As a child of the 70s and 80s, I could not escape my childhood unscathed from the influence of Lisa Frank. Those bright colors, those cute kitties and unicorns, glittery rainbow everything…how could any preteen girl resist? So when I saw these at Dollar Tree, I knew I had to try them.
Of course, I had to enlist my Awesome Assistant Andrea® to help me out. Since there were two kits we each got one.
First we took everything out of the box so we could see what all was included. Lots of little packets of glitter, the artwork, a weird stick thingy, and a frame for your finished product.
The kits worked a lot like a color by numbers page. You peel off the numbered paper for the color you’re using to expose the sticky glue, shake on the glitter so it sticks to said glue, shake off the excess, then start again with the next color. Andrea has used a kit like this before, so we were familiar with how it worked. Even though we knew how to do it, we still read the directions. Good thing, too. Because even though I know that glitter is the herpes of craft supplies, I still didn’t think to put down something to catch the glitter. Not that it helped that much; we still had a crazy mess when we were done. I’d hate to think what it would have looked like if we hadn’t used the plates to catch the excess.
So we started crafting. First, let me point out that the helpful tool? Not helpful at all. It was really hard to pull the paper from the sticky parts, and when it did, it often took other sections along with it.
There were lots of teeny tiny details, and it was very hard to pull just those parts. And once the paper came up off the glued backing? There was NO putting it back on. So if you accidentally pulled off a star or heart or part of a butterfly wing? Too bad.
Andrea was going rogue and not following the numbers, so I figured I’d try to do the picture as directed. That was a challenge, especially since I had a hard time getting up the pieces that were numbered one. It was so hard, I started with five, because that was most of the background and using my fingernails I could use the edge to get between the paper and the glue. I want to point out that five, being the background, had the largest area that needed to be covered. If we look back at the supplies picture, what do you notice about the blue glitter?
The more I tried to pull off the tiny bits, the more I realized that the perferations were not very well cut, making it impossible to keep the edges clean, if you even left edges at all. Some of the design elements were completely unrealistic.
One of the other challenges was that the glue was sticky, but not sticky enough to hold the glitter, so as I was taking off the next section, glitter from the previous section was flaking into it, or coming off my hands as I was trying to pull apart the paper.
Andrea appeared to be doing pretty well…
…but it wasn’t more than ten minutes later when she threw down her stick and said, “Nope.”
I couldn’t blame her. Between the weird inconsistency with the glue and the ability of the glitter to stick to it, to the nearly impossible to remove sections, I was ready to give up as well. But I continued, because I had to see what a hot mess this artwork would become by the time I was done.
Notice that, unlike any of the examples on the front of the box or the directions, there are no black lines to help with picture definition. It’s not like with a coloring book, where you can tell what something is supposed to be. Ugh.
And the mess. OMG, the mess.
I like to think that Andrea and I are pretty crafty people. I mean, our watercolor projects were pretty successful. But this? Height of frustration. Based on our experience, I was curious to see what age group they recommended for this project.
Four plus? Four plus?!? Yeah, if you want endless temper tantrums. I can’t imagine any child under the age of twelve having the patience to do this. Hell, I didn’t have the patience for this! Andrea outright quit, and if I had been PMSing, I guarantee there would have been tears.
So sadly, we have a fail of epic proportions. Seriously, I don’t know how this could have been any worse. I think the designs they chose were way too complicated for the media they chose, and (I can’t believe I’m actually saying this) they didn’t include enough glitter to adequately complete the project. There was not a single part of this that either of us found enjoyable. I think I would have had more fun if I’d just taken all of the paper off and randomly dumped glitter on the page. Sorry, Dollar Tree. This one gets an F. I never want to do this again.
At least it was only a dollar. If I’d spent real money on this, I’da been pissed.