Make Money at Art Shows and Craft Fairs

March 2013

Image Courtsey: 401(K) 2012 / Image Courtsey: 401(K) 2012 /

If you have already started participating in art shows and craft fairs and are hoping to boost your sales, or you are just beginning to learn about the opportunities that these shows and fairs provide, you should know that you can make good money doing these shows. Below are some top tips on how to make money at art shows and craft fairs:

  1. Research the trends - Just like a regular "brick and mortar" business will always need to do market research, so too will the successful artisan or crafter. Don't just "think" you have a great product or idea. Be sure that you do by conducting research. The Internet is great for people doing crafts because it lets you really explore what is "hot" and what is not. Go to sites like eBay, Pinterest, and Etsy and research your particular product. Is it selling or not? How can you hone your version and really garner attention?

  2. Be inspired - Once you see what the "competition" has to offer, what is selling, and what sorts of shows are going to be available to you, use the information to get motivated and inspired. For example, don't say to yourself that you cannot participate in one of the "big" or "professional" shows. You can easily focus your efforts on one major show (even if you have never done so before) by first building up experience at a few smaller ones. Consider attending four or five smaller shows and then aiming for a "big city" show later in the year, or even the next.

  3. Make a budget - It is really amazing to learn how many artisans and crafters do not take the time to truly budget. There are many factors that impact the actual "bottom line" or profit margin on each item produced. Not only do you have to take into account the amount of time you use to make an item, but also the materials, the amount to obtain or source the materials, travel expenses, the cost of your space at a show, and the taxes or costs of operating your business. Each of these things reduces the profit margin, and if you are underselling the competition you might be underselling the business too!

Use the tips above to start making good money for your beautiful and high quality arts and crafts. You will be surprised how effective they are!


Wanting to be in shows have really brought up alot of questions of new rules etc. before we even start to apply for shows.  Is there someone or some place that we may call or contact that would give us the “current update” on the everything?  Its really been awhile since I have gotten to participate in any shows, and I would like to be sure Im not in trouble for not having everything that I need.  What are the basics that a person needs before we even apply for a show?  Tax certificate?
I appreciate any information that you may be able to give me.
Thank you
Peggy Schillings

By peggy schillings on March 6, 2013

Would love to participate in local craft shows

By Joyce L McAdon on November 5, 2013

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