Thursday, May 30, 2013

Ladder Display Stands and Updated Show Booth

I have spent the last year visiting as many farmers markets, craft fairs, and flea markets as I possibly could.  My hat is off to the people (mostly women) that run the various shows and booths that I fell in love with!!  What an amazingly creative bunch of people!!!

5ft ladders with boards for shelves
One of the special (and somewhat rare) things I've seen and loved is Ladders as display shelving.  In fact, I loved it so much that I am creating my own.  A table-top version for smaller items, and a stand-alone version for my globe-based products.

I originally bought two tall ladders and two short ladders (all purchased separately) and of course I thought they were the same sizes, but as it turns out -I bought slightly different sizes (oopsy!).

To remedy the problem of the different sizes, I simply laid the shorter ladder on top of the longer ladder, matched up the rungs (which is the most important thing if you're going to use them to hold shelves!), and marked the leg-length.  I then cut off the legs of the longer ladder.  It worked pretty darned good if I do say so myself!

step-stool ladders (behind the jewelry displays)
Then to give the ladders a shabby-chic look (and have them compliment my booth decor), I painted them a medium-blue color and did a bit of distressing of the finish.  I also painted the boards I am using as shelves.  The overall look of my booth looks really nice (at least in my opinion!). 

Here's two pictures of the booth layout and color scheme/decor.  I LOVE it!   Now I just need to do my first Farmer's Market (next Friday, the 7th!).  I hope to see you there!

My finished booth (although I will have a white tablecloth covering the right table and legs!).  I LOVE my booth! 

Another view of the booth.  The round table probably won't stay (I need a smaller table there)



Friday, May 24, 2013

Working on my booth set-up and review of Costco's Undercover 10x10 canopy

I am so excited! (I've been saying that a lot lately - isn't that great!?)


I will be standing between the tables and the ladders, and
yes! All the tables will have coverings and the ladders will
be painted (probably blue or white)


I received my Undercover 10x10 White Canopy from Costco via UPS today! 

Of course, I just HAD to go set it up.  First I tried in my front yard and ended up whacking (and breaking) some of my favorite Iris's so I had to move.  Finally I ended up on the slight hill next to my garage.



I did take my tables and a few display pieces out to play around with basic layout - here are a few of my options:




This is my real favorite, but I think it would be easy for
customers to feel trapped
So the positive things about the canopy are:
  • Relatively easy set-up (I did it all by myself twice - both times less than 15 minutes - and that includes the initial set-up).
  • Nice roller-bag with big pockets to hold the side-walls
  • 4 Side walls were included
  • Height of legs has at least 2 settings (maybe more, but the 2nd one was more than high enough for me to walk under comfortably)
  • Nice no-pinch features
  •  Instructions included a 1-man set-up flyer


And now for the less pleasant aspects:
  • The instructions DIDN'T include how to initially set-up the canopy -- meaning it came with the tent/canopy part seperate from the framework and no directions on how to easily put it on
  • There are snaps mid-strut on all 4 sides to snap the canopy to the frame and nothing was mentioned about that at all (luckily I've done a lot of camping and am pretty handy so I figured it out pretty easy - but I think some people might miss that part)
  • No instructions on how to attach the walls.  YES, they attach to the canopy with velcro - but they don't appear to line up nicely and they don't seem to quite meet at the edges where the sides can zip together.  I didn't have time to play with that.
  • Take-down is basically in reverse of set-up but nothing much talks about that either
  • You do have to be a bit flexible during setup if you are setting it up alone.  You end up doing quite a bit of climbing underneath the struts to get the canopy to open.
  • If you look closely, you can see that my ladders are two
    different heights (I'll be cutting one down later)
  • And last, but not least - it is sad that for $200+, Costco or Undercover didn't waterproof the canopy itself.  The walls are a different fabric (more of a tarp-type) than the canopy (which is more of a canvas).  So I will be buying a few cans of Scotch-guard when I get the time!


Now I just need to get my table coverings done (and about a million other things) and the booth should look pretty darned nice if I do say so myself!  :) Stay tuned for more updates!

