Subscriptions may seem like an old-fashioned idea, but the model still has surprising traction. You can currently get movies (Netflix), radio shows (iTunes), audiobooks (Audible), and e-books (Oyster) across a variety of devices. Even in the “real” world, services like NatureBox and Trunk Club in the US can deliver snacks and stylist-approved clothes straight to your door.
Luckily for parents, two international school teachers from Shanghai
have taken this concept and applied it to crafts. Natalie Cradick (UK) and Mae Rudillas (Philippines) are the co-founders of Craft’d, a Shanghai-based company that delivers monthly subscription boxes filled with DIY projects for 5- to 10-year-olds. The boxes cost RMB 120 for one month, RMB 330 for three months, or RMB 630 for six months. Delivery is RMB 20 anywhere within China.
Cradick and Rudillas got the idea for Craft’d after hosting regular craft meetups in Shanghai and being asked to run workshops at Christmas bazaars. “We liked the idea of children having something to look forward to working on each month,” writes Cradick in an email. “We also liked the idea that children could have a time for some weekly creativity with all the resources ready-made and packaged, as we know from experience how tricky it can be to get all the things you need here!”
The teachers source their ideas from brainstorming sessions, seasonal events, activities they’ve done with their own students, direct feedback from kids, and websites like Pinterest and Instagram. The materials are bought on Taobao and in Shanghai’s Yuyuan Market.
Craft’d sent us their February craft box, which contained six projects: a Spring Festival-themed sheep, color wheels, a DIY mini-loom, stained glass hearts, a painted clock, and 3D pop-up cards. Younger kids will need help completing some of the more elaborate crafts.
The company also offers travel kits for ages 7-10. “We brainstormed ideas of crafts that would be possible for children to complete in a small space (i.e. a plane tray table) and things that could be reused,” says Cradick. “We came up with the idea of a canvas backpack and t-shirt with fabric pens so that children have something to decorate and take on each holiday.” Other items include a DIY board game with a laminated, reversible template and erasable markers; a blank Top Trumps deck for kids to customize (a numerical card game in which players try to “trump” each other); blank postcards; a choice between two puzzle books; photo frames to decorate; and more.
Craft’d actively works with charities; their regular workshops fund weekly arts and crafts classes at a Shanghai migrant school and, for each craft box the company sells, a stationary pack is donated to a migrant school teacher as part of an annual charity drive run by an NGO called the Giving Tree. In the future, Craft’d plans to offer adult craft kits and specialized kids’ kits (e.g. sewing and science) and open a studio in Shanghai.