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CREATIVATION 2019 - Craft Industry Trend Report by Pattie Wilkinson

#Creativation #Creativation2019 Adhesive craft Craft Industry craft manufacturers craft news craft trends craft videos crafting in 2019 Crafts craftsy crafty DIY easy crafts easy to make Fashion Glue glue trends handmade Home how-to ideas make Make It maker paint trends PattieWack PattieWilkinson Pattywack Projects tools Trend Report yarn


Creativation 2019 in Phoenix, Arizona was a blast, and I can't wait to share all the discoveries I made this weekend at the largest craft trade show of the year! 

The total size of the US creative industry is now $43.9 billion, according to research from the Association For Creative Industries, until recently known as the Craft and Hobby Association. The association’s annual trade show was rebranded last year as Creativation

If you know me, you already know that I've been part of the craft industry since the mid 90's and have pretty much spent the better part of my career as a product consultant and craft designer.  After so many years in the biz, I now consult several manufacturers worldwide on how to best serve consumers with the trendiest new crafts, smart color selections, and creative ways to design new products that retailers are searching for.  My hunt for innovative ideas and networking is what leads me to this particular show every year.

Swag from Creativation 2019
Here's my small offering of swag from the show.  This girl was packing light, so I didn't pick up every single freebie, but I did get a few things I love, and can't wait to dig into the Xyron adhesive runner and the Diamond Art.  I'm saving the fondant for hubby, Scott!

But First...

New Friends and Old Friends!

  Amber Kemp-Gerstel, from Making It!
Beyond the business opportunities, the best part of the show to me is making new friends and meeting up with old friends!
Meet my new friend.... Amber Kemp-Gerstel!  You know her as a contestant on the show, Making It!  And you might know her as Damask Love.  We ran into each other at coffee, and then when leaving our hotel.  Trust me, she's a sweetie pie, and just as energetic and fun as she seemed on the show.  Can't wait to see Season 2 of Making It!!
And here are just a few snaps of some of the friends I got to catch up with at the show.  I'm sad I didn't get pics of everyone I met!  But it was SO good to see everyone and find out what's happening in their creative worlds!
Elana at Charity Wings.... so sad I didn't get baby pics!! XOXO


Steve & Cathie at Plaid.... you guys ROCK!
Mark Montano at Deco Art... got a hug and a kiss! 
Mark never ages, and his projects are always amazing.
Kathy Cano-Murillo aka Crafty Chica, and Alexa Westerfield aka Swell Designer from Ppl ... We're besties who go way back.
We shared some love and picked up right where we left off last time!
Debra Quartermain at Kunin Felt is beautiful inside and out. 
Candi Jensen, Founder/CEO of Make It Channel and Executive Producer of Knit and Crochet, and Susan Levin of Stuff You Love

My mentors and great friends! 

Plus, Susan was my roomie... super fun!


Me and my buddy Fred Hammond from Leisure Arts ....
we have had some crazy times traveling to China to source craft products!
Julie McGuffee with the AFCI Design Group having fun with fellow designers!
Michele De Fay with Coats & Clark ...
sooo good to get a hug and get caught up with her... BFFs.  We go so far back, we worked for back in the day! 
Does anyone else out there remember Idea Forest??

Thanks friends, for making the show so wonderful! 

So now for the Craft Trend Report for 2019.  

Yarn Trends

Pompoms never seem to go out of style, and Red Heart took pompoms to the max with a Starry Night selfie backdrop, which I just loved, of course!  The back story was that a bride had this at her wedding... so cool, right?

The trend in yarn seemed pretty much in line with what we saw last year.  The yarn companies came out fairly strong, even though this isn't their big show of the year.  They pull out all the stops for their TNNA show and everything is over the top with yarn and needle arts.  But I was impressed with Caron's beautiful garment display, which showed a modern twist on the traditional, with a repeat of the grays and mustard color story we've seen before, but we still love.

The colors in all the yarn booths were wonderful, and not only easy on the eyes but also easy on the touch.  Really beautiful displays, and delicious colors.

Tool Trends

The Akron Mounts booth was super busy every time we walked by, and they also taught a workshop on how to use their cool tool for making videos with your devices.  How-to videos continue to be the best way to show product to consumers.

It seems that craft tools are becoming more serious with steel and heavy duty components. Fiskars had a new set of tools with the female consumer in mind that felt soft, easy to hold, and were aesthetically pleasing.  I loved the stapler, the hammer, and the hand drill.  They were beautiful, useful, and were displayed thoughtfully as usual, from Fiskars. 

