I received Spray Art and Photo Pearls for free in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own (with some chiming in from my kids).
None of us wants to see the gifts we give sitting unused and collecting dust. If you’re shopping for kids who like arts and crafts, I think Spray Art (ages 6+) and Photo Pearls (ages 7+) will get their share of play time. The first is a no-mess airbrushing kit and the second a craft that allows you to make pixelated art using any image you like. I’ll walk you through them here with a little help from my nine-year-old and (bonus!) if you’re reading from Canada or the US you’ll have the chance to win both.
This is the Spray Art starter kit. It comes with five markers, three stencils and the spray pen. Two of the stencils have shapes and the third has the letters of the alphabet in upper case.
The pen takes two AAA batteries but they’re not included, so if you want to be a hero at Christmas (and who doesn’t?) buy a couple of those to gift as well. They’re easy enough to put in the pen. You’ll have to use a screwdriver to do it, but that’s part of the fun. (At least it was for my guy. He really impressed me with how well he was able to unscrew and screw the little battery door.)
Once you’ve got the batteries in, you just take the cap off of one of the markers and slide it inside. When you push the button it’ll vibrate the marker and spray an airbrush effect.
The spray pen kept my guy busy for 20 minutes or so before his older sister took a turn, but I think with the extra stencils he’d be keen to stick with it longer and do some more detailed pictures. You could always get creative and make your own too. The pen is light, portable and doesn’t make a mess (well not as long as you can spray on the paper you’re using) so it would be great to bring to playdates and share.
Now where can you find it and how much does it cost?
I couldn’t find the starter kit at any major retailers or craft stores, but I did find the deluxe set (also called the mega set) at Michaels.com for $20 USD and on Amazon.com for $29.95 USD. The set comes with six stencils and eight markers and the spray pen. (If any of my fellow Canucks find it this side of the border, please let me know!)
Photo Pearls comes in a much larger box and it involves downloading an app or using the computer so there’s a bit of built-in wow factor there.
It comes with 7,500 beads in 30 different colours (FANTASTIC!), plastic grids to bead on and sticky transfer sheets to keep your design together without having to use an iron and potentially turn your design into a melty mess. I found it for $26.64 USD at Walmart.com and $45.17 CAD at Amazon.ca. Goliath Games also makes a 5,000-piece set ($19.10 USD at Walmart.com) and a 3,600-piece set for animals ($22.29 USD at Walmart.com), presumably with a lot of brown-coloured beads which in hindsight, would have been better for our project.
You’ll want to print your pixelated picture to work from so make sure before you start that your device is connected to your printer. We used the computer and the Photo Pearls web site just because the printer set up was already done.
You can upload any picture to the site. My guy chose our cat, Benny. (I know. SO HANDSOME.)
In one click your picture is turned into a pixelated or “pearlized” design, which you then print and put under one of the plastic grids to follow.
In hindsight we should have started with a picture that would take only one grid to make, but our picture of Benny actually requires four grids. And each one of them takes 900 beads to fill. WHOA. Clearly we’re going to be at this for quite some time, ha ha.
It’s kind of like one of those 1,000-piece puzzles that you spread out on a table and come back to from time to time. Only here you have just a grid (or a couple if you’re working on more than one at the same time), and if you’re careful you could move them from the table and put them away someplace safe until you come back to them again.
I just love these meaty little paws!!
Obviously we haven’t finished ours (HA HA HA HA NO) but you can see what you do when you do finish here in this video:
I really like this kit for the long-term playing potential and (of course!) the cute picture of Benny we’ll have at the end. And since my kids are now a few years older than when they first started doing these kind of projects on a simpler scale (now they’re 9 and 11), they’re less likely to drop or spill the beads all over the place so they’re constantly underfoot. It’s a great craft for kids their age and up into the early teens.
What do you think of Spray Art and Photo Pearls? Do you know someone who’d enjoy them? I’d love to hear!
Thanks to Goliath Games US/Pressman Toy, I have both to give away! One lucky reader will win the Spray Art and Photo Pearls shown in this post. To enter to win, tell me who you’d gift them to and what province or state you live in. This entry is mandatory.
For another entry, follow try small things on Facebook (like you weren’t already, AS IF!) and like (or love!) this post and leave a comment, then tell me you did so and your name on Facebook in the comments below. (You don’t have to share, BUT THE HOLIDAYS ARE COMING AND YOU-KNOW-WHO IS WATCHING!)
And feel free to tweet the following once per day and leave the url for your tweet in the comments below (one entry per tweet). Make sure you’re following try small things and Goliath Games US on Twitter for your entry to count.
Keep kids busy over the holidays with Spray Art and Photo Pearls. Enter to #win both from @trysmallthings! https://wp.me/p4xBed-6Um CAN/US 12/21 #artsandcrafts
The contest is open to Canadian (excluding Quebec) and US residents 18+ and ends at 11:59 p.m. EST on December 21, 2018. The potential winner (chosen at random) must respond to prize notification within 48 hours and provide the correct answer to a skill-testing question, otherwise another winner will be selected.
Good luck everybody!
Update December 23, 2018: Congratulations Erin M!