I should preface this by saying that I am not crafty. At all. I’ve always wanted to be, but I think my impatience usually wins. And oh, my lack of creativity. When I have to walk through a craft store to purchase items, I am always delighted at all of the options, only to remember that I have absolutely zero talent in this arena. No amount of tutorials or YouTube videos will change that. I often go on Pinterest and save a bunch of DIY craft projects only to laugh later at my hopeful attitude.
The most advanced project that I’ve made was my son’s Valentine’s box for school last week. I taped some cups to the top of a shoe box, spray painted it red, and voila! A Lego box. I was actually kinda proud of myself for that one. That’s as good as it gets for me.
All of that aside, I haven’t kept basic crafts out of the house for my young kids. I have done my fair share of crayons, markers, paints, glue, glitter, coloring books, play dough, pipe cleaners, etc.
But the thing that is recently on my craft blacklist: the ALL-IN-ONE CRAFT BOX. You know the ones I’m talking about:
- The yarn weaver
- Make your own bracelet/necklace kit
- Build-a-car and paint it
- Bracelets with those awful rubber bands
- Pottery kit
- Body Art Kit
They fill the aisles at the craft stores and scream at me when I walk by. “Pick me! Pick me!” It is so tempting, especially for someone like me with limited creativity and no artistic skills. So, I have obliged many times and purchased a few of the above items. Bad idea jeans.
I’ve found that the boxes should come with the following warnings:
The instructions aren’t clear at all. You’re gonna need to Google how to do this. Fun! Will induce tears from the child, and often the parent! Your finished product won’t look anything like what’s on the box. Don’t get your hopes up! If you can’t knit before buying this box, you won’t learn how to knit with this box! The paint that’s included is nowhere near enough for the entire car. Great! The plastic parts included are SO cheap that they’ll break when you look at them! You’ll never be able to mold your clay into anything more than a big clump! Sorry! The small rubber bands will end up all over your house for years to come! Awesome! You may be able to make a cute necklace, but the clasps included suck balls! Good luck! Don’t believe the box when it says “easily washable” because that’s a blatant lie!
Last time my daughter used a Body Art kit with “easily washable” body paint, she looked like Frida Kahlo for days (and that was after scrubbing her face with soap and water).
I’m convinced these all-in-one boxes are either for the really talented or the really patient, but I am neither one of those things. Therefore, I think I’ll stick to markers and crayons around this house. I’ll leave the craft boxes to the rest of you…