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KiwiCo Doodle Crate Review + 40% Off Coupon – Pencil Holders

Doodle Crate, by KiwiCo, is a subscription box targeted to older children aged 9-16 that delivers a monthly art project. They describe themselves as a “studio for hands-on creativity delivered every month.”

KiwiCo offers boxes for different age groups:

There really is something for every age with this company!

This box was sent to us at no cost for review. (Check out our review process post to learn more about how we review boxes.)

About Doodle Crate

The Subscription Box: Doodle Crate

The Cost: $19.95 per month with discounts available for longer subscription commitments.

COUPON: Save 50% off your first box. No coupon needed - just use this link.

The Products: Instructions and supplies for children aged 9-16 to create one new art project each month.

Ships to: The U.S. for free, Canada for $3.95 per month, worldwide from $4.95-$6.95.

Doodle Crate Pencil Holders Review October 2019


Our project this month is to make our own Pencil Holders using air-dry clay and the instructions that came in this little booklet. The front of the booklet has a contents list, a fun tidbit on the history of pencils and a link to some video tutorials for extra help if you need it. As with every box from KiwiCo, this box is well organized and the directions are clear and easy to follow. They break it down into sections with detailed information about each step and I love that they allow for a little bit of creativity within the project while still keeping it structured.


Inside our booklet, they gave us some ideas for six different animal pencil holders we could make. They gave detailed instructions for how to create the little fish, but since we had enough materials for two and I am pretty confident in my clay abilities thanks to my art teacher background, we decided to go straight for the other animals instead. We got some scrap paper to work on and some water for moistening our clay and we were ready to go.


I opened up a pack of clay and cut it in half. Then I cut one of those halves into half. I did this with each pack of clay. The larger section was for the body of our animals and the other two were for the head and the details such as the feet and eyes. My daughter decided to make a ladybug and my son decided to make a turtle. They did say that if you had any leftover clay you could make a cute little pencil topper and while I loved that idea, we ended up using all of our clay so we had none left to attempt this project, unfortunately.


My son and I worked together to roll our balls for the body and head. Then I split up the remaining clay into a smaller piece for the tail and four even pieces for the feet. I let my son work on shaping those.


My daughter worked mostly independently with a few pointers from me. When it came time to attach the legs, I taught her how to score and wet the clay to get a good attachment. Unfortunately, this clay was a bit more elastic than traditional clay and we had a hard time getting it to stick to itself. Other than that, the clay was fairly easy to work with.


They provided this little wooden tool for us to use to poke the holes for our pencils. I used the guide in our booklet to make a mark at the halfway point so we knew just how far to stick it into the clay. Then the kids poked the holes (with some hand-over-hand help) into the body of their animal. We added one hole in the center and four holes around it all angled down.


We added our last details like little holes for the eyes and then smoothed out any cracks using a bit of water. Then it was time to set those aside to dry for at least 24 hours.


Fortunately, they had another activity planned for us to do to keep us busy while those dried. They provided these six plain wooden pencils for us to paint.


Before painting them, we added these clear stickers to the pencils to create some fun designs. There were circles, long skinny strips, or short wide strips. We covered our pencils in them and tried to create some unique patterns and styles.


They provided a brush and a set of eight different paint colors for us to use.


We tried to be creative with our painting and add multiple colors to each one. The pencils took on the paint really well and it was so easy to blend the colors. They looked really nice!


Once our pencils were dry, fairly soon after, we peeled off the stickers to reveal our beautiful pencil designs. I’m actually quite proud of how mine turned out and the kids loved theirs as well!


While it said at least 24 hours for our pencil holders to dry, we found that it took just a bit longer so we ended up waiting about 48 hours instead. We did have one turtle leg and two ladybug legs fall off while drying, but we just painted them separately so that I can glue them back on later. We got out our scrap papers that I had saved the other day and got to work painting them. Of course, they loved doing this part! They both worked independently but I did help my daughter with the eyes and I attempted to try and create a pattern on the turtle’s shell for my son.


These were dry about 30 minutes after painting them. At that time I opened up the little bottle of varnish they supplied and squirted a small amount onto the paper. Then I asked my daughter to cover our creatures with the varnish for a nice shiny finish.


She did a great job and once that was done we waited another 30 minutes for the varnish to dry before testing out our pencil holders.


Here are our completed pencil holders. I think they turned out pretty great! I also tested out all of the pencil holes and they worked well!

Verdict: This was a cute Doodle Crate project this month and I really love that they included enough materials to make two products! The clay was not my favorite to work with as I have used other air-dry clays in the past that worked a little better when it came to joining pieces, but it still turned out to be pretty foolproof in the end and the products were cute! I love that they also included that pencil painting activity. That was my favorite part and it was a great way to get creative and have some fun with our designs. The kids were super excited about this and really enjoyed the process and now they have some great little critters to hold their colorful pencils! I am sure an older child would have just as much fun and I think its a great value for a $19.95 per month box!

To Wrap Up:

Can you still get this box if you sign up today? It is possible you might get this crate, but it is not a guarantee. From KiwiCo:

Crates are assigned each month based on availability and your crate history – not all subscribers receive the same theme each month.

COUPON: Save 50% off your first box. No coupon needed - just use this link.

Check out all of our Doodle Crate reviews and the best subscription boxes for tweens and teens!

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

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Written by Brandi Dowell

Brandi Dowell

Brandi has loved the idea of subscription boxes since joining Birchbox in 2013. Now that she’s a mother of 3, she loves finding unique boxes to educate and entertain her kids while enjoying some more pampering boxes for herself. Her favorites these days are Lillypost, KiwiCo boxes & Wicked Good Perfume!

Posted in Subscription Box Reviews, Subscription Boxes for Kids| Tags: doodle crate | 2 comments

Comments (2)

  1. Hi Brandi, thanks for the terrific and detailed review. Your kids are so gorgeous! And lucky to have you with your teaching background and obvious love for them. Looks like a really great box.

    • Thank you so much for reading and for your kind words, Mimosa! 🙂

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