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Old 08-27-2013, 11:15 AM   #1
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Default 2013 Craft Sale Best Sellers - Ideas and Discussion

Starting a new thread for 2013.

I've been looking for new fairs for this holiday season and wanted to get an opinion on what kind of fairs do people sell well at?
1. Do you care if there are commercial vendors at the fair? I'm trying to avoid such fairs but it's getting harder and harder to do that.
2. Do you prefer if it's a school fair? Somebody once mentioned at my booth that my items were more catered towards a school audience.
3. Do you get more sales in a church fair as compared to others?

Is there anything else that you look for in a fair (other than the price of the booth)?
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Old 08-27-2013, 11:48 AM   #2
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Default School Fairs

I've only done school fairs. I've generally only done 1 big school fair a year but this year I've taken on 3 (one is a two-day fair). The school fairs are pretty big ones here in Colorado Springs and I've done pretty well. There have been good attendance and a variety of tastes.

I've been at the same one for 4 years now and have customers who come to me every year. I don't make a ton but make a nice profit and get to use the time to enjoy being out around people (I'm a stay-at-home mom of 3 boys), so it is my sanity time

I've also heard from other crafter friends of mine that some of the craft fairs at local churches are well attended. One is a crocheter and the other a paper crafter like me, and both have done well.
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Old 08-27-2013, 01:28 PM   #3
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Default 2013 craft sale best sellers

Quote:
Originally Posted by smriti View Post
Starting a new thread for 2013.

I've been looking for new fairs for this holiday season and wanted to get an opinion on what kind of fairs do people sell well at?
1. Do you care if there are commercial vendors at the fair? I'm trying to avoid such fairs but it's getting harder and harder to do that.
2. Do you prefer if it's a school fair? Somebody once mentioned at my booth that my items were more catered towards a school audience.
3. Do you get more sales in a church fair as compared to others?

Is there anything else that you look for in a fair (other than the price of the booth)?
Okay just a few thoughts from personal experience. In my opinion a craft sale that has commercial vendors tells me the organizers could not fill their tables with handmade items, so they had to open it up to these vendors to get their money.

School fairs.....is the school putting on the sale or is it someone or an organization putting on the sale on in the school gym...this makes a difference.

Church sales ....same response as the above.


Never apply to a
craft sale when it's the first time the organizers have put one on......never no way. Almost always they will have their own thing going on like selling poinsettia plants for a fund raiser and people will only be interested in picking up
their plants. Maybe the goal is to have a bake sale, once again same thing.Now this applies to first time sales, this is not a big deal in well established sales where there is a bake table. Been there done that ....all of the above , learned all those lessons , I was not a slow learner I soon saw how to be successfull and how not to waste my time. Am sure these are people here that have been down this road as well.

Once you start doing successful shows you will develop a following and people will be asking you where your next sale is....Kaching
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Old 08-27-2013, 01:36 PM   #4
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Default 2013 craft sale best sellers

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Originally Posted by jennscraft View Post
I've only done school fairs. I've generally only done 1 big school fair a year but this year I've taken on 3 (one is a two-day fair). The school fairs are pretty big ones here in Colorado Springs and I've done pretty well. There have been good attendance and a variety of tastes.

I've been at the same one for 4 years now and have customers who come to me every year. I don't make a ton but make a nice profit and get to use the time to enjoy being out around people (I'm a stay-at-home mom of 3 boys), so it is my sanity time

I've also heard from other crafter friends of mine that some of the craft fairs at local churches are well attended. One is a crocheter and the other a paper crafter like me, and both have done well.
Talking to other crafters at your sale you will soon find out which ones to stay away from. Also keep in mind when someone tells you they made a killing...what are they selling . Some sales are great for one type of craft and not another. The neighbourhood that the sale is in is also another indicator. if the school is in a new neighbourhood with the age demographic that fits your niche that might also be a good indicator of what you might expect. your fellow crafters will be happy to tell you where the poor sales are but they might not always want to share where their big sales are if you both make the same thing
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Old 08-27-2013, 01:48 PM   #5
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Also keep in mind when someone tells you they made a killing...what are they selling .
That is precisely the reason I asked this question here - I figured most of us would be selling similar items. So if school fairs work for most people then they would probably work for me too.
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Old 08-27-2013, 02:22 PM   #6
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Old 08-28-2013, 03:27 AM   #7
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Old 08-28-2013, 07:55 AM   #8
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That is precisely the reason I asked this question here - I figured most of us would be selling similar items. So if school fairs work for most people then they would probably work for me too.
Just something to think about. it is better to be in a sale where there are not say 5 people selling the same thing as you are. Because you are competing against yourself in a way. if two people have the same product and no matter how much better one may be packaged, there will be the decision on the part if the buyer to buy the cheaper especially if its fora gift.

if there are too many of the same thing at a sale the buyers eyes glaze over and won't keep stopping at table after table of the same product.

