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KiwiCo Maker Crate “Engraved Accent Mirror” Review

Brandi D.
ByBrandi D.Mar 10, 2022 | 2 comments

Maker Crate by KiwiCo
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Maker Crate is a subscription box for kids ages 14+ 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+), 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

At first glance, this seemed like a fairly easy project since there weren't too many components. Little did I know, sometimes the simplest ideas can be the most challenging!

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 engraving 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 some wooden pieces, dowels, and wood glue for our stand. Then there was an engraving tool with 2 AA batteries and a brush to wipe away debris.

 

They also provided two small square acrylic mirrors, some carbon paper, a mess mat, washi tape, a stencil sheet, and a large round mirror.

 

These were two of the paper templates that they provided.

Now, let's get to our project!

Part 1: Engraving Technique

 

First, I practiced using the engraving tool on one of the smaller mirrors. I played around with different designs and tested out the stencil.

 

Next, I used the carbon paper to transfer a design to my mirror that I could easily trace with the engraving tool. The engraving tool was much more difficult to control and work with than I thought so I was grateful for the practice!

Part 2: Engrave Your Mirror

I decided that the best plan for me was to freehand some designs on the mirror. I felt this was crucial to my own feelings of success because this was indeed more challenging than it looked! I decided to try out a dry erase marker to plan out my designs. I just had to be wary of where the stand would cut off my mirror. Using the dry erase marker helped me with planning, but my hand was not quite so steady with the engraving tool. I had to go over a few spots again, but I think it looked decent by the end! Now I just had to prepare my stand.

Part 3: Assemble the Stand

 

Assembling the stand was very easy. I just had to add some wood glue to my holes, then stick in the dowels and line everything up until all four pieces were in place. While the wood was very lightweight, it was thick and the end result seemed to be sufficiently sturdy. There was a slot in the center for our mirror to sit.

I did not anticipate how difficult it would be to photograph a mirror so that you could see all of the details, but hopefully, this gives you a good idea of my design and how it turned out.

The finished project:

 

I thought it actually turned out well! The engraving is not perfect, but since it is so light, you can't see all of the imperfections unless you look up close. Also, now that I have my own engraving tool, I think I could easily purchase my own acrylic mirror and try out a new design if I end up hating this one!

Value - Was This Box Worth It?

The Cost: $29.95

This was such an interesting box! I love that we have an engraving tool to use again and again and that our mirror included a stand. The quality of the materials is pretty decent, the end product is useful, and I'm always a fan of when they include batteries for you, so I think it was worth it!

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; 3 boys and 1 girl. My youngest son was just born in January 2022, my other boys are 4 and 6, and my daughter is 7. 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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2 comments

Lauralee

Oh wow! I stalked this box for myself when it first came out but decided on a different vendor due to price and project selection. This one, however, is really cool and would be great for my teens. I could see the mirror going to college and even that first apartment.

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Mary L.

This is a very cool project!

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