjoy doing craft shows, being able to interact with my customers, and bringing in some extra sales offline. And hey, they’re great exercise! LOL


It is a lot of fun to be a vendor in a craft show,but it also takes dedication and hard work. Have a good time and a great show!