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KiwiCo Doodle Crate Review + Coupon – Poured Paintings

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” and they’re one of our favorite art boxes for kids!

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. Save with longer subscriptions.

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 Poured Paintings Review October 2020


Our project this month is to create two poured paintings. This booklet provides a section all about color mixing along with our directions for the project which are broken down into steps making them easy to follow.

We received four bottles of acrylic paint in the primary colors, plus white. (FYI – this paint will stain clothing!)


We also received a paper palette, a paintbrush, a small scoop, several paper cups, several wooden sticks, some clear stickers, and a piece of paper to work on along with some gloves to help minimize the mess.

We received two small canvases to create our paintings on.

Part 1: Color Exploration

I spread out some extra paper for us to work on by using the packing paper from our box. Then I cut off the tips of the paint bottles (not as easy as I thought it would be, resulting in paint on my shirt – oops!) and then my daughter shook the bottles up for us.


Then she began adding paint to the marked spots on the palette. While I like that the palette is labeled and it was on thicker paper, I feel like it wouldn’t have been too much to spring for a plastic palette in this box. A reusable palette would have been nice to have and easier to work with!


From there we began to use the little scooper to mix our primary colors to make secondary colors. As a former art teacher, I’ve already drilled this concept into my children’s heads, but this would be a great lesson or refresher for those unfamiliar with color mixing. We then talked about tertiary colors and mixed some more before adding white into the mix and exploring the idea of tints. After that, I just let her have at it and she went crazy playing around with the colors and mixing them all to make new ones.

Part 2: Poured Paintings


I don’t have many process photos here because as I said, this was pretty messy! I added a scoop of water to each of the bottles and then we shook them up again to get the right consistency. Now we were to make four different cups full of paint for our paintings. They said not to use more than four scoops of paint in each cup, but I felt like this was hardly enough. My daughter had fun measuring her colors and adding the scoops of paint to create them. It was cool to see her working through the process of what colors she needed to get to the one that she wanted.

I prepared our box by adding stickers to the holes at the bottom. Then we placed two cups upside down in the box and set our canvas on top of that so that the paint would stay in the box.


We added the four quarter-sized puddles to the center of the canvas and then slowly added more paint until each of our four cups was empty.


Then we began to rotate our paintings so that the paint would spread around our canvas. It definitely looked really cool and was a very fun (albeit, messy!) process. My daughter and I both enjoyed this part.

The issue was that our paint was not the right consistency for our canvas. It had sort of a fabric texture to it and since our paint wasn’t super runny, it clung to the canvas and absorbed it instead of spreading around the edges as it should have. This meant we had to keep adding more paint because at a certain point it just wouldn’t spread out to the edges, which was a little frustrating.


This is my painting in progress. You can see it just seemed to stay there in the center and didn’t really spread much. If we hadn’t worked together to do both of our paintings at once, I probably would have done it much differently for our second painting by adding more water and using a lot more paint in our cups. The process was messy either way, so a little extra paint wouldn’t have made a difference and we did have plenty of it leftover in the end.


Here is my daughter’s design.


This one is mine. They still turned out cool, but it would have been more effective if the entire canvas was covered.

Verdict: This month’s Doodle Crate project was a great concept. I really loved the color mixing that we did before beginning the project and felt that it was an educational and fun way to explore color. As for the poured paintings themselves, I feel like it could have used a little less structure, honestly, because that little scooper didn’t seem to provide the right measurements for the amount of paint nor for the amount of water that this project needed. This is so surprising to me because usually KiwiCo boxes are so well thought out. If I had to go back and do this one again, I would have simply eyeballed it and mixed the paint directly in the cups without measuring and just embraced the messiness! We still had fun and created something cool, but it definitely could have been a smoother process.

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 | 5 comments

Comments (5)

  1. I have done paint pouring before and it seems like you are missing the silicone additive that lets the paint flow easier. It does add to the drying time but you will use much less paint that way. Look up Floetrol at your hardware store. You can get a gallon of it for less than $15 and it lasts a long time. They also sell it at Walmart and Hobby Lobby but you will pay more for a much smaller bottle as they put a premium on it and market as such. I would search acrylic paint pouring and it will give you the ratios for the paint, additive and water mix.

  2. You guys made beautiful colors and I love both of your color choices for you final project. Definitely understand the disappointment with the full canvas not being covered, that’s a bummer. Still, fun experience, kids having fun with their parents while doing something messy is always something I loved as a kid. Things always had to be so neat and tidy, when I would have a chance to play with my parents and they didn’t care about the mess, I always felt so free and I remember those times well. I always love looking at the pictures and seeing the process of how the projects come together, and I think you made some really good suggestions for things that could have made this project a little smoother.

    • Thank you so much for your kind words, Katie! We definitely aren’t afraid to get messy around here! 😉

  3. This is such a cool project, although I would have been disappointed by the instructions that had you using too little paint too! Your results definitely don’t show a canvas where the paint’s running off the edges like the pictures on the booklet. But this project could whet your appetite for other kinds of pour projects, like the flip cup pours that are so mesmerizing to watch on YouTube. And it’s the kind of thing where you don’t have to be able to draw well to create something beautiful. Very fun!

    • Yes, fortunately, this is a project where the end results are still pretty cool no matter what! I’ll have to look up some of those videos – I’m sure my daughter will love them – she is all about those types of videos! Thanks for reading, Dawn! 🙂

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