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What are the Most Popular Items at Craft Shows?

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Are you looking for what to sell at craft shows to make money? Or perhaps wondering if your creations are already in demand? Maybe you just want to expand your horizons a bit and don’t want to risk wasting time and money on a product that may not sell. There are several popular craft show items that are universal and others that are more regional in nature.
*New* Be sure to check out my latest post “Best Selling Crafts for 2018” and “Top Color Trends for Crafts 2018” for the most up-to-date information.

Research is always your friend of course, but here are what we’ve found to be the most popular items at craft shows.

Popular Craft Show Items

When looking for the most popular crafts there are a few things I like to do. First is to check out Etsy’s list of popular items. Peering through these can give you ideas of what people are currently buying. This doesn’t mean you should copy other sellers directly! Use this for some inspiration though and consider how you might create something similar with your own spin.

Perhaps you look and notice that owls are currently all the rage, so you crochet up a few owl hats or something.  Owls actually are very popular right now. I have been a collector for years, and I notice they have really been popping up everywhere the last several months. Foxes are another animal theme I’ve seen popping up in many locations.

Other motifs I’ve see are sugar skulls which are super cute for the Autumn season. Upcycled projects like redone windows and mirrors.  Handmade cards are also popular.  Pumpkin Spice anything in the Fall is all the rage right now. Vintage photos or things made with them are also very popular.

Also, you want to pay attention to your region. Many areas, like my local St. Louis area for example, are extreme sports fans. In my area things with Cardinal birds on them sell well.

Also, some towns may have their own niche markets. If your town is known for something specific; you may want to work that into a theme as well. It’s a good idea to walk through some local markets and pay attention to the craft booths that have the most action.  I live near Old Route 66 – that’s a very common theme here and a good seller in tourist areas.

There are also some classic items that do well. Jewelry is one of these items; however the market is extremely saturated, so if you are considering doing jewelry, you need to have your own unique spin on it to make it profitable. Perhaps focus on jewelry with a purpose (like healing stones, or customizable jewelry)

Wreaths and Porch/Yard Decor are everywhere.  I’ve seen a lot of stair railings, repurposed and painted into statues, reclaimed wood turned into signs and wreaths are a very saturated market.

Fairy Gardens and Succulents.  Succulent plants can be placed into a variety of interesting containers and they are easy to grow and maintain. Fairy gardens are very popular in the Midwest right now.

Soap and bath and body products also do well. This is another market that tends to be a bit crowded, but if you do your own spin on it by developing some specialty products; it can be very successful.

Other items that seem to do well are aprons. I’ve seen a few custom apron ladies in our local area, some who also do doll and baby clothes and they are always busy. Aprons are fairly inexpensive for materials and not all that difficult to sew (or so I understand) and there are so many ways to customize them to local tastes and popular themes.

Hair bows and headbands are cute as well. A lot of younger crafty mommies are making these and they are really adorable. Like aprons, you can customize and do fun themes. Tutus are very saturated, but I’m starting to see less of those, so it may not be a good investment.

Dog treats and pet supplies are good sellers. People love their pets and they will often part with money to pamper their pooch before themselves.

Personalized items are also very popular. If you can etch, woodburn, metal stamp or otherwise create a customizable item, people really enjoy that. Those kinds of items will always be in demand.

If you do a business like this; it’s best to have an online presence as well where customers can order from you outside of a show. Be sure to hand out lots of business cards or literature.

Need more inspiration? Follow my Pinterest board of popular crafts
Follow Christin Sander's board Popular Crafts to Sell on Pinterest.

 

Thanks for dropping by.  Hopefully this list of the most popular craft show items has given you some inspiration.  Save

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Comments 16

  • I make concrete leaf reliefs and various concrete items. As they are heavy. Is a craft show a viable place to try to sell? Will i need to hire a deliver to your car guy?

    • Hi Carol,

      A craft show may be a viable place to sell but you’ll have to make some adjustments. A flatbed dolly to move your items from your vehicle to your space will be essential. Also, be sure to tell your promoter to put you in a place that is easy to access such as near a door or closer to the parking area. Many craft fairs have people who will help you, but not all. For example, band booster craft fairs in high schools almost always have the kids volunteering.

