To prepare plenty of handmade items for a craft fair, you need to be ready to make a commitment of time, as well as money. Keeping your designs simple will enable you to mass produce your items in a relatively short amount of time. As I stated in my covered legal pad video, even the non-embellished legal pads have sold very well for me at craft fairs.
All the items you make should be high-quality, unique gift items. I find that most of my craft fair customers are searching for gifts for teachers, co-workers, kids, the postman, etc. They want something inexpensive, but impressive. When you are thinking of projects to make, consider what you would like to give and receive at the holidays.
Some items to consider:
- Greeting Cards
- Candy gifts
- Altered Office Supplies
- Home Decor Pieces
- "Soups" and "Poops" (see below)
- Mini Scrapbooks
- Games for kids
- Paper Dolls
As far as how many of each to make, that will depend on the size of the show that you are doing. If it is a show that I am not familiar with, I try to make 6-12 of each item....not too many and not too much. If you sell out of an item, you can display a sample and take orders to make more. I always love it when that happens!
You'll also want to take into consideration the type of show that you will be participating in, and what price points those craft fair customers tend to expect. I have one show that I always sell out of items that are priced at $5 or less. At another show, I can't give those same items away. Those customers want items priced at $20 or more.
It can be challenging to determine a price on your handmade items. Many times, we as crafters tend to undervalue our work. However, if you price your items too high, it will be difficult, if not impossible to move your items.
A common pricing strategy that I often hear is to double the cost of your supplies. You might also want to consider giving yourself an hourly wage. I'm going to use the example of the covered legal pads again.
- I purchased 12 junior legal pads and 12 RSVP pens for $8.89.....that means that each set costs me approximately 75 cents. Add on the paper and adhesive costs, and the total cost to make each covered legal pad comes to $1.75 without embellishments.
- Using the double supply cost strategy, I would charge $3.50 for a simple covered legal pad, and up to $5 for a heavily embellished legal pad.
- It takes me approximately 7 minutes to make one of the simple covered legal pads. I give myself an hourly wage of $20 an hour (33 cents/minute). Using this strategy I would add the $2.33 wage to the supply cost of $1.75 to come up with a total cost of $4.08.
I will generally use a combination of both strategies to set my prices. I will sell the simple legal pads this year for $4 each and the embellished legal pads will sell for $5.
A tool that I use to keep track of the cost of my consumable supplies is the cost analysis spreadsheet available on SUDSOL. It is definitely worth the price of membership to have access to this resource. SUDSOL is a website for Stampin' UP! demonstrators that are business-minded and you can sign up for a free trial by clicking below.
Buy items such as legal pads & pens while they are on sale. Always be on the lookout for a bargain! You may also want to check out sites such as Freecycle to see if you can find items to alter. Today's project is a great example of how to use your recycled items to create a great gift that people will want to buy.
For this project, I filled an empty Starbucks frapuccino bottle with cocoa mix and topped it with mini marshmallows. I cut a square of the Candy Cane Designer Fabric with the Big Shot and Scallop Square die. The fabric covers the lid and was tied with a 1" x 12" strip of fabric. The cute tag was made using the Candy Cane designer series paper and A Cute Christmas stamp set.
You can do an online search for snowman soup recipes and you'll find lots of good cocoa recipes and poems that will work for this project.
An item that sells good for me during the months of September and October is pumpkin poop. You can also find poems online for snowman poop, reindeer poop, and more. All of these are quick,easy, and make great gifts.
I am attaching two files here, so that you can easily make your own poop. The first is the template to make the box, and the second is a sheet of the pumpkin poop poems that will fit perfectly inside your box.
This is a close-up of the inside of the box. I bought the small packages of candy corn at Wal-Mart.
The box is made from Basic Black cardstock and measures about 2-1/2" square. I layered 2-1/4" squares of Ghostly Greetings DSP on the lid.
The pumpkins and the pumpkin faces were created with Sizzix dies and the Big Shot. I added the wiggly eyes for fun.
On Wednesday, I'll have another great project for you and more craft fair tips. Be sure to subscribe to receive email updates, so you don't miss anything.