Welcome to our third installment of the Spoonflower Trend Report! Join Tara Reed, Spoonflower’s resident curator and Artist Community Manager, for an insider’s look at the trends on the horizon. From home decor trends to top search terms, this report will be your go-to guide for what’s in store for the second quarter of 2021: April, May, June.
A Note From Tara Reed
Spoonflower’s Resident Curator and
Artist Community Manager
I’m so happy to bring you another trend report. These are so much fun to work on and I hope they give you some good insight into up-and-coming trends. For this report, we’ve also asked our new Maker Community Manager, Alexa Terry Wilde, to share trends she is seeing in the DIY space.
I wanted to note that if you don’t identify with a specific trend, don’t do it. I encourage you to embrace the things that speak to you as an artist and maker—being authentic to yourself is more important. Please use this as inspiration and leave me a comment if I missed out on a big trend you might be seeing—or would love to see.
Spoonflower’s growth is continuing on an upward trajectory. Our recent move to the new 110,000 sq ft factory is further evidence of our commitment to make necessary changes to better serve our community of artists, makers and consumers. Check out our highlights from Q4 2020 and for the most up-to-date news on Spoonflower see our Press page. The best is yet to come!
Before we dive into design trends, we asked Alexa Terry Wilde, Spoonflower’s Maker Community Manager, what handmade trends she’s excited to see this summer.
Sustainability and Slow Fashion
Alexa: More and more, consumers are making purchasing decisions based on values that are important to them. Of increasing importance? Sustainability. Brands with an eco-conscious message are resonating across the board, but particularly with younger consumers.
Some are opting to purchase secondhand or slow fashion goods, some are choosing to make their own garments, and some are simply choosing to be more conscious of the purchases they make with fast fashion brands. Because it doesn’t have to be an all-or-nothing decision (strike a balance! Your entire wardrobe doesn’t have to be handmade or secondhand), I believe we’ll see this trend continue to increase in popularity!
If you are a maker and you’re committed to producing eco-friendly goods, and/or producing them in a sustainable way, our new Recycled Canvas could very well fit the bill for your product line! Made from recycled water bottles, you can be assured that Recycled Canvas aligns with Spoonflower’s overarching mission of manufacturing products in an eco-friendly way. It’s great for upholstery and projects like throw pillows, dog collars, tote bags and wall hangings.
If you’re interested in this substrate but can’t figure out a way to include it in your existing product line-up, consider recreating your best-selling product with Recycled Canvas to offer your customer a more eco-friendly option (even if it’s a limited run!).
Wall hangings are wonderful because they serve essentially the same function as an art print with the added bonus of texture—and they quickly and easily bringing warmth to any room! A home textile customer survey we conducted in 2020 showed that 60% of participants were interested in this product. We’re also seeing increased interest in searches for wall hangings, especially in our external marketplaces like Etsy.
Accessories for Pets
We’re seeing a massive influx of handmade pet accessories like leashes, bandanas, bow ties and harnesses hitting the market. Bonus points for coordinating human gear (because why shouldn’t you be sporting the same jacket as your favorite four-legged friend?!). Worth noting: Google searches for “cat toys” hit an all-time holiday high just before the 2020 holiday season so my prediction is that we’ll see the handmade pet accessories trend spill over more into the cat world in the near future!
Searches for playmats on Spoonflower are up +5021% over last year. And if you think playmats are only for infants and tummy time, think again! Playmats are an easy way to create a safe spot for playtime with children of all ages. They’re also great to travel with (read: picnics made simple for the whole family). Get inspired and make your own or check out Small Business Grant winner Elvina Kaplun’s playmats for kids (featured above).
Celebrating the Female Form
It’s been a rising trend for years but the market is being flooded with designs and handcrafted pieces that promote self-love and body positivity for women and bodies of all shapes and sizes! We say “keep it coming”! Who doesn’t need a little more self-love in their lives?
