XOXkit Craft Subscription Box Review – May 2017
XOXkit is a monthly craft subscription box from Australia.
We do all the research, testing, designing, converting, collecting, measuring and translating. We bring you on-trend projects that create beautiful, usable products that you find at your local artisan markets. You don’t need to be the next Martha Stewart – beginners are welcome! The instructions outline the skill level needed and the time the project should take. We have made the XOXkits as enjoyable and creative as possible.
This box was sent to us at no cost for review. (Check out the review process post to learn more about how we review boxes.)
The Subscription Box: XOXkit
The Cost: $33.96 USD ($42.50 AUD) + shipping. Save with 3-12 month prepaid subscriptions.
The Products: On-trend projects that create beautiful, usable products that you find at your local artisan markets. You can also buy past boxes!
Ships to: Worldwide (Shipping within Australia costs $11.75 AUD. International shipping varies.)
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This review is for the May 2017 (or 901kit) XOXkit.
You’ll find a short description of the projects (this month has two), and a list of everything the box contains, on the inside of the box lid.
You also get a sticker and info on where to write a review.
Mala Meditation Necklace
The first project I decided to try is the Mala Meditation Necklace. There are instructions on how to do it two different ways, depending on if you want to actually use it for meditation, or just as a necklace. I felt like I should go all out and do it right, so I took the long road to the legit meditation version.
The items needed for this are pretty simple, but plentiful. Meditation necklaces should have 108 beads on them, and they’ve given us extra just in case some get away.
They suggest using a towel to count out your beads onto so that they stay in place. How smart!
They mention that it’s also a good time to decorate your larger “guru” bead if you’d like. I figured “why not?”. I masked half of it with washi tape, then used a silver permanent marker to color the bottom half.
Next, you’ll make your first knot at the end of the long piece of jewelry thread which will anchor your first bead of MANY.
Here is where the difference between meditation and simple necklace come in. Basically, you want the meditation version to have a small knot in between each bead so that they don’t clink together while you are meditating. Makes sense! However, this is what ends up taking a TON more time.
After 27 plain wooden beads, you’ll use the fishing line to feed a single black “counter” bead onto the jewelry thread. The hole isn’t quite large enough to put through, so you are using the fishing line how you would a needle threader for sewing.
You feed the string through the fishing line like so, and pull like you have never pulled before. You REALLY have to force it. It was actually digging into my fingers, so I have to use a metal crafting knife to wrap it around and pull instead. This was a little confusing to all understand via written directions, but I luckily found their handy video on the website. Phew!
After you’ve done all the plain wooden and black counter bead threading (with knots in between), it’s time to close it up with your guru bead, and knot at the bottom.
Now you take your embroidery floss that you’ve looped in a bundle and tie the bottom of the necklace string around it’s middle.
Tie some of the embroidery thread around the top to make it look nice, then simply cut the bottom loop to make a tassel!
Voila! My finished Mala Meditation Necklace!
This took me well over 2 hours to do because of all the threading and knot-tying, but if you went for a basic necklace, it would have gone a lot quicker. I just watched a bunch of random videos on my laptop to make the time go by faster.
Watercolor Masking Mantra Banner
The next project was not as time consuming, but did have it’s own struggles, which I will soon tell you about. The idea here it to have a small canvas banner to display with your own chosen mantra on it (or choose from the many they provided). I love that the two featured projects have a theme of mindfulness and meditation. Very chill!
Here are the items used for this project. I love that they have included a nice pencil, an eraser, a small paint brush, and a full tube of paint (even though you won’t use it all). Oh- plus a little tray too!
They’ve included three pages of mantra templates you can choose from, or if you’re a picky brat like myself, you can go rogue.
I chose a short phrase that I also happen to have tattooed on the inside of my fingers. It’s from a Morrissey song, but is something I really need to be reminded of at all times. I don’t belong to anyone but myself, and self care is a priority above all! Similar to what Rupaul says “If you don’t love yourself, how the hell are you gonna love anybody else?” (can I get an “Amen”?). Since I chose my own mantra, I had to crudely sketch it out myself as well. Not the nicest lettering, but not the worst.
Now it’s time to use the stinky masking fluid inside the lines, which we’re going to paint over. In the video, they let you know that you should brush it on REALLY thick, because it will make it easier to peel off later. MAKE SURE YOU LISTEN TO THEM, MY FRIENDS.
I used just a small amount of paint in the tray.
Then I added water and stirred it up to make sure it was properly mixed. You can always add more paint to make it darker if you desire.
Here is my banner once I painted over the masking fluid. It doesn’t come anywhere close to looking as nice as the photo, but my watercolor skills are amateur at best.
Here is where my troubles began. I was having a heck of a time peeling the rubber cement-like dried masking fluid off of the canvas. Ughhhh. I had to walk away from it, and way too much time passed in which I would see it on my desk, feel overwhelmed, and turn my back to it. I’m such a procrastinator!
Many many weeks later, I ended up enlisting my super old rubber cement pick up that I had lying around, which helped, but still was taking FOR-EVER. I eventually gave up because I was getting so frustrated, and decided to just continue on anyhow to finish. Obviously, leaving the masking fluid on there for such a long time was NOT the right move. Live and learn, everyone.
The rest of the steps were ridiculously easy. The piece of pine they included is really soft, so it was quick and easy to put the screw eyes into it.
You do this about 2 mm in from each end.
You then place your canvas on top of it (mantra-side down) and use the push pins to attach it to the back of the pine.
The last step is to simply tie the string provided to the eyelets, which you’ll use to hang your banner!
Here’s the (not so) finished product!
I am of course bummed that I couldn’t muster up the strength to peel up all of the masking fluid, but it was really stuck on there from WEEKS of me neglecting it.
Verdict: As it turns out, I am not the crafter I thought I was, even though XOXkit has served me some great projects. Without getting too big of a glimpse into my therapy sessions, I obviously have a hard time finishing things that frustrate me, even when they are simple! The mala mediatation necklace turned out great, but my fumble with the masking fluid left me defeated. If I were to buy a similar necklace off of Etsy, it’d cost me about $15, but I wouldn’t have the satisfaction of doing it myself and putting all the time into something so mindful. The mantra banner is hard to price as well, so I’ll say another $15 there, but obviously without being able to choose what I’d like it to say. Crafting boxes don’t strike me as the type of thing to really put dollar values on though, and I have to remember that I now have an almost full tube of black watercolor with tray and brush, a great new pencil and eraser (yay!), and most importantly, things I made myself and learned actual lessons from!
What do you think of the May XOXkit? Do you think there is a bigger procrastinator in the world than me?