Waggons West Etsy Shop

Friday, July 27, 2012

Whimsey Box Review

A few months ago, I read about Whimsey Box.  It is a sort of subscription club for craft supplies.  Each month you get a new box full of different types of craft supplies.  The boxes looked intriguing.  The supplies described looked fun.  I figured this would be a way to jumpstart my crafting mojo. I was stuck in a rut and needed some new inspiration. 

The subscription rate was $15/month.  It is a bit steep, but I really thought it would be worth it to get to experiment with new and different things each month.  I wanted easy access to the new and latest things for crafting.  So I signed up and eagerly awaited the first shipment. 

Over 4 months I received 4 boxes.  They did not arrive consistently, but only one took so long after the payment was added to my account that I had to inquire.  They politely explained they were overwhelmed.  It arrived shortly thereafter. 

The first box was a quality box.  The cardboard is substantial.  The label bracket is securely attached.  If I recall correctly, it came in a priority mail box.  The box has a magnetic closure.


Once opened, the box was beautifully packaged.  The satin ribbon bow and the tissue were perfectly coordinated.  This has been true of every box. 
The first thing you find is a printed art card. 


The reverse of that card lists the contents supplied and provides some suggestions for how to use them,



Everything is securely packed in a shredded paper bedding. 


The first box contained nice stack of coordinating printed papers.  They are small, but that is understandable given the size of the box.  There is a length of vinyl trim probably sufficient for the handles on a bag, a goodly amount of braided trim, two sharpies and a gluestick.   I was underwhelmed by the sharpies and glue stick.  I was anticipating things that would not be traditionally found in a basic set of supplies.  The colors of the sharpies are different.  The glue stick is standard grade school issue. 

While not really excited by the package, I was willing to keep on the list.  The box is super and I would be happy to have an excuse to collect the boxes to store my craft supplies.


Box two arrived in an envelope instead of a box (as did all the rest).  It is slightly larger than box one.  It is however, of a lesser cardboard, has folded construction and closes with velcro rather than a magnet.  It does still have the label frame although it is not as securely attached due to the nature of the cardboard.  Generally a flimsier box, but still workable. 


Another art card with contents listed on the reverse.  More pretty packaging.  These boxes are beautifully presented. 


The contents of this box are pretty basic as well.  There are two plastic stencils.  The shapes are interesting but I probably won't find a good use for them anytime soon.  There is a tiny sample bottle of acrylic paint in a gorgeous turquoise.  (Yes, I expect sample sizes and am perfectly fine with that.)  There is a tiny canvas which I have targeted for a test collage project.  There is a packet of lovely natural buttons.  It is a generous amount and they are beautiful.  There are a  two very unimpressive stencil brushes. 

So, box 2 had some interesting things in it.  Some things were again of the basic supply kit nature and thus not as inspiring as I anticipated.  I was still willing to try another month and see what showed up even though I was very disappointed by the change in box style.


The story on boxes 3 and 4 gets a bit sadder.  They arrived in bags.  And they arrived in poor shape.  One was smashed in and the label holder was torn off, it was nowhere to be found in the packing material.  The other was also damaged.  The label holder was crooked and poorly attached.  If you recall, one of the reasons I kept with the program was because I really liked the initial box.  It was not clear from the condition of these boxes that I would be able to re-use them at all. 


As with the other boxes, box 3 was beautifully packed.


The contents were again protected by shredded paper. and nicely arranged in the box.  The art card has descriptions of the materials and suggestions for projects.



The supplies included 2 cork coaster blanks, 1 slightly damaged fabric covered notebook, googley eyes, 2 fabric pens and 2 skeins of embroidery floss.  At this point, I truly was underwhelmed with the Whimseyboxes.  I did not feel that the contents warranted the cost.  I felt I could go to the local craft or art supply store, spend the same amount of money, get the quality box I wanted and still have plenty left to buy a nice selection of the interesting, new supplies I always look at and never buy. 

I decided to cancel my subscription.  Box 3 was the one that was late to arrive.  It was so late that the payment for box 4 had already been charged to my card before box 3 arrived.  Response to my inquiries was prompt and polite.  The service was very good. 



Since I still had one box coming, I had hopes that it would inspire me to re-activate my subscription.  I really did look forward to getting these surprise boxes each month.  It came packed with my favorite color in the ribbon an tissue.  The art card was cute.


The box contained a reasonable sized piece of quality leather. It is sufficient to make both sides of a fold over wallet.  And a packet of metal studs. 


Leather and studs.  Yes, I know how expensive leather is.  Yes, this is high quality leather.  Yes, neither of these can be considered basic crafting supplies.  Yet I was again underwhelmed; completely uninspired. 


