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The Crafter’s Box Subscription Review – September 2017

Crafters Box September Intuitive Phases of the Moon 2017 Craft and DIY Subscription Box

The Crafter’s Box is a monthly DIY subscription “for people who love to make, build, shape, design, and create.” Each box includes supplies for one craft as well as access to online instruction by the featured maker of the month. 

My Subscription Addiction pays for this subscription. (Check out the review process post to learn more about how we review boxes).

The Subscription Box: The Crafter’s Box

The Cost: $65 a month + free shipping, or $60 a month with a 3-month subscription. An optional add-on kit is also available; its price varies each month.

The Products: A curated box of craft materials and specialty tools assembled in collaboration with an artist/maker.

Ships to: US (for free), $10 to Canada and $20 everywhere else.

Check out all of our The Crafter’s Box reviews and the DIY + Crafting Subscription Box Directory!

Keep Track of Your Subscriptions: Add this box to your subscription list or wishlist!

September’s featured artist is Nova Scotian artist Katelyn Morse. Her Intuitive Phases of the Moon workshop shows how to use watercolor and acrylic paints to create a painting of three moon phases. 

I love space-themed art, but I was surprised to see watercolors so soon after June’s watercolor workshop with Jenna Rainey. It covered the same wet-on-wet technique that was taught three months ago and used similar materials. 

Crafters Box September Intuitive Phases of the Moon 2017 Craft and DIY Subscription Box

Instruction with Katelyn Morse – Value $25 (This is the ‘video only’ price during their twice-a-year pop-up sales.)

This 23-minute video thoroughly covered the artist’s technique for painting the moon phases. I did find it a little repetitive – the second and third moon phases are painted the same way as the first one. Towards the end, she mentioned that you can use salt to create an interesting effect, and I wish this had been covered in the video. I am sure there are other techniques for creating texture and it would have been nice if there had been more exploration of techniques that had not been covered in June.

Crafters Box September Intuitive Phases of the Moon 2017 Craft and DIY Subscription Box

Artist-grade 100% Cotton Watercolor Paper Assortment

The watercolor paper was nice quality and was already cut into squares and long rectangles suitable for painting moon phases. There was enough paper to make multiple paintings.

Princeton Artist Brush Dakota, Synthetic Hog Bristle, size 4 – Value $8.32

This is a fairly firm brush that worked well both for laying down washes of wet paint as well as adding smaller dabs of acrylic with the thin point.

Crafters Box September Intuitive Phases of the Moon 2017 Craft and DIY Subscription Box

Crafters Box September Intuitive Phases of the Moon 2017 Craft and DIY Subscription Box

Alder Frame for 4″ x 10″ art

This special frame was made just for The Crafter’s Box by San Diego craftsman David Ladisa. It included a hanger for the back, though I’m glad it was separate as I liked the option of using either side for display. This frame does not actually hold the artwork; I wish there had been some kind of slot for the paper. I ended up using tiny magnets to hold the artwork in. However, I really like the shape and size of this frame, and it was easy to trim paper to fit perfectly inside. Also, it’s thick enough to stand up on its own when displayed on a shelf. 

Crafters Box September Intuitive Phases of the Moon 2017 Craft and DIY Subscription Box

Crafters Box September Intuitive Phases of the Moon 2017 Craft and DIY Subscription Box

Crafters Box September Intuitive Phases of the Moon 2017 Craft and DIY Subscription Box

Loew Cornell 1021095 Simply Art Watercolor Cakes – Value $4.55? (The linked version includes a brush.) 

The colors of these paints are vibrant and beautiful. The label on the back explains that The Crafter’s Box partnered with Loew Cornell, but it’s covering the regular ‘Simply Art’ label. The product description online says these paints are for ‘beginning crafter painters, beginning fine artists’, but they are the same paints used by Katelyn Morse in her artwork. 

Crafters Box September Intuitive Phases of the Moon 2017 Craft and DIY Subscription Box

I’ll admit I was surprised – I expect this box to have higher quality materials. Reservations aside, I thought these paints were pretty good. The colors were easy to layer, and the lid made a convenient palette. The paint did have a chalky consistency that I’m not used to, but it wasn’t hard to work with. Given the price though, I’m not sure how lightfast or archival these paints would be. However, I did enjoy the variety of colors. 

