You never know what will show up on Aldi shelves, and that’s part of the fun of shopping there. From garden gazebos to fire tables to crème brûlée and unicorn ice cream cones, we certainly find our share of unique items. Recently while browsing the middle aisle, my daughter and I spotted some craft kits that caught our attention.
Hinkler Craft Kits cost $6.99 each and came in several varieties at the time of publication:
- Create Your Own Bath Bombs
- Create Your Own Luxe Soap
- Create Your Own Pebble Art
- Create Your Own Embroidery
- Dreamcatchers and Wall Hangings
- Macrame Creations
These kits are Aldi Finds, which means they’re only at Aldi for a short time. Hinkler is not an Aldi-exclusive house brand but rather an independent company based in Australia. Hinkler produces a variety of craft kits, puzzles, books, and educational resources for kids and adults, and they often sell things at Aldi. In the past, we’ve purchased Hinkler products from Aldi such as a multiplication practice pull-tab book.
Going back to these particular craft kits, it was a hard choice between the bath bombs kit and the soap-making kit, but we picked the soap kit.
These actually look like they were intended to be sold for Mother’s Day back in May because my receipt shows this kit as “Mother’s Day Craft,” and Aldi stated on its website: “Craft kits focus on creative crafts for Mommy and Me or a relaxing break for Mom.”
It’s likely these were affected by shipping delays that Aldi and practically every retailer in the world are experiencing now. There’s no other reason I can guess at as to why these would show up on store shelves more than a month after Mother’s Day.
Opening the Box
With that said, my daughter was eager to crack open the soap kit box once we got it home. Only a couple of months earlier, she and I worked together to make a colorful layered soap project that she received as part of a monthly crafting gift subscription from relatives. So while we are far from soap-making experts, we do have some experience with soap craft kits.
The first thing we noticed was how little there was inside the box. For only $7, I suppose we should not have been surprised.
Here’s what you get in the soap craft kit:
- 5.29 ounces of melt-and-pour glycerine soap
- a plastic soap mold with four shapes
- 1 mixing stick (a wooden popsicle stick)
- 1 plastic pipette
- a 24-page book
We quickly determined that what you’re mostly paying for here is the small 24-page color-illustrated book, plus two little blocks of soap that are so small you can’t complete some of the single projects in the book with them.
The little book is lovely, with beautiful pictures and fairly detailed instructions about the different types of soap making and what additional tools you’ll need.
It also contains step-by-step illustrated directions for making eight different types of soap:
- Lavender soap
- Layered ombre soap
- Rose petal soap
- Coffee bean soap
- Charcoal swirls soap
- Stained glass soap
- Honey and oatmeal soap
- Amethyst geode soap
The main problem is that you cannot make a single of one these soap recipes without using additional ingredients that do not come with the kit.
- The lavender soap requires lavender floral buds.
- The layered ombre soap requires four times the amount of melt-and-pour soap that comes with the kit, plus soap colorant.
- The rose petal soap calls for rose clay and dried rose buds.
- The coffee soap requires coffee grounds and whole coffee beans.
- The charcoal swirl soap calls for additional melt-and-pour soap plus activated charcoal, blue colorant, and sandalwood essential oil or fragrance.
- The stained glass soap requires additional white soap plus clear soap, soap-safe mica, and eco-friendly glitter.
- The honey and oatmeal soap requires colloidal oatmeal and honey.
- The amethyst geode soap calls for additional clear and white soap, colorant, and eco-friendly glitter.
None of these additional ingredients would be difficult to find at a craft store or grocery store, or in your garden. But still, if you purchase this kit hoping to simply crack it open and get down to making a simple craft, you’ll find it doesn’t work quite that way. This is more of a starter kit if you’re looking to get into more serious soap crafting or soap making in bulk, rather than doing a couple of one-time projects for fun. All of these extra materials are also going to add significantly to the cost of what I assumed was an inexpensive craft kit.
My daughter lost interest in the kit once she scanned the instruction book and realized everything it called for. This is one product we most likely will return to Aldi.
Hinkler Craft Kits were sold in several varieties ranging from bath bombs to dreamcatchers to embroidery and more. We decided to try the soap-making kit, but we lost enthusiasm when we opened it at home to discover that all of the potential projects required obtaining extra ingredients from a craft store and/or grocery store.