Friday, 28 January 2011

Craft Show Confidential: Containers

Using containers for a craft show display is a bit of a no-brainer - not only can you use them during the show, but you can sometimes use them for transporting work to and from the show.

There are lots of types of containers you can use for display:
  • Baskets
  • CD boxes
  • Cigar boxes
  • Glass jars
  • Hat boxes
  • Metal buckets
  • Metal gym baskets
  • Shopping baskets
  • Suitcases
  • Tool boxes
  • Train cases
  • Wood crates
  • Wire baskets
The list could just go on and on. What works best for you really depends on the size and design of your books.

Here are some examples in use:

Some considerations:
  1. Is the work visible? Is any part of your work obscured by a part of the container? If customers can’t see the whole item, it might be less likely to attract them.

  2. What is the possibility for damage? Natural material containers, like baskets, might have loose reeds that could scratch your work as it moves in and out of the container. Other materials might cause friction. Will the corners or edges get banged up?

  3. Is it easy for a customer to see and look at the work? You want to be sure that there's enough room in the container for books to be flipped through.

  4. Does the container complement your work? If your work is contemporary, then a vintage container might not work for you. Something may not work for your display when in its raw form, but you can always paint/finish it in a color that works.

  5. What are the details on your book? If the stitching on the spine is fabulous, you want to make sure that folks can see it.
Obviously, Etsy is a great place to find containers for display (list items are clickable):
If you want to go the local route, you can scout out yard sales, thrift stores, and consignment shops. Not only would you be supporting your community, but you’d help keep things out of the landfill and likely also save some money.

If you want to buy containers in quantity so that you can get a uniform look in your booth, then there are these options (list items are clickable):What are you using in your booth? If you have images of your use of containers at craft shows, I'd love to see them! Send me an Email with photos and I'll try to include them in a follow-up post next week. Be sure to include your name and a link to your Etsy shop.


Useful Books said...

These posts have been so inspiring and full of great, practical suggestions. Now if only I could find a good craft show nearby...

Parkside Harmony said...

Great post! I found some really inexpensive square wood boxes at Ikea. They stack really nicely together, and help to build height.
I LOVE that cigar box display!!!

Lizzie said...

A really good post - thanks! I transported my books to the Craft Exhibition, in a large plastic box and a large shoe box. I never thought about displaying them in containers; the shoe box made a good "back" for my table, with the cloth draped over it. I stood some larger books on that, then laid the others out on the table.

These posts have been so helpful for me, as I can now think about how I ought to present my work on another occasion. Catching people's eye is really the most important thing - if they don't see me, they won't be buying from my stall!

Thank you for this - very helpful!

Blue Roof Designs said...

I'm so glad y'all like the post! I had fun running around my house, looking for containers so I could include pictures. :)

If you have a tobacco shop near you, sometimes they'll give you the cigar boxes for free. Otherwise they usually run around $2 - $5 each, depending on if they're made of wood.

I've used the cigar boxes to display cards and they always attract people - I've had people ask if they could buy them from me! Maybe I should keep some extras under the table...