The Old Schoolhouse® Product & Curriculum Reviews

With so many products available we often need a little help in making our curriculum choices. The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine family understands because we are in the same boat! Do you need more information on a product before you buy? With over 5,500 products listed in 52 easy-to-use categories, much of the information you need to know is only a click away! Let our reviewer-families help yours.
Do you want to get the word out about your product or service to the homeschool community? Email Jenny Higgins and share a little about what you´d like showcased, and we can help with that!

Funtime! Beginners Starter Set Review by Danielle Lenz

Springfield Leather Company
1 800 668 8518
1463 South Glenstone Ave
Springfield, Mo. 65804

The Funtime! Beginners Starter Set is a complete, hands-on leather crafting kit perfect for creating hours of family fun. In this kit, you will find a set of eight decorative leather stamps, a 4-ounce bottle of "goof-proof" leather stain, a sponge, decorative beads, string, and a mallet. Also included is a test piece of leather for practicing new techniques and rounders, bookmarks, and wristbands for stamping. In addition, there is an instructional sheet with simple leather crafting techniques and tips to help you along the way. Springfield Leather Company provides phenomenal customer service, offering readily available advice, troubleshooting, and additional materials support when needed. The Funtime! Beginners Starter Set is available on the Springfield Leather website for $30.00. 

Our family loves trying out new crafts, so the Funtime! Beginners Starter Set was an instant hit in our home! We chose a rainy afternoon to sit down together and learn the skill. After reviewing the instruction sheet, we felt we had a good understanding of the stamping method. Leather crafting is new to us, so we anticipated a complicated process. However, we were pleasantly surprised to learn how easy it is! We also especially loved the personal and friendly tone of the introduction sheet provided. 

We successfully and joyfully created multiple wristbands, bookmarks, and rounders (which we use as coasters!) in one afternoon. We still have plenty of supplies to revisit this project and create more leather pieces in the future. The kit's packaging recommends use for ages six and up, which I felt was appropriate. Our five-year-old daughter thoroughly enjoyed stamping her own leather wristband with parental help and supervision. Because the kit requires a mallet to pound the stamp into the leather, adults should supervise children to maintain a safe experience. My ten and eleven-year-old children were able to make their projects independently. 

Introducing new art mediums and exercising our creativity is an integral part of homeschooling for our family, and we truly enjoyed working with this kit. Through a series of simple projects, we learned how to wet the leather properly before stamping, tested different techniques for using the poly mallet to get the best stamp outcome, practiced staining the leather, and exercised patience in letting our creations dry! My girls loved showing off their bracelets, and my son enjoyed creating new bookmarks to add to his collection. The leather bookmarks come pre-drilled with a hole in the top, allowing you to use the included string and beads to add a fun decorative touch to the bookmark. Together, we even crafted additional wristbands as gifts for friends! These crafts make special gifts that children can create almost entirely on their own and be proud to share. 

The included instruction sheet indicates that the leather is best stamped on a marble surface. It would be wonderful if the Funtime! Beginnings Starter Set could include a small marble slab, but we used a large, thick plastic cutting board and still achieved excellent results. I would be curious to try out different surfaces and compare results in the future. 

The Funtime! Beginners Starter Set is a craft we will revisit and continue to share with friends. We recently had my seven-year-old niece over for a visit, and she enjoyed leather crafting too! I love that this kit provides a simple and easy project with minimal set-up and clean-up time. For families with children aged five and older, I recommend this kit for hours of creativity and crafting fun! 

-Product review by Danielle Lenz, The Old Schoolhouse®, January 2023