Designing a Market Stand on a Dime - Aspen Part 1

June 30 I headed out west to see my dad and brother in Aspen, CO. I love the Rockies and while out here I went on some hikes and a three-day backpacking trip with my boyfriend, Alex #2, to Lost Creek Wilderness. The past two Saturdays I also got to participate in the Aspen Farmers Market. My dad started a company called Re-cycle Arts Aspen- gorgeous vintage re-cycled (and re-tooled) bikes- and participates in the Aspen Farmers Market every Saturday from July-October. He was kind enough to share some of his space with me.

Planning for the market was tough. I needed to figure out how I could display my knitwear keeping in mind that I had to travel with my displays and I didn't want to drop a lot of dough on my stand. I found some good display stuff- a stand for my crocheted headphones, bracelet displays, mannequin heads, and bags- from Store Supply Warehouse and had it shipped to my dad's house (the stuff was relatively inexpensive, but the shipping was another story).

When we arrived in Denver we stopped at Target where I found some more display materials. I got a huge mirror, some clear glass vases, a huge short sided basket for my hand-dyed and handspun yarn, some plastic bowls for beaded bracelets and friendship bracelets, as well as a glass rectangular candle holder and rectangular wooden platter to display jewelry and felted soap.

The mannequin heads were made out of styrofoam which is great because they are light weight, but not so great because they don't look nice. My goal for the stand was high-end boutique and these heads just weren't cutting it. I came up with an idea- paper mache the heads using some colorful polkadot tissue paper I found at Target.

#2 and I tore up the tissue paper and I made the paste for the paper mache by mixing flour with water until it was the right consistency. For the next 6 or so hours we paper mached 4 mannequin heads. I started by using a solid color as layer one. Once that layer was done I added the polkadot layer. It took a while but I was so thrilled with the results- the $8 heads look like a million bucks. When I get back to VA I'm going to spray them with a polyurethane coating so that they'll last a while.

The night before the market I did a mock setup and took photos so that when I had to start setting up at 6am I'd know what I was doing. I was really thankful I had a plan- 2 hours goes by quickly when it's your first time setting up for the market. Stay tuned for photos from the market and how it went.

Read Part 2.


  1. Hats off, creativity is individual, a perfect example for it.

  2. 6 hours! You are a testament to the power of patience, lady. I have those mannequin heads at the shop. I just put sunglasses on their faces and tell them to keep quiet.

    and yes, Store Supply Warehouse shipping is out of control.


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