Vintage Bead Box Subscription Review – April 2017
Vintage Bead Box is a monthly subscription box providing you with beads and findings manufactured between about 1930 and 1970. Choose from a themed box (limited numbers available) or a surprise mix.
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 Surprise Mix, $25 a month, box.
The Subscription Box: Vintage Bead Box
The Cost: $25 a month. Save with 3 and 6-month subscriptions.
COUPON: Use code WELCOME20 to save 20% off your first box!
The Products: Beads and findings made from a variety of materials (glass, wood, semi precious stones, metal, acrylic, etc.). Most were manufactured between 1930 and 1970.
Ships to: US (free), Worldwide (additional shipping charges will apply)
Keep Track of Your Subscriptions: Add this box to your subscription list or wishlist!
There isn’t a traditional information card with this box because owing to the nature of the contents, every “Surprise Mix” box could be a little different.
A note on prices: Because these beads are vintage, they can’t be purchased separately from any sources. Further, materials, country of manufacture, and more can be a little difficult to determine precisely. Thus, I have opted not to provide prices in this review.
Please note that no directions are given and you have to supply your own needles, stringing materials, tools, and findings.
These are fun. You get a fair number of acrylic beads from Vintage Bead Box. I think they are more interesting than some of the ones you can buy today and also they look a little nicer. I’m growing quite a collection of round acrylic beads from Vintage Bead Box and most of them are in spring colors, as well. I’ve got a necklace idea forming in my head right now.
You’ll often get one finding type of material in Vintage Bead Box. This month I got this finished chain. (You can see how long it is in a later photo.) This was in great condition for something older and I like the interlocking links of the chain, as well.
These are fun. I am pretty sure I bought some other beads recently in a similar color scheme, too, so I can use them together.
There are quite a lot of these. I think I can get by using them in a stringing project with no chain or eye pins. Maybe with some pearls. I just need to figure out the best accent metal color.
I don’t think I’ve ever had any beads quite like these before. The color would look good with denim (all of my jeans are dark washes) and there are enough to do something multistrand if I want.
These are drilled malachite chips. Malachite is one of my favorite semi-precious stones because I think the green banding is really pretty. But it is kind of expensive so if I work with it, it is usually in chip form. I want to use these with copper in some way.
You’ll often get at least one type of metal beads with this subscription. These are the ones I received this month. I think they are in better condition than some I’ve received in the past. I used them in a necklace.
Mother of Pearl Beads
I used these with the metal beads and the chain to make a necklace. I still have a handful left over so I could make a coordinating bracelet. These are pretty simple drilled ovals although they are a bit irregular due to being a natural material.
You’ll get seed beads every so often with Vintage Bead Box. I really like working with seed beads so that is OK by me. I used these and some seed beads from a past Vintage Bead Box in a bracelet. If you are used to working with modern seed beads, just know that these are a bit irregular by comparison (but I think that adds to the charm). These are silver-lined yellow.
Here is a bracelet I made using this month’s seed beads and some from a previous month of Vintage Bead Box. I made a strip of beads on a loom (just a cheap craft store loom) and glued it with E6000 to a bangle with a channel in it that I got from Jan’s Jewelry Supplies. In retrospect, the beads weren’t quite the right size for this, ut live and learn. Next time I will do it with Delicas and I am sure it will work better.
Here is a necklace I made using the metal beads, some of the mother of pearl beads, and the finished chain. I added a few small silvertone rounds because the holes in the metal beads were kind of large and they were slipping over my headpins.
Verdict: I did not calculate a value for Vintage Bead Box, as explained above, but if you divide the total cost by the number of items, you are paying about $2.78 an item. This seems quite reasonable to me. If you browse Etsy, you can find similar groupings of vintage beads and findings for prices ranging from $2-$7 (and beyond). Because I opted for the surprise mix, it does seem a little random (don’t forget you can also choose a themed box), but due to the fact that I have a massive bead stash, I can almost always find exactly the right components to go with the beads in the box. I would say this month I used more of the beads from the box in two pieces than I do in an average month, and I had fun coming up with ideas.
For what it’s worth, everything arrives clean. I suspect at least some of it is from deconstructed vintage jewelry (but honestly, that is OK by me – I get fun beads and things stay out of the landfill). It is all clean and, so far, manufactured pretty well. Plus, a lot of the items are unusual and you’d have a hard time finding equivalents made from modern materials.
What did you think of the April 2017 Vintage Bead Box? Do you subscribe to any beading or craft boxes?