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KiwiCo Maker Crate “Electroluminescent Sculpture” Review

Brandi Dowell
ByBrandi DowellOct 25, 2021 | 0 comments

Maker Crate by KiwiCo
0 overall rating
0 Ratings | 0 Reviews

Maker Crate is a subscription box for kids ages 14-104 from the parent company KiwiCo. Each box includes high-quality materials and instructions to explore new art techniques and complete hands-on arts and crafts projects.

This review is of KiwiCo’s Maker Crate (for ages 14-104), which costs $29.95 per month.

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

First Impressions

It’s always a bit intimidating to see a project that sounds somewhat complicated, but after sorting through the materials, it was apparent that KiwiCo made things easy on us with their simplified techniques and clear, thorough instructions. They do everything they can to ensure success with each project they send your way!

What’s Inside This Box

 

Inside your box, you will receive a Maker’s Guide which provides the QR code for accessing your instructions. The pages had some information on the history of wire art along with a few ideas to inspire us!

 

Since these projects are a bit more complicated than the boxes for their younger ages they provide online video tutorials for you to watch. While I definitely appreciate this, I’m also a big fan of having the instructions laid out in front of me on paper so I do miss that aspect, but the videos themselves are very helpful and include some great tips. 

The website also includes this guide to what is in your crate so you can locate everything and ensure you have all the pieces you need. Now let’s check out those materials we received:

 

We received a wooden stand, a battery pack with 2 AA batteries, some zip ties, string, washi tape, foam stickers, and some adhesive velcro strips. There were also some tiny plastic caps for our wires.

 

The main pieces were the large roll of wire, strings of lights in white and green, and the wire bending tools and wire cutters.

 

They also provided tons of options for paper templates. I opted for the butterfly this time since it looked fairly simple but still cute!

Now, let’s get to our project!

Part 1: The Art of Wire Bending

 

After choosing my template and taping it down with the washi tape, I began practicing using the wire bending tool to create the curves in the butterfly. It was a little tricky to get used to, but it definitely helped make smoother curves.

Part 2: Create a Wire Sculpture

 

Next, I taped the string along my design to make sure I had the length right before cutting my wire. Then it was just the tedious task of bending my wire to fit over my template. This part wasn’t as difficult as I thought it would be although the curves were somewhat challenging.

 

Then, I added the batteries to my battery pack and applied the velcro adhesive to stick it to the underside of the base so that the button was accessible through the side hole. I used the piece of foam to stick to the underside of the holes in the base.

 

I stuck my sculpture in and then bent the wires underneath and used a foam sticker to hold the ends down.

Part 3: Make Your Sculpture Glow

 

I attached the EL wire to the battery pack to ensure it worked and then I unplugged it and slid the other end of the wire up through the front hole in the base.

 

Since I didn’t want the bottom of my sculpture to show I wrapped the light wire around my wire with the washi tape. Then it was just a matter of following along the front of my sculpture with the wire and using zip ties to secure it every few inches. Again, this was a very tedious task and I probably could have used even fewer zip ties, but I wanted to make sure it stuck since this was only my first try!

Last, I threaded the end of the wire underneath and attached it to my battery pack. I secured everything with some more foam stickers and then I trimmed all of my zip ties.

The finished project:

Here is my finished sculpture all lit up. The zip ties aren’t super noticeable with the light on and the EL wire actually has three different modes which make it even more fun!

Here you can see the other two settings for the light. By pressing the button a second and third time I could change it from a steady light to blinking and then to party mode. A final press of the button turns the whole thing off again. Simple to operate!

Value – Was This Box Worth It?

The Cost: $29.95

I thought this box was really cool and I love that they provided enough materials for us to make a second electroluminescent sculpture, even if we do have to reuse the same stand and battery pack. I think the materials were high quality and they provided great instructions to ensure a successful outcome, so I’m pleased with the value!

Key Takeaways

Maker Crate is a fun way for older kids (and even adults!) to get creative and try new things. The instructions are clear and thorough and the projects themselves are unique. This electroluminescent sculpture was a bit intimidating at first, but after getting started, I realized it was actually fairly simple with a really cool outcome!

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

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.

What do you think of Maker Crate? Click below to write a review!

Maker Crate is a monthly craft box dedicated to the discovery of new art and design tools to help turn artistic visions into design realities. Whether you're a new crafter or an experienced maker, each crate is designed to introduce fresh techniques, draw inspiration from real designs, and take p... read more.
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!

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!
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Our reviewers research, test, and recommend the best subscriptions and products independently; click to learn more about our editorial guidelines. We may receive commissions on purchases made through links on our site.