My Craft Show Go-Bag

In my blog, I have referenced my craft show “go-bag” a bunch. I thought I would take a minute to explain more about it and what I keep in it. In this post I’ll talk about the advantages of a pre packed bag and what kinds of things you should keep in it. I will also put a couple links to helpful products that I have in my go-bag as well as a marketplace full of talented graphic designers

What Is A Go-Bag?

Originally I would just grab all of my craft show or lesson supplies the night before my event, and in some cases the morning of. I constantly was forgetting things and having to borrow items from other people or in a few cases asking my husband or other family members to bring things by during the day. As time went on I noticed myself stashing frequently used items in my boxes of products. This worked for a while but I had a hard time finding what I needed when I needed it. Eventually I settled on using a tote box just for the items. This worked until I needed more space in the truck for my products. 

What Is A Craft Show Go-Bag

I have this amazing bag I got from Thirty-One’s Get Creative line that is the perfect size for my events. It’s big enough to hold everything I need but doesn’t take up too much room. It also has pockets to keep stuff organized. I added the super cute fox embroidery to the side to personalize it.( I also have the larger version, called the Get Creative Crate, but it’s only available by hosting a party, so I don’t have a link for you.) It was jokingly called my Go-Bag by a friend after they compared it to the classic zombie apocalypse preparedness go-bags, and the name stuck.

Why Pack A Go-Bag?

Preparing for a craft show is time consuming, and can be stressful. I keep a packed Go-Bag for craft shows and a separate packed Go-Bag for my crochet lessons. Having separate bags that stay prepacked means I can free up that part of my time and brain power to focus on other things. They have regular spots in my home and are organized in a similar fashion to each other so I can find what I need fast.

My lesson bag is smaller than my craft show go-bag. This is because a bunch of the items in my craft show bag are specific to shows. It also means that I don’t have to worry about moving items from bag to bag. For example, I have a pair of scissors in each bag, so I never have to try and remember what happened to the set I keep at my craft desk. It never gets moved or lost (okay, so maybe never is a strong word… but it doesn’t get lost due to events…. Kids are another matter entirely).

What's In My Craft Show Go-Bag

What’s In My Craft Show Go-Bag?

This will seem like a really long list of items, and some of them might seem unnecessary. These are just the items in my craft show go-bag, feel free to edit this list so that it fits your style and needs.

The List

  • Office Supplies
    • Pencils/Pens
    • Markers
    • Scissors
    • Tape
    • Twine/String/Zip Ties
    • Paper
    • Notebook
  • Branding Items
    • Price Tags
    • Postcards
    • Brochures
    • Look Book
    • Receipt Book
    • Order Book
    • Extra Table Signs
  • Technology
    • Phone Charger
    • Extra Battery
    • Payment Processing Device (Square)
  • Clothing
  • Food
    • Mints/Gum
    • Snack
    • Bottled Water
  • First Aid
    • Baby wipes
    • Sunscreen/Bug Spray
    • Hand Sanitizer
    • Deodorant
    • Towels
    • First Aid Kit
      • Bandaids
      • Tape
      • Coban Wrap
      • Neosporin
      • Anti-Itch Cream
      • Medications
        • Tylenol
        • Advil
        • Benadryl
        • Antacids
        • Epi-Pen
        • Personal Meds
  • Tools
    • Safety Pins
    • Mini Tool Box
      • Zip Ties
      • Hammer
      • Box Cutter
      • Rope
      • Tape
    • Scissors
    • Crochet Hooks
    • Yarn Needles
    • Garbage Bags
    • Extension Cord
    • Lint Roller

A Little More Detail

I source a lot of my items from the Dollar Tree and Walmart because of their cost. These are items that I am not too attached to so that if they get lost I won’t be out too much. Plus I usually have a few go-bags for different events packed at any given time. Since they have identical items in them I can buy items in bulk and save some money. I have a similar set of items in my project bag and a much nicer set that I keep at my crafting desk.

