The art and craft supplies, the materials needed for crafts, can be divided into four broad categories- General Crafts, Needle & Sewing Crafts, Painting & Finishing Crafts and Floral Crafts. With more and more people getting interested in one or other kind of hobby, the industry has found new class of buyers other than the regular crafters- The hobbyists. The sales of art and craft supplies is going up. Discount and craft chain stores account for more than 50% of these sales. The overall growth rate of the industry since 2002 has been more than 2.6%. A study conducted in 2007 recorded the US craft and hobby industry at $30.2 billion for annual retail sales. About 62 million ( 57% ) US households participated in crafts last year that itself explains how much art and craft supplies are needed by its market.
Most of the growth regarding art and craft supplies was recorded in scrapbooking, which has a market of more than $10 billion. Scrapbooking now doesn't mean pasting photographs only. Beads
, decorative tapes
, stickers, threads
and many other such art and craft supplies are embellishing the scrapbooks like never before. Other than scrapbooking, art and craft supplies are required in other areas too like kids' crafts, home decor crafting, wedding accessories, needlecraft, beading crafts, wearable art etc.
Purchasing patterns of the hobbyists and crafters have also been considered in many studies. These studies showed that art and craft supplies are mostly purchased by hobbyists during December, January and February with the sales hitting lowest points in the month of March. However, traditional crafters tend to purchase art and craft supplies either when they can get benefits of discount sales or whenever they start a new craft project. Also, they buy specific items that they need for their projects whereas hobbyists tend to do impulsive shopping.