What you need to know

The arts and crafts market was boosted in 2008 as consumers turned to DIY (do-it-yourself) tactics to cut spending during the economic downturn. As the economy continues to strengthen, however, participation in arts and crafts remains steady, with approximately 129 million US adults taking part. The popularity of crafting has remained stable in part due to the awareness and engagement driven by social networking platforms like Pinterest and online marketplaces like Etsy. The growth of this market is reflected in the expansion of specialty craft chains, with all three major companies (Michaels, Hobby Lobby, and Jo-Ann Stores) adding new store locations in the past two years.

While the core crafting audience remains young women and mothers, there are opportunities for marketers to pursue other segments, such as Hispanics and men, who over index for spending in the category. These secondary segments may have crafting needs that are yet to be satisfied as their motivations, shopping behaviors, and preferred crafts differ from the core audience.

This report builds on the analysis presented in Mintel’s The Arts and Crafts Consumer – US, January 2014 and the May 2013 report of the same title.


For the purposes of this report, “arts and crafts” describes projects made by consumers by hand. Relevant items in this category include but are not limited to: photo albums or other photo gifts; knitting, quilting, crocheting, or other needle crafts; paintings, drawings, or prints; cake decorating or other food decorating; scrapbooking or card making; furniture or other home décor; floral or other plant arrangements (using real or artificial plants); jewelry; framing; paper crafts; décor for special events; wood carving or other woodwork; candle making; pottery, ceramics or other sculptures; blown glass, stained glass, fused glass, or other glass work.

Mintel uses the term “crafters” when discussing respondents who have made any type of art or craft evaluated by the survey within the past 12 months.

Data sources

Consumer survey data

Mintel has commissioned exclusive consumer research through GMI to explore consumers’ tendencies to make arts and crafts and purchase related products. Mintel was responsible for the survey design, data analysis, and reporting. Fieldwork was conducted in November 2014 among a sample of 2,000 adults aged 18+ with access to the internet.

Mintel selects survey respondents by gender, age, household income, and region so that they are proportionally representative of the US adult population using the internet. Mintel also slightly over-samples, relative to the population, respondents that are Hispanic or Black to ensure an adequate representation of these groups in our survey results and to allow for more precise parameter estimates from our reported findings. Please note that our surveys are conducted online and in English only. Hispanics who are not online and/or do not speak English are not included in our survey results.

Mintel has also analyzed data from Experian Marketing Services, using the Simmons NHCS (National Hispanic Consumer Study) and the Simmons NCS Kids Study.

The Experian Marketing Services, Simmons NHCS was carried out during Summer 2014 and the results are based on the sample of 26,053 adults aged 18+, with results weighted to represent the US adult population. The Experian Marketing Services, Simmons NCS Kids Study was conducted during Spring 2014 and based on a sample of 1,975 kids aged 6-11, with results weighted to represent the US kid population.

Additional data from Experian Marketing Services, Simmons NHCS Adult Study is included for Summer 2008, 2010, and 2012. Data from the Simmons NCS Kids Study is included for Spring 2006, 2008, 2010, and 2012.


  • Summer 2008 Simmons NHCS Adult Study 12-Month, July 2007-September 2008; 24,898 adults aged 18+

  • Summer 2010 Simmons NHCS Adult Study 12-Month, July 2009-September 2010; 23,656 adults aged 18+

  • Summer 2012 Simmons NHCS Adult Study 12-Month, August 2011-August 2012; 24,545 adults aged 18+


  • Spring 2006 Simmons NCS Kids Study 12-Month, May 2005-June 2006; 2,225 kids aged 6-11

  • Spring 2008 Simmons NCS Kids Study 12-Month, April 2007-June 2008; 2,209 kids aged 6-11

  • Spring 2010 Simmons NCS Kids Study 12-Month, April 2009-June 2010; 1,986 kids aged 6-11

  • Spring 2012 Simmons NCS Kids Study 12-Month, April 2011-June 2012; 1,978 kids aged 6-11

While race and Hispanic origin are separate demographic characteristics, Mintel often compares them to each other. Please note that the responses for race (White, Black, Asian, Native American, or other race) will overlap those that also are Hispanic, because Hispanics can be of any race.

Consumer qualitative research

In addition to quantitative consumer research, Mintel also conducted an online discussion group among a demographically mixed group of adults aged 18+. This discussion group was asynchronous (ie not run in real time), functioning like a blog or bulletin board, with questions remaining posted for a predetermined period of time. This method allows participants to respond reflectively, at their leisure, or to log off to think about any issues raised, and return later to respond. Participants were recruited from GMI’s online consumer panel with responses collected in November 2014. Relevant quotes are included as stated. However, Mintel has corrected typos and grammatical errors prior to publishing.

Direct marketing creative

All direct mail marketing creatives are provided by Mintel Comperemedia.

Mintel Comperemedia is a searchable competitive database tracking direct mail, print, and online advertising in the US and Canada, as well as email in the US. Comperemedia tracks information across nine sectors: Banking, Credit Card, Investments, Insurance, Mortgage and Loan, Telecom, Travel and Leisure, Retail, and Automotive.

For more information, please contact Account Services Management at 312.450.6353 or www.mintel.com.

Abbreviations and terms


The following is a list of abbreviations used in this report:

DIY Do-it-yourself
EDLP Everyday low price
HGTV Home & Garden Television
NHCS National Hispanic Consumer Study (Experian Simmons)
SKU Stock keeping unit


Generations are discussed within this report, and they are defined as:

World War II /Swing generation Members of the WWII generation were born in 1932 or before and are aged 83 or older in 2015. Members of the Swing Generation were born between 1933 and 1945 and are aged 70-82 in 2015.
Baby Boomers The generation born between 1946 and 1964. In 2015, Baby Boomers are between the ages of 51 and 69.
Generation X The generation born between 1965 and 1976. In 2015, Gen Xers are between the ages of 39 and 50.
Millennials* The generation born between 1977 and 1994. In 2015, Millennials are between the ages of 21 and 38.
iGeneration The generation born between 1995 and 2007. In 2015, iGens are between the ages of 8 and 20.
Emerging generation The newest generation began in 2008 as the annual number of births declined sharply with the recession. In 2015 members of this as-yet-unnamed generation are younger than age 8.

* also known as Generation Y or Echo Boomers

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