A couple of weeks ago I went to the Craft & Hobby Association Winter 2010 Trade Show. For those of you who aren’t hardcore crafters, this is a huge to-the-trade-only event where companies showcase their new craft-related products to the retailers and media. I was invited down to do a signing of my new book, The Crafty Countdown, and was then free to roam the show as a member of the press. I spent a couple of days wandering the 600+ booths along with 14,000 other people, meeting with some wooooonderful companies and seeing lots and lots and lots of crafty goodness.
First off, let’s talk about CHA in terms of wedding-specific items. There’s not a lot of product geared specifically towards wedding crafters. We are very much an under-served market and I’m working very hard to raise our visibility with the crafts industry. The good news is that there are many “mainstream” craft products are wholly, wonderfully, perfectly adaptable for wedding use. (And, yeah, I’m your go-to girl to show you how!)
Here’s what I saw at CHA. It’s a short round-up of trends and thoughts about what’ll be available in the craft stores in the coming 6 months or so. Some of it will influence wedding crafts, for sure, but a lot of it won’t. I see a lot of innovation from you guys that could actually influence the industry instead of the other way around.
- Vintage. Oh, lordy, vintage everything is huge right now and it covers such a wide range of styles from Shabby Chic ™-esque, to 1940′s-50′s, to Steampunk, to … you name it. Distressed elements, rich patinas, and antique bling was really hot. There wasn’t a lot geared towards those of us with a more modern, minimalist esthetics in the context of what was on display but that’s ok. We can adapt!
- Steampunk has gone mainstream. I saw quite a bit of steampunk-inspired product. Papers, stamps, watch parts, gears.
- The die cutter market has exploded. There were several manufacturers of die cutting machines at the show along with companies that made compatible dies, software, accessories. Lots of great stuff to talk about here – and I’ll be doing so shortly. Die cutting is an exciting advance in the paper crafting community and really needs to be incorporated more into the wedding crafting pool. If you’re looking for a die cutting machine, hold on for another couple of month until the new cutters hit the market.
- Color schemes were jewel-toned and muted or distressed (it’s that whole vintage-thing). Rose, deep purples, darker greens and strong reds were hot. Orange was big. Grey, too.
- Motifs that were hot: butterflies, sunflowers, birds, feathers, nests, birdcages, watch parts/gears, damask, floral prints. Damask is still huge but this year it’s distressed and aged.
- Paper flowers were EVERYWHERE. It’s not much of an exaggeration to say that almost every booth had some sort of paper flower on display.
- I hope you like bling! Rhinestones, crystals, and glitter are hot, hot, hot.
Products: I’ll be doing a round-up of some of my favorite products from the show later this week but, as a sneak peek, here’s what I really loved.
- The Cricut Cake by Provo Craft. This is a food-safe die cutting machine that’s dedicated to cutting fondant and gum paste. Check out what you’ll be able to do with this thing (below)! I fully believe this will revolutionize the cake decorating industry (and that’s really exciting to me). I’ll be doing a full product review when the machine hits the markets in April.
- The Easy Arranger. DIY flowers are fairly commonplace now. This product, a wire “disk” type contraption that fits over the top of a vase, makes arranging your own floral centerpieces a snap. I’m really excited about their version for bouquets as well.
- I’m pretty sure I’ve discussed (ad nauseum) my obsession with finding the perfect adhesive for invitations/paper crafts on these pages. Wait ’til you see the Glue Glider Pro from Glue Arts. Love this thing! They also have some really, really neat removable adhesive for sticking things to walls.
- PSA Esstentials has very pretty customized stamps that will take you from your Save-The-Dates through your Thank You notes and beyond. I adore multi-use craft tools. This is one of them.
- DB Card Studio has lovely DIY invitation kits that are affordable and easily customizable.
- Craft-N-Spin won me over with a “lazy susan” type turntable for crafters. You’ll have to see it.
- The passionate and creative team at GCD have some of the most beautiful and creative papers and embellishments on the market. I am in love with their entire line.
- FancyThat! has some super cool printed packing tape that’d be fun to embellish favors packaging with. Can’t wait to play with it.
- Jenni Bowlin’s line of products is the epitome of vintage cuteness.
- The Unibind folks have a unique album (photo/scrapbook) system that used repositionable resin I’m digging.
- Provo Craft have a new Cuttlebug (one of my favorite craft tools) coming out with some really cool plates that cut and emboss. These are going to rock wedding invites!
I’m missing dozens of others in the list. I’ll be going through my notes and posting pics/videos all this week. There’ll also be product reviews of the things I have in my hands already. It’s craft overload!