Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Craft Fair

I made vague reference to a weekend trip that I took up to New York City a few posts ago. My mom lives in Brooklyn and, several months ago, decided to sign up for a table at a local craft show. My mom and her sisters knit the most beautiful sweaters for babies and toddlers and have toyed with the idea of selling them. I guess you could call this a trial run. Anyway, when I went home for what was supposed to be a relaxing weekend, she was getting nervous about not having enough stuff to sell and asked if we could supplement the sweaters with some sewn goods. Well, the weekend (and the weeks since) turned into a whirlwind of activity as we've tried to make some stuff for the table. And have I mentioned that the craft show is this Sunday?!

I finally sent off a big box of stuff this morning back up to Brooklyn for this weekend's festival. I took pictures of everything, but I also need some help. Having never done these shows before, she's not quite sure how to price everything. I know some of you out there are sometime craft show vendors (or, at least, shoppers!). Can you give me some ideas of what we can reasonably charge for some of this stuff? (Remember, this is NYC and everything's a little more expensive up there.)

First, some pillowcases:

Why am I only just now discovering the Chocolate Lollipop line? I love it!

The cut made the directional fabric difficult to work with, but I think it's still cute. Just stand on your head and you'll get the idea!

Hard to tell, but 30's reproduction kitty cats playing musical instruments on the left. Anna Griffin on the right.

Next, some quilted pillows. They will have pillow forms in them, but since the forms are up in NY, I didn't have any pillow forms to take the pictures.

First, some 20" x 20" pillows:

And I even learned how to do envelope backs!

Practicing my free motion quilting:

Made from some fat quarter bundles that my mom picked up at Purl Soho (her local shop, can you believe it?). I would never think to put these fabrics together, but they seem to work. Boy, they're good.

My first time using muslin (above). It was really soft and nice to work with, and I loved the natural color. I'll be using it again.

Here's a 14" by 14" pillow:

And, some smaller travel pillows (12" x 16"):

Here's a gender neutral baby quilt with an incredibly soft flannel back. In the interest of time, this one was "birthed" rather than assembled, and will be tied instead of quilted.

And finally, some last-minute customized Moleskine books with scraps from my stash. This idea is from the Last-Minute Patchwork + Quilted Gifts book.

I value all of your opinions ... please tell me what you think!


  1. beautiful! I love the quilted pillows the most I think.

  2. Here are my guesses at prices...
    $15.00-$20.00 a pair for the pillow cases
    $25.00-$30.00 for the decorative pillows
    $20.00 - $25.00 for the travel pillows
    $40.00 for the baby quilt
    $10.00 - $15.00 for the customized books...

    Just my guesses. How off the mark am I??

    Your items are beautiful, by the way.

    Jen :)

  3. wow! you have been busy! my fave is the green and grey pillow.

  4. A craft fair seems like a huge undertaking-- many kudos to you and your mom for going for it! It sounds like the table is going to be splendid and I'm sure you'll have lots of sales. :)

  5. I don't have much experience selling things but...
    I think the 20" pillow covers should be at least $35 and the Moleskins at least $20 because they're expensive to start off with.
    Good luck!

  6. Hi John. Your mom will love the vendor world.
    Those pillow cases should sell well especially if she mentions they're great gifts for college age kids and teenagers ($15)
    Decorative pillows ($18 to $25)
    Quilts...Baby ($50) Larger ($90 to $150)
    Books with covers ($12 to $18)
    Good luck!

  7. Everything looks wonderful! I love the quilted pillows! And the small pillow - I just love the Midwest Modern! Good luck!

  8. NYC... okay! Well everything is gorgeous and should sell well. I think the pillow cases should go for about $12 a piece or for a pair $22. The decorative pillows $30. The travel pillows $25. The baby quilt about $50 or more. The Moleskin books at least $15 no less. I hope this helps. Let us know how it all goes!

  9. These have been good suggestions. Be sure not to price things too LOW. It's a strange thing, but people don't really value your creations unless they have a higher price.

  10. Wow! I am insanely impressed with all that you made! You have a wonderful stock of beauties to sell! my favorites are the customized moleskins! I can't recommend prices to sell them at because I'll always say that handmade heartfelt creations should cost much more than what it would cost at a retail store. Price wisely so you don't feel shortchanged for your efforts. Good luck!

  11. I could be wrong since this is NYC but we always price the cost of the fabric & thread x3 and you would have to add the pillow form to that.

  12. I'm afraid I can't be of much help with the pricing but I can tell you my opinion. I think every single piece is fantastic and you (and your mother) should be very proud!

  13. oh john! nice work! my favs are the owls! I would easily pay $35 for a little pillow-cover with the squares and little owls on it!! Oh, and the top two pillow cases, GREAT color mixing. Man, i need to get more adventurous with color. :-)

  14. i have trouble with pricing too...cathy mack has just done a great post on pink chalk studio about pricing crafty items. i learned bunches from her. that might help you a bit. good luck!

  15. I can't help with some of the pricing, but with the moleskine books I would start at the very minimum around 15-18 because they cost around 12$to begin with at the store without being customized. Plus, they have such a base for loyal customers who would definitely spend a little more for a moleskin sketchbook. Check out their site for all their fandom: http://www.moleskinerie.com/
    I am a fan and think they are super cool due to the history of how many famous artists, writers, and poets scribbled away in them over the last several hundred years.

  16. Your work is so beautiful! I especially like the moleskins and the turtle-print pillows!

  17. Everything is lovely.
    As far as pricing goes -
    $20 for a pair of pillowcases, $12 for a single
    $30-$40 for the pillows
    $50+ for the baby quilt
    $20-27 for the moleskins considering the initial price.
    I'm in Chicago so I'm used to seeing things on the pricier side.

  18. Gorgeous gorgeous! All of it looks professional and you shouldn't have any problems fetching a decent price. I would be very surprised to see any of the moleskins left. Those are really charming!

  19. I'm in the UK, so I can't help with pricing - but WOW - how amazing are all of those?
    Good luck!!!!

  20. no advice for pricing but I just wanted to chip in to say that I love all of your treasures for sale. The pillow covers are my favorite :)

  21. I'm not much help with the pricing, but I can tell you that everything is beautiful. I would think the pillowcases could sell quickly. What a great family activity. Excited to see how it turns out for your mom:)

  22. wow, you've been busy! your products look great. I think that pricing is the hardest part of the entire craft show deal.
    oh, and to have purl soho as your LQS...I'm so jealous.

  23. Great stuff. As for pricing have you considered checking Etsy.com to price compare and get ideas? I usually take the cost of materials and double it to get the price. That does not always work. If your goal is to sell then you should keep your prices "reasonable". But at the same time don't sell yourself short.

  24. Hi, I've just discovered your blog and I love your work. Can't comment on prices as from the U.K and don't know what people pay for things in the U.S.

  25. the stuff all looks great! I am so inspired by all that you accomplish...FANTASTIC. I really love the quilted pillows, they rock! Best of luck on the fair!

  26. Wow, I think it all looks really great! I love the pillows. Travel pillows are also great for kids when they're camping! I love all of it!

  27. you are very talented, I can't wait to start making my own pillow covers

  28. Oh yes yes yes! I love these books. I've started making them too. That Last Minute book is my new best friend. I do like yours, it makes me want to rush out and finish off the ones I have to do for Christmas!

  29. I love the travel pillows! I always think hey I'll make a pillow with the leftover pieces of this quilt, and it never happens. This may have inspired me a bit though..