Craft Trends for 2021 (To Make & Sell)
Each year I write about the craft trends to help you brainstorm new product ideas for selling on Etsy or at craft shows.
>> UPDATE: You can find 2022’s trend list here.
I use a variety of tools to collect data on what people are searching for and/or buying online. I also research what industry leaders are doing, as they often start new trends that consumers follow.
There’s obviously no guarantee that a product will sell just because it follows a trend. There are so many other factors that go into creating a product that sells. So please also check out:
- What sells best at a craft show
- Most profitable crafts to sell
- 5 ways to know if people will buy your handmade product
It’s also important to note that I write these articles with the idea that you want to sell what you make. If you’re just looking for fun new craft trends to try as an activity, this won’t have as many ideas for you.
I take popular craft categories (sewing, soap-making, jewelry-making, etc.) and look for consumer trends that work well with those crafts. So although some items in this list may not be considered a craft, all ideas can be applied to a craft business.
I use a tool to search general keywords (e.g. “necklace”) and see what niches within it are trending up. I then use another tool to verify there is a good amount of search volume for the trending search phrase, and not too much competition.
I hope you find this craft trends article helpful!
A Note On Laws
There were several craft trends that I did NOT include on this list (e.g. Disney face masks), as making and selling them would be infringing on intellectual property laws.
Be sure you understand and follow laws before you start selling anything for profit.
You may be interested in:
What crafts are tending for 2021?
This is a list of trends that can be applied to popular categories of crafts sold on marketplaces like Etsy or through craft shows.
1. Statement Knotted headbands
Knotted headbands were a trend last year, but this year, these headbands are getting louder.
As in, brighter colors, bolder patterns, jewelled, chunkier, etc. Not only did the term show up in my research, I also noticed several bigger retailers offering statement knotted headbands.
This business is popular for their headbands and just check out their amazing styles: https://www.lelesadoughi.com/collections/new-headbands-1
2. Scarf mask
This is a mask that covers your nose and mouth when pulled up but look like a fashionable scarf when pulled down.
It’s obvious that the pandemic drove this trend, and although things are improving, masks aren’t likely to go away overnight. This item is trending down when compared to the start of the pandemic, but there will still be many people wearing masks long into the future to best protect themselves…especially around cold and flu season.
3. Face mask lanyard
This is basically a strap/string with clips on each end to attach to a face mask, so it hangs around the neck when it’s not being worn. They may be beaded or chains to look like a necklace, or even a simple piece of ribbon or rope.
“Face mask lanyard” for kids is also a popular search term.
4. Bum bags
This is basically a new term for a fanny pack. The term used is important because if all the cool kids are searching for a “bum bag” and yours are listed as a “fanny pack” on Etsy, they won’t be found, even though it’s exactly what people are looking for.
Find more here on: how using the right terms in your listings can help you sell more on Etsy.
5. Mini backpack purse
This is just as it sounds; a mini backpack that people wear as a purse. Some of the more high-end brands (e.g. Kate Spade, Louis Vuitton, etc.) made this style popular. So if you make purses and are considering making mini backpack purses, it’s likely a more dressy/elegant purse-style will be popular (as opposed to a typical canvas backpack being made mini).
6. Teething Toys
Although teething toys are nothing new, they are more commonly searched now compared to several years ago. On the other hand, teething necklaces are searched less. Wooden rings and and earth tone colours seem to be more popular.
I also noticed a lot of wooden (teething) rattles, like the one from the DIY video below:
7. Natural & niche soap
An interesting thing happened during my soap research this year. Almost every trending term related to soap was for a soap business. When I looked into these soap businesses, there was an obvious trend among them.
They’re all focused on natural/organic/vegan/eco-friendly soaps and/or are targeting a niche market.
I’ll share one of the businesses with you so you can get an idea of the type of niche businesses consumers are drawn to right now: Dr Squatch.
“Dr Squatch soap” is a term that’s trending, and sure, that may be due to a big marketing push, but it shows that consumers like their brand and the products they offer.
They make natural soap with rugged names and scents for men.
You don’t have to make soap for men; you can find another underserved part of the market.
For example, more people have become gardeners and bakers during this pandemic, perhaps a soap brand that targets gardeners would do well. A soap for each flower, or herb, or vegetable (depending on the niche of gardener you target) and that soap could be infused with the flower/herb/vegetable, smell like it, and have a similar color.
