From homemade candles to paint-by-number kits and more, here's what projects our experts say will dominate the DIY world in the new year.

By Caroline Biggs
December 21, 2020
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2021 is fast approaching and with it will come a whole new slew of craft trends to try. "We found that this year, searches for craft kits and DIYs have skyrocketed as many looked for social distancing-approved activities to keep busy while at home," Dayna Isom Johnson, Trend Expert at Etsy, explains. "In the last three months alone, we've seen a 221-percent increase in searches on Etsy for DIY kits."

painting by numbers as a way of spending leisure time
Credit: Nataliia Pyzhova / Getty Images

Whether you're a DIY rookie or seasoned artist, crafting is becoming a more popular pastime than ever before. "The pandemic has not only changed how we look at all the things in the outside world, it has also altered how we spend our time inside," says Kristin Gambaccini, Facebook Marketplace user and the blogger behind Perfectly Distressed. "We are spending more time than ever at home, so it's only natural that we're going to start looking for more ways to be creative."

Curious what craft trends will be all the rage in 2021? From homemade candles to paint-by-number kits and more, here's what crafts our experts say will dominate the DIY world in the new year.

Candle Making

Looking for a fun and crafty way to increase your home's ambience in the new year? Johnson says Etsy users are turning to candle making more than ever. "There has been an 893-percent increase in searches on Etsy for candle making kits in the last three months," she explains. To make your own all-natural candles at home, consider the After Party Candle Co. Eco Candle Making Kit ($49, etsy.com) that comes with sustainable coconut oil wax and four fragrance oils, or the Make This Universe DIY Candle Making Kit ($28.27, etsy.com) that allows you to custom create your own scented soy candle.

Acrylic Paint Pours

If you aren't already experimenting with acrylic paint pours, it's time to give the craft a try. A fluid painting technique that involves mixing acrylic paint with a pouring medium and then pouring it onto a flat surface, Bambaccini says the craft is currently all the rage with DIY bloggers. "You can use the acrylic paint pour method to paint everything from a canvas, to a phone case, to a piece of furniture," she explains. "The end result is something so uniquely beautiful and artistic that the technique definitely deserves the merit it is receiving."

Outdoor Décor Crafts

If you are spending more time relaxing or entertaining in an outdoor space at home, Johnson believes that it's only a matter of time until you'll want to craft some adorable DIY-style décor to enhance its appeal. "This coming year, I'm anticipating that many are going to continue hanging out and hosting gatherings outdoors," she explains. "As a result, I'm predicting that the more popular 2021 crafts will be those that can double as patio, garden, or stoop décor, like DIY lanterns and birdhouse-painting kits."

Paint By Number Kits

Why buy art when you can paint your very own masterpiece at home? Not only are old-school paint-by-numbers kits a creative way to stay entertained indoors, therapists say they can help reduce stress and anxiety, too. No surprise then that Johnson says there has been a 539-percent increase in searches for paint-by-number kits, compared to this time last year. If you're new to paint-by-numbers, try a kit with several options like the Cate Paper Co. Potted Plants Paint By Number Kit ($10, etsy.com), or make a statement painting with a Ruth Bader Ginsburg-inspired paint-by-number kit ($22, etsy.com) and gift it to a friend.

Shibori Dyeing Textiles

Colorful and easy to do, the Japanese shibori method—which involves folding, twisting, and binding fabric before dropping it in dye—is one of the oldest dyeing techniques in the world, and Johnson says it's currently trending. "There has been a 362-percent increase in searches on Etsy for tie dye and shibori DIYs or kits," she says. Fashion your very own shibori-style neck warmer at home with a shibori scarf kit ($39.50, etsy.com) or make up to 15 one-of-a kind t-shirts, hoodies, or textiles with this beginners-level indigo dye kit ($56, etsy.com).

DIY Furniture Upgrades

Instead of investing in new furniture in the new year, blogger Dana Dore of Adored House predicts that crafters will be revamping what they already have at home. "I think that upcycling household items like lamps, vases, and wall-art with textural paints and finishes will continue to be a big craft trend in 2021," she explains. "They are low-cost projects that just about anyone can accomplish in a short amount of time." If you don't have a piece of furniture to update, blogger Jessica Nickerson of House Homemade recommends salvaging a used find. "I recently updated a $30 table I found on Facebook Marketplace by sanding it down and adding a new top," she says.

Embroidery Kits

Equal parts nostalgic and cool, embroidery crafts are having a moment in the DIY world. Johnson says that searches for embroidery projects and kits have increased by 148-percent in the last three months. If you're a novice at needlepoint, try a cute but simple kit, such as the Etcetera Embroidery Winter Ornament Embroidery Kit ($34, etsy.com), to familiarize yourself with stitching. Or, if you're a more advanced embroidery artist, consider an artfully detailed kit, like the Chloe Art Crafts Floral Embroidery Kit ($19.99, etsy.com), that you can turn into a wall hanging or a throw pillow.

Comments (1)

Anonymous
January 11, 2021
Everything old is new again! I was candle making 20 years ago, Embroidery 40 years ago, paint by numbers in the ‘70’s and now making and selling needle felted items on Etsy. Idle hands is the devil’s playground, don’tcha know 😉