Woodworking is a fantastic hobby, but after a while, you’ll start filling up your garage and the rest of your house. Why not take some of your projects to a craft sale or festival to try earning money from your favorite pastime? If you’ve never sold anything at a craft festival, here are a few tips and tricks to make your first experience painless and profitable.
Scout the Festival to See What Sells
The chances are high you won’t be the only woodworker at any given craft festival. Before you claim your booth, it’s a good idea to scout the festival and see what sells. The internet has made this easier than ever, as everyone loves to share their craft festival finds and purchases on social media. You can also browse sites like Etsy that focus on handmade items to see what sells the best.
You don’t necessarily need to change what you are producing for the festival — just be aware of what sells best and what will be collecting dust on your table.
Be Ready to Transport
The trickiest part of selling your woodworking items at craft festival is getting everything there — especially if you specialize in large items like furniture. Having a pickup truck will come in handy, but if you’re not careful, heavy wood projects can damage the bed of your truck.
Before you start hauling your woodworking projects to a craft fair, consider using a spray-on bedliner to protect the bed of your pickup, no matter what you’re throwing back there. They’re easy to apply, and if you’ve got an air compressor and a spray gun, you can do the job yourself and save a little bit of money.
Focus on Small Items
While you might specialize in large items, not everyone who comes to a craft fair will have the money to purchase large pieces of furniture. Make sure you have plenty of small items you can sell for $5 to $20. They don’t have to be elaborate, but you should put out a few hand-carved matchstick boxes, bowls and other small items people will be more likely to pick up as an impulse buy. This strategy is a great way to get your name out and bring new customers in without pressuring them to make large purchases they might struggle to get home.
Always Have a Business Card Handy
Even if your woodworking business is only a side gig or a hobby, you should take the time to make some professional-looking business cards to hand out. Include things like your email address, website or social media where you showcase your projects. They don’t need to be fancy cards — order a set from a site like Vistaprint when they’re on sale, and you can get 500 cards for $10. That’s more than enough if you’re only setting this up as a side gig.
Enjoy Yourself and Don’t Get Discouraged
When it comes down to it, the point of a craft festival is to showcase your skills, but your work won’t be to everyone’s tastes. Don’t get discouraged. Take the time to enjoy yourself and maybe make a little bit of money in the process. You might be surprised how well you do if you approach the day with a smile on your face.
Scott Huntington is a writer from central Pennsylvania. He enjoys working on his home and garden with his wife and 2 kids. Follow him on Twitter @SMHuntington