In the second instalment of our Christmas Craft Fair tale, we take a close look at the to do list, on the run up to the event. Now that the excitement has calmed down a bit, I’m starting to wonder, in the manner of Chief Brody, if I may indeed need a bigger car.
I am THAT person, when it comes to Christmas. You all know a her, that one friend who starts chucking tinsel about before Halloween is even over. I literally cannot get enough of Christmas. The atmosphere, the excitement. The Dolly Parton and Kenny Rodgers Christmas album is already lined up on the playlist! (trust me, you are missing out).
So it was no great surprise that my idea of a Christmas craft fair stall was a cross between Santa’s grotto and Lapland itself. Luckily, I had Rachel on the end of the phone, to bring me back down to earth.
Reign it in Dear
Rachel reminded me that there will be customers, possibly children, hurtling around in the hall. This raises all kinds of concerns, regarding stall safety. Candles, sparkly draping decorations and table gems, just no. All of that Christmas clutter was a health and safety disaster in the making.
No, the stall had to be chic, stylish and professional, with minimal clutter and absolutely nothing that could catch fire or be shoved up a tiny nostril. I quickly deleted the adult elf costume from my shopping cart, and we set about looking for sensible stall essentials.
So began the debate on tablecloths. Who would have thought that this alone, would be such an important topic. Most Craft Fairs will expect you to store all of your stock and packaging boxes underneath the table.
You will therefore want a nice long cloth, to cover up the backstage area, whilst also taking into serious consideration the safety. You don’t want people tripping up on your fancy fabrics, so after some research, we decided on a cloth that stretches over the table legs, to ensure maximum mess coverage, with minimal trip hazard.
The Costs begin to Add up
It’s all the little things. The endless little details that you don’t think about. We ended up buying two tablecloths, one hanging and one stretchy as we had no idea if the stretchy one would fit the table provided at the event. This could have easily become 4, if we had not firmly agreed on the colour.
If you’re selling at craft fairs alone, I would highly advise a cloth that matches your brand colours, which will make you stand out from the crowd. Sharing the space requires a more neutral approach, and black or white tends to cover it.
Don’t forget to pack chairs, the more comfy the better. As the list grows, I suddenly realise that, after major surgery, I’m probably going to need some form of wheelie trolley, to get my stock into the event. We’ve been lucky, but not all venues have a free car park. This can have huge implications, when it comes to lugging your stock about.
As most of my stock is glass, I purchased 2 of those super sturdy “Very Useful” boxes, to go in my trolley. These will get me and my stock from car park to stall in three trips, and in one piece. Then we can move Rachel and her crochet creations in a similar fashion.
We’ve both spent hours measuring our car interiors, planning the packing and organising the stock. It almost feels like I’m moving home again.
You will also need to think about how your customers will take away their purchases. We’ve both purchased sturdy gift bags for the event too.
Shopping List So Far…
Our combined costs so far are starting to look like Santa’s naughty list!
- Stall fee – £30
- Insurance £50
- Trolley – £68
- Really useful boxes x 4 – £60
- Tablecloths x2 – £78
- Chair x1 – £17
- Bags for customers – £45
GRAND TOTAL – a whopping £348!
In the next instalment, we get onto the subject of money, but right now, I think I need a stiff gin!
To be Continued……
Have your Say
Any input, advise or recommendations would be very welcome. What do you use? Can you recommend a way to do this cheaper? Have we forgotten anything (I am almost 100% sure we have!) Share your expertise below
4 thoughts on “A tale of Two Tablecloths”
Things to add are a £30.00 twig tree for displaying Christmas ornaments. 2 wooden crates £16.00
Upfront Costs for materials to make products
I am sure like you I have forgotten something, .
Good grief! I like the tree though, as it’s great for product photography 🙂
A small folding table to put behind your main display table acts as a handy space for wrapping your sales, writing notes/receipts etc. Doing a few odd jobs behind the stall helps the more shy customers to approach without feeling like you’re staring at them!
You know what, this is a fantastic idea! Never crossed my mind……… I’m on it!