Out of all the different kinds of subscription boxes available, art boxes are among the most thoughtfully put together and exciting to open. They are made by artists for artists so the boxes of art supplies and activities are always really creative and unique. In our updated list of the best art subscription boxes in the UK, we’ve got eight excellent art boxes for beginners and accomplished artists alike plus a good selection of art boxes aimed at kids.
Best art subscription boxes
Best new art supply box
Scrawlrbox began as an art supply subscription service designed to inspire artists of all abilities with a new selection of creative tools every month but as the art box grew in popularity, founder Chris Lambert realised there was a community of art enthusiasts all over the world eager to share their creations with others. Subscribe for under £20 a month and you’ll get a new set of art supplies each month sourced by Chris plus artwork to inspire you by the month’s featured artist. Let your creative juices flow and share your art with the ScrawlrBox community on their website and Facebook page.
Artful Subscription Box
Best quarterly art subscription box
Choose a monthly art subscription box for yourself or as a gift for someone artistic that will enjoy getting a fresh supply of premium art materials every quarter (4 boxes a year). When you first subscribe you can select the ‘1st box option’ to get your introductory kit, or you can just begin with the subscription box for the quarter. The art subscription boxes introduce you to new art materials and teach you how to create in different styles with video tutorials and tips from featured artists in the Artful magazine included in the box. Share your work and get inspired by other art box subscribers by joining the exclusive online community. You can also take part in their daily drawing challenge on Instagram.
Smart Art Subscription Box
Best art project in a box
A highly informative brochure was the first thing we excitedly picked out of our Smart Art subscription box. Turning the pages revealed some history about and uses of the new batch of art materials in the artist box followed by an illustrated Quick-Start guide on how to use the products and then a Skill Challenge Guide so you can try your hand at reproducing the examples given. Armed with the expert advice, people of all ages and skills can get spectacular results with the six-step art project in each box. It’s ideal for supplemental education and you can watch their video tutorials on YouTube.
The Calligraphy Box
Best calligraphy subscription
Professional calligrapher Jenni Liandu specialises in teaching modern and creative calligraphy styles and her subscription boxes come with a lovely personal touch; streaming live lessons exclusively for subscribers that log in with a QR code. With her monthly calligraphy boxes she shares her expertise along with content aimed at surprising and inspiring you to pick up a pen and get creative with the ancient art of artistic writing. The subscription caters to beginners and experienced calligraphers alike. If you are a beginner, select the Beginner’s Box for your first subscription. If not, get stuck into Jenni’s challenging calligraphy projects and see your skills improve with each new box. Shipping is free in the UK.
Best choice of art boxes
Art Snacks boxes come in 2 sizes. If you already have your own supply of paper and just want to try new art making tools and techniques each month with supplies such as tubes of paint, coloured pencils and fine line pens then you can get a regular Art Snacks subscription for a monthly delivery of 4-5 premium art products in a slender box that will easily fit through your letterbox. If however you want an art subscription box with more supplies, including a full-size surface for your creations, you’re better off going for the Art Snacks Plus subscription, which gives you up to 6 art products in a bigger box (too big for your average letterbox). We like the membership perks that you get with this art subscription box, like discovering new art products before they are available in the stores, and limited edition art items.
Art in a Box
Best starter kit art boxes for kids
Art in a Box is aimed at helping young and adult beginners alike take the plunge and discover their inner creativity with everything you need – instructions, images, materials and videos – to help you get started creating art. But we wanted to let you know about their Young Artist Monthly Subscription Box for 8 to 12-year-olds. We think it’s the best art box to get kids creating art they can be proud of with a new project in each monthly box, often with an animal theme such as ‘Sleeping Woodland Creatures’ and ‘Mythical Beasts’, complete with detailed but easy-to-follow instructions on how to create elements such as shading and blending. As this one’s for kids, a sweet snack is usually thrown in each monthly box too.
World Architecture Mini
Best no-mess art box for kids
If you want something arty but not messy for the kids – knowing they don’t have the patience or skills to paint without getting more on the walls, floor and themselves than on the paper – try giving them a Leaning Tower of Pisa or Big Ben to build (no painting needed). Aimed for kids aged 6-11, the World Architecture Mini clip-together models of famous architecture from all over the world is a creative way to keep young minds occupied with fun and engaging hands-on activities. Just as working with paintbrushes and pencils builds motor skills, putting together these well-known buildings and structures improves problem-solving skills, concentration and dexterity. This celebration of the art of architecture is also a fun history lesson with accompanying reading material about the monthly model.
Ready Steady Paint
Best professional art supplies subscription for young artists
Ready steady Paint gets our vote for being the ‘best professional art supplies subscription for young artists’. Using quality art materials really makes a difference to the end result, which is really important if you’re encouraging a youngster to develop their art skills and paint or sketch something they can be proud of. The art box set comprises art supplies from the brands preferred by pros such as Daler-Rowney, Winsor & Newton and Stabilo. Each month, it introduces recipients to two activities to build fundamental artistic skills; the first in the art box, the second via email 14 days later. Subscribers also get expert tuition from art teacher Ali Hargreaves on how to use their new art materials.
Art subscription boxes: The verdict
All of the art boxes we tried and listed here are so well put together because behind each one is an artist with a genuine passion for sharing the magic of artistic expression with others. Being artists themselves, they come up with wonderful, out-of-this-world ideas for challenging and inspiring projects. As for price, at the cheap end, the art boxes for kids are usually between £10 and £20 but for more professional art supplies that grown ups will know to use more sparingly than an inquisitive 3-year-old, expect to pay between £25 and £40 for each box.