The industry of arts and crafts is enormous, raking in 14 billion dollars annually for the United States economy. This also means arts, crafts, and hobby magazines are widely read by enthusiasts. The popular arts and crafts magazines distribute between 150,000 and 175,000 copies per new issue. Their websites also funnel in many thousands of readers and enthusiasts daily.
Next time you go to the newsstand at your local bookstore, you can see a kaleidoscope of slick, shiny magazine covers glaring back at you with the latest DIY arts and crafts projects. People are always looking for great tips and ideas to use for their hobby or to start and grow their own crafts business.
If you wish to write for arts and crafts magazines, here are some great topics to pitch to an editor:
1. Arts and Crafts Business
Arts and crafts is a billion-dollar industry. You may want to teach your readers how to start a crafts business or how to sell their crafts at the local flea market or crafts show. Write about the best crafts to sell, how to set up shop (e.g., website), sources of funds, shows, and marketing strategies. Because many arts and crafts businesses generate 52% of their revenue from crafts fairs, editors are always seeking articles related to crafts shows, festivals and exhibitions.
Scrapbooking is the most popular among all craft types. This creative activity is now the third most popular craft in the United States. There’s even a National Scrapbooking Day every first Saturday of May to quench the insatiable interests of scrapbookers. You can write instructional articles about scrapbooking, materials that the aspiring scrapbooker needs, how to create a productive scrapbooking area, scrapbooking tips, how to make greeting cards, layouts, and how to start digital scrapbooking projects.
3. Kid’s Crafts
Many studies show that creative thinking is critical for kids to develop as students and thinkers. In the U.S. creativity scores are declining, and schools are cutting out arts and crafts programs. Parents are more likely to invite their children into their arts and crafts projects to keep them busy and develop their creativity.
Editors are always looking for fun crafts for kids, how to keep kids safe in a crafts room, how to create a crafts room, and how to develop exciting projects that inspire kids’ creativity. Besides pitching articles to arts and crafts magazines, you can also tap into kids magazines, like Highlights Kids magazine which pays $150 + per article on subjects such as arts and crafts.
4. Needle Arts
Just how huge is needle arts? You will find many magazines dedicated to sewing, crocheting, stitching, and embroidery, to name a few. Other popular topics are TV shows and needle art techniques. The so called “needle artist,” as a group, spends about $1.15 billion annually on supplies, patterns, and educational material in the United States.
Painting still remains a good stress therapy, even for the children. Topics include kid paintings, pottery, galleries, coloring, drawing, painting courses, at-home painting projects, painting crafts for adults, and types of painting.
6. Holiday Crafts
People are obsessed with DIYs these days, and many opt to create their own decors than buy them. Thus, topics such as holiday craft supplies, blogs, crafting for kids, cheap holiday crafts, holiday presents, and easy crafts are very popular.
Marie Clapper, President of Clapper Communications, said, “There’s definitely a seasonality to crafts—and it is Christmas time. The busiest period for crafts is from the time the kids go back to school until Christmas. Our people are gardeners in the warm weather and when it gets colder, they turn to crafts and making gifts. I think Halloween is the second biggest time. Crafts and making decorations are offsetting the fact that there’s less trick-or-treating.”
7. Art and Crafts Supplies
Hundreds of crafters spend thousands of dollars a year for crafts supplies only. In the United States, more than 57% spend approx. $1,000 annually on arts and crafts supplies. About 22% spend more $2,000 annually; and 6% spend less than $250 annually.
Approx. 59% of this is spent on art supplies (paints, drawing materials, tools, supports, equipment, framing, magazines etc); 9% is spent on non-traditional supplies (fiber, art fabric, beads, wire, ceramics, art glass etc); 25% is spent on classes and workshops; and 7% is spent on other (supplies, studio, travel etc). Editors always seek articles on how to buy wholesale craft supplies, how to spend less, the best supplies to buy, and how to organize supplies.
8. Home Improvement
We all love to take care of our home and make it our space. Hence, home improvement shows, space-saving tips, home depots, interior designs, landscaping, needlework, and improvement stores both online and offline should be a huge hit among readers. You can also feature celebrities and their homes.
The United States is in a DIY fever, evident by the growth of more TV shows, blogs, websites, and stores that focus on, well, DIY. As a writer, you can talk about DIY injuries, DIY stores, practical tips, ideas, organic DIY, DIY of the day, and top DIY lists.
10. Crafting Techniques
One of the main reasons why artists buy arts and crafts magazines is to hone their skills, perhaps for personal satisfaction or for business. New crafting techniques come about regularly, as technologies and techniques fuse together. In addition to talking about new techniques, you can write about crafting schools, courses, and tutorials.
Who’s Your Audience?
As expected, the majority of arts and crafts magazine readers are female, especially moms, from 45 to 65+ years old. These magazines also attract young adults who are enthusiasts and “artsy.” Crafters’ average income is about $51,000. A typical crafter completes about 43 arts and crafts projects each year.
Where Should You Submit Your Work?
