This weekend my 9 year old twin girls have been having some crafting fun with a couple of Gel-a-Peel accessory kits. Gel-a-Peel isn't something we have used before and nor heard of to be honest but as soon as I showed the girls the packages they knew it would be something they would enjoy.
One of my twins is far more crafty than the other and she was really looking forward to the act of making the silicon jewellery. The other one is a real fashionista and the part she was really looking forward to was wearing the jewellery and making sure of the cute shapes and charms.
Each accessory kit of Gel-a-Peel has an RRP of £14.99 and for this price you get 3 different coloured tubes of gel, 5 different shaped tips for applying your gel, 16 different design templates, a clear application board, cleaning and spreading tools and one set of hardware to make some hanging pierced earrings. We received the Pearly Pastel and Glow In The Dark its but there is also Neon and Sparkle accessory kits.
There are many more different kits too, large deluxe ones with beads included or a full design station which retails for around £29.99. You can also buy small starter sets for £4.99 with just one tube of gel and all the bits you need to get started. This is probably a good idea for a new user to see if they enjoy this craft. I was really pleased to see that you can buy replacement tubes of gel for just £2.99 each.
Using our Gel-a-Peel for the fist time
The instructions that come with the kit are very good and easy to use. First up you have to remove the protective cap on the tube and add the tip that you wish to use. You can choose the template design you want and place the clear application board over it. It is best to use masking tape to keep both in one place on the table so the design comes out perfect.
The gel tubes are very easy to use and the gel flows well, not too much and you don't need excess effort, which is very good for kids. You do need to make sure that you use a good amount of gel to give a thick and even coverage or it can break and be too fragile once dry. Once you finish with one colour you can move onto the next and get your design completed.
As well as making bracelets, cuffs, bookmarks, necklets and rings using the templates you can also use the gel tray, which has gems, flowers, letters, number, emojis etc on them. With these you just apply the gel into the cavity, use the little grey tool to make sure there are no air bubbles and the mould is full of the gel and then use the pink squeegee to go over the top and flatten the back. These small charms can then either be attached to a piece of Gel-a-Peel jewellery by using a bit of the gel as the glue or stuck onto anything else you fancy using a hot glue gun. In our house they have gone onto jewellery boxes, roller boots, pencil cases and buttons!
Once you have finished your design session, you do need to take the application caps off the tubes and clear out any excess gel left in them. I used the grey tool provided to do that and it wasn't difficult. I was also pleased that not much gel was lost doing this. Pop the protective cap back in and the lid and the gels will stay fresh for the next session.
The design templates tell you how long you need to leave the item to dry before you can use it. Simple designs with just one line of Gel-a-Peel are around an hour and the more complex bracelets and cuffs with multiple lines and layers of Gel-a-Peel can be around 5 hours. We left ours overnight.
You then carefully need to peel them off the clear application sheet once dry and you can then enjoy and wear them. One of Miss E's bracelets broke as she took it off the sheet as she had left the gel a little thin in one place. This is easily fixed by putting some new gel over where it has snapped and waiting for it to dry.
What did we think?
Thanks a lot Gel-a-Peel, my girls had a lot of fun and they were both talking about getting more for their birthday. At nearly 10 years old they found this easy to do without me having to be involved. I think the older the child the easier they will find it and the more time and care they will take. Younger ones could do it, with supervision but it is recommend for 8+ years.
Why not have a watch of this video where you can see the Gel-a-Peel being used and see for yourself just how simple it is.
Disclosure: We received two Gel-a-Peel sets free of charge for the purpose of this review. I have not been instructed what to write and I remain honest.