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Vintage Bead Box Subscription Review + Coupon – January 2018

Vintage Bead Box January 2018 Box closed

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 January 2018 Inside

My Subscription Addiction paid for this box. (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 January 2018 Review

About Vintage Bead Box

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)

Vintage Bead Box January 2018 Review

Because I get the “Surprise Mix” option, I never know what my Vintage Bead Box will contain. Let’s take a look at what I received this month:

Vintage Bead Box January 2018 Booklet front

Vintage Bead Box January 2018 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.

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 Beads

Acrylic Beads

These are quite large. Each one of them could be a focal bead in its own right. I have some brown acrylic beads from a past vintage bead box that I think would look particularly nice with these. (Acrylic is a common material for vintage beads and you’ll see it in pretty much every Vintage Bead Box.)

Faceted Glass Beads

Faceted Glass Beads

As it happens, I have a lot of other vintage faceted glass beads in black in different shapes, so there are tons of design possibilities here. (And, I recently sorted my beads by color so I can even find the others quickly.) These are drilled through the center so they can be easily put on headpins and added to designs.

Bone Beads

Bone Beads

You’ll get bone beads occasionally in Vintage Bead Box. (In general, bone beads are from animals that were otherwise used for food and that has been true for at least a couple of decades.) These are delicate (which I prefer) and I’m thinking of using them in a ladder-type design.

Coconut Beads

Coconut Beads

These are fun. I have a lot of these colors (purple, turquoise, hot pink) in my wardrobe already, too! These are super lightweight and, as with many natural materials, vary a little bit in thickness, etc. I used some of these in a necklace this month, which you can see below.

Glass Bead

Glass Bead

This is quite large and is best suited to being a focal bead in a necklace although it could also work as part of a wire cuff bracelet. I like the swirl pattern in the glass – it adds several possibilities for coordinating accent beads that I wouldn’t necessarily have thought to put together, otherwise.

Howlite Chips

Howlite Beads

Here is the first of two types of howlite beads we received this month. These are some drilled chips. I am wanting to get into using this type of bead more often, as I have accumulated a lot of them, so I’ve been looking for design ideas lately. I have a couple of things in mind for these.

Howlite Beads

Howlite Beads

Here is the second type of howlite beads for the month. These hearts are roughly quarter-sized and match the chips quite nicely (howlite comes dyed in a variety of colors; you may have seen it as a turquoise substitute, for example). The items in a Vintage Bead Box will typically color-coordinate in some way (like this month, for me, was mostly neutrals with a pop of color), and every now and then, you will actually get an almost exact match, as happened here.

Faux Pearls

Faux Pearls

Faux pearls are a Vintage Bead Box mainstay. What is so fun about them is there are so many styles and finishes that just don’t exist in modern bead catalogs. These have a matte brown finish that’s not too shiny and would be appropriate in jewelry for everyday wear. I’m thinking they would look nice with some brass findings.

Seed Beads

Seed Beads

You’ll also usually get some seed beads or bugle beads in Vintage Bead Box. These are a little larger (maybe like a size 7 or 8) compared to the 10s or 11s we usually get. They actually go pretty well with some seed beads I have from a past Vintage Bead Box, and I can see using them with the faux pearls and acrylic beads for a warm, earth-toned piece.

Here is a necklace I made with the coconut beads. I have been experimenting lately with designs where the stringing material shows (this is some purple Beadalon wire). I think I may either add a few more strands or make another version where I am more careful about the spacing between elements, say, by using a multistrand bead design board and starting from the middle. I have quite a few of these beads left over, though, so there are lots of possibilities.

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, maybe a bit more random than usual, but pretty much everything here matches something or other in my massive stash, so that’s not a problem for me!

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.

To Wrap Up:

Can you still get this box if you sign up today? No, every surprise mix box is a little different, due to the nature of the items included.

Coupon – Use code WELCOME20 to save 20% off your first box!

Value Breakdown: This box cost me $25 + free shipping, which means that each of the 9 bead types in the box has an average cost of $2.78.

What did you think of the January 2018 Vintage Bead Box?  Do you subscribe to any beading or craft boxes?

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!

What did you think of the January 2018 Vintage Bead Box? Do you subscribe to any beading or craft boxes?

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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 | 4 comments

Comments (4)

  1. My new favorite game with your bead reviews is to slowly scroll to the bottom, looking over the beads, seeing if I can guess what you would have made. I guessed necklace but I hadn’t figured it would be such beautiful simplicity! I love this one!

  2. I love reading these reviews. I would subscribe to this box if I were even half as creative as you, but I could never look at that collection of beads and dream up such beautiful pieces like you create. But thank you so much for your review!

  3. I don’t even bead, and I want to get this box. With the coupon, it’s worth trying! Thank you Ragan!

    • Bah humbug on these jerks. I went to the website, created an account, clicked on the button, entered the coupon code (which was accepted), entered all my credit card information, clicked “submit”, and was notified “Vintage Bead Box is currently sold out!” Just that. Not “January is sold out”.

      These unprofessional i d i o t s couldn’t write that on the web page of this sub? How about disabling the “join now” button, if you can’t really join?

      I submitted a “contact seller” query, but I don’t believe that anyone will get back to me. Fell for the Cratejoy b u l l again. Joke’s on me.

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