What sells best at craft fairs?

:aww: Ah…thanks…they are super quick and I think I have one for every single pair of socks I have made…

I think what I love best about them…is they each have their own personality!

you do a great job! the photo of the one you posted is adorable…


Thanks everyone. I wasn’t looking for a business venture. My mom and cousins are very crafty and are going to sell simple things at a craft fair that is run by the church. You pay for the booth and you keep your profits. They wanted to know if I wanted to include some knitted items next year.
I would never do something horribly expensive, because nobody would appreciate it.:wink: You are very right about that.
But I would do it for the cost of the yarn, because I too, just want to knit. As long as my yarn is paid for, I’m happy:happydance:


…do it for the cost of the yarn, because I too, just want to knit. As long as my yarn is paid for, I’m happy.
That was my attitude exactly. If I sold something and the price covered the materials, I could keep on knitting. But that changed. I started to resent the fact that my skill and time was not appreciated; it almost felt like an insult to me. Well, actually it WAS an insult.

The people who buy my items are incapable of making them themselves. Nor can they buy the same thing in the stores. I have my own way of interpreting patterns and using colour that not all knitters do, and I think my ability IS worth being paid for. Mind you, I don’t ask a heap for my garments but I do now get paid more than just the materials. And I feel more appreciated. Funny how it gets personal!

Oh, I’m guessing that once I get better, that I will probably feel that way. For now, I’m happy anyone would even want to buy a dishcloth. :wink:
I used to do craft painting and sold many items. Of course nobody appreciated the time it took to paint the wooden item. But I did it for school PTA resource fairs to help raise monies. I did get a few side jobs that were lucrative. But only because people were smart enough to realize that it took some time to paint what they wanted.

Sad to say, even my mom, who is very crafty, was selling cotton dishtowels that she whips out in less than an hour for 5 bucks each at this craft fair this last weekend. She told me I could sell my dishclothes for a dollar since it was ‘only a dishcloth’. She has no idea how detail oriented they can be. Needless to say, I wasn’t to happy with her comment.
But what the heck. Next year when it rolls around, I’ll put some items in and see how they do. What I don’t sell, I can give as teacher gifts.:mrgreen:

[COLOR=“Blue”]I’ve always deferred when people tell me I should sell my knitted items. I usually only give them for gifts to close friends and family. However, my family convinced me to try a craft table to raise money for a vacation. I basically am doing what everyone suggests… inexpensive yarns, quick projects like chunky knit hats, baby booties… I am also including some easy to make fleece hats.

Since we live in bush Alaska, I was thinking of including some yarn and needles with my handmade items. There is nowhere in town to buy knitting supplies. These too would be inexpensive, pretty yarns with free patterns by the manufacturer.

Does anyone have any further ideas on what sells well and/or how to display items/supplies? I’ll post after the fact with how the booth goes…


i also refuse to sell my knitted (or crocheted, or quilted) items.

my family did craft shows for years (my aunt still does them) and i remember my aunt and grandma spending hours on end all year long making small things (plastic snowflakes with beads glued on them, embroidered pillow cases, etc) and they’d spend all weekend manning their craft booth and come out with not even enough to cover the cost of materials… and they made small things and sold them CHEAP.

A woman my grandmother knows crochets baby sweater sets (sweater, hat, and booties) and sells them for $15 each or 3 for $40. yes, it’s the jamie pompador yarn, no they do not wash very well (the yarn pills), but still… I think she severely undervalues the cost of her labor and work…

I have had people come up to me while knitting and say that they want me to make them a pair of socks and they’ll pay me… i laughed with my dh. I get them (at 4:30 in the morning at Denny’s on christmas eve after we finished xmas shopping for our boys) asking if i have a business card because they want me to knit something for them and they’ll “pay” me for it…

I wouldn’t do knitted things beyond washcloths (2 cloths out of a $1.50 ball, even going for a buck each it’s still a 50 cent profit and they’re mindless projects) or towel toppers… same with crocheted items.

My DH and I make Stained Glass pieces,some that we have been told could sale for as much as $300/$400 dollars each.

We’ve been asked if we would sell some of them,but when we give them a price they instantly change their mind. Glass is never cheap and our time is worth something.

We find it is easier to make something for family and friends and just give it to them as a gift.

I have learned to truly appreciate anything someone makes by hand. Doing my Stained Glass projects have taught me the value and time that one puts into sometimes ,a price can not be placed on it unless the interested party understands what all goes into your work and they are willing to paid for your talent.

When I go to craft shows with friends ,I fine it embarrassing some times. Because there is always someone in the group either complaining about the prices and or asking vendors if they’d take less on an item. :noway: I find that very:gah:

THAT TEDDY BEAR IS DARLING! I think it’s definitely worth $20.

