by Lisa McGrimmon
What are the trending crafts that sell well in 2019?
It's a smart question to ask yourself.
Reflecting retail trends in your product line can help to boost your own sales at craft shows and online. It can also make your products more attractive to retailers you may want to partner with on a commission or wholesale basis.
Whether your brand style is trendy or classic, there are ways to reflect popular style and hot product trends in your work. But first, you need to find out what's hot today.
If you're searching for crafts that sell well, I assume you want information that will help you develop a product that has a real chance of being popular.
You're looking for real insights. You're not looking for someone's best guesses.
The best way to get real insights into the types of crafts that sell instead of best guesses would be to find a study of what actually sells well at craft shows.
Unfortunately, craft business sales data is tough to find.
The Association for Creative Industries Data is too General for Our Needs
The Association for Creative Industries (AFCI) publishes data on the crafts and creativity market.
The problem with that data is that it's not focused on solo craft business owners. It covers the entire craft industry as a whole and includes data from big-name craft supply chain store. It's not a reliable reflection of the business realities facing a solo craft business owner selling handmade products.
It might give you some big-picture insights, but it's not going to tell you what sells best at craft shows or in Etsy shops.
The Craft Organization Development Association Data is Specific, But It's Too Old to Be Helpful in 2019
The Craft Organization Development Association (CODA) did complete some extremely interesting research on the income of craft business owners. That research, however, was done several years ago, and, unfortunately, CODA is now defunct.
You can find a summary of CODA's final study, done in 2011, on the American Crafts Council site.
Again, it might give you some big-picture insights, but the data is old. It's not going to help you figure out what will likely be the best selling handmade items for 2019.
Nobody, it seems, is tracking real numbers on different types of handmade products that sell at craft shows and online and which crafts are most profitable for artisans.
If you ever find this kind of data about solo craft business owners anywhere - I'm talking about a real study, not someone's best guesses - please let me know in the comments below. I'd love to get my hands on those numbers!
If you read an article that provides a list of items that are supposedly "the best selling handmade items" at craft shows, it's based on the author's best guess. It's not backed by data.
We may not have current, specific sales data from craft artists. However, we do have access to excellent trends reports and predictions.
These trend reports can be translated into the craft market to help you to create products that are likely to be on-trend and sought after in 2019.
What's popular right now?
You can find trend reports from a range of sources. We'll focus on sources that are reputable and have a connection with the handmade market including:
We'll tie it all together with my Spring Summer 2019 Trends Pinterest board where I've gathered examples of each trend for your inspiration.
The 2019 Etsy Trends forecast tells us we're going to see a lot of these designs in 2019:
1. Burnt Orange
Burnt orange is a color you'll see a lot of in 2019. Whether you design statement necklaces, beautiful handmade hats, or luxurious scarfs, Etsy predicts that styles in burnt orange will look modern in 2019.
On Pinterest, there is a lot of burn orange showing up in wedding color schemes. If your business caters to brides, be sure to check out this trend.
Maximalism is a "more is more" design philosophy. Think strong colors and bold patterns mixed in a striking manner. The style is starting to show up in room makeovers on popular blogs, and you'll almost certainly see more of it.
If you love to use a riot of colours and big, bold patterns in your designs, you're going to love the maximalism trend.
3. Preserved Flowers
Preserved flowers are showing up in everything from jewelry, to wall art, to nail art. How will you incorporate them into your own handmade items?
4. Southwest Styles
If southwest style is your jam, be ready to see lots of it in 2019. The burnt orange that you'll see a lot of is a great fit for this design style.
Jewelry designers might want to break out the turquoise and silver. Pottery, warm colors, and beautiful wood and metal accents take center stage in the southwest design style.
5. Sloths (and Llamas)
Move over, unicorns, sloths are going to be the trendiest animal in town for 2019.
Llamas have been having a good run through 2018, and they will continue to be popular through 2018. But sloths are inching their way in and being seen more in design motifs. Expect to see more of these adorable, slow-moving mammals featured in trendy designs in 2019.
6. '70s and '90s Styles Will Continue to be Strong
Styles inspired by the 1970s and 1990s have been popular through 2018, and Etsy predicts this aesthetic will continue to trend into 2019. To build a '70s or '90s aesthetic into your products, think fanny packs, terrazzo, and rattan home decor and accessories.
Pinterest number crunchers examined search data on the site to determine which search terms are growing the most. From this data, they created the Pinterest 2019 Trends report.
There are 100 trends featured in Pinterest's report, so we won't go through all of them here. Some of the trends are more relatable to crafts. Others are focused on food, fitness, travel and other topics that are popular on Pinterest.
I'm going to focus on the Pinterest trends that translate most obviously to crafts including:
There are other trends on the list that you could translate into a variety of different handmade products. If you're curious, you can check out the whole list here.
I'd suggest downloading the PDF from that page because it has lots of images to help you envisage each trend.
1. Mismatched Prints - searches are up 89%
I see this popular fashion trend as an offshoot of the maximalism trend, but with a focus on fashion. Pinterest predicts you'll be seeing a lot of mismatched prints in 2019.
2. Snake Print - searches are up 642%
Here's another trend that's popping up in fashion. Be on the lookout for snake print in 2019.
3. Chalk Art - searches are up 664%
This trend really surprised me. I though chalk art had its moment a few years ago. According to Pinterest, searches for chalk art are up 664%, so it may be an opportunity to add a trending style to your product, or revive some old products from a few years ago when chalk art first became trendy.
4. Mustard Yellow - searches are up 45%
Mustard yellow is popping up in decor and fashion posts on Pinterest. Whether you create handmade jewelry, chunk knit blankets, beautiful art prints, or fabulous fashion, there's plenty of room to work this color trend into your product designs.
5. Geometric Decor - searches are up 1178%
Searches for geometric decor are up a full 1178%! If you create products for the home, consider adding a strong, geometric element to the shapes and patterns you choose.
The Pinterest searches trending into 2019 that we just looked at cover overall design choices and could be applied to a lot of different types of crafts.
Pinterest is also reporting some trends that apply to specific types of crafts. Here are a few to consider as you develop product for 2019:
If you want to dive into color trends for 2019, Living Coral, Pantone 16-1546, is a great place to start. You'll surely be seeing plenty of this beautiful shade in 2019.
I've gathered examples of all of these trending crafts and niches on my Spring Summer 2019 Trends board on Pinterest. You can see all of the trending items featured on this page, and more, in detail.
Check it out if you want to get more inspiration and ideas for how you can incorporate some of these trends into your own products.
I follow several trend reporting sources and update my trend boards regularly. You can follow me on Pinterest if you want these trend updates to show up in your own Pinterest home feed.