JOANN Creativebug Review – Is It Worth It?
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I first learned about Creativebug oddly enough in an ad after a JOANN purchase. It seemed a little fishy at first, but after seeing the ad repeatedly for over a year, I figured I had nothing to lose with starting a 60-day free Creativebug trial.
Before this trial, I was a Craftsy loyalist. But once Bluprint (aka Craftsy before that) closed down to then later be revived from oblivion as Craftsy again, I needed a Craftsy alternative.
I’ve now finished my Creativebug trial, taken a break, and then resubscribed on- and off-again when wanting to binge-watch crafting classes.
Overall, I’ve been mostly pleased with Creativebug. It has a few annoying features (dear Creativebug, if you’re reading this, PLEASE give the option to increase playback speed!), but I think it’s worth the money if you’re wanting to dabble in a wide variety of craft classes. The Daily Practice Series is such a fun feature!
I think I might still prefer Craftsy over Creativebug, but I’m just not sure how long I can expect Craftsy to stay around again, ya know?
Here’s my Creativebug review if you’re interested in learning more!
What is Creativebug?
Creativebug is an online compilation of arts and craft classes that can be watched at your leisure. Classes have no expiration dates and cover a variety of crafty topics.
JOANN owns Creativebug (acquired in 2017), which is why you’re likely to see so many mentions of Creativebug on their website!
Is Creativebug legit?
Yes, it is! With all the promotion surrounding the site from JOANN, I wondered the same. Creativebug is BBB accredited and even offers a 100% money-back guarantee if you are unsatisfied with their service at any point.
I’ve been an on-again, off-again subscriber for a while and never had issues with billing or canceling.
How does Creativebug work? + What It Offers
After you’ve started your trial or begun your premium subscription, you can watch as many classes as your heart desires. You’ll access the classes under the menu option by that name.
Creativebug has a large variety of class categories. I estimate at least 1300 (and counting!) classes at the time I’m writing this Creativebug review. I’ve screenshotted the menu above. Each class also has a star rating, so you can see the class rating and gauge popularity before viewing.
Here are the Craftsy class categories with a little extra info.
- Sewing (includes hand embroidery and hand + machine sewing)
- Paper (including classes for die-cutting machines like the Cricut)
- Art + Design (painting, drawing, sketching, ceramics, etc)
- Food + Home (HUGE variety)
- Kids (things for kids to craft, make, and do. STEAM friendly!)
- Quilting (blocks, projects, tutorials for beginners)
- Knitting (includes felting!)
- Jewelry (beading, wire, leather, and more)
- Holiday + Party (all big holidays + weddings + parties in general)
The classes can range from a few minutes to over 9 hours depending on the topic. I lean towards watching classes that run less than an hour; I just don’t have the attention span or the time in the evenings for long many multi-part classes!
While I’d say their most popular classes are in the art+design category (watercolors, line drawing, hand lettering, etc), I’ve watched more of the sewing, quilting, embroidery, and Cricut Creativebug classes.
That’s where my interests mostly fall, but I’ve checked out a few craft projects outside my sphere and loved the soap-making and cake decorating classes. I cannot knit or crochet to save my life (two decades of playing cello killed my fingers), so I cannot vouch for any of those classes!
If you’re wanting to browse the Creativebug community for inspiration, another thing you can check out is their inspiration feed. And, if you’re so inclined, you can add your own project pictures!
I’m not hugely overwhelmed with this part of Creativebug. I get my inspiration more from Pinterest or even Instagram. So, this isn’t anything super special, in my opinion.
If you’re into knitting or crochet, the pattern library is filled with crochet and knitting patterns. I had hoped to find some sewing patterns here, but no such luck.
You can still download sewing and quilting patterns from each individual class, though. This just takes more time searching through the classes to find what you might enjoy stitching.