You should at least get a little for your work don’t you think? It’s funny, at the New York Sheep and Wool festival some people sell incredibly beautiful natural wool THICK socks for only $20. I was really surprised. It depends how busy you are… if you really like to knit then you won’t mind selling for less. good luck anyhoo!

I have never sold at craft fairs (I don’t knit fast enough!), but I just had to say, Cryket, that your bear is adorable and worth way more than $5!

I go to craft fairs every year. Our schools use them as fund raisers, so each elementary school in the area has one craft show each fall. One woman sells her knitted purses. Her purses are gorgeous and beautifully lined. I can’t really remember off the top of my head how much she charges, but they aren’t cheap. I’ve seen the knitted scarves for sale as well. One woman had a bunch of throws for sale, and she was discouraged that no one was buying them. She said everyone loved them but left quickly when they saw the price.

Yarn costs so much especially wool, and anything wool costs even more than acrylic yarn. I was thinking about knitting stuff and trying to sell them but my brother told me that I shouldn’t.

I make ooak (one of a kind) baby/infant sweaters, hats, berets, booties and other items including toys. many people have told me that i should sell them. i do have some for sale on ebay, but no one wants to pay what they are worth. (most of mine are crochet and heirloom quality, have been crocheting since mid-80’s). the few people that buy from me in person know the quality of the work, the others just think that i am trying to scam them. i have had to drop prices on the sweater outfits to less than $20 just to try to sell them. ah, then we have those that want a custom outfit and try to haggle for all they can get and then want more and more and more which wasn’t the agreement. i dont think so! it takes a lot of time to make the outfits i make as each one is a different style, no two are ever the same. i never write down the instructions so i always have different outfits. what is funny is other people who know what it costs to do our kind of work still insist on us “giving” them a break or charging them $5-$10 when that wont even cover the materials. sorry for the rant!

I have been selling at craft fairs and shows for over 10 years now. sharing what I’ve learned:

#1 rule I learned from a jewelry-maker: if you cannot take in 10 times what you paid for the table, it’s not financially worth it. But it may be worth it if you want to try a few for the experience, the expertise you gain, friends you make, customers met, etc…

  1. Low cost fairs with low cost tables bring in fewer profits than the more expensive fairs with high costing tables.

  2. Price your wares as high as you feel morally able to do so, especially at Christmas sales time. Many people are looking for quality items as gifts for friends and family, and will overlook the under-$10 items, except as stocking stuffers. That said, I have successfully sold many stocking-stuffer sized soap bars, at a price I felt was worth my work.

  3. If you do intend to sell mostly ‘small stuff’ (being mindful that it may actually take you more time to make small stuff), then try to also have a few higher-priced, quality items, so the other types of shoppers might also be attracted to your table. If you have what looks like "a whole lot of small bits of …junk, cheapstuff, trivia, etc…(pick your name), then you won’t attract people with big money to spend.

  4. Know what market you want to attract. If it’s not strictly money you’re after, there are many other rewards to doing craft shows (mentioned in number 1)

  5. Have fun! Play! Experiment! Look for other rewards besides money.

  6. For higher profits, I find that high-end shows are best, especially 3-day ‘studio tours’, if you can find and join one. I usually make $1000 per day for each of these tours, selling $6 bars of handmade soap. Hard to get into though, gotta win over the confidence of the judging board.

  7. High end gift shops which feature handmade also work well for me, but they take half the profit.

Good luck and enjoy yourself, whatever you choose to do! - it’s worth the experience. Even the ‘bad shows’ can teach you something, and maybe you’ll make a new friend or two.

Somewhere, someplace, I read that a knitting group made a bunch of beautiful felted flower pins in all different colors for a church bazaar, and sold out of them in a couple of hours.

If I was going to set up a booth at a craft fair, I’d offer:

  1. SCRUBBIES (see our KAL)
  2. Dishcloths
  3. Stitch Markers (hand made)
  4. Cotton bath mats
  5. Cotton baby bibs

The stitch markers would be my only high-ticket item.
They pays, or they walks.

I use to do craft fairs years ago. It is difficult to price your items for a fair price. It is frustrating because people tell me I should sell my stuff and I have won prices and awards from different states on my things. I have bought books on selling your crafts and they say: for today you should add up the supplies it took for the item and multiply it by 4xs the cost. That is your selling price. If you want to try to get the time it took to make the item, add that in then look at the item and try to decide if someone will actually pay that. If not drop the price down to what you think it will sell for but be fair to you and them. Remember if you put to cheap a price on it no one will buy it because they will think it is inferrior work. Remember also you can alway go down at a craft fair but you can’t go up. You can only go up once you go home and go to a different fair.
Honestly, I don’t do them any more. When I did I also made sure I had some NICE cheap stuff to sell so I would make the price of my booth. It is awful to go and not make the price of your booth. I would make dish cloths, hot pads, scarfs something small. I think in our economy people want things that are going to last. They are looking for quality items not cheap. Cheap has to be replaced more often and no one has that kind of money right now. You may do well.
Good luck and let us know how you do.

