The 8 Best Craft Kits to Buy for Tweens in 2018

Inspire their creative side with these DIY activities

Teacher assisting girls in art class
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“Step away from the electronics.” It’s a mantra parents of tweens across the land utter on repeat, trying to get their kids off screens and onto other more productive endeavors. Craft kits are a great way to do just that.

They offer a fun and creative activity in which kids can express themselves and create some really cool things in the process. They don’t have to have any amazing artistic talents to enjoy them either, as many craft kits provide step-by-step instructions as well as room for them to add their own personal touches. It’s up to them just how far they’ll take them. No matter what your child’s interests or talents, there’s a craft kit out there for them. Here, the best craft kits for teens. 

  • 01 of 08

    Best Overall: Your Décor Water Bottle by Horizon Group USA

    While some crafts are more fun in the making, this one is both fun to make and will get a ton of use too. Every tween needs a water bottle for school, sports and other on-the-go activities, and this kit lets them create one that’s all theirs. The BPA-free bottle is printed with a fun design that includes everything from a pretzel to a rainbow. It’s up to the kid how they’re going to complete it. Ultra bright colored markers, gemstones and glitter are included to bling it out (or not) as they like. A carabiner clip is included as well, so it can be attached to a backpack or other bag.

    The vast majority of customers who purchased the bottle said their kids loved it, though a few reported the bottle getting banged up and the color washing off, so handwashing is advised.

  • 02 of 08

    Best for Girls: SmitCo LLC Scrapbook For Kids

    Mermaids and scented stickers and jewels, oh my! This scrapbook kit contains everything to make a tween girl flip and create a fun keepsake at the same time.

    Part diary, part scrapbook, this 60-page scented book comes with a passcode lock (sorry, little brother), and tons of accessories with which to decorate the pages.

    There’s everything from scented stickers to adhesive jewels, a feather pen, craft tape and more. There is 114 pieces total, and it also comes with a zippered pencil pouch to store it all. Recommended for ages 5 and up, customers say it’s a hit as a gift, though make sure you write down the passcode somewhere as there’s no way to reset it.

  • 03 of 08

    Best for Boys: SentoSphere Creative DIY Bracelets Arts and Crafts Kit

    Boys like to get crafty too, and this kit is designed just for them. It comes with everything they need to make some super cool bracelets to wear and share with friends. Included are imitation leather cords, cotton waxed cords, a silver chain, aged silver beads and fastener buttons. There’s also an instruction leaflet included, but they can freestyle on their own too.

    In all, there are enough materials to make eight bracelets, but more can be made using the instructions with extra materials you have on hand or those you purchase. Once he gets started, he may not want to stop.

  • 04 of 08

    Best Building: IQ Builder 3D Art Coloring Puzzles

    For boys, girls, kids and adults alike, this is one craft kit that will pull everyone into the fun. Both mentally challenging and creatively satisfying, these 3D art coloring puzzles are hit all around.

    There are nine puzzles in this pack, including the Eiffel Tower, three vehicles, three animals and two houses. You simply pop the pieces out from their cardboard card, then use the enclosed instructions to the build the puzzles. Once they’re finished, you can color them in with markers (four packages of 10 markers are included) to bring them to life. Customers give these puzzles high marks, though some say it’s better suited to older children than the manufacturer's recommended age (5 and up) as putting it together can be a more intricate process.

    Continue to 5 of 8 below.
  • 05 of 08

    Best Educational: Light-up Terrarium Kit

    Here’s a kit that will teach them a thing or two while they create a really cool light-up terrarium. Their miniature garden simulates a natural environment they can observe close up, even at night as the lighted lid (which turns on and off with a small switch), lets them see what’s happening in the dark.

    The kit includes a jar which measures 4" x 6", and a charging cable to charge the light, as well as step-by-step instructions. To fill their jar, there’s soil, blue sand, rocks wheatgrass, seeds, a wooden stick to help with planting and a spray bottle to keep it all hydrated. There are also removable stickers and bunny and mushroom miniatures included for extra creative fun. Once it’s done, they can watch it grow and learn all about water and life cycles. It’s a great hands-on craft that makes science fun.

  • 06 of 08

    Best Sewing: Craftster's Sewing Kits Woodland Animals Sewing Kit

    Sew what if they aren’t quite ready for a sewing machine. This craft kit lets them stitch up a crew of adorable plush woodland animals. It comes with five pre-cut animal sewing projects (a fox, owl, bear, rabbit and chickadee), as well embroidery thread, sewing needles, straight pins, a pin cushion, scissors, glue and stuffing. Also included are instructions and a handy carry case, so you can take it on the go.

    Recommended for ages 7 to 12, it’s great for girls and boys alike and lets them create fun gifts to give to friends and relatives.

  • 07 of 08

    Best Creative: Kid Made Modern® Art Kit

    Kid Made Modern® Art Kit - Smarts and Crafts Case
    Courtesy of Target

    To unleash their inner creative beast, there’s this smarts and crafts case that will let them go wild. With more than 1,000 pieces, the only limit to what they can do with it is their own imagination. There are no rules, just supplies galore. From pipe cleaners to googly eyes, pom poms to jewels, this kit is full of inspiration. There are also practical tools like craft sticks, glue and scissors to get the work done.

    Cleanup time is easy too, as all the supplies fit in the box, which comes complete with a handle so you can take it on the go to playdates, parties and anywhere else they want to create great things.

  • 08 of 08

    Best Jewelry Making Kit: Pinwheel Crafts Girls Jewelry Making Kit

    For budding fashionistas and those who like to sport their own personal style, this craft kit will be a hit. It allows kids to create their own super cute necklaces. In all, there are eight pendants with glass covers in four different shapes (heart, oval, square or circle) and accompanying chains. To fill the pendants, kids select from one of the included 200 images, which feature everything from emojis to flags and animals. Glue and instructions to put them all together are included as well.

    It’s a great project for slumber parties and playdates, and everyone gets a fun and fashionable takeaway. It’s also a fun way for kids to make unique, handmade gifts for their family and friends.