CHA 2013 – Most Innovative NEW Products

The CHA (Craft and Hobby Association) Winter Show was a blast! As always, CHA offers one of the best ways to officially launch new products to the crafting industry. Among the hundreds of new products showcased at CHA this year, there were a small number that REALLY stood out. These industry trailblazers and  change-makers weren’t just about pretty designs, they are getting creative to serve a new generation of crafters.

Here is a rundown of the most innovative products introduced at this CHA Winter 2013 show:

General Crafting

(TOP PICK) Plaid’s Mod Melts – Designed by Cathie Filian and Steve Piacenza for Plaid Crafts

Resin work is a favorite of crafters, but if you have ever worked with resin, you know just what a process it can be. You have to find a well-ventilated area (and ignore all those scary warnings on the packaging!) You need special tools to mix and a volatile mix of stuff to make the compound. Then you have to find a safe place to let creations dry for up to a few days. And hope no errant dog hair or leaf or anything else falls on your work while it is curing.

What’s cool about it? When I saw Mod Melts being demonstrated in the Plaid Crafts Booth, I literally jumped up and down! It gives the look of resin, but solves pretty much all of the problems artists face with using traditional resin products.

Mod Melts is basically a melt-ready compound that is shaped and formulated work with your trusty glue gun. Just heat it up and and pump with the glue gun right into your silicone mold (also available in the product line.) When it cools, it is set – just pop it out! The result is a paint-able, resin-like shape that can be used in scrapbooking, jewlery, and mixed media projects.

The product comes in two finishes: – Sea glass (a shiny and more clear version) and Milk Glass (a milky white version.) I talked to designer Cathie Filian about the invention.  “We developed this product to be non-toxic and easy – like all of the products in this line,” she said.

Crafts companies, take note: Innovate to make crafting materials greener, safer,  and easier to use. Consumers are demanding healthy products across industries. Mod Melts is a perfect example of how to execute this flawlessly and is my personal favorite new product launched at CHA 2013.


Phoomph for Fabric by Coats and Clark

Coats and Clark know their customers. Sewists have a process they almost always use for applique that requires several products – fabric, padding or batting, adhesive. Coats and Clark saw an opportunity to make things easier for their customers in developing a products that simplifies the time-trusted process.

What’s cool about it? Phoomph combines several materials products into one, creating  a self-adhesive, padded wonder useful in so many projects.

Kids Crafting

Perler Beads Tray and App

It’s a fact: kids love iPads. Why not use them to help kids create and develop their tactile skills? The new Perler beads app and ipad tray from EK Success allows kids to create hundreds of designs using their favorite beads. First, kids can find a design template in the app. Then, kids can simply apply their beads to the clear tray over the pattern to create the design from their beads. When it is time to fuse the beads, the tray easily lifts off so you can bring it to your ironing station.

Knit and Crochet

Red Heart Boutique Filigree


You might be familiar with the best-selling Red Heart Boutique Sashay line that lets you create fashion-forward knit and crochet projects in no time flat. At this year’s CHA, they developed more project starter options that will make you look like  super-knitter.
What’s cool about it?

You know how you might knit or crochet squares or sections first then assemble them to create your project? Well start with Red Heart Boutique Filigree, and you already have pre-knit sections to work with. Simply “chain” the sections together to create shawls, scarves, and even blankets. As with the other products in the “Boutique” line, a full project (like a scarf) can often be completed with one skein in an hour or two.


Project Life by Becky Higgins

Who doesn’t have boxes full of pictures tucked away in a closet? Project Life’s innovative system uses themed journaling cards, albums, and specially-designed pocket pages to help you finally get those important pictures scrapbooked and record important personal stories. What’s cool about it? The modular approach to scrapbooking makes the process really easy and takes out all the extra fussy stuff. Just great designs and your pictures and stories. Fabulous! The team just launched tons of new themes and designs and will be available at your favorite scrapbook retailers soon! (image credit:


Look for all of these new products to be available in stores between March – June 2013.



One thought on “CHA 2013 – Most Innovative NEW Products

  • Brenda A

    Love the bead tray and app. We used these beads often when I was working in an afterschool group. Now all our kids have school ipads. This would be great and another way to use their technology.

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