Craft & Hobby (CHA) Hot Trends for 2015

By  Roberta G. Wax (www.creativeunblock.com) 

Gold foil, cool tools, and watercolor designs were among the hot looks at the Craft & Hobby Association MEGA Show, which attracted some 400 exhibitors from around the world. Design trends include travel, succulents, and nautical themes, in colors both bright and sassy or subtle vintage, with clean and simple graphics. There were plenty of die cuts, stencils, and mixed media products, along with journals and planners. Here are some of the most notable trends and products for 2015.

  • March is National Craft Month
  • Products
  • 1. Gold foil is everywhere, from papers and albums to embellishments. Even more exciting are the do-it-yourself foil options, such as the Minc Foil Applicator by Heidi Swapp, Therm O Web's iCraft Deco Foil, and Sizzix's Inksheets Transfer Paper. The sleek and sassy Minc comes packaged as a kit, including the laminator, while Deco Foil can be used with a laminator, adhesives, even a dry iron. Sizzix Inksheets are transfer films that work with chemically etched dies (not steel rule dies), embossing folders, and even handwriting. You also need a transfer pad and a die cut/embossing machine.

  • 2. Don't want to DIY-it? No problem. American Crafts has foiled everything: cardstock in pink, mint, white, kraft, vellum, Thickers, etc.; Bazzill Basics and We R Memory Keepers pair gold with kraft; Bo Bunny's binders and rub-ons bedazzle; and Crate Paper offers doilies, overlays, and gold on vellum, plus muslin bags adorned with gold glitter.

  • 3. Core'dinations has foil papers, Little B offers foil tapes and rub-ons, Simple Stories has gold embellishments, Ranger has self-adhesive foil sheets, and Me & My big Ideas gets personal with gold temporary tattoos.
  • 4. Cosmo Cricket combines the gold and watercolor trends with two products: Just Add Watercolor Cards, Tags and Paper and Just Add Watercolor Blocks. Both have gold and white resist designs built in, waiting for a color wash.
  • 5. Who doesn't lust for new crafting tools? You'll want them all, starting with the Art-C Groove Tool (with a sponge, a brush and two sanding tips) and the create-your-own die set (interlocking die-cutting pieces), both from Momenta.

  • 6. Punchy over We R Memory Keepers' punch boards? You'll be ga-ga for the 1-2-3 Punch Board (creates boxes, envelopes, and bows), the Banner Punch Board (pennant, flag, and crest), and the large-format Template Studio for big projects. The redesigned Evolution Advanced die cutting/dry embossing/letterpress machine has fold-up sides, storage and an optional motor (sold separately).

  • 7. Contain those sprays in Cosmo Cricket's vinyl coated Splatter Cubby. The 13" square bottom and 10" high sides provide plenty of spray room, but folds flat to store.
  • 8. Crafty Products' Gyro-Cut works like a craft knife but acts like a pen. The unique build lets you hold it like a pen while the swivel tip does the work. It cuts paper, stencils, vinyl, and more.

  • 9. Sure, you can use a bone folder to crease paper, but Fold-Ease also does the trick. The soft thimble-like device slips over a fingertip and two roller-like pieces glide over the paper to smooth the crease.
  • 10. Tim Holtz introduced ShadowPress Station (Sizzix), a guide to make it easier to color your shadow impressions without smudging. He also designed some punches for Sizzix.

  • 11. Why didn't anyone think of this before? Sizzix tinted their die cutting pads. Maybe now I won't keep losing mine.
  • 12. Besides adding exciting new dies and embossing folders, Spellbinders revamped and re-colored the Grand Calibur (stronger support beams and gears), added an accessory pack for the Tool-in-One, and brought out an embossing folder with interchangeable pieces.

  • 13. Fiskars' Thick Materials Punch is tough enough to punch corkboard, Grungepaper, chipboard, foam, cardboard, and foil. There are currently five shapes, each in three sizes: 1", 1.5", and 2".

  • 14. Mixed media keeps growing with luscious products such as BoBunny's Glitter Paste, Prima's Finnabair line (a cornucopia of pastes, gels, gessos, glitter, beads, mica, and more), and Ranger's Texture Paste, which holds ink rather than resists.

  • 15. Faber-Castell adds Texture Luxe™, an opaque acrylic paste with a metallic finish that can blend with other texture products, including Gelatos; Texture Gems™, with a fine-line nib to create dimensional lines, dots, etc.; and 12 new Gelatos.

  • 16. Terial Arts is a nifty fabric stabilizer - it keeps fabric from fraying so you can die cut it, glue it, fold it, shape it, sew it, even put it in an ink jet printer. It will wash out but can be set with an acrylic fixative.
  • 17. Ken Oliver's new line includes Color Burst, a powder that creates bursts of vibrant color when sprinkled onto wet paper; Click It, a unique ink pad with a retractable, pivoting 1"x1" raised dye pad (compact and great for traveling); Stick It, a thin, dry adhesive formulated to use with intricate die cuts; and PEGz, a unique stamp set made of individual letters that can be clicked together to form words. Oliver also introduced clear stamps and beautiful papers that include vintage and nostalgic images, watercolor-looking blooms, and tiny geometrics.

  • 18. AlteNew's new beautiful multi-cultural stamps, some with matching dies, include Persian motifs, henna elements, Ramadan greetings, and more. A stunning Vintage Roses set features a three-step layering system to create multi-shaded roses.
  • 19. Blockwallah stamps are wood beauties, hand carved by artists in rural India on sustainable hard wood, reflecting an artistic tradition that goes back more than a thousand years. The designs are so beautiful that some images are being reproduced by Plaid, but made of a molded material with a wood look. Tips for using both are on the respective websites.

  • 20. We're stuck on succulents, such as sets from Hero Arts, Lawn Fawn, Art Gone Wild, and others.
  • 21. In the coloring arena, check out Hero Arts (ombre pad), Chameleon (One Pen Blends alcohol markers), Clearsnap's Emboss Gloss® by Donna Salazar (embossing fluid in a pen-like applicator), and Prima Palette dual-tip alcohol markers.

  • 22. Ranger is releasing 12 new Tim Holtz Distress colors this year - one a month, across the Distress product line - all kept secret until the release. The first two colors are Cracked Pistachio and Abandoned Coral.

  • 23. While pocket albums remain popular, with stamps, dies, and embellishments aplenty, planners are hot, hot, hot. Hero Arts joined forces with Kelly Purkey to create Clearly Kelly, featuring stamps, dies, and stencils perfectly sized for pocket journaling or planners.
  • 24. Simple Stories' Life Documented collection is a great new planner choice. The bright colors, 6"x8" size, the modular system all say take me home and organize! There's even a meal planning section. Heidi Swapp has a cute agenda die with tabs and lots of accessories. Colors are bright and trendy for both Me & My Big Ideas' Happy Planner (with a disc binding), and Webster's Pages Color Crush Planner, which has a ring binding.