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KiwiCo Maker Crate “Geometric Tiled Tray” Review

Brandi Dowell
ByBrandi DowellDec 8, 2021

Maker Crate by KiwiCo
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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

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 the history of tile art along with some ideas for inspiration.

 

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 lightweight wooden tray with triangles marked out on it for easy planning along with a paper template.

 

They provided a mess mat, gloves, glue, some tools for grouting, and some unsanded grout.

 

Our tiles consisted of these plastic triangles in white, black, and gold. I do wish that they had given us an equal number of gold tiles so that I had a bit more to work with for my pattern, but it did work out in the end.

Now, let's get to our project!

Part 1: Create a Design

 

The first part of our project was to plan out our design. While they provided a paper template, I was working near my 3 and 5-year-old, so I figured the tray with the taller edge would be helpful in case of any accidental bumps. I tried out a few things and quickly had an idea for a pattern that I was ready to work with.

Part 2: Tile Your Tray

 

I used a pencil and marker to mark my pattern on the wooden tray and then I got to work with tiling. I used the spatula to spread a thin layer of glue over a few triangles at a time and then stuck them down. I used the silver tool to scootch them into place making sure they were straight. But...then I got to the end and realized the pattern that I hadn't tested out took more gold tiles than I needed. So I decided to regroup.

 

Since my tiles weren't quite set yet it was easy enough to pop out a few of the tiles at the top and replace them to make a more symmetrical pattern. I was happy with how it turned out!

Part 3: Add the Grout

 

Then came the fun part! I mixed up my grout until it was the appropriate consistency by adding tablespoons of water and then I checked to make sure my tiles were stuck before spreading the grout all over and wiping it off. Unfortunately, some of my tiles were not as stuck as I thought so a few slipped out of place while I was wiping off the grout.

 

While some of my tiles ended up a bit wonky and ended up with uneven spots of grout, overall, I thought it turned out pretty well! Next time, I would definitely be sure to check each individual tile with my fingers before grouting because that made the process a little more difficult when my tiles started slipping. Apparently, a quick upside-down test wasn't the best move. Oops!

The finished project:

It really does look pretty nice and it can hold a good amount of stuff. Now I just have to figure out what to use it for!

Value - Was This Box Worth It?

The Cost: $29.95

I am happy with how my tray turned out even though I made a few mistakes along the way! Luckily, they weren't too hard to fix and while my tray is not perfect, I felt like they provided me with everything that I needed to complete this project successfully. I would have liked a few more gold tiles, but overall, I think it was a good value for this project!

Key Takeaways

I got to design a fun mosaic pattern and practice grouting while being left with a functional piece of art, so I think this was a pretty cool project! I have never done a project like this before and have not done any groutwork in art, so this was a fun lesson that has me excited to try this technique again one day!

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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.

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

Starting at $31.95
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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!