Craft Buddy analyses the growing popularity of diamond painting in the UK, as Disney licensed products join the range.
Over the past three years, the European toy and hobby market has experienced a dramatic growth in ‘diamond painting’. This engrossing pastime – also known as Diamond Art or Crystal Art – has recently emerged in the UK as one of the fastest-growing art & craft activities, fast catching up with perennial favourites such as painting by numbers and jigsaw puzzles.
UK art & craft specialist Craft Buddy was an early pioneer of the craft, launching its Crystal Art brand in 2014 in a greeting card format, and extending this in 2017 to include a wider range of products, including canvases on wooden frames and stickers. Craft Buddy initially enjoyed strong sales in Europe, particularly in Germany, France, Netherlands and Belgium, and has more recently seen Crystal Art sales in the UK increase exponentially. This has been a direct result of people wanting activities to do at home and also due to word of mouth across social platforms. Crafters have joined the Craft Buddy-run Crystal Art Facebook group in their thousands since the pandemic began, as well as a host of other Facebook groups, such as the recently established fan-generated UK Diamond Painting group. Across both groups, a combined number of over 20,000 members share ideas, tips and creations from across the country.
Similarly, YouTube, Instagram and TikTok have seen strong spikes in interest in the hobby, hosting a growing number of dedicated diamond painting ‘how to’ creative videos, which have become more prolific than ever over the past year. Crystal Art is almost tailor made for social media. The finished creations are sparkly, iridescent and eye catching and the process of completing each work of art itself is something that many want to celebrate and showcase to others.
Gary Wadhwani, co-director of Craft Buddy, is in no doubt that the general rise in crafting during lockdown has created demand for Crystal Art kits, but also credits the craft’s ease of use and therapeutic qualities as important factors in its popularity. “In 2020, Craft Buddy experienced a huge increase in interest, from both our existing consumer base and also new fans, for our Crystal Art kits,” he explained. “As one of the earliest exponents of this craft, we’ve got a huge variety of product formats that utilize the diamond painting technique, including greeting cards, stickers, clocks, notebooks, keyrings and many more.”
Gary views the emergence of licensed ranges in this sector as key to further driving strong growth in consumer interest and sales. “We hold a number of important licences, including Thomas Kinkade and Anne Stokes,” he revealed. “Most excitingly, we’re poised to release our new Disney licensed Crystal Art sets into the UK this Spring, featuring popular characters from many of the most beloved Disney and Pixar franchises. With this launch, we look forward to welcoming a whole new audience to the world of diamond painting, as the activity cements its position on the map of popular family arts & craft hobbies”.
For information about Craft Buddy’s range, including its upcoming Disney releases, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
For diamond painting tips and tricks, click here.