Craft Show Display Tricks to Stand Out is one of my more popular craft show display-related articles with over 20,000 people reading it each month (and growing). Through that article, I’ve received many emails and comments from craft show vendors asking for ideas on how they can create an impactful display for their products. “How do I display my handmade jewelry at a craft show?” is one of the most popular questions I get asked and so I put together this article!
>> If you haven’t read that article yet, check it out here for explanations and visual examples of the 10 eye-catching display elements shared in this article covering a jewelry craft show display.
This article will take the standout display techniques I’ve shared in that article, and go into detail about how to apply them to a jewelry craft show display.
If you’d like worksheets to follow along and more instructions for creating your best jewelry display yet, join my FREE 5 DAY CHALLENGE.
So let’s get started!
1) YOUR JEWELRY DISPLAY’S MESSAGE
You sell handmade jewelry. What’s the message of your jewelry? In other words, what’s the purpose, mission, and values behind your brand?
There must be something that makes your handmade jewelry stand out to build a loyal customer base and attract shoppers to your craft show display. Use the questions below to uncover your jewelry’s message.
What purpose does your jewelry serve?
Do you sell classic jewelry that can go from casual to dressy so customers can get tons of use out of each item? Or colorful jewelry sets for gift-giving. Or maybe you decided to make jewelry sets to add a splash of color to an outfit by layering on several pieces. You have a specific need your handmade jewelry is filling, define what that is.
Why did you start your jewelry business?
We often come up with product ideas when we see a lack. “I could never find celebrity jewelry trends for affordable prices” or “I was tired of all my necklaces breaking after my toddler pulled on them” may be the inspiration behind a jewelry line and the message that should be highlighted in your craft show display. Consider the gap in the jewelry marketplace you wanted to fill.
What type of person might wear your jewelry?
Is it for someone who has classic style and likes understated jewelry or for someone who likes to go big, bold and colorful when it comes to fashion & jewelry? Think about the audience you want to attract with your craft show display and who you want to serve with your jewelry. Which messages are they interested in?
Which problems or frustrations does your jewelry solve?
I know you may be thinking “I’m selling jewelry here, not solving world hunger” but there is a reason behind every purchase. Even if the reason people buy your jewelry is because they want something pretty, you should be aware of it.
If most of your customers purchase your jewelry because they want to treat themselves without breaking the bank, making them feel as though they’re getting a lot of bang for their buck would be a good message to convey in your jewelry display.
Your display may be set up like an expensive jewelry boutique, keeping stock behind the craft show table and making each item look exclusive and high-end by displaying one. You could also incorporate your jewelry’s message into your packaging and take the time to wrap each purchase in a pretty box with a bow so customers have something to unwrap when they get home.
Other customer problems needing to be solved may be: not knowing how to pull a look together but wanting to stay up to date on the latest jewelry trends. A bride needing jewelry for herself and her entire bridal party. Or shoppers wanting jewelry that’s ethically made so they can feel good about their purchase. If you often hear “I’m tired of buying jewelry that falls apart” you could play up the message in your display that you create high-quality, durable jewelry.
Consider the frustrations your ideal customer may have with jewelry and how you solve them. This should come across in your craft show display.
What makes your jewelry different from the jewelry vendor down the aisle?
It could be that your jewelry uses a certain type of stone, jewel, metal or technique. Or maybe your company gives back to the community by donating a portion of each sale to a local charity. Play up the aspect(s) your competitors aren’t covering and that shoppers associate with your
Let’s say I’m a jewelry maker selling bright, colorful, statement pieces. Big stones and gems in neons and saturated primary colors. My main focus is necklaces and I offer a few bracelets and rings for those who like to match jewelry pieces.
My message may be: bold, colorful, statement necklaces for those who like to be loud with their jewelry and add a new look to their existing wardrobe, without breaking the bank.
Now that I know the message to communicate to craft show shoppers through my jewelry display, I can move on to the next step.
2) YOUR JEWELRY DISPLAY SETTING
Before you start implementing important display elements, think about the setting of your jewelry display.
Where might your jewelry be worn? Consider the season, occasion, environment, or even the inspiration behind your collection(s).
If you sell elegant pieces of jewelry for dressing up, your items may be worn to a Christmas dinner party or to a summer wedding. If your jewelry is a little more casual, they may be worn to a coffee shop, the beach, or at a music festival.
