BeadCrate Subscription Box Review – February 2016
Bead Crate is a monthly subscription box for beading enthusiasts. Choose from “The Hobbyist” for $7.99 a month or “The Enthusiast” for $15.99 a month. Save with longer subscriptions. You can also buy a single box to see if this subscription is for you. This is a review of “The Enthusiast.”
My Subscription Addiction pays for this subscription. (Check out the review process post to learn more about how we review boxes.)
The Subscription Box: Bead Crate
The Products: A selection of beads curated around a monthly theme (or beads that are just cool and random).
Ships to: US (free)
This letter/information sheet accompanied the shipment. The theme this month was “Berry Bliss.”
A note on prices: Items like this can come from a variety of different suppliers at many price points depending on how many you buy, etc. Last month, an MSA reader asked for pricing information. Well, I started trying to calculate prices but it was nearly impossible. I couldn’t find a lot of these exact beads from common sources (e.g., Fire Mountain Gems) and it’s of questionable value to pick something similar because a slight difference in grading or size or stone identity and you are looking at half or double the price (or an even greater difference). Even different colors of the same size and shape of glass beads are priced differently due to materials needed to make the colors!
7 x 4 mm Berry Jade Barrels (~34 beads)
I think these are my favorites this time. They almost look like garnet. The photo doesn’t really do them justice. I need to play with the settings on my camera to see if I can get better pictures of small things.
5 mm Berry Agate Faceted Rounds (~24 beads)
These actually do have some tiny facets. As you can see below, I used them in my project for the month. I think they fit with the other colors quite nicely.
3 mm Hematite Iridescent Hexagons (~74 beads)
I think “hematite” is just a color name; these don’t have the shiny surface I associate with actual hematite. But I liked the inclusion of a dark color. (And I could be wrong, if real hematite had a finish applied to it…)
3 mm Amethyst Glass Druks (~300 beads)
Round glass beads are always a good standby. So versatile.
7 x 5 mm Silver Filled Puffed Heart Charms (x 4)
These even came with their own jump rings. And they were great for February/Valentine’s Day. (However, I don’t remember if I received this before Valentine’s Day or not. Too many boxes and all…)
11/0 Toho Frosted Sapphire Seed Beads (~18 g)
After last month’s too-ambitious project with seed beads, I decided not to use these right away. I’m sure I will be coming back to them soon, as they are really pretty.
Country Escape Lotion Bar in Pink Sugar – Value $2.25
According to the letter, this is the first personal care item Bead Crate has sent out. Several scents were possible. This lotion bar is so cute; I love the detail on top. This will be put to good use this winter!
Here is my completed project. I was smart this month and avoided the seed beads. (I’m still not finished with January’s project.) My inspiration was a massive load of silver-tone headpins I found when going through my stash a few weeks ago. This is my first time working with chain but I got the hang of it pretty quickly. I know the toggle clasp is huge but it is the first silver-tone one I found. I am a big fan of toggle clasps for bracelets because you can actually fasten them one-handed.
And here I am, modeling the bracelet. After the fact, I found out it is a bit too big for me. I am going to go back and remove the half-inch of plain chain on each side and then it should fit pretty well.
Also, sorry about the image quality here. I think my point-and-shoot digital camera is not the best device for taking close-up images of really small items like beads and jewelry. I’m going to work on the settings and see if I can do a better job for next month.
Verdict: I did not calculate a value for Bead Crate, as explained above in my note about prices. I think with this subscription, you have to ask yourself if each item is worth about $2.30 to you (roughly the cost of the subscription divided by the number of items this month). At retail prices I think the value is at least that good, for my purposes. Yes, you can get items for cheap if you buy in bulk, but I cannot tell you how many massive numbers of random beads I have in my craft closet from when I bought in bulk. Sometimes you just don’t WANT 1000 of something, you know?
Please note that no directions are given and you have to supply your own needles, stringing materials, tools, and findings.
What did you think of the February 2016 Bead Crate? Do you subscribe to any beading or craft boxes?