Merchandising Ideas from Canvas Corp Brands

Creative Merchandising Ideas for the Craft/DIY Retailer

Retailing today is not just about the products you buy, it is about the way you display it, what you display together and how you inspire your customers.  Our eclectic mix of products challenges us to come up with creative ways to display our goods and we wanted to share some of these ideas with you.  The consumer is changing and that is driving us to be more creative, more visual and more inspiring.

Here are 10 simple ideas you might want to try:

1.  Find Your Voice

Many store fixtures and display units are very commercial and have little personality.  There are many trends in the market including rustic vintage, colorful vintage, industrial, casual beach, repurposed, all white, all black, bohemian, minimalist, etc. Choosing a style will make creative merchandising easier and more fun.  If your retail space requires the use of the fixtures, don’t shun them. Rather, embrace them in the new style. How? Faux paint them, paint them all one color or color each one a bright and fun color and change the dynamics of the space. Adding display tables, signage and other small details will allow you to start bringing your style to life.

2. “Un-dress” Products

Consider displaying products out of their original packaging, creating a more one of a kind, handmade look.  Tie them with ribbon or jute that represents your style and add a handmade price tag.  If the retail package offers valuable information, make a sign or print a small card that is added to the tied product.

This display features cards from our “Gypsy Moments” collection. They’re taken out of packaging and displayed in grey jute.
Merchandising ideas
Another option to displaying product out of packaging.

3. Use Found Items as Displays

Display goods in unusual containers such as old crates, boxes, tin cans and other found or vintage pieces. You can leave them as they are or paint them. These can be displayed on entry tables.

vintage display box
We found this vintage tray at a flea market for $1! It was the perfect fit for an assortment of 7Gypsies metals, embellishments and ephemera.
Use vintage wooden crates to neatly display product.

4. Make Space

If space for products is limited or if you have run out of room on your fixtures, feature items on unusual objects such as windows, shutters or even an old screen door. Simply add nails or thumb tacks and your are ready to hang products.

shutter display
You can make your own, or purchase shutter displays off of Etsy.

5. Pack on the Paper

Paper is a hot selling item. For stores that are not traditional scrapbooking stores loaded with great fixtures to hold 12×12 papers, there is a dilemma on how to display them. Before investing in large paper rack fixtures, consider the following ideas:

  • Hang one of each paper from a banner of jute and clothespins, keeping the rest of the inventory in a box.
  • Display them in a crate or box that holds 12×12 or larger, separating them with paper dividers or 12×12 file folders. Customers can shop like they would a record album back in the day.
  • Display them on vintage hangers and hang
  • Purchase stackable 12×12 paper holders that are easy to move around, add to display tables and you can adjust the number of trays in the stack.
  • 12×12 paper is not just for scrapbooking anymore, it is an essential part of the new DIY trend, so finding fun ways to display in your store is essential!
For our Maritime collection, we purchased stackable 12×12 paper holders that are easy to move around and added them to display tables.

6.  Adopt a Unique Selling Strategy

Consider selling your products by the piece versus by the pack.  Find a vintage box or crate with separate compartments and begin filling them with loose products such as cards, tags, charms, crystals and sell them by the individual piece. When you sell by the piece you can generally get more retail dollars per item and it allows you customers the freedom to buy just what they need. As many of the items are small, we suggest you put this display on the counter or in an open space.  Include small paper or clear bags that they can fill with their goodies.

Our Farmhouse Kitchen line has an assortment of items that we display in old tin cans, kitchenware, etc.

7. Diversify your Selection

Bring fabric into your store, no we are not suggesting bolts of fabric and fabric tables, but a few rolls or folds of burlap and canvas will add warmth to your store.  Natural fabrics are very popular in many markets right now and having a good selection of both fabrics, ribbons, ropes and cords that you can sell as they are or by the foot or yard will give you something unique to offer your customers. Rolls of fabric can easily be dispalyed in a corner or smaller pieces can be cut and stacked on shelves or in crates and sold. Taking the fabrics out of the packaging will also add textures and dimension to your display. If you are considering adding rolled fabric, locate long poles or paper cores that are approx. 60″ in length and purchase your goods folded and roll them onto your poles when it arrives, saving freight and costs in shipping, but allowing you to display.

8. DIY Peg Board Displays

Make your own peg board boxes or displays to feature smaller programs that get lost on big fixtures or if you are out of space.  You can purchase peg board at your local hardware store in 4’x8′ pieces.  Many stores will cut the pegboard and wood for you to make it easier to handle.  You can frame your custom size peg board with a simple wood frame or you can add detailed frames to give them a more ornate look. Faux paint them, distress them or paint them any color and they are ready to hang on the wall, become part of a table display or even by the front counter. You can make them bit bigger and add an easel stand and set them anywhere in the store. These fun little fixtures allow you to add more personality and style in various places around the store. You can buy various size peg hooks to hold bulky items to tiny items, the choice is yours.  You can also spray paint your peg hooks fun colors or distress them as well.

pegboard display
This painted pegboard display acts as a wall, but is very functional in displaying product.

9.  Funky Furniture

Bring in old furniture like old dressers, chairs and tables to display goods…paint them in your style and add them throughout your space. If you can find dressers with drawers that hold 12×12 paper or fabric this is another great way to display both. Chairs also make great shelves, cut them in 1/2 and hang them on the wall for eclectic shelves, child-size and adult-size can be mixed and matched and you get two shelves as you cut the chairs in half.

This creative display uses a vintage card catalog to display ribbons.

10.  Display on Doors

Old doors make great screens, places to hang models, tack up project ideas or even hang product.  Hinge 2 or more together and they stand anywhere you want them and you can use both sides.  If you find screen doors you can use the screen or replace with chicken wire or even peg board for more display space.  Add nails, tacks or hooks anywhere and create your display.

A fun shopping environment filled with inspiration, a diverse product selection and creative displays will draw customers to your store. Word of mouth can be your best asset and the more you offer what your customers are looking for in and outside of your current market the more you store takes on a new personality. The retail lines are no longer cut and dry– customers expect to find what they are seeing on pinterest, instagram and their favorite blogs. If they are ready to create they want to be able to walk in and buy everything they need to make it. You cannot be everything to everyone, but adding a little bit of fabric, hardware, crafts, gifts, vintage pieces, furniture (to sell), scrapbooking, ribbon, ropes, knobs, old doors & windows (to sell), craft tools and die cut machines, notions, sewing machines, screen, chicken wire, nails, tacks, glue gun, drill, craft glues, DIY paints, craft paints, paint supplies…ok the list can go on and on, but the fun part is displaying all of these items in unique ways that tell the story and inspire your customers.