Monday, March 18, 2013

Scrapbooking Kit Club Round-up

Hi everyone!  I just love buying scrapbooking kits (when my budget allows, that is! lol) so I thought it might be fun to do a round up on all the different scrapbooking kit clubs out there.  I always see people posting about this new kit, this new club, blah blah but I always wanted one centralized place where all the information I cared about was easily accessible.  Hopefully I can accomplish that today! 

I'm going to post my personal top ten favorite kit clubs with some information about each such as pros, cons, contents/size of kit, cost, blog/community, etc. At the end of the post I'll put up 5 links or so to other scrapbooking kit clubs you might want to check out if none of these fits your fancy-- they're not really my style but maybe they'll be perfect for you! I will be putting up links to the home page, specific kits, messageboards, blogs, and the like for each company so I hope you will be able to browse through each selection with ease :)
 If I forgot YOUR favorite kit club, please let me know so I can check them out next! I love to drool over scrapbooking kits :D   So without further ado, here are my top ten (in no particular order)

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Noel Mignon


(this is her latest kit, Daffodil Hill which I couldn't resist snagging up myself)

This is the kit club I speak about most often on my blog (a good 80% of my projects are made using Noel's kits).  The kits are large, with a minimum of 20 sheets of patterned paper, 5 sheets of cardstock, 2 alphabet sets, one type of art supply (mist, paint, ink, etc) and loads and loads of embellishments (typically this includes an assortment of buttons, brads, stickers, ribbon/twine, flowers, a stamp set, vintage finds, etc).  Noel's kits are very well coordinated and extremely easy to work with.  She has unique color and product combinations and each kit is large enough to use over and over again, which I love.  Plus her kits are always packed with new products and she is very good at keeping up to date with trends.  Because the kits are so large you don't need to worry about Add-Ons, you just get your kit and you're good to go for the month (at least!).

You can subscribe to the kits for 6 month blocks of time (this includes a kit discount and discounted shipping) but you don't HAVE to.  You can order the kit one time only; however you will be paying an extra $6 and they sell out within a few days usually.

Noel Mignon also has a great messageboard, shop, blog (updated daily M-F), and group challenges including sketches.

The downside to Noel Mignon (and the only one that I can see) is that the kits are expensive, $64.99/month for non subscribers ($58.99 for subscribers) but a good value.

Studio Calico

(The latest kit, Neverland)

I've gotten a kit or two from Studio Calico before and they are well coordinated.  They are on the smaller side compared to NM, but you can choose to buy up to 4 additional Add-Ons as well.  The color schemes are always clean and modern plus they're filled with newer product, and many exclusive "for Studio Calico" products by big manufacturers, which is pretty cool.  Typically the kits include 8 sheets or so of patterned paper, 4 sheets of cardstock, stamp set, alpha set, and a variety of embellies.

You can subscribe to Studio Calico's kits for $29.50 per month.  You can also order kits one time only.  My problem here is that the kits sell out almost immediately (usually within a few hours), so while in theory could order the kits and add-ons without a subscription sometimes it is not always easy to do in practice.  However if you are a subscriber you get first choice of add-ons before the general public.  Subscribers also get a discount on online classes and digital items.  After 12 months of subscribing you become a Rewards customer and get even more discounts.

Studio Calico also has a shop, a lively messageboard, challenges, and a very inspirational blog (updated daily) with a fantastic and creative design team.  Studio Calico also offers Project Life and Card Making kits, however I've heard that the waitlist can be very long to subscribe.

The downside of Studio Calico in my opinion is price.  I'm not sure why these kits are so expensive because they seem pretty small to me.  Like I said, they're nice kits with cool product, but when I compare a Studio Calico kit that costs $34.50 with a Noel Mignon kit that costs $64.99, and there's almost triple the amount of product in the Noel Mignon kit I wonder why SC costs as much as it does.  Also, with Studio Calico once you buy the main kit and one add-on you're on par with what NM costs, but you're getting less product.

