Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Carefree Crafts Subscription Review

 My first subscription box came! Actually, it was a bubble mailer, but still. Very exciting. And very quick!  I'm impressed by the turn around time, as the other boxes I subscribed to I had to wait for February. Carefree Crafts was able to get me on board right away!

The package included a color page showing all of the projects, the theme, and some trivia applying to the theme at the bottom. This month it's "Winter Wonderland," which works for me. There are 6 projects in this package with a variety of mediums - one is lacing, one is a little figure to assemble, one is painting, etc.

Inside the package are all of the supplies needed to make each of the projects, separated into packages, so you can just pull out the bag for what you are going to make and not have to sort it yourself  (all time saving is good when toddlers are involved!)

We decided to start with a "snowman coaster." Apparently to put beverages on. So...I'd never use this as a coaster, but The Cupcake is unconcerned with such concepts as "practicality," so "Frosty" was quite exciting for her. This seemed like the simplest project, and we've been doing a lot of foam sticker work lately, so I figured we could handle it. We did...but it wasn't quite as easy as I had hoped. It relied heavily on Glue Dots, which I have to believe are made of pure evil. I generally can't get them off their backing without significant trouble, and I have some crafting experience, so I don't know anyone who would think a toddler could do it. That meant I had to place all the glue dots and just let TC assemble, which was okay, but neither of us really had the patience for it. But you wouldn't know it by the end:

I asked her what we should name him, and she replied "FROSTY" in an exasperated tone, it definitely would have been followed by "Duh, mom!" If she knew the word "Duh!" :) 

Later that evening TC begged for another "cwaft!" so we tried the "stained glass" mitten. It was an acetate sheet that you covered with glue, then tissue paper squares, and a foam border. When finished it is a mitten shaped sun catcher. It was one of the messier projects, so I should have known not to try it at the END of the day when I was already tired, but the glue was the least of the problems. The tissue paper tiles had to be separated from a stack, and the instructions warned that there were just enough to cover the project, so after my hands were covered in glue I spent awkward and tense minutes trying to separate thin layers. It turned out that there were plenty of tissues so I didn't need to be so precise, but still...after the glue dots, this experience left me wondering if these boxes were for me.

But someone is a big fan so far. 

We still have 4 projects left, and so far some positives are that the kits are all inclusive, curated around a theme, and sized for just one kid. A lot of the projects seem to come from Oriental Trading Co, which always has dubious quality, but it is somewhat of a plus to be able to make just ONE of something, rather than ordering at least a dozen through OTC. There are a lot more glue dots included...but I'm wondering if I could just switch those out for double sided tape or something. I haven't yet decided if the projects are a great age fit - TC seems very interested, but she also want's to jump right in and these crafts so far have required patience and sequencing, which can add stress to a messy situation. The foam stickers are way easier. 

I got a great deal on the first box with a coupon code, but I can't decide yet if this is worth a monthly renewal. If I took the same amount of $$ to the craft store, I'm not sure I could get 6 different projects (since usually things come in packages or fancy kits), and I do appreciate not having to think about the projects and just having them on hand, having the experience and displaying things for a while but not feeling like we need to save them forever, and having TC get excited about it. Oh, and getting mail. I totally love getting mail. But man, I hate glue dots :) 

Stay tuned for more! 

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