Here are some tips shared by a fellow Rep-
I get the colorful hand prints and “signage” at the Teacher store. I use student desk name tags to identify some of the products. I also blew up the cover of our older brochures and had them laminated (heavy duty) to use as a sign to identify Original Works.
I like to use “shred” (crinkly kind with metallic pieces) to add some reflection… like lights, in a way. Stuff the coffee mugs with shred! Brightly colored tissue paper in certain places (neck of the t-shirt, pocket of the apron, tote bag) to add color and fill in. Sometimes I use a teddy bear on the pillow, but if I think it’s possible to construe that he’s part of the pillowcase deal, I’ll put a tiny sign that says, “Teddy not included.”
I also buy the big, fat primary crayons to place here and there…
Also, if need be, I have quilter’s fabric (get the “fat quarters”) that I use in spots on the back walls of the displays, if the paper that’s in the cabinet is in bad shape. I line the bottoms of the cabinets with crushed velvet–sometimes black, red, or purple… depending on what the back walls look like.
And, BTW… I reuse everything! I stuff the shred back in a bag, refold the tissue… everything! I have a rolling cart that holds all of my display stuff: acrylic “lifts” (various sizes to add a variety of height), easels (both large and small), tape (scotch and packing varieties), pushpins, sharpies, crayons, origami papers (add color to a glass shelf), and I always have a collapsible (two-step) step ladder in my van. I like to be completely independent when I go to schools to set up a display, so I’m not disturbing the office staff. I even have glass wipes… sometimes the display cabinets are disgustingly dusty.
For a Back to School Night, I typically set up the display using a very large piece of black crushed velvet (probably 12′ long) to cover the table completely. You can even use a couple of empty boxes on top of the table–covering them with more black or red draping… adding the different levels… which keeps the eye moving. I’ll wear the apron myself, and I try to put a product in a parent’s hands so they can feel the quality–gets them to linger at the table. Cindi and I have also used some of those battery-operated spot lights.