      Do you have anyone who could help you load your car to drive to the venue? Are you able to lift them at all? or perhaps use a dolly to get them from your home to the vehicle?

      Another idea might be to take a select few pieces and then have a book with images of the rest you offer and try to set up orders that way so that people can come pick them up. If I were you, I’d honestly maybe look for a shop where you could consign your items over doing craft fairs, or maybe a mix of both, but that’s a lot of hard work with really heavy things.

  • I was in the craft business for years, making papier mache Christmas ornaments and banks. My work was featured in the NYT, Good Housekeeping, and Country Business. Guess what? It failed completely. I did wholesale shows mostly, and after the tech crash in 1999, it never recovered and a good many of the people who used to order from me either went out of business, starting buying cheap Chinese stuff, or cut back on their orders. Places that literally used to place orders with me for $4,000 to $5,000 just stopped, and not because my stuff wasn’t good, because it was. And, where the wholesale shows used to be so packed with buyers that vendors had to fight their way through the crowds to get to their booths in the morning, it got so that there were so few people coming to the shows that after the first hour, there were no buyers to be seen. After trying to keep it going, and doing some pathetic retail shows, I just gave up on it. It doesn’t really matter how nice your product is, if people don’t have the money for it, they aren’t going to buy it.

    • Yes, the economy has taken some hits and a lot of us have had to roll with some big changes. A lot of small businesses fail, it’s a fact of life, but a lot of others don’t. I’m sorry that your experience turned out badly for you, but that doesn’t make it so for everyone else. There are buyers out there but not for every product anymore. It sounds like your business was an extremely tight niche and so perhaps demand was lowered as the economy took a hit. I know several people who do quite well with handmade businesses, particularly those who can get their items into retail shops. It doesn’t make millionaires no, but people can and do earn a living with their creations.

  • We just started selling sand art bottles at shows. I remember several vendors at every show when I was growing up, now it’s just us. We’ve been the only sand art vendor at our last 7 shows. One thing we learned from our supplier that was true, display your stuff at eye level for your customers. Our are kids so we made really low tables that they could see and work at. That made a 30% increase in our sales from the 1st 2 shows we did with higher tables. OH! Take plastic, square or anything, so few people have cash anymore.

    • Cool that you found an art that you loved. Because you’re catering to children it’s definitely a good idea to have your displays at their eye level, but also some at grown up eye level too. I remember having sand art as a kid I loved it :). Indeed, definitely take plastic when you can. We have a post about that very thing we published this week comparing square to paypal.

  • Hi, my name is Alice and I’m new to arts crafts shoe world. I currently reside in New Orleans ,La. and I am checking to see if anyone could lend me any advice about how to get started with crafts shows in my area ? Any help would be greatly appreciated. Thank you !

  • I am in the St. Louis area and thinking of doing my first craft show this fall. Are there any that you suggest?

    • I’m on the Metro East side and I tend to stick with shows on this side of the river. Lebanon Fall festival is always nice and Edwardsville High School has a good one too in the fall. Good luck.

  • I attended a craft show for 2 days this past weekend I decorated the most beautiful wine bottles I didn’t sell one I was totally surprised and bummed. I spent a lot of time and money on those well maybe next time

    • Hi Jeanine,
      Sorry to hear that. It’s always disappointing when we work hard on something and it just doesn’t work out. It’s always a crap shoot to some degree as what is popular in one market may not do well in another. I did wine bottle crafts last fall and they flew off the shelves at a few shows, and I could barely move them at a couple of others, so don’t lose hope! Perhaps a little tweaking in how you display them, or how you market them could help also.

      Do you have a local theme maybe you could use with them? Are they different than other items you’ve seen? Is there another more well known seller doing similar items at the same event? Are your prices too high or too low? There are a lot of factors to consider and what didn’t do well at this past show, may do very well at your next one :).

      Good Luck,
      Christin

    • I have also tried selling my decorated wine bottles… they are beautiful as I have been told by many people… but again… not one sold

      • It could be that this trend is on the way out or is overdone in your area perhaps. I just recently posted a new list of top sellers for 2017 and wine bottles are not on it. It may be time to expand into other areas. Good luck!

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