Reviewed by Louise Totton
We were delighted to receive some art and crafts items from Baker Ross to review and received the Tropical Fish Suncatcher Decorations (EF616), Porcelain Pens (ET328) and Beach Hut Ceramic Coin Banks (EF691).
The order arrived really well and sturdily packaged. The three items were all safely packed. The pens (pack of 5) came in their own plastic wallet for safe keeping later. The beach huts (supplied in a box of 4) were well padded and all four arrived without any cracks or damage. The Tropical Fish Suncatcher Decorations (pack of 6) were in standard plastic packaging but were undamaged.
I would say all of the packaging was functional rather than attractive, but it did keep the product safe. One thing that did seem to be missing from the sun catchers and beach huts was detailed instructions.
The beach huts were delightful. They were a lovely size for both big and small hands (my daughter is nearly 5), and we found the mouldings and lines on them gave us ideas for patterns etc… There was, however, no instructions provided which was a bit disappointing. We do crafts quite a bit, so this was fine for us, but I imagine could be problematic for those who don’t.
We painted the beach huts with the Porcelain Pens. The instructions on the pens were really clear, and the pens worked superbly.
They were much easier for my daughter to use than wet paint and a brush would have been, and the added bonus was no mess.
We were a little disappointed in the colour selection, and did find them a little dark, but a larger pack size (ours only had 5, we received pack B but pack A and C are available with different colours) would remedy this. The beach huts needed 90 minutes in the oven after being painted, and they emerged looking lovely and shiny. My daughter was delighted with the end result.
The suncatchers initially seemed ideal – the thick raised lines seemed to really help make a lovely pattern with the porcelain pens, and the bold patterns really appealed to us. They felt substantial and it is a much faster craft than the beach huts, we completed one in about 20 minutes. Again, we painted them with the porcelain pens, and I was surprised at the lovely ‘stained glass’ effect these pens produced on the acrylic fish.
We really enjoyed using the products, my daughter has since asked to order some more stuff from the Baker Ross website. I think all of the products were very reasonably priced, and I will certainly be stocking up with some bits for the summer holidays.
There one issue that we had, apart from the lack of instructions. The tips on the supplied Porcelain Pens were simply too thick to successfully paint the fish (there are fine tip glass pens available to buy on the Baker Ross website, £8.99 for a pack of 6 and 2 packs are available). We found it quite frustrating that we couldn’t get into all the nooks and crannies and fine details with the pen, and it did leave some patches that looked less than great when the suncatchers were hung up. This bothered me more than it did my daughter though, so for a younger child maybe isn’t such a big deal.
But overall, we loved the products. We’ll certainly be having a good look at the Baker Ross website, and ordering some more bits for the summer holidays. I would certainly recommend them to friends with similar aged children and up. I actually really enjoyed my afternoon of crafting too.
The Brilliant Porcelain Pens cost £9.99 per pack (3 different assorted packs of 5 are available), the Tropical Fish Suncatcher Decorations cost £2.99 for a pack of 6 or £11.28 for a pack of 24 and the Beach Hut Ceramic Coin Banks cost £5.96 for a box of 4 or £16.80 for a box of 12.
For more information or buy these and lots more fun art and crafts items visit www.bakerross.co.uk.