A large portion of my craft show go-bag is filled with branding items and smaller display items. This includes a look book, postcards, business cards, and table signs. If you don’t have any designed yet, I recommend Yakima Branding. They have worked with a bunch of small businesses designing and printing their vendor event materials. My first look book was a simple photo album with pictures of my items printed up. It worked fairly well, since I could swap photos out as I changed my product line or sold out of specific items. Now that I have a better grasp of my business’s brand and style I have a series of brochures and books instead.

On my list is also a change of clothing. I like to dress in layers for an event, but I also have a pair of neutral leggings rolled up in my go-bag just in case I need an extra layer. Or if I am wearing jeans and I get too hot, I can swap out my jeans for leggings to cool down.  I also have several pairs of gloves in my bag, I have bouts of hand pain and I’ve found that cold hands are a trigger. So I have compression gloves, fingerless gloves, and thin winter gloves. 

What's In My Crochet Lesson Go-Bag

What’s In My Crochet Lesson Go-Bag?

This list has a lot of the same things as my craft show list, so I won’t go into detail about the repeated items. I will quickly talk about a few of the lesson specific items that I bring. I don’t do lessons in my home right now, there’s just not enough space. That means that I am meeting my clients at their home or in a public place. I have no way of knowing what the location will have available, so it’s important to plan ahead. Having everything you need for a lesson, and even having extras in case the client forgets what they were supposed to bring, makes you look like a professional. 

The List

  • Office Supplies
    • Pencils/Pens
    • Scissors
    • Tape
    • Paper
    • Notebook
  • Branding Items
    • Brochures
    • Look Book
    • Receipt Book
    • Planner
  • Lesson Items
    • Crochet Hooks
    • Yarn Needle
    • Yarn
    • Stitch Charts
    • Copies Of The Pattern
  • Technology
    • Phone Charger
    • Payment Processing Device (Square)
  • Clothing
    • Compression Gloves
  • Food
    • Mints/Gum
    • Bottled Water
  • First Aid
    • Baby wipes
    • Hand Sanitizer
    • First Aid Kit
      • Bandaids
      • Coban Wrap
      • Anti-Itch Cream
      • Medications
        • Tylenol
        • Advil
        • Benadryl
        • Antacids
        • Epi-Pen
        • Personal Meds
  • Tools
    • Scissors
    • Garbage Bags
    • Extension Cord
    • Lint Roller

A Little More Detail

Generally my crochet lessons last one hour, which means I’ll be at the venue for around two hours. So I don’t need as much stuff as a day long craft show. I have a binder set-up with my crochet lesson handouts and cheat sheets. I also keep copies of the patterns that I am helping my client learn in the binder.

Branded Template

Recently I invested in a crochet pattern template that has been customized to my brand. It is absolutely beautiful and I am in the process of moving all my patterns into the template. If you want a template for your crochet patterns I recommend The Hooking Reader, she did my template for me. A branded template helps keep your name and your brand in the mind of your customer.

Your Go-Bag

Your Go-Bag

While this provides you with a really good starting point, I know these lists are not for everybody. You also don’t have to use a bag at all. Many vendors have a small tote box and in somes cases I have seen people using small sets of plastic drawers (you can find some here). The bonus to using a box or a set of drawers is that they can double as a checkout station during the event. The downside, for me at least, is the space they can take up in your vehicle. 

My go-bag is quite large as bags go and very specific to my events and vendor style. Feel free to add or subtract items and make it your own. No matter what you choose to pack, I recommend making a master list of your items. That way you can periodically check and repack your bag or tote box.

Final Thoughts

Having a craft show go-bag is not for everyone. It can take up long term space in your home and the set up cost can be high. If you only go craft shows for a few months of the year, it may make more sense to just have a temporary go-bag. Something that stays packed for a few months and then gets unpacked the rest of the year. 

I have a blog post that talks about payment processing devices and receipt books in detail called Taking Payments At A Craft Show . I also go into much more detail on some of the items in my go-bag in my post Things To Bring To A Craft Show

If you have a go-bag, I’d love to hear about it. What do you bring with you to every show? How do you store your items? Let me know in the comments below or through my Contact Me page.

Blog Posts In This Series

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