This is one of the biggest pros of Creativebug! Under their Daily Practice heading, you’ll find classes that each have 31 lessons. You’re meant to watch one bite-sized lesson each day for a month to build up proficiency in a new craft skill! Of course, you can watch them all at once (averaging about 2.5 hrs).
I love that this breaks the process of learning a new craft into small, non-overwhelming pieces.
I highly recommend Get Unstuck: 30 Days of Overcoming Your Creative Block if you’re in a craft slump. And, the Altered Book Daily Challenge is just so unique! It shows you different ways to make art out of old books.
For sewing and embroidery enthusiasts, there’s the Daily Embroidery Challenge will teach you a new hand embroidery stitch each day. And, the Dear Diary Daily Quilting Challenge will help you create an entire quilt, one block a day!
This is so fun if you’re willing to commit just a little time each day.
The Process of Signing Up for Creativebug
If you decide you want to give this subscription service a try, here’s how to go about it.
Creativebug FREE Trial
Here’s a link to the free Creativebug trial. This should give you 60 days to try out Creativebug for free.
To access the free trial, you do have to provide a credit card number. Creativebug will then provide the date that your trial ends.
This is AUTO-RENEWING, so if you don’t plan to subscribe past the trial, set a reminder for yourself to cancel your subscription!
Creativebug Cost for Subscription
While these prices are subject to change, this is the pricing breakdown for Creativebug from when I last subscribed. At the end of your trial, you will be ushered into a subscription plan unless you cancel.
The Unlimited plan is $7.95/mo or $5.95/mo if billed annually. The Unlimited Plus plan is $9.95/mo.
The difference in the Unlimited vs Unlimited Plus plan is simply extra discounts to JOANN and choosing 1 class/month to keep forever with the Plus plan. If you cancel your subscription, you’ll never lose access to that kept class.
How to Cancel Creativebug
Some companies make you jump through several hoops when canceling a subscription or free trial.
Canceling Creativebug is as simple as heading over to your account profile, scrolling down to Billing & Subscription information, and clicking “Cancel subscription.”
So, I’ve mostly shared positive things about Creativebug. However, here are some of the cons of a Creativebug subscription that I found.
- You cannot speed up the video (ie adjust the playback rate.) I like watching things at 1.5-2x the speed (depending on the instructor) on Craftsy, and I HATE that you can’t do that on Creativebug.
- I’m interested in machine embroidery, which is a topic available on Craftsy but nonexistent on Creativebug. Craftsy has more breadth of topics than Creativebug (ex: woodworking, fitness, photography, writing). Creativebug seems more niche-focused, which can be a good or bad thing depending on your interests.
- Profile information is not private by default, which is not ideal. Settings can be changed, though, after logging in.
- No Unlimited Plus annual plan, which makes it significantly more expensive than the monthly Unlimited plan cost if paying annually.
Here’s just a quick recap of some of the things I like and a few ways that Creativebug triumphs over Craftsy.
- It’s much more of a community than Craftsy. If you like to interact with others (not just the instructors) and share inspiration, this is a better fit.
- Daily Practice Series is a fun, disciplined way of learning to craft!
- You can create a Watchlist rather than having to remember which videos you were interested in. I cannot find a Watchlist feature in my Craftsy dashboard.
- Lots of free patterns and project files for everything from sewing and quilting to knitting and crochet. (This is the case on Craftsy, too, actually.)
- There’s a Creativebug app, and it can be watched on an Apple TV. No such luck for Roku, though. Craftsy has a Roku channel, though!
JOANN Creativebug Review – Final Thoughts
I think Creativebug is definitely worth the free trial. The classes are well-produced, there’s a large variety, and the Daily Practice sessions are really fun. I also think it’s better for sewists than National Sewing Circle. (Read National Sewing Circle review to learn more about this subscription service.)
If you like your experience, you can continue on with an annual subscription or pick and choose which months you want to subscribe. If you’re unhappy, simply cancel before the renewal period, and you don’t owe anything!