Art Fair Insiders

Call for Artists, Making Money at Juried Art Fairs, Craft Shows and Festivals

Hi! I don't think I've posted here yet. In October, I'm doing my first outdoor vendor/arts fair and I was hoping I could ask a few questions. Specifically, I'm looking to compile a checklist of all the things I will need to own and bring with me. (I've only done 1 craft show before and that was more than 3 years ago.)

I know I will need:

  • White 10x10 Canopy Tent - looking at this one: Eurmax Canopy
  • Filled sandbags for tent
  • Stakes for tent (I think it will be in the grass but I'm not completely sure of that yet)
  • Cash drawer and $? for change (how much do you recommend bringing?)
  • Square chip card reader and Square store set up
  • Jewelry and other goodies to sell! (I'm so far behind, eek!)
  • Bags and possibly gift boxes?
  • Price tags (except for the high-end items, which will have descriptions only)
  • Sunscreen and maybe a hat
  • ... I know I'm missing stuff here, please add to the list as you see fit!

Should I bring craft supplies to show my process and work on it while people walk past? Or should I just sit there and force myself to talk to people?

Do I need to have a tax license on-hand? Or just be prepared to notate and file? I think the show requires us to hold taxes but it didn't say we need a license. 

Do I need to file for a DBA to collect taxes? I'm so far out of my league here.

Everything I have yet to do is now hitting me full-force and I'm mildly freaking out here. 

Any advice you can provide would be greatly appreciated!

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1) Instead of sandbags, make your own out of PVC tubes filled with concrete. Insert an eye bolt into the concrete and then use a nylon ratchet strap to hang the tube from the tent frame. Stakes aren't needed if you have 40# weights on the PVC tubes.

2) I only bring about $100 cash for change. Most of my sales are charged to the square.

3) I don't like a cash box. Too easy for someone to walk off with it.

4) Keep demos to a minimum. I'm usually too busy talking with the crowd.

5) Have plenty of business cards / brochures about your product.

6) Bring plenty of water & snacks. Don't bring sandwiches as people will walk by rather than disturb you while your eating.

7) Have fun and share stories about your product.

Hi Veronica - Welcome to the fold.  I am also a jeweler.  Here is my list:

Show Supply List


Office Supplies

Cash box

Receipt book


Business cards/holders





Phone battery

Phone and iPad for backup


Credit card acceptance signs

Pad of paper

Guest book for email addresses/snail mail

Resale tax license

Copy of liability insurance

Show Folder – copy of application and any correspondence from promoter, maps



Grocery bags for trash/clamp

Paper Towels

Glass cleaner

Toilet Paper


Plastic Utensils



Hand sanitizer

Umbrella/rain gear

Fans-battery operated

First aid kit

Towels for wiping off tent sides

Ant poison

Alcohol and wipes to clean earring posts/wires


Set Up

Tent – top and sides

Tent awning


Tie downs

Curtain Rod/curtains





Zip ties

Step stool


Bungee cords



Table covers

Display cases/cover towels

Display pieces

Signs/hooks for hanging


Gaffers tape


Jewelry Supplies

Polishing cloth

Putty to put under display pieces to hold them down in wind

Jewelry tools – pliers, rawhide mallet, ring mandrel, bracelet mandrel

Ring sizer

Extra chains – 16”, 18”, 20”

Ear nuts

French ear wires

“S” hooks/lobster clasps


I hope this helps.

This is great, thank you so much!

Veronica- as a fellow jewelry artist, I'd like to share my show survival list with you. I print off copies and double check each needed item by marking through it as I load my vehicle for each show. It's not fun when you forget an item especially if it's something you can't find at a nearby store. Like someone else said, it's a continual work in progress. You'll add and subtract over and over.


Thank you Alisa!

Great answers everyone.

  • I concur -- keep your money on your person. Don't even think of hiding it somewhere. 
  • "search" the site for weights ... many, many options. Here is one:
  • there are also a myriad of posts about lists of things to have in your vehicle. We always carried a collapsible saw to trim (unobtrusively) bushes and trees

Where is this show being held?

Thanks for the help!

It's at a park in Tulsa. I haven't actually been there yet, so I think I should head there and scope it out. I've never been to this particular fair before, so I'm hoping I can find pictures online, too.

I assume the vendor area will be in the dirt, so tent stakes might actually be helpful.

not just tent stakes, dog stakes ...

spare clothes and shoes. Gortex rain outfit


I took the liberty of taking Renee Davis's excellent list and putting it into a Word Table so that changes could easily be made or items deleted and added.  I'm new to this site, so I hope that the file gets uploaded for you.

In addition, we always had a short list posted on top of our show info, about 10 items that would make it easier for us to not be caught shorthanded, e.g.: cash, credit card machine, jacket, knitting, books, magazines (those 3 for me to keep myself happy on the trip), beverages, snacks, 

This is my first season doing small events (not really art shows save one, so far) and I finally feel like I'm sort of prepared after 4 months of fiddling about. I made a master list of all the items I have and will create a specific one for each event from that. There are things I'll take to an indoor event that I won't need for an outdoor, and vice versa. There are things I'll need for an outdoor event that doesn't end before dark that I won't need for a similar indoor event.

I suggest creating an inventory of things you gather for this, and you'll learn which you need for what type of event.

To add to the other suggestions, I have a plastic bin I call my 'tool box' with diagonal cutters, spray cleaner, paper towels, duct tape, utility knife, trash bags, baby wipes, clorox wipes and bungee cords. Probably some other stuff I'm forgetting. That's come in very handy.


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