Once you decide on the setting you would like to mimic, go as subtle or bold as you like when it comes to your craft show display. Add a few key elements or props people associate with the setting or recreate the entire scene in your display.
Let’s say I see my bold jewelry pieces being worn to a Christmas dinner party. If I wanted to hint at a holiday party in my craft show display, I may add Christmas carols softly playing, mini lights, or wrapped presents as risers on my craft show table.
If I wanted to make a statement with my jewelry display and have people feel as though they’re stepping into a home for a holiday dinner, I might set up my craft show display like a dining room table, ready to serve dinner. Except instead of serving food, I’m serving jewelry.
Here’s what my jewelry display would look like:
The table has 3 place settings and is set with plates, knives, forks, napkins and wine glasses. One necklace is displayed on each plate, bracelets act as napkin rings and wine glasses are filled with rice to mimic a glass full of white wine and to allow me to set a ring on top of the rice for display.
Behind each place setting is a tabletop bust form to mimic guests sitting at the table. They’re wearing tops appropriate for a fancy holiday dinner party and showing a coordinating necklace.
Down the middle of the table are serving dishes and platters housing additional jewelry and stock. Casserole dishes filled with bracelets, gravy bowls displaying rings, and tiered serving trays showing a variety of jewelry pieces.
Smaller signage would appear as place cards while larger signs mimic menu lists at a buffet.
Does that sound like a fun jewelry display or what?!
A similar idea would work for casual jewelry. Dress as a barista and recreate a café in your display space. Display your pieces on coffee beans sitting in oversized latte cups and instead of baked goods in a display case, show off your jewelry. Or if you imagine your jewelry being worn with a sundress on the beach, recreate the beach in your display space using sand, seashells, and beach toys (e.g. pail and shovel or beach balls).
3) EYE-CATCHING DISPLAY ELEMENTS
With your craft show display’s message and display setting, we can begin adding eye-catching display elements.
Don’t use all of the display elements or you’ll overwhelm your craft show shoppers. Instead, pick 1 – 3 eye-catching elements to focus on.
I’ll explain how I might use each display element in my Christmas dinner setting BUT I wouldn’t actually use all 10 eye-catching tactics in my jewelry display.
Red and green are the colors of Christmas, however, because my jewelry is so colorful, I would go for simple white or black tablecloth, napkins, plates, serving dishes, clothes on the bust form, etc. to let the jewelry stand out.
To make an impact using the colors in my jewelry, I would create strong collections and group those together in my display. (More info on creating product collections here and in the sample chapter of MAKE MORE MONEY AT CRAFT FAIRS which you can download here).
For example, one place setting may show off my hot pink and neon yellow jewelry collection with the pink and yellow necklace displayed on the plate, matching bracelet sitting next to the plate around a napkin, the ring sitting at the top of the wine glass and another version of the necklace shown on the bust form. The next place setting may display my royal blue and neon green jewelry collection, while my turquoise and neon yellow jewelry collection is shown in the next place setting.
I could also take one color from one of my jewelry collections or from my logo and repeat it in signage and a few other display props to pull the craft show space together.
If instead of being colorful, my jewelry was neutral using silver and clear crystals, then I would reverse my display and choose one holiday color to repeat in my props. For example, I might choose bright red napkins, dress bust forms in red tops and use red in my signage. The pops of red spread throughout the display would catch the eye and create a cohesive jewelry display. The lack of color can also be impactful so alternatively, I could create an all-white display to highlight the oversized sparkly jewels and communicate elegance.
Stringing mini lights in my display would create a bit of ambiance or if I wanted to go all out and had the space to do so, I would add a lighted Christmas tree to draw attention to my jewelry display. Another option would be to add LED flameless candles to the table setting and place them in candle holders.
LINE & COMPOSITION
As mentioned in the article WANT TO STAND OUT AT A CRAFT FAIR? this display element takes a little more explanation and practice to master.
Using the display elements already mentioned I would arrange them in the following way to create flow and lead the eye from one composition to the next, making sure the shopper noticed all my jewelry.
The full-sized Christmas tree would first catch the eye as shoppers approach my display space. The craft show table would be positioned in front and to the side of the tree and a bust form at eye level would lead shoppers to look down from the Christmas tree. A tiered serving tray holding jewelry draws the eye down from the bust form, the wine glass leads the eye down from the tray, the plate down from the glass and the napkin leads the eye to the side and on to the next place setting, which would follow a similar path but moving up.
