Every year my neighborhood holds a ginormous garage sale – dozens of shopping opportunities. But last year I got rid of the last of the stuff – and this year, I opted to see how it would go selling my ART instead. Of course, I had to make a sign……to hang on my sawhorses!

Tutorial: Best garage sale sign ever?

Watch the video below and scroll to the end to leave comments or questions — or click HERE to watch it on YouTube and leave comments over there. I read both dutifully!

The sign

Surprisingly the sign got far more attention than anything – that and the pastel painting also out at the street! Which made me happy not to have wasted my time and energy the night before of course 🙂 Getting people to stop and look at ANYthing is hard, even for garage sales, folks just drive by and assess you in seconds. To stop and look closer was a win!

What should I do with my “art” sign now?

The art

I was mostly worried about people coming by to offer me $1 for something my heart and soul was poured into; I don’t recommend selling your art on a garage sale day if you’re tender about it! I did struggle with marking a bunch of things 50% off, knowing HOW LONG they took and how hard they were, to let them go for such prices feels awful. 

Surprisingly I didn’t have anyone try to negotiate except the child. Part of my strategy to counter haggling was to leave the full price tags on them, and just add the stickers with the day’s price, so they would know how much of a deal they were getting. (As I listened to my neighbor shouting to people “Oh that’s brand new, never been used…” to justify her pricing, I realized I had decided on a good strategy. People need to know what something is worth in order to decide if they’re getting good savings!

Also – since we did have a few sprinkles throughout the morning, I was glad I had opted for baskets and racks for most of the art – I could toss them quickly under the table. Once that happened several times I no longer put art out separately so it’d be easier to hide from the rain!


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Any time you’re selling art, whether at a fair or in your driveway, if you’re able–demo! It has a few benefits.

  1. You’re not staring at everyone as they look around and they feel more free to just look.
  2. You have something to keep you busy and not fretting over sales.
  3. You communicate that your art is handmade. 
  4. You get art done.
  5. You may get to engage in some lovely conversations.

Don’t get offended if people look from a distance or don’t come over at all; sometimes they think you’re working and not there to chat. I look up and greet people so they know I’m there to visit, and lots will do that. 

You never know who you’ll inspire by working “live” in front of them. I had many conversations with people who said they were too old to take up a new hobby. And if you know me, you know I had some words for them. 🙂 🙂 🙂

Dear future me:

Consider whether you could do more for your art and business by spending the two days prepping for this on something else. Your driveway isn’t all that nice for a sale. If you decide to try it again, borrow a tent and wall racks from your friend and set it up as an art show, not just a bunch of stuff on a table. Make it look like it’s worth what people will spend. But good on you for making the QR code sign, that was genius and worked well. Also: more posting on Facebook and emailing your collectors, you got some sales from your regulars who couldn’t come to the event.

But really, assess your time spent. World Watercolor Month is coming, and your efforts toward that could be thwarted by this little driveway venture.

Sinceerly, past me


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  1. cardboard
  2. sharpie
  3. tape 


  1. Karen L.

    LOVE this post, Sandy! Thanks for letting us share in the fun.

  2. Bunny Hoyle

    I’d like to live next door to you too. Oh what fun it would be.

    • Bunny Hoyle

      Dang it. I meant to tell you how much I loved your for sale sign.

  3. Traci Starkweather

    What a great day ti educate and inspire people–and hopefully make some $$$! Thank you for all of the well thought out pointers and don’t fret over losing 2 days from this! Look how much you have learned. Call it research!

    Love that sign!!

  4. Edna Burgess

    WOW, Wish I lived next to you. Beautiful day to have a sale. Hope you did well.


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