I am just putting these things out as something to think about from personal experience after many years of successful selling at craft sales. In fact I would still be doing so if I did not have two adorable grandsons that keep me busy making many treats for their classmates and teachers year round. Adding to that my daughter started to work at a school with 40 fellow workers for which I also have to come up with ideas. so while not doing sales still crafting and keeping up on what's new.
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Old 08-28-2013, 09:59 AM   #9
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Thanks canada goose! That is some great advice!

Thanks jennscraft - that information really helps me!
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Old 08-28-2013, 10:24 AM   #10
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I am not aware of schools that have craft fairs in my city, but I know some of the surrounding areas do. I have never done a craft fair anywhere but at a church and I have done it for 3 years now. I plan to do it again and look forward to seeing repeat customers who have told me that they look for my booth each time. I also did one last year at another church that was having a sale after not doing one for several years. It was almost like a giant garage sale in terms of what people brought to sale...old, dated, etc. yet supposedly "new" and I guess they were at some point in time. I did make some profit, but it was not worth my time and effort, so I will not do it again. It was also in December and I don't like to continue sales into December because I want to get myself ready for Christmas! I have noted that some nursing home/rehab centers have craft fairs for their patients and families, so I may try one of those this year. I can't do outdoor fairs due to my health, but for those that can do them, they seem to be very popular and more plentiful. I don't do this as a business, but more as an affirmation that my items are unique and fun and well...cute! That makes me happy.
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Old 08-28-2013, 10:39 AM   #11
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Old 08-28-2013, 12:11 PM   #12
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Old 08-28-2013, 01:59 PM   #13
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I've done two church fairs and they were both a huge bust for me. I will not do another one. I did a show at our city rec center last year and did extremely well. This is a huge show and very well attended. Lots of people = more chances for $ale$.

The school fairs in my city are very small like the church fairs, so I won't do any of them here. When we retire we will probably move to Denver. Then I would investigate and rethink, as it may be different out there.
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Old 08-28-2013, 03:51 PM   #14
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Well established craft sales usually have a waiting list. Sometimes it worth getting in that list as there is the chance of a cancellation especially if you have a craft not represented in the present vendors.
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Old 08-28-2013, 07:03 PM   #15
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Old 08-28-2013, 07:25 PM   #16
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Old 08-28-2013, 07:32 PM   #17
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what's going to be the "Hot" items this fall? Any new ideas?
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Old 08-29-2013, 07:52 AM   #18
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Old 08-29-2013, 10:14 AM   #19
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Old 08-29-2013, 11:23 AM   #20
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Deb, don't know what will be HOT but I think I know what will not be HOT in our area - Microwave/Hershey popcorn snowman.

I've found hot cocoa to be evergreen - I hope I'm not proven wrong this year So are the post-its.
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Old 08-29-2013, 06:55 PM   #21
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Deb, don't know what will be HOT but I think I know what will not be HOT in our area - Microwave/Hershey popcorn snowman.

I've found hot cocoa to be evergreen - I hope I'm not proven wrong this year So are the post-its.
I could not sell post it notes last year unless they were Clemson or Carolina (college teams)
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Old 08-29-2013, 07:31 PM   #22
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Old 08-29-2013, 11:45 PM   #23
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Old 08-30-2013, 12:43 PM   #24
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Default 2013 Craft Sale Best Sellers

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Deb, don't know what will be HOT but I think I know what will not be HOT in our area - Microwave/Hershey popcorn snowman.

I've found hot cocoa to be evergreen - I hope I'm not proven wrong this year So are the post-its.
I think that many things in crafts probably have a two year shelf space. Snowman soup, Magic Reindeer food, post it notes etc microwave popcorn etc are past their due dates so to speak. That is unless you come up with a new twist on an old idea or unique new packaging.
For example it seems that customers almost have to be shown something before they "get it". So signage suggesting a gift for co-worker and secret santa and teacher gifts almost seem mandatory.

Chocolate seems to go well as long as you keep finding unique ways to package it ( I am a nut for unique packaging). Last year I also made little nugget purses that held 2 hershey nuggets, but instead of using designer paper, I was putting plain paper through embossing folder and taking my cue from what was embossed, or even by placing the paper in the right spot to get a specific image on the front of my little purse. I took it a step further and made a purse to hold just one nugget which would cut back on your cost but you would not have to cut back so much on the pricing. This one I ran through an embossing folder to give it a look of a summer straw bag......cute.
For one of the grands music teachers, I made a purse out of musical note paper and for the clasp I cut out a musical note out of a single music note, so her purse stood out for what she taught.Maybe a gift for your childs teacher that gives piano lessons.

