EarthJuice

Need ideas for products for a craft fair

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Hi I've recently began to get into blacksmithing. Anyways there's a craft fair in my town that I'm going to get a table at. I figure I'll make small things like plant hangers and hooks, but I was wondering if anyone else might be able to give me some advice as to what normally sells at craft fairs. I figure that I'll keep my products under $20, so I'm just looking for small things that wouldn't be too hard to make.

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Anything under $20 and looks good in a double wide will sell.

Use the Wendy Burger approach to selling, $5, $10, and $20 are your main meals but have $50 and $100 items just in case someone had deep pockets and is hungry.

If you are looking fir the big fish, make up a sample of a garden gate or other large item for display only.  Make it a standard size so if it sells it can be used with little fuss or construction needed.

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I've always had good luck selling items that fit in a pocket and cost under $20.00. I know that sounds pretty vague but it's a rule of thumb that's worked pretty well for me. How much effort and how fancy will make a diffrence in what you can afford to sell items for of course. Just remember charging too little is worse for sales than selling for too much. No fooling hand made crafts are rarely things you can't buy for cheap at the local big box. What we sell as hand made is bragging rights. folk get to not only show off the thing they had made or bought that is ONE-OF-A-KIND with tool marks to prove it but they get to brag about how much it cost. No fooling.

My first public demo was the local state fair and I was making leaf finial coat hooks, with steady patter, jokes, etc. in about 7-8 minutes each. I figured $10.00 ea. or a set of four for $35.00 was a darned good price but they weren't moving at all. The guy I was sharing a booth with kept telling me I was charging too much, $3.00 was more like it. He left for lunch and I'd heard enough so I doubled the price to $20.00 ea. or a set of four for $75.00. After that it wasn't much fun anymore, there were folk standing around waiting for me to finish THEIR coat hook! Afterwards the only satisfaction I got from the fun part was seeing the other . . . ah hem, "fellow's expression.

Bottle openers are good $20.00 items. Shoe horns and boot hooks too. A boot scraper if you're in mud country is a good one. A boot or shoe brush for the front porch goes with the scraper, combine the two but not always, some folk just want one or the other. Both will help keep Mamma happy.

BBQ tools are good, steak flippers are easy to make and good sellers, keeping a sponge on hand to demonstrate how they work can be handy. Heck, make a BBQ grill, cut a large red sponge like a steak and sell the whole sheebang as a set. Leaf key fobs and zipper pulls are good as are cat/dog paw key fobs and zipper pulls. I tend to list fobs and zipper pulls as either or but keep them smooth, sharp edges or burrs are bad.

Business card holders are good, be sure to have at least one full of YOUR cards. Do you have a brochure? How about a portfolio? Have pics of your work and heck examples even though you're not necessarily trying to sell larger stuff have it on hand. Be friendly, smile till it hurts, make friendly to the children and tel jokes and funny stories. These things are theater, if you're entertaining folk will remember you and be far more receptive to buying from you. them may NOT want something hand forged but Great Aunt Gertie in Molines may be hard to buy for but like to hang her plates on the wall. I keep graph paper on hand it makes scaling things very easy and most anybody has a landmark around the house they can sketch in for scale.

You don't need a huge kit but if you wish to make a buck you need some basics. Knowing your market is REALLY important. the first few shows like this will be learning experiences unless you're REALLY lucky so keep notes. What do folk like. What do they NOT like is maybe as or more important. for instance steak flippers aren't going to go over well at a vegan craft show. Of course that's not saying I wouldn't take a set just to get something rolling but that's me. <evil grin>

Frosty The Lucky.

Uh, I'm running out of things, I think my brain shut down when I realized you probably aren't demoing, just selling and marketing.

