The Make Happy Club box is a new monthly subscription box from Ellbie Co. for kawaii fans who love to sew. Every month there’s an exclusive surprise project to stitch up, and each box helps others too with donations to different charities. As a keen hand-sewist, I was very happy to receive a copy to review and let you know what it’s like.
The box itself is very happy and it cheered me up to see this sitting on my doormat. It’s a small box and even fit through my tiny olden-days letterbox, so you don’t need to worry about being home for the delivery.
Inside you’ll find everything you need for the project. They swap between cross stitch and embroidery each month and I received a lovely nature-themed cross stitch pattern with a donation to Friends of the Earth UK. As well as a printed pattern, aida fabric and threads, I was impressed that it also included a hoop, backing felt, pom pom trim and a helpful instruction sheet for beginners. Too often, craft boxes skimp on these useful items and instead add in cheap trinkets or snacks. Only getting a single project could be an issue if you don’t like the design but they publish a blog post with spoilers each month if you want to be sure you’ll enjoy it.
While I’ve been doing cross stitch for a few years now, I’d never tackled a full coverage pattern like this before. There’s really nothing different about it though – you just have more stitches to keep track of. I would have liked a digital copy of the pattern so I could mark off finished stitches on my iPad rather than having to ruin my paper copy, and I wish I had just taken a photo of it. Without doing either, I got a bit mixed up at times. The letters are meant to be left unstitched and I found that really tricky to count around. It all worked out in the end though. If you do get stuck, there’s also videos on their channel and a Facebook group for questions.
Here’s my finished piece! I really love how perfectly the design fills the hoop. The unstitched letters disappeared into the background a bit so I outlined them in backstitch. If I made it again, I would probably use a light blue aida and stitch the letters in white. I didn’t expect to use the pom pom trim as it’s a bit whimsical but I actually think it’s great. I painted the hoop green with acrylic paint, which I think ties it all together – do that before attaching the trim of course.
I also appreciated the tips on finishing the back for a neat look, though I was too lazy to sew the felt on and glued it instead. I have plans for a hoop art gallery wall in my studio so I’ll let you know how that all works out with hanging.
Overall, I really enjoyed this box. The pattern was very cute and easy enough to follow – and something I would be happy to display or give as a gift. It took me a couple of weeks to finish, just doing a bit each afternoon, and it never felt boring or overwhelming, even though there’s a lot of different shades of green.
My only big problem is that I ran out of one colour of thread with about 20 stitches to go. That was really frustrating as I was so close! I used a similar colour I owned to finish it off but I checked with Ellbie Co. and they will happily send you extra if this ever happens to you. Personally, I prefer to get a generous amount of thread so that you can think about stitching it again, or just to expand your stash of colours for future projects. I’d still buy this box for myself or a gift in future though.
Pricing & Ordering
If you’d like to try the Make Happy Club box, subscriptions are open now and close on 20th July. It’s another cross stitch pattern with a cute animal design celebrating inner strength – you can find out more with spoilers if you don’t mind missing out on the surprise. Donations will go to the National Autistic Society this month.
Each box costs £18.99 with £3 from the sale donated to charity. The boxes can currently be shipped to the UK, USA, Canada, Australia and the Channel Islands, with more hopefully added in future. Shipping costs £3.25 UK / £12.50 international.
(Box was provided by Ellbie Co. for review but all words, photographs and opinions are my own.)
Marceline is the co-founder and editor of Super Cute Kawaii and author of The Super Cute Book of Kawaii. She also designs cute character goods as Asking For Trouble. Having visited Japan five times, Marceline is enormously inspired by all things Japanese and especially loves bunnies, space and any kind of food object with a happy face.