Countdown to a Craft Show

If you’ve ever been a vendor at an indie craft show, then you know how much work goes into it. While it can be one of the most stressful and tiring events to prepare for, it is SO MUCH FUN!

2-3 months before show: Apply and wait *fingers crossed* for an acceptance letter!!

1 month: Upon acceptance you can begin to plan, plan and plan some more! Make lists! Booth idea lists! Display lists! Product lists! It’s important to decide what products you are going to sell, how much to make, what displays you will need and the overall feel of your booth.

2-3 weeks: Make product! If you don’t have product you can’t make money. If you need to order promo material such as business cards, postcards or a banner now is the time to get on it or else you’ll be paying a crazy price to rush order. Learn the names of the employees at Michael’s and Joann’s. You’ll become quite chummy over the coming weeks. You should also download their apps onto your phone, so you will always have a coupon.


1-2 weeks: You might be feeling pretty good about things right now. You’ve made quite a bit of product and have great ideas for your booth. Honestly, at this point there isn’t time for rest. You never know what might come up in the following week i.e. your toddler gets sick and can’t attend mother’s day out costing you SIX hours of work time.

1 week: It’s starting to become real. You’re getting excited. You volunteer to go on the news to promote the show. Add 100 unnecessary stress points!


3 days: One reason why it’s good to make product ahead of time? By the week of the show there are so many other things to work on, like extra details for your booth. Keep making lists so you won’t forget anything!


 2 days: Setup a mock booth in your living room to work out any kinks. If you haven’t already made that amazing tree branch clothing rack you were dreaming up, it’s probably time to pull out the one from Target and give it a new coat of paint. Time is of the essence now.

1 day: Finally you come up with a great idea for the swag bags! They are due in a few hours…

Night before: You feel that? Yeah, it’s called exhaustion. There is no time for sleep now. Your clock says 1 A.M.? Keep on working! The “night before Christmas” feeling plus all those cups of tea should give you a few more hours of work time. Concealer will be your best friend tomorrow.

12 hours: Grabs some coffee and throw that hair into a sock bun! It’s going to be a long day.

5 hours: It’s time to load your car and head to the venue for setup. This is a good time to pull out your trusty list! It’s a huge pain to start putting your booth together only to realize you left the tablecloths or another essential item at home. It also helps to find an assistant, preferably one with muscles or a rolling cart.

2 hours: Quick run into Lowe’s for the extension cord and rope lights you just decided you HAVE to add to your booth or else no one will buy anything. (Lack of sleep and Red Bull overdosing might have made you slightly unreasonable.)

2.5 hours: Shower, please.

1 hour: By this point, you’re sitting in your booth calmly waiting for the doors to open, right? Perhaps, though you are frantically putting the last minute touches on your booth? The anxiety of not having it all done is a bit overwhelming at this point, so you nix the rope light idea.

30 min: You just ran to change into your fancy clothes, because there was no way you could have finished setting up your booth in 5” heels.

15 mins: Everyone is anxiously waiting!

Showtime! You better hope it’s all in place, because the doors are open and people are flooding in! Smile and enjoy the show! You’ve earned it.

Day after: Rest, go to brunch with fellow crafty friends or grab a cupcake with your toddler and start getting excited about next year’s show.


Thanks to everyone who came out to Indie Emporium 2012! You made all of our hard work totally worth it!

(Photos courtesy of Erin, Sherri, Heather and Jessica)

2 Responses to “Countdown to a Craft Show”

  1. heather

    Great post, Amby! Great pics too and lots of good info. My little one got sick the day of Indie Emporium! It’s like they know…. 😉

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