Vintage Bead Box is a monthly subscription box providing you with beads and findings manufactured between about 1930 and 1970. Vintage Bead Box formerly offered a themed box and a surprise mix box. They are transitioning away from the surprise mix box (current subscribers can continue to receive it for the duration of their subscriptions and/or until they switch to the themed boxes) so I am now reviewing the themed box.
My Subscription Addiction paid for this box. (Check out the review process post to learn more about how we review boxes.)
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 April 2018 Review
This is my first month receiving a themed box. This month’s theme was “Secret Garden”:
There isn’t a traditional information card with this box because, owing to the nature of the contents (i.e., limited supply), every 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 acrylic beads with this subscription. I originally intended to use these in my necklace this month but found they had rather large holes and that my headpins would’ve slipped right through. So, I am saving them for a different project with thicker stringing material.
You’ll often get a few semiprecious stone beads or chips in Vintage Bead Box. These are a lovely shade of purple and I used a few in a necklace this month but I still have some left over so I can make a coordinating bracelet or earrings.
These are great for a garden-themed box because they have actual little flowers pictured on them, plus the blue background color ties in with the other colors in the box. I used some of these in a necklace (see below).
I occasionally like to make necklaces that transition from one to several strands, and I don’t have any connectors quite like these, so that is one way I could use these. They’d also work for chandelier-type earrings. These were in excellent condition for vintage components.
Faceted Glass Beads
Of course, a garden-themed box needs some green, and these are nice because they provide a little bit of contrast with some of the round beads that dominated this shipment. I think there is a bit of an AB coating on some of the facets, too. I used a few of these in my necklace this month, as well.
Rustic Iron Key
A key like this definitely matches the “secret” part of the “Secret Garden” theme. It is rather large and heavy and I still have to do some thinking about how best to use it. I am thinking of a delicate beaded chain (possibly purchased, or I could make it with some eyepins and 3 or 4 mm gemstone rounds).
Metallic Faux Pearl
I love the iridescent finish on these. They kind of remind me of those gazing balls you sometimes see in garden stores. I used the larger ones in a necklace but I still have the smaller ones left over so I can use them in a coordinating piece.
You’ll usually get some seed or bugle beads with this subscription. These match the color of the faceted glass beads quite nicely so I am thinking of using the leftover faceted glass beads with these in something (just not sure what yet). I’d say they were about a size 11/0, give or take one size or so.
I approached this with the idea of imitating something I’d seen online, but right off the bat, I didn’t have the right kind of stringing material, so I used this silk string, which matches well enough, although the beads don’t have freedom of movement. I’m not showing you the clasp attachment because it’s not pretty (and yes, I did superglue my fingers together at one point), but when I wear this, it’ll be hidden behind my hair, so that’s OK. I wanted to practice making wrapped loops because I’m not very good at that. I was planning to use the acrylic beads, too, but they had kind of large holes that my headpins would’ve slipped right through. Despite my troubles, I actually like how this came out, and it’ll match several things in my wardrobe.
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 $3.12 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 liked the colors this month and feel like they did a good job connecting back to the theme.
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? This subscription ships very early in the month, so your first shipment if you signed up now would come in May. (Also, your box might not match mine exactly since many vintage beads are in short supply.)
Value Breakdown: At $25 for this box, you are paying about $3.12 per item.
Keep Track of Your Subscriptions: Add this box to your subscription list or wishlist!
What did you think of the April 2018 Vintage Bead Box? Do you subscribe to any beading or craft boxes?