On craft show displays and why mine’s so easy

Gangbusters Cards

I have a little jewelry business. I hoard old comic books, ancient magazines and busted up games that no one wants anymore, take all the coolest parts, and make it into jewelry. It’s a fun hobby, it salvages things that I love a whole lot and gives them a future they wouldn’t otherwise have, and it makes me a little bit of cash on the side. I call it Gangbusters.

Gangbusters just got a little branding redesign. I gave it a new logotype and new signage and stuff, but I kept my existing display—the only display I’ve ever used at a craft show, because I love it so. And for the first time outside hushed conversations between vendors, I’m about to reveal what my display is and how I put it together. Because it’s really simple. And very effective.

This is the display I set up at my last big show, shortly before Christmas (and long before I finally figured out my graphics):

And this is my current display at the Beehive here in Atlanta, where I’m phasing out the old logo and phasing in the new look:

Gangbusters display at the Beehive, Atlanta, GA

As you can see, it’s just a miniature version of my craft show display, which you may be interested to know folds right down flat and weighs, oh, maybe five pounds tops. What is it, you ask? No, it’s not some crazy custom whatsit that I paid a million dollars for. It’s just a set of closet organizers that I picked up for $10 at a garage sale and a bunch of neodymium magnets.

DisplayPieces

I designed a hang-card to be the size of a business card, had the business cards printed very inexpensively (having worked with a number of printers professionally, I recommend PrintPlace: their system is just as easy as VistaPrint, the final price ends up being comparable, and the print qualify and paper stock are both nicer), punched holes in them, and attached each pendant to a card with a twist tie. That’s it. It took some fiddling to get my display to where it is, but it really couldn’t be simpler and although it’s continually evolving, I definitely couldn’t be happier with it. I recommend it to anyone with a ton of different designs to display all at once. (That is, unless your product is geared toward kids, because strong magnets within reach of a child are dangerous.)

Just for the fun of it, I photographed one of my pendants on its little journey from being a comic book to being on the display. You can see it live its whole life!

Heaven

Heaven

So that’s that. Uncomplicating my display has been a big deal, because I hate to waste my early-morning energy setting up at shows. I want to throw my stuff in the car, haul it inside in two or three trips, and be ready to sell inside of an hour, including tent setup when necessary. I’m not one of the vendors that asks if we can start setting up before 7:00 for a 10 a.m. show.Better I should roll up at 9:30 and still be straightening up when the customers start to arrive. They’ll like me better if I’m well-rested.

Kristina Ackerman

Kristina Ackerman is a busy freelance web designer, living and DIYing with her fella and their little fella in a cute old house in Atlanta, GA, USA.

  • Jess

    I absolutely love the redesign! I noticed it on facebook the other day and shared it with Nathan. It’s pretty much perfect! Just like you.

  • Ewey

    I definitely need a fall road trip south. After hurricane season. Unless one heads this way first. I want Kits’ jewelry. MUST have Kits’ jewelry!

  • Lisa McGrimmon

    What a brilliant idea for a jewelry display.  I’m pretty good at re-purposing, but I would never have thought of that in a million years!  I pinned the photo on a Pinterest board.

    • http://knucklesalad.com Kristina Ackerman

      Thank you, Lisa! Sometimes, it’s just a matter of what you’re lucky enough to come across while you’ve got an objective on your mind. I don’t think I’d ever have put this together from home. I had to be out in the world looking at things and thinking, “This? …This? …Maybe this? Would this work?” I highly recommend it as a problem-solving method, especially for displays!

  • Sheila

    I’m about to do my first small festival in a few months, and your display idea really helps me visualize what I could do. I am working on designing the business card to hang each necklace on. Where would I buy a package of white twisty ties? That white frame doesn’t look like it was made from the closet organizer in the photo above. I don’t understand how you made the folding display stand. Where would I buy a tablecloth to cover a 6 ft. table? Just a regular table cloth from Walmart maybe? I’m so new to this. Thanks for any advice you can give me!

    • http://knucklesalad.com Kristina Ackerman

      Hi, Sheila,

      First, please look carefully at the side supports of the closet rack in the photo. I promise that’s exactly what I used to make the folding rack. :) As for twist ties, you should be able to find them in a kitchen store if your supermarket doesn’t have them. They can be hard to see so definitely ask an employee for help. Finally, you can find a tablecloth anywhere (the measurements will be printed on the package, so make sure you buy the right size) but it can be cheaper to use bed sheets. Good luck with your first show!

  • Lentina Villa

    Thanks so much for sharing! I, too, would rather roll in half an hour before the show starts and do not have much space at home (teeny apt shared with husband and 3-yr-old!) so this is great!!! I was in fact looking for those wire cube things and wondering if I can somehow fashion it the same way. :)

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  • Sara Goforth

    How do you hold the pieces together? Also I’m 2 hours north of Atlanta!

  • Linda Blatchford

    I saw this on Pinterest and had to save it. You made the display from the basket closet organizers that are linked? A little confused.

    • http://knucklesalad.com Kristina Ackerman

      Hi Linda! As I described in an earlier reply to Sheila, the display isn’t made from the baskets themselves, but from the side supports that hold the baskets up and form the tracks for the baskets to hang from and act as drawers. They’re in the product shot with the baskets, but it’s oddly difficult to focus on them in the photo, because the natural inclination is to look at the baskets…but they are the non-basket part. Hope that helps!