New Products: What to Expect from CHA Mega Show 2015

The Craft & Hobby Association’s winter trade show is just around the corner, starting on January 9th in Anaheim, California!

CHA Show Entrance SignThis coming week we should see the start of the avalanche of CHA Mega Show 2015 sneak peeks from many companies. What can we expect to see as companies begin to unveil their new products for the first half of 2015?


The Filofax is back – along with paper planners of all different varieties! What started as a niche movement of a few people getting creative in their planners with their scrapbook supplies (such as washi tape, stamps and pens), has turned into a full-fledged trend in the industry. Several paper crafting companies have come out with planner lines, including Simple Stories and Project Life.

An interesting aspect of this trend is that it overlaps with the pocket scrapbooking trend in many product areas. Both trends include date products, washi tape, and the use of small icons and alphabets. This allows companies to serve two trend markets with the production of one product line, and gives retailers two ways to serve customers with the products.

Smaller Albums

Consumers have been dabbling in shrinking album sizes for awhile now – think SNAP albums and We R Memory Keepers’ Insta albums – but what started as a fad is going mainstream. Many paper crafters are starting to use smaller albums, such as 8.5″ x 11″,  as their primary album size for projects such as pocket scrapbooks, and 6×8 is becoming the new standard size for “mini” album projects.

School Collections

Products with school themes have traditionally been released in the fall, following the traditional “back to school” marketing calendar of mass market retailers. But manufacturers seem to be waking up to the fact that there is the largest demand for school collections at the end of the school year, to create retrospective albums, rather than at the beginning of the year when memories have yet to be created to record.

Adding school to the spring collection schedule also helps balance out the year’s releases for many companies, as the 3rd and 4th quarter are already very heavy with themes like Christmas, and Fall/Thanksgiving. Valentine’s Day, which was previously a CHA winter show release for most companies, has become shifted into the 4th quarter mid releases as well. Moving “school” to a spring release fills the hole left in the release calendar by the shifting of Valentine’s Day, alleviates the pressure on the 2nd half of the year’s release schedule, and better serves customers.

Vacation collections

The economy is coming back, and statistics show that more people are traveling. More people traveling means more people travel scrapbooking! At the height of the recession, travel scrapbooking lines all but disappeared, replaced by “staycation” products in some cases. But with travel on the rise, companies have been jumping back in to travel themed products again. Expect to see lots of camping themes, especially – a reflection of the retro camper fad.


Part of the retro graphic trend that has been hitting the industry lately, stars have become the random icon of choice for many designers. Look for them to show up in in paper designs as well as in every material imaginable: wood, epoxy, stamps,and dies.


Metallic gold has been everywhere in 2014, and that will continue (and grow) into 2015. Perhaps it is an unconscious desire by consumers to gilt up their lives after lean years in the recession, or a throwback to the metallic-infused 1980’s (or both). Whatever the reason, gold will continue to shine on in 2015 in everything from paper to albums to embellishments to inks.

Less Vintage

Out with the old…and in with the new. Vintage (especially shabby chic), which ruled the show only a few short years ago, has been gradually disappearing with the rise of the bright graphic look. The 2015 Mega Show looks to be the show where the tide turns completely, turning vintage into a style niche from the dominant aesthetic that it once was. This means that mass market companies that follow the trends instead of having a distinct signature style will likely be showing little to no vintage, leaving that remaining market to the designers that specialize in it (like Tim Holtz, Authentique, and Graphic 45).

The ongoing dominance of shabby chic design in the European market raises interesting business possibilities for U.S. companies as vintage declines in the U.S. market. The remaining U.S. vintage producers may look to Europe to expand their market base, and U.S. companies producing graphic style products may find themselves welcomed as a fresh alternative in Europe by consumers who are not shabby chic minded.

Typewriter Fonts

Vintage may be disappearing, but it’s leaving its typewriters behind. Apparently in our transition to graphic style design, we have become nostalgic for the 1980’s but not its signature early computer-era dot matrix fonts. So the typewriter font has come along in the transition as a bit of quirky funk in the mix. These fonts will continue to be especially popular in stamps for use with pocket scrapbooking projects, mimicking the trendy use of vintage typewriters to type on cards or create strips of text.