I think I like this best, People can see everything and won't feel
trapped - but are still protected from the Seattle-rain








 
 
 


Tuesday, May 21, 2013

North Bend and Bothell Country Village Farmer's Markets!

Hi All!!

I am SO excited!  I received confirmations that I have been accepted to be a vendor at the North Bend, WA Farmer's Market and the Bothell Country Village Farmer's Market!

 
I will be appearing at the Bothell Country Village Farmer's Market the 1st Friday of each of the months that it's open (June-October).  They are open from 12pm-6pm and are located in Bothell's Country Village, 23718 Bothell Everett Highway, Bothell, WA  98021.



And,I will be appearing at the North Bend Farmer's Market the 3rd Thursday of June, July, and August. They are open from 4pm-8pm and are located in the heart of North Bend, WA - at Si View Park, 400 SE Orchard Drive (98045).

Please stop by and say hello, I would love the chance to meet you!  I'd love your opinion on my booth set-up and decorations.  

And if you stop by my booth, feel free to enter the drawing for a fabulously, stylish, (and eco-friendly) Coffee Belt!  (Similar to one of the Coffee Belts pictured here!)


Monday, May 6, 2013

Burlap Banner (3rd item created for my show booth)

My list of items needed for a show booth is slowly getting smaller.  I had printed a sign/banner via Vistaprint.com.  And it's a nice-looking sign - perfect for hanging in the back of my booth.  But I wanted something eye-catching - and something that goes with any of my accent colors. 

I have been looking at Pinterest for a long time now and have fallen in love with burlap (OK, I already loved burlap - but it's becoming somewhat of an obsession!).   I've been doing a lot of searching for craft booth, flea market booth, and farmer's market booth ideas, and it seems like all of the ones I like the best have some kind of banner (most often burlap) hanging from them. 

Burlap rectangles before they were trimmed down in size!
So I decided to create my own.  First I had to get burlap.  I had some left-over from a re-upholstery job I did on an old chair, but that wasn't enough.  Then I happened to find some at my local Goodwill (I just LOVE them!).  PERFECT.  Now what kind of banner??

 I originally thought I'd do triangles and use buttons to make my letters.  I like that idea but didn't want to spend forever cutting out perfect triangles.  Plus my business name was too long and would use up too many buttons (not to mention that the time to sew on all those buttons would be ridiculous!). 

I ended up choosing to just cut rectangles.  I wanted a somewhat rustic look so I tried to keep the rectangles roughly the same size.

Then I decided I wanted to paint the rectangles so that they matched my various accent-color-schemes.  I decided to paint them with a denim-blue, a pink, an aqua, a lavender, and a chartreuse green.  I needed about 20 rectangles plus a few extras just in case.  So I figured 5 or 6 of each color would give me enough to paint my company name on them.

Burlap rectangles trimmed down, with letters added.
Painting took longer than I originally planned on!  The burlap soaked up more paint than I thought it would.  I used acrylic paints and started with my base color, which I then added white to and washed over the base coat.  I then added another layer of watered-down white to the top to give each color a really nice texture and look.

I then laid out my squares in the pattern that I wanted my letters to be applied to.  This was important because I hadn't realized until this moment, that my rectangles were too big!!  The resulting banner would have been about 16 feet long (which is way too big for a 10 x 10 foot canopy!).   Thankfully, cutting off the plain, unpainted edges managed to get the banner-size down to a manageable length (of about 10 feet).

Once I had the rectangles cut down to an appropriate size, I then painted letters onto each of the rectangles and added a white highlight to the lettering to make the letters really pop.  I also pulled off a few of the burlap threads from all of the edges to give them a bit more texture and rustic feel.


My banner - hanging from my stairwell (the only place large enough to display it in my house)

 I think the resulting sign looks really nice and will help make my white canopy really stand out.  Where is my canopy?? Well, I haven't found one yet - or rather, I haven't found one on sale yet (I'm hoping to find a nice, used one for a good price - before I am forced to buy new from Costco). 

