Cash for Christmas: Selling at Craft Fairs

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You’d have to go a long way to find someone who couldn’t do with an extra bit of cash for Christmas!

A good way of making some is by selling crafts at craft fairs, car boots and yard sales.

Last year, with Christmas fast approaching, I’d seen all sorts of craft items apparently selling well on social media pages. I decided to give it a go. I consider myself as somewhat artistic, and having seen the things that were successfully selling, I thought I could probably do as good a job – if not better!

(If you’d like an idea of the kind of crafts you can make and sell, this is a great resource). 

Along with my daughter in law, I booked a stall at a local fair.

This was actually my first mistake; The fair was on 17th December. We quickly realised that by this point, many people have their Christmas shopping done and wrapped – and are already sitting smugly waiting for the big day.

So, this year we have been rather more organised. We hope to be far more prepared, and make substantially more cash for Christmas than when we first tried it out. With this in mind, here are some tips based on our learning experience:

Crafts Cash for Christmas

Christmas Crafting: Tips for Making Cash for Christmas

Get Ahead

  • Be organised, and do a bit of work each day throughout the year when you have some time. Items can always be finished at a later date if you intend to add things to them such as sweets or biscuits.
  • Do your homework; Stalls at the most popular fairs get booked up early. Local notice-boards, newsletters and Facebook groups can help here. Many groups and societies publish their programme for the year in January and the popular fairs and events are booked up months in advance.
  • Plan exactly what you’re going to make and stick to the plan.
  • If you use social media (and you should for this purpose!) be sure to remind your friends when you are doing a sale with a photo of your stall.

Save Money

  • Set a strict budget for purchasing the things you need and always make a list before visiting the local hobby store to buy your basics.
  • Start early and you should be able to save money by sourcing materials from abroad.
  • If you need festive fabrics, ribbons etc.  you’ll find plenty in the January sales that you can store away for later use.

Christmas Crafts

Stand Out

  • Make sure your presentation and packaging stands out from the rest. The way you display your items will make a big difference. Put a cheerful cloth on your display table and maybe some tinsel or fairy lights.
  • Get some business cards printed and put a card in the bag with each purchase.
  • If you have an original idea keep it to yourself. Other crafters will copy your ideas.

Following my first fair, I noticed that a simple idea I had come up with for Christmas cash (which sold out very quickly) was already being copied by several social media sellers by Valentine’s Day!

  • Always make some “pocket money items” and display them prominently. If children approach your stall their accompanying adults will inevitably follow!
  • If you have the opportunity to choose the position of your stall, try and get one in the centre so that customers pass it more than once. Avoid corners where you may easily be missed. A position close to the cake stall, tombola or raffle means customers will have a good look at what you have while waiting their turn.

Be Prepared

  • Make things that you can adapt for sales throughout the year; You can easily change things like ribbons to match different seasons.
  • Price all items clearly. Have some spare labels if you intend to reduce items late in the day. A new label looks more professional and not as if you are desperate to sell!
  • Have some business cards to hand if you are willing to produce custom pieces. Often someone might want something slightly different to what you have on sale on the day. However, don’t agree to anything you are not confident you can complete in time, especially in the run up to Christmas! Let your customer down and a bad review can do irreparable damage to your business.

SAVE your Extra Christmas Cash!

  • Whilst at some point you’ll want to have a wander and see what else is on offer, don’t be tempted to spend your profits!
  • If you have small children, leave them at home if possible. If you get busy and “pester power” kicks in, you will end up buying things to keep them quiet which will eat into what you have made.
  • Don’t be disheartened by a bad day, there are plenty more opportunities if you get started early enough.

Check out The Christmas Craft Book if you like the idea of making some cash for Christmas by selling crafts.

If you’re interested in selling craft items on a more permanent basis, check out this case study, and this guide to setting up a Shopify store.

Happy crafting!

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