Road trip recap: The 2015 CHA Mega Show

Every January, the CHA Mega Show brings together a world of craft enthusiasts, from manufacturers to retailers and designers. This year’s show was a crazy flurry of activity, and I thought I’d share a few highlights from the show. As always, my report is never comprehensive – it’s just a compilation of trends, ideas and people who caught my eye.

On my way to the show, a layover at the Denver airport brought a chance encounter with designers and artists Jill Mackay and Laura Kelly, who were also on their way to the show. Jill was introducing her new Light Seeds at the show, a peel and stick LED sticker that lights when used in conjunction with conductive ink, paint or tape. Wow!

Faces from the CHA Show - Laura Kelly and Jill Mackay.

Laura Kelly, left, and Jill Mackay.

Once in Anaheim, we caught the tail end of the The Special Event, a conference and trade shows for those involved in staging special events. The displays ranged from chair rentals to beautifully dressed banquet tables and entertainers for hire. It was no surprise that photo booths were a hot item.

Amazing tablescape at The Special Event in Anaheim.

A dramatic tablescape at The Special Event.

Beuatiful truffles rolled in edible glitter!

Gorgeous & glittered chocolate truffles!

Photo booths for rent at The Special Event.

We were photo bombed!

And then it was show time for CHA, where our first stop is always the FloraCraft booth. This Michigan company is the number-one fabricator of STYROFOAM™ Brand Foam, and I love to see the new ideas in the booth. Check out this fancy, rotating wall made with discs. I think this topped last year’s wall of cones.

The rotating wall of discs of STYROFOAM Brand Foam at the 2015 CHA Show.

Eye-catching! The rows of discs rotated as the lights changed colors.

Designer Dondi Richardson always has a crowd waiting for her make-it and take-it sessions.

Designer Dondi Richardson in the 2015 FloraCrat CHA Show booth.

Designer Dondi Richardson.

We made our own Valentine’s Day cards at the make-and-take table in the Designer Showcase.

Make your own Valentine's Day cards at the Designer Showcase at the 2015 CHA Show.

Our DIY Valentine’s Day cards.

A few hot trends and products that I noted included:

  • Pops of metallic gold were everywhere.
My Mind's Eye - CHA Show 2015.

Pretty pops of gold in the booth for My Mind’s Eye.

  • People can’t get enough of marquee lights.
New marquee light kits from Heidi Swapp.

DIY mini marquee lights with Heidi Swapp’s new kits.

  • Heidi Swapp had two big hits, as her new products included mini, DIY marquee light kits and the Minc Foil Applicator.
Heidi Swapp introduces her new Minco Foil Applicator.

Heidi Swapp’s new Minc Foil Applicator.

  • Geometric shapes and prints were on display, from gems to polka dots.
Geometric paper sculpture at the CHA Show.

A geometric paper sculpture at the CHA Show.

  • Arrows are another popular design motif.
  • Chalkboard paints and surfaces continue to be hot.
Chalky Finish Paints by Krylon.

A new line of Chalky Finish Paints from Krylon.

  • It appears that everyone still loves mason jars.
  • Demand continues to grow for electronic cutting machines, like the Cricut.
  • Crafts and technology continue to merge, and at least one booth showcased a 3-D printer. Jill Mackay’s Light Seeds were a hit, and there were new Circuit stickers, too.
  • One trend that’s not high-tech are old fashion planners. These organizing notebooks were showcased by numerous designers and manufacturers.
  • Jen Hadfield from Tater Tots & Jello introduced her new Cottage Living collection.
Jen Hadfields new Cottage Living line.

Jen Hadfield showed us her new Cottage Living line.

Cottage Living by Jen Hadfield - new at 2015 CHA Show.

Cottage Living by Jen Hadfield.

  • The creative displays in the yarn booths are always a marvel. This year’s displays included #Scarfie from Lion brand and Yarnia from Spinrite. (I loved the yarn booths last year, too.)
#scarfie by Lion Brand at 2015 CHA Show.

