I am planning to make some items to sell at craft shows this fall to make some extra money. Has anyone done this before? Any advice on what sells well? I was thinking of making some baby quilts, receiving blankets, baby bibs, and maybe some Christmas table runners. I know I have to take a lot of inventory, but as expensive as fabric is, I don't want to waste too much money or time. Help!!!!
Hi, Lilos mom! Around CHRISTMAS make it RED and GREEN, and especially, maybe, make a few Christmas stockings - just the right size to fit the baby bibs and other things that you sew, in. (boy, was that a split infinitive, or what!?) Anyway, little things that relatives and friends would scarf up because they don't have the time to sew it, and it would also look "home made" for that special touch. Other than making jelly preserves of some kind, that should do it. I hope your craft fairs are at churches and free to set up your booth, because that in itself is a lot of money to shell out. Maybe look up some of last year's vendors, and ask them how much they put out as compared to how much they take in, and that should give you the best idea. I know when I lived for a short time in California, craft shows were great in making money! They all support their "local starving artists" - but out here in Colorado we tend to get the "looky-loos" - those people who cruise, but never buy, because they want to see what they can go home to make for themselves.
wool sells well, go to a thrift store on their half off sale and stock up on woolen clothes, cut them apart, throw them in a hot washer and dryer to felt them, cut the wool remnants into the same sized pieces, roll them together in prettty bundles and tie with a ribbon. put them in a pretty basket. you can have these among the items you make to sell. these fly out the door like hot cakes when they are priced right, they're easy and cheap to make. you'ld be surpriosed at how small of pieces people will buy.
gini in north idaho
I have found that the small items sell better. Specially this last year. People come with limited money and few are prepared to spend a lot. I wouldn't make anything bigger than a baby blanket or tree skirt, and not many of those. Christmas table runners are nice.
Another item might be a christmas ornament, especially ones that you can perhaps put a child's name on it when the item is purchased.
One thing you need to take into consideration is the copyright of the items you will be making. It is against the law to make something from a commercial pattern to re-sell unless you get permission from the person who owns the copyright. You can sell as many items as you wish of your own design but you cannot legally take a commercial pattern, make a dozen items from the pattern and sell them. As a person who has published in the past I get very frustrated when people disregard copyright laws. It is also not legal for a quilt shop or individual to teach a class using a book or pattern without the copyright owner's permission even if you require the students to buy a copy of the pattern or book.
This is just a friendly warning so please be careful. Patterns that were written before 1950 are no longer under these rules and you can make as many as you wish.
I would consult some of the vendors from last year to see how they did (like was suggested before), I hate to be the stick in the mud, but craft fairs are not the money maker they once were. I have made baby stuff (it was the theme in my booth) thinking, "who can resist baby items?" People ALWAYS need a shower gift, right? WRONG! I have been doing it for 3 years now, just trying to get rid of the inventory I had made up. I finally gave up doing the small church fairs as the booth prices were outrageous for just a few hours of time (too many "looky-loos"). This year I started doing the larger county festivals the are held over several days and I finally broke even and made enough to pay for my booth.
On the other hand, that same inventory I put on my website and it has been selling like hotcakes, espically my hooded towels. If I hadn't had some success on my website, I probably would have donated it to the local crisis pregnacy center.
Hope this helps!
Hmm well I have not had any luck on any of three places I posted my lap size quilts lol. So thank you for the information on the craft fairs and not making it there either that saved me from even going down that road. Although we have flea markets here as well and tons of people go there the main ones not the lil church ones. I had a few pople say the wanted my butterfly quilt but did not buy so I know how that goes just from yardsellr or etsy also posted on craigs. Still no buyers in about 3 weeks oh well pretty cheap to put them up there to try though.