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Vintage Bead Box Subscription Review + Coupon – December 2017

Vintage Bead Box December 2017 Box

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.

Vintage Bead Box December 2017 Surprise

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). 

Vintage Bead Box December 2017 Review

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)

Check out all of our Vintage Bead Box reviews and the Craft Subscription Box Directory for more great craft supply and DIY project boxes!

Keep Track of Your Subscriptions: Add this box to your subscription list or wishlist!

Vintage Bead Box December 2017 Booklet Front

Vintage Bead Box December 2017 Booklet Back

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.

Vintage Bead Box December 2017 Acryic Purple

Acrylic Beads

You’ll get a lot of acrylic beads with this subscription but they are always different. This month, there were purple ones in a handful of shapes and sizes. I have a few left but I did use some of the round ones in a necklace.

Vintage Bead Box December 2017 Acrylic Brown

Acrylic Beads

More acrylic beads. You can see some of the facets in the pictures, which I think is kind of cool. I haven’t used these yet but I recently sorted my beads into trays based on color so now it will be super easy to dive into my stash and find complementary beads. These are very lightweight, which is also nice.

Vintage Bead Box December 2017 Ceramic Bead

Ceramic Bead

This is BIG! I actually have some bulky chain on order that I think will look good with this. I’ve been wanting to work with larger beads lately and this will give me a chance to do so.

Vintage Bead Box December 2017 Chain

Vintage Chain

This was very exciting to me. I am buying all kinds of chain lately but I have to say, the vintage chain is always the most interesting. There are styles you just don’t see very often anymore. I used the whole length of this in a necklace (pictures below).

Vintage Bead Box December 2017 Crystal

Crystal Beads

The fun thing about vintage crystal is that there are a lot of shapes and styles that are hard to find these days. I definitely don’t have anything like these shapes in my collection, but I definitely do have a lot in this color, so I know I can come up with a great design for these.

Vintage Bead Box December 2017 Faux Pearl

Faux Pearl

Fake pearls are also pretty common with this subscription. I am really starting to enjoy coming up with ways to use them – more often than not, it is the pearls I reach for when I start working on a project for this box. I used some of the smaller ones to make a cluster (you’ll see what I’m talking about below) for part of a necklace.

Vintage Bead Box December 2017 Glass Beads

Glass Beads

The glass beads in this subscription are really fun. They’re just not styles you see elsewhere. These are a great color for me and I also like that there are a lot of them – I have an easier time coming up with ideas for a whole bunch of similar beads than when you only get a few.

Vintage Bead Box December 2017 Hematite

Hematite Beads

These are basic rounds and I do believe they’re hematite (an iron-containing mineral) because they’re HEAVY. I used a few in a necklace but I have some left over for another project. I don’t have much hematite in my collection so I was happy to get more.

Vintage Bead Box December 2017 Seed Beads

Seed Beads

You’ll usually get some vintage seed or bugle beads with this subscription. I am not sure what size these are but I think I’d go with about a 10/0 (or thereabouts). Since they had a gold tone, I used them in my necklace to sort of draw things together with the antiqued brass look of the chain.

Vintage Bead Box December 2017 Necklace

Here is a necklace I made with a lot of different components from the box. You’ll recognize the chain, but I also used the faux pearls, the purple acrylic beads, the hematite beads, and the seed beads. The cluster is permanently in place the way I constructed this, so I did cut the chin in half and added a clasp.

The pictures of this are kind of odd but this is so long (past my navel) that I couldn’t do my usual photography setup and I couldn’t use my necklace form.

Vintage Bead Box December 2017 Necklace 2

Here is a closer view of the cluster.

Vintage Bead Box December 2017 Necklace 3

And here are some little dangles I made for the ends of the chain with beads that match the cluster.

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 or eBay, 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 theme going on here (this is something I’ve been noticing more often of late), since 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.  Some beads show a little wear but that is part of the charm of working with vintage beads. Plus, a lot of the items are unusual and you’d have a hard time finding equivalents made from modern materials. I had fun making the necklace this month and am just amazed that it turned out looking exactly like the idea I had in my head when I got started.

What did you think of the December 2017 Vintage Bead Box? Do you subscribe to any beading or craft boxes?

Vintage Bead Box

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Written by Ragan Buckley

Ragan Buckley

Ragan stumbled across My Subscription Addiction in late 2013 and immediately subscribed to way too many beauty boxes. She’s now focused on boxes for her cats and dog, vegan/vegetarian food boxes, and craft subscriptions (and she didn’t give up beauty boxes entirely).

Posted in Craft Subscription Boxes, Subscription Box Reviews, Subscription Boxes for Women| Tags: vintage bead box | 7 comments

Comments (7)

  1. Omgosh Ragan, that is gorgeous! By chance, did the jewelry from the Popsugar Neiman Marcus box have anything to do with your inspiration for your creation? I think I remember seeing you comment that you could make that jewelry, and much cheaper. That cluster sure does remind me of the Popsugar jewelry.

    • Actually, no, I didn’t even think about that when I was making this — I just wanted to see how many different items from the box I could use at once. Clusters of beads are pretty common in vintage jewelry so I guess that’s what I was thinking about.

  2. Ragan, another great review. I LOVE the chain they sent and what you did with it. And the clusters remind me that I want to create a version of the Chan Luu earrings.

    You must have an an incrediblly large stash. You mentioned rearranging things so that that are sorted by color. That’s very helpful. Do you have any other advice on how to organize the supplies? I’m overwhelmed with jewelry making supplies but have yet to come up with a system for organizing things that really works. Any advice would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!

    • I have a stack of bead organizers taller than I am that are everything except metal. These are organized by color with some exceptions (like I keep all Chinese crystal together, regardless of color, and there is a particular color palette I’ve been using lately that I keep together). I recently ran out of these and am waiting for an Amazon order of about 8 more…

      Then I have another set of bead organizers with my metal stampings and metal beads (not currently organized by color), findings, etc.

      I have a bin for chain and one for cord and one for pliers.

      I have a ton of Elizabeth Ward Bead Storage Solutions containers for Czech and Japanese shaped beads and seed beads (organized by type).

      Then there are the overflow containers, and the three sets of Rubbermaid drawers with stuff like enamel and metal stamps and soldering equipment, and then there are random piles in all the corners of my living room of stuff that doesn’t fit neatly into one category.

      Basically I need some room to myself for all my craft supplies, but I don’t have that right now.

      • Also there are spools of wire and sheet metal everywhere.

      • Ragan – wow. Thanks! You have an organizational system (and stash) to envy!

      • That sounds like a dream come true 😍

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