BeadCrate Subscription Box Review – December 2017
BeadCrate is a monthly subscription box for beading enthusiasts. Choose from “The Enthusiast” for $15.99 a month or “The Collector” for $35 a month. You can also buy a single box to see if this subscription is for you.
My Subscription Addiction pays for this subscription. (Check out the review process post to learn more about how we review boxes.)
This review is of The Enthusiast, $15.99 a month, box.
The Subscription Box: BeadCrate
The Cost: “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: U.S. (free for “The Collector” and $5 for “The Enthusiast”)
BeadCrate December 2017 “Let it Snow” Review
BeadCrate is great for stash-building if you are into seed beads and Czech glass, and you’ll also usually get some useful supplies. This month had a winter theme:
This letter/information sheet accompanied the shipment. The theme this month was “Let it Snow.”
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 x 3 mm Crystal AB Dime Beads (Czech glass, 25)
I love flat discs so I was happy to see these. I used most of them in a pair of earrings (see below).
Stainless Steel Earwires (5 pairs)
I was having trouble coming up with ideas (probably because four bead subscriptions arrived on the same day) but decided to make earrings since these were included. I still have 2 pairs left for other projects.
4 mm Crystal Lemon Rainbow Firepolished Rounds (Czech glass, 40)
The “lemon rainbow” part is hard to see in this picture but I think it shows up a little better in the second earring photo below. I like how subtle the color is.
6 mm Faceted Round Crystal AB Firepolished Rounds (Czech glass, 25)
Clear glass beads will always be useful and these are perfect for winter. The facets and AB coating make them sparkly.
6 x 8 mm Black Diamond Nuggets (Czech glass, 25)
This is more of a smooth rondelle shape. Gray is another neutral that works in a lot of different color schemes and I think these could hold their own with some jasper or other semiprecious stones, maybe with brass toned metal accents.
3 mm Emerald Faceted Round (Czech glass, 50)
I am kind of glad to see just a little touch of non-neutral color this month, even if these are pretty tiny. I used a few in some earrings but 3 mm beads often show up in patterns as well, so the rest will probably end up in a bracelet.
12 mm White Howlite Square (2)
I used these in a pair of earrings (see below). I am a big fan of flat squares so these made me happy.
4 mm Round Snowflake Obsidian (20)
It’s rare to get two kinds of semiprecious stones in one box. I thought the dark base of these with lighter accents provided a nice contrast with the howlite, which had an opposite color scheme. See them used in some earrings below.
11/0 Chalk Seed Beads (Czech glass, 18 g)
You’ll get some seed beads every month with this subscription, usually size 11/0 or 8/0. Often they are Toho (a Japanese brand), but this month, they were Preciosa (a Czech brand). This is a good seed bead color to have, just in general. I haven’t used them yet but there is definitely a place for them in my stash. (I got my start with seed beads.)
0.8 mm (20 gauge) Wire Snowflake (about 3 and 3\4” diameter)
You don’t have to limit yourself to making jewelry with beads; there are a whole host of home décor options, as well. This could be used as an ornament (add beads and loop off the top to hang), for example. I haven’t decided how I want to finish the ends (I could form loops with pliers and hang charms, or I could glue half-drilled beads on the ends) yet.
3.25 x 0.25” Bead Sorting Tray
I like to put beads on little trays like this while I am working on projects so this has already come in handy. Plus it is easy to top leftover beads back into a more permanent container thanks to the raised edges and corners here.
17 x 7 mm Opaque Green with Gold Inlay Christmas Trees (Czech glass, 2)
I’m guessing the little 3mm firepolished beads were included to coordinate with these trees? (It’s starting to make sense to me now…) I haven’t used these yet as I am not one to wear overtly “holiday”-styled jewelry, but these would still be great to use in making a gift for someone who is into that sort of thing.
I was having a hard time coming up with ideas this month so I let the box contents guide me. Get a lot of earring hooks? I’ll make a lot of earrings! (I have to pain these hooks with clear nail polish before wearing them but that’s no problem.) The first pair uses the howlite squares and some of the snowflake obsidian.
The second pair uses the crystal lemon rainbow firepolished beads and some silvertone findings I’ve had around for ages.
This last pair is a bit of an experiment. They’re actually not too heavy but they are super long. Like shoulder-brushing long.
Verdict: I did not calculate a value for BeadCrate, as explained above in my note about prices. If you divide the cost of the box plus shipping by the number of items, you get about $1.75 per item. I like the combination of winter and Christmas in the theme here – you can choose to go either direction! The letter accompanying the shipment indicated a total retail value of $28.12 for the items and this seems reasonable based on the massive amount of bead shopping I’ve been doing recently.
Please note that no directions are given and you have to supply your own needles, stringing materials, tools, and findings.
To Wrap Up:
Can you still get this box if you sign up today? No, your subscription would start with the January box. Destash items and excess inventory (and sometimes whole boxes) may occasionally be available in the BeadCrate Etsy shop.
Value Breakdown: at $20.99 for this subscription (counting shipping), you are paying about $1.75 per item.
Keep Track of Your Subscriptions: Add this box to your subscription list or wishlist!
What did you think of the December 2017 BeadCrate? Do you subscribe to any beading or craft boxes?