The Crafter’s Box Subscription Review – November 2017
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 paid for this box. (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.
LIMITED TIME DEAL: The Crafter’s Box is having its twice-a-year pop-up sale, which means that you can buy this box for $75, without purchasing a subscription. Other past boxes are available too, so if you missed something, now’s your chance to catch up!
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.
Keep Track of Your Subscriptions: Add this box to your subscription list or wishlist!
November’s project is ‘Embellished Brush Pen Lettering’ with calligrapher Shinah of Crooked Calligraphy. The kit includes materials to make hand-lettered cards with gold foil embellishment. I’m not very good at lettering, but it’s something I really enjoy and have practiced a little in the past, so I was happy to see this kit.
These cards tell a little more about the box and list the contents. The one on the left shows how to use a bone folder to score paper.
This paper was a custom order for this box, so I’m not sure of the exact retail value. The cardstock is bright white and had a smooth surface that worked well for lettering.
It’s nice that they included a plastic bone folder to score the card so that it can be bent cleanly. However, this one had a thick edge that didn’t work well for scoring. (The rounded back of a table knife can also be used in a pinch.)
Pentel Fude Sign Pen – Retail Value $4.29
This pen is great – it’s got a flexible brush tip but it makes finer lines than most other brush pens. I liked this so much that I’ve already bought another one. The ink is dark enough that you can go back and make corrections without it being obvious.
This pen is a classic that I’ve received in subscription boxes before, but I’m always happy to get another one. It has a flexible brush tip on one end and a regular pen tip on the other. It creates much wider strokes than the Pentel brush pen.
This is the gold leaf that’s used for embellishment. It comes in very fine sheets that have a backing, which helps for easier placement.
Speedball Mona Lisa Adhesive Pen – Retail Value $8.00
This pen has a clear adhesive for gold foil. It works a lot like a paint marker – you have to pump the end a few times to get the glue flowing the first time. It worked ok, but I prefer the adhesive that comes in a bottle. However, this was much neater, so I can see why they included the pen version instead.
Loew Cornell Round Brush, Size 3 – Estimated Value $1.46 (buy a set of 3 for $4.37)
This brush was included to help with gold leafing. I didn’t use it much, but it was a thoughtful addition to the box.
Brush Pen Lettering guide + 20 practice sheets
This guide includes an example alphabet that you can trace and 20 practice sheets. You can also download a file to print more practice sheets. The practice sheets are printed on nice smooth paper and were easy to use.
Embellished Brush Pen Lettering Video – Retail Value $25
First of all, this video lasts nearly an hour! Usually videos from The Crafter’s Box last around 20–30 minutes, so this is pretty unusual for them. I appreciated the extra time spent demonstrating the full alphabet.
However, I was disappointed that the instructions for lefties amounted to a brief mention on the website. In addition to the video, you also get access to a one-hour group chat session with the instructor. Someone asked for tips for lefties, and it was obvious that Shinah had never given this a moment’s thought. Why discriminate against 10% of paying customers? It’s a teacher’s responsibility to address students’ challenges, whether or not she has personally experienced them.
It’s been years since I sat down to do practice sheets for lettering, so starting off with simple strokes was a good refresher.
More practice strokes! I kept having to remind myself how to hold the pen correctly. I certainly have a lot of bad habits from regular writing.
Next, I practiced lowercase letters. I like the alphabet that’s taught in this course; it’s very graceful.
Capital letters were the most difficult part! I loved H’s and J’s, but P’s and B’s are really hard.
Numbers! These were fun to letter.
Finally, I got to write words. It’s harder than you’d think!
The word choices focused on difficult transitions between letters. After hours of practice, I decided to attempt a card and trim it with gold foil.
Here’s what it looks like when the gold foil is being applied to a line of adhesive.
When the paper backing is lifted off, it looks like this. I brushed away the delicate extra pieces of gold leaf.
Here’s the finished result, with a line of gold leaf at the bottom. This card uses the larger brush pen, which felt awkward after writing with the smaller one. I admit I wasn’t feeling very creative after all the practice, but I wanted to actually make a card to show rather than just 20 sheets of practice pages. Well, it’s a start!
Verdict: It’s hard to come up with a retail value for this box since a lot of the items are custom made for it. This box is also different from earlier boxes because it’s focused much more on the instruction and practice rather than an end product. Obviously, a box of cards is not going to be worth $65, and writing supplies are inexpensive. However, the hour-long video training, instructional booklet and practice sheets have enough value that I think this box is worth the money.
To Wrap Up:
Can you still get this box if you sign up today? The Crafter’s Box is having its twice-a-year pop-up sale, which means that you can buy this box for $75, without purchasing a subscription. Other past boxes are available too, so if you missed something, now’s your chance to catch up! Otherwise, if you sign up now, you will receive the January box, which has not been announced yet.
What do you think of November’s The Crafter’s Box? Know any good lettering classes for lefties?