To Subscribe or Not To Subscribe, That Is the Question: Craftsy Unlimited

craftsy unlimited

I've borrowed a bit from Shakespeare's Hamlet for the title from the famous soliloquy “to be or not to be“.  But that is indeed the question I've received from many, many readers regarding the new Craftsy Unlimited subscription product.

Craftsy is by far the favorite video tutorial site for the majority of our readers.  In past articles, we've compared Craftsy to other providers like Creativebug and the consensus amongst our readers was always a strong preference for Craftsy.  The videos are extremely high quality and readers really liked the buy-it-once, own-it-forever model that Craftsy has stuck with longer than most of its competitors.

A few weeks ago, however, Craftsy launched a new, all-you-can-eat or I guess better said, all-you-can-view, subscription package where for one monthly price, you can get unlimited access to their entire video tutorial catalog.  This includes not only sewing and quilting but also all the other topics like knitting, crochet, painting, cooking, baking, etc.

Love them or hate them, subscriptions are here to stay.  Whether it's traditional products like mobile phones and cable TV or recently revived services like diaper delivery.  Subscriptions are only going to become more and more common.

Still, I struggled to provide readers with a specific and definitive recommendation on this important question.  There are arguments for both why you may want to subscribe as well as why you may not want to subscribe.  Here's my thinking:

Why Not To Subscribe To Craftsy Unlimited

You may have already purchased the key classes you’re interested in and according to Craftsy's policy, you’ll be able to keep and use them forever.  You can still purchase new, individual classes specifically on the topics you like.

And perhaps you’re not interested in learning other creative skills and only have time for what you've bought already.  Afterall, you don’t have all the time in the world to spend on hobbies.  

If you do actually subscribe, you won’t really own any of the individual videos that you don't own already, so when you stop subscribing, you’ll lose access to everything.  You can of course still buy those later to keep access to your favorites forever.  Some subscriptions like Creativebug mentioned above let you keep one class forever for each month you maintain your subscription, but not Craftsy Unlimited, unfortunately.  

craftsy unlimited

Why Subscribe To Craftsy Unlimited

Subscribing to Craftsy Unlimited will give you 24/7 unlimited access to thousands of hours of high-quality video tutorials in crafting categories including sewing, quilting, knitting, crochet, baking, cooking and more.  The Craftsy Unlimited library includes over 1,300 video tutorials, which is quite a lot.

You'll have the chance to explore all kinds of new crafting subjects like jewelry making or photography in addition to all those listed above.  You may find that some of these creative topics really click with you and you'll discover something new about your creative side.  Without a subscription, you're unlikely to pay the $20-60+ to explore these new topics, are you?

Craftsy charges $14.99/month or only $120/year for this subscription.  If you bought only two or three of the more expensive classes per year, like Startup Library: Sewing which retails for $69.99 or Full Bust Adjustment for any Pattern which sells for $40.00, you’d easily pay for the annual subscription.  And you have access to hundreds of more videos to boot.

Conclusion, at Least Try the FREE Trial

On balance, I think it’s definitely worth considering Craftsy Unlimited, especially because you can start with a 7 Day FREE trial.  You can cancel anytime before the trial ends and you can even cancel within 24 hours of the first time they charge you and they’ll give you a free refund. 

If you go with the month-to-month subscription option, you can cancel at any time in the future and pay only the current month.  At $14.99, if you only view one class per month, it is still cheaper than buying any one class outright.  

If you want to give it a try, please follow the link below to start your FREE trial.

craftsy unlimited

Get 7 Day FREE Trial

So what do you think?  Is it worth giving Craftsy Unlimited a try?  Please let me know your thoughts in the comments below.

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134 Responses to To Subscribe or Not To Subscribe, That Is the Question: Craftsy Unlimited

  1. Katie says:

    I have a lot of Craftsy classes already, and I take tons of notes in each class. I regularly go back to classes I bought a few years ago- those notes I took long ago still help me now, and are likely to help me in years to come. With a subscription, I’m guessing I’d lose all my notes if I take breaks from the subscription (at least for the classes I’m viewing via the subscription, not previously purchased classes). I’d prefer to just occasionally buy classes to keep forever. But it might be fun to subscribe briefly, to sample a bunch of classes. It’s a nice to have the options.

