Craftsman Crate: Hands-on Skills for Teens {Review}

Boys can be challenging to raise.  Even as a baby, our son has been constantly on the go and always wanting more - more adventure, more action, more building stuff....and since hitting the teens years, more food!  I love the encouragement I received a few years ago from reading Hal and Melanie Young's book, Raising Real Men: Surviving, Teaching, and Appreciating Boys.  I learned that my boy whom we affectionately referred to as, "Noise with Dirt on It", was a completely normal boy and we gained some wonderful insight on how to raise him to follow the plan God has for him as he grows into a man.  

After reading their book, I signed up to receive Hal and Melanie's email newsletter and it was through this newsletter that I learned about their new subscription kits for teens called Craftsman Crate.  This isn't like any other subscription kit I've ever seen.  It isn't just building a little model with cardboard.  This one teaches real hands-on artisan skills and it is designed specifically with teens in mind.  Of course, Nicholas was excited help me review this product for you so keep reading!

Nicholas was thrilled to see that he received a wood burning crate.  Wood burning is also known as pyrography which means "fire writing" and since Nicholas loves learning about fire he was anxious to dive into the kit.  

The kit came in a nice wooden box and included everything he needed to create several wood burning projects...which means Mom didn't have to make a run to the craft store - yay!  The Wood Burning Crate comes with a wood burning tool, different tips, practice wood, a wooden plaque to decorate, carbon paper, and a sheet of designs that could be transferred to the wood for a pattern to burn.  Of course, the wooden box it arrived in can also be decorated with wood burning as well.

The kit includes basic instructions on how to use everything but there were no detailed lesson plans that walk you step-by-step through a particular project.  Some people might be disappointed to hear that but my son dislikes those kind of kits.  He is an independent learner so he loved being able to just plug in the tool and go.  He used the test wood to experiment with the different tips and he improved his skills as he went along.

Nicholas made this piece just for me and decorated it with flowers!  He knows how to melt his mama's heart! ❤ He said he drew the flowers on the board with a pencil so he could erase any mistakes before he started burning.

He drew those flowers freehand but the kit includes some patterns and carbon paper that you can use to transfer designs to the wood for burning.  

Nicholas plays ice hockey and we love to watch the Dallas Stars NHL hockey team so it was no surprise to me that he wanted to burn the Dallas Stars logo on his plaque.  He found their logo online, copied it into a word processing document where he easily resized it to fit his wooden plaque.  He printed it and cut away some of the extra paper.  He placed the carbon paper under the logo and then pressed with a pencil around the edges of the logo.  This transferred the design through the carbon paper onto the wood.

He then used the wood burning tool with different tips to create the finished logo on the plaque.  He had so much fun with this project and he is looking forward to continuing to improve his skills.

I am really impressed with the Craftsman Crate subscription.  The kits include everything needed for the project and they introduce fun skills that teens might not normally have any exposure to otherwise.  For example, some of the other kits include chain mail and wood carving!  A new kit arrives each month and there is no long term commitment so you can cancel the subscription at any time.  The subscription costs just $39.97/month which includes the cost for shipping.

For more information, please check out the Craftsman Crate website

Disclaimer: We received one Craftsman Crate for free for the purpose of this review.  This review is entirely our own opinion.  We were under no obligation to say anything in particular about this product.  We do not make any commission if you purchase this product.  We just really like these kits and wanted to share it with you.

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