Thursday, February 16, 2012

Craft Show Jitters

I feel so out of touch. Years ago, I used to make crafts to sell at the
local craft shows and bazaars. I lived on the west coast back then and
the market there was very different from where I am now. I used to make
items that were specialty types and fetched a very nice price. Some
antique teddy bears that I would sew, dressed in reproduction fabrics,
would easily sell for $40 per bear. Living in rural Oklahoma and with
the current economy as it is, those bears would never sell at that price.

I am at a loss. I want to sell at the craft show that is going to take
place the day of the county's volunteer fire departments' chili cook-off
in June. The cook-off is an annual event, but this year is being made
into a much larger gathering. The craft show is only one of the new
events taking place in conjunction with the cook-off. The problem is
deciding on what to make and how much to charge per item. I haven't had
opportunity to attend any of the local craft shows in the past. I have
no idea what sells in our area. Unfortunately, there are no craft shows
that I am aware of taking place prior to this one that would still give
me time to make enough items to sell. So, what to do?

I am going to make items that, if not sold, would make nice gifts or
could be used in my own home. Crocheted dishcloths are a good start. I
have been wanting to make fabric or crocheted shopping bags. This will
be another option for me. There is one pattern that I have had for many
years of making a very light and simple drawstring tote for produce.
This bag is made of a very sheer fabric with a satin ribbon closure.
For those who don't like using plastic, it is a nice option. I am
wanting to focus the crafts around the conservation or "green" theme.
Not to be trendy, but because this is something that I believe in also.
I practice conservation as much as I can. To me, it is simply
exercising good stewardship over our resources. When I do end up using
plastic bags, I always save them for other purposes. Joe uses then as
trash bags on the truck quite a lot. I am also looking at the idea of
using them in place of yarn in some of my crocheting. I think the term
is called "plarn", which is what you get when you cut the plastic
shopping bags into strips and crochet them into a useful item.

As the time gets closer, I am sure that I will have more ideas. It is
just a bit unnerving at this point to realize just how out of touch I am
with the current crafting trends.


Jan said...

Hi Paula, I've seen bags which used a plastic bag as the pattern and they looked terrific. I'm going to be making myself and friends some too. Hope you decide what you'll be making. Keep us uptodate. Hope you're all well.

debbieo said...

Have you seen the bags made from feed sacks? I make them and they sell for $10.00 each. They are great to use.