2014 Trends for Arts and Craft Shows

January 2014

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles / FreeDigitalPhotos.netImage courtesy of Stuart Miles /

Now that the New Year is upon us, it is time to start thinking about the new trends that will make this year better than the last. Arts and Crafts shows tend to draw an eclectic mix of vendors and consumers so it pays to stay on top of the game in terms of popular trends for the industry. This means you should find out what the consumers want in the upcoming year in regards to merchandise as well as the business trends that will put more money into your pocket. Consumers are a fickle bunch, and they want something new, fresh, and exciting that will keep them coming back each year.

Art Trends for the New Year


Once incredibly popular throughout the 50s, 60s, and 70s, clay art seems to be making a rather successful comeback in the art world. It has been used throughout history in many different uses, both functional and artistic. Museums all over the world have containers and statues made out of clay on display that have stood the test of time. In terms of modern art, however, the possibilities are endless when an artist puts their hands to work molding and shaping clay to express their inner-most thoughts and feelings. 

At the Museum of Arts and Design in New York, there is an international show going on through March 2nd focused entirely on clay called Body & Soul: New International Ceramics. There are many different pieces by artists like MounirFatmi and Michel Gouery. The Dominique Levy gallery displayed a curved stucco ceiling piece this past fall by artist Lucio Fontana that reflected his love of blending sculpture and painting. While these examples are on the higher end of the spectrum in the art world, it still gives you an idea of the emerging popularity of customized clay art pieces. 

No longer just for children to play in or for use as a material to make dinnerware, clay is fast becoming a new popular trend for the arts and crafts world. It can be molded into anything you desire with your imagination being the only limitation. Combining the practice with additional painting on each piece can thrust your art booth at the next show out of obscurity and into the future of art. 


Another art form that used to be strictly in a classroom setting for children, the collage is starting to see a comeback as a medium for artistic expression. Laura Hoptman, the curator for the department of painting and sculpture for the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), has said that collage as an art form provides a way “to experience information simultaneously.” It allows the artist to use many different materials to create any expression their imagination can dream up. 

An artist can create a three dimensional piece of art with anything from photographs, scraps of cloth, metal, or wood to mirrors and plastic toys. An expertly crafted collage gives the viewer the chance to view a glimpse into the artist’s mind through textures and layers not possible with a basic painting. The depth of each piece allows the artist the ability to create a physical representation of their own imagination providing a depth the viewer can get lost in. 

Craft Trends for the New Year

The trend team from Michaels, the largest specialty retailer of arts and crafts, has provided their insight into the top craft trends for 2014.


Calligraphy has always been a beautiful way to inscribe cards or certificates, but it is now becoming a way for personalizing a crafters project. For example, in a baby’s room you may want to create a wall hanging with a miniature version of your family tree. With the beautiful art of calligraphy, you can add a touch of elegance to an otherwise ordinary design feature that could eventually become a family heirloom. 


Patterns in and of themselves aren’t exactly new. However, the expected trend for patterns in the upcoming year is actually expected to give you a sense of nostalgia. Stripes and polka dots are making a comeback with a modern twist. Floral patterns have even seen a rise in popularity in the fashion world as well. These nostalgic patters from days gone by are modernized by using metallic and bright colors on natural materials like raw cotton and canvas. With the polka dots and stripes, they can be personalized further with stencils and paint.


Raw materials, blank and unfinished, are quickly becoming a popular medium for craft projects. By using products like various types of wood, burlap, canvas, and cork, the crafter is able to create simple, yet sophisticated, project that has seen an increasing appeal. They can be used for small projects like picture frames all the way up to larger items like furniture.


Recycling old materials isn’t just for saving the planet these days. Take advantage of the amount of waste products we generate and use them to create something that is truly one of a kind. 

You can repurpose an old vanity by sanding and refinishing it to turn it into a modern masterpiece with a vintage feel. A fantastic way to use all those scraps of old fabric you’ve been dying to get rid of is to turn it into a beautiful quilt. A quality made quilt will not only last your lifetime, but also become something you can pass down to the many generations to come. 

2014 Business Trends for Arts and Crafts Shows

While possessing a singular talent in the world of arts and crafts is a major part of succeeding in the industry, it is absolutely imperative to be knowledgeable in the business side as well. The main business trend expected in the New Year is all about technology. Paper money isn’t nearly as popular as plastic, so you need to be able to accept credit and debit cards at your craft table whether you are at a local show or a big festival.

If you have an iPhone, iPad, or other smartphone or tablet, you can check out some of the many apps available that allow you to accept credit and debit cards right there at your booth. This will help increase sales amongst those that tend to not carry cash. 

These trends for the upcoming year are sure to improve your bottom line. So, do what you love, love what you do, and make sure you are ready to pocket those profits!



The new hot jewelry is fine silver Pmc clay creations. Keep your eyes on the wonderful designs.

By Sharon Lamonakis on January 29, 2014

I find this website MOST helpful; I organize 3 events here in Mocksville, NC
Daniel Bonne Family Day Festival…Sat., May 3rd
Four Oaks Festival…Sat., Oct. 11th
Giordana Bike Criterium…Tuesday, July 27th

I love reading these articles…keeps me up-to-date on vendors.

By Tami Garwood Langdon on January 29, 2014

I am looking to a good source for tight wave burlap to make bags with. Any suggestion?

By fairchdm on February 13, 2014

I am so delighted to have found your site. I look forward to reading your articles. you seem to have a “hands on” approach to reporting. This is most helpful and encouraging to a “new comer” such as myself.

By linda buwalda on July 23, 2014

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