Vintage Bead Box Subscription Review + Coupon – October 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 subscription ($25 a month).
The Subscription Box: Vintage Bead Box
The Cost: $25 a month. Save with 3 and 6-month subscriptions.
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. This month’s card gave the details of a contest you can enter by posting your Vintage Bead Box creations on social media.
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.
Acrylic was such a popular material in vintage jewelry, it’s no surprise that you see a lot of it in this box. It is only with this subscription that I have come to appreciate the variety of acrylic bead shapes and styles out there. I have recently bought a bunch of seed beads in coordinating colors so I am going to work up something in navy (and probably ivory) with these. The small size of these is great.
I don’t know what kind of stone these are, but I am always happy to receive 4-6 mm rounds. There are a lot of patterns I could use these in and they fit with the color palette I’ve been into lately.
I am looking at these and think they would look good with some wooden donuts I have in my stash somewhere. I’m going to have to go dig those out now. I’m envisioning something with brass wire in it, too. (This is starting to get complicated.) These have a very smooth surface.
This color will actually also go really well with my collection. I have a lot of fancy Czech glass rondelles in similar colors. I also think this would look nice with some copper and ivory. These were in good shape with the surface coloration all intact and no nicks or scratches or chips.
I think these need to go in a wrap bracelet. I can alternate them with some small rounds or even some stacked size 6 or 7 seed beads. They are a nice size for me; I am small boned and prefer delicate jewelry.
These are a bit bigger than the other ones. I am thinking of using these in something simple, like stringing them on some cord with some rhinestone studded rondelles in between. (I usually choose simple designs for vintage beads, so that I can really show off the vintage beads.)
You’ll get some faux pearls in most Vintage Bead Boxes. I think the variety is a lot of fun – I have gotten all kinds of shapes and colors that you just don’t see in catalogs, these days. I like the wrinkled/warped/irregular surface here. I used these in some bracelets (see below).
I have been buying so many brass stampings and links lately, these will be perfect in a piece with some of those. (I am assuming these are brass, or at least plated to look that way. I’m going to err on the side of caution and not try to add a patina, because the last time I did that, I just dissolved the plating on the items I was trying to color. Oops.) I can either keep the hook there and use it as a closure or remove it and make some earrings. I haven’t decided yet.
These are pretty darn big. And kind of heavy. I think they look very cool, but I need to spend some time browsing handmade jewelry online to get an idea of how to use these in a way that will work best for me. They probably need to go with some wire because they seem too heavy for even silk cord (unless it is quite thick).
I’ve been seeing some tutorials for making bangles like this out of wire and I wanted to give it a try. These ended up being a little too big for me (plus I ran out of all my 16 and 20 gauge brass wire…) but I think they turned out well for a first attempt. Next time I will probably try to use flatter beads. Live and learn.
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). I opted for the surprise mix so there is an element of randomness, but I felt like there was a definite color theme going on here (this is something I’ve been noticing more often of late), and everything coordinated really well.
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 October 2017 Vintage Bead Box? Do you subscribe to any beading or craft boxes?
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