I’m a firm believer that everyone should have a creative hobby. And now, thanks to platforms like Creativebug, it’s easier than ever to start one!
Unlike most online learning platforms, Creativebug is dedicated entirely to crafts, art, printmaking, sewing, knitting, crochet, and other creative endeavors.
To help you decide whether or not Creativebug is worth it for you, I put together this extensive guide to the platform, complete with my review and a few alternatives.
Want to try it out for free? There’s currently a 60-day free trial available at the button below!
Affiliate disclosure: Articles on Tiny Workshops may contain affiliate links.
Table of contents:
What is Creativebug?
Creativebug is an online learning platform dedicated to arts & crafts courses. It was created in 2012, and now boasts 1000+ courses on a wide variety of DIY topics.
It’s a subscription service that unlocks everything for a single monthly fee. However, courses are taught by expert crafters, so the average course quality is very high.
Plus, there are plenty of patterns, templates, and even recipes available to download and keep forever!
Who owns Creativebug?
Creativebug was purchased by JOANN Fabric and Craft Stores in April of 2017. Not much changed with the acquisition, and Creativebug retains a distinct business unit within the company.
The main connection between the two companies can be seen in the premium Unlimited Plus plans, which include exclusive discounts in JOANN stores.
How does it work?
Creativebug works very similarly to other online learning platforms like Udemy, Skillshare, and Domestika.
All you need to do is select a course you’re interested in and start watching. Each class is divided into different lessons, each covering specific sub-topics and tasks.
There’s also a handy list of materials, watchlists, and the ability to add notes to courses.
The best place to watch these courses is, without a doubt, the web. There are apps for both Android and iOS, but they’re admittedly not the best way to experience classes. Stick to web browsers if at all possible.
Is Creativebug worth it? Mini review
Creativebug has a lot to offer crafters, but with so many options on the market, is it really worth it?
Here’s my quick Creativebug review for 2023!
What I like
No matter what kind of class I tried, all of them had excellent teachers and high production values. It’s definitely a step above Skillshare and other teacher-uploaded platforms.
Some notable teachers include illustrator Lisa Congdon and artist Yao Cheng. They really know their stuff and communicate their expertise in an engaging way.
If you’re looking for variety, there are tons of options for sewing, drawing, illustration, and other crafts. This is the perfect platform for people who like to jump around to different crafts and learn new skills.
The pattern library is also a nice touch, although it’s somewhat limited. The ability to download class materials and other content as PDFs is a great way to take your learning on the go.
Finally, the best aspect of the platform is undoubtedly the price. You can access hundreds of classes for less than the price of a single course on competitors like Domestika or CreativeLive.
It’s a really great value, even on the month-to-month plans.
What I don’t like
One of my main problems with Creativebug is that it doesn’t offer as much variety as it seems on the surface.
The vast majority of classes fall into a few categories, primarily art and sewing. Other creative endeavors like fine arts, digital illustration, photography, and design are largely absent.
Also, most classes are aimed at beginners. If you already have some experience and want to push into more advanced or professional-level skills, you will eventually hit a roadblock with Creativebug.
Plus, there aren’t too many new classes added every month — at least for now.
Another thing that I noticed is that it isn’t the youngest and hippest platform. This isn’t exactly a bad thing, but those looking for a more modern approach and teaching style might want to look to alternatives like Domestika.
Verdict: Is Creativebug worth it in 2023?
Nowadays, there are a lot of free options when it comes to crafting skills (YouTube alone has virtually unlimited craft content!), but I definitely think there’s still a place for paid subscriptions like Creativebug.
Read also: 100+ creative hobbies to try and how to get started
If you’re looking for starter classes for sewing, jewelry-making, illustration, or other crafts, Creativebug is absolutely worth it. Especially considering you can get your first 60 days for free!
Just don’t expect to become an expert in any one subject. This is a platform for hobbyists who are looking for fun, creative ways to spend their time, not professional artists looking to pad their resumes.
How much is Creativebug?
