Posted by on in Darby Smart Reviews, Subscription Box Reviews, Subscription Boxes for Women | 16 comments

Darby Smart To DIY For Subscription Box Review – March 2015

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Darby Smart To DIY For Subscription Box Review – March 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, 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 – March 2015 Inside

The Subscription Box: Darby Smart To DIY For Box

The Cost: $19

COUPON: Get one month free with a 6-month subscription with our link 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

Check out all of our Darby Smart reviews!

Darby Smart To DIY For Subscription Box Review – March 2015 Theme

This month’s project is Ombre Needlepoint Cases (for glasses / sunglasses)! The card that came this month was actually a little different than usual. Usually they don’t tell you what it is, they just give you a code to use on their website to look up the instructions. This month they showed the project on one side and put the code on the reverse. I don’t know if this will be a permanent change yet or not.

Darby Smart To DIY For Subscription Box Review – March 2015 Supplies

Darby Smart included all the materials I needed, except for scissors. They actually sent enough supplies to make two of these cases, but I immediately cut the first grid wrong. I am really glad they sent enough to make two or I couldn’t have made any!

Darby Smart To DIY For Subscription Box Review – March 2015 Glasses Case

Here’s my finished glasses case! I cut the grid to size, then stitched the ombre yarn through it about a million times in the chevron pattern. After that, I stitched around the top using a whip stitch to give it a finished look. I also used a whip stitch to sew up the sides. At the end there was a knot at the top corner, so I made a fancy little tassel to hide it. It wasn’t part of the instructions, but I’d rather have a tassel than a knot any day!

Verdict: I still love Darby Smart, but I had some issues with this month’s project. First of all, this wasn’t my favorite project in terms of project selection. Until this month, Darby Smart has had a 100% win with me on project selection because I am usually just as excited to own the thing I make as I am to make it. This is a pretty dated and kind of adolescent project, although I think the selection of ombre yarn and a chevron pattern definitely helped to make it a little more modern. It also wasn’t a project that really required any creativity. Fortunately, I plan to make it a little more special by giving it to my Mom in her Mother’s Day package with 2-3 pairs of reading glasses (she’s always losing hers). Everyone loves homemade gifts!

My second issue with this project is that it took forever to complete. I can usually count on Darby Smart projects to take about 1-2 hours, sometimes less, but this one took many hours to complete. I also had to sew badges onto Cub Scout uniforms this weekend so now my hands are crippled! The good news is that this project was very portable, so I could take it with me to do when I had any downtime.

The third issue is with the instructions, and this is probably the most relevant one. I mentioned last month that I have mixed feelings about going online to read the instructions, and it’s still true that I would rather just get a piece of paper in the box explaining everything. This month, however, the instructions were very lacking and confusing. In fact, when I got to the bottom of the instructions, they had their Facebook feed, and it was just completely full of people complaining about the instructions. Darby Smart had replied that they had updated the instructions, but I still found them confusing. I finally just looked at the pictures and decided to go for it, come what may. I am pretty decent at figuring out how to do crafty things on my own, but I can understand why some subscribers were so upset. Darby Smart provides an introduction to a new craft every month, so they really shouldn’t make any assumptions about what their subscribers can infer from their instructions.

In any case, the project turned out great and I know my Mom will love it. I still love Darby Smart, and I am more than willing to bet that they will continue to have mostly projects I love in the future. This is the first time I have found their instructions utterly confounding, but I think in general they stand to improve in that area.

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. If you buy something, MSA may earn an affiliate commission. Read the complete My Subscription Addiction disclosure.


  1. Anna – slightly OT but check out Badge Magic for those badges. My daughter’s Girl Scout sash would be empty without it. No sewing or ironing for those badges/patches.

    Thanks for your reviews!

