Reviewing Darby Smart & Darby Girl

WHEW, it HAS been a super crafty week here at Pocketful of Joules! I’m kind of exhausted from the craftiness…

I actually received these boxes from Darby Smart the week of Christmas and they’ve been sitting there silently judging me for weeks. With Jack running around the house, I couldn’t exactly break out the fabric paint and go to town, right?

The Marquee Sign Box
The first box I received is the grown-up version, the Darby Smart box for making your own marquee sign. Marquee signs are HUGE right now – you can find DIY versions all over Pinterest – so I was pretty excited to see a kit that included everything I needed to make one.

Included in the kit:

  • Awl (not an owl… an awl, which is a pokey knife thingie)
  • Metallic pen
  • LED lights
  • Oversized alphabet stencils
  • 2 foam boards (one for practice)

I actually got two of these kits, so I gave one to my sister. Kelsey is about to graduate from James Madison University (JMU) with a BS in Nursing AND a BS in Kinesiology (what can I say, we are a family of overachievers!), so she decided to do a special JMU pride marquee sign:

darby kelseySuper cute, right? I’ve been debating on what to do for my marquee. I’m torn between doing it Christmas themed (maybe “Joy”), one for Jack’s room (“JACK”) or one to go on one of our gallery walls (“Love”)… but right now I’m kind of stuck in indecision. OOOH, or I could do one for my office that simply says “WORK” or maybe even “WERK” to keep it sassy…

The “Let’s Get Framed” Box
Darby Smart recently launched, Darby Girl, a craft club for teens. You can purchase a box for one month, six months (3 boxes) or one year (6 boxes) and boxes start at $16. This is a really cool gift for a teen or tween in your life who loves to craft… and reasonably priced too!

The box I received was the “Let’s Get Framed” box, which contains everything you need to make mini bulletin boards.

Included in this kit:

  • 2 fabric dyes
  • Stretchy elastic
  • Fabric
  • Cork tiles
  • E6000 glue
  • Beads in a Bottle (which is like old-school puffy paint)

I’m going to be honest… I still haven’t found time to do this kit. I know, BAD blogger! But the kit is really designed for a teen, so it seems silly to do the kit and then just have it sitting around the house. So, here’s the deal – if you have a teen or tween that would love to do this kit, leave me a comment below. I’ll pick someone and send the kit to you to enjoy!

With just a little work, THIS is what you could end up with:

darby girl - samplesThere are also some really cool examples in the Darby Smart Showroom. So check them out and see what other people came up with!

Today’s post marks the end of my craftinista week. Although I don’t typically do “theme” weeks on the blog, this was kind of fun! In fact, I’m kind of accidently continuing the theme thing next week, but instead of being DIY projects, it’s going to be all about fashion because I just had an AWESOME Twice order delivered and I will be receiving my January Stitch Fix box too.

Tell me, do you like the “theme” week thing or do you prefer I just write about whatever strikes me each particular day? Would your teen/tween like the Darby Girl box? Let me know in the comments!

1/13/14 Update: Okay, I just wrote names on pieces of paper and made my dog pick one with his nose… The winner is: Ryan Richael! I’ll be emailing you directly to get your mailing address so I can pop this in the mail for your daughter!

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Reviewing Darby Smart: Making Soy Candles

I consider myself kind of a crafty person. I mean, I rocked the crap out of making my own lip balm and painting a pretty tote bag, right? So when the nice people at Darby Smart contacted me asking if I’d like to try out one of their kits, I only hesitated a few minutes.

Then, they sent me this video….

I’m not even kidding when I say I watched it a few times and giggled nonstop. It’s SO me!

So that is the story of how I came to try my hand at candle making.
You think that this isn’t going to go well, don’t you?
Well, you’re a little bit right.

When I received my box, I was super excited to try it out. However, you can’t exactly throw together some hot wax candles while also chasing after an active toddler… so it took me almost a month before I was able to even open the box.

Darby Smart box openedThe instructions seemed pretty straightforward. Well, except for the part of using a “microwave safe glass container.” I don’t have one of those fancy glass containers, but I figured I could use an old Tupperware and it would be fine. {insert ominous music here}

Darby Smart instructionsThey provided me with four different scents to try: bacon, spiced pumpkin, a dozen roses and French vanilla. I decided to mix the spiced pumpkin and French vanilla for my first try…

Darby Smart - scentsSo, I grabbed an old plastic bowl and threw in a few handfuls of wax. Yeah, that’s right I’m living on the edge with the whole ‘not measuring’ thing.

Darby Smart - waxThen, I put it in the microwave for the instructed four minutes and wandered around munching on candy corn. When the microwave dinged, I realized that I might have misjudged the awesomeness of my plastic bowl.

Darby Smart - melted bowlOopsie. So, after cleaning out the entire microwave… I started again with a thicker plastic bowl…

Darby Smart - wax againI put that big ol’ boy in the microwave for just ONE minute this time and started shaving my colored wax (while eating a few more candy corn).

Darby Smart - shave waxThe wax wasn’t quite melted yet, but after just 45 more seconds it was fully liquid AND my bowl was still intact! I grabbed the scents and splashed in some spiced pumpkin, followed by some French vanilla. Nope, I didn’t measure. Just splashed in a generous dollop of each.

Darby Smart - adding scentThen, I filled up a few of the provided votives, added the shaved colors (a mix of the yellow and red) and stuck in the wicks.

Darby Smart - wicksI left them on the kitchen counter for a couple hours while I did other stuff (which may or may not have included eating more candy corn) and when I came back they were BEAUTIFUL! And they smelled darn good too.

So besides my initial mistake of melting an entire bowl in my microwave, I think I did a pretty darn good job at my first attempt at candle making! I have plenty of leftover supplies in the kit to make more candles and think I’ll try the bacon scent next.

Darby Smart - candlesIf you are interested in making your own candles or trying out another fun kit, stop by the Darby Smart website and poke around a bit.

Disclosure: I was provided a Darby Smart kit to review; however all thoughts and opinions in this review are my own. I am not rewarded or compensated in any way if you click through to purchase a Darby Smart kit.

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