15 Feb 2021 Craft Trends
Each year Stitchcraft scours the marketplace to seek out the hottest craft trends climbing the horizon. To no one’s surprise, this year proved difficult—though not impossible—to forecast. Our tried and true sources were absent due to COVID-19; TNNA has suspended operations for the time being, and AFCI’s Creativation has been pushed to March. Luckily, we’re known for our gimlet-eyed observations. An analysis of social media and trend forecasts and communication with our crafting contacts has proved fruitful in uncovering what’s hot for 2021.
Also to no one’s surprise, making things by hand is having a serious moment. Working and crafting from home during COVID-19 has greatly influenced how people are crafting and where their focus lies. Because people are still at home, the most popular crafts are beginner friendly, easy to implement in smaller spaces, and contribute to reviving a crafter’s living space (we’ve all been staring at the same walls for quite some time now!) The hottest crafting projects for 2021 are approachable for crafting initiates who are entering the fold for the first time. These projects require little space to accomplish and focus on beautifying the home, reinvigorating the wardrobe, and indulging in new skills.
Easy, At-Home Crafting
Crafters all over TikTok and Instagram are learning how to make and sell resin pieces, whether it’s coasters, earrings, necklaces, bracelets, wall art, jewelry trays, or keychains. Resin crafting is surprisingly easy for new crafters—all you need is epoxy resin (which is non-toxic and doesn’t require a highly ventilated space), molds, and mixing and measuring tools. Resin crafting also invites a lot of easy customization. Crafters can easily add dried flowers, bits of wood, confetti, paint, sequins, glitter, or any other decorative accents they have on hand—even yarn, thread, or fabric.
Polymer & Air-Dry Clay
Similar to the resin trend, crafters are diving into polymer and air dry clay projects because they don’t require the space or expense of a potter’s studio or kiln. Polymer and air-dry clay can both be purchased at most craft stores, and the former is set in a standard kitchen oven while the latter requires no oven at all. Crafters are making jewelry and jewelry dishes, wall art, decorative figurines, and more.
Embroidery & Cross-Stitch Kits
Etsy reported a huge increase in embroidery and cross-stitch kits in 2020, and the popularity of the craft shows no sign in slowing down. Shows like Bridgerton, which feature embroidered frocks and characters engaging in the craft, support the trend’s popularity. The show writers were even working on kits while on set. For 2021, we predict a rise in smaller stitching projects—embroidered and cross-stitched earrings, brooches, and other jewelry pieces have all cropped up online in recent months. We’re even seeing yarn and wool being incorporated into embroidery pieces to give them more of a three-dimensional feel.
Stuck at home, a lot of TikTokers have taken to yarn bombing their immediate surroundings. They’re covering chairs, table legs, car steering wheels, mirror and picture frames and sundry with yarn, whether by wrapping it around or with the aid of a hot glue gun. The barrier for entry is low—no knit or crochet skills necessary—and it’s a quick way to beautify the home.
Punch Needle Kits
Punch needling was hot in 2020 and the trend rages on for 2021. For many knitters and crocheters, punch needling offers an alternative to their beloved yarn craft—something different to enliven their senses in what has felt like a very long year. For new crafters, who may not know how to knit or crochet, punch needling offers easy entrée into the world of yarn. Punch needling for the home is especially hot right now—expect to see lots of wall hangings, pillows, and rugs.
DIY Candle Kits
Being stuck at home has seen the comeback of candle making. Whether crafters are purchasing beeswax to roll and decorate or buying these new DIY Candle Kits, candle making is back.
Quilters are moving beyond blankets and creating lots of quilted clothing. Not only are crafters taking old garments and adding quilting elements to them, but quilted coats, jackets, tops, vests, dresses, and even hoodies are cropping up on social media. Quilting has even hit the knitting sphere–PomPom Magazine’s latest issue features 9 garments and accessories that celebrate the art of quilting!
Upcycling & Sustainability
Search the #cottagecore hashtag on TikTok and Instagram and meet the new wave of Luddite-inspired crafters. Named for a return to life as if one lived in a cottage, Cottagecore embraces the art of sustainability and slow fashion. Cottagecore crafters are making everything by hand, whether it’s bread, clothing, candles, or dried flower arrangements. Anything that makes life feel more ‘homey’ and engages in slow, thoughtful crafting can be considered cottagecore. Because it’s about paring down, using what you have, and hand making what you don’t, Cottagecore traverses several slow crafts, including many on this list. Cottagecore is also very big in the BIPOC community, which historically felt excluded from this type of lifestyle by virtue of class and race, and who are now dominating the trend to reclaim it.
The patchwork trend is on the rise. In addition to being all over the fashion runways, upcycled patchwork pieces are hot on social media right now. We’ve seen coin purses, jackets, pin cushions, dresses, project bags, and more. Crafters are breathing new life into old wardrobe staples as well as creating brand new garments with upcycled fabrics. Sewing shops should look to increasing their unique fat quarter bundles to supplement the trend.
Tie Dye & Shibori
Tie Dye technically bridges both upcycling and easy, at-home crafting. Crafters on TikTok are taking old pieces of clothing and tie-dyeing to create fresh new garments. It’s an uncomplicated craft that doesn’t take up a lot of space, and it’s approachable for new crafters. Experienced dyers are venturing into Shibori, a more sophisticated version of tie dye. The Japanese dyeing method traditionally uses indigo dye and different folding patterns to produce intricate designs.
Sashiko, Boro Stitching, and Visible Mending
Visible mending is a hit for both novice and advanced sewers. Not only does it resuscitate clothing we might otherwise throw away, but it produces unique, one-of-a-kind garments through the simple art of stitchwork patterns. Crafters don’t need a sewing machine to practice visible mending, making it easy for anyone to do. It’s a popular method of saving old jeans and worn denim, but meditative stitchers are also practicing Sasiko and Boro Stitching for the beauty of the art itself, creating dresses and patchwork pieces, adding gorgeous patterning to old garments, and even embellishing plain pillows. And it isn’t just for sewists. Knitters are employing visible mending to patch holes in socks and sweaters as well!
Like Sashiko, embroidered clothing is everywhere right now. Crafters are taking plain, otherwise unadorned clothing and embellishing them with bits of embroidery. Little flowers peek out of a shirt pocket, old sweatshirts are embellished with flair, and even sneakers are getting a boost of embroidery. Knitters are getting in on the action, too, using yarn, not thread to embroider their sweaters.
Perhaps bored with the look of their homes after a year, rather than buy new things TikTokers have taken to decoupaging lamps, tables, mirror and picture frames, vases, and flower pots. It’s an easy and straightforward method of upcycling the living space, and TikTok tutorials abound.
Looking for more insight into how to incorporate these trends into your 2021 strategy? Contact us today so we can help you craft an on-trend business plan!