Looking for some fun new projects to add to your craft fair inventory? Not just anything will do—craft show projects should be things that you can produce economically and quickly enough that you can prepare a range of items in time for your next event. Here are 18 ideas to get you started!
- Infinity Scarves
Infinity scarves are a perfect craft show project You can make them in different weights for different times of year, from floaty chiffon all the way to woollen flannel. With only a few seams,they're quick and simple to make. A rolled hem or narrow hemmer foot for your sewing machine will make it even easier to finish edges on lightweight fabrics with heavier material, use a line of stay-stitching and let the edges ravel for a fringed effect.
From practical canvas chef aprons to fun and flirty ruffled numbers, there are lots of apron patterns available. Make sure to bring along a mannequin or dress form to display your finished products to their best.
- Fabric Baskets
Fabric baskets are a great way to organize your own sewing materials, and if you're making them for yourself, why not make a few more for your next craft show? Use colorful quilting cottons, or piece scrap fabric into blocks using your favorite patterns. Avoid using delicate fabrics like voile or chiffon; baskets made with sturdier fabrics can even be thrown in the wash.
- Fabric Wallets
These are great scrap-busting projects that don't require a lot of material to make. Use a simple billfold design, or get fancy with zipper pockets and magnetic snap closures. Remember that wallets get a lot of handling, so you may want to reinforce fold lines and flaps with sturdy underlining and interfacing, and avoid embellishing those areas.
- Cup Cozies
Go green by swapping paper cup cozies for cute, handmade alternatives. Whether they're wrapping one around a latte to go, or a mug of tea on a rainy weekend, customers at a craft show will love these cozies. Make them from sturdy materials that are heat resistant and pleasant to the touch, like textured linen or cotton. For added interest, embellish with embroidery, rhinestones, or appliques.
- Key Chains and Lanyards
These are super simple items that can be made using scraps from other projects. All you need are swivel hooks and a bit of interfacing to provide added support. Key chains are also a great way to use up extra embellishments, whether it's studs, eyelets, or even scraps of lace and ribbon.
- Pet Accessories
Set your craft show booth apart with fun accessories for Fido! Leashes, collars, bandanas, and toys can all be made by hand without any special equipment. Nylon web is a great material to use, but you can also use several strips of fabric reinforced with interfacing. Felt is ideal for toys since it won't fray or ravel when chewed or clawed. Just be sure to remind customers that pets shouldn't be allowed to play with any toys that are damaged.
- Plush Toys
Love handmade toys? Why not make them for craft shows? From classics like teddy bears and rag dolls to adorably bug-eyed monsters, you can play to your strengths. Make sure to let customers know if your toys are art dolls made to be admired, or if they're safe for children to play with.
- Baby Blankets
There are lots of ways to make baby blankets for craft sales. Small, colorful quilts can be pieced and quilted using a standard sewing machine. Minky fabric backed with flannel makes a delightfully soft and textured blanket. Try for a range of sizes, from “lovies” that measure 10 inches on a side, to swaddling blankets about 47 inches square.
- Quilted Placemats
You don't need special equipment to make these fun quilted placemats. Use your favorite piecing techniques to create your panels—string piecing is easy and a great way to use up scrap fabric.
- Market Totes
More and more shoppers are going green and opting for reusable market bags, and plenty of them would appreciate an attractive alternative to generic store bags. Make sure you choose sturdy materials that can hold up to lots of use and is washable to prevent cross-contamination of groceries.
Some of the top handmade businesses online got their start with these humble accessories, and it's easy to see why! They're quick and easy to make, have an easily accessible price point, and can be made in lots of different styles. Experiment to find the styles that suit your business and your customers.
- Bow Ties
Craft shows are full of accessories for the ladies, but what about gentlemen? Bow ties can be both trendy and timeless, and are surprisingly easy to make! Offer customization options to make your ties even more special.
- Holiday Ornaments
Planning for a holiday craft sale? Be sure to include something a bit festive, like easy holiday ornaments. Quilted spheres, embroidered hearts, or characters cut from felt are all great options that can be made quickly and easily, using only scraps of fabric and some small embellishments like beads, ribbon, and embroidery floss.
- Casual Fit Clothing
Highly tailored clothing is tough to pull off at a craft fair, where customers are looking for something ready-to-wear. Instead, offer casual fit items in a range of sizes, like elastic-waist skirts and leggings, kimono-style shrugs, unique pajamas, or clothing for children or babies. Knits are a great option, since they stretch, but it does take a bit of practice to master the techniques of working with these unique fabrics.
- Bridal Accessories
Though bridal-wear isn't right for every craft show, if you enjoy working with the unique materials and techniques, it's worth it to find the right shows for you. Bridal gowns themselves are probably too complex to bring along for a show, but accessories are perfect! Veils, purses, getting-ready robes, beaded belts, fascinators, custom garment bags… the list goes on and on. Choose a few items that play to your strengths, and offer a range of different options for each.
- Drawstring Backpacks
Kids love these easy-to-make bags! Make them simple and practical using quilting fat quarters, or get more creative and turn them into fun shapes like fish or owls. A sewing machine with an automatic buttonhole setting makes it easy to add reinforced holes where the drawstrings pass through the casing at the top of the bag, but you can also use eyelets and grommets to add extra stability.
- Vintage Pillow Cases
Vintage style is incredibly popular, and a great choice for craft show items. If you can find genuine vintage fabrics—bed linens are perfect—you can use them in your projects, but reproduction prints are increasingly easy to find and have great options available. Pillow cases are the perfect way to showcase these vintage finds. Edge them with blanket-stitch, eyelet lace, or even a crocheted embellishment, if you're feeling particularly adventurous!