Craft Show Card Display

I have my first craft show coming up and I’m pretty excited and nervous. I’m trying to counteract the nervousness by being as prepared as possible.

One huge difference between selling live and selling online is that you need to totally rethink the way you display things. For my Etsy shop I do my best to take nice photographs, but since my items are all 2D I just show them flat on a plain background. For my table I needed to figure out a way to display my items vertically so that shoppers walking by can actually see what I’m selling.

I had two major restrictions on my display, it needed to fold flat for ease of transportation/storage and be relatively cheap. Since I’m new to the whole craft show scene I’m not quite ready to commit to a large investment until I have a better idea of what works and how often I’ll be doing these shows.

I did a lot of searching on flickr’s Show Me Your Booths group and found a lot of really nice displays. Many displays use a spinning rack, like you see in stores, or tiered wood racks. Unfortunately both of these solutions violate my criteria of being cheap and relatively flat. Another common theme I saw was the use of clothespins and string to display flat items. I really loved this display by Your Secret Admiral, where she uses a wood frame to hang strings and then pins her cards with mini clothespins.

With this idea I headed to Michaels to try to find some way to create a base and stand for my clothespin card display. After a failed attempt with buckets of stones and sticks, I found two wire folding-easel wreath stands. Only $2.50 each! I bought a dowel and after a bit of black paint, I ended up with this:

The dowel sits where the wreath would hang, and I have it attached with twisty ties. Then I swung by goodwill and bought an old black curtain. I cut it up and sewed covers for my two stands:

I took the top part of the curtain that I had left intact and hung it on the dowel through the existing pocket to create a solid background for my cards. On the stand covers I left strategically placed gaps in my seams so that I could sneak string through the seam and tie it to the wire frames. Unfortunately, at this point I discovered that the tension of the string would pull the bases together. After a LOT of experimenting (which I did not document) I finally settled on adding another pole across the bottom, which I twisty tied to my stands to hold everything in place. The hanging curtain covers the pole across the bottom. My finished product looks like this now:

Apologies for the terrible photos, at this point I had been fiddling with the thing for awhile and I didn’t want to re-set up the whole display with better lighting/positioning. I’m debating sawing off the ends so the top looks less awkward, or expanding the bottom to make the display wider.

Once I figure out how I will acquire a table I will stage my entire table setup to see how the whole thing works together. Otherwise my backup plan is lots of baskets!

CS101 Complete!

I’ve been taking a free online course at coursera.org, which features classes taught by professors at Stanford, Princeton, UPenn and University of Michigan. I tried Computer Science 101 since it was subject in which I had always been interested. The professor, Nick Parlante, is from Stanford and has ties to Google. He also sounds and looks like Dr. Rodney McKay from the Stargate TV series, only much nicer (yeah I’m a big nerd).

Each week a few video lectures, lecture notes, and exercises went up. Lectures were semi-interactive –sometimes it would pause and prompt you with a question or problem to make sure you were following the material. The exercises often involved little coding problems, which were the most fun. There were also forums to interact with other students and instructors, though I didn’t use them at all. While the content in the class wasn’t especially difficult, I learned quite a bit and managed to stick with it to the end.

Today I got this in my inbox:

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Granted, it doesn’t mean much, but it’s nice to have a little pat on the back 🙂 I’m definitely going to look into more classes from coursera.org in the future.