British Craft Trade Fair preparations...

30.03.15
This photo is of my stand at the British Craft Trade Fair (BCTF) last year. I love this fair, this year will be my 5th time exhibiting. For this years event I want to change things a little, I need more space to exhibit my cufflinks but I want to freshen it up too while still making it look like my 'brand'.
          The trickiest thing about this event is the stand itself. Most trade stands are made from wooden boards which are reasonably sturdy so shelves can be screwed in place, picture frames hung, paper stapled up, often the boards can be painted. But not here. The boards are some kind of plastic with metal struts to support them. Shelves and picture frames need to be hung from the top of the stand using 'S' hooks. The boards wobble quite a bit so this needs to be considered when placing furniture against them. Last year brooches kept falling off my pigeon hole style shelves when the exhibitor on the other side of the board moved his ceramics around, I was more worried that moving things on my side would knock his work! So when planning the layout its really important to consider all of this.

 As my designs are garden / flower related and involve upcycled elements I want this reflected in the stand layout and I also want to be able to use the props at other craft events. I decided to make the new display borards myself. Now I'm no carpenter but since I wanted a rustic, garden shed look I thought I'd be ok.


I used tongue and groove planks to make the boards (the wood was left over from when we had our bathroom replaced). I finished them with 3 layers of chalk effect furniture paint, red, green and aged white. I sanded the white paint to expose some of the layers beneath.

 The cufflinks need more space than I thought so I made a set of shelves from a wine crate with some Ikea picture ledges, these will sit on one of the potting tables and a wall mounted set from an old bread tray. I love this tray - it was left by the people we bought a house from about 12 years ago. They were using it in the cellar to store plant pots, I've used it as a prop for photos and for display at fairs.

  In the end I have five new (old) pieces of display equipment which have only cost the price of the picture ledges and paint. Got to love recycling / upcycling! I still need to decide how all of this will fit together, I'll post photos x

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