Bargain Bead Box Subscription Review – January 2018
Bargain Bead Box is a monthly subscription promising over $40 worth of quality jewelry-making supplies every month.
My Subscription Addiction paid for this box. (Check out the review process post to learn more about how we review boxes.)
About Bargain Bead Box
The Subscription Box: Bargain Bead Box
The Cost: $15.95 a month
The Products: Designer quality beads in materials ranging from crystal to glass to semi-precious gemstones, plus metal beads and findings. Bargain Bead Box does not send any plastic beads or seed beads.
Ships to: U.S. (free), Canada for $7.50
Bargain Bead Box January 2018 “Winter Woods” Review
Bargain Bead Box always includes a few clasps and other findings in matching metal tones; this month they were in an antique copper finish. Here’s more about the specific items in the box this month:
There was a letter in the box with some more information on the theme (“Winter Woods”). The back contained a list of the month’s beads.
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!
12 Pieces Fancy 10mm Leaf Bead Caps
You’ll always get some bead caps with this subscription. I haven’t used these yet, but I have quite a collection of antique copper finish findings and chain now, so these will be easy to use in a project (I’m thinking a simple, strung bracelet).
36 x 19 mm Oval Bird Charm
This would be great as a bracelet centerpiece, which is probably how I’ll use it. I wouldn’t mind having a few more of these, actually. This is not a type of item I have much of in my collection.
6 Pieces 9 x 15 mm Metal Bird Beads
I have accumulated quite a few bird beads and charms over the years. I think it would be kind of fun to use them all together in the same piece, maybe a charm bracelet or something similar. These match the metal finish of all the findings, which is nice.
1 Meter Steel Jewelry Chain
I am hoarding chain lately so I am happy to see this. (One thing about hoarding jewelry-making supplies, as opposed to skincare and such, is that the jewelry supplies don’t go bad. I don’t need this right at the moment, but I might want to use it next month or two years from now.) I feel like we got quite a lot of this, certainly enough for a couple of necklaces, at least. That is one nice thing about this subscription – you get enough items to make multiple projects.
3 Sets 20 x 26 mm Toggle Clasp
Toggles are my clasps of choice for beaded necklaces. If there is enough weight, the toggle is held closed nicely, but they are also easy to open and close yourself, behind your neck, without help or really being able to see. So these are much appreciated. I like the design, as well.
10 Pieces 15 x 10 mm Metal Leaf Links
These are cool and I actually have plans for them unrelated to this box. I have been buying up a lot of flowers and leaves made from metal in a variety of finishes for a project I have in mind. These will fit right in, and I can either rivet them to sheet metal or connect them with jump rings, so there are several design possibilities.
4 Pieces 23 mm Open Teardrop Charms
You could totally use these for earrings, and that’s probably what I’ll end up doing with them, but they’d also work on either side of a focal pendant in a necklace.
24 Pieces Copper-Plated Brass Earring Hooks
I don’t have any earring findings in this color or finish. Because my ears are turning green just looking at these. (I have metal sensitivities.) However, they are pretty and I can still get some use out of them if I coat them with clear nail polish before wearing any earrings made with them.
24 Pieces 7 mm Metal Flower Beads
These have large holes so they could go on cord or leather as well as on headpins or beading wire. That opens up a lot of design possibilities. I also think they might be fun worked into floral seed bead motifs.
2 Pieces 35 mm Coconut Shell Carved Leaf
I have some coconut shell beads from Vintage Bead Box that would look good with these. It is a fun, lightweight material to work with and it takes a color pretty well (you may want to coat these with a sealant to keep the color intact).
7.5” Strand 6mm Labradorite Round Gemstone Beads
Labradorite is so pretty. These don’t have the highest polish, but they do have a natural patterning to them that I like a lot. I have been trying to work with gemstone beads more often lately and I used every last one of these.
10 Pieces 10 mm Labradorite Round Gemstone Beads
More labradorite! These are quite a bit larger than the previous ones, but a great size to go with the bead caps. I think these would look good interspersed with something plainer, like black onyx, to really make them stand out.
15.5” Strand 6 x 4 mm Chinese Crystal Rondelle Beads, Ivory
It wouldn’t be Bargain Bead Box without Chinese crystal. I used a bunch of these in a wrap bracelet this month. They are a good, neutral color. I still have a few left over for other purposes, as well.
40 Pieces 4mm Dyed Pale Green Quartz Gemstone Beads
I used all of these but one. (There were actually an odd number in my package. I am thinking the piece counts are just estimates.) They looked good stacked two together in my wrap bracelet (see below).
30 Pieces 6 mm Dyed Lavender Quartz Gemstone Beads
I used all of these in my bracelet, as well. I thought all the muted, pastel colors from this month’s shipment looked great together (and they did remind me of winter more than spring, in keeping with the box theme).
Hand-Woven Labradorite Gemstone Tree Pendant
There’s usually at least one pendant in Bargain Bead Box. Often, like this one, they are quite large. I am hanging on to this for now for study purposes as I would like to learn how to make this sort of pendant (to my own specifications). I have accumulated a lot of gemstone chips and this seems like a good way to use some of them. It helps to have a finished one to refer to while practicing, though.
There were so many stone rounds, I really wanted to make a wrap bracelet. I didn’t end up using any of the findings provided with the box because of that, so in honor of the antique copper, I did use a TierraCast button in the same finish for the clasp. I can never get these to stack up as nicely as I see in photos on Etsy and the Chan Luu website, but I’m pleased with the result anyway. These bracelets are great because they can be made to fit a variety of different wrist widths.
Verdict: I did not calculate a value for Bargain Bead Box, as explained above. The information sheet gives a retail value of about $61 and I can believe that value if you were to go out looking for similar beads to purchase individually. Looking at it another way, you are paying just under $1 per item since the price is $15.95 and there were 16 items this month. And THAT is a pretty good deal. The colors appealed to me more than I would have expected (I’m not usually into pastels) and I loved all the gemstone rounds.
Please note that no directions are given and you have to supply your own needles, stringing materials, tools, etc.
To Wrap Up:
Can you still get this box if you sign up today? No, you would receive the February 2018 box as your first one, although they do sometimes offer past boxes on their site, and individual items can sometimes be purchased from Bead Box Bargains.
Value Breakdown: At $15.95 for this subscription, you are paying $1 per item.
Keep Track of Your Subscriptions: Add this box to your subscription list or wishlist!
What did you think of the January 2018 Bargain Bead Box? Do you subscribe to any beading or craft boxes?