Vintage Bead Box Subscription Review + Coupon – November 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.
You’ll get a lot of acrylic beads with Vintage Bead Box. What I like about these is the texture – they’re not perfectly round. The swirling coloration is also fun. They are slightly graduated in size, which I may or may not make use of. These are very lightweight.
I didn’t receive anything labeled as “faux pearl” this month, although these come pretty close in terms of looks. These are also lightweight (all acrylic is) and the coating looks surprisingly good for how old these must be. I am collecting a lot of round acrylic beads so I’ve been on the lookout for example necklaces to use them in. (I find it really fun to just search through Google images for ideas!)
These have some weight to them and appear to have an AB coating, as well. I have quite a few odd lots of vintage crystal as I seem to hoard it just to look at. The facets here are a little different than what you see in new crystal beads and of course, the color will go with nearly anything.
This is hefty. Dragonstone is apparently calcite and limestone, but you just try to search for more information than that and not get 1000 Game of Thrones hits instead. This actually has the drill hole through the short axis so I think it would look great with a tassel underneath and some simple chain.
Lots of glass beads this month! These red ones are a good size for more delicate jewelry (my preference) and are a shape you just don’t see in contemporary materials. I can also think of a few items from past Vintage Bead Boxes that will look great with these.
Here is an assortment of glass beads in mostly earth tones. I saw a memory wire bracelet the other day (been doing a lot of bead shopping online lately) with a mix of beads like these and some long, curved, tubular metal beads that mimicked the look of bangles. I think I’m going to try something like that here.
These almost have the look of some kind of gemstone chips. They’re small. I’m thinking of using them in a simple multi-strand necklace with either some wire that’s meant to be shown or possibly some freshwater pearls.
Kukui Nut Beads
These are fun. They’re big, hollow shells. (For what it’s worth, kukui nuts are also known as candlenuts, which you may be familiar with from the Juara Candlenut Body Crème that appears in so many subscription boxes.) These were the most unusual item in the box this month so of course, I had to use them in something.
You’ll usually get some metal beads in Vintage Bead Box. These are small but heavy. They have large holes, which worked out well because I was able to string them with some of the kukui nut beads on a length of silk cord to make a simple necklace.
I’ve never had any kukui nut beads before, so I had to use them in something. One was slightly larger than the other two, so I put it in the center, and I used some of the metal beads as spacers. The cord is some dyed silk I had in my stash (my biggest challenge was getting the cord *through* the holes in the beads, but a very large tapestry needle eventually did the trick). Then I just glued on some cord ends and added a clasp.
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 November 2017 Vintage Bead Box? Do you subscribe to any beading or craft boxes?
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