How I set up for an old signs market.
This post has been updated July 2020 to become a helpful guide on how to set up for a market.
Our little town has a local market right in the park. While I love to visit the market, I have yet to sell at it.
So I decided… why not try?
Hi there! Welcome to my little old signs market setup in my backyard! Would you like a tour?
That was fast, right?! Well… let’s back up a little and I’ll share how I set up for the market.
The local market is all about handmade goods. Loads of delicious baked goods, farm fresh produce, eggs, and gorgeous artisan wares line the walkways. They even have a guitarist strumming tunes! It’s a lovely, quaint ambiance.
And what is it about evenings? The fact that the market was only from 5-8 truly enticed me! It felt like I didn’t miss my day by taking it in, but moreso, enhanced it at the end.
That got me thinking. So many ask if I’d sell ready made signs, vs just the stencils. I’ll just be honest here, and say, I am not a shipper kinda girl. If I have to ship you something, it may take 6 months to 2 years…
But, I’d love to to experiment more with the stencils, and make so much more than can fit my house… so why not try this short and sweet market experience? It was time to make it happen!
This post walks you through:
- what I made / what to make
- display setups
- suggested market helps
- stencils to purchase
So here’s what I did:
About the sign stencils
Making old signs is FUN. But it’s even easier if you have stencils to make them with!
My own line of Funky Junk’s Old Sign Stencils was created to help you easily DIY your own market or farmhouse styled signs with professional results.
I’m a 20 year signmaker by trade and was sharing my signs on the blog when readers desired to make the same signs. Stencils became a super legit way to make that happen!
And since I believe in what goes around comes around, I allow you to make products to sell as long as you make them with a purchased stencil. So yes… you can earn from these stencils! In fact, I highly encourage it!
We also have a retail program for brick and mortar locations. Apply HERE
How to make old signs
1. Collect reclaimed wood.
Most of the wood I collect is reclaimed fence planks. THIS is how I collect wood.
2. Pressure wash or clean wood first and allow to thoroughly dry. Then lightly sand.
3. Team up a stencil to a plank, and cut plank length if desired.
4. Stencil images onto the wood.
5. Add embellishments to the plank such as old brackets, hinges, rope, hooks, etc!
Tip: If you make your signs productive, they sell moreso!
The above grouping was made by stenciling onto reclaimed wood fence planks I had on hand.
How to stencil:
- Lightly sand, then cut wood to desired length.
- Position stencil into place with masking tape.
- Load stencil brush with paint, and wipe most off onto a cloth, resulting in a dry-to-the-touch stencil brush.
- Tap paint over the stencil until desired effect is met.
Learn more about how to stencil from THIS post.
I continued to stencil various reclaimed wood planks teamed up with sayings in different ways.
Colours, adding shadows, mixing & matching different stencils together created unique takes. It was a very quick process using stencils!
Consider making more than just signs
Your options using sign stencils are pretty open!
Furniture is fun and easy to revamp!
And so are crates!
And TV trays!
So I stenciled away until I had some great stock to sell at the market!
Next up… I needed a market tent.
I called around to lots of hardware places, but no one had an economical type that you could put up wiI I called around to lots of hardware places, but no one had an economical type that you could put up with just one person. Until someone mentioned to check Walmart.
YES! For a whoppin’ $98, this market tent would do just fine!
Practice putting up the market tent
Putting up the market tent prior to the actual market is a VERY GOOD idea. Because it appears there’s always a trick to everything.
I should have shot a video on how ridiculous things became trying to put up this tent myself. I didn’t want help, because I knew I’d be on my own this weekend.
“I only take 3 minutes to put together! Good luck to ya… muahaha…”
FYI: It took 3 hours for the first time, and maybe 7.5 minutes for the 2nd time.
Market tent setup with the basics
And then it was time to play!
I REALLY wanted to incorporate a demo table at the market because I find it a super nice ice breaker, getting folks involved in the process. I’m going to entice them to try as well!
When I took part of The Olde Farmhouse market, I did the same thing and it was a hit!
I can’t sell the stencils at this market as they are mass produced, but folks can purchase them online if desired.
This round, it’s about the ready made stuff.
For a display rack, I used two ladders with ladders acting as sign sorters.
For tables, I used sawhorse bases then rustic planks as the table tops.
I even brought in my rusty old bike for added antique ambiance.
Once all the main components were in place, it was time to fill the market tent booth!
Loading the market tent with old signs
Each sign, tray, toolbox, etc was brought in.
The key was to have all the signs easy to browse through, so I did my best to not layer the signs, but have each one totally readable.
The ladder strung between the two step ladders worked super well as a sign organizer AND prop!
Vintage hangers were used to hang the stencils along a top plank for demo purposes.
HERE is another way to display stencils which is how I store them at home.
A few fresh flowers were picked for added colour and enticing display purposes. A little bit of something live always helps bulk displays.
Other helpful market must-haves:
Bring a dolly to help cart your stuff to and from your vehicle.
Ensure your cash box is well loaded with every money bill and coin possible and keep track of your starting float amount.
A receipt book is handy so you can track your sales.
A binder with more products that can be custom ordered is a good idea.
Bring along your business cards.
Looks like it’s time to get this sign market on the road…er park!
And as you can see, I was so excited, I couldn’t tell which way was up…. oops.
Are you in the market business?
Funky Junk’s Old Sign Stencils allows you to make products to resell!