This NYT article puts forth the argument that while our presently crappy economy is hurting retail sales overall, crafting stores and web services that involve crafting are seeing, and will continue to see, a healthy bump:
Craft stores, from giant chains like Michaels Stores to small scrapbook supply shops, are reporting that sales are higher compared with the last holiday season, and online marketplaces for handmade goods, like Etsy, are seeing a boom in listings and transactions.
Sales at Scrap, a craft supply store in Portland, Ore., were up 33 percent in November compared with the year before. The shop's customers have made a menorah out of yellow plastic bottle caps, Christmas tree ornaments from wood samples and calendars from fabric and paper collages, according to Sarah Dyer, the manager.
"A lot of people are doing a do-it-yourself Christmas, because of the economic downturn but also wanting to make their lives more sustainable, making stuff as opposed to buying more stuff," she said.
For Craft Sales, the Recession Is a Help (New York Times)