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 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).
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 February 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:
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.
You’ll usually get some seed or bugle beads with this subscription. I’ve been meaning to do some more work with bugle beads and it is fun to have some vintage ones. I think I will use these in bead embroidery.
You’ll usually get a couple of different types of acrylic beads with this subscription, as well. I don’t tend to buy contemporary plastic beads, but vintage ones are so fun – there are just a ton of different shapes and sizes and finishes that you don’t see anymore, so you can make something totally unique. These are lightweight and I used most of them in a necklace.
You will also usually get one type of metal beads or metalized plastic beads with this subscription. These have a carved flower or rose appearance and I think they’d work with either antiqued silver of gunmetal findings.
I like how the other beads this month have colors that coordinate with this (creams, warm colors, etc.). (The “surprise mix” isn’t truly random; I feel like items are generally selected so you could use them together if that is your inclination.) I haven’t figured out quite how I will use this yet, but I am thinking it might look good with some of the massive collection of brass flower stampings I have accumulated in the past few months and some pink accent beads.
Mini Faux Pearl
Faux pearls often make appearances in this subscription, as well. You get all sorts of interesting ones, with different colors and textures. These are some of the smallest I’ve received thus far. They have nice, small holes, so I am thinking I will try to learn to use my knotter tool to make a bracelet out of them.
You will sometimes get semiprecious or stone beads with this subscription. It’s not always obvious what stone they are (and sometimes they appear to be mixed). I think these will look nice with some gold-tone or brass accents in a simple, strung necklace, maybe with the long one as a vertical pendant.
Rustic Glass Beads
These are heavy and they have large holes, so I immediately thought “macramé.” I used to do a ton of macramé and I still have all the hemp twine, I just need to refresh my memory on some knots. (I find a macramé board very handy if you are just getting started out.)
These have a lot going on – enough that they could go in a necklace on their own (maybe interspersed with some coordinating chain). I like the sparkle and the small touches of color.
Here is the second type of acrylic beads I received this month. These have almost a mother-of-pearl look about them (though they weigh a lot less than mother of pearl). You can see below how I used some of them.
Here is a necklace I made using the two types of acrylic beads and some brass stampings I had in my stash. I’m not sure I’ve found just the attachment method that I like for brass stampings yet, but I kind of have to try a few things to see what works and what doesn’t.
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, each “surprise mix” version of Vintage Bead Box is unique. Also, this subscription ships very early in the month, so your first shipment if you signed up now would come in March.
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.
Keep Track of Your Subscriptions: Add this box to your subscription list or wishlist!
What did you think of the February 2018 Vintage Bead Box? Do you subscribe to any beading or craft boxes?