Doodle Crate is a member of the KiwiCo family geared toward kids 9+. It inspires young makers to learn new skills and gain creative confidence through craft and art projects by teaching them basic and intermediate techniques of a new artistic medium each month. The sky is the limit, and crafts made from the same kit can be kept simple, or they can be made as intricate as the artist desires.
Though geared toward kids, Doodle Crate is gender neutral and also excellent for anyone (even adults) wanting a craft subscription. In our experience, this is the best “arts and crafts” box for older kids, tweens, teens, and adults – the end result is nearly always something you will want to save!
This month’s project: MACRAME GEAR!
DEAL: Use this link to save 40% on your first month of Doodle Crate! (or Kiwi Crate and the KiwiCo family subscriptions Tinker Crate and Koala Crate).
Every crate comes with everything you need to complete the project (except for a few basic items from your home), as well as a booklet. Doodle Crate tends to focus on a single craft and contains only what you’ll need for the project. This craft included materials and instructions sufficient to make a watch and a carabiner keychain.
The booklet has excellent, textbook quality background on the subject matter of the project. Every Crate is a project and a lesson in technique – when your are finished, you should have a usable hand-made item and a new skill.
It’s loaded with high-quality pictures and illustrations to both give you ideas and help you along, and they produce a video tutorial for each project, too. Doodle Crate is great at providing perspective and inspiration for their projects, showing examples of the medium in real life settings.
The booklet proceeds step-by-step, from start to finish, with detailed guidance the whole way. The numerous diagrams explain every step clearly and make it practically impossible to go off track. This project included a wooden mounting board to assist in braiding.
The guidance is always thorough enough to allow you to create a polished looking piece. At every phase of the project, Doodle Crate always presents several options to bring added personality to your work. For this project, they taught us how to braid our cords using half-hitches or square knots to create different patterns, plus a variation that puts a spiral in the cord.
This Crate is suitable for a wide range of ages, and older kids and adults can bring as much complexity to their projects as they want. This Crate was a little tough for younger kids. Usually the basic project can be made, with embellishments bringing the complexity. For this one, though, the complexity was baked in.
My daughter is a big “researcher,” and she likes to digest all of the background materials before getting started.
We made a watch band using blue and green cords, and a keychain using the orange and blue. Enough cord was provided to make up to four braided strands, depending on your color selections.
The watch used two braided strands to form the cord.
We tried one of the knot variations to create a twist – it worked, but the twisted band wasn’t appropriate for a watch, so we did doubled half-hitches instead.
The kit included a pretty silver colored watch, plastic clips, and a rubberized blue case to which we attached the cords.
Prior to braiding, we measured our wrist using the included measuring tape, so the finished watch band was symmetrical and properly fitted.
The other project was a keychain. The kit included a ring and carabiner. We used square knots to create this braid.
The square knots created a complementary pattern on opposing sides of the cord. Cool!
Doodle Crate is a really great project subscription for tweens, teens, and even adults. Some projects can get fairly complex, but the thorough instructions and guidance never leave us confused, and most projects can be done by pre-teens without adult assistance. This project was, however, a little intimidating for younger crafters. The finished products were very handy and ready to show off.