1. Crafts ‘n’ Things publishes articles on all types of crafts including sewing, decorative painting, beading, clay, cross-stitch, needlework, paper crafting, rubber stamping and more.
2. Better Homes and Gardens focuses on interests regarding homes, cooking, gardening, crafts, healthy living, decorating, and entertaining. The magazine is published 12 times per year.
3. The Crafts Report is a monthly business magazine for the crafts professional. The magazine publishes how-to articles on all facets of crafts business management and related topics.
4. Craft Creations Magazine is packed full of ideas for making greetings cards. It covers a multitude of crafts including: cross-stitch, embroidery, quilling, parchment craft, cut paper work, rubber stamping, stencilling, painting, drawing, pressed flowers, collage, 3D découpage, ribbon embroidery, quilting and patchwork.
5. Creating Keepsakes publishes articles on ideas, inspiration and cutting edge scrapbooking techniques. The magazine also publishes layout designs, product reviews and organization tips.
6. Quilting Arts magazine covers a wide range of skills, includes exceptional how-to articles, profiles artists, features guest teachers, and explores contemporary textile works, surface design, embellishments, and motifs.
7. Beadwork is a bimonthly magazine devoted to everything about beads and beadwork. The magazine is filled with projects for all levels of beaders, with a focus on the learning needs of those who seek to master beadweaving stitches.
8. Interweave Press, LLC publishes several arts and crafts magazines at http://www.interweave.com/Magazines/. The editors accept queries for feature articles on timely topics related to sewing, design, and textiles. To submit a feature proposal, send a detailed outline of your proposal and any related images, websites, or resources illustrating the topic as well as a few writing samples. Feature articles are 1,000 to 1,500 words.
9. American Craft magazine is aimed at independent thinkers with a keen interest in the creative process. The editors want articles about how crafts show up in modern life – particularly if the writing is bright and accessible.
10. Stampington & Company publishes a variety of arts and crafts magazines at http://www.stampington.com/submissions/. Managing editors seek first-rate projects and encourage artists who have not published articles before to submit ideas, as editorial assistance will be provided. Competitive editorial compensation is provided for all published articles.
11. Art Jewelry publishes articles of interest to those who love to design, construct, and collect jewelry that makes a statement. Featured artists work primarily with wire, metal, metal clay, and complementary materials. Art Jewelry buys all rights, including rights for electronic reproduction and archiving of the published pages. Payment is made upon receipt of the article.
12. All American Crafts, Inc. publishes articles about quilters and quilted items for its bimonthly magazine, The Quilter. This publication is an instructional magazine that features patterns in patchwork and appliqué techniques. The Quilter pays $150 – 250 per article for first North American Rights. All American Crafts, Inc. publishes many more arts and crafts magazines at http://www.allamericancrafts.com
13. Living Crafts is a magazine for the natural crafts enthusiast. The magazine’s aim is to inspire readers to make things themselves, or when buying, to buy handmade and natural products.
14. CardMaker magazine appeals to card crafters of all experience levels, and contains a wide variety of technique articles and projects featuring greeting cards, invitations, announcements and postcards. The editors pay for articles and want original, attractive designs and patterns for card projects that readers of all skill levels can easily follow.
What are Editors Looking For?
Though many of the magazines follow new trends, many still go after what their readers are really looking for. Fortunately, some magazines such as Crafts ‘n’ Things can give you a list. The articles must be easy to read and follow. Nearly every crafts magazine requires photographs or illustrations, especially for project-related articles. This may mean you have to do the projects yourselves. How-to articles are usually light and conversational in tone, except for business-related magazines such as The Crafts Report.
How Do You Pitch Ideas?
Contact the editor of the publication to pitch. Almost always, editors encourage e-mail submissions. Include your name, e-mail address, phone numbers, and best time to call you. If you want to save time, start pitching to large publishers such as Interweave Press, which has more than 15 magazines, as well as Kalmbach Publishing (http://www.kalmbach.com/). Both offer submission guidelines that you can download. All of the newsstand crafts magazines have highly-trafficked companion websites which may solicit articles separately from their print magazines.
You can also search our Writer’s Guidelines Database for arts and crafts magazines that pay freelance writers for articles.
Many arts and crafts magazines post “submission guidelines” online specifically for “reader submissions” to submit art projects for a byline only. These “reader submission” guidelines are not writer’s guidelines for freelance writers to submit articles or pitch a query letter. If you do not find the magazine’s writer’s guidelines at its website, simply contact the editor.
How Much Do You Earn?
It depends. Smaller magazines pay less, around $25 to $150 per article, while the larger magazines pay up to $450 per feature article. The average pay per article is about $200. Payment for photos vary. Photos that accompany instructional articles pay between $5 and $15 per photo or illustration (sometimes the pay rate for photos is already included in the pay rate for articles).
Most of the arts and crafts magazines want to buy All Rights to use your article, photos, and patterns (if applicable) indefinitely in print and online. Sometimes you can negotiate with the editor to insert a clause in the contract that allow All Rights in all media to revert back to you after a year.