BeadCrate Subscription Box Review – September 2016
BeadCrate is a monthly subscription box for beading enthusiasts. Choose from “The Hobbyist” for $7.99 a month, “The Enthusiast” for $15.99 a month, or “The Collector” for $35 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: BeadCrate
The Cost: “The Hobbyist” for $7.99 a month, “The Enthusiast” for $15.99 a month or “The Collector” for $35 a month. Save with longer subscriptions.
The Products: A selection of beads curated around a monthly theme (or beads that are just cool and random).
Ships to: US (free for “The Collector,” $5 for “The Enthusiast,” and $4 for “The Hobbyist”)
Keep Track of Your Subscriptions: Add this box to your subscription list or wishlist!
This letter/information sheet accompanied the shipment. The theme this month was “Mountain Trail.”
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. 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 material 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!
8 mm Tree Agate Rounds (10 beads)
I like getting semiprecious stones because I don’t buy them often. I used most of these in a bracelet (see below).
1 mm Black Braided Cotton Cord (3 yards)
I have a whole spool of something very similar. I’m not quite sure what I’ll do with it yet, but that is part of the fun of bead boxes – collecting a lot of stuff so when you *need* an item, you can usually find one in your stash.
3 mm Aqua Druks (Czech glass, 50 beads)
There are usually some smallish beads in Bead Crate. This was one of several types of 3 mm beads and I did think of a way to use them!
3 mm Matte Montana Blue AB Druks (Czech Glass, 50 beads)
Another good small bead with an interesting finish, and I used them as well.
4 x 4 mm Topaz Atlas Beads (Czech glass)
I like accumulating lots of basic beads like this. You never know when they will come in handy!
Toho Bugle #1 Transparent Rainbow Crystal (Japanese glass, 8 grams)
Usually we get seed beads in Bead Crate so I appreciate getting bugle beads instead. These are clear with a rainbow coating so they should match lots of other beads.
5 mm Silicone Earring Backs (50 pieces)
This is a little bit of a weird inclusion, but these are hypoallergenic and I will use them. (I have two piercings in the upper cartilage of each ear and I lose earring backs there fairly regularly.)
18 mm Tierra Cast Antiqued Brass Leaf Button (1 piece)
I’ve been buying a lot of Tierra Cast findings lately so it is nice to get one in a subscription box for once. I find them to be good quality and to fit my style nicely.
9 x 7 mm Opaque Red Ladybugs (Czech glass, 12 beads)
I detest insects but I think these could be incorporated into a nice jewelry gift for someone else who doesn’t have my hang-ups!
12 mm Luster Half Coat Mix (Czech glass, 4 beads)
It is challenging to me to come up with things to do with larger beads like this, especially when there are only a few and they don’t come in evenly matching colors. I think I did all right, though (see below).
16 x 12 Prairie Green Flat Nuggets (10 beads)
I love these, but I am quite fond of flat squares and circles and these are similar. I haven’t used them yet but I know I will soon. I like the green color, too!
15 x 5 mm Jet Two Hole Bars (25 beads)
I think these are glass. I managed to break one of them with a pair of pliers while I was attempting to make something (that didn’t end up working, sadly). But, I like that these aren’t your traditional metal finish and I’m happy to still have some left after making the bracelet shown below.
3 mm Matte Crystal Faceted Czech Glass (50 beads)
Another small bead that’s a good color to go with lots of different projects. I used some of these in one of the necklaces I made (see below).
6 mm Light Amethyst Faceted Czech Glass (25 beads)
These are pretty. I haven’t figured out quite what I’m going to do with them yet, but I like them a lot.
12 x 8 mm Gray Agate Barrels (10 beads)
I’ve been looking to incorporate more drops into my work (in areas other than just earrings) so it is nice to have some to play with.
I made a lot of things this month. First up is this stretch bracelet that uses the black spacer bars and the agate. (I had something more spectacular in mind but the memory wire I bought was too hard to bend without the proper tools…)
I used to make “illusion” necklaces all the time, but hadn’t done one lately (and by that, I mean in the past decade and a half). Also I wanted a chance to test my new Micro Crimper, which ended up working great! I realize the beads are not so evenly spaced and that is something I need to work on.
I wanted to try to use some of the smaller beads from this month’s shipment so I made this necklace with silver chain. Hopefully it is different enough from my usual chain necklaces to be interesting!
Verdict: I did not calculate a value for BeadCrate, as explained above in my note about prices. The information card gives the box a value of about $30.04 and if you divide the total cost (including shipping) by the number of items, you get about $1.40 per item. That seems reasonable to me, especially since I’m sure some of the items would cost considerably more than that if you bought them retail (like the black spacers). I had a lot of ideas for this month’s beads, as well, which was a nice bonus.
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 September 2016 BeadCrate? Do you subscribe to any beading or craft boxes?