Gossamer Blue



Gossamer Blue is one of the newer kit clubs around and I just adore their style! They offer kits and add-ons of about moderate size (10 sheets of patterned paper, 4 sheets of cardstock, an alphabet, and an assortment of embellishments).  The style is very clean and modern and I really like that about them, plus their add ons are really fun (for example, they have a 'color kit' add-on each month based around a certain color. Gold and black have both been recent color focuses).  They base each month off of a color palette, which you can find in the "Look Book" which is updated with sneaks throughout the month before the reveal.  This is a fun way of crafting and they usually fill the kits with new and trendy products.

Gossamer Blue has a blog (which is not regularly updated, however this seems to be changing as of late and I'm seeing daily posts now), a great design team, and a small online store.  You can subscribe to their kits for $29.95 or buy stand alone kits for $34.95.  Incentives for joining the club are free shipping for add-ons and the ability to purchase add ons before the general public.  Another fun perk is that for every 20 layouts (4 per month for 5 months) you post to the gallery you get a free album to store those 20 layouts. 

Each Gossamer Blue Main Kit also comes with digital files which can be used either printed or as a cutting file.  This is a fun addition you don't see in many other kits.

Downsides to Gossamer Blue? I'm not really sure, I really enjoy their style and Design Team plus the value is very good.  The kits do seem to sell out very quickly however so I will go with that!

Little Black Dress Kit Club


March 2013 kit, A Chance of Luck

As some of you may remember I used to be on the Design Team for Little Black Dress Kit Club! Her kits are super funky and unique.  In addition to appx 12 sheets of patterned paper, an alpha set, and embellishments, LBD also includes lots and lots of vintage finds, which can include book pages, playing cards, buttons, ribbons, and/or trims. 

LBD Kit Club has a blog, although it isn't regularly updated you can visit their facebook page to see more of the Design Team's projects.  A subscription costs $32 and you will get a kit every month.  The kits are small (I'd say you can get 4-5 layouts per kit) but the price point is good. 

The main downside to LBD I found was that the kits do not contain cardstock, which I almost always find useful.
Paper Posies


I really love the size and the style of Paper Posies kits.  Each kit contains about 9-10 sheets of patterned paper, 8 sheets of cardstock, an alpha set, flowers, ribbon, and an Altered Art project (which varies from month to month).  Something unique to Paper Posies is the altered art addition to the kit which could definitely be a lot of fun and help push your crafting into new territories.  I think the size of this kit is right in between a smaller kit (such as Scrapbtastic Club) and a larger kit (such as Noel Mignon), which I think is a good middle ground.

The cost per kit varies based on your subscirption length: One Time Buy: $42, 3 Month Sub: $38, 6 Month Sub: $34.  The discounts are actually pretty substantial between the one time buy and the 6 Month Sub.  Paper Posies has a community and a Design Team Idea Gallery.

Downsides: I think the One Time cost is a bit high, but the 6 month sub is much more reasonable.

Scrapbook Circle

March 2013 Kit - Charmed Life

Scrapbook Circle has medium sized kits filled with new, hot off the press product.  Their current kit is filled with lots of Dear Lizzy Lucky Charm (quite of few of the kits I'm featuring today are of course, because it's very new!).  Typical kits include 10 sheets of patterned paper, an alpha set, and a variety of embellishments such as die cuts, twine, and stickers.

Each monthly kit costs $34.50, a subscription costs $29.50 which is a pretty good discount.  Plus the terms of the subscription are very flexible.  Scrapbook Circle also offers an Add-On and a cardstock Add-On per month.  Since the kits don't come with cardstock I think the cardstock add-on is a good option.  Scrapbook Circle also has a regularly updated blog.

