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.
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:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
Kati is the designer behind Hooked by Kati. With thousands of patterns sold around the world, Kati prides herself in creating innovative, easy-to-follow amigurumi patterns. She has designed for several publications, including Crochet!, Crochet World, Simply Crochet, and I Like Crochet. Kati finds her inspiration in science fiction, video games, and numerous visits to the zoo — all passions she shares with her husband and two boys.