Everything old is new again…

Wait, didn’t she just say that vintage is out? I did. The old that is new again isn’t vintage – it’s old scrapbook trends. In 2015, we’re going to party like it’s 1999! Scrapbooking is starting to look an awful lot like it did when I first entered the industry in the late 1990’s, with a few updates to the trends this time around. Templates are back, along with pens. Rub-ons are experiencing a resurgence. Decorative cut edges are making a comeback. Trends are circular, and it looks like we’re almost back to the beginning. (Please, please, I’m begging you all – can we skip the depressing brown on brown on brown grunge phase next time around?)

Outline Alphabets

And finally, speaking of recycled trends, outlined alphabets are back! Whether created with stencils & pens, die cut machines, or stamps, this style of alphabet is becoming more and more visible as part of the return of old industry styles and the rise of retro graphic style. It’s a modern, clean look that is easy to produce for all skill levels, and which lends itself to a myriad of design possibilities with its open space. Expect to see more of it in 2015!

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20 Responses to New Products: What to Expect from CHA Mega Show 2015

  1. Gena D. December 29, 2014 at 9:21 pm #

    I also suspect that we will see a lot more companies enter the “die” market. Expanding on what they do already.

  2. Amanda December 29, 2014 at 9:26 pm #

    I was all game until you said rub-ons and decorative cut edges are back. Sigh. I have an inability to use those silly rub-ons.

    Thanks for the forecast. Can’t wait to see what is coming 🙂

    • bearcatnat January 10, 2015 at 7:16 pm #

      Amanda, you should check out the rub-on tool by Basic Grey. (Not sure if it’s still in production or not, but can surely be found online.) One end is a flat spatula like shape, the other is a large rolling ball. It works great for application of rub-ons.

  3. kathyinmn December 29, 2014 at 10:52 pm #

    Yay, I’ve still got some decorative scissors!

  4. Sandi December 29, 2014 at 11:50 pm #

    Very interesting report Nancy, cant wait for more! Thanks..

  5. Tina Campbell December 30, 2014 at 10:23 am #

    Sounds like it’s gonna be a fun year and yes! I can use up my very old stash 🙂

  6. Mica December 30, 2014 at 11:03 am #

    I love your report. Fonts are so IN, in social media, is a must in scrapbooking!
    I don’t know if i like the “going back to 1999” trend… you are right about the “depressing brown on brown on brown grunge phase”

  7. Sharon December 30, 2014 at 11:14 am #

    Well, now I am even MORE excited to get to Anaheim! Those trends from the 90’s will help woo new scrapbookers, as they are straight forward and easy to understand, with stand alone results.
    Excited to learn vintage has had its day, except for the specialists. It’s better service to offer customers a range of styles, and still know we are on trend. We saw the emergence of stars in some leading Christmas lines, and they have worked well, so no surprise they will be staying around. Wonder if anyone will think the maple leaf might serve the same purpose? Canadians would love it! Thanks Nancy for a fantastic ‘heads up’ as we pack for CHA!

  8. Sue December 30, 2014 at 3:41 pm #

    Very nice post Nancy. Thanks for the update.

  9. Linda R December 31, 2014 at 9:53 am #

    Have you seen the new company that Zoe Pearon started called Cocoa Vanilla? It will be based in AUS.

  10. skrappergirl December 31, 2014 at 12:04 pm #

    I love your reports. I always find new and interesting things here.Totally keeps me up to date when I have been out of the loop. you are awesome!!!!

  11. PjP December 31, 2014 at 12:32 pm #

    Vintage is toast eh? Guess nobody told Bo Bunny or Prima. Before making big pronouncements like that, perhaps you should actually have a look at the sneak peaks, instead of just posting the links. Tim’s legions of dedicated fans might have something to say about your relegating his products to a “niche,” as well.

    Did you mean to say that the American-Crafts-owned companies won’t be doing vintage products next year? That’s what “mainstream” amounts to these days, after all. Vintage has never gone away and it never will. It may not be as popular as it once was but, if you take a look at the gallery, you’ll still see plenty of recent vintage layouts.