#scarfie by Lion Brand.

Yarnia display by Spinrite at CHA Show.

Yarnia by Spinrite.

  • I had to stop and admire these mosaics from The Beadery. I’m trying to track down the designer to see if she’ll share her tutorials with Crafts ‘n Coffee.
Mosaics by The Beadery.

Mosaics by The Beadery.

This year, we participated in the Blogger Networking Event sponsored by FaveCrafts, and had an action-packed evening meeting dozens of bloggers.

CHA blogger networking event with FaveCrafts.

Sponsors of the annual FaveCrafts’ Blogger Networking event.

Dow and STYROFOAM Brand Foam sponsored the Blogger Networking event at CHA.

Norma & Emelie, ready & waiting for the crowd of bloggers.

FaveCrafts' Blogger Networking Event.

Three favorite bloggers at the event — Jen of 100 Directions, Carolina from Always Expect Moore, and Angie from The Country Chic Cottage.

Vicki O'Dell, the Creative Goddess.

I was happy to see Vicki O’Dell, the Creative Goddess.

(FaveCrafts is offering this free e-book with projects from all of the event sponsors.)

And of course, no craft industry trade show is complete without a visit with Ms. Mod Podge, right?

Ms. Mod Podge.

Mr. Mod Podge himself!

We wrapped up the show with a night out with editors Annie Ryder and Dawn Gehring from Craft Ideas magazine. After dinner, we all indulged at the Popbar – gelato on a stick, dipped and drizzled in chocolate, and then topped with nuts, coconut, sprinkles, or what have you. Uhm, yes, please!

The Popbar!

Gelato on a stick at the Popbar!

It did rain in southern California while we were there, but we had a few glorious moments of sunshine. And even though it rained, it wasn’t the frozen rain we had back at home.

Beautiful blooms at the 2015 CHA Show in Anaheim.

You don’t see this in Cleveland in January!

Brrr! January in Cleveland.

This is Cleveland in January!

The CHA Show is always an energizing whirlwind!

What do you think of these trends? Have you noted them as well? Are there other trends you’re watching that I didn’t list? Thanks so much for sharing your observations.

Happy crafting.


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10 Responses to Road trip recap: The 2015 CHA Mega Show

  1. norma chapman says:

    Very very fun experience with our Crafts n Coffee goddess Sharon. Such a nice recapture of good times and all the talents at CHA. Congrats to all.

  2. Laurie says:

    It looks like lots of fun–and so inspiring! Thanks for sharing!

    • Sharon says:

      So glad you stopped in, and thanks for taking my CHA Show tour. There’s always so much to see at the show and never enough time, of course. Sharon

  3. Katiria says:

    Wow, where do I start? I love the glitter truffles, the yarn display was awesome and I’m excited for the mini marquee letters. Thanks for the behind the scenes look Sharon.
    -by the way, love the giant Mod Podge…LOL 🙂

    • Sharon says:

      You’d love the CHA Show, Katiria. And the glitter truffles! I believe you’ll find the mini marquee letters at Michaels. What are you working on right now? Happy crafting. Sharon

      • Katiria says:

        I was stuck on what to make for this year’s Valentine but I just got an idea from your other post for some Faux Pinatas! I’ll check my Michaels store for the letter, thanks

      • Sharon says:

        You go! Send me a photo when it’s finished! Sharon

  4. LisaM6 says:

    WOW! Now that looked like fun. I will have to check with my local store to see if they will be getting in any of the new stuff. Now for the snow….it sure looks pretty but I am hoping what is heading our way will stay in the mountains. I could do without driving in it. Can’t wait to see what you and the other crafters dream up with all the new products.

    • Sharon says:

      I’ve seen a few sneak peeks of new products at Michaels and it looks like fun stuff! Let me know what you think, Lisa. And here’s hoping the snow doesn’t come your way. We may have an icy drizzle tomorrow, and I’d rather have snow! Happy Friday! Sharon

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