Saturday , 19 June 2021
If you have no idea of how to display, especially with art and craft shows are starting to pick up, then here are some ideas to help you out.

Marketing 101: Niche Markets Part 6 | Packaging and Displays….Field Trip Time!

Marketing 101: Niche Markets Part 6

Packaging and Displays….Field Trip Time!

Part 1: Niche Markets

Part 2: What is your wackiest marketing idea?

Part 3:  Getting out there

Part 4:  Have you done your newsletter?

Part 5: Your Newsletter Revisited

If you have a unique product, you have probably spent a lot of time thinking about how you will display and package your item. If you haven’t, then you need to start thinking about this. Marketing professionals will tell us that how you present a product can be key to its success. My husband, whose career has been in retail, uses many of the “tried and true” ways of displaying an item. We did an earlier posting  on Marbled Musings here and here you can check out as we came up with some ideas for packaging fabrics.

If you have no idea of how to display, especially with art and craft shows are starting to pick up, then here are some ideas to help you out.

Field trip! Last Sunday we went out (in the 105-degree-plus heat) to do some research in displays. We’ve done this in the past, and it always gives us some ideas. We headed to Crate and Barrel and just started analyzing the displays. Using your camera phone, you can snap some quick pics of things you like or you think might be useful.

Once you start looking for display possibilities, you can get overwhelmed. Ideas will pop up constantly. You may also find some great new color combinations to try.

Look at what the plate is resting on. We picked up one of these display racks when Linens ‘n Things went out of business. We paid a dollar, spray-painted it black, and use it to display our notecards at shows.

Baskets seem to be the rage; I see them all the time at shows. Lots of sizes and colors, and you can look at places like Big Lots for sales. You don’t need to spend a lot of money. The key is how you actually package them. Keep in mind people love to go through items and look for what is just perfect for them.

Don’t ignore any ideas, even if you’re with a friend who says, “Nah, won’t work.” Think outside the box. This picture of a ladder would be perfect for scarves, fabrics – lots of ideas, and it is potentially quite portable. Some will work on the floor, and some on the actual table top you are using.

This small table stand could hold portfolio pictures, or any endless number of small items, fabric swatches for commissions – just let your imagination go to work.

This file organizer can work for small prints, notecards – again, let your imagination go to work. Now, for more ideas, check out the stationery stores and the “back to school” sales for other organizing ideas.


Also, be on the lookout for color combinations and textures that appeal. You never knows when inspiration will strike!

We were gallery-hopping up in Sedona, Arizona one time, and we happened in to this marvelous gift store. The person who did the displays was a genius. Everything in one particular section had a music theme. It was such fun looking at everything he used to develop the theme. We enjoyed talking to him about his creativity. He always asks the clients if they want a moderate approach to the theme or “over the top.” Evidently the store owner gave him the “over the top” go-ahead for the last holiday season. She saw the results and was very concerned it was actually too much, but they had the best holiday season in the history of the store. Take a peak at his work.


Once you’ve been idea shopping, then it is time to think about possible displays. A lot of shows want a picture of your booth, and it pays to spend time working out arrangements. We had a day of photography when a group of us entered a small show. We set up a “booth” in the dining room and photographed a display of all our items. Then we did each artist separately, and after a fun day of camaraderie, we had all the photos we needed. Once you do this activity, then you will have a much better idea for the future of how to set up a display.

Don’t forget, when you do shows, to take pictures of your display. Proof you did the show, plus now you have an example to critique after the show. Here’s a sample of our display at our fund raiser for the La Conner Quilt and textile Museum.


What ideas have you gotten from visiting stores and art shows to look at product? What have you done? What ideas can you add to the discussion? Leave a comment!

Dean and Linda Moran are the owners of Marble-T Design and have been marbling for 20 years. You can see their work at “The Art of Fabric,” follow their adventures on their blog, see examples of their marbling in their Etsy shop, and watch their updates on Facebook.


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  1. Such great tips! I love getting creative with display.
    For vintage items, some of the larger pieces I am selling end up becoming my display until a lucky person takes them home. This always helps me freshen up my look too!

    • When you can use your piece for display and then sell it, that’s a great two-for-one! I always end up covering the base of my tables with quilts, mostly to show the use of the fabric, but also everyone is priced for sale. Thanks for the comment!

  2. Great article to get the ideas flowing. I am a jewelry designer and one of my best displays that I always get compliments on… I found small mesh metal luminary bags after Christmas at Pier one for a $1, spray painted them all gold and hang necklaces on them. Always gets attention and people like to see something other than necks for jewelry display!
    Your quilt display is lovely!

    • Love this idea! Saw another one this past weekend where earrings were displayed on their cards and attached to black velvet in a very nice picture frame. Easy to get at, easy to transport, and as her booth grows, she can just hang the frames up – and easy to restock! Thanks for the comment!

  3. Another great post, Linda! I had brick and mortar shops for about 20 years before I moved to selling only online. The most important things I found with display were lighting and cleanliness. If your customer can’t see it, they can’t buy it! And, if it is dusty or messy, they also won’t want to take it home. Having a shop, I felt, was a constant cleaning job. I also moved things around all the time, breaking down displays and changing things around at least once a month.

    There are different “values” that can be given to space within a shop or booth. The most valuable is anything that is displayed between waist and eye height. People, especially older ones, do not want to bend, squat or have to reach to high.

    Displays also need to be safe (from children) and handicap accessible. Something can look great, but if it can be knocked over easily, someone could get hurt or you could even have a lawsuit at your door!

    Selling online takes a lot of that worry out, but some of the same lessons can be used in the photography of an item (keeping it clean and well-lit would mean a photo that is clear, well-cropped, and displaying the item well) and shipping it also needs to show cleanliness and care. The item should not smell of anything (pets, smoke, food spices, etc.), and packaging needs to be clean. I keep my packaging very simple, but make sure that it is neat and clean.

    Those are some of my tips! :)

  4. Thanks, Rachel! In my online descriptions I have started putting smoke-free and pet-free work place. Our packaging is really simple, also. Dean uses plastic bags from the dollar store, and inside each is marketing material, a care code, and a hand-written thank-you note.

    I LOVE the tip for waist to eye height. Hadn’t heard of that one, and it makes sense, especially since I hate to bend these days! I’m thinking of our Seattle show, and pretty much everyone had to bend over a table, which I don’t mind, but I need to think “higher.”

    Thanks again for being so supportive!

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