I never sold anything less than $5 and most things were ranging from $15-20 in latter years. Something to keep in mind is making something that people collect. For example one year I made a little angel for my christmas sale, and started selling at my first show late October, well they flew off the shelves. I never realized how many people collect angels and an angel tree decoration just fit in price wise as well. These little ladies sold very well for 3 years, so of course I made little gingerbread men and santas based on the original concept.

This past christmas I made up my nuggets to resemble little yellow school buses and my daughter gave those to her 42 co-workers at the school she works at. I think I am still seeing little black dots from all those hundreds of little black wheels on the bus. Same old hershey nugget just a new set of clothes.

Now I have to start thinking about Halloween, but will not be making 50 decorated coffins with treats inside. My older grandson is now getting to the age where it is not "cool" to bring treat to school. But he still eats what Grandma makes.

For those of you that make things for halloween here is a cute idea I found on Becky Roberts blog last year. They were little witches brooms. I made them with black Licorace in 1x8 cello bags. For Thanksgiving you could change it up by using a cinnamon stick for the broom handle, and decorate it with tiny little paper punched leaves, and use these for place card setting as well with names on them.
Off to get some brainstorming on those halloween treats.
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Old 08-30-2013, 05:48 PM   #25
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Would like to make up some of these:
MUST MAKE!! | paper crafting
for a craft show. But need to find a better price for the cookie packs. Local food store has them for .60 per pack.
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Old 08-30-2013, 07:25 PM   #26
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Would like to make up some of these:
MUST MAKE!! | paper crafting
for a craft show. But need to find a better price for the cookie packs. Local food store has them for .60 per pack.
I hope you have better luck with them. I made over twenty last year and did not sell any. I did very well with everything else made over $800. Someone told me that Sesame Street wasn't popular any more???
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Old 09-01-2013, 09:36 PM   #27
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I guess I'm too new or behind the times, but what are the 3x3 post it note craft items? Anyone have a picture?

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Old 09-03-2013, 10:33 AM   #28
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Liz, here's one in SCS tutorials: Splitcoaststampers - Acrylic Post-It Note Holder Project Tutorial by Beth Silaika
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Old 09-03-2013, 05:09 PM   #29
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Old 09-04-2013, 07:23 AM   #30
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I am going to try the snowman popcorn. I haven't seen anything like that at any of the sales I was at last year, so here's hoping!

I have also found a couple new sales to attend on Kijiji. They are established sales but looking for new/more vendors. I will see how those go. I am still attending three of the ones I did last year, but needed some new territory to go to! lol

One craft sale I did last year had a stipulation on pre-packaged food items...none were allowed! Of course this was told to us a week before the sale and after I paid my table fees. That is half of my items! So I will not be going back to that sale ever again (hence the reason to find new territory).

Good luck to everyone that is participating in a sale this year! Let's get crafting! lol
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Old 09-04-2013, 01:15 PM   #31
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I think the main thing someone said about a 2 year shelf life for an item is so true!
I did the hershey snowmen for 2 years and microwave popcorn for 2 years and am switching them up a bit this year. I think candy always sells well. For me, at least.

I am also trying to come up with some new items to sell that are non-candy related. Also, trying some cheaper candy items...$1 items. I think those will sell well for people who like to buy a little something for each co-worker, etc.

I agree with whoever said that cocoa stuff sells well for them. Me too, but I am going to try to mix it up a little bit and try some new cocoa ideas too. Repeat customers need to see new things, and new customers won't know about the old stuff, so switching up every 2 years is what I do. Of course, I try a few new things every year to keep people coming back!

I only do 2 shows a year, having done many others that didn't work for me. the two shows I do are a 2-day at a large catholic school and a 1-day at my local public school. Both are very established and in early Nov. and early Dec. so I basically sell Christmas-y stuff or things that people are giving for Christmas. My candy treats are always Christmas/holiday themed and my other items tend to be general themed.
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Old 09-04-2013, 04:25 PM   #32
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I think the main thing someone said about a 2 year shelf life for an item is so true!
I did the hershey snowmen for 2 years and microwave popcorn for 2 years and am switching them up a bit this year. I think candy always sells well. For me, at least.

I am also trying to come up with some new items to sell that are non-candy related. Also, trying some cheaper candy items...$1 items. I think those will sell well for people who like to buy a little something for each co-worker, etc.

