Adults & Crafts Box Review + Coupon – December 2017
This box was sent to us for review purposes. (Check out our review process post to learn more about how we review boxes.)
About Adults & Crafts
The Subscription Box: Adults & Crafts
The Cost: $33 + $6.95 shipping per month, with discounts for 6 and 12-month prepaid subscriptions
Coupon: Use code CRAFTADDICTION to get free shipping on your first box!
The Products: A kit with printed instructions for an adult-level project to use or display in your home.
Ships to: US
Adults and Crafts Cement and Fire Craft Kit December 2017
The December box included a new year’s greeting, as it shipped at the end of the month. The back has step-by-step instructions for the projects, but I don’t want to spoil the surprise this time. I didn’t check to see what the projects were until I’d gone through the box contents – see if you can guess the projects from the supplies!
Bag of Cement
This box wasn’t big, but it was extremely heavy. When I was carrying it inside, I kept trying to guess what could possibly be in there. I didn’t guess ‘a bag of cement’, but it certainly wasn’t surprising. But… what would I do with a bag of cement?
Sandtastik Classic Colored Sand, 1lb – Retail Value $3.49
A pound of sand to go with the cement. I’ve never worked with cement before, so I thought maybe you mix it together? But I was wrong, and the sand had a completely different purpose.
These are a couple of cheapo plastic bowls. One was cracked, but I taped it up and it didn’t matter. (I’m sure Adults & Crafts would have replaced it if I had reached out though; their CS is amazing.)
Sterno Green Heat two-hour Chafing Fuel – Retail Value $3.99
Bottle of Water, two Dixie Cups, and Plastic Spoons
At this point, I was totally perplexed and had no idea what this project could possibly be. I’d never heard of chafing fuel, but it sounded painful.
My best guess at this point was that there’d be some ramen in the box. I envisioned inviting someone over for lunch so we could eat out of mismatched bowls with plastic spoons while drinking water out of tiny paper cups. Sure, not all the pieces seemed to fit, but I think it was a logical guess.
Rubber Gloves and Surgical Mask
With bright blue gloves and a surgical mask on, I knew I’d look my best for whatever this crafting adventure would entail.
Wax, Tea Lights and a Black Triangle of Wax
Finally something recognizably craft-related! I arranged these to look like an owl. Sort of.
Darice Glass Gems, 1lb – Retail Value $2.69
A pound of sand, a pound of glass gems, a bag of cement, candle wax, fuel, water – so have you figured it out yet?
Step one was to mix the cement, fill the paper cups and put tea lights in.
This was fun, but very, very messy. I was happy about the gloves and mask after all.
The water was used for mixing the cement, but the bottle had a second purpose. I had initially missed the candle wick, so had a moment of panic when I saw it in the directions. Once found, I cut open the bottle and stuck the wick to the bottom. I then wrapped it around a skewer that I had on hand, just to keep the wick straight.
The next step was to pour some cement into the bottle. Here it is with the paper cups full of cement. Note that in this picture, the top of the cement is reasonably level with the top of the tea lights.
The next step was to put the smaller bowl into the larger bowl of wet cement and leave it there for 12 hours.
But back to the paper cups. After an hour, I was supposed to remove the tea lights and smooth out the cement. Unfortunately, the tops of the cement broke off. The one on the right looks more intact, but it crumbled later.
At this point, I could not envision anything nice coming out of this. My cement crumbled in the cups, there were dust and cement drippings everywhere, and the rest of it had to set for hours. And yet, it was still somehow a fun process! It felt like more of an adventure than most craft kits.
The drying time gave me a chance to do some cleanup. I’m always thankful for the ziplock bags they include. They’re so useful for keeping everything together.
After a few hours, I was able to melt the wax and add it in layers to the water bottle. I didn’t take photos of that step because I don’t trust myself not to drop my phone in a pot of wax while trying to multitask.
The candle also had to sit overnight, but here’s what everything looked like the next day when I removed the plastic water bottle and paper cups. I was amazed that the tea light holders turned out nicely after all! The pale silky finish was quite a transformation from the in-progress version.
I wish that my pillar candle had a more distinct gradation, and it has ridges because the plastic shrank in when it made contact with the hot wax. I still like it though, and I was happy to see the beautiful blue emerge from what looked like a black piece of wax!
But what about the bowl-within-a-bowl thing? Well…
This is the final result! It’s a cement bowl filled with sand, with glass gems on top. In the middle is the can of chafing fuel, which I found out is what’s used to heat chafing pans at buffet dinners. It’s filled with flammable gel!
I did light it but didn’t get a photo as it was too windy and cold out to stay long. This would’ve been safe to light indoors, but since I didn’t know what to expect, I did it out on the patio with a fire extinguisher nearby.
Verdict: This project involved making a huge mess and setting stuff on fire. In other words, it was great! This was one of the most fun projects I’ve gotten from a subscription box. I usually stick to things like embroidery or painting, so this was a departure – but the incentive to try new things is what’s fun about this box. I’d like to try cement casting again sometime, and the process is far less intimidating now that I’ve tried it.
To Wrap Up:
Value Breakdown: It’s hard to calculate the retail value for this box, but usually the cost of supplies equals or exceeds its cost of the box. Taking shipping into account, it works out to around $13/each for three projects. I think that’s a good value.
Keep Track of Your Subscriptions: Add this box to your subscription list or wishlist!
What do you think of December’s Adults and Crafts?