Reviewed by Louise Totton
We love a bit of crafting in our house – I love how it helps to wind everyone down and gives the kids the opportunity to really focus on creating something. Now the kids are getting a but older (they’re 10 and 7), they can do much finer work, and we can try out crafts that a couple of years ago would have been well beyond their concentration and dexterity levels. They do love making cards, and often ask if they can make cards for friends and family’s birthday and Christmas presents, rather than using shop bought ones, which I am always more than happy to say yes to!
So you can imagine how excited they were when I said that we were going to be able to try out a new craft that we’d never even seen before, and combine it with their love of cardmaking! We were sent a couple of Craft Buddy DIY Crystal Card Kits to try out with the kids during the school holiday – the polar bear set and the teddy set.
Both sets come nicely packaged – the packaging is mostly card and there is only a minimal amount of plastic. The front of the packaging shows what the completed work will look like, and the kids were chomping at the bit to have a go!
The kits each contain:
- A folded card, with the image and a pattern / key printed on it
- Little bags of the ‘crystals’
- A ‘crystal’ applicator
- A tray
- A small block of wax
- An envelope
The first thing to mention is that the crystals are absolutely tiny! The packaging says 8+, and I would say that’s pretty accurate. I did give one of the sets to my very mature 7-year-old, and she did manage it but was a bit slower and less accurate with the placement of the crystals than my eldest.
Using the sets is really simple. The card comes pre-printed with the image, and the part of it where the crystals are to be placed is clearly marked, with tiny dots that have a letter printed over the top. The little bags of crystals are marked with corresponding letters, so you know exactly which crystals to fill a space with.
To place the crystals, I got the kids to choose one colour at a time to work with, and they poured these crystals into the little tray. You then pop a tiny amount of the jelly wax on the tip of the applicator and then dip into the tray of crystals to pick one up. Then it’s just a case of lifting part of the clear protective film off the card and applying the crystal to the sticky surface. The protective film stops the card from losing its stick, so if you are going back and completing it over several sittings, the crystals will continue to adhere to the card fully.
We loved these little sets. They are a lovely way to fill a rainy afternoon, and the girls had a wonderful time doing them. They filled a couple of hours for us, so at £4.99, they’re fantastic value and the finished cards look fantastic. Both of the kids have actually refused to surrender them to the card box and have stuck them to the bedroom walls – and they’re both mega keen to have a go at some of the larger sets too, so they’re clearly a winner.
And for smaller chunks of time, Craft Buddy make much smaller Motif kits – we were sent a panda and a yellow duck. These are much smaller, and just come with the pattern, this time printed on paper, and the crystals. They are a lot simpler, and I would imagine less daunting for a first try at this kind of craft, and at £2.49 are a real bargain. As I said, they don’t come with the tray or the applicator, so we used the ones from our bigger kit with them, and I would imagine they are designed for people who already own the tools. Because the pieces are so small, I don’t think they’d be manageable to do with your hands, or even tweezers, but they are a super addition to the kit if you already have the other bits.
RRP: from £4.99 (cards) / from £2.49 (motifs)
For more information or to buy visit crystalcardkit.com.