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With the announced closure of the crafty education site Bluprint, many crafters are left looking for a Bluprint alternative where they can take classes and get inspired.
I’ve been a member of CreativeBug for a long time and, frankly, I might even like it better than Bluprint.
The History of Bluprint
In case you don’t know the backstory, Bluprint was originally Craftsy, which launched back in 2010 with in-depth, technique-heavy craft classes that users paid for individually.
NBCUniversal bought a majority stake in the company in 2017. After that the name was changed to Bluprint and the format was changed from selling individual classes to a monthly subscription model.
In addition the new classes tended to be lighter in content and more focused on completing a particular project than a deep dive into a craft.
On May 24, John Levisay, Bluprint CEO, posted a message on the website’s blog announcing the closure of the site “over the next few months.” The ability to buy subscriptions, classes and patterns has been shuttered, but it hasn’t yet been determined how or whether people who have purchased classes will be able to access them in the future.
For now, I wanted to let you know that we are looking at various options to allow those of you who have purchased individual classes to receive a copy of your classes. This includes individual classes purchased with own forever credits. We are also planning to issue prorated refunds for paid subscribers based on the last day our service will be available, which will be communicated when that date is finalized in the near future.John Levisay
CreativeBug as a Bluprint Alternative
I’ll admit that once it switched to Bluprint I never had a subscription, though I do have a fair number of classes from the Craftsy days (admittedly some I have never watched and I would like to be able to).
An alternative to Bluprint that I have been a subscriber to for many years is CreativeBug. It’s a similar model in that you get unlimited access to classes for a monthly fee.
It was founded in 2011 and is now owned by the company behind Jo-Ann craft stores.
Many of the classes are project based but there are also monthly challenges and multi-part classes that dive deeper into techniques.
Pros and Cons of CreativeBug
I like that CreativeBug didn’t expand (or at least hasn’t yet expanded) into as many creative realms as Bluprint did. Right now the current course offerings at CreativeBug are in the following categories:
- Art and design
- Paper Crafts
- Food and Home
- Holiday and Party
- Kids Crafts
There are a few oddball classes (cake decorating, canning, leatherwork) that don’t really fit into these molds, but for the most part it sticks to those.
That may be a pro or a con to you depending on what you want to get out of a crafty subscription. If you’re looking for cooking, photography, etc., this is not the place for you.
I like the focus on a few core crafts rather than trying to be something for everyone. Lots of the classes are led by people you might know or recognize in their industry like Kaffe Fassett and Brandon Malby, Jenny Doh, Marly Bird, Sonya Phillip for 100 Acts of Sewing, Stephanie Flemming from the Happy Planner and many, many more.
I also like that there are so many creative challenges that help you to learn new skills or form a creative habit. They even have Camp CreativeBug for kids who need something fun to do this summer.
Once you subscribe, each month you are a member you earn a credit, which allows you to keep classes in your library. Once classes are in your library they are yours to keep forever, even if you cancel your subscription.
The only potential negative for me is that some of the classes don’t feel as in-depth as those you might have gotten in the early days of Craftsy. But this isn’t really trying to be that. It’s much more about individual projects that build skills rather than learning a whole genre.
Classes to Watch on CreativeBug
I’ve taken a lot of classes at CreativeBug over the years, from one on making clothespin dolls to kids’ weaving, a creative challenge and sewing classes. The courses are upbeat and usually pretty short lessons unless a long time is needed to explain a step or technique in the process.
I wanted to share just a handful from the various departments to give you an idea of the range of classes available:
- Cricut Crafts: Get to Know Your Machine by Natalie Malan
- Astro Origami by Faith Hale (I’m doing this one with the girl!)
- Landscape Embroidery by Lauren of Lark Rising Embroidery
- Sew the Seabright Swimsuit with Chelsea from Friday Pattern Company
- Personal Map Making – A Daily Mixed Media Practice with e bond
- How to Mend Clothing with Cal Patch (a review on this one is likely soon)
- How to Knit Fast with Carla Scott
- Working with Collage by Danielle Krysa
- Patchwork Improv – Exploring Angles by Sherri Lynn Wood (I took one of her classes and they are lots of fun)
- Foundational Figure Drawing: Heads by David Tenorio
And that’s only to name a few of the more than 1,000 classes. Every time I visit I find a handful more I want to take.
Ready to Try CreativeBug?
Right now you can try CreativeBug for three months for just $5. I really think you’ll like it as a Bluprint alternative. I would love to hear what classes you take (or want to take!).