Trending Search Terms
Still Trending: Searches for “Mushrooms” are still up +214% year-over-year. Cottagecore is another trend holding strong with patterns of ditsy florals, rustic stripes, patchwork and old-world details.
Celebrate Diversity Month and Autism Awareness Month
- 4/2 – Good Friday
- 4/2 – World Autism Awareness Day
- 4/4 – Easter Sunday
- 4/12 – Ramadan starts
(April 12 – May 11)
- 4/12 – Hindu New Year
- 4/22 – Earth Day
- 4/23 – Day of Silence
May: Me Made May
Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month and Jewish American Heritage Month (U.S.)
- 5/4 – National Teacher’s Day
- 5/5 – Cinco de Mayo
- 5/6 – National Nurses Day
- 5/9 – Mother’s Day (U.S.)
- 5/12 – Eid al-Fitr
- 5/31 – Memorial Day
Pride Month and
Immigrant Heritage Month
- 6/8 – World Oceans Day
- 6/19 – Juneteenth
- 6/20 – Father’s Day
- 6/20 – Summer solstice
- 6/21 – Fête de la musique (France)
- 6/27 – LGBT Pride Day (U.S.)
Searches for summer themed designs start to gain traction in March and we see a second bump in interest toward the end of the year during the southern hemisphere’s summer season.
While searches for Pride-related designs see a steady increase leading up to May in preparation for Pride Month in June, they are consistently popular throughout most of the year.
If you’re thinking about designing for holidays like Mother’s and Father’s Day keep in mind that shoppers are searching for specific themes and not necessarily “mother’s day fabric.” Their search terms will most likely focus on the holiday honoree’s hobbies and interests. Wondering how you can optimize your design so it can be discovered in the Spoonflower Marketplace? Head over to this seller handbook article to learn more about the importance of tags.
Now that you know what’s been trending, here’s a look at what we think is coming next. We hope you feel inspired by these trends and use them as a jumping-off point!
Design Trends & Themes
- Butterflies: bright colors with a youthful ‘90s twist
- Lush green leaves, potted plant motifs
- Retro Revival: ’80s and ’90s retro youth nostalgia, think Lisa Frank, unicorns, smiley faces, yin-yangs and vintage arcade games. Check out this post for some retro design tips!
- Berries: consider pairing berries with one of the trending search terms like gingham
Tara’s Tip: Saved layouts are back! This means you can save your designs to a preferred fabric and shoppers will see that as the default fabric in the dropdown menu. It works great for engineered designs like tea towels.
Trends in Women’s Apparel
- Line art and hand-drawn symbols
- Black and white small scale: update top selling designs to a black and white version
- Micro-scales: small scale “non-prints”
- Graphic monochrome
- Dark ground florals
- Animal print: camo alternatives- abstract leopard, naive hand-rendered
- Abstract collage: nature, tropical, large scale, brights
- Large-scale geometrics and curved arches
- Large-scale lush foliage and fauna (Check out the entries from last year’s Tropical Surrealism Design Challenge)
Interior Design Trends
- Marine life, shells and coral: coastal settings, renewed shades of blue, neutral earthy or new unusual palettes
- Joyful expression: vibrant colors, checkers, color blocking, psychedelic optical illusions
Tara’s Tip: Try to think about designing for these trends as a collection. Start by making a pattern that has multiple elements in it and then pull out some of those to create coordinating prints. Don’t forget to play with scale too! Designing collections are helpful for shoppers looking to coordinate their bedding or set of throw pillows.
With longer days and warmer weather right around the corner, I wanted to pair some energizing brights with soft pastels. I’m picturing myself soaking up the sunshine in a brightly patterned outfit while eating mint ice cream—how could you use these colors to inspire that feeling? Have fun exploring!
P.S. If you fall in love with just one of the colors, try building your own color palette around it!
Now it’s your turn!
Leave a comment and let us know what trends and colors you see getting popular between now and the end of the year. And if there is anything you think we missed that you want us to include in our next trend report, let us know!