This little tool looked very industrial until you saw it demonstrated for all kinds of jewelry making and art.  The jig shapes were beautifully intricate and turned wire into delicate looking pieces of art. We've all seen hundreds of jigs since crafts were first invented, I know.  But I really loved the steel fittings and it looked like a long-lasting tool for the serious jewelry maker.

Paper Trends

Speaking of tools, there were die cutting machines for paper around every corner!  And there was TONS of paper.  At first I thought that maybe the scrapbook companies were there, and desperate to unload their paper.  But after walking the show, I saw that journals and planners are HOT!  I mean, I myself have a planner that is pretty much my bible for daily planning.  And I do have maybe 20 or so journals that I have accumulated through the years with notes, sketches, paint chips, ideas, party plans, and everything else you can imagine...even fabric swatches!  So, if you want to know what there was LOTS of, it was paper.  And everything that corresponds with paper like stickers, rubberstamping, stencils, pens, and cutting machines.  So, again that brings us to die cutting.  OMG!

Die cut paper flowers from die cutting machines.
Die cut triangles, made into dimensional art on canvases...
Ready-made die cuts and papers glued to other surfaces...
Safari-themed and colorful papers glued to black surfaces.
White linen mannequins with decoupaged papers...
Furniture covered in pastel printed papers....
Rattan star covered with fibers and die-cut papers...
Gorgeous paper coiled like quilling art... this sign was at least 2-inches thick, at the Bazzill paper booth.  Their beautiful array of papers was mind-blowing.

Paint Trends

Paint was very strong, and metallics were literally in every booth that had paint.  This rose gold spray paint was absolutely stunning in the New Product case for Krylon.  My photo does not capture how sparkly and vibrant it is.


Metallic glazes at the Plaid booth were muted jewel tones and had a mystical flair.
This metallic paint was presented in an interesting color palette.  No glitter but a nice sheen.
This paint product was in the Plaid booth, and I saw something similar in the Deco Art booth.  It is much like the shabby chic look, but with a black background versus a white background.  It will be interesting to see if this trend has a future.
Layering paint with stencils, inks, gels, sprays, and stains is still going strong since it emerged three years ago in Frankfort at Creative World.

Paint pouring was stronger than ever and being mixed with mediums such as Mod Podge.  Seems like every paint company that has paint that can be poured easily without losing its consistency, had dozens of paint pouring demos and sample projects.  Very strong trend!  Several companies were adding glitter, stones, jewels and dimensional techniques.


With a strong trend like paint pouring, you can expect it to evolve into other ways to incorporate the technique.  For example, I particularly loved this liquid paint pour on the handle of a cutting board.  I also saw paint pouring techniques in resin, on jewelry, on canvas, and basically anything that has a stable flat surface.

Foil Trend

Foil was a continuing trend as seen 3 years ago with heat transferring the foil through small machines, and with stylus heating tools, or simply with glues and tapes.  Foil is sharing the trendy love with metallic paints and glitters on every possible substrate.


Fiber Trends

Fiber arts are trending toward retro styles and going back to those hippie days of macrame, daisy chains, rainbows, unicorns, owls and llamas!
Red Heart had a  new perforated felt that can be crafted with counted cross stitch designs, which is on-trend with the younger crowd.

Popular motifs were owls and monograms, bicycles, skulls, and more!


String art is trending along with macrame pots and cross stitch.


Updated with mermaids, fairies, and other mystical motifs, the string art technique is getting momentum in the fiber arts trend.
Speaking of hippie crafts; hemp string was paired with string art, and was being done on metal surfaces to confirm the strong ties to that retro era of crafting.

Adhesive Trends

Hot glue guns will never go out of style, along with every other adhesive as every serious crafter knows.  And to prove that you can make something old new again, this new drip-less glue gun was being introduced by AdTech, and I can't wait to get my hands on one!  Talking to the brand manager was so interesting as he explained how they designed it with air baffles to lessen the chance of glue dripping from the tip!  This girl gets so excited about glue... so he and I had quite a fun conversation about GLUE!  LOL!!
This little lady stole my heart, over at a little teeny booth at a table with something new called Glue Sponge.  Her name is Susan Fyffe and her story was adorable as she told how she had come up with her own new adhesive product!  The glue is actually in a sponge, which comes in a re-sealable plastic tub.  I just think it's genius, and when I did a search I found tons of DIY glue sponges.  But Susan had the guts to find the perfect sponge and adhesive, and turn it into a product.  I wish her well!
Here's a new adhesive runner from Xyron that was quite the buzz in the Xyron booth!!  It's just the right width to apply ribbons and trims, as well as adhere paper to paper.

