Tonic Craft Kit Review: Monthly Subscription Box

I signed up for a quarterly subscription for a Tonic Studios craft kit because I wanted to see what all the fuss was about and if the monthly boxed kits were really worth it.

Tonic Craft kits have taken the paper crafting world by storm. They contain dies, stamp sets, papers and a selection of craft goodies from the Nuvo Tonic collection. All conveniently packaged in a box and delivered to your home each month or however often you want them.

Did I have a great experience? Would I sign up for these kits on a regular basis or not bother? My brutally honest review of these hugely popular kits may surprise you.

Brutally Honest Tonic Craft Kit Review: Is This Monthly Subscription Box Worth It?

Brutally Honest Tonic Craft Kit Review: Is This Monthly Subscription Box Worth It? CraftyMarie Reviews Tonic Studios Nuvo

Note that I'm not being asked to do this review or being financially compensated for it in any way. In fact, there are no sponsored or affiliate links in this entire post. Just so you know, I'm not trying to sell anything.

As such, my review is a totally honest account (at times rather frank) of what I personally experienced when I signed up here in the UK to initially receive just 3 boxes which were Tonic craft kits 09, 10 and 11.

I made the decision to review the whole experience of taking out a quarterly subscription to the Tonic Craft kit. I thought it would make a great write up for my blog and also be useful to other adult crafters considering this monthly subscription box.

About Tonic Craft Kits

Tonic studios craft kit 09 monthly subscription box for adult crafters what is inside review craftymarie

Tonic Studios make a whole lot of desirable and trendy craft items. They have glues, papers, card, embellishments like powders, drops and glitters, stamps, craft tools and dies that you can use in die cutting machines.

Some of their biggest selling items are their dies which is probably the main reason why you'd want to be signing up for a Tonic Studios craft kit in the first place.

The Tonic dies are pretty amazing and you can make items such as bags, boxes and memory books as well as just decorative dies for card making and scrapbooking.

You can buy their craft kits here in the UK from and sign up for a one-off purchase, a monthly purchase or a quarterly subscription.

The quarterly subscription is paid up front for 3 boxes at a time which does save some money over choosing the other options. There is, however, a BIG DOWNSIDE to choosing the quarterly subscription which you should be aware of before signing up to it.

Problems and Issues With My Orders and Delivery

Tonic studios craft kit 11 dies from the Christmas themed set review by craftymarie

One of the biggest problems with signing up for any monthly craft kit subscription box is that you are pretty much at the mercy of your local postal service.

I know from being a regular reader of the Tonic Facebook group that many people have issues with delayed or missing shipments of their Tonic craft kits.

I wasn't expecting any issues because in over 20 years of living in my location, we've only ever previously had 1 item completely go missing and very occasional delays due to the post.

Missing Tonic Craft Kits - It's Not Just Me!

Missing Tonic Craft Kit 10 UK monthly subscription box

Kit 09 turned up with no issue. Kit 10 was a whole 'nother story! Mine simply did not turn up at all. I emailed support, and my email just went unanswered - lost in cyberspace perhaps. 

Next I turned to Facebook and left a message there about my missing kit number 10. Owain, who most Tonic fans will know from the YouTube videos, was extremely helpful and super quick at getting back to me, promising to send a replacement kit.

More than a month later, my replacement kit number 10 hasn't yet turned up either. Either I must be really, really unlucky OR now, at a later date, I'm suspicious that there was actually a website issue that caused big problems with craft kit number 10. Just from things I've read in various FB groups, someone admitted there was an issue on Tonic's side of things.

Missing Tonic Studios craft kit and replacement support issues with this monthly subscription box

This crafter ALSO did not receive her Tonic craft kit and the replacement kit. She was also unlucky too! Judging by this post, she also had issues with trying to get someone to sort the issue with the missing kits out and is frustrated with Tonic Studios support.

What I wonder, is the same thing other crafters wonder in the FB group. Have my Tonic kits not turned up because they are clearly labelled as craft kits when sent through the post? Is it because they are highly desirable craft boxes and they have in fact been stolen at some point during the delivery process?

Missing dies in the monthly Tonic Craft Kit box stolen craft items

This Tonic craft kit arrived with dies missing. The box was already opened and the dies allegedly stolen from the inside of the package. Seems like the kits are perhaps being targeted somewhere along the line between packing and delivery.

Either way, since we normally expect no postal issues whatsoever - it does seem rather unbelievable that not only did I not receive kit number 10 but the replacement also went missing too!

Waiting longer and longer for the Tonic craft kits to arrive in the post

This crafter has issues with the delivery times for each kit. There have been a ton of complaints about the sudden popularity of these craft kits and how much longer people are having to wait in order to receive what they have paid for.

Kit no 11 turned up just fine and really quickly. Will I go back and chase up kit 10 again? I honestly don't know. I prefer to spend my precious time on positive pursuits like blogging and crafting. And also because I've been through a difficult time enough with other areas of my life this year without worrying over the loss of just a craft kit.

Can You Skip Tonic Kits You Don't Like?

Tonic Nuvo sequins bottles from craft kits subsciption

When I signed up for the cheaper (per box kit) quarterly subscription, I was wrongly under the impression that you could simply skip kits you did not want or like. This impression came from Facebook.

My advice? Don't believe everything you read on Facebook! You cannot skip individual craft kits with a quarterly subscription - you can skip buying the next 3 kits without knowing what they are even but not skip individual kits. It may work out cheaper per box - but you want to be pretty sure that you'd be happy to receive anything Tonic.

With a monthly subscription, it works out more expensive per box BUT you can skip a monthly box if you don't want it.

