Monday, February 09, 2015

Part 1: Artist Alley Essentials for Under $30

Due to a Blogspot saving mishap (in that it wasn't saving), I lost a LOT of progress on this post.  So rather than rewrite, I'm going to change the format to make it easier to read.  This post is the master post, and I'll go into the various categories of setup in subsequent sub posts.  These categories are:


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:

Cork Board
Picture frames
Sticky Notes

The Haul

 Two 8.5"X11" document frames
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 waterbottle
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.

The Proof:

As you can see, for $30, you can get a pretty decent beginner's setup.  Keep watching Keep on Truckin' Nattosoup for subposts that'll explain how to put these newly acquired goodies to good use!


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!