Some posts contain affiliate links. But have no fear! I only promote things I love and use myself.
a bad tablecloth can ruin your craft fair display | Hooked by Kati
Selling Crochet

Craft Fair Booth Displays Can Be Ruined By A Bad Tablecloth

As soon as I start talking about craft fair setups, people want to talk about pricing, signage, and how to arrange your tables. But the part of your table doing the most good (or the most damage), is often the biggest thing on your table: Your tablecloth.

The tablecloth is probably the last thing the vendor thinks about, but it is the first thing the customer sees.

It is the background for your whole display.

Color

It’s been proven that color sets the tone for emotion. The color of your tablecloth and how it contrasts with your display can change the initial emotion your customer attaches to your product.

Do you sell goods for babies? Then pastel colors, especially pink, make people feel loving and gentle. Food products? Yellow and orange tones have been proven to make people feel hungry.

Health products? Blue and green encourage people to think about their health and to be calm and positive.

For even more details about color, check out this link:

http://www.arttherapyblog.com/online/color-psychology-psychologica-effects-of-colors/#.WxGcQe4vw1I

DO NOT use a white table cloth!

Why? A white tablecloth gets dirty easily, making more work for you between fairs.

It looks “blank” and is easy for eyes to brush past when customers are scanning a busy fair.

Spaces and gaps look more empty, which can make a customer think you do not have enough inventory. It can also make you, the vendor, think you need more on the table, causing you to over-crowd and overwhelm your shoppers.

Patterns

If your product comes in a variety of colors, those colors need to stand out against your background. A multi-colored complex pattern can drown your product and make it invisible to your shoppers. If you feel like you need a patterned tablecloth, make it a subtle print with few colors, and consider using solid squares of fabric over the top so the product is still easy to see.

Avoid seasonal themes because they narrow the scope of your shoppers. A holiday craft fair may be the perfect place to sell your red and green scarves, but if your table is also red and green, your scarves become just part of the display, and they do not stand out on their own.

Material

This is short and easy. Use finished fabric for your tablecloth. Don’t use plastic tablecloths unless you are hosting a kids’ craft table. If your table looks disposable and temporary, then customers will think your business is not going to be around a year from now. They may not trust a product from a table that is thrown together at the last minute because they may fear the product is also hastily made and just a way to make quick money for the vendor.

A fabric tablecloth shows dedication to your business. It shows that you put in thought and effort, and it shows confidence in your product.

Cloth doesn’t have to mean expensive. www.linentablecloth.com has lovely linen tablecloths in any size and color for as little as $5.00 each.

Length

Use full length tablecloths so that they touch the ground in the front and on the sides of every table.

The area behind your booth is probably cluttered with empty boxes, replacement inventory, and custom order forms (not to mention the Starbucks you picked up that morning and the breakfast burrito your husband brought you). But your customers shouldn’t be able to see any of that.

From the front, your booth should be seamless and professional. This means using a full length tablecloth to create a place to hide any of the necessary accoutrement required to run your booth.

Be sure to factor in table risers if you use them, and remember not to forget the sides of your tables. If the cloth only covers the front but you end up with a corner booth space, then your secret storage area is still visible from the sides.

Cleanliness

Before craft fairs, take the time to wash and iron your tablecloth.

This sounds like a duh statement, but I have to admit to putting out a wrinkly, dusty tablecloth at an outdoor craft fair because it was outdoors and it would “get dirty anyway.” Did it necessarily impact my sales? I don’t know. But I do know that I was constantly wiping and straightening it all day, and I’m sure that didn’t do my sales any favors for customers to see me fixing my display.

It takes a lot for me to tell anyone to iron, because I hate it with a burning passion. But drink a glass of wine, put on your favorite show, and suck it up before the fair. Because it will make your booth pop, your confidence soar, and let’s face it, it just looks better.

Join Hooked by Kati Plus

Doing all these things isn’t going to make customers come running up to your booth yelling, “What a delightful tablecloth!” but it could enhance their shopping experience, improve the image of your business, and set the tone for you as a business owner.

In summation, having a clean, solid-colored, linen tablecloth can completely change the look and feel of your next craft fair booth, and it may be just the thing you need to make your next craft fair a success.

The biggest thing on your table could be hurting your sales
Don’t Forget It! Pin It!

Did you change up your tablecloth at a recent fair? What were your results? Post pictures of your setup so others can learn from your awesome example!