  2. So weird, I got two kits this month, they came on the same day but I had to pick one up at the post office because it came with no postage on it so I had to pay it. Luckily I got two different projects, the needlepoint kit and a Calligraphy kit. I wasn’t thrilled with the needlepoint but, I’m considering it a bonus project because I was thrilled with the Calligraphy. I did contact customer service and they told me to keep both! Plus they are giving me a credit double the cost I had t o pay for shipping.

    • Hi Teresa! I can say they do have great customer service, that has been my experience too. – Anna

  3. I didn’t get that craft either. However, plastic canvas is like so 20 years ago, so I guess I should be happy. I guess. To me, it makes Darby Smart a bit unreliable.

  4. I am not a Darby Smart subscriber, but I am an avid needlepoint hobbyist. For me, because of muscle memory (developed via hours of crossstitch and embroidery projects), this kit actually wouldn’t have taken a long time. I realize I’m in the minority here, but for me personally, this would be a 2-hour project. It would go way faster if you had a stretcher (like a embroidery hoop). To me, I think this project is more about introducing people to a type of craft they may not otherwise do, and that you could really zen out with it if it turned out that you like this type of craft.

  5. So I got this box last week and have to say it’s not one of my faves. Guess what was in my mailbox today…wait for it…a second box! I guess I can make eyeglass cases for the whole family lol:)

  6. there’s a cool pair of sunglasses in someones grandmothers case lol, this is what I see when I look at that picture

  7. I actually like needlepoint, though I find other embroidery techniques to give more sophisticated-looking results. Although I am currently in the middle of about month 6 of a cross-stitch project because I rarely have time to work on it, so I probably don’t need to take on anything else at this time.

    I think I probably wouldn’t be happy with a project-directed craft sub, though, because I tend to like much more complex projects that can’t be finished in an hour or two (and that require more materials) and that may actually be a series of related things (like matching sets of loom-knitted socks and hats, for example). But it’s nice to know there’s something out therefor every skill/interest/time commitment level.

  8. For me, Darby Smart’s high point was the month they sent out metal stamping kits. I happened to have just been pricing them up, as I wanted to try it out, and the supplies cost over $70.
    This was my last kit as I cancelled recently and I can’t say I’ll miss it.
    Many people did complain about being sent a very basic, old fashioned kit. That may be so, but I’m sewing a geometric, frameable piece with my supplies. I was inspired by one of the pictures on the card that came with the kit.
    It will take quite a long time to make, but it’s something I can do while the telly is on, so it’s not exactly time consuming.

  9. I was more disappointed in the lack of instructions than the actual project. I shouldn’t have to hunt YouTube for videos on how to complete the chevron stitch. I’ll give it one more month.

  10. I canceled last month and I’m not sorry. I never would have take the time to complete this.

  11. This was my second box. I signed up after reading your review of the January kit. When I first opened the box, I was rather disappointed. Needlepointing seems like such an old lady thing to do. Indeed, it’s one of the crafts I had not done with my kids.

    My daughter saw it, however, and she was all excited about it so I gave it a try. It turns out that needlepointing is a totally zen activity! So completely relaxing! Plus it gave me an excuse to watch/listen to TV while doing it.

    I agree that the instructions were lacking. In particular, I didn’t understand how to avoid making knots, so my whole project is very messy in the inside, full of little knots. But, truth be told, I don’t actually expect to use anything I make. For me it’s having something to do with my kids.

    In any case, I cancelled after this month and I’m going to try Darby Girl for one month and see how we like that.

  12. I didn’t like the project. I gave the whole box to my boyfriend’s mom. It was my first month and I promptly canceled. I like Paper Pumpkin much better.

    • Tell me about Paper Pumpkin!

      • It’s a stamping subscription. In each box you get the stamps and everything you need for a stamping project, usually greeting cards. It’s $20 a month and so much fun. It is run by Stampin Up. You can buy refill kits for less then $10 to make more of the project usually on the Stampin up website, along with past month’s projects. You get to keep the stamps and ink. You end up building up a very nice collection.

  13. Mine was not this project. I got a wood burning project. Weird that people for different ones this month but I definitely prefer mine.

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