If you want a craft show display that stands out, you must strategically use color. Color is what catches the eye, evokes an emotion within seconds, can help tell a story, and much more.
Using color effectively so your craft show display catches shoppers’ eyes is fairly easy, but it does take some thought. Here are my tips:
Colors used in your craft show display should not be chosen at random or be based on the colors of items you can conveniently collect from around the home to use in your display.
At my first craft show, I gathered a moss green jacquard patterned tablecloth, wicker baskets, some bowls for smaller items, and clear acrylic frames I picked up from the dollar store.
Not really a fit for the colorful flannel pajamas and other random items I was selling.
First of all, I was offering way too much selection (you can find out if you are too by checking out this article). Secondly, I was randomly choosing colors.
You may base your display colors on:
- Product Collections
1 – Based on Brand
First, you must have a brand (*if you need help with that and other important elements such as a USP, check out HOW TO SELL HANDMADE BEYOND FRIENDS & FAMILY), and although you know your brand is not your logo, you can use your logo to pull colors from.
It’s a good place to start because your logo was likely professionally designed and therefore, will have a professional-looking color combination.
Pulling a color or two from your brand colors works best when your products feature similar or complimenting colors.
For example, a bath & body vendor may switch up scents throughout the year but always keep their packaging and labels the same, which feature brand colors (let’s say blue, white, and gold). They could really make their space pop by pulling blue throughout the display with accents of white and gold.
Here’s an example of how those colors can be pulled throughout the display:
Now compare it to a display with no color scheme. The display doesn’t have the same pop. Not to mention it looks a bit messy and unprofessional.
If your products are colorful and their colors don’t jive with your brand colors, I would suggest you DON’T use your brand colors throughout your craft show display.
For example, if your brand colors are soft purple and gold and you’re featuring a fall collection with products in deep rich colors, having soft purple throughout your display may clash with your products and throw off the fall feeling you want your products to evoke.
2 – Based on Product Collections
If your products change throughout the year and collections are color-based, pulling a color or two from the collection you’re featuring at the craft show may be more impactful than using a brand color throughout your display.
If you’ll be displaying more than one collection on your table, you may choose to use:
- A neutral color in display elements; one that compliments each collection
- One color that is present in each collection or compliments each collection
For example, let’s say I’m featuring 3 handbag collections for a spring craft show:
- Floral print collection
- Polka dot collection
- Neutral/no print collection
If the colors in my floral print and polka dot materials were completely different (e.g. the floral print featured pinks and purples and the polka dots were blue and yellow), I might pull a color from one collection that works with both (e.g. a yellow could compliment the pink and purple floral collection, even though yellow doesn’t appear in the floral print), or choose a neutral that isn’t present in either fabrics but compliments both (e.g. a grey).
When featuring collections you want your display elements to compliment them so each collection is able to tell its story.
3 – Based on a Feeling
You may also choose color based on the feeling you want to evoke. How do you want customers to feel when they look at your display, or even when they get your products home and put them to use?
Let’s say your brand colors are neutral and your product colors don’t change much throughout the year. You may want to evoke the feeling of happiness and use bright yellow throughout your display. Or choose soft blue to evoke a calming feeling.
For example, a business selling candles may keep their wax color white, candle jars clear glass, and packaging black & white, year-round.
But they want to keep their display looking fresh and coordinate with the season or holiday.
In this case, they would think about the feeling they want to evoke or the story they want to tell, through color.
(I share how to determine a story with your display in the free 5-day email course)
Let’s say they’re selling at a Christmas craft show. They may add red and green throughout their display, or go with a more elegant, modern Christmas vibe using navy and touches of silver or gold (midnight blue is a Christmas trend this year…check out more Christmas craft trends here).
For fall they may swap out the green and red elements for rich orange and deep brown.
Spring may inspire soft pastels or vibrant yellow.
Think about the feeling you’d like to evoke or the story you’d like to tell and research colors that will help you do that.
How to Use Color to Grab Attention
Color can be used in display elements, such as the tablecloth, risers, signage, etc.
Because these elements tend to be bigger components of a display, using color strategically for each will naturally catch a shopper’s eye.
If you’re using your colorful products to add color to your display (and using neutral colors for signage, tablecloth, props, etc.), make sure your products can be seen from a distance and the colors in them make a statement.
You may feature a colorful product at eye-level or higher, enlarge a photo of a product and display it at eye-level, or group products together to create blocks of color.
For example, it can be hard to notice smaller individual items, such as jewelry, from across the room. So instead of relying on an individual piece to make a statement, you can group together items featuring the same color, to make a statement.
Sort of how one person wearing red in a crowd wouldn’t catch your eye as much as 10 people wearing red standing together would.
Or, let’s say the elements of a display are white so colorful pieces of pottery can stand out. To ensure they’re noticed from across the room, a photo of the vendor’s bestselling piece may be enlarged and displayed behind and above where the vendor stands.
Or better yet, if the vendor space allowed for hanging, they could have 3 images at the same level (repetition is another standout display element; read more about using it here).
If the items were larger (e.g. colorful scarves), a display fixture at eye-level or higher could feature a popular color. That may be a bustform sitting on top of the table, wearing a winter jacket (because people wear winter scarves with jackets…not t-shirts or nothing at all;) with a colorful scarf wrapped around the neck.
An item like a handbag could sit on top of a tall riser to reach eye-level or higher.
Ensure that your use of color is bold enough and placed high enough that it can be noticed from across the room.
How Many Colors to Use
The key to using color to grab attention and make your craft show display stand out is to keep your colors limited.
Generally, the fewer colors used, the more of an impact they’ll make.
My advice is to feature no more than 3 colors.
Of course, there may be more than 3 colors within your display, but only 3 or less should be dominant and repeated throughout.
For example, a vendor may focus on soft pink, purple, and green for a spring vibe, and repeat those colors in products and display elements. They may still have touches of silver found in sign frames, white used for risers, or black used in signage text, but not enough of those colors to compete with the pink, purple, and green color scheme; rather just compliment it and blend into the background.
Lack of color can make a big impact too.
Someone selling white candles, or silver and rhinestone jewelry, or white wedding accessories, or black and white photos could use white throughout their display. Nothing in particular jumps out and grabs your eye but the display as a whole makes an impact.
Best Tablecloth Color for a Craft Show
The best color for a craft show tablecloth is a neutral, such as white, black, grey, or shade of brown. Choosing a neutral color will allow your products to stand out.
When signing up for your first craft show, it’s likely you haven’t developed your brand yet and perhaps don’t have product collections sorted. In this scenario, a neutral tablecloth color that compliments your products is best.
For example, if I’m selling reusable food wraps, a beige may be the best neutral color since it has an earthy feel to it, which aligns with my earth-friendly products.
On the other hand, if I’m selling jewelry that incorporates colorful gems, a white tablecloth might work best to keep a clean background so the bright colors can stand out.
Once you develop a strong brand and/or product collections, you may want to personalize your craft show tablecloth more so your entire display makes a bold statement.
For ideas on the different elements of your display you can incorporate color to make an impact, please check out MAKE MORE MONEY AT CRAFT FAIRS.
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!