Posted by on in Darby Smart Reviews, Subscription Box Reviews, Subscription Boxes for Women | Tags: | 17 comments

Darby Smart To DIY For Subscription Box Review – September 2015

This post may contain referral/affiliate links. Read the full disclosure.

Darby Smart To DIY For Subscription Box Review September 2015 - box

Darby Smart To DIY For Box is a monthly craft subscription box for teens and adults. I have been an on-and-off subscriber for the past year or so, and I really love Darby Smart’s project selections!

This box was sent to us for review purposes. (Check out the review process post to learn more about how we review boxes).

Darby Smart To DIY For Subscription Box Review September 2015 - inside

The Subscription Box: Darby Smart To DIY For Box

The Cost: $19

COUPON: Get one month free with a 6-month subscription – no coupon needed! -OR- Use code ‘HOWDYDARBY‘ to get $10 off your first box!

The Products: Each box will include all the craft supplies you need to complete a new DIY project.

Ships to: US only

Darby Smart To DIY For Subscription Box Review September 2015 - project

This month’s project is a DIY Note-Able Tote! This is pretty neat concept, actually, and the first time I’ve heard of such a thing. Turn an ordinary tote bag into a chalkboard tote bag, so you can write your list right there on the side of the bag! How innovative!

On the back of the card is a variety of ideas for “chalkboarding.” I like that they give suggestions on where you might take your newfound crafting skill after completing the project. Conveniently, you can buy more supplies at their online shop.

Darby Smart To DIY For Subscription Box Review September 2015 - supplies

Darby Smart included all the materials I needed to make my tote bag except masking tape, plus I used a disposable cup for the paint to make it a little easier than just pouring paint onto the brush.

FYI, Darby Smart does not include instructions in their boxes. Instead, they provide a code you can use on their website to look up the instructions. I appreciate their efforts to reduce paper waste, but I like to get away from technology when I’m crafting. I think I would prefer paper instructions.

Darby Smart To DIY For Subscription Box Review September 2015 - tote

This is my completed tote. I still think it’s a great idea, but the finished product is not as clean and crisp as I had hoped. The paint bled through the tape a little, and when I painted the coating over the lettering, it spread the paint a little and made it a bit dull. They included the chalk marker for making the list. Also, just fyi, the items I wrote on the tote are a bit of a joke. You can bet if any of these three items ever appear on my grocery list, they would not be forgotten!

The Verdict: I’m a little disappointed with the way my project turned out, but I guess not every one will be perfect. This is a new-to-me technique that I was excited to learn about, but not my favorite project overall. That’s going to happen from time to time with a surprise DIY crafting kit every month! It still turned out okay, and I much prefer craft kits to trying to go out and source the supplies on my own. I do wish they had included a little masking tape though. We get it pretty frequently in the kids’ subscription boxes, so it can’t be too pricey. This was not my best month with Darby Smart, but I still love it.

What do you think of Darby Smart?

Written by Anna Rodriguez

Anna Rodriguez

Anna has been a fan of subscription boxes since joining Birchbox in 2013, but didn’t become a true addict until discovering subscriptions she could share with her children. Her favorites include Kiwi Crate and Fab Kids.
All views in this review are the opinion of the author. My Subscription Addiction will never accept payment in exchange for a review, but will accept a box at no cost to provide honest opinions on the box. This post may contain affiliate/referral links. Read the complete My Subscription Addiction disclosure.


  1. I’m thinking this may work to cover some of those ugly logos on the freebie totes too.

  2. This is cute! I had to cancel all my subs for a bit and this one was one of the hardest ones to let go of. Love Darby Smart!

  3. I love this idea! I still think yours turned out great. Maybe this is a silly question but… How do you erase what you wrote?

    • Hi Gabbi! Damp rag, wipe, or paper towel takes it right off.

  4. LOL at your grocery list! Fun review. 🙂

    • Thanks chris!

  5. Mine came with green paint, and the pressing on the letters with the brush to try and seal it kept the paint from bleeding under the letters. I think I could have used another coat of paint for better coverage, but I’m going to make another one of these for my brother’s girlfriend for Christmas so we’ll see how it goes.

  6. Does Darby not allow you to print instructions from their website? If not, you could always copy/paste into a Word doc or screencap the page and then print it.

    • Good thinking, B!

  7. How do you sign up for this. I went to their website and all I can find is their “shop” part nothing about signing up for a box sub =-(

    • Hi Rose! Do a search for “monthly”. Monthly To DIY For box comes up, open and add it to your cart. Hope this helps!

      • It did thank you so much =-)

  8. I’m glad that you posted the results even if you were dissatisfied with how it turned out. My 7 year old and I are going to work on the October box from the Holiday Mystery Trio. I was a little nervous about ordering it because of the cost. I feel they came through with the items.

  9. I actually love this tote you made. It’s great because it’s usable. And small mistakes show its hand made!

    • I also love the tote you made! It’s a clever idea for using chalkboard pain and the tote is useful too. There are some tips online on preventing paint bleeding under stencils that might be helpful if you try stencils get again.

      • Thanks Jocelyn!

    • Thanks Jenny!

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