Review: Craft magazine

I know I’ve been eagerly awaiting the arrival of my issue of Craft, brought to us by the makers at, well, MAKE. At 160 pages and $14.99 an issue, Craft DOES have a lot inside the premiere issue, but unfortunately, it’s a lot of what us true makers have already seen.

Craft is a collection of columns from crafting “celebrities,” DIY projects, reviews of new products (inlcuding goods, books, etc.), and interviews.

In this first issue, there’s an interview with Jenny Hart of Sublime Stitching. Her feature is probably the best example of who we already know about. Don’t get me wrong- I always enjoy pieces on her as I’m an addicted stitcher, but the piece reads like makers have no idea who she is. There’s also a column from Mark Frauenfelder, editor-in-chief of MAKE and a blogger at Boing Boing. He wrote a great piece on vintage corporate DIY pamphlets. I did a search online to see if I could find out more about these pamphlets, and I did: a column by Frauenfelder on the exact same topic from his blog in April of this year. Hmm.

The projects in Craft felt, at times, like they could run in MAKE, too. I enjoy MAKE, but it’s a little too “techy” at times for my liking. There’s a how-to on how to make an LED tank top in Craft. Not my first choice… I wasn’t totally wowed by the other craft selections, such as making iPod cozies, or the product reviews, which featured Subverisive Cross Stitch. Some of the instructions for the projects looked so complicated I lost interest after the third page of guidelines.

The magazine is very appealing to look at. The graphics are interesting and there are fun little info graphics all throughout. But I wonder how many makers will pay $14.99 for a magazine. I know the reason why a lot of my friends make goods to sell is to help supplement an income, so I can’t imagine them rationalizing $15 soy clams for a craft magazine.

I’ll be inetersted to see where Craft goes next and what other makers out there are thinking. Looking at their blog, it seems more in tune with what would interest me. Overall, I just can’t get over how this magazine might be best suited toward someone just “getting into the scene,” but I know it’s not, as many makers were informed about the magazine’s launch. To me, Craft seems just a little too late for a movement well underway.