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Mary Corbet

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I learned to embroider when I was a kid, when everyone was really into cross stitch (remember the '80s?). Eventually, I migrated to surface embroidery, teaching myself with whatever I could get my hands on...read more

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Differences between Bluprint & Craftsy

 

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Lately, I’ve gotten quite a few folks asking me about Bluprint, and what the differences are between Bluprint and Craftsy.

A while ago, I reviewed quite a few of the Craftsy online embroidery classes that I like, explaining why I like them, what’s in them, and how they can be of value to the beginner (and beyond). They’re especially suited to those who don’t have classes or guild groups close by, or who might not have the wherewithal (flexibility in time, finances, or what-have-you) to attend face-to-face classes.

Recently, Craftsy and Bluprint have been showing up together online, so I want to explain the differences and highlight some pros and cons for those who are curious about the two.

Craftsy vs Bluprint online embroidery classes

Craftsy has been offering affordable, good quality online classes in various craft fields since they first started up in 2011. They’ve gone through some business changes since then. As of 2017, they are owned by NBC Universal. So they aren’t a “small” company.

These days, I think you could legitimately think of them, in a sense, as the “big box store” of online instruction in crafts.

Craftsy & Embroidery Classes

At Craftsy, you can purchase individual online classes that cover a whole slew of hobbies, crafts, and pastimes – from embroidery (which is why we’re talking about it), to quilting, to sewing, to knitting and crochet, tatting… to woodwork, photography, cooking, baking, cake decorating. You get the idea! There’s lots going on, on Craftsy!

Some of the hand embroidery oriented classes on Craftsy are excellent. I’ve reviewed the following Craftsy classes here on Needle ‘n Thread, and I think each of them is well worth the price, if the topic interests you:

1. Here’s my review of Goldwork Embroidery Essential Techniques with Lucy Barter (of the San Francisco School of Needlework and Design) – and here’s the Goldwork class on Craftsy, if you want to take a look at the preview.

2. Here’s my review of Stumpwork: Raised Embroidery Essentials – by Celeste Chalasani – and here’s the stumpwork class on Craftsy, if you want to look at the preview.

3. Here’s my review of Crazy Quilting with Allison Aller – and the crazy quilting class on Craftsy for a preview.

4. Here’s my review of Bead Embroidery (this is more like embroidery with beads) – and here’s the class on Craftsy if you want to preview it.

I also reviewed their Embroidery Start Up Library class – you can read my review of it here – but it’s not one I’d leap into recommending too much.

Overall, there’s a fairly good collection of about ten hand embroidery classes on Craftsy.

They’ve only added one new hand embroidery class in the past year or so – this Modern Hand Embroidery class with Jessica Long of Namaste Embroidery. She creates fun, trendy embroidery.

Bluprint

Bluprint is essentially “Craftsy Unlimited,” with extras.

Besides all the Craftsy classes, there are other online classes available on Bluprint that are not necessarily craft oriented. For example, there are classes in home decor, in fitness, in healthy eating, yoga, family-related things to do, and whatnot.

Bluprint is available either by monthly or yearly subscription. The current special pricing to sign up is $9.99 a month or $100 a year. With your monthly subscription, you get access to all the classes – and that includes all Craftsy classes and all the extra Bluprint stuff, too.

With the yearly subscription, you also receive a “get started” box of your choice, with supplies to start your craft pursuits. There’s an embroidery box, for example, with threads, hoop, fabric, needles, a printed canvas tote bag, and whatnot.

The Biggest Difference

As with any monthly subscription (like Bluprint), it’s usually a good deal if you actually make use of it, or if you know you will go through enough of the classes to make the cost worthwhile.

Of course, if you only want to go through, say, three of the embroidery classes, and you think you can do them all in a month, then you’d get great value out of a monthly subscription that you can cancel.

However, if you forget to cancel, you’re paying for something you’re not using.

And, when you do cancel, you don’t have access to the classes anymore.

With Craftsy, if you purchase an individual class that you really want to learn from – that you will most likely revisit over time as you learn and develop your skills (the goldwork and stumpwork classes are good for this) – then purchasing the class is your better bet, because once you have purchased it, it’s yours to access whenever you want.

In a Nutshell

If you’re an avid crafter and you like what Bluprint has to offer in scope, then it may very well be a really good deal for you.

If you’re more of a specific craft-oriented person – maybe you just want a couple embroidery classes to get you going or to help you really learn a technique – then individual class purchases through Craftsy would probably be the better and more affordable option in the long run.

Why Take an Online Class?

