Tips To Make Your Arts & Crafts Show Booth—Big Or Small—Look Great

Three Jewelry Artists Share What Works For Them

NOTE: This article is part of Blue Buddha’s series: Behind the Scenes at a Craft Fair. Check out the other articles for even more advice on how to rock your show!

So you’ve been accepted into a craft show – yay you! But now what? You want your booth to rock and show off all your hard work but maybe you’re not quite sure how to do that. How many tables should I get? Do I need curtains? What about displays? It’s enough to make your head spin.

The truth is, finding the perfect booth setup takes a good amount of trial and error and what works at one show might not work at another. That said, you can learn a lot by asking other artists and even making the rounds during a break – seeing what ideas you like (and might want to steal!) and noticing what doesn’t seem to work. Below, we asked 3 show veterans to share their tips for making their craft show booths rock. We hope this helps show newbies get an idea of what they need to get started.

Have questions? Leave them in the comments or shoot us an email at [email protected]. Happy Showing!


Elemental Art Jewelry

Setting up your both….when you need to fill a 10′ x 10′ Booth (click photos for larger views)

Kat-display01 Kat-display02

To make my booth my own, I use curtains that match my logo colors and touch the ground all along the back wall. They are weighted own with zinc dowel rods to keep them straight and not flying around in the wind. I also have front curtains. These go a long way to creating a warm, inviting entrance – like having your own little shop window among the many vendors! I attach these curtains to the front poles of the tent so they don’t blow in the wind either.

For jewelry display, I use three 6ft tables and three 15″ x 15″ black display pedestals with varying heights. I have one 6′ x 2′ vinyl banner

In leatherette displays I have:
25 white & 25 black neckforms
8 white half moon bracelet displays
2 white t-bar and 2 black t-bar displays
6 black metal earring racks
2 acrylic/black earring spinners

Everything is arranged by color fade and not collection. I used to group it by collection but realized that I could sell a lot more by organizing it by color groups– which worked! I have a small section dedicated to sale items in the back of the booth. In the front on one side, I put one large mannequin with a hat, belt and large long necklaces. In the front on the opposite side, I lead with my Rubber Bloom collection. These are really bright and colorful rubber & enameled copper pendants, earrings & rings that have a low price point. I usually sell out of these at every show, so it seems to be working. I have around 150 pairs of earrings at each show as those always sell the best. I have more bracelets than pendants out usually.

Visit Elemental Art Jewelry’s page on Facebook, Twitter feed or website for more!



Lovestruck Jewelry

Setting up your both….when you’ve only got a table. (click photo for larger view)

Sara-boothSince I usually only have room for one table at most of the shows I do, I find “building up” a good technique. I bought the silver wire rack in the middle from Target. It was the perfect size for my necklace displays…which tend to have the most “wow” factor, and draws a lot of attention. I can also hang earring cards from the rack’s edges to bring more attention to earrings, which are sometimes skimmed over. Since some of my displays are tall and can hide other items, I found this to be a great solution. It also allows me a little more flexibility to arrange my table and fit everything on it!

Visit Lovestruck Jewelry’s page on Facebook, Twitter feed or website for more!




Do Bats Eat Cats

Setting up your both….when your space is somewhere in the middle. (click photos for larger views)

darlene_booth acen2013

If I get an actual booth space (i.e., not just one table), I usually like to set up my tables in a “U” or “L” shape, to maximize the space I’ve been given. Sometimes, though, shoppers seem unwilling to step INTO a booth rather than just walking past it. So I always put something really eye-catching at the end of the “U” or “L,” right at the aisle where shoppers are walking by. You want it to be right in their face so it gets their attention, even if they’re just doing a quick scan! This is usually my Goth Tree, covered in ornaments, if I’m doing a holiday show. It’s tall, black, and silver and most people haven’t ever seen a black tree before so it gets noticed! I often put my gridwall of earrings right at the aisle too, because they’re a best-seller for me and there’s just something about a big cube covered in shiny, sparkly things that seems to make women stop and look.

I am unnaturally in love with this portable and collapsible gridwall for displaying earrings, which I’ve been using for about a year now at my shows. You can arrange it any way you want and get a great deal of height from it, without having to haul big displays. (I don’t have a car so compact displays that I can carry onto public transportation is key!) I clip my earring cards to the grid. Best of all — it has proven to be windproof during outdoor shows, especially if I C-clamp it to my table. No more flying earrings when it gets stormy! You can get it at Target or other stores that sell home organization stuff.

You’ll see as the show progresses how people are moving through your booth and what they are noticing and buying (or not). Be flexible with your display — what worked at one show might not work as well at another (you can see how my both layout is different in each picture above), and it’s totally OK to rearrange or move things in the middle of a show. If you’ve got a normally popular item that isn’t selling, try moving it to another part of the booth — closer to the aisle, farther away, near a different item. People might not be seeing it, for whatever reason.

Visit Do Bats Eat Cats’ page on Facebook, Twitter feed or website for more!


Have a great hint that we didn’t mention? Share it in the comments below! It’s great to learn what works in different parts of the country and the world :)

This article is part of Blue Buddha’s series: Behind the Scenes at a Craft Fair.

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6 Comments on "Tips To Make Your Arts & Crafts Show Booth—Big Or Small—Look Great"

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8 years 5 months ago

How about a display for artist with glassware in a 8×8… I also paint on canvas….how to arrange. I usually have a tent for outdoors. Struggling to setup indoors

Pamela Conley
8 years 7 months ago

I’m always worried about people stealing. How do you keep an eye on everything and still serve the customer?

8 years 7 months ago

Ooo, this is a great question and a perfect topic for a follow-up blog post! In the meantime, I’ll say that usually I am not too concerned about theft. I’ve been lucky and have only had a few things walk off in the 10+ years I’ve been doing shows. Anything that is highly valuable, I pin down, so people can’t easily pocket it (they’d have to take the entire display, which would be pretty obvious). And I also make sure to greet everyone and look them in the eye. If someone is per-meditating theft, they’ll usually have a suspicious air about them, and then I will watch those people like a hawk!

Debbie Clews
8 years 9 months ago

What great idea’s. thanks for sharing. I’m a newbie and these suggestions really helped.

Karen Motta
10 years 9 months ago

Love ideas for setting-up. I agree that what works at one show may not be ok for another. I have necklace displays, bracelet too, and I also use picture frames to which I have replaced glass with satin fabric that is padded w/ pillow stuffing. My eye-catching display is large glass vase that I fill w/ glass pebbles to hold my twig, lighted display where the branches hold necklaces. That always attracts customers. I use scented flameless candles for soothing atmosphere. Now I am going to take picture frames to which I have replaced glass with lace curtain material and will hang earrings. Different size frames works well. This way a customer isn’t overwhelmed w/ so many designs in one space.

10 years 11 months ago

My booth display tips were featured on the Blue Buddha Boutique blog. Since that photo in the article was taken…