Diamond Art Trend

This is a trend that took me by surprise!  I recently discovered this crafty technique called Diamond Art on Instagram and then YouTube, and now it is exploding with crafters.  If you're new to the idea, it's very similar to painting by number, except you peel back a clear cover on the canvas to expose a printed image with a sticky surface.  Then you place the "diamonds" onto the canvas one at a time with a stylus, by matching them to the guide.  Whether you love it, or hate it, it's getting momentum with millions of followers watching the videos.  This is a trend to track!

Food Art Trend

With the popularity of competition baking shows on the food networks, the trend of food art continues to ride the trending wave. 
This cake at Satin Ice was the talk of the show, with the colorful fondant molded to look like a ball of yarn and knitted cable stitches.  It was unbelievable!  I have two samples in my bag, ready to experiment with on cupcakes!

Selfie Trend 

Tons of booths jumped on the Selfie band wagon with HUGE product showcases that made you want to stop and take a selfie, OR maybe do a handstand, like Jane Monzures did here in front of the "Create Big" display!
Calligraphy wall to interact with, take a selfie,  and try your hand at creating giant letters.
And of course, Bob Ross was there!  LOL!!  He's been gone from us since 1999, but trust me, he's still with us ((giggle)).  And this GIANT wall with him was just begging for selfies!
Concord & 9th created a fun "green spot" for a selfie opportunity.
Beautiful die-cut paper flowers presented a huge wall for selfies.
Gelli Arts selfie spot was beautifully done!
Who wouldn't want Swarovski crystals for the perfect selfie wings?

Motif Trend -

Llamas, Llamas, Llamas!

Llama pinata...
Llamas were hands-down the trending motif, design, and shape of crafts and kits everywhere.  If you've got a llama, now's the time to bring it out!
Llama motif with textile trims...
Llama planter with markers...
Llama sunglasses case with counted cross stitch motif...

Packaging Trend

Cosmetic style packaging seems to be catching on for pretty much any product that appeals to the feminine market.  Teresa Collins had a super chic booth that looked straight out of the New York fashion district.    Nuvo had displays that looked just like nail polish, compacts, and makeup tools.  I saw the beginnings of this trend last year, and it continues to build.  Beautiful and very eye catching displays for craft products with a feminine touch.

What I did not see in trends....

What was missing?  The last few years there have been globes everywhere; painted, decoupaged, and even covered with cork and doilies and turned into lamps and bowls and memo boards.  But not anymore. Only saw a few.
No globes.  
There were hardly any succulents.  Remember when they were around every corner? Real succulents, faux succulents, felt succulents, clay succulents, and paper succulents?  But not anymore. 
No succulents.
No chevron.  Gone are the rugs, papers, lamps, fabric, trays, furniture, rubber stamps, and stencils.  Chevron was on it's way out last year,
but chevron was totally gone this year. 
No chevron.
And where is the color trend?  If you were at Creativation and saw a color trend, please let me know.  The only manufacturers that have some semblance of color trending are the yarn groups. 
I'm seriously disappointed that the craft industry seems to ignore the fact that Pantone has a color of the year, or that the fashion industry has color trends, and that the home dec world has definite color stories every year that the craft manufacturers could take advantage of. 
After all, everything a maker's gonna make is ultimately going to be displayed on a desk, a wall, a garment, a sofa, or somewhere that would look better if it matched or coordinated with it's surroundings! 
I guess this is my ultimate pet peeve as a designer.  Sorry that I'm venting, but I feel that with a little more attention to the world of color, the craft industry could profit by capitalizing on home dec and fashion color trends. 
So, as far as I could see, there was.....
No color trend.

I'm pretty sure there are tons of trends I didn't catch, or plenty of trends that have died that I forgot, because you know...... they're not trendy anymore.  (ha-ha!)

So, there you have it.  This year's trending report for the craft industry as it was seen through my designer/consultant filters this year at Creativation 2019. 
If you would like MORE INFORMATION or have an interest in
consultation and design work, contact me at:



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  • Kathy Jones on

    Is there a place that terrific jig you displayed can be ordered? Thank you.


    HI Patty,
    Loved your trend report! Very thoughtfully done. It was great to see all the fun and interesting crafty goodies and faces of old friends that I miss!

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