August 15, 2014

Crafting with Creativebug

I'm an experienced sewer who mostly made kids clothes and crafts until six months ago when I started using Craftsy. I love the easy of picking a class and having permanent access, the ability to get answers from the instructor, and the depth and quality of each class I've taken. I know they're not all fabulous as I read reviews before picking a class, but so far, I've had amazing success at picking classes with so much information it's like I've been attending in person.

That should give you a sense of my expectations of an online crafting platform.

Creativebug invited me to review their crafting website, which offers a similar style as Craftsy, but with different enrollment models and more short-term workshops that remind me of quick lectures or Craftsy's free mini-classes.

The first class I picked was Homemade Apothecary. It was well-timed because I had a tub of shea butter and a desire to make some homemade products for my husband. We went to our co-op and got some other ingredients and watched the short video on how to make toner and lip balm.

The class was only 30 minutes long, so there wasn't much substance. I honestly felt like I was getting nothing out of it because I have found more information in random blog posts. Some things were the same product with different labels. It just was very simple. I was hoping to make something more lotion-like, but there wasn't any information on making that type of skincare product.

I gave Creativebug another try and looked for classes on painting. I want to learn watercolor, but painting options were limited. So next, I looked for quilting and picked one that teaches the basics of machine quilting. I've made some simple quilts before but actually don't know how to make them properly and never so much as read a book on the subject.

This time, I felt like the instructor does know her stuff and has a lot to offer but in the very short lesson, I didn't learn anything new. I know it's for beginners but it seemed aimed at people new to a sewing machine, not just new to quilting.

I watched some sewing classes and looked at the options. There's a lot for people who do paper crafts but that isn't something I have any interest in. I mostly like fabric crafts. There was a good class on making a round pillow, but while the content was more thorough and engaging, the instructor wasn't relatable. Maybe that's a personal thing, but I didn't enjoy her lesson style.

As for the site itself, it's not easy to navigate. It's okay for browsing, but there aren't a lot of ways to drill down to just the type of classes you want and I didn't see a way to just look at more substantial classes vs the super short ones.

I'm not a fan of the pricing model, but that's because I prefer to engage in one class and work on it for a while and come back to it later, but I don't like doing a whole bunch of different things in a short time. If you sign up on subscription, you can do it all but you pay every month and when you stop paying, you lose access. Comparing my favorite class at Craftsy, a couture sewing class, that one would have cost $70+ and I'm not done with it yet.

If you like shorter, quick workshop experiences to learn something here and there, Creativebug may be perfect. If you want to engage with instructors and go more in-depth on long-term projects, Craftsy seems to have more to offer.

I'm guessing there are a lot of people who are a fan of one site or the other and a few who visit both sites. Creativebug is neat. There are a lot of what I'd call "mini classes" but it's not for me.

 I received a month of access to Creativebug for free using

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