Crafters Box September Intuitive Phases of the Moon 2017 Craft and DIY Subscription Box

Craft Smart Acrylic Paint in Silver – Value $1.49

Craft Smart Acrylic Paint in White – Value $0.76

This is just regular acrylic craft paint, but it worked fine. The silver added a nice sheen to the paintings that’s hard to capture in photographs but is quite pretty in person. 

Crafters Box September Intuitive Phases of the Moon 2017 Craft and DIY Subscription Box

The first step was to lightly pencil in the three circles, one for each moon phase.

Crafters Box September Intuitive Phases of the Moon 2017 Craft and DIY Subscription Box

The next step is to fill in a darker edge and use water to soften the edge and fill in the shape of the full moon. The tutorial starts with black, but I liked using the silver paint for this. 

Crafters Box September Intuitive Phases of the Moon 2017 Craft and DIY Subscription Box

Next, you dab in more color. Since the paper is already wet, the paint will bleed out and fade towards the edges. 

Crafters Box September Intuitive Phases of the Moon 2017 Craft and DIY Subscription Box

From there you just keep dabbing on paint until you think it looks finished. The hardest part is keeping the round shape since it’s easy to go outside the line and sometimes the paint smudges. 

Crafters Box September Intuitive Phases of the Moon 2017 Craft and DIY Subscription Box

The final step is to add highlights of silver and white paint. It certainly wasn’t a difficult process, though, by the time I was done, I didn’t particularly feel like it looked like anything. However, when I put it in the frame, it suddenly looked like all the moon paintings I’d been seeing on Instagram for this box. 

Crafters Box September Intuitive Phases of the Moon 2017 Craft and DIY Subscription Box

Although I really like the alder wood, I decided to paint the shallow back side of the frame for a different look. I used the craft paint and while it took a couple of coats, it worked fine. I prefer paler moons, but this one shows what the darker ones look like when you start with black paint on the edge. 

Crafters Box September Intuitive Phases of the Moon 2017 Craft and DIY Subscription Box

I was curious about the salt technique mentioned in the video, so I added salt to this painting.

Crafters Box September Intuitive Phases of the Moon 2017 Craft and DIY Subscription Box

Once the paint dried, it had a coarser speckled texture that worked well for this moon. Still, I think if I just randomly showed this to someone, I’m not sure if they’d be able to tell what it’s supposed to be. 

Verdict: It’s hard to calculate the total retail value since the paper assortment and frame were put together just for this box. I don’t think my moon paintings are at all interesting, but the final display in the frame is surprisingly attractive nonetheless. This was a stress-free project that didn’t require advanced skills. While the paint quality isn’t as high as I’d expect, I did enjoy using the range of colors. However, I do hope that any future painting workshops will be more distinct from past ones.

What do you think of September’s The Crafter’s Box? Do you prefer the paler moons or the darker ones?


Written by Désirée Eien

Désirée Eien

Désirée has survived the subscription box rollercoaster since 2013. Her other hobbies include meticulously over-researching minor purchases, crafting things she hopes to pass off as gifts, and dressing her cat up in silly costumes.

Posted in Craft Subscription Boxes, Subscription Box Reviews, Subscription Boxes for Women, The Crafter's Box Reviews| Tags: the crafter's box | 4 comments

Comments (4)

  1. This looks disturbingly like phases of food that has been in my fridge for a while.

    I would really like to master watercolors. Do you have to wait until one color dries before you add another color?

    • lol ‘phases of food’, I love it. When I was painting, I did think it looked like something in a petri dish. It was only after I framed it that it suddenly seemed to resemble moons.

      If you add colours when the paint is still wet, they will blend into each other and create a nice variegation or mottled effect. If you wait until the paint is dry and then paint over it, you will get sharper lines and more differentiation. It’s fun to play with both techniques!

  2. I really like your close-up shot of the moon with salt, it looks not just textural, but dimensional, too. I’m leaning toward the darker moons, though I like all of them. I think it would be fun to do a whole series in different colors.

    I read this review right after reading Marne’s review of Quirky Crate, and the similarity (a little, in my mind anyway) of the moons to Gudetama in his sticker flakes made me grin.

    • Thanks! I’m definitely going to experiment with other colours too. I also bought the add-on kit for this box, which has additional paper as well as gold paint, so I’ll keep experimenting.

      I can definitely see turning a moon into Gudetama!

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