Bargain Bead Box Subscription Review – October 2017
Bargain Bead Box is a monthly subscription promising over $40 worth of quality jewelry-making supplies every month.
My Subscription Addiction pays for this subscription. (Check out the review process post to learn more about how we review boxes.)
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
Keep Track of Your Subscriptions: Add this box to your subscription list or wishlist!
There was a letter in the box with some more information on the theme (“Steampunk Style”). 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!
30 Pieces 8 mm Dotted Bead Caps
These are fun. They are a really good choice to coordinate with all the gears in this box (see below). I haven’t actually used them yet but I have a lot of copper and antique copper in my collection so they will coordinate with a lot of other items.
100+ Pieces 4mm Chinese Crystal Bicones in Wheat AB
I used a few of these in my piece this month but I have a lot left over. Which is fine by me because 4mm bicones are often called for in patterns and I never have enough. These have almost a peach color to them and will go great with the other beads in my stash.
60 mm Antique Style Key Pendant
I have a file (well, a bunch of bookmarks in my browser) of different things I want to try with key pendants. I started collecting these links after getting a steel key in Vintage Bead Box one month. Anyway, now that I have another key, I get to go back and choose a new project to make using the key!
10 Pieces 11mm Dual-Glazed Ceramic Round Beads
I’m trying to decide whether to do a simple strung bracelet (with either copper or gold accents) or use these in a more complex piece, perhaps with some unakite, which is a semiprecious stone with a similar (but not identical) color scheme and pattern.
1m of 4mm Steel Rolo Chain in Antique Copper
Lately, we’ve been getting lots of chain in Bargain Bead Box. I love working with chain and I don’t have any quite like this already. This is in my stash for now, but I have a couple of pendants I plan to make soon and this would be a fun way to display those!
4 Sets 25 x 16 mm Fancy Swirl Hook and Eye Clasps
You’ll always get a few clasps in this subscription and the metal tone will always match the other items in the box. This type of clasp is best suited for necklaces with a bit of weight to them, I would say. (On a bracelet, it would be prone to coming loose.)
3 Pieces 26mm Gear Findings
I’ll be honest, steampunk is not really an aesthetic I’m into, and I wasn’t excited at first about getting a bunch of gears. But I did my usual idea search (typing random stuff into Google and looking at the image results) and started to get an idea of how to use these. I’m actually quite pleased with how it turned out.
6 Pieces 20mm Gear Findings
Lots and lots of gears this month. I used four of these to make a bracelet this month, which you can see below.
4 Pieces 18mm Gear Findings
OK, these were totally stuck together and hard to get apart for some reason. I had to pry the last two apart with a file. But, I ended up using every last one of them in the bracelet I made this month.
48 Pieces 8mm African “Turquoise” Jasper Round Beads
I love getting semiprecious stones in subscription boxes; I am trying to use more of these in my work lately. These would go well with the bead caps pictured up above. I kind of want to just do something simple with these so that I can really showcase the random swirls of color in the beads. Copper is an excellent choice of accent color for these.
10g Mixed Six Copper Finished Steel Jump Rings
It is nice that jump rings were included this month to go with all the gears, chain, charms, etc. These are not the highest quality jump rings I have ever worked with (they were kind of cut unevenly in some places), but they worked well enough for my piece this month; I used several sizes.
3 Pieces 27 x 12mm Key Ring Charms
These are cute little charms. They are almost like charms that have their own charms. I haven’t used them yet, but they are not something that’s exclusively steampunk, so they will go well with some of my other antique copper finish charms. (As you can see, I received 4 of these instead of 3…)
30 Pieces 6mm Chinese Crystal Round Beads in Turquoise
I used a few of these this month, but still have some left over. I kind of like getting opaque faceted beads; although I love the sparkle and shine of transparent beads (especially with AB coatings), sometimes I want a bead that’s not see-through. This color goes with a whole lot of things in my stash.
38mm Steampunk Style Round Pendant
You’ll usually get one large centerpiece bead in this subscription. This month it is this pendant. This goes very nicely with all the gears from this month. Because it has two smaller holes opposite one another, you’re not limited to only having it dangle at the end of a necklace chain, but you have a few other options as well.
9 Pieces 10mm Chinese Crystal Coin Beads in Vitrail
These are pretty and totally my style (I love flat discs, coins, etc.). I don’t quite know what I will do with them yet but I might just string them into a bracelet or something simple like that.
24 Pieces 9.5mm Industrial Style Spacer Beads
I haven’t used these yet but I think they are super versatile. They would work with all of this month’s gears, or they could work in a tribal-design necklace, as well. These won’t sit around in my collection for long.
98 Pieces 4mm Chinese Crystal Round Beads in Teal
I like this color a lot and I have been hoarding 4mm beads lately as just so many patterns using the Czech shaped beads call for 4mm accents. I only used a few beads this month (focused more on findings) so I haven’t gotten to these yet, but I am definitely happy to have them.
I wanted to do something really different this month. This was more fun to make than it had any right to be. I used SO MANY tools and supplies that I bought randomly in the past, it’s almost like I can justify the purchases after the fact – TWO metal hole punches, TWO pairs of pliers just for bending bracelets, two gauges of copper wire, sheet metal, metal shears, TWO kinds of rivets, a steel bench block, a rivet setter, a one pound brass mallet, diamond files, etc. Also, I bought a package of ring blanks at Michael’s. Don’t tell anyone but the ring is a silver color (which is why I wired beads through that particular gear…).
Here is a closer view of the cuff part since it was at a weird angle in the last picture. I need to work on my cuff-bending skills, but honestly, this turned out pretty well for my first ever attempt at making a cuff. As it is right now, I need to put a sealant or something, or this would totally turn my wrist green.
Here is my workspace at the end of this project. I’d estimate this took me an hour, and I’ll bet there wwas$200 or $300 worth of tools on the table at the end of that time.
Verdict: I did not calculate a value for Bargain Bead Box, as explained above. The information sheet gives a retail value of about $54 and I can believe that value if you were to go out looking for similar beads to purchase a la carte. Looking at it another way, you are paying a little under $1 per item since the price is $15.95 and there were 17 items this month. And THAT is a pretty good deal.
Please note that no directions are given and you have to supply your own needles, stringing materials, tools, etc.
What did you think of the October 2017 Bargain Bead Box? Do you subscribe to any beading or craft boxes?