We have always liked Interplay's craft kits. There are always plenty of quality materials to play with, and it guarantees hours of fun. So it was very exciting for us to have an opportunity to review another one of their craft kit - myStyle Dreamcatcher Jewellery!
The myStyle Dreamcatcher Jewellery Craft Kit (RRP £9.99, suitable for 8+ years old) comes in a beautiful and sturdy box, containing enough (plus more!) materials to make a pair of earrings, 2 necklaces and 2 bracelets, and a coloured instruction booklet with step by step pictured instructions.
It is suggested that you only need a pair of scissors on top of the kit to make the projects, but it will make some parts easier if you have a craft plier as well.
When we opened the kit, we were really happy with everything. There are a lot of pretty materials, and for £9.99 only! We love the cute silver feather charms, beautiful feathers, choice of threads and the mix of colours. The pictures of the finished products looked amazing as well!
Abby couldn't wait to get started. We also like it that the instruction booklet came with a ruler line (40cm) on the first page, so that she can measure the threads without needing to find a long ruler. It gives her a real life situation to practise her Maths too (how do I get 50cm with a 40cm ruler?).
Seeing that she's really excited about this kit made me really happy. It's like I've chosen the perfect gift! Although I have made them before (not really good at it!), I thought I should let Abby have a go at it first, and see how far she can go without help. Interplay's instructions are normally quite easy to follow, but then I also knew that dreamcatchers' web pattern isn't the easiest thing to make (they can be quite fiddly to keep in place while weaving), so I was ready to guide her when she needed it.
This is the thing about children's craft kits. Although companies will do their best to make them simple enough for children to do them on their own, we should always be prepared to offer our help. It's a great time to spend together too.
As expected, Abby got stuck at the web pattern. The instruction for the web (one of the easiest pattern that is weaved loosely) was simple but not quite detailed enough:
So I tried it myself, hoping to guide Abby after. It's a very easy to make design when you know what you need to do, and with the loop being small, there isn't much weaving to do compared to other designs (like the one I made after). I think if they put another 2 pictures in, perhaps between the last 2, it will make it more obvious to the children what they need to do, which isn't as complicated as they think.
The loose design has its problem of course, because the pattern wouldn't stay in place. But the overall design, including the feathers, made this necklace look quite pretty!
Usually, when I make jewellery with threads that frays, I'd burn the end of the cords so the knot will stay put. It's a fairly dangerous thing to do even for adults though. So, to keep the jewellery from falling apart, you can either keep a longer end sticking out from the knot, or perhaps dip the tip in melted wax?
The clasps held the feathers surprisingly well and they haven't fallen apart yet. For some of them, a craft plier will be handy as you can make sure that the clasp holds onto the feather tightly, but otherwise you can also add strong adhesive glue inside the clasp before closing it onto the feather.
I wanted to try a tighter web pattern and see whether it'll be easier for Abby to make. It really isn't because she will need to keep the thread taunt while weaving at the same time, and there is much more weaving to do to fill the hole. It certainly looked neater though, and the bead stayed put too:
|Right: Bracelet extended|
We still have another 3 projects to make from the kit, but seeing that Abby won't be wearing earrings, we can easily use the materials to make another 4 dreamcatchers.
Overall, I think an 8 year old shouldn't have a problem making the dreamcatcher jewellery. They will need to be a bit patient though as it can get a bit fiddly, especially with the web pattern and the knots. The finished products will be really worth it, and it will be time well spent. It's definitely value for money, and with the pretty and sturdy box, it will make a great present for budding jewellers.