I agree with whoever said that cocoa stuff sells well for them. Me too, but I am going to try to mix it up a little bit and try some new cocoa ideas too. Repeat customers need to see new things, and new customers won't know about the old stuff, so switching up every 2 years is what I do. Of course, I try a few new things every year to keep people coming back!

I only do 2 shows a year, having done many others that didn't work for me. the two shows I do are a 2-day at a large catholic school and a 1-day at my local public school. Both are very established and in early Nov. and early Dec. so I basically sell Christmas-y stuff or things that people are giving for Christmas. My candy treats are always Christmas/holiday themed and my other items tend to be general themed.
I think many of us feel the shelf life thing. It's really hard to come up with new things! I have a few worked out, but I need NEW IDEAS!
This is one thing I think will work: Magnolia's Place: Dress Up Framelits

These are unique BUT what, if anything, do I put in them?
Origami box: Magnolia's Place: Origami Box
Bespoke box: Magnolia's Place: A Bespoke Box From Across The Pond
Mini photo album: Magnolia's Place: Creative Crew Color Focus
Another mini photo: Magnolia's Place: Mini Photo Album
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Old 09-04-2013, 04:27 PM   #33
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Oh and I know these will sell
Http://scmagnolia.blogspot.com/p/craft-show-items.html
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Old 09-05-2013, 04:25 AM   #34
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I love love love doing craft shows. I usually do just Christmas shows. Did 3 Easter shows this year and had allot of items left over. So I'm sticking to Christmas shows. My best show (which happens to be the smallest show) each year is a small Church. I also do a school and will be trying a new show this year at a war college in the area. All these shows are in the immediate area. I would like to start going into other areas. Have allot of items done for this year. First show is November 2. I have already went to shows and checked them out for the next year. Vendors will tell you how they are doing at the show and will also share shows, good and bad, they have done. Will be checking a show the end of Oct. for next year.
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Old 09-05-2013, 07:42 AM   #35
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Carole...I think either candy, or lip balm (if they will fit) in the small boxes would be nice. Also, maybe leave some of them empty but give ideas of what to put in them. Show one with a necklace or earrings in them as a unique and pretty box for jewelry someone is giving to someone else.

Also, a lip balm (or lipstick, although that could get expensive!) in the dress box would be cute!

I am trying my hand at a couple sewn items this year to see how they do...
*hot/cold rice packs
*coffee cup sleeves & mug rugs made out of old wool sweaters
*wine bottle woolies made out of old wool sweaters
*tree ornaments made out of old sweaters

(I bought old wood sweaters a couple of years ago from Salvation Army planning to do all sorts of things with them! Let's see if I can get around to it this year, finally)

For candy items, I plan on doing the hershey bars but I bought new sleeve designs to use: Santa, Elf, Reindeer and Penguin. They are 3-D and really cute. I plan on packaging them a little better and upping the price, because all that cutting out for the 3-D parts is labor intensive. Plus, they will be in a plastic sleeve with a jingle bell and tag on them. Probably charge $4 each or 3 for $10.

Other small candy items I plan on doing are the peppermint patty sleeves and mini candy bar sleeves of candy.

I'm also adding a few $1 items such as:
* plastic test tube treats filled with sixlets. I plan on doing 2 versions: red, green and white and blue, white and silver (if I can find silver locally without having to order it). If not, then 2 variations of blue and white. They will have small tags on them. I have a ton of these test tubes left over from a few years ago when I did them and I am at a new craft show so they haven't seen them yet and i haven't done them for a couple of years so they will be new again at my other show.
*sour cream containers filled with candy. these are the paper "sour cream containers" and those have always been popular. Once again, haven't done them for a couple of years at one show and not at all at the other. I use inexpensive candy...the big bags of assorted hard candy and put a few pieces in each container.

I am also doing some of the hand sanitizers. I did elf coats as the box. They turned out really cute....did 3 different colors so they are girl, boy or neutral.
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Old 09-05-2013, 09:05 AM   #36
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I agree with whoever said that cocoa stuff sells well for them. Me too, but I am going to try to mix it up a little bit and try some new cocoa ideas too. Repeat customers need to see new things, and new customers won't know about the old stuff, so switching up every 2 years is what I do. Of course, I try a few new things every year to keep people coming back!
Yes I agree - looking at my history I believe I've been switching cocoa designs every two years.
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Old 09-05-2013, 09:09 AM   #37
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Carole, here are some ideas for the boxes:

* tazo tea bags
* hand sanitizer - if it fits
* small body lotion/cream/shower gel
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Old 09-05-2013, 09:55 AM   #38
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Carole...I think either candy, or lip balm (if they will fit) in the small boxes would be nice. Also, maybe leave some of them empty but give ideas of what to put in them. Show one with a necklace or earrings in them as a unique and pretty box for jewelry someone is giving to someone else.