    As you say, trends are cyclic, but not every style is a “trend:” some styles are classics because they are useful and beautiful. If you want to scrap your ancestors, for example, who ya gonna call: Authentique, or Studio Calico?

    Besides, I’d be pretty wary of making predictions if I were you. I seem to recall you confidently stating, a couple of summers ago on the Roundtable, that the days of one company dominating the paper-crafting market place were over. Not so much, as it turned out.

    • Nancy Nally December 31, 2014 at 1:02 pm #

      I’m sorry you misunderstood but I didn’t mean to imply that vintage was completely vanishing. I said it was no longer DOMINANT. That’s two very different things. I certainly wouldn’t expect Prima to stop making vintage as that is very much their signature style, and Bo Bunny has developed that direction as well so that’s not surprising either.

      I would never say that American Crafts-owned companies won’t be doing vintage as that would include Crate Paper, which produces beautiful vintage-inspired products both on their main brand and their Maggie Holmes brand (which I adore and buy a lot of). Pink Paislee also leans that way to varying degrees depending on the collection as well.

      Tim’s legions of dedicated fans include me! He is absolutely the best at what he does and I purchase many of his products from all of his brands. Saying his signature style is no longer the dominant industry aesthetic is not a slam on him at all. Trends come and go, but just because something isn’t considered the hottest thing at any given moment doesn’t mean that it isn’t still wonderful or doesn’t have plenty of fans. Tim’s many fans like me will continue to make his brand a vibrant one, especially as competition moves out of the vintage segment and consumers consolidate around brands like his.

      And FYI, I do look at every single sneak peek before it is posted. It’s one of the more fun (but time consuming) parts of my job!

      I don’t recall saying the thing on Roundtable you are referencing so I have no idea if your quote is correct or not. But in any case, forecasting of any kind is not an exact science. The weather man doesn’t get it correct 100% of the time, and neither do business forecasters. Expecting perfection is not realistic. I do my best and I hope that I get it right more often than not.

  12. Debra December 31, 2014 at 8:25 pm #

    This is my kind of post. Thanks! I’m with you on the brown!

  13. Leslie G January 1, 2015 at 2:31 am #

    Nice report Nancy. I’d also like to skip the brown (and torn paper as well).

    • sharon January 1, 2015 at 4:39 am #

      Oh gosh, yes! Can we PLEASE skip the torn paper and brown all around styles! Easy embellishments that may not be stickers would be most welcome, as well as ribbon. Love ribbon in all the right places!

  14. gabmcann January 1, 2015 at 7:40 am #

    What a great post – thanks Nancy! I think I still have some templates hanging around … wonder if I’ll need to buy new ones!

  15. Lisa January 1, 2015 at 4:05 pm #

    Love the torn brown paper. Hate the scissors Die cuts with deckle edge much better idea. My shop is Three miles from the convention center ( your pad or mine? ). 18. Years strong. Attending People always drop in To me the constant has been. Collage artsy in the spring. Cute in the fall. Ideas are packaged and repackaged. Things I would like to see more of. Trunk shows. Artist / companies demoing at stores. Personaly I’m a fan of cutting layering Techniques. Things that take time. Not just slapped together. Nothing I like more than looking thru stampingtons publications. Willow and sage sommerset life stampede sampler. Artist cafe. Stuffed. They remind me of why I got in to this business and the way I choose to live my life. Artful. Meaningful and lovely

  16. Jen January 12, 2015 at 9:32 am #

    Having walked the floor the last couple days, I’d have to say you nailed the trends correctly.

  17. Marc Stevens January 15, 2015 at 8:43 am #

    Nancy great outlook i am with you shabby chic ,or shabby chateau ie vintage .old school antique retro are styles that will always have a power point and i agree with you the market is on the move i to think its going to be a bit more contemporary where less is more a more graphic design lead way of crafting as thats the way home decor and fashion have gone over the last few years but as crafters and artists we are leaders not followers so we will always be experimenting and finding what we like a great article with a good insight to what’s going on in the trade,we are so lucky these days to have such choice and such wounderful products available for us to craft with who can remember the days before diys and specialist inks and paints i can remember when peel offs were the best thing since white bread lol thanks for the insight big love marc

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