    • Octavia Ivy says:

      I agree with you. It’s my plan to enroll for a month just to be able to look around. Like you I want to keep my notes.

  2. Dot W. says:

    I have not subscribed due to the fear of losing my previously purchased forever classes. If I subscribe for a year and then stop the subscription, do I get to keep my previous forever classes? Until this is clear I would not subscribe to the unlimited plan. I also, am not sure I would view one class a month, most likely 4 classes per year. Costing that out, subscription sounds high. I love Craftsy Classes and want them to continue.

  3. Joyce B. says:

    I’ve been watching regular craftsy for over a year. I’ve also purchased 10 classes in various categories; bread making, pies, quilting, sewing bags, hand embroidery. I love that i don’t have to go nuts finding stuff on youtube which always distracts me – seems the older i get the more attention deficit i get and at 65 i lose track of why i was going into a room to get! Anyways, I was very whiny when i heard of the changes. Only my basset hound will listen but it helped talking outloud. I was extremely fortunate to see the mail about 24 hours free craftsy any class a few months ago. I watch a $70 class in the startup that was amazing. Then a few weeks later it was 60% off and i jumped on it. So, long story, i rearranged some of my finances and bought a year subscription to craftsy unlimited. I’m keeping a diary of what/when i watch and the ones i’d really love to purchase on dvd. It has so many quality lessons that are perfect for me. And there’s the odd ones that i watch just for no reason except that real tv has been awful. I’m a netflix/amazon/dvd lady now and i think thats why craftsy unlimited appeals to me…everything on my terms so to speak. I’m also inspired to finish a quilt or stay focused on hand embroidery. There are just some techniques i have to watch every time i sit down to do it and get refresher….must be age…. So, thats my 2 cents…Happy.

    • Joyce B. says:

      One more thing i forgot to mention. I called Craftsy and the classes i’ve already purchased will always be available on regular craftsy w/o a subscription. And later, the possiblity of buying a class on dvd in the future…I’ll give this a year. After canceling my cable equipment on 2 tv’s and not renewing any magazines, and only going to 1 quilt show a year then i can handle the $120 deal which is $10 a month..

  4. Judy Kirkpatrick says:

    I am 79 years old and must live carefully on our retirement. Such a regular monthly charge would be impossible, and I don’t always rush to do a project anymore. That being said, Craftsy is my favorite on-line, go-to website.

  5. Lisa Miller says:

    I already own lots of Craftsy classes so I like the platform. I did the free trial and binge watched all or part of about 12-13 classes. I printed out patterns and instructions. Then I canceled the subscription. Why? Because for $120 I can buy the 7-8 classes I really liked, have money leftover, and have the classes forever.

  6. Katrina says:

    I appreciate Craftsy for trying to implement a new tactic in a business idea. I’m sure it may work for some. However, I wish it was like my subscription to Embroidery.com. I get to download and keep one free embroidery pattern from a selection of continuous changing patterns a week. That pattern is mine forever. I have watched some video tutorials. I paid for them with a sale price. I get to keep them. If I need to review it at a later time, I get to without the additional expense.

  7. Betsy says:

    I love the subscription! I wear many crafting hats and it’s a joy to be able to sit down and learn something new or refresh myself on a technique. I was buying classes when they were on sale, but this is so much more affordable for me.
    I don’t download my classes. My craft room has it’s own laptop setup for me to watch as I need.

