running the craft stall for your school, church or charity fete

And breathe! The craft stall is done and dusted. That was my first time running a school craft stall and while I might have said a couple of times that I won’t do it again, I probably will. It was lots of fun despite being a big job but is one of those things where it is what you make out of it. I had the whole year to get organised and pinterest was my saving grace. There is always inspiration on pinterest and it’s good to have lots of ideas and then pick out what you are going to make. You can find my craft stall Pinterest board here.

What sold out?

Pencil rolls, all sold out and I have a couple to make up for lovely people

Girls skirts. Super easy to put together, great way to use fun or special fabric and an easy seller. I didn’t even size mine just had lengths going from shortest to longest with a variety of waistbands on them and they were a hit

tissue holders. No brainer, super easy to sew, lots of tutorials on youtube

hairclips and lots of them. We had pom poms and yo yos made by parents and girls and I had corker bows and big bows made up for me through ebay and they all sold well. For the last hour we were doing 3 for $5 to sell more out

Shopping bag holders and doorstops. Super popular and another great way to use up fat quarters

tooth fairy bags, I picked up some felt (as much as I would have loved wool felt that would have broken the bank) just some acrylic felt and a sweet school mum whipped them all up on her machine and found some glitter tubes, oops I mean fairy dust and they sold like hot cakes. I had people who missed out – you snooze you lose – and we had over 20 to start with so they were a great hit!

embroidered tea towels. All gone. Cute sayings, Christmas trees and wreaths. They were a hit. $6 each or 2 for $10 and they did so well. Phew. Remember to check the restrictions on any embroidery designs you use. You are prohibited from selling anything with a Disney embroidery designs in public so check first.


Ahhh pricing. I was quoted as saying that I didn’t want to be a stall where people just admired things. I wanted a stall where people bought things. And so I priced to sell. All of our goods were donated and I had a lot of fabric donated so it worked out well. A good price for little things was 2 for $5 and $6 for other items and $12. If nothing is moving you can reduce your price later on. If you are running a craft business and pricing then you will be working out a different price, I really like the thinking of a cake decorating teacher many moons ago who taught be to set the price x 3 of the costs. That means 1/3 covers your costs of materials for that item, 1/3 for your time and 1/3 for your nice to have. For a business that’s a great way of pricing. For a charity /craft stall in a busy market I just thought of prices that were reasonable and would sell the items.

Anything I’d do differently

less fabric baskets, we sold a lot of fabric but really people wanted the skirts and handmade items.

more skirts, more pencil rolls, more doorstops, more small household items. The really practical things that people like

stop visiting other stalls and spending my own money on goods. Just kidding but if you’ve done a market you know that you have to be careful not to spend up big at other stalls

more handknits as they did really well especially the neutral baby cardigans. Big seller.

don’t eat chicken skewers covered in garlic from the lebanese food stall for dinner. Wow the chicken was soooo good but 2 garlic chicken skewers, what was I thinking! I had to cover my mouth and a sweet mum gave me a pack of freshmints for the last 2 hours as I sipped water. Save it for the end of the market or when I’m visiting.

measure tables BEFORE you order tablecloths from interstate. I got the table measurements wrong so had the most wonderful tablecloths for only $20 from melbourne only to discover the tables were much bigger. Thankfully my tables from home were the perfect size.

What worked

We set up the day before which was fabulous because I laid everything out and then saw what needed a better display, and I needed an extra table so I could run home and bring an extra table in the next day

Lots of volunteers, we had 1-2 each hour of the market which was great

A good float. I started the day with $230 with a mixture of $20, $10, $5  notes and  $2 and $1 coins and it worked well and I helped out other people with change later on

Now that my kids are a bit bigger they were great helpers! They did all my price tags, were runners for me and grabbed me some water, spent time with their friends, helped out. They were fabulous helpers even if they kept asking for more money for food or rides.

Ask for items. I made a wishlist and would update my class – people gave me packs of pencils, textas, gel pens, tissue packs, white tea towels, facewashers, handtowels and more. If you get donations of items then all the money can go to the school and it’s great. People will invariably say to you ‘oh I don’t sew or knit’ and you can say that’s ok would you grab me some pencils or teatowels next time you’re at the shops and that’s a wonderful way to help. People want to help out. Also a cash donation made it possible for me to order the hairclips on ebay and buy more white teatowels in bulk so put people to use.

Staying calm. I’m a bit of a stress merchant but I just kept telling myself it’s all for a good cause, the world won’t fall down if this isn’t a success, it will all come together and you will live to tell the tale. Just stay calm, enjoy it and remember that after the market you can put your feet up and relax and not think about another craft stall for a year or two.

And now to take a break! Craft stalls are wonderful fun. People love good old handmade things and get ideas. There will always be admirers and a crowd builds a crowd and we sure had some crowds during the market but it was great that we were selling and did well. My goal was $1k to help our school and we were almost at $1200 if I include in the credit card sales so I’m thrilled. I couldn’t have done it without a great team of volunteers, ladies who knitted and sewed for me and helped man the stall and donate items.

Any hot tips from the craft stall experts out there?


  1. That’s amazing work Corrie. I’m tired just from reading this. I’ve never done a stall so I can’t comment on any tips but I love that stalls have bargain buys. I would have definately got that tooth fairy bag. Are you doing the sewing stall at Better Homes and Gardens?? That’s super cool. I’ve got some family passes to giveaway and I’d love anyone to pop by my blog to enter the draw who wants one. All Things Mum. Thanks Corrie.

  2. You did such a wonderful job on the stall Corrie, love those little skirts and pencil roll holders! Time to put your feet up now xx

  3. Very nice! My big boy starts school next year – they don’t do a fete, but maybe I can join the P&C and talk them into doing one! Looks like a lot of fun! Well done.

  4. Great work Corrie – it is so rewarding once it is all over and was a success. I have 10 pencil rolls cut out and ready to sew as step 1 for our craft stall next year. PJ pants, door stops and things in school house colours sold really well at ours last time. I need to spend from now until January sewing so I can move my focus onto running the actual fair next year! I am in a state of shock at present – just wondering if I have it in me to do it again. I am committed now though…

  5. Looks like you did a wonderful job organising. No tips I’m afraid,I was more likely to donate something than try to organise. Canteen was more my thing where I just had to turn up & do the job, planning & organising are not my strong points

  6. looks fantastic Corrie!! Well done, so sorry I didn’t get there to visit as planned, life has a way of happening but so glad all your hard work paid off for you and the school.

  7. What a wonderful craft stall! Wish I could have been a customer. Can you tell us which ebay shop had the gorgeous Christmas tree hairclips or were they decorations?

  8. Great work Corrie! You know if I was passing by your stall I would have spent all my money on fabric!!!! You raised so much for the school! I hope tomorrow you have a chance to sit down and enjoy a coffee xx

  9. Which tooth fairy bag did you end up making Corrie? Well done!

  10. Ange Moore says:

    Thanks for the inspiration. I have just made a huge pile of tissue covers for our school fair – would love to know what you priced them at! Might have to think about some pencil rolls too…

  11. Thank you for this wonderful post.. Sounds like it’s was very busy but you handled it with much aplomb as always.. I have been considering making a few easy items to run a stall at a craft fair and you always have such lovely advice.. I crochet toys but they can take up so much time and I have been thinking of how to streamline it..I would have spent all my money on those gorgeous fabrics too.. Well done lovely lady!

  12. Anita Smith says:

    Our stall has had a huge hit in our last couple of fetes with ribbon wands. A short length of slim dowel, spray painted in a pretty colour, with a few lengths of ribbon attached to a little swivel at the end. Little girls love them!

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