Calling all fans of sparkles, pom-poms, glue sticks, paint, and construction paper!
For the lovers of DIY crafts, “Craftopia” is unmissable. In this youth-oriented reality TV show, nine to 15-year-old kids compete against one another in thrilling craft-related challenges to wow the jury and ultimately win the ‘Craftrophia.’
“Craftopia” debuted on HBO Max on May 27th, 2020, and has released two seasons so far. It is hosted by YouTube icon and a DIY star Lauren Riihimaki, aka LaurDIY, and co-produced by Rhett Bachner, and Brien Meagher of the production company B17 Entertainment. It was launched on the same day HBO Max launched.
“It’s honestly such an incredible honor being this random Canadian from a small town who grew up crafting. It’s just so insane to see years and years of producing my own YouTube videos to lead up to something like this — it’s so rewarding,” said LaurDIY in an exclusive interview.
When you think of kids reality TV shows you might think of “MasterChef Junior” or even “Project Runaway: Junior,” but “Craftopia” is truly a breath of fresh air.
No matter your age, the epic kids show is chock-full of inspiration and a great watch for everyone who even remotely loves engaging in DIY crafts. It is rated TV-PG, so makes for the perfect watch on a Friday night with kids too.
Read on to know more about this family-friendly show, the amazing judges, and the latest information on season three.
Where Can You Watch “Craftopia”?
You can watch this competition-based reality TV show on HBO Max. As of now, the show is not streaming on Hulu or Netflix. However, BuddyTV will keep you updated in case that changes.
What Is “Craftopia” About?
Season One of “Craftopia”
In season one, the nine to 15-year-old tweens let their imaginations go wild as they are challenged to craft items in a limited time frame. Each episode comes with a unique theme and a set of instructions.
Before the challenges commence, the crafters have to frantically race up their carts and hand-pick materials from the studio. The end goal is to woo the judges, and the ultimate winner takes home the ‘Craftrophia’ and a whopping cash prize of $5,000 dollars.
From turning pinatas into monstrous creations, whipping up fake food with slime, to transforming ordinary backpacks into exotic backpacks; all things creative happen in the magical studio of “Craftopia.” Every new episode invites a fresh set of three participants, which makes it all the more exciting. And of course — the judges encourage the kids to fuel their creativity.
Season one’s winner was Jonah Larson.
As per Lauren, her favorite episode was the one with pet-theme! “My dog got to come on set and interact with the kids,” she said.
All in all, season one is bound to ignite an arts and crafts bug in you even if you are not a crafty person.
Season Two of “Craftopia”
The second season of the Max original debuted on October 7, 2021, and is titled “Craftopia: Halloween Showdown.” With a total of eight episodes, the show is split into two halves based on Halloween, and Christmas themes. The second half was released on November 18, 2021.
But there’s another twist. This time around, the ‘craftestants’ are adults, not kids.
“For season two, not only are the contestants literally bigger, so are the challenges and we’re taking everything to the next level,” said LaurDIY in an interview.
To jazz up the show, the show invited a slew of adult contestants, all pros in their respective creative fields. You get to see drag queens, carpenters, and even the prosthetics designers who worked on the show like “The Walking Dead.”
Iconic Crystal Anderson and creative expert JP Connelly can be seen as co-judges alongside the YouTube sensation Riihimaki.
Season two’s holiday-themed studio oozes with sequins, and sparkles as the participants try to impress the judges and take home “Craftrophia” and a cash prize of $10,000.
Edgar Eiotown took the ultimate victory in season two for his special Halloween-themed design costume in the episode “Bow-Wow Ween.”
Season two brings you a healthy dose of fun and cheer as the craftestants use their skills to craft epic creations.
If the show had to be defined in two words, it would be positive and fun. With engaging and encouraging judges and a whimsical set design — and of course the creative challenges — the 25-minute episodes are a delight to watch.
About the Host and Judges of “Craftopia”
“Craftopia” is hosted by the infamous LaurDIY who is joined by judges Crystal Anderson and James Connelly. “Nerdy Nummies” YouTuber Rosanna Pansino, Toya Moore-Broyles of “MyFroggyStuff,” and James Worsham of Handy Dandy Productions also give guest appearances on the show as judges in season one.
26-year-old, Forbes-titled “Millennial Martha Stewart” or Lauren Riihimaki (aka LaurDIY) is a famous DIY crafts YouTuber with 8.5 million subscribers.
Her YouTube journey began when she uploaded some sewing videos during her first year of college. But as she gained an audience, she pivoted to more DIY-style videos, and never looked back. Today, she creates videos and vlogs.
Lauren’s web series called “Served by LaurDIY” premiered on Facebook Watch in the year 2017. Fans can purchase her official merch via the Amazon Merch store, and her DIY kits at Target and Walmart.
She has also been a part of great projects like “Boo2,” and a series called “The Reality House.” LaurDIY is the recipient of the Shorty Award (House & Home category) and the Streamy Award (Lifestyle Category).
When asked about what adult viewers can learn from the show “Craftopia”, LaurDIY said “This is a show for all ages. There’s so much inspiration to be taken from every moment of the show: the challenges, the set, a crafter’s dream craft inventory, the craft tips we’ve sprinkled within the dialogue, and the tips and advice the expert judges contribute. These challenges are not your typical kid-friendly finger painting or building blocks, the projects are intense and I’d be scared to go up against these kids!”
About Crystal Anderson
Howard alumna Crystal Anderson is an LGBTQ+ Black icon, a fashionista, and the head creative of the production company called A Very Good Job. She joins as the judge of four Halloween-themed episodes in “Craftopia’s” season two. Crystal has also been spotted in the TV show called “Twenties After-Show” alongside cast B. Scott, and Sergio Alfaro.
About James Pearse “JP” Connelly
Primetime Emmy Award-winner, designer, and art director, James Connelly is a co-host in this crafting competition series. Not many know, but the entire set was inspired and designed by James. Since the producers absolutely loved his quick wit and a keen eye for design, they invited him to be one of the co-hosts.
James has judged a couple of iconic shows like “The Kelly Clarkson Show, “The Voice,” “Foodtastic,” “Top Chef,” and more. He has been the recipient of the Daytime Emmy Award for his amazing work on the “The Kelly Clarkson Show,” and has been nominated eight times for Art Director’s Guild Award.
Will There Be a Season 3 of “Craftopia?”
After the massive success of season one and season two, HBO Max has not announced anything regarding the “Craftopia” season three release date. But with its hardcore fan following, we anticipate that the show will be renewed soon. You can watch seasons one and two on HBO Max.
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