Family DIY fun crafts and projects
Mar 8, 2012
Whimseybox Craft Fun Surprises for Families
This subscription based craft supply monthly mailing is winning over DIY kids and parents alike. Metro Parent does a Q&A with founder Alicia DiRago!
When I first heard about Whimseybox, I signed up as soon as I possibly could – and then waited for my mail carrier every day, hoping THAT day would be the day for my first shipment to arrive.
If you haven't heard about Whimseybox yet, it's a subscription-based craft supply monthly mailing created by Alicia DiRago of Houston, Texas. A former Midwesterner, Alicia is the force behind Dismount Creative, a DIY company she founded that offers crafty classes, events and news from her blog. While Alicia's background is in engineering, her heart has always belonged to crafting.
I've received two Whimseybox shipments so far, and have to put them to good use. As Alicia talks about, how often do you get something fun in the mail these days? That got me thinking – if I love getting craft supplies in the mail every month, I bet junior crafters would love it, too!
I asked Alicia to share some thoughts on Whimseybox and on how she thinks her great idea will inspire others, of all ages, to be creative every day.
What exactly is Whimseybox?
|Whimseybox is a monthly subscription to sample craft supplies. I don't know about you, but all that comes in the mail at my house is bills or junk mail. So I thought it would be fun to get a package of craft products to play with every month. So far, we've included everything from fabric and trim to paint and glitter. It's a fun reminder to take some time and get creative.|
We love to see what Whimseyboxers do with the products in each box; as you can imagine, we have an incredibly creative community of crafters. But if you aren't sure where to start, you can always check out the Whimseybox Project Gallery on our website, where we post step-by-step tutorials for projects using the materials from our boxes.
Why did you start Whimseybox?
I started Whimseybox because I wished there was a something like it! I've been writing my DIY, design and style blog, Dismount Creative, for about a year and a half. One of the projects I participated in was a blogger challenge hosted by M&J Trim, a business in New York that sells, well – trim! They sent a few bloggers a box of different trims to craft with, and a few weeks later, we all posted our projects.
I had such a good time opening up the box to see what was inside. I also enjoyed being able try new supplies that I might not have otherwise bought. And, at the end, I loved seeing how each of the bloggers created such different projects – even though we all started with the same materials. I thought, "Why couldn't everyone have this experience?"
What can Whimseybox subscribers expect in the mail each month?
Every month, we send four to five different products in our signature box, along with a collectible piece of art. We feature a new artist every month and hope that their work inspires you. All of the craft products are carefully wrapped, because we want the experience of opening your Whimseybox to be like opening a gift.
Finally, the box itself is meant to be saved and reused for organizing your supplies – there's even a metal label holder on the end to make it simple to keep all of your crafty products easy to find. As for the craft products in each box? You'll never know until you open it! If you can use it for crafting and it fits in the box, then you might find it in your next Whimseybox.
What kinds of projects have crafters made with the supplies so far?
We've seen so much already, it's hard to believe it's only been a few months! In fact, we're going to start highlighting user projects on our blog each Monday. Projects that users have made include framed artwork, jewelry, headbands, placemats, giftwrap and more.
How do you think Whimseybox inspires creativity?
I think Whimseybox does a few things to inspire creativity. First, it's a regular reminder to exercise your creativity. I work full-time on Whimseybox now, but I used to be a chemical engineer that spent long hours at a plant. Even though crafting has been something I've enjoyed my entire life, I found that sometimes months would go by between projects. I needed a regular creative outlet, but too often, crafting fell to the side while I did "more important" things.
Whimseybox shows up each month to inspire you to take some time to be creative. You can incorporate the materials into a project you're already working on, try a project from our website, get together with a group of friends or even share a box with your kids. My hope for Whimseybox is that it is a catalyst that helps people find a way to enjoy creating in the way that fits their life.
How could a family enjoy a Whimseybox?
I don't have any kids of my own yet, but I do have tons in my extended family – and my favorite way to spend time with them is working on crafty projects. Whimseybox is a great tool for families to enjoy together. Why not sit down together one night with the box and hold a craft challenge? Have everyone make a silly headpiece, design a family logo or decorate a greeting card.
Why do you think it's important to try new craft supplies?
I think it's fun to try new craft supplies! In crafting, just like in life, it's easy to keep doing the same things. I went to craft stores for almost 30 years before I ever picked up a piece of polymer clay, and now I can't get enough of it. Trying new supplies gives your brain a chance to think differently and break from routine. It doesn't always result in a masterpiece or new passion, but you'll never know unless you try.
How can you sign up for Whimseybox?
Right now Whimseybox is still in beta, which means that you need an invitation to join. We aren't trying to be exclusive; we just want to make sure that we don't sell more Whimseyboxes than we can make each month! To request an invitation, visit the Whimseybox website and enter your email. We send out a new batch of invitations about once a week.