CHA Mega Show 2016 Trend Forecast

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CHA Show Entrance Sign

The countdown to the CHA Mega Show 2016 is getting shorter and shorter! Excitement is building to see the new product releases in January, along with the new trends for the 2016. But what can we expect to see in 2016? Let’s get the obvious out of the way first. It goes without saying that adult coloring will continue to be a hot category. This won’t be limited to just publishers, from whom we can expect to see plenty of coloring books of course. Expect to see scrapbook companies creating designs that can be colored (such as Adornit and Bella Blvd have done previously in various product lines), and stamp companies creating coloring friendly designs. And of course it is a huge marketing opportunity for the companies that make pens and paints – expect to see them taking advantage of this window in the market.

The trend for chalk paint has sparked a whole range of interest in home decor and furniture. Chalk paint certainly isn’t going away anytime soon, as more companies are expanding offerings of it and consumers are becoming more competent and less intimidated with it. With that segment of crafts growing, we can expect to see more products appearing that are intended as add-ons for chalk paint furniture makeovers: furniture sized stencils, transfers, and hardware like decorative drawer pulls.

The two trends above have something in common, believe it or not. Both are rooted in changes in consumer psyche that took place because of the long recession a few years ago. Feeling financially pinched, consumers turned increasingly to DIY and projects like recycling old furniture with paint. Even with the recession over, consumers feel less secure financially and have become more prudent in their spending habits, leading the DIY trend to stick around after the recession’s departure. That same general feeling of insecurity feeds the adult coloring trend – the nostalgia of adults for a time in their life when life was no more complicated than which color of crayon to use next. Pair that with the well-documented therapeutic effects of artistic activities, and you get adults enjoying coloring their worries away.

Organization is another category that was affected by the recession. While a quick look at Pinterest will show that it is a topic of high interest to crafters, it’s also not an expenditure that is necessary to take part in crafting the same way that basic supplies like fabric, adhesive, or yarn are. When budgets got tight, pricey organization products like totes and custom racks got cut from the budget in favor of basic necessities. Consumers began “hacking” organizational solutions from more affordable household items like mason jars and even creating them out of cereal boxes. With consumer purse strings loosening again, more are investing in the environment in their homes – including their craft spaces.

The 80’s are back in the fashion world, and so is an 80’s crafting trend: cross stitch. In the late 1980’s, there was a cross stitch store on every corner it seemed – similar to the peak of the scrapbooking trend ten years ago. Since then, cross stitch has been relegated to the realm of devoted enthusiasts, not casual hobbyists, with limited shelf space in big box stores and specialty stores few and far between. Recently, however, stitching is making a comeback. It’s unlikely that we’ll see a flood of stitching supplies being sold at the CHA show, as it runs concurrently with the TNNA show in San Diego, but we will some definite influence from that trend, including embroidery hoop projects and perhaps stitching themed supplies in areas like scrapbooking.

In the scrapbooking segment, a few trends will continue to take hold and grow. Mixed media will continue to fill the void left by the growing disinterest in 12×12 layouts. Stamping and card making will also continue to be more of a dominant force. And of course, pocket scrapbooking will continue to be a strong segment in 2016, fed by the popularity of companies like Project Life, and Simple Stories.

Planners will also continue to be a force in the market. It’s becoming apparent that the idea of decorative paper planners are not a flash in the pan fad. More and more companies are jumping on the bandwagon of that idea, either with full-blown planner lines like Me & My Big Ideas has, or with stamps and other accessories (such as the Clearly Kelly stamps by Hero Arts).

But there will be new factors in the scrapbook market too. Bible journaling, introduced into the mainstream scrapbook market by Bella Blvd through Illustrated Faith, is starting to take hold. Expect to see other companies move to capitalize on that growing trend with products and marketing, especially as it gives them access to Christian retailers that otherwise wouldn’t carry scrapbooking – a new outlet in a market that has shrunk a lot for scrapbooking manufacturers.