8. Ritual Baths
This is a trend Pinterest is predicting. The platform has seen an increase in the following terms:
- Spiritual cleansing bath
- Full moon bath ritual
- Bath tea recipe
I did look into each of these terms and didn’t notice much of a trend spike on Google or an overwhelming number of searches, but there are some. Google searches and Pinterest searches will vary, and an increase in bath products that help people de-stress makes sense during this time.
Of each of those Pinterest trends, “Spiritual cleansing bath” had the most search volume on Google and is commonly searched with the following keywords:
- With Epsom salt
- To remove negative energy
- With sea salt
- How to make
If it’s a fit with your brand “spiritual cleansing bath kits” could be a good product to sell. Or simply any product that would be included in a spiritual bath or a de-stressing bath.
9. Protection Crystals
Pinterest is seeing an increase in searches for this term on their platform. It’s also trending up on Google and there is a high volume of searches for the term each month.
Protection crystals are often sold on their own, but are also used in jewelry and even sold with bath products (they’re used in the previous trend “spiritual cleansing bath”).
10. Zodiac Signs
Another trend pointed out by Pinterest that applies across the board. On Google, there is a significant spike in searches related to “zodiac”. There are also millions of searches for “zodiac signs” in a month. It’s a competitive term, however, there are lots of niches you could explore within it and apply zodiac signs to a variety of items:
- Temporary tattoos
- Wall decals
- Labels on products such as candles and soap
- Stamped jewelry
- Art and anything art prints can be applied to:
- coffee mugs
- greeting cards
11. Au Naturale
There has been a definite decline in “makeup” searches and Pinterest is seeing an increase in searches related to natural skincare:
- How to get naturally glowing skin
- Face yoga exercises
- Homemade skin care
- Aloe vera face mask
- Natural everyday makeup
This trend bodes well for handmade businesses selling skin care products as they’re often made with more natural ingredients than drugstore products.
*There was a huge spike in searches for aloe vera in relation to making hand sanitizer with it. Perhaps that sparked more interest in how the plant can be used for other skin care needs.
12. Travel candle
This isn’t an actual term for a candle, but rather a theme that seems to be popular among some of the trending candle companies. A “travel candle” is a term I’m using to describe candles that are scented to smell like travel destinations. It makes sense that these types of candles are popular, since many people can’t travel.
However, niche candles in general (similar to the soap niche mentioned above) seem to be more popular these days. You may consider finding a profitable target market (here’s how) and create a line of candles for them. Again, baking and gardening have become more popular; a line of candles that smell like fresh baked bread, or cinnamon buns, etc. could be a hot seller when marketed in the right way.
13. Lamb’s ear wreath
Lamb’s ear is a perennial plant with longer oval-shaped leaves that are silvery-green. You can find the faux version in garlands. When used for a wreath, it has a modern-farmhouse vibe, which is popular with homeowners.
“Farmhouse wreath” is also a popular search term and has niches for the time of year (e.g. Christmas farmhouse wreath, fall farmhouse wreath, etc.)
14. Baking soda paint on vases
This is more of a DIY but if you often upcycle items and sell them, this is a great way to make an outdated vase look modern. Mixing baking soda with paint gives it a matte finish, so it looks more like pottery or concrete.
15. Floor vases
This term is trending up and gets a lot of search volume each month, so it may be a good item for someone who makes pottery or builds planters. Many people are also looking for ideas and items to fill floor vases with, so it may be a product idea for a floral artist (a collection of longer branches, stems, feathers, etc. to go in floor vases).
16. Head Planters
These are planter pots in the shape of a head, with an open top so when a plant grows in it, it looks like the head’s hair. There are many different styles, so you can get creative.
17. Memorial Wind Chimes
These are wind chimes purchased as a sympathy gift and/or to remember a loved one. They can be personalized or simply have a phrase engraved on a pendant or part of the chime.
This video gives you the general idea of memorial wind chimes but there are lots of ways to come up with unique designs.
18. Needlepoint kits
This one is a little more competitive but does have a high search volume. If you make needlepoint art, consider designing a collection that people would want to hang in their home or create pillows with. Then turn those designs into kits. Which would require a pattern, a set of instructions, and the materials.
Here’s an example of a needlepoint kit on the market. However, patterns can simply be printed on paper, as opposed to the fabric, to simplify things.
Handmade Jewelry trends (2021)
Here are a few jewelry terms that are trending up and get a lot of search volume each month.
Moldavite is a deep green crystal/glass and is worn by many as a healing crystal. If you typically sell pendants made with healing crystals and gemstones, this is a popular one right now (I believe because of a trend on TikTok).
