July Trends Report: 4 Creative Trends We’re Seeing

This Trends Report is brought to you by the AFCI Trends Committee. Interested in submitting a trend? Contact Kristen Farrell at kfarrell@afci.global.

The Association For Creative Industries (AFCI) Trends Committee is always on the lookout for creative trends to keep your business in the know about what’s popular on the Internet and with crafters and DIYers. From outdoor decorations to junk journals, here are the four trends you need to know about right now.

1. Outdoor Celebrations, DIY Party Decor & Fringe!

Submitted by Jennifer Priest, Smart Fun DIY

Outdoor celebrations are at the forefront this summer and fall. Beer garden parties and patio parties decorated with painted terra cotta pots, wood slices, and hand-woven or embroidered fabrics are popular on Pinterest and Instagram. Bright colors are showing up in craft and party decor with a nod to the simple, random geometric patterns of the 1980s. DIY party decor is still a major trend, from balloon arches to handmade party poppers and DIY photo back drops. And finally, fringe is in … from the fringed tissue paper on pinatas to long fringe on shirts, purses, and jackets at festivals, fringe is popping up everywhere.


Outdoor Celebrations, Smart Fun DIY

2. Wood Embroidery Hoops

Submitted by Debra Quartermain, Debra Quartermain Design

One of the DIY trends I have been following is the renewed and continuing interest and use of wood embroidery hoops. From pretty welcome wreaths to colorful hanging pocket storage, embroidery hoops of all sizes are being transformed by the creative maker. There are many examples of beautiful and intricate embroidery to fun stenciled phrases all embellished with dimensional elements like flowers and trims. Fabric pockets, wood words, mixed media elements all contribute to unique creative expression with a simple wood embroidery hoop!


Wood Embroidery Hoop, Debra Quartermain


Wood Embroidery Hoop, Debra Quartermain

3. Clay

Submitted by Kathy Cano-Murillo, Crafty Chica

Everyone is playing with clay! Do a search on Etsy and almost 800,000 entries come up. Ceramics used to be known as Aunt Lydia’s late night hobby, but these days more and more people are indulging in the art form. Millennials are embracing a zero-waste lifestyle and that means no more disposable dishware; they are investing in handmade ceramic pieces from local makers. This, coupled with the bohemian trend still going strong, clay pieces are everywhere, even on mainstream TV, such as the popular show Queen Sugar, where one of the main characters is always seen drinking from handmade mugs. Working with clay is very organic and universal. Add in a variety of new accent products such as image transfers, silkscreens and glittered low fire glazes – and it’s suddenly cool again. Visit any maker’s event to see more and more handmade bowls, cups, pottery, and jewelry.


Ceramic mugs featured on Queen Sugar

4. Junk Journals

Submitted by Candy Rosenberg, A Vintage Girl

You’re a scrapbooker, card maker, art journaler, perhaps a mixed media artist…you have a desk full of parts and pieces. Paper, ephemera, tags, oh my! You ask yourself, what do I do with all this? A trend was born of junk journals out of the need to use up our bits and pieces. What a great way to put all these elements together and create a book that we can record our travels, our stories and so much more. They have become increasingly popular with a great variety of vintage ephemera kits, printed digital kits and for those that want the creativity of others, handmade journals that are made just for you. A true testament to the pure joy and inspiration of creating without rules, a junk journal can be anything you make it, literally.

Made from nearly any material, the possibilities are endless. Small, medium and large, thin and chunky, it’s all there. I am a part of several junk journal Facebook groups with endless inspiration, one of the largest is Junk Journal Junkies; it has over 15,000 members and is a well administered group. This is where I procured the following inspirational junk journals to share with you. Other groups and resources can be found at the end of this article.

Additionally, as AFCI members this hot trend offers a great way to utilize all the great supplies that we have on hand and is a great way to show a variety of uses with your manufacturers products. Manufacturers have a great avenue to offer products that make creating junk journals easier as the most often comment I hear is that they are intimidating to make.


Junk Journal by Sigita Grunte


Junk Journal by Sigita Grunte


Junk Journal by Sigita Grunte


Junk Journal by Liz Caranci @lizthepaperproject


Junk Journal by Liz Caranci @lizthepaperproject

Junk Journals by Marina Wilson
Marina shared with us a bit about her process:

“I have a few ways of doing it, I cut patches out of any number of fabrics like upholstery, old clothes, scraps, new fabrics, etc. After putting together my main layout I sew it to interfacing and add any extras at that time. I pick what I want for the inside and then sew that together. I add my eyelets and elastics then pick out a number of papers I want to use. Vintage book pages, coffee dyed paper, music sheets, etc. I may sew and add embellishment from there.”


Junk Journal by Marina Wilson


Junk Journals by Marina Wilson


Junk Journal by Tyler Nappa


Junk Journal by Tyler Nappa

Junk Journal Groups
These groups are typically closed groups and you will need to ask to join; you may be asked some questions to make sure that you are a good fit. This keeps these groups tight and keeps the drama to a minimum.

There are a lot of great Etsy Stores that offer ephemera or kits that have everything you need to create your own junk journals or have one made for you.

What trends are you seeing? Leave a comment below.

2 thoughts on “July Trends Report: 4 Creative Trends We’re Seeing

  1. bhg77 says:

    A friend gave me a handmade Journal in December of 2016. I always had a diary growing up & this was a perfect transition as an adult to continue recording my thoughts. It is the fact that they are handmade and not just bought off the shelf. They are personalized by theme, color, Style, the way you want them to feel in your hands; firm or soft, lace with rhinestones or grungy and distressed. As a grandmother I am already making a few to pass down to my granddaughters with information and stories about my life. What a great legacy to leave behind.

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