I think that the remark about “i can get it cheaper at Walmart” in regards to a handknit sweater speaks volumes. They want quality and uniqueness but when it comes to their money they want it cheap.

I’d have a hard time responding nicely to that kind of comment.

I don’t think I’d ever sell anything I knit; i don’t mind making gifts or perhaps doing charity work… but I’d hate to see someone try to offer me a few bucks for something I’ve worked on for hours… I’d be too insulted.

A couple years ago some of the members were discussing the selling of their knits, etc. It was along these lines (and you’ve all heard this):

[COLOR=Blue]“Oh that is such a beautiful sweater! Where did you find it?”
“I knit it”
“Oh no, you didn’t! Would you knit this sweater for me, too?
I’d be happy to pay you!”[/COLOR]

Sound familiar? Don’t you feel complimented?
So the conversation continues:

[COLOR=Blue]“Well, I guess I could. I don’t have a lot of time to knit, but I guess I could.”
“How much do you charge?”
“Well, how much do you want to pay?”
“Oh no, you tell me how much you charge. I mean, I’d even pay you $50 for it!”[/COLOR]

Don’t ya just hate this phase of the wheelin’ and dealin’?
You and I both know that it took you weeks and weeks of faithful knitting time, and the yarn cost $80 by itself!

So you gulp and say
[COLOR=Blue]“Well ma’am, the yarn for this sweater is $80 alone.”
“EIGHTY DOLLARS??!!” she gasps. “Well, thanks for your offer to knit it for me, but I could get this at Walmart for $20”
Now don’t ya just want to either strangle her, or hang yourself?

I have a better solution for this conversation!

So let’s start the conversation over:

[COLOR=DarkRed]“Oh that is such a beautiful sweater! Where did you find it?”
“I knit it.”
“Oh no, you didn’t! Would you knit this sweater for me, too?
I’d be happy to pay you!”
“Why thanks! Here is my card with a rundown of my prices!
Give me a call in a few days and we’ll discuss your sweater!”[/COLOR]

What card? you ask.

[B]The 3x5 card that has your name and tel number on the front, with your prices on the back.[/B]

EXAMPLE of the contents of the reverse side:

[COLOR=Navy]Woman’s [U]Sizes 34-48[/U] at the prices below:
Woman’s Cardigan: $200 plus cost of yarn & buttons.
Woman’s Pullover: $185 plus cost of yarn.
Woman’s 3/4 Coat: $300 plus cost of yarn & buttons.
Woman’s Tank Top or Shell: $100 plus cost of yarn.
Woman’s Scarf: $85 plus cost of yarn.
Woman’s Hat: $75 plus cost of yarn.

Some specialty knitted items: $50 per hour plus cost all materials.
All hand knits must be pre-paid, with yarn in hand before measurements are taken and knitted item is swatched. Specialty items at the hourly rate will require a non-refundable deposit of $500 for labor, with add’l draws when that is exhausted. Written estimates will be supplied prior to deposits.
No more dickering. No more hurt feelings. You can now say [I][B]"[/B][B]YES! I’ll knit it for you![/B][/I]"…and feel good about it, whether you get the job, or whether you never hear from them again! It’s a win-win! :teehee:

One year, my Mother, decided to go to an arts and craft show to sell. She made beautiful doilies, washcloths and other items. As she asked me to go with her, I made some door hangings of hand crocheted bells(5) and lovely silk pine boughs. My price at that time was $25.00 firm. Plus we both made snowflakes which were the rage at that time. Those prices were $1.00 for large ones and 2 for $1 for the smaller ones.

Our total sales for the day was $3.00.

The other crafters offered to trade for my Door hangings but as I was not interested in their offers to trade, they laughed at me.

Several buyers had the nerve to ask for the pattern for the door hanging and then told me that they could make it for a fourth of what I was selling them for.

That was the first and last craft show I went to.

Would I try again in this day and age? Seriously doubt it!

p.s. Have any of your ladies tried selling your crafts on etsy.com?
Buyers there understand the time it takes to make your crafts.

my SIL makes padded photo albums (hot glue, fabric, small photo album from the dollar store, ribbon, button) and sells them for $6 each at the craft fairs.

when my grandmother and aunt used to do them, cheap always went well… plastic canvas ornaments, etc…