Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Repurpose, reuse - DIY Displays

I have added a few display ideas for shows. If you are doing a craft fair or art show, these are some fun ideas using repurposed items from your home.

I like to give a feel of creativity or an artistic flare to my booths. It seems that when people are shopping, they are looking for something different. Something to draw them in. Let's face it, there are a million stringers out there. Set your booth apart from all the other vendors and it will also set your product apart.

If your booth allows you to have the real estate to get big and creative go for it. If not, keep those creative display ideas to a minimum and use them to 'show case' your best items.

Shutter earring display.

There are two types to consider. If you are at an outside event, have tables and a tent, use the plastic stutters. You can run ribbon thru the top slot and tie them to the supports of the tent and use a C clamp to secure them to the edge of your table - here is a picture from my former business and how the plastic shutters worked in our booth. -

I have completely revamped my business model since those days, but this gives you and idea how you can incorporate it into your outside booth.

Wooden shutters are heavier and won't clamp as easy to a table. Use folding chairs for your base, covering them with cloth. Set the chairs at the end of the tables and set the shutter in the chair. The chairs will support the shutters and make the front of your booth inviting. This shutter was used at a local gallery for my earrings that were for sale. The gallery owner painted it the great shade of purple. I love setting these at the front of my booth. they just scream "COME ON IN!"

Here is the shutter with the earring cards. Don't pack the shutter, leave some spaces. Let the customer breath while they are shopping instead of having so many choices. It can be over whelming. You dont' have to have all of your inventory out for display to secure a sale. Sometimes less is more. Watch your customers. If you notice a customer pausing at a few differnt items, ask them if they are looking for anything in particutlar. You may have some more stashed for back ups.

The shopping experience is so much more relaxed when they are spaced and easy to get to.

See how the cards thread thru the slats to help anchor them.

Pendant displays.

Lets talk repurpose again - use an old frame, floral foam or packing foam, material and glue. Forgive me for not documenting as I made it, the thought came later. It is pretty self explainitory.

Cut the foam about an inch smaller than the glass in the frame. Cover the foam with material securing the material to the foam with glue. Now glue the material covered foam to the glass of the frame.

VI-OH-LA! A pendant display. Now you can secure your pendants to the foam with a stick pin, and it will set up anywhere!

Bracelet displays -

Old bottles are great show cases for bracelets. you don't want to put stacks of them down the neck, it will hide the bottom pieces and make them harder to get at if a customer wants to try them on. Use the bottles to present 1 or 2 of your better pieces - be prepared to be offered money for the bottles too :)

Wire baskets can also be great for bracelet displays. Once set up, there is no need ot tear them down.

I have seen these baskets in varying sizes everwhere - Wal Mart, Dollar General, Target, and even at The Dollar Store. They are a great little investment that won't set you back.

Stand it on it's end and the handle becomes a brace for the display. Attach the bracelets onto the wire. This also can act as security. They are harder to lift if the toggle has to be fiddled with to get it off the display.

You can use several of them and color co ordinate your displays by keeping similar bracelets together.

I'll have my booth set up with all these ideas and more implemented. I'll take more pictures and show you how it all comes together.


  1. Thanks! These are all great suggestions - would definitely use the shutter idea if I did a lot of earrings - I don't have enough to fill a small display yet. Love the bottles - will have to start collecting, and the wire basket idea - shows how one needs to think outside the box (and around normal perception of what's up and what's down).

  2. I agree! Great ideas!! The pendant display is cool (not to mention some of those pendants, wow!)

    When I was doing shows, a good bit of the fun for me was coming up with different ideas for displays. We would always take note of the jewelry tables that were getting more customers than others and think about how we could incorporate new ideas for the next one. I have had an epiphany since then that I wanted to share... No matter how much traffic comes through a show, the other vendors are customers that are always going to be there. I wish I had given more thought about preparing some things with them in mind such as simple kits with instructions. Lots of knitters, sewers, etc. who are sitting around for a couple of days might like to try a new craft if it seems simple and doesn't require a lot of tools or skills. This is just an idea, not a tried and true strategy, but thought I would mention it.

  3. brilliant idea Lisa - i love it. thanks for sharing that. a lot of the fun at shows is getting to know new ppl and their craft. it is fun to visit and share expierences.

    i am gonna roll that one around a bit. i think i can do something like that.

    and Dawno - i do have a tendency to *squint* at the world around me :)