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The Crafts That Trended In Lockdown: Will Small Businesses and Hobbyists Continue The Trend?

By Emily Peagram 15 Apr 2021

Crafts supplies specialists Cosy Owl has undertaken research looking into the hottest crafts that trended over the past 12 months of lockdown. This includes crafts such as candle making, soap making, diamond painting, tie dye, and ceramics - just to name a few.

It’s been an emphatic year of activity for craft makers around the world, but in the UK specifically, handmade crafts have really taken off. Candle making is just one of the crafts experiencing an exciting boom throughout 13 months of lockdown, but many suppliers are now left experiencing wax shortages around the world. This results in businesses and hobbyists across the country experiencing delays for products. There is, however, a wealth of crafts seeing gains in popularity from the start of lockdown.

It’s been an emphatic year of activity for craft makers around the world, but in the UK specifically, handmade crafts have really taken off. Candle making is just one of the crafts experiencing an exciting boom throughout 13 months of lockdown, but many suppliers are now left experiencing wax shortages around the world. This results in businesses and hobbyists across the country experiencing delays for products. There is, however, a wealth of crafts seeing gains in popularity from the start of lockdown.

Assessing 12 months of data via Google Trends, Cosy Owl revealed the top 15 crafts by percentage increases from the year of 2019 to 2020 per, additionally looking into the month-on-month data of January - February 2020 vs 2021 (with the majority of the population in lockdown). The results are staggering.

Type of craft

% Increase from 2019 to 2020

% Increase from Jan-Feb 2020 vs 2021

Candle Making

50% increase from 2019 to 2020

82.7% increase Jan-Feb 2020 vs 2021

Soap Making

51% increase from 2019 to 2020

22.2% increase Jan-Feb 2020 vs 2021

Diamond Painting

308% increase from 2019 to 2020

395% increase Jan-Feb 2020 vs 2021

Tie dye

172% increase from 2019 to 2020

82% increase Jan-Feb 2020 vs 2021

Ceramics

22.2% increase from 2019 to 2020

0% increase Jan-Feb 2020 vs 2021

Resin Moulds

516% increase from 2019 to 2020

652% increase Jan-Feb 2020 vs 2021

Dried flowers?

234% increase from 2019 to 2020

511% increase Jan-Feb 2020 vs 2021

Wax Melts

172% increase from 2019 to 2020

232% increase Jan-Feb 2020 vs 2021

DIY Body Scrubs?

124% increase from 2019 to 2020

174% increase Jan-Feb 2020 vs 2021

Jewellery Making (DIY)

88% increase from 2019 to 2020 (320 avg monthly searches)

82.7% increase Jan-Feb 2020 vs 2021

Crochet

49.4% increase from 2019 to 2020

Pottery

22% increase from 2019 to 2020

18% increase Jan-Feb 2020 vs 2021

Card Making

22% increase from 2019 to 2020

22% increase Jan-Feb 2020 vs 2021

Model Making

50% increase from 2019 to 2020

0% increase Jan-Feb 2020 vs 2021

Papercraft

83% increase from 2019 to 2020

49% increase Jan-Feb 2020 vs 2021


The future of crafts with lockdown restrictions lifting is still unknown, but with the reopenings of crafts markets happening right across the country, this is very positive for businesses who remain hopeful this will be a fruitful time to claim new customers, whilst being provided with an opportunity to network in person.

Richard Fewings, Managing Director of Cosy Owl commented:

Richard Fewings, Managing Director of Cosy Owl commented:

“The last 12 months have seen an incredible surge of interest for crafting with our business seeing an incredible 300% growth year on year. This has been driven by people with more time trying different activities and finding new hobbies, coupled with people across the country re-evaluating their priorities and looking to change careers or start a small business from home rather than return to the ‘rat race’ post lockdown. With many shops closed there has been a real opportunity for small crafters to sell their products online and with so many of us confined to home, demand for luxury products such as scented candles and boutique crafts has also seen an increase. It has been an unprecedented year for everyone but for crafting it has been a year of unsurpassed growth and renewed interest.

“The last 12 months have seen an incredible surge of interest for crafting with our business seeing an incredible 300% growth year on year. This has been driven by people with more time trying different activities and finding new hobbies, coupled with people across the country re-evaluating their priorities and looking to change careers or start a small business from home rather than return to the ‘rat race’ post lockdown. With many shops closed there has been a real opportunity for small crafters to sell their products online and with so many of us confined to home, demand for luxury products such as scented candles and boutique crafts has also seen an increase. It has been an unprecedented year for everyone but for crafting it has been a year of unsurpassed growth and renewed interest.

As lockdown restrictions ease and life returns to some sort of normality it is likely that we will see some amount of re-balancing in the field but I think that there are good reasons to foresee continued strong growth for crafting. With the re-opening of physical outlets and outdoor markets, another traditional outlet for the craft industry will return, with Christmas markets traditionally accounting for a huge seasonal surge in demand. Also with the dreary possibility of a recession looming post-COVID, it is likely that people with less disposable income will cut back on large expenditures like holidays, new cars and moving house, and instead will seeks more affordable luxuries for their home - traditionally the small luxury market that crafting fits into has seen a boost in such times. Also, the therapeutic benefits of home crafting itself shouldn’t be forgotten and especially in times of stress, crafting has lots of benefits, so we could well see continued interest from new crafters as we transition into a post COVID world. All of this is good news for all the crafters new and old that have found out how much fun and opportunity there is in the sector!”

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