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.)
I was so excited at the idea of making such a useful project! I was impressed with the high-quality materials that they included and I thought the colors they chose for the paint were so pretty. I couldn't wait to get started!
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 about stencil 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:
The main parts for our project were this piece of canvas and these nice wooden pieces. They were very smooth and felt very sturdy.
We received two sheets to make stencils with, a cutting board, a permanent marker, and a nice, sharp Exacto knife.
They provided four different acrylic paint colors, two brushes, a paint tray, some glue, and washi tape. They also included a mess mat and some safety tips for our craft knife.
They provided three different stencils for us to trace and use.
Now, let's get to our project!
Part 1: The Art of Stencil Making
The first part of our project was to make our stencils. I chose a few that I knew I wanted to use and then placed the transparent sheet over top and traced with my permanent marker which had a very fine tip making it easy to trace the shapes with.
Next came the more difficult task of cutting out my shapes to form the stencils using my craft knife. The cutting board made it much easier, but it definitely took a lot of control to get the nice curves of my leaves! It wasn't perfect, but I think it still turned out okay! Luckily there is some room for error with these!
Part 2: Stencil Your Canvas
Now it was time to use my paint to add the stencil designs to my canvas. I got set up on my mess mat and used the cutting mat to measure where the front of my book holder would be. Then I added some paint to my tray.
I was much too busy mixing my paint colors and getting messy adding my stencil designs to take any process photos here, but this is how it turned out! I had a lot of fun playing around with the colors and using the brushes to pat the paint on to ensure that my stencil lines stayed mostly straight.
Part 3: Build the Rack
The last step was to actually build our rack which was so much easier than I anticipated. They gave such clear instructions on how to place them and they had little notches and pieces that made them fit together just so.
I added glue to all of the little arches and then slid the pieces into place before wiping off the excess glue. Then the two dowels slid through the two ends of my canvas and I glued those into place as well.
Then it was time to set the whole thing aside to dry.
The finished project:
Here is my finished book holder. I think it actually turned out pretty great! It's so simple, but also incredibly useful. I saw that they had used it for other things besides books and since we have a new baby on the way, I think this rack will be such a cute way to store some rolled-up swaddle blankets in!
Value - Was This Box Worth It?
The Cost: $29.95
I think my stenciled book holder looks almost professional (I could have been a bit more careful with the paint), and I love that I can actually use this in my home somewhere. The materials are such great quality and I really think this will be something that lasts, so I definitely think the value is there!
Maker Crate is a fun way for older kids (and even adults!) to get creative and try new things. I loved how unique this project was and I thought it was great that we got to create our own stencils, do some creative designs on our canvas, and then turn it into something functional!
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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.
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