THANKS, guys!! It's an easy project that anyone can do. If you can pick up a plain handfan at a craft store, all you need is glue, paint, and various decorations, and you can have at it!! E6000, while messy/smelly, is very effective glue.
thanks!! I have made and bought costume pieces and am currently transitioning my super-plain peasant look (blue skirt, cream blouse, brown waist cincher) to a fancier middle-class look that I will "debut" next summer. The fan would look too fancy against my current clothes but will look cool with the new ones.
I wanted a fan for my faire costume, but hte pretty feathered ones started at $23. So I bought a $6 straw fan, thinking it would get me through the hot day and I could buy/make something cool later. Then I realized I could just decorate the straw one and make something pretty and unique, without spending any more $$ except for cheap supplies...
I drew my faire symbol, a swan, and painted it. I added blue and white for the water and glued on random dark blue sequins. I added a string of cheapo fake pearls along the edge, and then I got some white feathers, cut them lengthwise, and glued them along the edges. I threaded the blue ribbon through the straw so that it stays on, and then I used E6000 to attach a tassel to the handle.
voila! cheap, creative fan that won't match anyone else's at the faire.
I needed a new pouch for my costume, and there was a clearance at JoAnn's. I got a bunch of fabric, including a big piece of black w/design for $1 and heavy pale gold for another dollar.
Then I came across a plant hanger for $1.50. The sun design is very close to the logo of my home faire, Bristol.
I used wire cutters (and a little help from my dad and his steel-cutting tools) to get the hooks off the the plant hanger. I bought some gold gimp (trim) and sewed the pouch using a simple design from a costuming page (I think it was called Red Dawn). When I was done, I used E6000 to affix the sun to the front. Voila - new belt pouch, for barely more than $4!
He's very talented!! In the way of suggestions, all I would say is what my art teacher always told me: "Good; now go darker." By that, she meant that I should increase the contrast. I always had a hard time doing that, but once I learned to do it, my work improved a lot. I think he would get more depth/realism if he had more contrast in lights and darks (assuming he is going for a realist style).
"I'm sure I could at least put leatherwork kits together."
Leather items tend to be popular at faires.
"I am pretty concerned about the tough crowd"
Don't be worried. Just make what you're good at, and know that you are reaching out to a different "market" - the casual attendee - rather than the hardcore history buff.
"I was thinking about some ribbon-y hair wreaths...do you think the market is flooded with those?"
Not in my experience, at the faires I've attended. I think wreaths usually do well.
"And food hadn't even occurred to me! Do you think I need a special permit for that?"
Probably - definitely something to clear with the faire people before you decide to do it.
"The other thing that I was thinking about was growing some tiny pots of herbs. Do you think that they would sell? What should the pots look like?"
Hard to say; I'm not really a plant person. It's not something I've seen much at faires. Think in terms of the person carrying their purchase around the faire all day in hot/sunny weather; items that are smaller or wearable are good ideas.
By the way, what faire are you going to? If they have a website, try clicking around and finding hte "Vendors" link to see who is selling. You could also look up other faires and look at their vendor lists to see what kind of shops are common. I attend the Bristol Renaissance Faire in Wisconsin; you can find it through a google search.
please keep us informed! I'm really intrigued to hear what you come up with and how it sells!