Custom Name Necklace
Although this isn’t a new trend, it’s a term that gets a lot of searches in a month. When people search this term, they’re typically looking for a metal necklace with their name written in script. However, you can of course come up with a unique design that follows the same concept, but sets your business apart.
Another term that’s used for this type of necklace is “nameplate”. Also trending up and also has a high search volume (although “name plate” (two words) is more commonly searched than “nameplate”).
Dainty Gold Necklace
This popular search term leaves it open for interpretation. You could design any style of necklace, as long as it’s gold and dainty.
These are stud earrings that have a design that goes up the ear, following the curve of it. The video below shares a variety of crawler/climber designs to give you an idea of the look.
“Crawler hook earrings” seem to be another trend within the niche. Below is an example of the hook style:
These are earrings that are small hoops that “hug” the earlobe.
Trends in Themes
If you sell a product that doesn’t fall into one of the categories listed above, perhaps there are theme trends in the industry you sell within. Here are a few more ideas.
Micro & Local weddings
The wedding industry is always profitable because there are always people getting married. However, things have obviously changed over the past year.
“Near me” is popularly searched with wedding terms and “micro wedding” has also become a popular search term. People are finding ways to keep weddings small and local, due to the pandemic.
This information may help a handmade business selling wedding-related products understand their customers a bit more.
They don’t want to worry about whether their wedding dress is going to arrive on time, so they’re looking for local vendors. And a smaller wedding means every detail matters and people are willing to spend more on the details since they’re spending less on venues, travel, meals, etc.
A few ideas that come to my mind based on this new “trend” are:
- Bride & groom face masks – if they do need to wear a mask at any point, they’ll want one that looks as elegant as their attire (and won’t mess up any makeup).
- Guest favors – when you’re buying wedding favours for a 100+ guest, you don’t want the gifts to be too expensive. But when you only have 20 guests, you can splurge a little more. They’ll also want to keep their guests safe, so beautiful face masks and/or personal hand sanitizers that follow the theme of the wedding, may be more appropriate wedding favors.
- Chair décor – with fewer chairs, and keeping seats distanced, couples may want to decorate the sides of each chairs with bows, flowers, or greenery.
- Table décor – with fewer tables and fewer people sitting at each table, there’s more room for table décor, such as centerpieces, candles, name cards, napkins, etc.
In general, if you run a business that targets brides and grooms, consider focusing on growing your business locally for all the people in your city forgoing destination weddings and planning everything locally.
Home Décor Trends 2021
With more people spending time at home, there’s more interest in home décor and home improvement. No one knows for sure what will be trending by the end of this year, but these are a few themes that came up from several resources:
This is used to describe how our Grandmas’ houses might be decorated with floral prints, brass, and a mix of styles. It’s a great way to repurpose old décor pieces.
This woven furniture is making its way inside with everything from chairs and bed frames to light fixtures and baskets. It has a bit of a tropical vibe which could be why homeowners are using it (to help transport them to a beachy setting).
More people are filling their homes and rooms with potted plants.
It’s a fairly easy and (sometimes) budget-friendly way to update a room and add interest. Peel and stick wallpaper is even easier and cheaper.
In general, people want their homes to feel like oasis among the chaos of the world. That will mean different things to different people, but items that help bring peace, calm, and happiness to a home will always be popular.
Fabric Trends 2021
The following are a few trends that stood out in the fabric category when it comes to material and patterns.
A helpful reader pointed out a trend in linen and it does appear to be more popular this year than previous ones. There is always a spike in searches for linen over the hotter months, but in the past year, that spike was bigger and the dip over colder months was lower. A few terms related to linen that caught my eye as high in search volume but relatively low competition were:
- linen pants
- linen curtains
- linen dress
- linen shorts
- linen overalls
- linen jumpsuit
- linen spray
- linen napkins
- linen quilt/comforter
- linen shower curtain
- linen pillow covers/sham/cases
*All of these terns have high search volume but not all are necessarily trending up in searches. However, none of them are dropping in popularity either.
Google Trends does show an increase in “linen face mask”, however, my other research tool doesn’t show a significant number of searches for that term each month.
Tie dye is similar to linen in that there is always a spike in searches that include the term during summer months. However last summer there was a significant spike and even during the past few months, searches are double, sometimes triple what they typically are.