My advice is to look at previous kits (you can do this on the Tonic kit website and see if you genuinely like all the content that's come before.

If you are a massive Tonic fan and love all their dies and products, then a quarterly subscription may suit you. If you want to start collecting everything Tonic, it would also suit you. If money is no concern then this would be a great option too.

If you're on a budget or slightly more fussy about what you really want to receive, I'd advise a monthly subscription instead where you can skip kits you don't like the look of and save some pennies. 

Apparently the one off purchases are harder to get hold of and can sell out fast.

Are All the Tonic Craft Kits Such Good Value?

Tonic Nuvo crystal drops and glitter drops sample sizes from craft kits

You Can See Just How Small the Nuvo Drops Are From the Kits

This is difficult to assess because value depends not just on the monetary worth of the items in each kit but also what they are worth to you and how much use you will get out of them.

Of course the kits are fantastic value if you love everything in them and don't already have duplicates. The dies are unique to the craft kits, so once they are sold out, you simply cannot buy them anymore. That makes them rather priceless for a start.

On the whole, I do think the kits are pretty good value. You normally get a lot of detailed dies in the kits and then matching stamps. Everything else in the kit I really see as a bit of a bonus.

The A4 papers and cards are nice but you really don't get very many. I'd prefer a few more like a range of 10-20 to expand on my paper collection.

One thing to be aware of is that not everything comes as a full sized product. The glitter and crystal drops in particular come in VERY TINY sample sizes.

I would prefer to get fewer items and full sized ones because the addition of the sample pots makes the kit feel cheaper to me and not so nice. I'm not going to be showing off the sample drops on my craft shelf the way that they are packaged for the kit.

Then again, some people would prefer to sample more products in smaller sizes. You simply cannot please everyone.

As other crafters have said though, and I agree, it is a great way to sample Tonic products.

Are the Surprise Gifts in Each Tonic Craft Kit Worth It?

Tonic craft kit surprise gifts stencils and mirror card from kits 09 and 11

The Surprise Gifts I Received in My Tonic Craft Boxes

The surprise gifts are a really nice touch because there is one item that you hopefully know nothing about until you finally open your kit.

There has been some uproar from time to time when YouTuber's or crafters on Facebook spoil the surprise gift by showing people what it is. This could be annoying if you haven't yet had your box delivered.

If you don't want to know what the surprise gift is then stay away from any unofficial Tonic videos and photos until your own kit arrives.

The two surprise gifts I received were some stencils and, even better, a whole small pad of glossy mirror card. That was a great freebie. I believe some of the other gifts have included Tonic glue and a craft knife.

My Overall Experience of This Monthly Craft Subscription Box

Floral circle easel card made with tonic craft kit 09

Floral Circle Easel Card Made with Dies from Tonic Craft Kit 09

See How to Make a Basic Easel Card HERE

It obviously would have been better for me to do a review on 3 kits as I had originally intended but unfortunately it wasn't meant to be.

If Tonic ever want to send me a kit to replace the one I NEVER to this date have received - please contact me. It would be nice to think that someone from this company really does care about customer service. I still feel very let down by my overall experience.

Based on the 2 kits I received, I thought they were pretty good. Kit 9 had a beautiful gift bag die that I'm sure will get a workout for Christmas and Birthdays and Kit 11 is a stunning Christmas themed set.

For the price, the kits were OK. They do not come with printed instructions so you will need to watch videos on YouTube if you want to see how kits can be used. I would much prefer printed instructions but this would undoubtedly add to the cost.

One thing I noticed though was that I didn't get the same buzz with the arrival and opening of these kits as I get with the Tonic Magazines which are a whole lot less expensive.

I absolutely love the quality of the boxed Tonic magazines which has a smaller set of items but the addition of a full color magazine to offer suggestions on what to make. I much prefer this to watching YouTube videos. Crafting for me equals quiet time and getting away from technology.

Will I be Signing Up for Tonic Craft Kits in Future?

At the moment, I have unsubscribed from the Tonic kits. The problems I encountered with Kit 10 left a bit of a sour taste in my mouth. I also don't want to be worried that kits are going to go missing in the post every month and then having to chase it up.

I'm also not a fan of the sample sized items at all because they just don't have that special feel to like the full sized products which are packaged so beautifully and really feel worth it. So better for me to buy the full sized Nuvo items as and when I want them.

Mainly, a decision to buy the kits would be based on the actual dies. If, in future, there is a set including dies that I really love and feel I would get a lot of use from - I'd perhaps be tempted back. 

However, I'd plump for a monthly subscription where I could cancel or skip the next month's set if I wanted to. And I'd have to feel that the customer service really has changed for the better because I'm still very disappointed with my experience.

Meanwhile, I'll carry on buying the inspirational Tonic magazines and getting individual goodies from Tonic as and when I like. I'm not completely anti-Tonic. But I'm still sad that I never actually got what I paid for and feel very let down.

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  1. I am still missing Kit number 10 as well as the supposed replacement for this. Other crafters have also been unlucky like me with missing kits, missing replacements and issues with support.


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CraftyMarie is a craft themed website by Marie Williams Johnstone. I love to craft in the winter and garden in the summer. I make handmade cards, papercrafts, crochet and seasonal crafts. I enjoy many of the more traditional crafts and hobbies including sewing, embroidery and working with felt and fabric. Thanks for leaving me a comment. Comments do not show up until I approve them. Marie

Articles are accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. Content is for informational or entertainment purposes only and does not substitute for personal counsel or professional advice in business, financial, legal, or technical matters.