DIY Kits, great for cabin fever

Hello all! Winter is full on here, which means cold temps, short days and frequent overcast skies. As you may tell, it’s not my fave season….. at all. However, I do have to admit, I love the crisp winter air, very blue skies (when we have them) and the occasional snowfall, which we are getting this morning. I find myself mostly hibernating this time of year. Great time to get household chores done such as sorting, donating unused items and organizing. All of which I have been doing. With few things to do, chore-wise, outside I also put more attention into my jewelry making.

Last year I noticed several companies and independent sellers putting together and selling kits and subscription boxes for DIY jewelry makers. I would take a look-see, but wondered if I would like making something that someone else designed and where others could all make the same thing. They looked well thought out and put together, but I didn’t take the plunge, cost often being one of the main prohibitive factors. I then saw the kits offered by Czech Beads Exclusive (now known as Kraftika). As I’ve mentioned before, I’m a Czech bead fan and so these kits caught my eye. I had a hard time justifying making the commitment to a monthly subscription. Didn’t I already have a boat load of beads/findings as it was? However, there is something seductive about receiving all I need and the exact amount to make projects that were put together for me and mailed to my home. So, I decided to do Kraftika’s monthly subscription of their Bohemstyle boxes. They have the option to cancel anytime, so you’re not committed to receiving any more than you actually want.

I started to receive my boxes last Fall. I opened them right away, but did not put together the pieces. Then the holidays started to roll around and travel and I got busy with life. So each month I’d open my box, but put them aside and not make the projects!! By Christmas I had three unmade subscription boxes sitting on my workstation. Oy! I got a bit overwhelmed, so I cancelled my subscription and vowed to get these pieces made.

So, here is a photo of the contents of the December Bohemstyle box I received. Each box comes with a link to a video on what the design is and how to make them. There are also videos on YouTube of these subscription boxes being opened and revealed each month by Aleshia of beadifulnights. As you can see, it includes beads, stringing material, and all the necessary findings including crimps, crimp covers, jump rings, clasps, etc. It really is fun to open and be surprised as to what the pieces will be and to see the beautiful beads inside. It’s a little different feel than opening a package of items you specifically picked out and ordered, no surprise there. For this particular box, the pieces were a matching necklace and bracelet. I chose not to make the bracelet, as I prefer to have earrings that coordinate with my necklaces. So, after watching the how to video I decided to use some of my own materials, mixed with their beads and make a pair of earrings instead. The leftover materials from the box will be used in some other design. So, what do you think? I’m just loving the iridescent sheen of the leaves and flowers. For a December box, this was such a Spring-like design. Of course these are all Czech beads, so very good quality and style. All the materials were top notch, altho I found the head pins to be a finer gauge and therefore a bit flimsy. I prefer a heavier gauge. No problem if you have findings of your own to switch out and use, which is what I did. Other than that, the necklace is all the materials they sent me. For the earrings, since they were not part of the subscription box design, I used my own wire, eye pin and earring wires. Of course, they only send you the materials. All the necessary tools are things you have to have on hand. I liked having the video to follow as well. That way, you are putting the piece together as they intended. The bracelet was cute and looked like the necklace, but as I said that was not something I was interested in making.

Subscription box reveal

I just loved these beads and enjoyed making this project. I’ve started the second box which has some gorgeous beads and a beautiful design. I will post photos of that in the future. I hope you are inspired to try this or other subscription boxes and see what the designers come up with for you. Let it also spark your own creativity in the process.

Happy beading!! ~Holly G

Pondering while watching the snow fall- “Winter is the time of comfort, for good food and warmth, for the touch of a friendly hand and for a talk beside the fire. It is the time for home.” ~ Edith Sitwell

HBG Jewelry

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