Editor’s note: the author taught workshops for The Crafter’s Box in 2016 and 2017.
Bluprint has launched a Premium annual subscription, adding a third tier to their membership options. The subscription includes four highly-curated project boxes a year for an annual fee of $199.
As noted in our 2019 craft trend report, shoppers are continuing to search out creative experiences, often prioritizing “experiences over things”. A new crop of high-quality crafting kits has emerged from this demand, including a premium workshop from The Crafter’s Box. Bluprint is growing their presence in the craft kit marketplace with their new Premium offering.
Bluprint Premium subscribers can select one of five craft project kits each quarter. Each kit contains all the materials and step-by-step instructions needed to complete the project. This season’s projects include embroidery, quilting, sewing, knitting, and crochet.
Vargas Wilson teaches across craft categories
Unlike their past course offerings, Bluprint’s Premium craft projects are not taught by the individual pattern designers. Each Premium kit is paired with a step-by-step video course taught by Vanessa Vargas Wilson. Undaunted by the varied techniques, Wilson is a skilled craft educator, and leads students through each of the five projects confidently.
“Teaching five different classes was fun for me because I already do all of the crafts and I enjoy working on new projects,” Wilson said.
“Because I consider myself a teacher before anything else, it doesn’t matter what the specific content is that I’m teaching. I love breaking down the projects into easy to understand steps for my students.” said Vargas Wilson
The designers behind Bluprint Premium projects
The Fly By Quilt project, one of Bluprint Premium’s initial five kits, is an adapted version of Kristi Schroeder Larson’s pattern for Initial K Studio. Via phone, Schroeder Larson confirmed that the patterns in the Premium kit feature a “designer spotlight.” The cross-branded pattern features the designer’s photo, bio, and social media info.
During the reporting process for this article, Premium project designers were made aware that they were initially uncredited on the Bluprint site. Some of the designers reached out to Bluprint, and credit was subsequently added. Each designer now receives a credit as the designer on the video course page for their project.
Larson shared that she was pleased with the collaboration. “Bluprint was great to work with. I was upfront with them from the beginning about my limited time as the pattern designer, and that I wasn’t available to sew a sample, and didn’t receive any pushback. As a new mom working part time, they made our collaboration easy and stress free,” Schroeder Larson said.
Michelle Moore, designer of Bluprint Premium’s Hudson Wrap project, also had positive things to say about her collaboration. “I’ve had a great working relationship with them. My first kit with them was my mermaid tail blanket and I have several kits with them now. I’m able to keep the rights to my patterns and I’m paid a portion of my pattern price for every kit they sell. I’m very happy with our arrangement as the kits have done really well,” Moore said.
Reaction from members
Each Premium video class ranges from 20 – 38 minutes. In addition to Vargas Wilson’s instruction, Bluprint provides helpful technique videos and resources for beginning students. As with their standard $79.99 annual subscription, Bluprint’s Premium membership also includes access to their full catalog of expert-led online crafting classes, plus free shipping and 15% off supplies in their shop.
In a Facebook post promoting Bluprint’s new Premium Subscription options, some followers shared that they were not impressed with the value of some project kits. “This looks lovely, but for sewing and embroidery, the boxes are so chintzy – both can be accomplished for under $10,” Rebecca Milam Freeman said. For their $17 a month, some Bluprint Premium customers are expecting more bang for their buck.
Morgan Spenla, founder of The Crafter’s Box shared via email that customers are becoming more discerning when it comes to quality craft materials. “We recognized the desire for curation and convenience early on by today’s contemporary crafters. The request for high quality craft kits reflects a wonderful slow crafting shift from mass production to thoughtfully, sustainably produced [materials],” Spenla said.
Erin is the textile designer and artist behind the home décor company, Cotton & Flax. She licenses her surface designs for fabric, home décor, stationery, and other clients. She’s also a teacher, writer, and enthusiastic advocate for small creative business owners. She lives in San Diego, California.