I don't have any kids, but I do have a soft spot for kid-oriented crafts. Maybe it's that my mom is a preschool teacher or maybe it's that my inner crafty child never grew up. Whatever the reason, I love kid crafts!
That's why when the folks at Green Kid Crafts offered to send me a sample box to try out, I jumped at the chance! Founded in 2010, Green Kid Crafts is a subscription service that sends craft kits to your door every month. You sign up, and at the end of each month a box of craft projects shows up on your doorstep. Pretty cool, right?
What's in the box?
The boxes and all of the printed materials that come with the subscription are printed on recycled paper, and it comes with a guide to some secondary recycled crafts you can make to go with the ones in the box. For example, she suggests making a treasure map on a reclaimed paper grocery bag to go along with the Pirate Loot project.
The projects change every month, of course, but here's what came in my box from Green Kid Crafts:
They sent me three projects: pirate loot, wooden wind chime, and a DIY scrapbook. Each project lists the materials included and directions on a card. Each project is individually wrapped in a plant-derived cellulose bags that are biodegradable and will break down in your backyard compost bin.
I was super excited to open my box, but as I started going through the contents my enthusiasm faded a bit. After talking to Penny, the owner, though, I'm feeling a lot better about my crafty box. Here's what's in the box and a bit of what Penny and I talked about.
Wind Chime Project:
- Wood for the base and for decorating - The wood they use right now come from a company called Discount School Supplies. She likes them because they have an environmental program, but sourcing sustainable wood is very hard to do. She's working with a company to source more sustainable wood, and also said that if there are any crafters out there who work with sustainable wood and are looking for an outlet for their scrap wood, to please get in touch with her - she'd love to partner with you!
- Foil spangles and sequins - These are metal, but they're coated in plastic. These also come from Discount School Supply. Sounds like maybe she got misled here. This is the first time she's used these and didn't realize they had a plastic coating. She's not going to be ordering these again
- Paper mache accordion book - She's not 100% sure about this paper. It also came from Discount School Supply. She went with her gut on this one but wasn't sure if the paper is recycled or FSC-certified.
- Recycled and salvaged ribbon
- Fabric squares - Almost all of their fabric and ribbon comes from artist friends - they are fabric scraps that she buys from them in bulk.
- Allergen-free stickers
- Recycled paper
- Recycled collage stamps
Pirate Loot Project
- Recycled paper
- "Bones" patch - this is a design printed on recycled printer paper.
- Wool yarn - Some wool products come with a hefty side of animal cruelty, so depending on the company, wool isn't always the greenest.
- Cruelty-free feather -Their feathers come from a Minnesota rabbi who raises his own birds and collects the feathers humanely. No, for real. How awesome is that?
Green Craft Kids is a one-woman operation, and Penny teams up sometimes with other moms in the community to market and package the crafts. She was super open to talking about sourcing and improving the materials, which I thought was super cool. The company and the boxes are a constant work in progress as she tries to balance demand with sourcing the more eco-friendly materials she can.