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How to Make Signage for Your First Craft Show

How to Make Signage for Your First Craft Show main article image
Posted on September 26, 2021 by Jennifer Carroll

Crafting is a passion of mine and I’m finding out, more and more, that I love the challenge of making something new. If someone else can do it, why can’t I? This doesn’t apply to things that just aren’t in my skill set. Like singing or playing an instrument. Those talents and abilities aren’t in my wheelhouse. Anything related to the world of arts and crafts is fair game though. We’re all equipped with different gifts and figuring out how to use them is a lifelong pursuit.

I come from a family of artists, so that’s always been where my interests lie. Last year I decided to make art my full-time job. I started out by producing some pieces I could sell and that led me to the world of art and craft shows, although I do remember specifically telling my husband that I didn’t ever want to do them. Somehow, I found my lane and we’ve been on the circuit ever since.

Preparing for that first show can be so daunting. Creating a product is one thing and between shows that will fill a lot of your time. But you’ll need to have an inventory of show items too. Tables, table cloths, possibly a tent, display items, and oh yeah – signage!

Branding is an important part of any business and maybe more so when you’re a crafter. You’re the only one who can make your unique item and you want people to remember you and recognize you when they see you again. Make a few signs to advertise your booth and your favorite customers will look for you when they frequent those shows.

A banner is a great advertising tool that can be used in a couple of ways. We hang ours from the back wall of our canopy because I like to reserve the front for a festive welcome sign that corresponds to the season. You can also hang a banner on the front of your display table. Anywhere you decide to use it, you can make it yourself without much effort.

Creating your signs

Decide the size you want your banner to be. My tent is 10’x10’ and I wanted my banner to span the width of my tent. I ordered a 9’ blank from Amazon and I made sure it would be grommeted on all four sides so it could be hung tightly. This is the banner I used. It’s sturdy and has held up well for us. I highly recommend it.

To letter my banner, I used my Cricut and the Design Space. I made a rectangle using the dimensions of my blank banner and laid things out just like I wanted them to look. I used permanent vinyl and cut all my letters out in as few pieces as possible. I had my logo printed at Office Depot. You can upload your file to their print service and have it the same day in most cases. I just used mod podge to decoupage the poster to my banner. The “Howdy Y’all” is a whimsical touch I included to add a welcoming feel to my booth. I applied that graphic next. After my two end graphics were applied I used a yardstick to center my letters and applied them using a squeegee. I love the way it turned out and it was pretty simple to do. When we’re not doing shows I roll it with the letters facing out and store it in the tubular box in which it was mailed. Keep the letters facing out so the vinyl doesn’t peel up. I learned this trick from my days working at a sign shop.

If you need a more specialized sign for a product line, you can make that too. I have a series of original artwork we call “Portraits from the Pasture” and I wanted a sign to place over the table where they are displayed. I was lucky enough to find the sign blank at my favorite thrift store and the size was perfect. If you’re thrifty too just keep your eye out for a bulletin board or a lightweight frame in an appropriate size. You could even pick up a sheet of foam board and frame it out with wood slats from Home Depot. They’re still pretty inexpensive and you can trim them down to size with a simple miter box. A miter box kit with a saw is about $12 and it’s a great tool to have in your workshop or craft space.

Once you have your sign face prepared, you can layout your design in whichever program you prefer. If you don’t have a vinyl machine, just use your printer to produce your letters and trace them onto your sign using graphite paper. Fill in your letters with acrylic paint or markers. I have come to love acrylic markers for projects like this because they are less messy than dragging paint out and they give me more precision.

You’ll also need to consider whether you’ll need signage to display prices or item descriptions. Some of my products are individually priced. If I have made items in bulk and they are contained in a box or on a shelf together, I just make a little sign or apply a decal I made with my Cricut so people can shop without needing to ask how much things cost. The Dollar Tree is a great place to buy little signboards. They have chalkboard easels on the crafting aisle as well as framed chalkboards, and whiteboards. Both are good options if you need to make changes to prices or products.

There’s a lot to consider when planning for your first show and there’s some expense involved. The more you can do yourself – the more money you’ll save. Signage is something you’ll use over and over again so the small investment of your time is well worth it.

Until next time – happy crafting!

Please visit me here to see my latest creations!

The Barnyard Boutique

Facebook – The Barnyard Boutique 

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