Downsides to me are 1. They don't show a full picture of the kit.  This is such a little stupid thing but it drives me nuts.  I like to see the whole kit put together to get a good feel for it, so I really hate having to only look at detail shots and then trying to put them together to gain an idea of a cohesive kit.  2. Alpha selection.  I might be pickier than most but I like my kits to have a large alpha option, not teeny tiny little letters, because that's not going to make a good title.  LBD and Scraptastic also do this and I personally prefer kits that have larger alphas or, even better, Thickers.  However, that being said, both of these could definitely be described as "Cassie Quirks" :P

Cocoa Daisy

(March 2013 kit, Sketchbook)

One of the reasons I like Cocoa Daisy is that they're quirky.  The kits are certainly unique and they match patterned paper in a very fun way.  Kits typically include 8-10 sheets of patterned paper, 3 sheets of cardstock, alpha, ribbon, stamp, and other accessories.  Cocoa Daisy has its own brand of awesome stamps that are really cool and usually unique to the main kit.  They also have a small shop, Add-On kits, Stamp Subscription kits, a messageboard, and a regularly updated blog.

You can subscribe to Cocoa Daisy for 6 months for a discounted rate of $29.95 and the option to buy add-ons before the general public. If you're opting to buy only once the kit cost is $32.95, which is a pretty nice cost considering all the goodies you receive.   

In my opinion the only downside to Cocoa Daisy is that sometimes the papers aren't always hot off the press but they still work great in the kits so in my opinion it's not really a big deal.

Scraptastic Club

(March 2013 kit, Everything I Am. Also available is Mr Brightside)

I really like Scraptastic Kit Clubs kits, and I especially like that they offer more than one kit per month.  So if you don't like one kit, that's okay- they have a second kit to choose from!  Each kit contains approximately 6 sheets of patterned paper, 3-5 sheets of cardstock, at least one alpha, and a variety of embellishments (like flair, flowers, masks, veneers, etc).  These kits are small but they are priced accordingly so they are a good value-- and of course if you want to expand your kit size you can buy the add ons.  Each kit has a coordinating add-on, stamp set, and this month there was exclusive Ormolu flair that coordinated with each kit.

Scraptastic Club has a regularly updated blog, a small shop, a community messageboard, and a great subscription program.  A typical kit is $28, but for subscribers the cost is $25.  To become a subscriber all you need to do is to buy one kit at regular price, then every kit thereafter is the subscriber price.  It is non commital so if you want to skip a kit, no big deal.  If you want to cancel, you can do so whenever.  As a subscriber you also get discounts on your add-ons.  I really like the flexibility this club offers.

As I mentioned, these kits are on the smaller side so that could be a con for some people that like to have LOTS of patterned paper to play with (such as myself!). 

Citrus Twist


(March 2013 Kit, Let It Shine)

Citrus Twist is a fun kit club that typically uses bright colors and trendy product in their kits which I personally love.  I also really like their fun color combinations, for example I love this month's "Let it Shine" color scheme.  The Main Kit usually contains appx 8 sheets of patterned paper, 4 sheets of cardstock, an alpha set, twine/ribbon, ink pad, and special Citrus Twist exclusive products such a stamps, flowers, and/or labels.  Citrus Twist also offers an main Add-On, Embellishment Add-On, Patterned Paper Add-on, and a coordinating Project Life kit.

The price per kit varies between subscription length: One Time Buy: $35, 3 Month Sub: $32.50, 6 Month Sub: $30.50.  Subscribers get to purchase add-ons before the general public and after subscribing for 12 months you will get your 13th kit for free.  Citrust Twist has a regularly updated blog and a shop.

Downsides to Citrus Twist?  If you're not much of a stamper than you are paying for ink and stamps each month that you probably won't use.  I think in terms of contents (like exclusive stamps, etc) and size Cocoa Daisy and Citrus Twist are very similar, it just comes down to your personal style preference. 

