The rules were simple: My hunting grounds? The Dollar Tree in Luling, Louisiana, a relatively small Dollar Tree that had a variety of merchandise, none of which particularly impressive. The limit? $30, which would've been two and a half weeks allowance back when I was in highschool, the time when most of my Artist Alley hopefuls are first getting their feet wet. I was allowed some SMALL basic augmentations of household goods- an existing tablecloth (although I will provide a source for a cheap tablecloth further in the post) because I couldn't find one at Dollar Tree, Scotch tape, my existing wares. My goal was to create a basic table setup that could serve a variety of beginner needs, and while I had some basic ideas in mind, I tried to go into Dollar Tree with an open mind.
Basic Supplies I Went in Looking For:
1 Cork Board with 3 pins
1 Dry Erase Board with Marker
12 Small Clips
2 metal plate holders
2 small frames
4 pads of sticky notes
2 rolls of decorative tape
1 plastic napkin holder
1 small spiral bound notebook, ruled
1 package of small plastic containers
1 spool organza ribbon
1 clear plastic tray
1 wire tray
1 table runner
1 wire mesh organizer
1 plastic shoebox
1 plastic coupon organizer
2 wire mesh business card holders
1 black sharpie
The shoebox is perfect for holding small table supplies such as the notepad, the coupon book, the business card holders, the post its, the clips.
These were from the same Dollar Tree (minus the ribbon), but were purchased previously for the Craft Fair held at the Main Branch Library. I included them because they're from Dollar Tree, make great simple display items when assembled, and wouldn't cost more than an additional $10.
2 Large 'crystal' plastic platters
2 Metal 'etched' plates
2 oblong 'crystal' platters
3 glass candle sticks
Candlesticks can be glued to the bottom of plates to make for stacking stands. Hotglue doesn't work very well, but it held during the Craft Fair. It has since been removed. I don't recommend stacking for convention use without some form of adhesive, though.
In the next few posts, I'll be sharing tips and tricks on how to use this haul to prepare for your first convention, so make sure to check back often!