Bluprint has received a fair bit of criticism since transitioning from Craftsy, so we wanted to find out for ourselves what the platform is like, and if it lives up to their tagline of “crafting made easy“.
In this hands-on review, we will go through Bluprint’s features, pros, and cons, as well as share our experience taking a course on the site.
Want to know what other e-learning platforms are there? Check out our detailed review of Skillshare, an online creative learning program that offers video classes on a number of different subjects
What is Bluprint?
Bluprint is an online course platform for sewers, crafters and makers. They offer some other features like a shop which sells such craft supplies and patterns, but this site is really all about the classes.
The site offers monthly and annual subscriptions, both of which include access to unlimited sewing, crafting, art and lifestyle videos. The monthly subscription is currently $7.99, and the annual subscription $79.99, with introductory offers available.
Classes are also available “a la carte”, meaning they can be purchased individually, most for around $25.
This gives beginners the opportunity to learn something new and pick up a hobby they have always wanted to try. Bluprint also allows established sewers and crafters to further develop their skills, as well as providing tutorials on new projects.
No matter your level of skill or experience, Bluprint gives you a chance to learn in an accessible way and at your own pace, in the comfort of your own home. The wide variety of classes across dozens of topics also means you can easily dip in and try something new.
Bluprint: the new Craftsy
Until 2019, Bluprint was known as Craftsy. Craftsy was a well-known site and had a dedicated following. When NBCUniversal acquired Craftsy, they decided to rebrand it as Bluprint.
The transition from Craftsy to Bluprint was accompanied by some controversy. Many Craftsy users were unhappy with the new interface and subscription structure.
Additionally, the new platform received some criticism from former instructors, who said that they had been much better looked after under the old Craftsy site. They complained about changes to payment arrangements, as well as feeling alienated by the new Bluprint management.
However, from my personal experience using Bluprint, I found the interface well-designed and easy to use. I also found that the quality of teaching and video production was high. I will go into both of these points in more detail later in this review.
Bluprint: An overview
Bluprint is a large site with a number of features and benefits. Usability is one of Bluprint’s big advantages: the site is easy to navigate, making it simple to search for and take online courses. You can access courses and other features on your computer, tablet or smartphone.
There are a few aspects which are overly complicated, such as downloading patterns, but overall Bluprint has a very user-friendly interface.
Another advantage of Bluprint is that it offers a vast array of classes, covering a wide variety of topics. Courses not only cover sewing and crafting, but also cooking and lifestyle classes like flower arranging.
You can search classes based on your skill level, with classes available from beginners to advanced levels, and general introductions to niche topics.
The course categories are:
- Fabric and fiber: quilting, knitting, sewing, crocheting, embroidery
- Food: cake decorating, baking, cooking
- Art: drawing, painting, photography, writing, paper crafts, jewelry making
- Living: home and garden, woodworking, fitness
Signing up for a subscription gives you unlimited access to all of Bluprint’s classes. You can take as many online courses as you want through their video-on-demand service.
Other features of the platform include patterns, kits, technique tutorials and reference guides that will further support you to develop your skills and pursue new projects.
Bluprint is a well-developed platform that is easy to use. Its core feature is undeniably its unlimited online classes for subscribers, though it does have a few other great features as well.
What kind of classes does BluPrint offer?
Bluprint has a very extensive range of classes, over 1300 in fact, covering a large number of topics. Not only can you learn to sew a particular garment or discover a new quilting technique, you can also make French pastries or take a yoga class.
Classes cover different ability levels, though a large proportion of courses are geared towards beginners. There are a lot of courses that focus on getting started and learning the basics of a particular craft, as well as some for developing more advanced skills, such as free motion quilting.
The main component of each course is a series of videos, which are well-shot in high video quality. Some courses also come with resources or patterns.
In the videos, the instructor gives clear instructions on materials you need, breaking down the steps and then walking you through the process. They often also give you extra tips and tricks you should know about that particular craft or technique, just like in a live class.
Most classes are around one and a half to two hours each. Some basic tutorials are much shorter, and some longer courses go up to three hours or more.
Although the classes are not interactive, there is a comments section for each course where you can ask the instructor questions. I asked a question in one of the classes and I got a comprehensive response within 24 hours.
The comment section also allows you to check whether the course is right for you based on user feedback. To this end, you can also check the class’ user ratings before you jump in.
I would recommend accessing the courses on your computer so that you can watch the videos on a larger screen, making it easier to see all the details. You can also access course materials and videos on your tablet or smartphone, either through a web browser or by downloading the app.
Get access to free and paid patterns
Another of Bluprint’s features is the ability to order and download patterns.
The majority of patterns cost around $8.00 each, with a members’ discount bringing the price down to $6.80 at the time of writing. There are also some budget patterns for around $5.00, as well as a few free patterns.
