Darby Smart is a craft based subscription box that sends out a single craft each month. All that you will need in order to follow their directions is included, though the directions are provided to you through a URL on their site - so if you're hoping to craft away from technology and unplug for awhile, you're out of luck on that one.
The cost: $19.99/ month
Each month the text in the little circle is different, which is a nice touch.
Otherwise it's your basic subscription cardboard box with the logo and colors being the only thing different. Sturdy - nothing gets damaged.
This month's activity, which they announced a few weeks before it was sent was charcoal soap. I was actually looking forward to this one as this meant it would come with molds, which is the only thing I hadn't yet bought, as I was planning to try soap making myself - bought all the ingredients last month save the mold.
The back of the info card lets you know what additional ingredients were provided for the soap making and includes the link to the instructions.
They provided wrapping paper and stickers so that you don't have to have soap just sitting around.
And then came the disappointment. Included in the box was a soap mold, a package of activated charcoal, a vial of essential oils, four slivers of loofah, and.... a block of soap. Yeah, that's right. You melt down the already made soap to add in your own ingredients. This isn't soap making. Not in my book. The mold is a silicone one that I will be able to use for actual soap making, though it's not quite the shape that I prefer, but as to the rest of it? Lame.
I like making things from scratch. Whether that's bread, butter, bath bombs, wooden shelves, or something else for the hearth and home, I enjoy making things from scratch. This felt like a real cop out. After last month's leather "stamping" that literally included a stamp pad, this felt like a real smack to the face.
What happened to real crafting? You certainly won't find it in this box. This was my third month with this box, and ultimately my last one. It got the three month trial period, and, aside from the first month - wood burning - nothing has been real crafting. It's been kiddie style products, things that you use to get kids interested without having to make a giant mess, relatively speaking.
I cancelled this box because it's not for me. Give me a Tandy leather kit with leather punches and dies. Give me lye and beeswax and I'll make you some real homemade soap. Give me a forge and I will melt down aluminum cans and make a paperweight. Give me something real. This feels about as fake as our society has become - a shell of what it once was. And it is for those reasons that I chose to make this my last subscription from Darby Smart. If they ever get their act together and start doing real crafts, I will happily sign back on, but this isn't that, and it isn't what was implied with the subscription. All in all, a genuine disappointment.