Here’s a recap of some good reasons why an online class might work for you:

  • Online classes are affordable. You’re not paying for travel, for lodging, for food, or for daily tuition.
  • They’re a great way to brush up on, or expand, your skills.
  • They’re easily accessible anywhere, as long as you have a decent internet connection.
  • For individually purchased classes, they don’t expire, so you can work at your own pace and revisit them as needed.
  • They include quality video instruction.
  • They include instructor interaction and feedback.
  • And they are (usually) taught by quality instructors who really know what they’re doing. (Definitely in the case of the goldwork and stumpwork classes mentioned above!)

Hope it Helps!

For those who have been wondering about the differences between Bluprint and Craftsy, I hope this helps clarify!

If you’re looking for online classes, both are decent options, but the return on your investment in either really depends on what you’re looking for in a class and how much time you intend to devote to watching online classes and learning from them.

This article makes use of affiliate links, which means that Needle ‘n Thread may earn a small commission from any purchases made through those links, with no extra cost to you. Every bit helps! Thank you!

 
 

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(19) Comments

  1. I’ve purchased a lot of Craftsy classes, and for those who haven’t but are thinking about it I encourage you to get on their email list and wait for a “sale”. The streaming portion, Bluprint, will sometimes offer free streaming for a limited amount of time. This gives me a taste of the class and I will often go back and purchase the class I streamed. When I own the class it’s easy to download to my iPad and take with me when I travel.

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  2. Dear Ms. Corbet: I love hand embroidery. I love vintage embroidery, the kind that would be found in an old country kitchen and home where the Lady of the house would want to brighten up a dish towel or part of a dress color. I work on small bits and pieces and have begun to do small wool holiday hang ups. I am writing because I have recently found your blog and an amazed to find so much information that you share. Thank you so much for being such an inspiration to us who want to improve on our knowledge of stitching to make even small things look wonderful.

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  3. Dear Mary

    This is a very useful blog on the differences between Blueprint and Craftsy. I probably would use Craftsy more for one off classes and I like the fact that you pay as you learn and you can revisit the class any time attracts me. Thanks for the breakdown and sharing with us the differences between the two companies and for the links above very useful information.

    Regards Anita Simmance

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  4. Thanks for the excellent review of Craftsy versus Blueprint. I have paid for Craftsy classes and do refer back to them, it is well worth the cost to have this availability. I had been wondering about Blueprint and if you would keep the classes, now that I know you don’t, Craftsy is the better option for me as Needlepointer and Knitter. Thanks again

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  5. Thank you Mary for this review, I do believe it will help so many of us make a choice when it comes to taking an on-line course to increase our skills.
    Enjoy your day with the all to brief dusting of snow. Thank you also for the pictures on facebook. 🙂
    Brenda

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  6. Online classes are also nice when you don’t want to “attend” the whole thing. I bought an embroidery class, and was able to listen at 1/5 or 2x speed for the parts that I was familiar with (this is embroidery floss! It has SIX strands….), then slow it down to normal for the new content. Worked great. Replay for the bits that I wanted to see twice.

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  7. Mary, this definitely helps! I’ve been considering Bluprint, but I hadn’t really considered it to be just a digital subscription, with no access once the subscription expires. This is a big concern with other digital subscriptions as well, especially magazines with patterns, and a big drawback to digital products.

    One additional benefit of purchasing individual classes is that some contain really good downloadable instructions or patterns that go with the classes.

    Thank you for this thoughtful explanation!

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    1. Hi, Carole –

      Most digital magazines and the like allow you access to the magazines you’ve subscribed to during the time of your subscription, even after you cancel your subscription. The subscription to the magazine is your payment to own those digital copies that came out during the subscription time. So, for example, if you’re subscribed to Inspirations digital version, any of the magazines that come out during your subscription time are yours, and you access them through the reader service they use (Zinio). Even if you cancel your subscription, you will still be able to access those magazines that you bought while subscribed. I’ve never heard of a digital magazine subscription where you lose your copies if you cancel. I suppose the reader service could just disappears or something – but usually that’s not the case. If a reader service goes through some kind of ownership or software change, those who have subscribed in the past are normally still updated to the next version, so that they can access their subscriptions.

      This is the case, too, with services like Audible, where you keep the audiobooks you bought during your subscription (using your monthly token or whatever), even if you cancel your Audible subscription. You can still access those audiobooks in your library through the Audible app.

      But this changes completely with a video streaming service, since you aren’t actually “buying” individual copies of digital things. You are just paying a sum per month to access ALL their things in their libraries. Once you cancel your subscription, you no longer have access. It’s like cable, but online. When you pay a fee for cable, you’re paying to access all those channels, but if you cancel your cable, you’re not going to be able to access the programs that were available while you were paying for cable.

