For the Makers Box Review

For the Makers August 2014 Box Review

For my birthday this year, my amazing friend Nicole T. (I’m bffs with three different Nicoles so they require last name differentiation. Heathers anyone?) got me a 3 month subscription to the For the Makers monthly box.  For the Makers is a crafter’s dream, a kit containing all of the raw materials necessary to make four different DIY projects! Needless to say I was super stoked when I received the email letting me know that my first box was on its way.

First impressions –

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I’m really surprised they crammed so many things in the box this came in! This month’s collection is called Veritas, which immediately makes me think of Boondock Saints. Ha.

For-the-Makers-August-3The projects for this month include:

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1. A notebook with a marbled cover

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2. Pencils wrapped with marbled paper

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3. A locket with a marbled front

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4. A little felt pennant.

These people are really into the marbling thing. I have to admit that my control freak brain was a little wary of the somewhat haphazard nature of marbling paper, and the fact that THREE of the month’s crafts revolved around my ability (or lack thereof) to marble properly.

Both the chain and the locket charm for the marbled locket project are divine. I’m really picky about jewelry and was worried that the materials provided would be chintzy, but the chain is a really cute delicate faceted ball chain, and the locket seems sturdy. I appreciated the fact that while you only need 1 for the project, For the Makers provided me with at least 12 jump rings, I’m guessing because they’re tiny and can easily be misshaped or misplaced.

I won’t go into detail about the individual processes because you can find tutorials for this month’s box here, but I do have some observations.

I have to say that the marbling technique didn’t necessarily turn out as consistent as I’d planned. Luckily, For the Makers supplied multiple pieces of paper to test the marbling technique, and enough of them turned out well enough that I was able to complete the applicable projects. What I was most disappointed in, was the project I most anticipated – the Veritas Journal. Unfortunately, the brown cover of the notebook did not lend itself well to the marbling process, as the colors seem quite muddy and muted with brown kraft paper as a backdrop.

JK! I wrote that before the notebook and other marbled pages had fully dried because I’m an impatient little minx. Once everything dried for 24 hours and I pressed the pages in a heavy book, life was hunky dory. So, don’t panic if you got this month’s box and you feel like you screwed up your marbling. Chances are everything’s okay! Wait for your paper to dry first before passing judgment! I probably just needed more practice, but I do feel like the entire marbling process was a bit of a crapshoot – I was getting different results from each batch, with seemingly no way to tell how they would turn out before taking the plunge. Luckily, even my screw ups turned out pretty in their own way, and for the pencils and locket, you really only need a few slivers of paper so you’re bound to find some part of the pattern that you like.

Tips –

If I had to do it over again, I’d start with a fresh batch of cornstarch and paint before trying to marble the notebook cover, and I’d make sure the paint was well saturated on the surface of the cornstarch. After the first marbling dip, the cornstarch mixture was pretty much blue all over, so it was difficult to tell whether there was an adequate amount of paint on the surface to actually cover whatever was going in next.

When dipping the notebook, I covered the inner pages with saran wrap to keep them from getting wet, both with the cornstarch mixture/paint, during the rinsing process, and again during the drying process. I dipped both front and back covers of the notebook at once, and it would’ve been impossible to dry without getting the inner pages wet if I didn’t protect them somehow. Even if you only marble the front cover, the marbling process is messy so I do highly recommend saran wrapping the inner pages no matter what.

Make sure you use the thicker paper provided to cover your pencils. I was a bit confused because I received four pieces of the thinner paper and only two of the thicker, so I assumed that the thinner pages were for the four pencils. After working with both, the thinner paper tended to stretch, rip and wrinkle more easily than the thicker sheets. I liked the designs on the thinner paper better so I just dealt with a little wrinkling on my pencils and it’s honestly fine.

When marbling, choose whatever colors make you happy! I skipped one of the suggested colors and substituted a metallic rose gold, and was really pleased with the hints of shine on my finished pieces.

Have FUN with these projects. Feel free to add or change things if it suits your fancy. I added a few finishing touches to my pieces that weren’t in the provided instructions and I’m really happy with how they turned out…

…which leads us to the final products!

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Though I wasn’t initially all that enthused about this project, I’ve fallen in love with this little notebook after making a few tweaks to make the project my own. The light picks up the glimmer from the rose gold paint that I added to the marbling mixture, which flows well with the copper tape that I added around the edges of the cover to tie the piece together.

For-the-makers-14I’m SO happy with the way the locket looks. For the Makers includes a tip with their tutorial to cut a template of the locket shape and use that to isolate and select the portion of marbling to use. This helped me visualize the exact pattern I wanted on the front of the locket and I’m loving the final result.

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These pencils turned out to be the hip adult equivalent of Lisa Frank school supplies. The process itself was super simple but provides a huge visual payoff. I feel as excited about these as I did with neon dolphin folders in elementary school, and I’m cool with it. I officially declare that I’m going to cover every pencil I own from now on. I have a ton of random sketchbook pages of watercolor test swatches that I had no idea what to do with but couldn’t bear to get rid of, so I decided to cover the last pencil with a few colors I swatched and previously had no way to showcase. Love. LOVE. Just, read this tutorial and do me a favor and cover all of your pencils with designs of your choosing. Your inner 9 year old can thank me later.

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So, I slacked and didn’t make the pennant, because I just plain ran out of time. I’ll probably get to it later on this week this week, but until then, here’s the pic of what it’s supposed to look like from the For the Makers site.

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I can’t wait to see what next month’s projects will be! I can definitely see myself renewing this subscription once my gift subscription ends. I highly recommend For the Makers for anyone looking to inject more creativity and fun DIY projects into their lives!


On a completely unrelated note, I’ve been doing some work recently for Blog Partner Nicole’s brother Chris at his still-under-construction house. Nicole visited me at the job site today to have lunch, and imagine our surprise when up wandered a stray chicken from next door neighbor Michelle’s house! We named her Goblet, because we figured Giblet was too cruel, and Nicole fed her bits of Five Guys french fries by hand. Goblet stole our hearts because it seemed like all she wanted was a human friend (or food). She just kept coming back over and over to hang out with us <3.

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Elizabeth
Blogger at Merit + Fork
The Merit of Merit + Fork, Elizabeth's posts are driven by her innate need to just make stuff.

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