The free patterns aren’t limited to very basic ones either. There are some nice quilt project patterns available on Bluprint for free.
When looking through the patterns, you can filter your search by pattern type (quilt, knit, sew, crochet) as well as according to project type, skill level and price. This makes it easier to navigate the sizable number of patterns available and find what you’re looking for.
I should point out however, that these patterns seem to be geared toward quilting. The vast majority of patterns are for quilting projects. There are some sewing patterns, but these seem to be exclusively basic items such as cushions, aprons and face masks.
Downloading patterns is also a bit of a process: you need to put the pattern you want in your cart (even for free patterns), then proceed to check out. Finally, you’ll be able to download your pattern in the pattern library of the members’ area.
On the upside, once you have purchased a pattern, it will be stored in your pattern library forever so you’ll be able to download it at any time.
Other useful features of BluPrint
Bluprint also offers a few other features, all of which are available to both members and non-members. You can access the site and its features on your computer, tablet, or smartphone, either through your browser or by downloading the app.
Bluprint’s site features a range of references and guides on sewing, knitting and crafts. Some courses link to appropriate reference materials, and you can also search for relevant guides and videos on the “Techniques” page.
This means that if you’re struggling with a particular technique, or simply interested in learning more about a particular craft, you can instantly see all of Bluprint’s resources on that topic.
Bluprint also has an online shop offering sewing supplies such as fabric, thread, and needles. They also sell kits and supplies such as sewing kits for bags, pillows, and garments.
However, you will be able to find a better range of products on Amazon or other online marketplaces,as the brands and models available on the Bluprint shop are rather limited.
Finally, once you sign up for a Bluprint subscription, you’ll have access to the members’ area. The members’ area is pretty basic, but it does have a couple of handy features that make it easier to keep on top of your projects.
Specifically, members’ features include:
- Watch List, with your recently watched course videos.
- Class library, showing the classes you’re enrolled in.
- Pattern library, where you can see all the patterns you have previously purchased or downloaded.
- My projects, where you can upload and store projects.
You can also manage your subscription and update your account information through this section of the site.
When subscribing to Bluprint, you have two main options: either a monthly or an annual subscription. The monthly plan costs $7.99 per month, while the annual plan is $79.99, and they accept payment by either PayPal or credit card.
Note: at the time of writing, Bluprint was offering an introductory price for the annual subscription of $39.99 for the first year. However, after the first 12 months, you will be charged the full rate if you sign up for a second year.
Both plans include unlimited access to Bluprint’s online courses. Members with the annual subscription also get 15% off supplies they buy on the site, and free shipping within the US.
You can also purchase classes individually if you don’t want a subscription. However, with many courses priced around $25, the subscription seems to be the more cost-effective option.
How Bluprint courses work
- To wade through Bluprint’s hundreds of courses and find the one you want, the first thing you should do is click on the relevant category, such as quilt, sew, paint, or cook.
- From the initial category page that shows a few featured classes, select “view all” to see all available courses. You can filter the course by level, media, and so on.
- Click on an individual class to go to the course page. Here you’ll find the resources tab with useful info such as materials needed or a metric conversion guide. There is also a comments tab with student questions and the class’ user rating.
- To sign up for the classes, all you have to do is click “watch now”, and it will launch the first episode of the class.
As long as you have a subscription and you are logged in to your account, you can do as many classes as you want. This is part of Bluprint’s video-on-demand model that was the big change when the platform switched over from Craftsy.
As mentioned, an “a la carte” purchase is also an option if you don’t have an active subscription and just want to buy one class.
Each course is broken up into episodes with a brief description of each episode on the main class page.
You can skip ahead to other episodes without watching the previous one. This is particularly useful in some of the painting classes where there are several distinct mini-projects in the same class, broken up into different episodes.
It’s a small detail, but keep in mind that you cannot pause or un-pause the video with the spacebar. You’ll need to click on the play or pause button on the bottom of the video, which can be a bit of a pain if you’re used to using the spacebar, as this is a common function on other online players.
The interface also doesn’t seem to remember where you were in the class if you return to it later, so you’ll need to keep track of this yourself. However, it does have a full screen-option, as well as letting you jump forward or back 15 seconds and bookmark spots in the video.
I would recommend a Bluprint subscription for anyone who spends a lot of time sewing, crafting or cooking. If you are likely to do a course every week or even once a month, the subscription will definitely be worth it.
Bluprint would also be a good choice for people with diverse interests, who not only love to make things, but are also interested in cooking and fitness, for example.
However, if you are looking for patterns, to buy supplies, or the occasional course to supplement your current crafting activities, Bluprint probably isn’t for you.
Overall, this is a well-made, user-friendly platform with a large range of online classes across a wide variety of topics, so it’s definitely a great choice for the right person.
Have you ever used this platform before? What’s your verdict on Bluprint? Let us know your opinions in the comments below.