The booming DIY movement has spawned increased interest in crafting among children and teens, as well as adults. Several publishers are seeking to capture the growing audience of young crafters.
C&T launched the FunStitch Studio imprint for teens and tweens in spring 2013 with Annabel Wrigley’s We Love to Sew, which went on to become the publisher’s top seller of the year, with several reprints to date. “This is the first time we’ve done something aimed at the teen and tween audience directly,” says C&T publicity manager Megan Scott. This season’s FunStitch titles focus on crafting with simple, affordable items like bandannas (Bandana-rama: Wrap, Glue, Sew by Judith Cressy, Sept.) and ribbons (Ribbon Girls: Wind, Weave, Twist & Tie by Maryellen Kim, Dec.).
Joining the sewing circle in 2014 with new lines aimed at a younger demographic are Capstone Young Readers, with Craft It Yourself (CIY), and Taunton Press, with Threads Select. “We are inspired by the creativity and engagement of our readers,” says Ashley Andersen Zantop, Capstone Group publisher and general manager, of the decision to launch a brand to house craft and lifestyle titles for girls ages nine and up. “Modern tweens and young adults make sharing their ingenuity and flair part of their daily lifestyle.”
The first Craft It Yourself–branded books have focused on topics like planning stylish parties, making fashionable clothing, and pursuing environmentally friendly projects. Titles added to the line include Paint It: The Art of Acrylics, Oils, Pastels, and Watercolors by Mari Bolte (2013) and Re-Craft: Unique Projects that Look Great (and Save the Planet) by Carol Sirrine and Jen Jones (2011).
Meanwhile, Taunton Press Threads Select is a series of craft booklets aimed at trends with tween and teen appeal. In April 2014, the press released its first titles for this audience: Arm Knitting by Linda Zemba Burhance, Bungee Band Bracelets & More by Vera Vandenbosch, DecoDen Bling by Alice Fisher, and Rubber Band Charm Jewelry by Maggie Marron. “As our audience tends to consist of experienced crafters, the prospect of netting a segment of the tween audience seemed promising,” says Shawna Mullen, executive editor at Taunton Press. New booklets this fall from Taunton will be Fashionista Arm Knitting by Linda Zemba Burhance (Sept.), DecoDen Desserts by Cathie Filian and Steve Piacenza (Nov.), and Mini Macrame by Vera Vandenbosch (Nov.).
Other publishers may not be launching dedicated children’s lines, but they are still trying to catch the audience’s eye with targeted titles or series. Workman’s Artisan imprint saw good results with its Project Kid: 100 Ingenious Crafts for Family Fun by Amanda Kingloff (Apr.), and plans to try additional craft titles aimed at younger crafters.