I am going to do a 3 part series on setting up a craft show booth on the cheap. Craft shows can be quite the investment – not only in your supplies and time, but in all of the little odds and ends it takes to make your booth/table look warm and inviting so customers want to stop and look at (and buy!) your items. This is part 1 – easy DIY Craft Show Displays.
Surprisingly, I haven’t done many craft shows in my day – in fact, I’ve only ever done one and it was pretty much a flop, so I’ve steered clear of them ever since. But since moving to a new area, I want to get my name out there, both with my metal stamping (Etsy shop) and my Photography business, so I’ve decided to try out some local craft shows. I really don’t plan on selling much since my metal stamping consists mainly of custom, personalized, work, and I really just want to show some samples of my photography and hand out business cards for both. However, I will need a way of displaying my work, and I really didn’t want to break the bank because you never know what kind of return a craft show investment will yield!
My solution? Goodwill (or your favorite thrift shop of choice!). I went in with the intent of spending no more than $25 to find some unique display ideas. I was very open to refinishing or repurposing items, so I spent nearly an hour in there combing through the housewares department. I ended up spending $29, which is pretty darn close! I’ll share more of what I purchased in the next two installments of my series, but these displays were so easy and so quick, I decided to start with them!
For this display, I purchased two of these Anne Geddes style photographs (for just $1.99 each!). What’s inside the frame doesn’t matter – the frame itself is what matters, and I loved the vintage, classic style of this cream colored frame. The opening is 8×10, which is a perfect size for my jewelry. You can go larger, but I wouldn’t recommend any smaller than 8×10.
In addition to your frame, you’ll also need some 1/2 foam, burlap (or fabric of your choice) and a hot glue gun. The amount of foam and fabric will depend on how many frames you are making, and their size, but figure on about just less than 1/2 yard of fabric for every 2 frames, and 8 inches of foam for every 8×10 frame.
To begin, clean your frame (or repaint if desired!), and dismantle it. You can discard the glass and photo (or if you’re like me, hold on to the glass, because you never know when you’ll need it!). You will need the backing, or a piece of cardboard the size of your opening.
Cut the foam slightly smaller than the backing (so for my 8×10 frame, I cut my foam 7 3/4 x 9 3/4) and cut the fabric 3 inches wider and longer (mine was 11×13). Glue the foam to the backing. Lay your fabric or burlap onto a flat surface, right side down. Lay the backing on top of the fabric, foam side down. Begin wrapping the fabric around the foam and backing like you would re-upholster a piece of furniture – I start in the opposite corners, placing a blob of hot glue, wrapping the fabric down and holding until cool. Complete with the other two corners, making sure you pull taut.
When all four corners are secure, begin wrapping and gluing the edges in the same manner.
When all of the glue is dry, re-assemble the frame, and use straight pins to hold your jewelry at your next craft show!