Bargain Bead Box Subscription Review – April 2018
Bargain Bead Box is a monthly subscription promising over $40 worth of quality jewelry-making supplies every month.
My Subscription Addiction paid for this box. (Check out the review process post to learn more about how we review boxes.)
About Bargain Bead Box
The Subscription Box: Bargain Bead Box
The Cost: $15.95 a month
The Products: Designer quality beads in materials ranging from crystal to glass to semi-precious gemstones, plus metal beads and findings. Bargain Bead Box does not send any plastic beads or seed beads.
Ships to: U.S. (free), Canada for $7.50
Bargain Bead Box April 2018 “Royalty” Review
Bargain Bead Box always includes a few clasps and other findings in matching metal tones; this month they were in a bright gold-tone finish. Here’s more about the specific items in the box this month:
There was a letter in the box with some more information on the theme (“Royalty”). The back contained a list of the month’s beads.
A note on prices: Items like this can come from a variety of different suppliers at many price points depending on how many you buy, etc. I couldn’t find a lot of these exact beads from common sources (e.g., Fire Mountain Gems) and it’s of questionable value to pick something similar because a slight difference in grading or size or material and you are looking at half or double the price (or an even greater difference). Even different colors of the same size and shape of glass beads are priced differently due to materials needed to make the colors!
40 Pieces 6mm Bead Caps
You get a lot of bead caps with this subscription. I hadn’t used them much before subscribing to Bargain Bead Box. But I appreciate how these can add a bit of contrast and shine to otherwise ordinary beads. I used some of these in a necklace this month, although I think they probably would’ve worked best with a slightly larger bead size than what I used.
100 Piece Strand 4mm Chinese Crystal Bicone Beads
You’ll also get a lot of Chinese crystal with this subscription but it does provide a nice amount of sparkle at a fraction of the cost of Czech or Austrian crystal. I used a few of these this month but I think the rest will go into a larger right-angle weave piece.
14.5” Strand 6mm Faceted Dragon Veins Agate Gemstone Beads
Gemstone beads do sometimes come in this subscription and this month, we got two different kinds! These are pretty and I used a few in my necklace. I would definitely test these for colorfastness and avoid getting them wet (but dye is not so rare in gemstone beads as you might think – even most rose quartz is dyed).
33mm Rhinestone Teardrop Pendant
This month, we go two larger pendants, one red and one blue. I used this blue one in my necklace this month. These are just the right size for pendants, for me – not too big for my personal taste, but still with lots of sparkle.
40 Pieces 8 x 5 mm Half-Metallic Chinese Crystal Rondelle Beads
And here are the last of the blue beads; I also used these in a necklace this month. I like the half-metallic finish on them. You don’t see quite as many fancy finishes on Chinese crystal as you do on Czech beads, but this type of bead still has a ton of sparkle and I am definitely a fan of the half-metallic look – it was perfect with this month’s gold-toned accents.
1m 5mm Steel Jewelry Chain, Gold Finish
You don’t always get chain with this subscription, but you do fairly regularly. This is steel, as stated, so you may want to use heavy-duty wire cutters instead of your regular jewelry-making wire cutters – I found this pretty challenging to cut. (On the other hand, it is quite strong and will hold a lot of weight.)
20 Pieces 7mm Flat Round Scrollwork Spacer Beads
I almost used these but didn’t, at the last minute. I do like them a lot and am thinking of using them in a bracelet (I am small-boned and have small wrists, so I tend to stick to smaller beads like this for bracelets). They’re light enough to use several in earrings, as well.
22 x 14 mm Red Rhinestone Link
I love this. I never buy this sort of element because they are expensive (and there weren’t any more in the Bargain Bead Box store when I went looking for more). I wish there were more of them, to be honest! I’m not sure how I will use it yet because I keep holding out hope that I’ll find a few extras.
6 Pieces 23 x 27 mm Fancy 3-Hole Link Components
I knew I wanted to use these this month. Hopefully, I came up with something original (see below). I had fun figuring out the geometry of how I would put them together with other elements (and I still have a few left over to play with some more).
1 Pair Brass Rhinestone Ear Studs, Gold Finish
(Yes, my skin is really *that* dry.) Anyway, I don’t think I’ve gotten stud earring findings in a beading subscription box before, so this is a nice change of pace. I have no idea what metal the posts are made of, but I’ll just coat them with clear nail polish. There is a convenient loop here for attaching a dangle. You will need to supply your own earnuts, though, as these didn’t come with any.
100 Piece Strand 4mm Chinese Crystal Bicone Beads
You also get some red bicones this month. If you wanted to use red and blue together, you could make something pretty using right-angle weave or a pattern (tons of patterns call for 4mm bicones, or 4mm firepolished beads, and these two types can be used interchangeably for most purposes). Or you could use them as accents in a red-only piece. There are a lot of options.
16” Strand 4mm Garnet Round Gemstone Beads
Garnet is one of the few semi-precious stones I find affordable (in smaller sizes only, of course) so I do have some in my collection, but it’s always good to have more. If I want to get fancy with a pattern calling for 4mm druks, I can substitute these in, instead.
32.5mm Rhinestone Triangle Pendant
The red stone here had come loose and I need to glue it back in before I use it. (That’s why I went all blue for this month.) But otherwise, this was in great shape and it is a good size for me. I am sure I will be using it as soon as the E6000 is dry.
98 Piece Strand 6 x 4mm Half-Metallic Chinese Crystal Rondelle Beads
These are a little smaller than the other rondelles but again with the lovely half-metallic finish. I haven’t used these yet but when I do, whatever I make is going to be really sparkly. (I am feeling like a crow lately, with respect to shiny things…)
3 Sets Fancy Dotted Toggle Clasps
I did use one of these for my necklace this month but I still have two left. You’ll always get coordinating clasps with this subscription, which is one thing that makes it stand out from some of the competitors. These, to me, are better suited for necklaces than for bracelets – the weight of the necklace will keep them closed as they hang.
Here is a necklace I made this month. I stuck with the blue beads, not for any particular reason but just because I felt like it.
Verdict: I did not calculate a value for Bargain Bead Box, as explained above. The information sheet gives a retail value of about $54 and I can believe that value if you were to go out looking for similar beads to purchase individually. Looking at it another way, you are paying just over $1 per item since the price is $15.95 and there were 15 items this month. And THAT is a pretty good deal. I liked the colors this month and I also liked having the choice to go with blue or red (or both) for making a piece of jewelry.
Please note that no directions are given and you have to supply your own needles, stringing materials, tools, etc.
To Wrap Up:
Can you still get this box if you sign up today? No, you would receive the May 2018 box as your first one, although they do sometimes offer past boxes on their site, and individual items can sometimes be purchased from Bead Box Bargains.
Value Breakdown: At $15.95 for this subscription, you are paying $1.06 per item.
Keep Track of Your Subscriptions: Add this box to your subscription list or wishlist!
What did you think of the April 2018 Bargain Bead Box? Do you subscribe to any beading or craft boxes?
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