I'm getting excited to see my booth put together!  I now have a banner, accent curtains, aprons, and display items all in matching colors.  My next step will probably be to create the table coverings. hmmmm.... more sewing?? perhaps I'll be able to create something without a lot of sewing!  Check back soon to find out what I ended up doing (it will be a surprise to me as well)!




Friday, May 3, 2013

Second Item for Craft Shows - a Utility Apron

I'm continuing to work on items needed to be in a craft show, flea market, or farmer's market.  My list of desired items seems to be never-ending!!  Here's a partial list of current need and wants:

  • 6 ft tables (I have a couple of 4 ft rectangles and 4 ft squares)
  • Creative (and pretty) table-coverings
  • Display pieces to hold my items for sale (mostly done - see the previous post "Spray-Painted Display Items for a Show Booth")
  • Curtains/Sheers to hang from the outside of the canopy/tent and add color/flair (also mostly done - still need bright aqua/teal)
  • A white canopy/booth (a must-have for inclement weather!).  I've got my eye on a lovely one from Costco, but have to do a bit of saving before I'm able to purchase one.
  • A burlap banner of some sort.  I've seen a ton on Pinterest (which you can see on my Pinterest board "Items for a Craft Show or Farmers Market Setup and Displays" or my Pinterest board "Show Booth Displays" ).  I just love the look of the banners!!  (I will be doing a post on this soon!)
  • A lot of products to sell.  (I have some, but need to complete a LOT more!)
  • A couple of utility/show aprons (also seen on Pinterest) - and which I've completed and will show you below!


As I mentioned in the list, I've about completed the display items and my curtain collection (whew!).  And I've just finished making my aprons.  I saw a couple of posts on Pinterest about aprons being used instead of having a cash-box.  That way, you can wear your money and not worry about it being taken by sticky-fingers.  It also prevents you accidentally losing the box somehow (which I have a feeling I could easily do!).



 

I found this great post by Sugar Bee Crafts (http://www.sugarbeecrafts.com/2011/10/utility-apron-tutorial.html).  They have step-by-step instructions for making these aprons.
Picture courtesy  of SugarBeeCrafts.com

I had lots of fabric to choose from and made this apron first.  I chose periwinkle and lavendar-blues because they are my favorites.  I also made it bigger than  SugarBee's plans because I am a bit.. um.. bigger.. than they are.  But as you can see from the picture of my daughter, it works fine on a smaller figure too.
Once I had completed this one (which really didn't take too much time considering I have rather rusty sewing skills!), I decided to make aprons to go with each of my accent color-schemes.

Here are the other aprons I made (and I love all of them too!!).  I chose to add vintage buttons to the 2 big pockets.  I think they add a bit of fun and flair - plus help secure the pockets where the money would be kept.
A few quick notes:

  • Most of these aprons were backed with fabric that used to be curtains.  I just adore reusing things!  
  • I did use an iron-in lining with all of the aprons main bodies and pockets.  But this does make for very thick fabrics to sew through and very stiff aprons (although they will probably soften over time with use and washings).  If your fabric is already thick/stiff - you could skip the lining.
  •  The aqua and lime plaid is actually an from an old table cloth - again - look at non-traditional items when looking for inexpensive fabrics.  The thrift stores have lovely curtains, table clothes, and bedding - all of which are excellent sources for fabric!
  • Buttons of any kind or size would work.  I ended up putting my button-holes in AFTER I had sewn the whole apron together.  (I was worried that if I put the button-holes in before I sewed it up, that they would be in the wrong places).  Because the aprons are large, the pockets were able to have button-holes sewn in them in spite of them being already attached to the aprons.
After all of these pictures were taken, I so loved the buttons, that I went back to my original apron and added buttons to it too!

Once I had made a few of these aprons, I decided I needed one with more pockets (if you look closely at the pink-colored apron, you can see a 3rd, smaller row of pockets).  I thought it would be great for small craft tools - and I use it for arts and crafts and LOVE it!


I hope you find these aprons inspiring!  They are fun to do and don't take a lot of time.  Let me know if you have any questions - I'd love to help you if I can!

FYI - My next post will be about creating a burlap banner for my show booth.