BOOTH ESSENTIALS: Part 1, The Basics

Hey y'all. This is the basics of booth essentials to get you started on looking professional and having a nice booth that fits in at outdoor art markets. This post only covers the basics, I think this is going to be a 4 part series, The Basics, Display Options, Windproofing, and Personalizing.


Here's our setup for events, it changes around a lot, but this is the basic setup:

a picture of our booth set up at santa cruz pride



We use the EURMAX Premium 10x10 Pop Up Canopy

I love it because it’s wayyy sturdier than cheaper canopies, and we got this incredible purple color that really makes us stand out at markets. You don’t need to have a colorful canopy, but they’re delightful.

The big con about this canopy is it’s giant in its bag. It doesn’t fit well in a car, the bag is about 5’5” tall, way bigger and heavier than other canopies.

A cheaper and smaller option is ABCcanopy. It will eventually fall apart on you but you can probably get a solid couple years out of them before it dies. This one also comes in colors as well as white.

People also really like the EZup brand, and their canopies are really nice, pretty on par with the Eurmax ones.

Slant Leg Canopies.

Here’s an example of one, they can be purchased in stores, don’t do it. First of all, the slant legs don’t fit properly in a 10x10 spot. They extend outside the 10x10 making them too big at the bottom to properly fit anywhere. Secondly, they can’t be weighted down properly, and they’re crap garbage. They WILL fall apart and explode. Don’t do it. It’s not worth saving the 30ish dollars.


The best tables are COSCO brand and Lifetime brand. The weird target brand tables suck, but honestly, any tables are ok, they’re just for putting stuff on.


This is my favorite 4 foot table because it folds tiny, and it has latches in the middle that let you raise and lower it. It goes one step higher than regular table height so you can go high if you want to also! Also the legs go all the way out to the edges, making it perfect for storing things underneath it.

They have 4’, 6’ and 8’ tables (also more sizes but like whatever) at Home Depot and Lowes and Costco and places, I recommend getting to know your setup and how you like to display things, and getting the right table sizes for you. You can raise the table I linked higher than a standard table height, but they don’t have that option for the 6’ or 8’ tables so if you want to raise all your tables you can stick with only 4’ tables or get bed risers or something.


Fitted tablecloths are a godsend but your mileage may vary. I love love fitted tablecloths because I don’t have to clip them to the tables when it gets windy (and boy is San Francisco a windy place) But also they’re kinda ugly so I generally do fitted tablecloths in our signature purple with some fun covering on top.

Fun coverings:
Faux Fur
Sequin Fabric
Quilted Fabric
Sparkly Fabric
Denim Cut Into Shapes
A Piece Of Beat Up Leather
Nice Damask Linen
Spray Painted Cardboard
A Piece Of Wood

Other Weird Crap








I have smaller sizes of the fun coverings and they go on top of the fitted tablecloths and are easier to deal with and clip on while still having the bottoms and sides of the tables covered so I can store stuff underneath them without it looking awkward.


Bags for customers:
Our bags are: a. Adorable b. Reusable and c. Pre-stuffed with our business card.
Here's some example bags, but there's like a million types out there.

Organza bags are awesome for small things like jewelry, stickers, and pins, and we have larger handle-bags for folks who buy prints and clothing. Having bags is awesome because it gives you somewhere to put purchases so it feels like a finished interaction. You’re not handing customers back a pile, you’re handing them back a neat package with their items wrapped up safely. And then the bags are reusable so they can hang onto it as a useful memento and use it for trinkets and stuff. And since they already have our business card in them, we don’t need to grab and hand cards to folks, it’s all-in-one.

Acrylic Bag Holder

I pre-stuff bags at home and put them upright in here and put that right by checkout so bags are super easy to grab right from their holder while checking folks out.

Cash Bag:
Idk get a fanny pack or something. Wear it. Don’t set it on the table and forget it’s there. You can use a box or whatever but have something dedicated for cash so you're not stuffing cash in your pockets.

Bring a charging cable and a brick. If it’s busy, doing lots of sales can drain your battery. If it’s slow, reading a book on your phone can also drain your battery. Either way, charger is a good call. I like to bring a fully charged brick, USB C, Lightning, and MicroUSB, to have the full range of charging ability (or in case a neighbor needs anything.

Most important, get yourself a……..


Integral! Get Yourself A Card Reader. One that does chip and tap. It’s 2024, practically nobody carries cash around. There’s absolutely no need to limit yourselves to cash sales. I personally hate Venmo and everything about it so we don’t use it. All of our sales are processed through Square POS, we have a square account and a couple readers. That way when it comes time for taxes, all of our sales are together in the same place, and I don’t need to look through Venmo to see what I owe. Some phones also do tap-to-pay which is neat, but you want to have a card reader anyway for folks who only have chip cards. I think we’ve run into maybe 2 people in 4 years who only have a swipe card, you won’t need a swipe reader.

Here’s the card reader we use!

There are options other than square available, folks use Shopify POS (which is great for integrating with online sales!), Clover, and other stuff. Your preferred POS is fine, just make sure that you have a card reader charged and ready at any event you vend at!

Ok that’s in for this one, look out for part 2 soon where I get sucked into the weeds about what displays we use, what works, what doesn’t, and how good and amazing reusable zip ties are. Windproofing is going to be its own post so look out for that one too! I'm always always accepting more tips and tricks from other vendors so feel free to comment, shoot us a message here or on ig, or send an email to

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