Of course, during and after the show, our coverage will show you all the best of what you will be seeing in stores going into the first months of 2016! Make sure to follow us on Instagram, Facebook, and here on the website so you don’t miss any of it!


Thanks for joining me for the “See You At CHA” blog hop! Make sure to visit the other participants in the hop this week!

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17 Responses to CHA Mega Show 2016 Trend Forecast

  1. Avatar
    Ann Strecko Koeman December 11, 2015 at 9:10 am #

    Very informative and I look forward to seeing all these new products at CHA too! I too am doing a bit of a Planner Embellishment Make and Take in the Designer Section on the Saturday 2 pm.

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    Teresa Doyle December 11, 2015 at 9:13 am #

    You have covered a lot of trends and I agree. For me (like many others) organization is an absolute MUST in the crafting hobby. You can NOT have this much “stuff” in one room AND USE IT, if you aren’t organized!
    My can’t live without tool? My Tonic paper trimmer.

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    Barb MacAskill December 11, 2015 at 10:56 am #

    Organization is my passion!!! So glad that there are so many incredible planners around now!!
    My must haves are dies, paper and adhesives! TFS!

  4. Avatar
    Jean Marmo December 11, 2015 at 12:43 pm #

    Wish I could go to CHA once!

    Can’t live without adhesive! Liquid, dots, runners – I need it all!

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    Lisa Fulmer December 11, 2015 at 12:46 pm #

    Thanks for being part of the See You at CHA Blog Hop!

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    Laura Bray December 11, 2015 at 1:08 pm #

    Great overview of what’s trending! I’m really loving the planner trend!

  7. Avatar
    Rian December 11, 2015 at 4:49 pm #


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    Beverly Polen December 11, 2015 at 5:20 pm #

    Hi, Nancy! I am so happy that you shared your perspective on the craft world and where it is headed. I glad to hear that cross stitching is returning. Your perspective was quite informative, and I thank you for sharing it Also, thanks for participating in the CHA Blog Hop! Nancy, to comply with the blog hop rules, I’ll share that my cannot live without tool is my Big Shot. I craft on a daily basis; therefore, I use my Big Shot daily. I have tweeted about the blog hop ( several times during this week. Again, thank you for participating and sharing! Have a wonderful time in January at the CHA Show.

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    Mandi Holmes December 11, 2015 at 7:36 pm #

    I love organization, without it my studio would be too chaotic to work in.

  10. Avatar
    Seth December 11, 2015 at 8:21 pm #

    Thanks for sharing your take on the trends for 2016 Nancy. Hope to see you at the show.

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    Terri Torrez December 11, 2015 at 11:05 pm #

    Great post. I love reading stuff like this. My can’t-live-without tool would have to be my printer.

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    Jean Bullock December 12, 2015 at 1:09 am #

    Cross stitching was one of the first crafts I learned as a teen. I can’t live without my Fiskars Fingertip Craft Knife.

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    Joan M. December 12, 2015 at 1:22 am #

    I’ve tried to be more organized, but life (procrastination) gets in the way. My favorite tool is the kitchen table: one other table is too high, another is too low, and this one is just right!

  14. Avatar
    Michelle December 12, 2015 at 7:53 am #

    I didn’t see where it is being held or the exact dates. My apologies if I missedit.

    • Avatar
      Nancy Nally December 12, 2015 at 11:03 am #

      The CHA Mega Show 2016 is in Anaheim the 2nd week of January. It’s a credentialed trade only event, but lots of consumers are aware of it taking place and interested in what goes on at it. Kind of like CES in the tech world.

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    Sarah - The Creative Makery December 13, 2015 at 2:32 am #

    looking forward to seeing you at CHA

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    Memoriesbymanda December 14, 2015 at 12:20 am #

    I’m interested in seeing new faith based products coming out at CHA
    Stamps ( and inks) are my cant live without craft supply