      I don’t know if that’s the best analogy, but that’s how all streaming services work. And to me, yes, that’s usually the biggest drawback to a streaming service for something like online classes. You pay a monthly fee, and unless you really are taking advantage of many classes that they offer, then you end up paying significantly more than you would if you just purchased the one or two classes that you might interested in. By the time you cancel, you’ve lost money and you don’t have access to the classes you wanted in the first place! However, if you’re a craft junkie – or, if you have kids or a spouse living at home who would also like watching the classes and learning a hobby or craft – then I could see it being worthwhile! So it just depends on one’s circumstances.

  8. Thanks Mary, I really didn’t know what the difference between Craftsy and Blueprint was.
    thanks to your article now I know that I prefer Craftsy

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  9. Having subscribed to Craftsy Unlimited, I’m one of those who automatically got “signed up” with Bluprint when Craftsy decided to switch its Unlimited to Bluprint.

    (A head’s up would’ve been nice, rather than finding out via email the day they made the switch.)

    I haven’t explored much of Bluprint so far because I’m finding the site difficult to navigate, and it lacks some of the organizational features that I had with Craftsy.

    So I haven’t decided if I’ll stay with the Bluprint version of Craftsy Unlimited. I’ll have to explore further and decide if it’s worth it for me.

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  10. Thanks for bringing this up Mary. One other thing to note about Craftsy is that they occasionally have a few days of free streaming where you can go in and take a look at a lot of classes or just watch one or two. I don’t know how often they do it as I have only found out about them because someone in one of my Fb groups commented on it. The first was Thanksgiving 2017 and there was also one last week. Last year I just binge watched and it was a great break – like reading a really good book till late at night. Then, of course, bought a class on sale that I just had to have. This year I have been doing some sewing and I went looking for ways to do pant alterations.

    This year I signed up with Bluprint because I wanted to look in more depth at the sewing classes and compare different ways of altering. I plan to stay signed up for six months. I don’t know that it would work for me for a slower craft. I have gone through a Craftsy knitting class and it was great for holding my hand through the whole project but it took me about three months to work through it. I got it on one of their sales $19.99 USD – so cheaper than Bluprint for three months and I have referred back to it several times since when doing other projects.

    Note for Canadians – when I signed up for Bluprint I had to ask for the sale price ($12.99CA) in the chat box.

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  11. I just want to add that when I tried Blueprint several months ago, it had most but not all of the Craftsy classes. I was disappointed since I wanted to try out a couple Craftsy classes via Blueprint, but they weren’t offered on there. Blueprint does have some extras as you mentioned, so it’s certainly a good option for some people. Personally I love Craftsy and have purchased many excellent classes (during sale pricing!) that I like to return to over time.

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    1. That’s good to know, Katie – I will go back through and check. They certainly make it sound like all the Craftsy classes are there! It would be quite annoying if they aren’t!

  12. Thank you for this post. I have been wondering if some business bought Craftsy and I was wondering what the difference of Blueprint and Craftsy are. The membership is interesting, but I think I’ll stick with buying a class. I don’t like the idea of not having the classes be available if I should have to cancel the membership.
    Carol

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  13. +
    PAX

    Hello Mary,

    Thanks for the reviews of Craftsy and Bluprint. I am would love to see you on Bluprint! I don’t know if you are familiar with Alabama Chanin but she now has classes on Bluprint and would be delighted to hear your take on them. Alabama Chanin was in the NYC fashion industry and defined a hand sewing and embroidery technique on cotton jersey knit material. Yes, embroidering and cut-work on t-shirt fabric! She returned to her impoverished hometown in Florence, Alabama employing local artisans who had lost their jobs in the textile industries – to produce these now very expensive one of a kind clothing pieces, paying them a living wage for their stitching on sustainable organic cotton fabric. (Her story reminds me of the American version of the Irish crochet industry.) I’m taking the class titled “The New Embroidery: Simple Geometry, Beautiful Stitches” which introduces a simple grid method and a few simple stitches. I’ve never embroidered on jersey knit so forgive the pun but it’s going to be a real stretch for me. Check it out and wish me luck!

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  14. I ordered your Christmas tree PDF I think but it hasn’t been emailed to me It may because it is the weekend or I didn’t order it properly

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    1. Hi, Ruth – On this end, it shows that it was sent right away. But I’m guessing (based on your email extension) that your email provider has filtered it to spam or blocked it. I’ll send you a new link right now, via Hightail. Thanks!

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