Yarn on,

Kati

(Visited 1,762 times, 62 visits today)

20 Comments

  • Tania Meares

    I use crushed velvet table cloths, the best part, no ironing needed, and the 2nd best part, they were free!!! They look great right out of the Sertilite tub! They are a bright almost hot pink, which works well with my hair bow booth, they seem to attract girls and moms! The down side, they are all round, so I took black sheets and sewed them to form fit my tables, so you see a little black on the sides on one table and in the middle where the 2 table cloths overlap on the other, and that black also matches one of my larger fixtures (an old ornament rack), so it helps bring that piece in and it dosen’t look out of place. Check with your local department stores, sometimes they have fixtures, table cloths and other odds and ends that they just want to get rid of, that’s how I got most of my booth items!

  • Alexandra Thackeray

    I do a Knit wear table generally focusing on adult knits jumpers, shawls with hats and gloves in a variety of colours. occasionally selling knitted bits for my mother in law manly children’s bits. No idea what I should use as a table cloth or colour and advice on colour??

    • admin

      Hmmm…. I think it would depend on your basic color scheme. And do you hang most of your work? If most of it is hung up, the color won’t matter as much, but I would stick to white if you want it laying flat on the table. That way it would show off the color against the white background. To keep the white from washing things out and looking “empty,” try adding a few small table plants or decorations that “match” stained glass. I always think of things like ferns and succulents.

      • admin

        This pattern is an old one, before I knew what I was doing. 🙂 Let me mess around with it. But what I think is happening is that you need to count the 1st st of each round that has the sl st in it as the first skipped stitch. That should give you the right count.

  • Mo Kelson

    We recently changed from a tartan cover (previously we sold a lot of Scottish ‘tourist loving’ items) and continued to use it even tho’ our stock changed to lovely pastel coloured housewares. This last weekend we had our final Christmas show and decided at the last minute to change our whole table design and borrowed some table display from our friend. Grey felt covers for our White wooden plinths and a grey table cloth. The whole table just popped and we had lots of compliments on our display and our sales were triple the last show we did.

  • Shelley Stephen

    I’m curious how you keep the wrinkles from coming back when you transport the table cloth to the fair after ironing. I spent a ton of time ironing a fitted tablecloth that I bought and by the time I got to the show, it was wrinkled.

    • admin

      I would recommend laying it on top of your crates as you pack, not folding or packing it in a box. The other thing that has always worked for me for my seasonal table cloths is to hang them on a pants hanger for transport. Some materials wrinkle more easily than others, so some require a little more care when moving.

      • Marianne Hofstra

        To prevent your table cloth from wrinkling you could wrap it around a long cardboard roll, plastic pipe or even a (new clean) broomstick (and don’t forget to secure so it doesn’t roll off). Easy for transport and storage between shows / fairs.

  • Susan

    I usually use shorter tables or tubs with cloths mostly under my taller tables so full length table cloths weren’t usable just in the way.

    • Paula

      I do use white tablecloths. I make arrangements and wreaths and cork ornaments and such. If I used colored or printed table cloths my items would look lost. I normally do fall and Christmas shows and my products will stand out against a white background.

  • Jeri

    I usually use black sheets to cover my tables but always had trouble keeping the sides in place when the wind blows….exposing all my junk underneath. This year I made fitted full length covers with those sheets.Now all I have to do is slip them over the table.I made a slit in the middle of back side for easy access.I also am using color and pattern by topping the table with a dusty rose sheet cut to size and black and white gingham mattes on top of that.Good contrast with a shabby-shriek look.

  • Gerry B

    Kati: I did many craft and flea market shows with my dad and mom. Always they had clean tablecloths for their tables and they all came to the ground in front. Because they never say the back, it was usually half half length.
    Anything point that can be interesting is that they purchased ‘bed sheets’. Yep, they did. You can or used to, be able to purchase fairly inexpensive queen/king sheets cheap if you didn’t buy the most expensive on the market and the darned things seemed to last forever. Now days they come in many plain and complex patterns. So, for those interested, it’s just a thought.

    • admin

      Thank you so much for sharing in this conversation! I agree, sheets can work really well sometimes. I go to a lot of fairs which you can walk around and see behind tables (just because of the style of set up), and I was always disillusioned when I saw a bunch of rubbermaid tubs behind the tables, so I do my best to have table cloths long enough I can completely hide mine under the tables from any angle. Also, I have found that you can actually get real tablecloths for even cheaper than sheets, and you don’t have to buy a whole set! I get mine from linentablecloth.com. The ones I buy are usually only $5-7. 🙂

    • Jean

      I used to use black sheets, then I came across some creme and beige Colton, satin sheets at a thrift shop, came with four pillow cases, I covered tablel with sheet, then put cardboard boxes cut to size to place in the pillow cases, for height worked great with added mini lights at christmas craft sale. My sales were tripled

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *