If there is one thing that Covid-19 gave us in abundance, it’s time. This is a view also acknowledged by the German firm specializing in market and consumer data, Statista, which reports, “During the health crisis in 2020, retail sales of arts and crafts in the US surged to 1.17 billion US dollars, its highest amount in the last ten years.”
This represented an 11% growth in the retail market for the arts and craft industry in the US.
The above statistics are not surprising if you consider that the US's DIY arts and crafts fever has reached such a high that more than a quarter of Americans report having an interest in arts and crafts.
Covid-19 has significantly contributed to the DIY craft boom, even outside the US. The Guardian.com reports that Hobbycraft, a superstore retail chain in the United Kingdom that specializes in selling arts and craft supplies, saw a 200% increase in online sales since the pandemic.
But what DIY craft projects were the most popular during the pandemic? This is the question we want to answer in this article.
The Top 10 DIY Crafts during Covid
To come up with this list, we spent time online, researching the crafts people were involved in during the pandemic. Our ranking of the crafts is based on the search interest on Google. From our research, we created the graph below:
Embroidery is a craft involving using a needle to apply yarn or thread to decorate a piece of fabric with beads, sequins, and quills. This is the most popular Covid-era craft for a reason. It allows a craftsperson to express their full creativity with the wide range of possible designs it affords.
The pandemic may have given impetus to a craft already gaining popularity. In an article published by the Financial Times in 2019, Hannah Banks-Walker explains, “Why embroidery is sew (sic) hot right now.”
Banks-Walker reports, “The craft is undergoing a revival, with young fashion designers, artists and consumers gravitating towards this analog skill in a digital age.” She quotes freelance embroidery artist Nicole Chui who says, “It’s the fact that it (embroidery) allows you to ‘make something your own,’ which is special.”
Writing for the DIY craft and hobby site, TheSpruceCrafts.com, Mollie Johanson suggests that one of the most popular embroidery patterns that the coronavirus has brought us is the modern flower pattern.
Johanson says that a large part of the beauty of this design is its basic skill requirements yet stunning outcome.
If you fancy doing some embroidery, Chloe Wen of the YouTube channel @byChloeWen has a step-by-step tutorial that over two million viewers have watched. If you are not one of these two million, you can watch the video below:
Pottery is the creation of ceramic art using clay molded into the desired shape and heated at high temperatures. Dominic Lutyens of BBC.com cites Jennifer Waverek, the founder of Bklyn Clay, a pottery studio in Brooklyn, New York City, who describes pottery as “an antidote to the overwhelm of the digital world.”
However, one irony that Waverek may have failed to notice is that the digital world—specifically social media—has been instrumental in promoting pottery. For instance, Lutyens writes, “Young amateur potters showcase their work on social media, and the interest in it can be gauged by the huge number of likes on their Instagram pages.”
Lutyens’ article also refers to Pablo Fernández-Canivell, a Malaga-based self-taught ceramicist who began pottery in 2017. Fernández-Canivell agrees that “Social has played a crucial role in bringing craftsmanship to a new audience.”
The word origami is of Japanese origin. It was coined from the Japanese words ori and kami, meaning “paper” and “fold.” Origami has been practiced for centuries by many cultures and remains popular even in the western world.
There are many forms of origami. For instance, a survey by OrigamiResourceCenter.com found more than 80 classifications of origami.
Today, origami is practiced by many people worldwide, both young and old, to create numerous designs and objects like cars and tables and even animals like frogs and geese.
Rachael Beckwith, a writer for BBCGoodFood.com, shares some creative origami ideas for kids.
The YouTube channel Hello Origami has some fascinating origami ideas. Check out this tutorial providing a step-by-step guide on making an origami paper parrot.
4 Tote Bags
Tote bags have become an avenue for people to express their style and creativity in recent times.
The popularity of tote bags can be attributed to the fact that they are easy to make and only require a few basic supplies like a piece of fabric, scissors, threads, and a small sewing machine.