  8. Susan M says:

    I don’t have wifi where I live and have very limited data on my phone. Since we cannot download the videos while at wifi, to watch later at home, a subscription won’t work for me. I might do the trial because I am at a hotel this week where there is wifi, but the sub just won’t work for me.
    That being said, I do love craftsy classes, and have purchased some, as my limited budget allows. I have never been disappointed by any class, so far, but delighted. I always learn something new.
    So IF I HAD WIFI, AND $120 UPFRONT (I don’t) I definitely would choose the yearly plan, because that’s only $10 a month. That would be like getting an awesome sale each months to choose a class for $10, and then as a bonus, being able to watch whatever else you could squish into your busy life, for FREE. AND IF YOU HAD THE WHOLE YEAR TO DO IT, you’d probably be able to watch all the segments of your favorites. Only down side is, again, you can’t travel with it or watch away from wifi, and when the year is over, you lose all access. That part is sad.
    I do like the idea of being able to keep or own one class a month, for life. That would be good for craftsy too, because they would be guaranteed income for the year, instead of me just buying a class once in a while.
    I have serious health issues. So if I had wifi, on the days I have too much pain to get out of bed, I could do Craftsy marathons to distract myself, and learn fun stuff, at the same time.

    Bottom line: if we could download to watch later, I would seriously consider subscribing. And if we could keep one class a month for life, even more so!

  9. Mona says:

    I own Craftsy classes and will not be subscribing. I want the classes I am interested in available now and later for a refresher if I need it without spending $15.00 monthly just to have them available in case. I was interested to see what the consensus would be here in the responses and overwhelmingly they are NO for the subscription. Any bets Craftsy will listen to the very people who spend money with their company?

  10. Karen Derbes says:

    I have purchased about 75 Craftsy classes over the last several years. I can download them to my iPad and watch when wifi is not available, such as when in the car traveling, etc. I like the idea of the subscription, but I am not sure that I will join because it does not offer the option of being able to download your classes for later use. This is the one thing that kills it for me. Besides, I already own a majority of the classes that I would be interested in and will thus probably just continue to purchase classes when they are on sale as I have done in the past. Thanks for such a great article discussing this topic!

  11. Michele McKay says:

    I really like the subscription, I kinds sucks that you can’t keep the video but when you have unlimited time to watch it why do you need it? I have watched like 6 sessions now and can’t wait to get my sewing room back into action. I’m glad they have this option because now I don’t have to spend $$$$$$ on classses that I think I like but find out they are not what I was looking for . My husband likes it because I am now trying different cooking styles and making my own knitting accessories that I would go and buy so paying 20 a month is cheap for me . I love it !!

  12. Helena says:

    Thanks for the information, but I do not have that kind of money for subscriptions. I have a good knowledge of sewing and therefore enjoy the free patterns that can be downloaded and stitched as the need and time therefore suits me.

    As a retired couple we have to be really careful how we go about with the little money we have available.

    Thank you for all the freebies that were available and I hope there will be some in future to choose from.

    Regards and keep up the good work.

  13. Jenny S says:

    I have over 140 classes that I have purchased in my Craftsy library plus a subscription to Craftsy Unlimited. Having the subscription to Unlimited has actually saved me money. There are many of the classes that I purchased based on class previews and positive reviews but found weren’t for me…and was left disappointed having spent the money on that class. With the Unlimited option, I get to “try before I buy”, so to speak. Should I decided to cancel my subscription, I’ll at least know which classes to buy and which not to waste my money on. I still own the classes I have purchased prior to subscribing, and I am happy to know that I always have the option to purchase more should I unsubscribe to the Unlimited plan.

    • Janiece says:

      Jenny S, Craftsy customer service is very good about refunding money you’ve spent on classes if you find that they just won’t work for you. Granted, I have only done that once, but it was great service and they let me keep the class in case I might like it in the future.

  14. Mary Ann Mueller says:

    I have not subscribed yet, but I will eventually. When they have a good sale I will dither for hours deciding what, if anything, I should buy. I think signing up for a month, instead of purchasing a class is what I will do next time. I don’t watch enough to warrant a full year, but there are lots of things I would like to take a look at – and then will continue to buy a class when the price is right if I think I want to keep it. Also, for example, I am interested in upholstering a chair – there are several courses available so I can watch them all if I want. Up until now, haven’t been able to decide which would be best. I love the option.

