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KiwiCo Maker Crate “Watercolor Clock” Review

Brandi D.
ByBrandi D.Jan 8, 2022 | 3 comments

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 our editorial guidelines to learn more about how we review boxes.)

First Impressions

I loved the idea of this project, but I was definitely in need of some inspiration as far as my clock design went. I was a little worried about what I would be able to create since watercolor is not my favorite medium! Luckily, it looked like they had plenty of ideas and helpful techniques to get me motivated!

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 watercolor and some inspiring ideas to check out.

 

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 clock with a motor and battery pack attached along with some clock parts, a mess mat, tape, and a battery for the clock.

 

They provided some masking fluid, a nice set of watercolors, some brushes, and some small pieces of watercolor paper.

 

They also provided some stencils and some practice sheets for us to work on our watercolor techniques.

Now, let's get to our project!

Part 1: Learn Watercolor Techniques

 

I have to say, I really loved the progression of this project! It felt like taking an actual art class or painting course. First, they had us get acquainted with the paints and colors by filling out our practice page. We practiced washes, different techniques, blending, and using our masking fluid. I found it to be super helpful!

Part 2: Create Mini Watercolor Paintings

 

Next, it was time to make some mini watercolor paintings using some of the techniques we learned. I taped the paper to my mess mat to hold it steady and create a border for my trees reflecting in the water.

 

For my second painting, I used the masking fluid for the moon. I was pleased with how it turned out, although it wasn't nearly as beautiful as the one in the tutorial!

Part 3: Paint and Assemble Your Clock

Lastly, it was time to paint my clock. I was really worried about the spots on the paper and how messy my masking fluid looked. I really liked a lot of the stencils, but I was having a tough time getting inspired so I stuck with a somewhat simplistic beach scene. I really was not happy with the way it turned out because I just always manage to saturate the paper too much. I don't know if I will ever learn! Fortunately, they did give us a second sheet so one day I can update my clock!

 

While my painting dried, I painted some numbers to add to my clock. Then when it was time, I rubbed off the masking fluid before adding the numbers to it. Some of my masking fluid did rub off with the paper giving it a messy look. I decided to outline my palm trees for a cleaner look. To assemble the clock, I just had to remove the backing by loosening the nut on the front, then I cut out my clock face and placed it against the plastic, and closed it all back up. Adding the clock wands was simple, the minute and hour hands just slipped over the front piece, and then the seconds hand had a cap to close it up. I added my battery and then my clock was up and running!

Here you can see what it looks like up on the wall. It's not perfect, but it works!

The finished project:

Here's a closeup of the front. Not my best work, but it's not as awful as I thought it would be! I think I'll hang it up in the kid's playroom, so maybe I'll even let them design the next clock face!

Value - Was This Box Worth It?

The Cost: $29.95

I thought this was a really great project. Not only did we get a working clock out of it, but I also felt like I received a great lesson in watercolor techniques. The materials were high quality and I am stoked to have my own little watercolor palette that I can mix colors directly in. It would be great for some Plein air nature paintings! Since the lesson was thorough and the materials were great, I would say this is definitely worth it value-wise.

Key Takeaways

This box was so well organized and they provided everything that we needed to both learn a new art technique and create a functional finished product. This is such a great box for anyone who likes to get creative but needs a little direction, or if you just want to personalize your home with handmade projects!

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!

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 D.
Brandi D.

I am a homeschooling mother of four. I am a former educator and have taught both elementary art and Special Education.

I have been reviewing boxes for MSA since January 2018 and have reviewed everything from activity and clothing boxes for kids to clothing, beauty, and pampering boxes for women. I have also reviewed boxes focused on home goods and even some men's boxes with the help of my husband! 

I love to discover new brands and try new things!


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3 comments

Susan

This was fun to make. Learned a lot about watercolor painting. The clock is hanging in my laundry room now. I will be practicing with the paints and brushes and the extra materials in the future and maybe create another face for the clock and other small projects.

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Lauren

I love watercolors. They are my favorite medium. I’m not very good but I love to paint.

This project seemed a bit more intense than some if the others you’ve done! I was getting anxious just reading the steps! 😂

I like video tutorials, but only when I seek them out. I’ve been really upset with some of the kits I’ve ordered from other companies, thinking I’m getting instructions in the box, only to find out a QR code. It’s a major turn off for me, especially with baking boxes! Just give me the recipe with directions!

The only box where I think I might like it is SketchBox, which I don’t currently subscribe to (as yet), but the reviews always make it seem very optional.

I’m just old fashioned I guess. 🤷🏼‍♀️

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Brandi D.

I love watercolors, too, but I just can never get it right! This project definitely was more intense! lol

I do really like to have written instructions, although this time the video tutorial was pretty helpful. For recipes – yes! Always need to be written. And without that whole background story they like to include! 😆

Thanks for reading, Lauren! 🙂

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