Signage, props, and jewelry need to be arranged thoughtfully so they’re grouped together to create a vignette, display jewelry collections and tie elements together. But the groupings, and elements within a group, should be arranged in a way to leave negative space so the jewelry display doesn’t become too busy. Too much space between each element and your display feels disconnected. Not enough space and it feels overwhelming.
This is grabbing attention by placing something oversized in your display. Undersized props work too, such as creating a miniature place setting with mini plates to display rings. But when you’re trying to grab attention at a busy craft show, oversized is the way to go.<
To go with my dinner party display theme, I could create an oversized plate, knife and fork out of some Styrofoam. In the middle of the plate, I could add an enlarged photo of a necklace or simply add my logo. I’m talking big though 😉 The plate would be at least the diameter of a car tire, maybe even twice the size.
I could use foam core to cut out knife and fork shapes while layering circles and rings to get a realistic-looking plate or I could carve the shapes out of Styrofoam. I’d paint the utensils silver or grey and leave the plate white. I have created oversized props out of Styrofoam for a project in school and it is messy! I made an oversized apple prop out of a square block of Styrofoam. I had to cut, carve, smooth, paper-mâché, and then paint to get the final product. A lot of work but it did turn out pretty cool 🙂
This display element would already be in place since I’m displaying bright and colorful jewelry pieces on white props. I’ll also be contrasting with the craft show setting. Shoppers will be walking past rows of booths and tables set up in a typical craft show fashion. My dining room table set for dinner will stand out in contrast.
This one is also already a part of my display. The bust forms, plate, knife, fork, napkin, and wine glass will be repeated three times on the table. If I didn’t go for the dinner table setup I might use repetition by displaying three oversized photos of models wearing a piece of jewelry or line up 3 best forms showing the same necklace in different colors.
If I wanted to make people chuckle when they came to my craft show table I could dress up in a butler’s costume, wearing a tailcoat and white gloves, serving jewelry options on a silver platter. Or for more subtle humor I could give my jewelry collections fun names to match the Christmas dinner theme.
I could find toys that were popular during my ideal customer’s childhood and place them at the bottom of the Christmas tree. Another idea is adding Christmas crackers. They come in bright colors and remind me of when I was a kid, sitting through dinner with a tissue paper crown.
This would be trickier to incorporate into my display however soft blinking lights on the Christmas tree or spinning ornaments would catch attention. Another option would be a rotating picture frame displaying different images of jewelry on a loop.
The entire setup of my craft show booth would be shocking to see at a craft show so the element of surprise is built in. A few other ideas might be: having a helper dressed as Santa Clause for guests to take their photo with. Purchases could be wrapped in cardboard or plastic takeout containers and placed in doggie bags as though I’m sending them home with leftovers. Slipping a Christmas cracker in with each purchase would be a fun surprise for when customers get home. I could make my own or find a way to slip my business card or a coupon in pre-made ones.
4) PUT IT ALL TOGETHER
Now we have our message, display setting, and eye-catching elements determined. Combine them all to make one super impactful jewelry display.
MESSAGE: bold, colorful statement necklaces for those who like to be loud with their jewelry and add a new look to their existing wardrobe, without breaking the bank.
This would be communicated by showing the necklaces on bust forms and on models in photos. They’d be wearing a variety of tops to show how to combine my necklaces with anything from a basic white button-up, to a pattern or color. The jewelry displayed on white backgrounds and props would really help the “colorful” aspect of my jewelry stand out.
SETTING: During the holidays I want shoppers to imagine wearing my jewelry to a Christmas party or dinner so implementing just a few festive props or creating the entire dining room setting would be an appropriate choice.
EYE-CATCHING ELEMENTS: As mentioned, I WOULD NOT apply each of the 10 display elements explained above. The setting creates quite an impact on its own and incorporates SURPRISE. I would likely implement the ideas from COLOR, REPETITION, and LINE & COMPOSITION to pull the display together and make an impact.
Your turn! Share some of your fun ideas in the comment section below. What type of jewelry do you make and where do you see your customers wearing it?
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Hey, I’m Erin 🙂 I write about small business and craft show techniques I’ve learned from being a small business owner for almost 2 decades, selling at dozens of craft shows, and earning a diploma in Visual Communication Design. I hope you find my advice helpful!