CHA 2016 Hot Products Nominees

Each year, the Craft and Hobby Association selects three finalists in eight categories for their coveted Hot Products Award. Last year, I predicted 4 out of 8 correctly. Let's see how I do this year!

Bead and Jewelry:
Bangle Bracelet Weaver Tool by Beadalon

Ergo Texture Hammer by ImpressArt 

iloom by Wooky Entertainment Inc

Hmmm... the bracelet weaving tool looks cool. I'm definitely interested in trying it. The texture tool is also a good idea, but I wonder if the metal stamping trend has come and gone. I'm not seeing nearly as much of it as I was a few years ago. Then there's the iloom. I need to learn more about this and how it works with an iPad. I'd argue that perhaps this should be in the Kids Crafts category, as I don't know too many adults who make friendship bracelets, except camp counselors and chaperones. If the iloom had existed when I was a kid, I would have been all over it. It's quite an improvement from using safety pins to attach my in-progress friendship bracelets to the thigh of my jeans. (Am I old enough to be ranting that kids these days don't know how good they have it? Apparently so!)

My pick... Bangle Bracelet Weaver Tool.

Cake and Food Decorating:

3-Tier Dessert Stand by Deflecto

PenBlade Craft and Hobby Knife
PenBlade Craft and Hobby Knife by PenBlade, inc.

Lavish Blooms Poppy Die by Tattered Lace

Let me start by saying I've already seen Deflecto's 3-Tier Dessert Stand and I'm in love. It collapses completely for storage, which is awesome. It's easy to clean and goes with everything. It's already on my must-get list. I've seen the Pen Blade too, though not in person. It's basically a craft knife that you hold like a pen, but I am immediately suspicious that it will not work as well for lefties as righties. I don't see this as a huge improvement over the many other craft knives, but I'm open to the possibility that it might be awesome. The Poppy Dies are gorgeous. I can definitely see people using these, but I think it's more of a niche market. 

My pick... 3-Tier Dessert Stand.

Fabric and Needle Craft:

8" Tabletop Offset Scissors by Fiskars

Boye 4-n-1 Crochet tool by Simplicity

PenBlade Craft and Hobby Knife
PenBlade Craft and Hobby Knife by PenBlade, Inc.

This is a tough category for me, since I don't do fabric or needle crafts. I love everything Fiskars and those scissors would be awesome for cutting fabric, but I don't know whether or not the shape is particularly revolutionary or if it greatly improves on cutting fabric scissors. Maybe! The crochet tool is pretty neat. Again, I don't know anything about crochet, but it seems like this would be really good for travel. I'm not sure how the PenBlade would be used with fabric and needle crafts. Nobody is going to cut yarn with a craft knife, and I doubt many would cut fabric with one either. Is there a different application I'm missing?

My pick... 4-in-1 Crochet Tool.

Floral Craft:

BowGenius by Berwick Offray LLC_500width 
Bow Genius™ by Berwick Offray

PenBlade Craft and Hobby Knife
PenBlade Craft and Hobby Knife by PenBlade, Inc.

Scented Gluesticks by Adhesive Technologies Inc

I haven't done floral crafts in many years; I should get back into it. Bow making was my nemesis, so the Bow Genius definitely solves a problem I have. There are a number of bow makers on the market, but this one seems more versatile and I love the fact that it has a handle. I'm looking forward to trying it out. Once again, the PenBlade seems a bit out of place here. I used a pocket knife to cut flower stems in one swoop; maybe this could be used for cutting individual stems or greens? I love the idea of scented glue sticks. My first thought was that you wouldn't want glue that competes with the smell of fresh flowers, but there are plenty of floral crafts that don't involve living, scented plants. For artificial arrangements or unscented flowers, greenery, wreaths, etc. this would be pretty cool. I probably would have entered them in general crafts, but they're a good fit for floral crafts.

My pick... Scented Gluesticks, but only because the Bow Genius is in the next category also and the gluesticks aren't.

General Craft:

BowGenius by Berwick Offray LLC_500width 
Bow Genius™ by Berwick Offray

Ribb-Its™ by LC Design Company


Tassel Makers by Clover

I have high hopes for the Bow Genius. It's a great choice for the general crafts category. The Ribb-Its is interesting. It uses a ribbon, clip and two-piece magnet to hang artwork. I'm looking forward to seeing this one up close. It would be great for displaying Christmas cards, children's artwork, and other things like that.  I've been seeing tassels pop up everywhere, so a tassel maker stands a good chance to take the win. On the other hand, it's not too difficult making tassels without a jig. 
My pick... Bow Genius.

Kids Crafts:

Buttoonies by Craft Yourself Silly


kat & duke by Happenchance
Ribb-Its Kids Crafts Image.001_500width

Ribb-Its™ by LC Design Company

Those Buttoonies are so cute! They're from the same people who introduced last year's popular Proggy. I like that the Buttoonies are fun for a wide variety of ages and equally suited for boys and girls. Kat & Duke is a fun concept. They're stickers you can add to cardboard boxes for pretend play. The Ribb-Its are a good choice for the kids craft category.

My pick... Ribb-Its. (Although I personally want to play with the Buttoonies.)

Paint and Art:
Craypen by FPC Corporation

übermatte™ by DESIGN MASTER®

ArtFoamies by Balzer Designs
You all know how much I love painting with crayon using my warming tray! The Craypen makes it even easier to paint with wax and build up vibrant colors, with instantaneous drying. What's not to love? Chalk paints are all the rage, so I expect the übermatte paints to do well. They are matte spray paints in trendy shades. The ArtFoamies are fun for art journaling and mixed media, but I don't know that they're revolutionary enough to capture the Hot Products win.

My pick... Craypen.

Paper Crafts:

Mega MISTI and Mini MISTI by My Sweet Petunia 
Silhouette Mint by Silhouette America

TODO by Craft Retail

The MISTI (Most Incredible Stamping Tool Invented) has been one of the hottest tools to hit the stamping and scrapbooking worlds in recent years. People absolutely love it and I can see why. The Mint is pretty neat. It lefts crafters design and print custom stamps. It requires a lot of additional items though (stamp blanks, inks, computer), and is a big investment for anyone who would only make a few custom stamps. The TODO is a die-cutting, foiling, letterpress and embossing machine that works on a variety of materials. There are other manufacturers with multi-use machines, so I don't know that this is the most revolutionary of the nominees.
My pick... MISTI.


Tonight I'll be at the Hot Products Sneak Peek where I'll learn more about each product. I can't wait to see each one demonstrated. I'll be visiting each booth on the show floor Saturday and Sunday to get an even closer look. On Monday I'll let you know which product won in each category. Congrats to all the nominees and good luck!


  1. Hmmmmmmmmm ... can't wait to see the winners!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  2. Thanks, Cindy, for sharing this with all of us! I almost feel like I was there with you! And I am on the edge of my seat waiting to see who the winners are!


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