Monday, 28 October 2013

Mag review

In my previous post I said I had been reading lots of magazines and I thought I would share my thoughts on them.  It's just my opinion and in no way should it be seen as authoritative but I'd be interested to know what other people think of the craft magazines that are out there.  I have a subscription to Mollie Makes and so am obviously a fan.  I am familiar with it's layout and pictorial style but I wondered how it compared to other publications in terms of value for money; number of articles, number of tutorials, how many pages (and how many of which are adverts!) whether each has its own unique selling point and finally- the best gift!!!
I am comparing them but I must point out that they are from different months but I quick look tells me that there are the same number of pages each month.

I'll start with 'Homemaker' Issue 11 (November 2013)
Cost: £4.99,     Pages: 114 (of which are adverts- 14)     Number of Articles: 10    Number of Tutorials: 22.  The free gift was some lovely paper bunting which is self assembly) but in all honesty, it was the reason I bought the magazine.  It is lovely and the magazine is also good.  It also includes 8 baking recipes and some pages on flower/ plant arrangements.  I think it is a really good magazine for a creative person who likes lots of different crafts as there is a good variety but I think the projects/ tutorials are quite basic so perhaps appropriate for a beginner.  There wasn't any knitting or crochet projects which may appeal to someone who already has a knitting subscription but would like something a little bit different.

Mollie Makes Issue 23 (November 2013)

Cost: £4.99,    Pages 98 (of which are adverts: 14)    Number of Articles: 10  Number of tutorials:12, with templates.  The free gift this month was a beautiful 2014 calendar and of a high quality. (Their gifts are usually a make your own kit or something to add to your haberdashery).  Their projects are predominantly sewing, knitting and crochet although there are some other crafts covered too including jewellery and papercraft.  Their articles are the longest and most in-depth with some covering 5 pages.  It is printed on much thicker, matt paper and so the feel is that of a high end product and their photography is probably the best of all the magazines I have looked at.  It feels very on trend and the instructions for the projects are clear and detailed with usually a full page dedicated to pictures and instructions.

Crafts Beautiful Issue 255 (July 2013)
Cost: £4.99    Pages 122 (of which are adverts 25)  Articles: 9   Projects:32 (mostly cards with additional variations).  The free gift was beautiful stencils- 6 8x8" sheets with a variety of flowers, birds and sentiments (including some Christmas images).  The main focus I believe this magazine has is papercrafts but they do also have some sewing and knit projects too.  The articles are quite short but there are reviews of many items and the advertised gift for the following month was excellent too.  It is very inspirational for a card maker/ scrap booker and I enjoyed reading it and would buy it again but it isn't my favourite as I'm not a papercrafter really.

Craft seller- Ah ha!  I have 2 issues of this magazine and when I started writing this review, I had the older version next to me but I have just picked up the other most recent issue and it has undergone a major facelift. I will review the more recent one as it seems more relevant.  I will point out that I actually had a few minor criticisms on the earlier issue which have been addressed in the latest one which is encouraging (also to me as perhaps I do have a clue on these things)

So- begin again: Craftseller Issue 28 (October 2013)
Cost: £4.99   Pages: 106 (of which are adverts: 21) but there are also 8 pages of free printed paper.   Articles: 8, Projects: 12 now with templates and an additional 3 baking recipes.  The free gift was a book of Halloween ideas to do with kids which is timely for half term and has some good projects although not massively unique.This issue has a striking 'togetherness' with a theme running throughout.  There are lots of reviews of items, blogs and books with oodles of pages showing interaction with the customers.  There were competition pages, star letter and advice pages with good responses and a strong sense of this being a magazine for the serious crafter.  The projects were varied; sewing, crochet, cards, jewellery and knitting.  It's unique selling feature is that I think thks magazine is all about the business of selling crafts and so it is aimed at those who are thinking of selling their wares and thus has articles on how to increase business and how to write a good blog.  My favourite improvement was the switch to the thicker matt paper.

So overall, I will be buying more copies of homemaker but not I doubt I will become a subscriber as I think the projects are more for a beginner and more varied than I want in a subscription  It is however a little treat I may buy for myself.  I am very impressed with the new craftseller as it has a lot of the attributes which has made me enjoy Mollie Makes but with the added business elements.  I am less likely to buy Crafts Beautiful as it is more card making than sewing.  I still love Mollie Makes for being the most on-trend, the luxurious feel but also because I think it has the best articles.  I love Pinterest and I think I could find a lot of the other magazine's contents on there in terms of their projects, and I wouldn't spend £5 on a magazine just for a gift that I may not use.  Whereas I love all the gifts from Mollie Makes, it is the area of crafting I like the most, and it's a good read in the bath!

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