The standard Creativebug “Unlimited” subscription costs $7.95 a month, with a slightly more expensive “Unlimited Plus” plan costing $9.95 a month. You can also get a 40% discount for paying annually.
So, which plan is better?
For most people, the cheaper “Unlimited” plan is the best value. The only added benefits of the more expensive plan are discounts at JOANN and the ability to keep one class per month (even if you end your subscription).
One class isn’t much, and unless you’re a very frequent shopper at JOANN you’re unlikely to make your money back.
In fact, you might end up spending more than you’d like!
Still, the best value is easily the annual plan. It costs $71.40, which comes out to just $5.95 a month. That’s way cheaper than other subscription platforms like Skillshare or the CreativeLive Creator Pass.
The good news is that Creativebug is currently offering a free 60-day trial.
All you have to do is click below to start your free trial and enjoy two months of unlocked content!
How to get Creativebug for free
Crafters on a budget will be happy to learn that there are also lots of ways to get Creativebug for free.
The first and easiest way is obviously the free trial. No matter which plan you want to try, you can get a 60-day free trial before spending a dime.
Another way to gain free access for students is through your school. Many schools around the world provide open access to students through the Creativebug School program. To find out if your school supports it, you’ll have to reach out to your administrators.
One final way to get Creativebug for free is at your local public library. Hundreds of libraries around the globe have signed up for the Creativebug Library program, which offers free access to patrons.
To see if your library is included, click here and scroll down to View all libraries.
Best Creativebug classes
Once you start your subscription (or free trial), there are tons of great Creativebug classes to choose from.
They’re broken down into a few categories:
- Art & Design
- Food & Home
- Holiday & Party
Each category is then broken down into sub-categories, so it’s a breeze to find what you’re looking for.
In general, there are a few types of classes: deep-dive beginner’s guides, short project tutorials, and technique-centered classes. These can also be part of a multi-class series taught by the same teacher.
To help you get started, here are a few of the best Creativebug classes I’ve found so far:
Best Creativebug classes: Quick picks
- Taught by watercolor artist Yao Cheng
- Two-part introduction to everything watercolor (2h 13m)
- Follow up intermediate class
- Taught by artist and illustrator Lisa Congdon
- Four-part line drawing and doodling class (4h 49m)
- More from this teacher: Creative Boot Camp
- Taught by clothing designer Cal Patch
- Four-part course about clothing pattern drafting (6h 11m)
- Learn how to create new patterns or adjust existing ones to fit
- Taught by soapmaker Lindsey Stone
- Quick class on cold soapmaking (24m)
- Covers the full process, including mixing and packaging
Creativebug is far from the only platform that’s filled with great creative courses.
If it doesn’t have exactly what you’re looking for, here are a few alternatives that are worth checking out.
Creativebug vs Domestika
I’ve said it many times before, but Domestika is easily my favorite online learning platform for creative courses.
Like Creativebug, Domestika has expert teachers and a professional production team. But Domestika has far more courses covering more topics, and the courses themselves are overall better quality.
What really seals the deal for me is that there’s no subscription fee. You can buy Domestika courses once and keep them forever. Typically they cost around $10 when on sale.
And if you’re interested in a subscription instead, you can sign up for the platform’s Domestika Plus membership. It can be paid on a monthly or yearly basis, and includes one course to keep forever every month, plus a few other benefits like signed completion certificates.
The biggest drawback is that most courses are in Spanish with English subtitles. There’s a growing catalog of English audio courses, but you should expect subtitles on most courses.
Creativebug vs Skillshare
Skillshare is a platform that most online learners have heard of, and it’s a solid Creativebug alternative for crafters.
What’s great about Skillshare is the sheer quantity of classes. There are tens of thousands of options covering a huge swath of topics. No matter what you want to learn, there will be a course on Skillshare for it.
However, not all of these courses are winners. The platform has come a long way when it comes to curation, but the classes are still user-uploaded so expect lower production values overall.
Skillshare is also more expensive than Creativebug at ~$155 a year. Note that courses can’t be bought individually and there’s no monthly membership. Only yearly.
