As 2019 starts, there’s one question on every mind: what will people be making this year? Crafting, DIY and the makers’ movement continue to grow in popularity, and that’s good news for businesses that cater to creatives. Now’s the time to start planning for the new year with a look ahead at the trends and styles that will inspire consumers in the months to come.
2019 Popular Colours & Patterns
Orange really is the new black. Pantone might say Living Coral while Etsy says Burnt Orange, but an orange is still an orange. You can expect to see these shades popping up a lot in home décor and fashion this year, especially the key colour of terracotta! As an alternative, Pinterest has dubbed Mustard Yellow the colour of the year, and bold “Gen Z Yellow” just might be the next Millennial Pink, especially when it comes to catching the attention of younger consumers. In a more general sense, a palette of rich, earthy tones are expected to come the forefront, edging out the vivid rainbows of the past few years.
When it comes to surface design, we’re seeing a trend towards maximalism, with Memphis, geometric and terrazzo-inspired patterns appearing on surfaces of all kinds, including fabrics, walls and home décor accessories. A rebuttal of minimalist, Scandi-inspired design, this trend embraces clash and visual clutter with an eclectic mashup of pattern, colour and style.
New Crafts to Try in 2019
Makers love the challenge of learning something new, and this year will offer lots of opportunities for exploration. Look for pyrography (wood burning), paint pouring (particularly “dirty pours”, or paint colours mixed before pouring onto the canvas) and candle making to trigger a lot of consumer spending.
On the textile front, fashion sewing is in the midst of a revival, with a lot of makers looking to upgrade their wardrobes with more personal items that transcend the “fast fashion” trend cycle. Patchwork is also gaining momentum, especially contemporary designs that reflect the current maximalist pattern trends. (Come back next month for an in depth look at sewing trends.)
Needlepoint and embroidery are still in the moment, and likely to become even more popular as punch needle embroidery becomes more widely known. Latch hook is picking up in popularity too, though not the traditional plush rug-like look traditionally associated with the craft. Instead, we’ll see the influence of the weaving trend, with a lot of mixed fibers and fabrics being used to create richly textured wall hangings.
What’s Still In?
Don’t expect last year’s biggest craft trends to disappear overnight. Macramé, pom-poms and celestial-inspired designs will still garner a lot of interest. Decorative lettering will still be popular, too, but expect it to slide away from popular brush lettering towards more formal, calligraphic styles (with a bit of a boost from Meghan Markle’s interest in the art).
When it comes to trend icons, sloths have already pushed llamas and unicorns out of the way to dominate the cute and fluffy niche. Expect them to “hang around” a while, though summer may bring a new wave of cute critters from under the sea, especially narwhals and jellyfish. Elephants, giraffes and jungle cats will also make a strong showing.
Flowers remain a reliable favourite, as well. Evergreen for wedding décor and a design favourite any time of year, consumers will still be making dimensional flowers out of paper, felt, fabric and the increasingly popular foamiran material. Etsy predicts herbariums and pressed flowers will see a surge of popularity, and we can expect to see this reflected in papercrafting with 2-D framed displays of delicate papercut blooms or as accents in scrapbook pages, journals and cards.
The Bigger Picture Craft Trends
Beyond craft-specific trends, it’s helpful to take a step back and examine what’s influencing makers in their creative pursuits. The tools and materials used by papercrafters and quilters might not overlap much, but they still take inspiration from the same well of creativity. Here are some of the big picture trends we see for the year ahead.
Self-Care – While self-care gets a lot of negative buzz as a marketing ploy, the need that drives it is real and continues to influence consumers who are just looking for ways to make themselves feel good. Arts and crafts suppliers are in a unique position in this market, thanks to the recognized mental health benefits of making something by hand. Making activities that encourage self-reflection and relaxation, such as journaling, homemade bath products or knitting, get double points in this category.
Self-Expression – Today’s creative consumer wants to do more than follow a set of instructions to replicate a project exactly. They want the freedom to express their own individual style, often with the aim of being able to share it via social media as an indicator of their unique creative vision. Sharing a creative project is not just a matter of, “Look what I can make,” so much as, “Look at who I am.” The ability to self-select colours and materials (from a wide pool of possibilities) is the minimum of this self-expression trend, with the invention of new designs and patterns as the ultimate goal. The drive for self-expression often leads makers to step beyond the boundaries of a singular craft, as they experiment with different making techniques in pursuit of their own creative vision.
Connected World – A growing awareness of the global community fuels inspiration on many levels. Thanks to online sharing, local and regional motifs and trends can influence designs around the world. In addition, as makers become acquainted with makers from other countries via social network channels, the world continues to grow smaller, and trends that celebrate global unity and the commonalities that connect us are rising to the forefront.
Nature is Best – Alongside the growing awareness of the global community is a renewed appreciation of the natural world. Botanicals and animals are always in fashion, but right now they are underlined with a renewed urgency for protection and preservation. Along with themes that show an appreciation for nature (mountain iconography, botanicals encased in resin, animal prints), makers are starting to seek out more eco-conscious materials, recycling and upcycling projects, and projects that encourage sustainable living.
A Hint of Magic – In counterpoint to the awareness of the natural world is a trend towards something a bit more magical. Unicorns, rainbows and celestial designs are early forerunners of this trend that explores the boundary between reality and dreams. This might be interpreted as a maturation of the Harry Potter trend, with makers who still yearn for a touch of magic but without the specific associations of that commercial property. It embraces mysticism, spirituality, fairy tales and light fantasy.
All in all, 2019 will offer many new opportunities for creative growth and exploration. What trends listed here do you think will appeal the most to your customers? Drop us a comment.