  15. Deedee says:

    I did purchase the unlimited Craftsy subscription and I had meant to cancel before day 7 but forgot until day 9. So I kept it for the month of December. It did watch at least parts of the classes I had been wanting to purchase but had not got around to it or waiting for a good special. I was glad I didn’t purchase 2 of the classes because it was just a lot of the same material in another class I already owned. I did end up purchasing 3 classes because I liked the content. I did however CANCEL my membership when the month was completed because I just didn’t have time to watch unlimited classes to my benefit. The concept may be good for some but for overall I think it does not benefit me to the cost of $14.99 a month and when I cancel I can’t access any information. Craftsy has wonderful customer service and if you don’t like the class you purchased you can get a full refund. Which I have returned 3 classes with no questions or issues.

  16. Kathy says:

    I’ve purchased a wonderful array of sewing, quilting, and art classes on videos from Craftsy over the last few years. I download them to my device where I have access to wifi and then happily watch them when I don’t have access to reliable or unlimited internet…like where I live. That leaves my limited internet data available for email and my social apps, and the awesome variety I can find on You Tube. I’m content with keeping the videos I want and watching when I want.

  17. Kathy says:

    I won’t be subscibing for similar reasons to many here. I need my classes to be available in bite sized chunks whenever I need to access them.

  18. Juliet says:

    I much prefer to be able to own the classes, I think the subscription is expensive. Thanks for the opportunity to comment.

  19. Linda Hill says:

    It is a shame that we are time short to practice all of the classes we have bought, but I don’t mind if they are still available when I need them. I never thought that retirement would be so busy! But I do enjoy learning something new.
    Regards ….. Linda

  20. Dee says:

    While I love the classes I already own I don’t get the time to really benefit from them at the moment so a subscription wouldn’t work for me. Sorry

  21. Ellen_L says:

    Over the last few years I have purchased most of what I want at excellent sales prices including some of those Great Courses (and they are great at the lower sale prices). For now, I don’t need the Unlimited option. If I find later I want a series of courses, I might temporarily join. Do you know if one can join, quit and then later rejoin?

    As you said, The Great Courses are not included. I hope we can trust that lifetime forever promise.

    Do you know what they will do about the Blogs? The daily offerings are often interesting and for now free.

    • So Sew Easy says:

      Hi Ellen, you can definitely join the free trial to see if you like it, but just cancel before the 7 days are up. I don’t know if they are going to have the free trial forever though. They probably will since this seems pretty standard with most subscriptions these days.

      In terms of the blogs, that’s a great question. We certainly intend to continue to provide free patterns and tutorials on a weekly basis to our readers. While they may not be as comprehensive as some of the Craftsy courses, we’re improving everyday and hope to at least give them a run for their money..

    • Ruth says:

      Ellen, your thoughts are similar to what I have been thinking. These past couple of months have been so busy that I haven’t had the time to enjoy a new class. I am working on one I got in November. I want to spend more time actually crafting than sitting in front of a class. I hope the free trial will still be next month, and I’ll put aside a week for checking out some classes. I’ll cancel before the week is up and maybe, just maybe pay for a month if my life settles down.

  22. Eileen Snee says:

    I still haven,t watched half of what I have bought but do look forward when I can.

    Thanks for all your help but I don’t think I will be getting a subscription. Sorry.

  23. Victoria Hinton says:

    I’m going to look at the free trial. It could work for us butterflies.

  24. Jennifer Moore says:

    I am in Australia also and it would cost me around $20 a month to subscribe. Like some of the other comments I have purchased classes that I am interested in but rarely have the time to sit and watch, some I have not even looked at. When there are so many other sites with free information, such as youtube, cookery and jewellry sites it doesn’t seem practical to subscribe to Craftsy. That doesn’t mean that I don’t love everything else they have to offer and I will still visit them often. Just as I love your site Mayra. regards

  25. Debbie Mellor says:

    I signed up to the craftsy unlimited trial as soon as I heard about it and I am over the moon with it. I have purchased classes from craftsy in the past but some times I can’t justify paying up to £40 for a class I can however justify £12.99 a month to dip in and out when and as I please. I am an avid crafter and watch craftsy classes everyday now. I was so pleased with the trial that I have continued to subscribe. I am now trying out crafts that I may not have looked at before due to the cost of the classes so in a nutshell I love it! It has opened up new horizons for me and I truly hope that the continue with both options for everyone’s sake as there are some who want to own the courses and some like me who are more than happy to use the unlimited option. I guess it appeals to my butterfly mentality.

