If the popularity of Etsy and all things DIY aren't a hint that crafting is having a major resurgence, then consider the fact that Americans spent 32 billion dollars on crafts in 2009, which is a 7-percent increase over the previous year. We attended the "Kick up Your Crafts" show at the at Radio City Music Hall to find out from industry insiders what the top trends are for 2011. All of the products mentioned below can be purchased at Michaels or Joann-Ann Fabric and Craft Stores, as well as eksuccessbrands.com.
1) Punchy Crafts
My favorite product that I tested from this event was the Martha Stewart Craft Punch All Over the Page Scallop Circle ($17.99), a two-part magnetic punch system that allows you to create shapes anywhere on paper, even the center. Edger punches have also become foolproof: Use the alignment marks on this Butterflies Large Edger Punch (left; $16.99) to create a continuous design that is up to two-and-a-half times the size of a standard edge punch.
2) 3D Crafts
You might remember playing with Perler's colorful beads from your own childhood. You place the beads on pegboards and then fuse them together with an iron to create fun designs. Their new 3D Activity Playsets ($19.99) bring play scenes to life, like this under-the-sea Mermaid. New technology in color pigments allows beads to sparkle and glow brighter than before. In addition to these craft sets, you can expect embellishments for scrapbooking and home decor to become more multidimensional as well. Jolee's has released an entire line of fabric flower accents called Le Fleur; Cabochons, sculpted resin charms, will also make their debut in 2011.
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3) Crossover Crafters
Within the crafting industry, experts have witnessed that many crafters are becoming interested in learning more than one craft at a time (e.g. a scrapbooker may start making her own jewelry to sell on Etsy) - becoming Renaissance crafters, if you will. (At the event, we created customized pendants by using Swarovski Elements Strung Crystals, which range from $7.99 to $24.99.) In addition, different techniques from one craft may influence another, such as scrapbook layouts that involve stitching.
4) Kids Crafting
Beloved characters like Dora, Spongebob, and American Girl dolls motivate children to start crafting, so that they can create the larger-than-life personalities they see on TV and read about in stories. Kids' craft parties are also gaining popularity - with the American Girl collection, birthday girls can send separate invitations to all of their BFFs' dolls. Look for the Doll-themed Creative Card Making Pad ($14.99) and Tie Together Frames ($19.99).
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5) Party Crafting
Party crafting continues to be a huge trend in the coming year. Tools like the Martha Stewart Custom Stamp Setting Kit ($24.99) help you create professional-looking invitations at home. The kit comes with interchangeable fonts, allowing you to make different stamp combinations each time, so that you can customize it for each event. But you don't need Martha to help you gather everything you need to throw a fun crafting party, says my fellow Home Style blogger Sara. "Just set up a few stations or one big table, covered with paper or another protective layer," she suggests. "Then put out the scissors, hot glue guns, paper, fabric, pens, paint, or whatever embellishments you can think of - including cute trinkets from your own home - and let people be as creative as they like. I promise it'll be one of the most fun 'grown-up' parties you'll ever throw."
- By Stefania Sainato
Do you enjoy crafting? What are your favorite craft projects?
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