I had the privilege of getting to interview Jennifer Perkins who is the editor of a brand new magazine that started exclusively for Walmart called Kids Crafts 1-2-3, but is now available at Barnes and Nobles and Michaels as well. The newest issue just hit the stands on March 4, so you can run right out today and pick one up, just in time for the upcoming holidays and Spring!
CG: Jen, it is so nice to be able to interview a fellow ‘Craft Gossip’ Editor Alum! First off, what makes Kids Crafts 1-2-3 Magazine different from other Kid Craft magazines out there right now?
Jen: Kids Crafts 1-2-3 is something fresh and different than your typical craft magazine for children. We really try to cover a wide range of mediums and cater to various age groups. There are articles in each issue about topics like crafting with what you have in the kitchen or how to finger knit. The price is also a big difference. Each issue is only $3.99!
CG: The photography and tutorials in the magazines are beautiful, how much time, effort and man-power does it take to put an issue of kids Crafts Magazine together each month?
Jen:Kids Crafts 1-2-3 is bi-monthly and it takes about 2 months to put together each issue. The system usually runs something like this…
- I think of an issue theme.
- A call for submissions is sent out and I gather pitches for the issue.
- Crafters send in their projects for photography.
- Editing is done on project instructions.
- The art department works on a layout and cover.
- Final pages are proofed 3 times by 3 different people.
- Magazine goes to print and hits the shelves.
- Promotion of the new issue on our Facebook Page, Twitter and Pinterest.
The whole cycle begins again. I sometimes get seasonally confused. Right now the St. Patrick’s Day issue is out, the Easter issue hits shelves in March, I am editing 4th of July and I just sent out an email asking crafters for pitches related to back to school and Halloween.
CG: Where do the ideas and inspirations come from for each project, do you have some input from your own children? Would you say the magazine is appropriate for all ages of children?
Jen: The inspiration for the themes and projects in each issue are typically seasonally and trend driven. I know that is what I often base my kids craft projects around. My own children are quite young, 4 and 2 so they don’t have too much of a crafty opinion just yet. Kids Crafts 1-2-3 typically targets the 5-12 year old demographic. I like to remind people that almost any project in the magazine can be tweaked to fit a younger or older child. I craft with my children daily so I get to test run a lot of things with them. I know that if I plan on working in my art journal I better have a spiral, paint, markers and glitter ready for the kids too. They always want to make what I am making and sometimes I want to make what they are making. Same holds true for the projects inside Kids Crafts 1-2-3. They may be intended for kids, but there are projects that adults would love to make too.
CG: I see a lot of familiar ‘crafty’ faces on the contributors page, you have compiled some amazing and creative artists! How did you choose who would collaborate and contribute?
Jen: I have been around the crafty block a few times and am fortunate enough to know a lot of fabulously creative people that have contributed to the magazine. I have hosted 2 different TV shows for HGTV/DIY Network, run my own blog/jewelry store called Naughty Secretary Club, I am the DIY editor for BlogHer – the list goes on. I pulled all my crafty strings to get some amazing crafty superstars like Vickie Howell, Mark Montano, Margot Potter, Heather Mann and more.
CG: Finally, I’m sure many of our readers who are kid crafters themselves are wondering if they can submit their own craft ideas for use in the magazine?
Jen: Just because you are not a well known crafter does not mean you can’t contribute. All you have to do is email me at email@example.com and I’ll fill you in on the details of pitching me a project. I choose projects for the magazine based on the cute factor and what I think kids and their parents would like to make. Thank you so much for taking the time to interview me!
I have always wondered about the ins and outs of magazines, and you have definitely opened my eyes to a behind the scenes view! Thank you so much for taking the time to answer Craft Gossip’s questions, and I’m sure I speak for the majority of our readers when I say I can’t wait to pick up the newest issue!!
CG readers can keep up with all of the most up to date information about the next issues by liking Kids Crafts 1-2-3 on Facebook!
By Kristen Stephens