  26. Suzanne Rose says:

    I am in Australia and love the Craftsy classes. I will not be subscribing to the new Craftsy as I do not mind paying for a class and watching it when I want it.

  27. Eileen Morrison says:

    Thank you for all you have taught me, but I just not pay that kind of money for something I know I will not use very much (I still haven’t had time to take advantage of the classes I actually purchased. I have fibromyalgia, SI Joint Dysfunction and Spinal Stenosis among other things, so $ has to pay for that. Thanks again, and I will miss the free patterns….

  28. ROBIN RODRIQUEZ says:

    I agree with the others. I will not subscribe.

  29. Carole says:

    Hello and thank you for explaining both sides of the story for the Unlimited access.
    I enjoy my classes that I have bought, and can keep.
    After reading this information, and people’s opinions, I will not be subscribing.
    I like the idea of keeping my classes ‘forever’, and I pray that this option doesn’t change in the future. And I will also continue to take advantage of the Sales, when possible. I tend to go to You Tube for quick information, or quick lessons, but I love the full video lessons on Craftsy just as much.

  30. Cindy T says:

    I have bought several Craftsy video classes and some have been helpful. However, I find loads of videos on Youtube which often are better and easier to learn the techniques and it’s free. I won’t be spending money on the Unlimited Craftsy.

  31. I am very sorry to see Craftsy go to a subscription venue. I love looking at the different articles offered although because I don’t really understand how it all works ( I am soon to turn 80 ) my mind just won’t accept the new technology so I don’t know how to get around. I once received a free class on learning about the different pressed feet for the sewing machine but have never seen it because I don’t know how to get to it. I also prefer paper patterns for sewing. I will miss Craftsy but I am not willing to pay a monthly fee for what I would get out of it. I do want to thank Myra who has been very helpful to me in the past. So sorry to say goodby.

    • Susan M says:

      HI June,
      I don’t think Myra or Craftsy are going anywhere. There will still be free stuff. And classes to buy, one at a time, as far as I can tell. Craftsy is just exploring other options to keep up with the competition, which offers their classes on a subscription basis. So for the people who want that, Craftsy is just trying to cover all the bases.

      I would just like to say, please try to think if there is anyone you know who can show you how to access your free class. If you have a tablet, there is a Craftsy app you can download in the “App Store” (which is another app already on your iPad, if that’s what you have) or in the “Google Play Store, (if you have an android tablet).
      You’ll need your username or email address and password (which you probably already set up, if you have a free class. If not, you’ll set that up).
      Once your Craftsy app is set up, you won’t have to log into it again, unless you want to buy a class. And once a payment method, such as a credit card or Paypal, is set up with your account, you won’t have to mess with that again, unless you need to update your card’s expiration date. (You’ll only need to set that up if you want to BUY classes. But there are bunches and bunches of free classes, and you don’t need to set up a payment method for those.) I would suggest you try your free class first, and see how you like that. If you do, ask the young person to return and help you download more free classes. After that, you can decide if you want to buy any classes, and if you do, make sure you REALLY TRUST the person who helps you set up your payment method.

      Do you know any young people (think kids or grand kids or great grand kids, friends or neighbors) who are good with technology? They would likely be so pleased to show you how to do it. If necessary, they can write down the steps to get you there, so you can go back and watch after they are gone. Then you can enjoy your free class and more!

    • Stephanie says:

      Hi June,
      Just a note to say that your public library is a great place to go for technology assistance. I’m a librarian in Colorado and we offer classes and one on one sessions on most devices and software, including downloading apps, classes, books, audiobooks, videos, patterns, and more, all for free.

  32. Dianne says:

    For me the benefit of owning a class trumps the monthly subscription. I live in Canada so a class on sale for $19.99 costs me $26 and the monthly subscription ends up to be close to $20. I buy a class because it interests me but it might be 6 months to 2 years before I actually sit down and watch it. So while some aspects of the subscription are interesting I won’t be participating. It is rare that I have a day where I have time to watch part of a class never mind a whole class.
    Thank you so much for your balanced look at the pros and cons of this service. Much appreciated.

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