It’s a pretty competitive term on its own, however, the following terms have significant searches each month and are fairly low competition:
- tie dye sweatshirt
- tie dye sweatsuit / tie dye lounge suit / tie dye jogger set
- tie dye hoodie
- tie dye sweatpants
- tie dye dress
- tie dye face mask
- tie dye socks
- tie dye shorts
- tie dye bikini / bathing suit
- tie dye leggings
- tie dye shoes
- *Most clothing terms (e.g. tank, hat) with “tie dye” have a decent search volume and aren’t too competitive
- tie dye wallpaper
- tie dye cake
- tie dye comforter
- tie dye sheets
- tie dye party *Although this obviously isn’t a product to sell, you may get creative and make a “tie dye party kit” that has several items that help one throw a tie dye party
Color of the Year 2021
Every year, Pantone comes out with a “color of the year”. This year, they’ve come out with two and describe them as: A marriage of color conveying a message of strength and hopefulness that is both enduring and uplifting.
I hope this article has been helpful! Feel free to comment below with a category of product not mentioned here and I’ll do my best to check it out and update this list if I discover a new trend 🙂
This was a great article! Many of the things I was interested in 20 years ago are now the trend! Must be time to start a craft business and that is why I am here. Thanks so much!
Thank you so much! Glad you found it helpful 🙂 And I hope you find lots of content that helps you with your new venture. Keep me posted on how it goes!
Thank you for the hard work in putting this together. I think there is also a trend towards natural linen items- aprons, throw pillows and towels.
Hi Bettsi, thanks for reading! You’re right, there is always a trend in the summer months for searches relating to “linen”, but the spike was higher in 2020 and didn’t drop as much over the cooler months. It also appears to be on a bit of a steeper climb up this year. Thanks so much for commenting! I’ll add some of my other linen findings to the article.
I found the article interesting in the sense of what kinds of interests have become popular these days. However, I also found it to be quite confusing. I noticed that a lot of what was listed for Non Profitable Crafts and Most Profitable Crafts were either the same kinds of crafts or close similarities or they went hand-in-hand. For examples: Non- Profit: beadworking Profitable: Jewelry, Non-Profitable: Bags Profitable: Mini Backpack Purses. So, I now know what people are commonly “into” for their choices of latest styles and trends. However, I am also now feeling quite conflicted and not very confident in what direction I should or should not go in regarding my business and the type and kinds of products that I sell or….do not sell. Which is very very much important in whether or not my business will be a success or a fail. For an indecisive person, which is definitely myself, well, now I just have no clue what so ever what to make and sell or if I should even take that much of a risk to make and attempt sales at all going off of basically a 50/50 chance that I am counting on for a large part of my livelihood.
Hi Alisha, thanks for reading and commenting!
This article is focused on trends, not how profitable a product is or isn’t. “Trend” and “profitable” don’t necessarily go hand in hand. I list mini backpacks as a trend, not “profitable” as you mention. Making a mini backpack that is profitable is up to the creator.
The other two articles you mention are “most” profitable and “least” profitable crafts; not “non-profitable” and “profitable”. Both articles explain that some crafts tend to be more profitable than others, and the reasons why. The articles also explain that almost any craft can be made to be more profitable and how.
Beadwork (not beaded jewelry) is listed under less profitable due to the hours required to create a beaded piece. Jewelry is listed under most profitable for a few reasons, one of which being there are a variety of ways to make jewelry using a variety of materials, which allows makers to reduce costs and increase profits.
Hope that helps clear things up!
Your articles and ebooks are must-reads. I depend on your research and insights. Thank you.
Wow, what a great compliment! Thank you so much Jennifer. I really appreciate your support and am so glad you’ve found my advice helpful!
I have been a crafter, artists, and author (fiction and non-fiction) for years and have found your information of great use. While I no longer participate in shows, I have made a goal to build online stores with faire.com and Amazon’s handmade. I find Etsy isn’t a viable solution since they have changed their rules so dramatically. I still buy from vendors there, though. I purchased your books and found them helpful, thanks for you hard work.
Thank you so much for your support Jeanne! Etsy has become a challenging platform for many sellers. Thanks for sharing Faire.com, it looks like a good marketplace option for selling handmade products.
Your article was so much useful and your information was great for me. thank you so much.
Great to hear! Thanks for reading Reyhane 🙂
I always love seeing what craft I might start next, and your article has helped me (although my husband would say that my “crap….. oh I mean craft” is always modifying
Aloha from Hawaii! Excellent informative article; clear & concise. Greatly appreciate your research & opinions on trends. We’re all busy trying to tread water & that leaves no time to take the pulse of the consumers “wants”. Thanx again. I will be checking out your books. ✌Linda
Thanks for reading! Glad you found it helpful 🙂