3 Spring Craft Fair Application Tips

Miss Willow's woven pot holders, The Big Crafty, Summer 2010

Now is the time to apply to spring craft fairs if you plan to sell outdoors in March/April/May. Summer applications are also just around the corner. I'm planning to scale back on craft fairs this year in order to focus on my online shop, but I have learned a lot about applying to craft fairs over the last few years.

Here are my Top Tips:
1. Cater your application to the feel of the particular craft fair you are applying for. For example, if I were applying to a more conservative fair I would emphasize my simple snap button clips and pinwheels. If it were a more edgy/indie type of festival I would include photos of my sculpted satin hair clips and custom work. Be truthful, but remember: Just like you, your biz is a multi-faceted animal and can be presented in more than one way.

2. Show your personality and professionalism. But be sure to adhere to the application guidelines. Only include the number of images they ask for, and avoid trying to be clever by sending collages or split photos. Sending more than asked for will annoy the jury. It's nice to include a photo of you making one of your items if they ask for several photos. Make sure your application will stand out from the crowd by sending crisp photos and concise, interesting descriptions. Put your very best foot forward.

3. Be sure to do your research and assess if the event is really worth your time. Who will the audience be? How much will you spend in gas to get there? How much does it cost to apply? How much time will you have to make things between now and then? Make your best assessment. If you feel good about it or are on the fence, you might give it a try. But if you have a bad feeling, you may want to skip it, no matter how cool it sounds. Craft fairs can be fun places to make money and and meet new and existing customers, but they can also be a way to lose money if you're not careful.


  1. So true, Sarah! It's so tempting to think "but I do more than just this one product!" and want to include more photos, but a good editing eye is important! Hope you're doing well and we should really get that beer the next time you're in Asheville!

  2. Definitely!! Hope you are doing well!

    (p.s. Speaking of "editing eye", that reminds me of a kernel of knowledge from Project Runway that I think of often when designing new things. Tim Gunn said (more or less)...."If it doesn't hurt your overall design to take something away, TAKE IT AWAY!")

  3. Great post, Sarah. It is very smart of tweak your descriptions to suit the show you are applying to - but when it comes to photos I have to say I really like the collage pics! I'm a member of the Richmond Craft Mafia and we get sooo many applications for Spring Bada Bing that it helps us have a better idea of what a particular booth will be offering when we visualize the setup and placement of our vendors. I guess each show is different, right?

  4. Vintage Grace-

    It's so helpful to hear from someone who has juried an indie craft fair! It's so true that every jury and show is different! Artists should never count themselves out of a particular fair without trying!