Bluprint is an online learning platform for crafters that provides instructional step-by-step videos made by world-class experts for all skill levels. Users can learn to paint, quilt, bake, dance, or master a variety of other skills in thousands of classes offered on the platform. A monthly subscription costs $7.99 after a seven-day free trial and gives you unlimited access to all classes.
The video courses offered on Bluprint are very thorough and comprehensive. While they are broken into different lessons or segments which can be watched separately, as a whole, they definitely give the user a complete course experience. Though the difference in instructor means each course is a little different, the overall organization of the videos is basically the same, with a nice overview of objectives and links to course materials below, which include written instructions, supply lists, and templates. Bluprint courses also allow users to type out questions in the comments section. These are then answered by the instructor directly.
One thing I find with YouTube tutorials and televised cooking programs is that they often rush through steps without real care for anyone at home replicating the skills they’re teaching. Bluprint videos, on the other hand, have a comfortable pace, and feel more intimate, like you’re in an in-person class. A group of coworkers and I decided to try out a set of videos on cake decorating by Liz Shim and appreciated how she demonstrated both the correct and wrong ways to complete different steps, gave helpful tips, and taught us how to correct common mistakes. Other videos I watched across the platform also did this, and it really makes Bluprint stand out as a comprehensive and truly helpful resource.
It was hard to justify paying a monthly subscription fee for this content when the majority of it could be found on YouTube or through a Google search for free. While I did feel the courses allowed me to be more immersed in developing a foundational skill set (such as a general introduction to cake decorating), it isn’t ideal for those coming to the platform with the intent of gaining specific knowledge. For example, if you simply want to learn how to pipe a buttercream rose or learn a specific yoga pose, it’s more intuitive to simply find a free tutorial on a video platform that’s more searchable.
Searchability in general is something I found problematic about Bluprint. While each topic page brings up videos and articles under categories like "best for beginners" and "trending classes," it seems like organizing videos in specific, topical groups would be a nice addition. For example, creating categories such as "animals," "portraits," and "landscapes" for the drawing lessons would make it easier for those searching within a topic to find what they’re looking for. While the general site search function is pretty good, curating the content on each topic page would spare time and frustration for users.
Bluprint seems like a great platform for gaining inspiration and giving something completely new a try. I really enjoyed using it as a beginner, but I wouldn’t recommend paying for it if you already have foundational skills or are seeking a how-to on a specific type of project.Image: by Kevin Menajang Pexels