Things I wish I no longer saw at craft fairs and bazaars

Once garage sale season winds down, craft bazaars and craft fairs get started.
I really like shopping at craft bazaars,  mostly because I like buying local and supporting local crafters just like myself. However, I have been noticing some sellers selling things that just shouldn't be available for purchase. So in my attempt at my very best public service announcement, to those crafters out there toiling away, here is a list of the things I wish I no longer saw at craft fairs.

Things I Wish I no Longer Saw at Craft Fairs and Bazaars

What not to make for your upcoming craft fair

Needlepoint tissue holders
Plastic canvas Long-stitched tissue box cover from e-patterns

These plastic form, needlepoint tissue holders were fantastic back in the '80s.
But like side ponytails, leg warmers and acid-washed jeans
{oh, wait, I think those are all back in???}
the needlepoint tissue holder should be retired.
Along those same lines, so should anything made out of that plastic material.
Like this baseball ornament, 

Baseball Christmas ornament in plastic canvas - $2.50
and especially these cat coasters!
Black Cat Coasters  Technique - Plastic Canvas

Fleece Tie blankets

At this point, I think everyone over the age of 10 has had the opportunity to make a fleece tie blanket at some point in their life.
They are so easy even a monkey could do it.
Don't get me wrong, these blankets are great no sew projects for those who want to get their craft on,
I just don't think they need to be sold at craft fairs anymore.
There are six zillion tutorials out there if you have been hiding under a rock and really want a fleece tie blanket.
Make one yourself.
As they say, the best gifts are handmade.

Knit top dish towels

I love a good dish towel, 
but these knit top dish towels have come and gone.
If you are over 75 I will allow you to still have one.
You are welcome.
They are cute...for you.
If you were born in the last century, please move on.
Also, any dish towel that also disguises itself as a dress or an apron should also be avoided.
It's like a guy in a scarf.  
You just can't trust them.

Independent Consultants

I come to craft fairs for their local handmade goodness, not to buy from independent consultants
pushing their party goods.
 I have purchased something from each of these companies at some point in time,
{o.k., that's a lie, I haven't, but I know where to find them if I wanted to buy them}
I just don't think that having them at a craft fair improves the quality of your craft fair.
I'm looking for unique handmade items, not items I can find in a catalog.

Paracord bracelets

My son learned how to make these paracord bracelets at a Boy Scout event. 
They are fairly easy to make, and kids can whip out a dozen or so in about an hour.
I went to three craft bazaars, and two of them had booths where the adults were only selling custom paracord bracelets.  They had their table full of paracord where you could select your color and they would make a custom bracelet for you as you shopped.
Sort of like getting your name written on a grain of rice at the zoo.
Sort of.
Last year, my craft booth buddy sold a zillion of her 10 year old sons handmade paracord bracelets in addition to her handmade goods.
If you are a child, selling paracord bracelets 
{or rainbow loom or embroidery floss friendship bracelets or whatever}
more power to you.
Pat yourself on the back for getting out there, making a product and selling your goods.
If you are an adult over the age of 18, leave this market to the children.
It's like a lemonade stand.
I will buy a cup of lemonade from the cute little five year old in pig tails but I ain't stoppin' at the lemonade stand with the adult sitting behind it trying to make a buck.

Anything made with ugly fabric

I went to a craft bazaar where the majority of the sellers were able to get a 
senior discount at any store they would want. 
These crafters are some of the best seamstresses out there.
Problem is, they don't usually have the best taste in fabrics.
You can make even the coolest hippest thing ugly and rejectable if you use the wrong fabric.
There are great fabrics out there.
If you aren't sure what is cool, go ask your granddaughter.

I'm sure as craft fair seasons continues on, I will have many more items to add to my list.
Do you have anything you would add that you are tired of seeing at craft fairs?


Starr said...

My mother in law loves those kitchen towels! She adores craft shows and I think personally finances some people's businesses by buying so much.

I do think those cat coasters are awesome looking. But I agree that most of the items you've listed, especially the MLM products like Scentsy, have no place at a craft fair.

DownTheLaneWithDaisy said...

To each his own, they say. Having said that, I agree with all the photos you showed. There's crafts and then there's that stuff. You didn't include the toilet paper covers, knitted, whatever.

PJ @ Planned in Pencil said...

I don't want to see anything made out of safety pins! The last show I went to had like nightlight shades made out of them and plastic beads, NO!

That being said. I'm a Tastefully Simple rep and I love doing craft shows because it gets my name out there. I sell my top selling products, but I definitely always try to be respectful and not pushy at all. Then again I'm not pushy at my parties either.

Linda said...

I love the kitchen towel that just button and don't like the dress ones. I am appalled at the craft shows that allow businesses to have a booth. I don't even stop or look at a Tupperware booth. What is handmade about that?

I didn't like that plastic mesh stuff ever.

1jmass said...

I have to disagree with many of the projects you think are craft show "no-no's". While I do not sell the things I make, my plastic canvas tissue box covers are very well received as gifts. I like to personalize them with the recipient's hobbies, likes, and interests. I recently made one for my cousin who lost his wife to a sudden illness. I used each siide to give tribute to things the family did together.

Their swimming pool complete with deck, beach ball, sunscreen, and a glass of lemonade were on one side. They live in the country, and weekend get togethers with friends and neighbors were a common occurrence.
The high school where they both graduated and their son now attends was represented with the mascot and band instruments. They live in a small Texas town where you will find a large part of the population in the stands on any given Friday night, including out of town games. Their son is in the marching band, and the parents were chaperones on many band trips.
They enjoyed work working and successfully sold their finished work at weekend craft shows for years.
On the last side I simply put 3 intertwined hearts with their initials depicting the loving family unit that blessed so many people over the years.

Yes, I agree some might think it is cheesy, but to my cousins it represents the family that was separated all too soon. I would not be surprised if it finds its way to college in a few years. I will continue to use plastic canvas and crochet hooks to make gifts for those I love as long as I am able. I am just sorry you do not see the joy something made from these simple items can bring.

Unknown said...

I think a lot of it has to do with the fact that tastes and trends in certain handcrafts has stagnated very far behind in fashion for certain crafts.

A lot of young people I know who do crafts for fun and or profit are reviving things like macrame. A few years back a lot of people would have turned their noses up at a macrame owl now twee hipster types can't get enough of even the ugliest 70s owl pattern or using the same skills to make hideous owls to make modern soft sculpture or using colours, patterns and designs that are more Basquiat than Kinkade.

I myself am working on a plastic canvas and wool longstitch kit project that im adding text to in a series about all the half finished/unframed/donated kits I find at thrift stores.

Now if some cool young craft blogger took the plastic canvas projects you showed and made something a bit cooler in contemporary colours like idk making bitching coffin tissue box (which now that i think of it I want and am digging through my craft stuff to start as a project) and got a lot of heat under it via a pin or youtube channel. If such things can see a modern revival that caters to modern tastes and lifestyles - till then Ill keep on harvesting vintage kits for parts for pennies for my hobby. Ehehehe my gain!

Also as the person above me said, never under estimate the power of nostalgia and sentimentality in things that to other eyes look tacky. God knows I'm constantly curling my lip at people with dumb owl motif everything and hideous fabric choices at craft fairs too which is why within my craft and arts practice I know what 'not' to do but also acknowledge that the 'low art'/dated/chintzy/kitschy has it's own weird appeal.

Anonymous said...

Just keep walking past then. Not everyone likes the same things,if we did it would be a boring world.

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