Jenni Bowlin Studios Papercrafting Kit

JBS March 2013 Papercrafting Kit

I've never bought a JBS kit, but they sure are on my wishlist! I love the vintage style of all the kits on the JBS website.  Each month there is a Papercrafting kit and Mini Album kit along with an Artisan or Antiquarian add on.  There are always lots of cool vintage finds included in the kits plus exclusive stamps, stencils, and other JBS product.  The manufacturers vary (read: not everything in the kit is JBS) and the papercrafting kit usually contains ~10-12 sheets of patterned paper/cardstock, an alpha set, and a variety of embellishments (stamps, ribbon, etc).

Subscribers get a $5 discount on the monthly papercrafting kits ($32.45 to $27.45) and first option to purchase add-ons.  JBS has a regularly updated blog featuring a very talented DT, a community, and a shop.

Downsides to JBS: if you're not a huge Jenni Bowlin fan you'll be needlessly getting Jenni Bowlin stamps/product every month.  Of course, the overall style of the kit probably won't strike your fancy either if that's the case.
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So that's my round up of my Top Ten Favorite Scrapbooking Kit Clubs.  Here are a few other options that might be down your alley as well :)

The Paper Bakery

My Creative Scrapbook

Back Porch Memories Kit Club

Scarlet Lime Scrapbook

Crop and Create: Delivered (by S&CT)


Now what do I personally do for scrapbooking supplies?  I used to subscribe to Noel Mignon but then had to tighten the budget and now I buy her kits whenever they strike my fancy and I have the money available.  I miss having that subscription, but I have plenty of leftover NM kits from the past year so I've got no shortage of supplies.  Maybe once or twice per year I'll go to Two Peas in a Bucket and order some Crate Paper collection kits that I just can't live without having the ENTIRE collection, but it's few and far between.  And that's all I do, I have plenty of supplies at the moment so I'm trying to practice my willpower in not buying more until I've used up some of what I have ;) 

What do you guys do for your supplies? Do you use any of the kits I mentioned above?  Tell me!


7 comments:

  1. This is a great review of all the scrapbook kits I've been looking at! Thank you! I've personally been eyeing up the Gossamer Blue kits!

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  2. Thank-you so much for posting these reviews... you've introduced me to kits I didn't even now about!

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  3. For the first time ever, I have $ in the budget for a few SC kits but I will probably not do that for long cause I have way too many supplies lol...One way to get more out of your leftover kits/scrap supplies is the Counterfeit Kit Challenge blog !

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  4. Thank you for this review.
    I already receive the SC main kit + SC proj life kit each month and was browsing to find another kit club within the same quality and price range.
    This review was very helpful and thorough indeed.
    Hugs

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  5. I also love to scrapbook my family history. I just bought some more scrapbooking supplies with the family history theme. Just hope I get time to scrapbook soon.
    scrapbooking supplies

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  6. Thank you for taking the time to review all those kit clubs. I'm from Sweden and will pay quite a lot in shipping and I'd like to think I'm getting my moneys worth. Your top ten list has really given me much to think about and great to hear from someone who has tried them. Thank you so much :)

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  7. Thanks for your thoughts here. I have subbed to Citrus Twist Kits, Scraptastic Kit Club, an Gossamer Blue, and I have purchased previous kits from Studio Calico. Honestly, I LOVE kit companies because they do the work for you. I love the option of having embellishments that work well with my papers, and I also love using my leftovers from kits to create new kits at home. I haven't subbed in several months because I took time off from subbing to save some money and I wasn't scrapping nearly as much as I would like. Now I am thinking about subbing again, but I am not sure which one to choose. I really loved getting all of them, and they all have very distinct styles. I really love the option of getting a stamp and ink with my kit, and I absolutely must have a large and small alpha in my kit and plenty of pattern paper. I generally would by the Citrus Twist Kits plus their pattern paper add-on. That was always my favorite thing to do, and it was pretty inexpensive. I do love the idea of Noel Mignon, but I don't have that kind of extra money lying around each month. I would feel guilty now buying those kits, but in the future I would like to sub to them. Thanks again :) now I can go and weigh my options some more :) - Gabi from Denton, TX

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