So this is my collection for four months and $60.  I count the tissue, ribbon and shredded paper because they are all useful and beautiful.  I will probably throw out boxes 3 and 4.  I will probably gift some of the other supplies or use them for a give away.


All together, less the tissue and shredded paper, it fits into one of the boxes with room to spare. 

Don't get me wrong.  I really like the Whimsey Box concept.  I really enjoyed the anticipation and the mystery.  I just don't think the value of the supplies warrants the expense, particularly in these times of very tight budgets.  I will keep watching their progress and I might try again some day but for now, I think I'll take my $15 and blow it on the supplies on sale at the local craft store.  

Edited for minor typographical errors12/12  


11 comments:

  1. Thanks for sharing this experience with us, Charlene. I too am attracted to this sort of subscription, and I appreciate you insights into it. Too bad it didn't meet your expectations...I agree that the packages were disappointing.

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  2. I also was very disappointed with what I was getting in my boxes, with the exception of one box. They looked to be aimed at scrapbookers and/or school age children and as a more serious crafter, I was continually disappointed in what I was getting. While I did like the piece of leather, the lack of anything else other than studs was a let down. I did get some paint in one of my boxes that

    It would be better if we could put in our age range or something so we don't get school kid level crafts, but I guess we can't have everything. Here's to hoping someone else does something like this for us crafters who want something more exciting and inspiring.

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  3. Here is my review of my first & last Whimseybox, posted on their Facebook page:

    I received the July box on 8/4/12. (signed up/paid on 7/4) I waited awhile to post, because I was afraid my disappointment would get the best of me, and what I had to say would not be very nice.

    I signed up for what I thought would be new crafting materials every month. I'm glad I didn't pay more than $15 for the July box, or I think I would be filing a dispute with my credit card company. That's a really nice way of saying the bit of chain and floss in the box was not worth $15, and to think the price has gone up to $25 is mind boggling.

    I am very disappointed. The silver lining is I seem to be one of the few whose box wasn't completely smooshed in the shipping envelope, because It will be the only thing I will find a use for. (mine was only partially smooshed)

    I went back and re-read the FAQS to make sure I hadn't misunderstood what Whimseybox was about, and I think a complete re-write is in order. Here is an example from the FAQ: "How do I choose what is in my box?" "Well, you don’t! We use the information you shared in your user profile to select a variety of fun products to inspire you."

    That is not true. Everyone receives the same box. Therefore it cannot be based on user profiles.

    Here is another example, that is misleading: "What is Whimseybox?" "Whimseybox is an inexpensive, fun way to get inspired and expand your creative experience. After you subscribe we’ll start sending you a box with 4-5 different craft products to try and enjoy every month."

    That is a stretch of imagination in my opinion. I suppose if you count the two skeins of floss separately, I received 4 products.

    All in all I am not only completely disappointed, but rather a bit grouchy about spending $15 on materials that together would cost less than $5 at the local craft supply store.

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  4. I want to thank you for writing this! I saw WB the other week and was immediately drawn to it. I didn't sign up, since the holidays are upon us, I wanted to save some money, and from the sounds of it, I should be glad I didn't sign up.

    I'd be more inclined to go to the Dollar Store to get googly eyes for a craft than spend $15 on that and a few other items!

    THANKS!

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  5. Thanks for a detailed review. You saved me some time, money, and disappointment. I had thought about gifting this to my mother for Christmas. I'm so glad that I didn't.

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  6. Thank goodness I didn't sign up! You're review was very helpful.

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  7. Would the author of this article and everyone that posted be willing to subscribe to a craft subscription for $35 if it included 1-2 real quality (interest quality) craft that was designed for the avid crafter. And if you had the option to select your craft each month?

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  8. Thank you for this!!! It is going to be my boyfriend's mother's 50th birthday and they were all thinking of getting her this for a year...no way now! I appreciate your honesty, I'm sorry you weren't satisfied.

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  9. Thank you for your review. I am signing up for some subscription boxes today and I really appreciate your review. As a result, I am not going to purchase the Whimsy box just to see if the items get better. I think their description may be a bit misleading, too. I thought that you would get the components for a specific craft and the directions on how to make it. It seems with the boxes you received that you have to invent your own craft idea using the supplies. Thanks, again, you saved me some money to put on another subscription service that I will like better.

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  10. I think that Whimsybox is for the novice crafter. I have no talent whatsoever and this just might fill that novice void. What do you all think?

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    Replies
    1. It has been quite awhile since I checked it out. From what I received, I think even a novice could do better spending the money on a class at Micheal's or JoAnns or the local craft shop. Or just buy something interesting and play with it. There are lots of internet resources to help you figure out projects. Buy paint and then google paint tutorials.

      That said, perhaps the quality has gone up and you get more value for your investment. Please, if you try it, stop back and let us know how it goes.

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