The American pay television channel HGTV.com provides a guideline on “how to make a lined fabric tote bag that’s perfect for work and play in this straightforward home sewing project for tweens, teens or anyone new to sewing.”
5 Punch Needle
The punch needle technique is a form of embroidery comparable to rug hooking. It dates back many centuries and has continued to evolve over the years.
Punch needle embroidery is unlike traditional embroidery, where you put the needle through the fabric and stitch through. With the punch needle technique, the needle remains on the surface while pushing the yarn or thread through the fabric.
Punch needle embroidery has gained increasing popularity on social media over the years. HandsOccupied.com’s Heidi Gustad says, “In the past year (2017) or so, I started seeing lots of videos on social media of ‘magic embroidery pens’ & beautiful photos of cushion covers made with all-over yarn stitches and loops.”
Gustad’s views indicate that Covid-19 may have increased the popularity of a craft that was already attracting the attention of many.
Punch needle-art can easily be done at home with just a few tools, including fabrics, thread or yarn, a punch needle, and a creative mind.
6 Flower Art
Many cultures over the centuries have practiced flower art. Ancient civilizations from the Renaissance and Medieval periods featured flowers and all sorts of flowery patterns in their art.
The beauty of flower arrangements is in their versatility, making it a form of craft that most people can easily engage in.
According to the e-commerce site that provides flowers and special occasion products, PickUpFlowers.com, flower art may be done using paper flowers, posters and wallpapers of flowers, clay flowers, silk flowers, and many more.
7 Candle Making
Dayna Isom Johnson, a trend expert at Etsy, is quoted by Yahoo.com saying, “There has been an 893-percent increase in searches on Etsy for candle-making kits in the last three months.” She was speaking in December 2020.
Etsy is an American e-commerce firm whose main products are handmade or vintage items and craft supplies.
The materials needed for candle making can easily be procured at any crafts store. For a basic candle-making project, all you need are some wax, a wick, a container to put the candle in, and some fragrance if you want.
8 Handmade Jewelry
You can be your own little smith by learning some handmade jewelry techniques. This is precisely what many did during the pandemic from the comfort of their homes using small pieces of decorative metals, beads, and strings.
With enough time to do whatever they wanted, even students found themselves making homemade jewelry. For instance, TheTooterOnline.com, a student newspaper of Omaha South High Magnet School, Nebraska, tells the story of Ruth Rauda. She started making homemade jewelry when she found herself with nothing to do during the pandemic.
Rauda says, “I don’t find a lot of jewelry at stores that I like, and I also like to have something that’s special to me and know that I’ve made something other people like.” She adds, “It’s fashion too, an outfit can look completely different with a necklace or like earrings, I just feel like an outfit without jewelry isn’t complete.”
SkillShare.com shares 21 jewelry ideas that you can do by yourself.
9 Home Fragrance
Rather than buy a fragrance owned by thousands of other people or mix incompatible fragrances, you can make your own, and many people did during the pandemic.
Food52.com says, “Reed diffusers are today’s potpourri—they scent a room naturally and also double as attractive room decor.”
10 Resin Crafts
Resin craft is a unique art style done with a material called resin. What makes resin unique is its ability to change appearance after use. At first, it’s a liquid, but then it begins to look like glass as it dries.
Resin crafts are popular for a reason: they are quick and easy. This is a reality acknowledged by Jax Issacson.
Reporting about how resin flower art became a full-time gig for Issacson, the Australian broadcaster ABC.net writes, “For graphic designer Jax Isaacson starting long-term art projects was not an option with two active preschoolers, so she turned to a medium she could make in stages and started experimenting with resin.”
Why has resin art become so popular? Issacson has the answer: “I started playing with resin because it’s a quick process.” She adds, “I could have a bit of fun in 15-20 minutes, come back a day later and I had created something — it was just the best medium for me.”