Still, it’s a great option for those who like to try out lots of different crafts and learn new skills. There’s a fairly generous one-month free trial too, which you can start at the link below!
Creativebug vs Craftsy (Bluprint)
Creativebug and Craftsy (formerly Bluprint) are the closest direct competitors I can think of.
Both offer creative courses and trendy patterns.
Both feature expert instructors and high production values.
And both have affordable subscription plans that unlock thousands of courses instantly. (Although Craftsy also allows you to buy courses individually, they tend to be expensive).
So which one is better?
Well, it depends on what you’re looking for. Creativebug has courses that cover a variety of topics, while Craftsy has a special focus on quilting, sewing, knitting, and baking.
If that’s primarily what you’re looking for, click the button below to learn more!
Creativebug vs CreativeLive
CreativeLive is another great platform for creative courses, but it takes a different approach to learning (despite the similarities in the names).
Instead of focusing on hands-on tutorials, most classes are recorded in front of an audience. They’re essentially lectures with some instruction.
Don’t let that turn you away, though. This format lends itself incredibly well to many topics, especially anything related to starting or running a creative business.
It’s also a cheaper alternative to higher education courses in many creative fields.
CreativeLive gives you the option to buy courses individually, or unlock thousands right away with a Creator Pass. It’s a bit pricey at $39 a month, but there are huge discounts if you commit to a year. We’re talking 50-70% off here. Click the button below to learn more.
Does Creativebug offer gift subscriptions?
Yes! A Creativebug subscription is a fantastic gift for all the craft-lovers in your family. Learn more here.
Can I download Creativebug courses?
Yes, but only via the app. You can only download class materials and instructional PDFs on the web version.
Are there craft classes for kids?
Yes! There is a whole section of children’s classes, with projects separated into the age ranges 5+ and 8+. Note that your child may still need some help to complete the task, at least the first time.
Do I have to claim a free class every month with the Unlimited Plus plan?
No! You simply get a credit for each month you’re subscribed, so you can save them and use them whenever you like.
How can I teach a class on Creativebug?
It isn’t easy to get in, but you should contact the team directly via the Contact page. Send your class idea, a brief bio, and your website and/or social pages.
What can I watch on Creativebug for free?
There is a small selection of free classes that changes from time to time. Check out the latest free Creativebug classes here.
How can I watch Creativebug on my TV?
If you have an Apple TV device, you can download the official app and watch there. Otherwise, there isn’t an easy way to do it. You can cast your active tab to a Chromecast, but it won’t offer the same video quality.
That’s it for this guide to Creativebug! How has your experience been with the platform? Would you recommend it? Let us know in the comments below!
This is an Absolutely Fantastic article. So informative and objective. I am always looking up reviews, and this is by far the best.. . I wish you had your own review site. I had joined for the drawing classes, but I let it lapse b/c variety on YouTube. I am going to rejoin thanks to you. It was difficult for me to navigate the site but I have a much better feel for it now. I am 61, and I have technical/digital, lets say ,challenges. This is exactly what I needed. Do you teach any classes?
Thanks for the kind words, June! I’m glad I could help. 🙂
I don’t teach any classes online at the moment, but I have in the past and might get back to it in the future. We’ll see!
Creative Bug/JOANN is the worst subscription/company, you should not waste your money or time. They took my money and refused to offer me the services that were promised through the agreement. I contacted them several times about providing me with the link to their site which is what I paid for and they would not respond. I wrote to their customer service department to which their reply was to just cancel my subscription. Why was it so hard to just allow me access to the services I was paying for? Will never do business with them again.
Nick, thank you for the in-depth review and comparisons. Domestika is my go-to option and I love the format and professionalism of the offerings. My reason to not sign up and try creative bug or other subscription based services is that it’s not easy to cancel subscriptions, and at times requiring you call a US number to cancel. Could you please through some light on the ease of cancelling the service?
Thanks for the comment, Sweta! I’ll definitely get that info added to this and other platform guides in the near future. I know Creativebug in particular can be a bit of a pain to cancel, and that can make a big difference when deciding on where to take courses!