How to create an art display on a budget | Beverly Gurganus Fine Art
Have you thought about participating in a craft fair or art fair, but you don't want to spend much money up front on supplies? I have only participated in fairs a few times [like I can count on one hand how many times] so I am no expert, but I thought I would share a few tips on how I came up with my art display on a small budget.
I knew right from the beginning when I signed up for a fair that I did not want to invest much money into a set up especially if I wasn't sure if fairs would be something I would continue doing. Plus, I wanted to spend most of my budget creating quality art that people would feel good about purchasing. So...How did I create a display with very little cost?
I began making a list of the type of arts (or crafts) I would be offering, and then headed right to Pinterest because that's where we all get our ideas, right? Warning: by opening the Pinterest app you are subjecting yourself to hours of scrolling and getting distracted by all the inspiring beautiful pins, but be strong and stay focused. I then compiled a list of what I felt I would need to display my prints and small arts.
Now it is time for the real fun...shopping!
Here are a few tips to consider when shopping for your displays:
1. Visit local thrift stores.
You will be surprised what you can find at a thrift store such as baskets, crates, small dressers with drawers, office organizers, and more. This is my favorite option because I get so excited when I find a creative way to reuse something old (and cheap). Although this is a great place to shop, it can be hit or miss when finding what you need. I was not so fortunate this go around.
2. Visit big box stores.
Big box stores have an assortment of departments such as kitchen ware, office products, home decor, closet storage, and more. Just because you find an organizer meant for an office or for a closet doesn't mean it can't be used for another function. Be creative and think outside of the box (no pun intended).
Ikea has just become one of my favorite stores because not only do they have a plethora of gorgeous home decor, but their prices are so affordable making it a perfect place to shop for my display. I walked away with some 3 wooden plate racks that worked perfect for holding up my original paintings ($2.99 ea) and 3 double sided white frames on a pedestal to display my prices ($1.00 ea).
Sam's Club is a great place to get basic white table cloths that come in packs of 2 for an affordable price, and if they don't have a table covering your size, then how about sheets? I purchased the white table clothes, but next time I want to buy a flat sheet because it will cover the table's top and sides eliminating the need for a table skirt.
The above stores are the two places I shopped, but there are so many options like Homegoods, TJ Max, Marshalls, Tuesday Morning, Walmart, Target (sometimes you can find great items in their dollar stop section), etc...
3. Check Craigslist, Facebook market place, yard sales, liquidation sales
You will be surprised at some of the things you can find listed on craigslist, FB market place, and other classifieds. Businesses and retail stores will have a liquidation sale when they are closing the store or remodeling making them a great place to find display units. Then there are times you just happen to get lucky and find the perfect unit on the side of the road waiting for trash pick up.
My husband was out working when he saw a rack sitting out back behind an art gallery. He asked the owners what they were doing with the rack, and they said they were going to throw it away but he could have it if he wanted it. Cha-ching... he brought it home to me, and it worked so perfectly holding my larger prints.
4. Shop your home
Shopping your home is the best because it is free, and you aren't accumulating more stuff to store after the fair.
I shopped my home when looking for items to hold several small prints such as wooden crates, small suitcases... basically anything that could hold things. You could use baskets, galvanized buckets, large planters, small ladders, etc...
I have quite a collection of seasonal decor so I grabbed greenery from my dining room table, flowers from the tubs in my attic, and mini pumpkins (for Fall) that I had scattered all over the house.
With a little creativity and treasure hunting, you can find a more economical way to create a beautiful display rather than buying expensive display units from specialty stores, and I hope that you will find my tips helpful when planning your next fair.
If you have done craft fairs / art fairs, and have found some creative ways to display your products, I would love for you to share your tips and tricks in the comments.