Also, a lip balm (or lipstick, although that could get expensive!) in the dress box would be cute!

I am trying my hand at a couple sewn items this year to see how they do...
*hot/cold rice packs
*coffee cup sleeves & mug rugs made out of old wool sweaters
*wine bottle woolies made out of old wool sweaters
*tree ornaments made out of old sweaters

(I bought old wood sweaters a couple of years ago from Salvation Army planning to do all sorts of things with them! Let's see if I can get around to it this year, finally)

For candy items, I plan on doing the hershey bars but I bought new sleeve designs to use: Santa, Elf, Reindeer and Penguin. They are 3-D and really cute. I plan on packaging them a little better and upping the price, because all that cutting out for the 3-D parts is labor intensive. Plus, they will be in a plastic sleeve with a jingle bell and tag on them. Probably charge $4 each or 3 for $10.

Other small candy items I plan on doing are the peppermint patty sleeves and mini candy bar sleeves of candy.

I'm also adding a few $1 items such as:
* plastic test tube treats filled with sixlets. I plan on doing 2 versions: red, green and white and blue, white and silver (if I can find silver locally without having to order it). If not, then 2 variations of blue and white. They will have small tags on them. I have a ton of these test tubes left over from a few years ago when I did them and I am at a new craft show so they haven't seen them yet and i haven't done them for a couple of years so they will be new again at my other show.
*sour cream containers filled with candy. these are the paper "sour cream containers" and those have always been popular. Once again, haven't done them for a couple of years at one show and not at all at the other. I use inexpensive candy...the big bags of assorted hard candy and put a few pieces in each container.

I am also doing some of the hand sanitizers. I did elf coats as the box. They turned out really cute....did 3 different colors so they are girl, boy or neutral.
Would you mind sharing where you purchased the new 3-D sleeves for the candy bars?
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Old 09-05-2013, 10:02 AM   #39
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Originally Posted by kspiv View Post
Carole...I think either candy, or lip balm (if they will fit) in the small boxes would be nice. Also, maybe leave some of them empty but give ideas of what to put in them. Show one with a necklace or earrings in them as a unique and pretty box for jewelry someone is giving to someone else.

Also, a lip balm (or lipstick, although that could get expensive!) in the dress box would be cute!

I am trying my hand at a couple sewn items this year to see how they do...
*hot/cold rice packs
*coffee cup sleeves & mug rugs made out of old wool sweaters
*wine bottle woolies made out of old wool sweaters
*tree ornaments made out of old sweaters

(I bought old wood sweaters a couple of years ago from Salvation Army planning to do all sorts of things with them! Let's see if I can get around to it this year, finally)

For candy items, I plan on doing the hershey bars but I bought new sleeve designs to use: Santa, Elf, Reindeer and Penguin. They are 3-D and really cute. I plan on packaging them a little better and upping the price, because all that cutting out for the 3-D parts is labor intensive. Plus, they will be in a plastic sleeve with a jingle bell and tag on them. Probably charge $4 each or 3 for $10.

Other small candy items I plan on doing are the peppermint patty sleeves and mini candy bar sleeves of candy.

I'm also adding a few $1 items such as:
* plastic test tube treats filled with sixlets. I plan on doing 2 versions: red, green and white and blue, white and silver (if I can find silver locally without having to order it). If not, then 2 variations of blue and white. They will have small tags on them. I have a ton of these test tubes left over from a few years ago when I did them and I am at a new craft show so they haven't seen them yet and i haven't done them for a couple of years so they will be new again at my other show.
*sour cream containers filled with candy. these are the paper "sour cream containers" and those have always been popular. Once again, haven't done them for a couple of years at one show and not at all at the other. I use inexpensive candy...the big bags of assorted hard candy and put a few pieces in each container.

I am also doing some of the hand sanitizers. I did elf coats as the box. They turned out really cute....did 3 different colors so they are girl, boy or neutral.
You're sewn items sound great! Thanks for the suggestions
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Old 09-05-2013, 10:15 AM   #40
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BTW last year I also realized that a lot of people peruse pinterest so when people looked at my reindeer hershey bars and Snowman popcorn they talked about how they'd seen it on pinterest (somehow seeing it on pinterest equals to making it - anyway that's a totally different discussion...). So I'd to make sure that I didn't make anything this year that was popular on pinterest.
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