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Gun hooks. Sold a jillion of em at the ren fair for $13 a pair in 1985. 3/16x3/4'' flat, split em about an inch from the top, draw out the ends, make into a heart or ram's horn scroll and punch a hole just below, form the other end into the hook w/a little curl on the end and whalla! You can charge more for ones you've ligned with leather to protect the gun...... B)

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Gun hooks. Sold a jillion of em at the ren fair for $13 a pair in 1985. 3/16x3/4'' flat, split em about an inch from the top, draw out the ends, make into a heart or ram's horn scroll and punch a hole just below, form the other end into the hook w/a little curl on the end and whalla! You can charge more for ones you've ligned with leather to protect the gun...... B)


I'd like to see the gun hooks you mention. Sounds like a great idea

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Target stands to hold cardboard on 1X furring strips are fantastically expensive at sporting goods stores.  Obviously you'll need a display showing one assembled.

Those stands can double as holiday yard decoration supports.  Be sure to put holes at the ends of the base for stakes to keep wind from knocking them down.

Hunters use gambrels for dressing game - a hand forged one with chain to tree hang it might attract their attention.  Kind of a variation on plant hangers.

Garden accessories like a decorative spike with a roller on it that keeps a garden hose from dragging across a garden's border.  

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Horse items like hoof picks may sell if you are in horse country.

Christmas is coming up, and some here sell crucifixion spikes.

Look into making metal puzzles, the kind where you have to figure out how to get them separated. There are several out there that you could copy.

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Swords...  Every demonstration will have people asking you if you can make swords.

I can't think of the type of nail it is, but they are shaped like a lower case t and hammer out into nice little 3 inch swords without being sharp.  They are a big hit with the kids and parents both and a box will cost you $5 or $6 with only about a minute each to make.

Cheap price to pay for something that will have people stopping at your booth all day, not to mention that it is a great opener to talk to them and show off your other stuff.

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I loved "Lucky Frosty's" idea of the boot scraper with the side brushes.  We made and sold them at our Livery Stable/Tack shop 55 years ago and they were great sellers then.  I had forgotten them until today.  I need some for myself, Thanks guys.     

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We do one local craft show every year because my wife is one of the organizers... I've done wood turning for 15 years, so had been setting up with a lot of bowls, kitchen and sewing gadgets which did well... a few years ago after starting blacksmithing, I added the "pigtail" steak turners (with turned wooden handles) and leaf key fobs, leaf ceiling fan pulls, leaf necklaces.... I made a lot of leafs (really good practice).  This year I included all the previous, and added some RR spike knives and some blacksmith knives made from truck springs.... one of the best sellers this year was the duplex head nail swords that Reitenger mentioned... a box here cost $3.00 and I was selling them at a buck a piece, I think by the end of the day I had sold over 100 of them!  Odd what people go nuts over... btw, one of my other best sellers is a "Spurtle" - it is a Scottish stirring stick.  I turn them from various woods, soak 'em in mineral oil and can not make enough to get through a one day show - at $10 each!

 

Bill

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Those nail swords are genius ! :D

 

If you could find stainless nails they would make fantastic cocktail stirrers with a cherry on the end, or for picking snacks from dishes!

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Those nails are the ones the are used to put together concrete forms.  The idea being that you can drive them in tight with the first head and still easily pull them out with the other head once the concrete sets.

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Hooks, skewers, bottle openers, steak turners, flower brackets, door pulls, rasptle snakes, forks, knives, spoons, crosses, nails, S hooks, cooking spits, pot racks, candle holders, snuffers, etc

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S hooks, drive hooks, bottle openers.  Things *YOU* are good at making fast!

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Ditto Thomas. The other good rule of thumb is products you can make in under 20 minutes that fit in a pocket for under $20. say, $19.95  a set of four $74.95. $9.95 ea. for S and drive hooks is a good number. Wall hooks need the high end around $19.95 for the extra steps.

Folks LOVE seeing twists, it's dramatic seeing a person twisting with bare muscle while scale sheds like a snake's skin revealing glowy steel. It is a crowd pleaser. 

Do NOT under price your work, a fair seller at $19.95 will hardly move for $5.00.

Frosty The Lucky.

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