Bargain Bead Box Subscription Review – May 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 May 2018 “Flutter” Review
Bargain Bead box always includes a few clasps and other findings in matching metal tones; this month they were in an antiqued copper 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 “Flutter”. The back contained a list of the month’s beads. There’s always a coupon for 30% off their retail website as well.
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!
5.5 mm Textured Star Bead Cap (50)
I am growing a massive collection of bead caps, thanks to Bargain Bead Box. Although I haven’t used these yet, they will work well in a lot of designs and I appreciate getting a lot of them so I don’t have to use them sparingly.
4mm Chinese Crystal Bicones, Copper Finish (100+)
You’ll get a lot of Chinese crystal with this subscription. It is nice and sparkly, though it doesn’t have quite the number of colors and finishes you’ll see with Austrian and Czech crystal (it costs a fraction of the price of those items, though). I used these in a necklace this month, though this is also a good size for using in patterns.
14mm Butterfly Links (12)
These were fun; I actually used all of them in a necklace. I have been more interested in fancy links and connectors lately and was happy to get a chance to try some out.
29 x 36mm Butterfly Chandelier Focal
You’ll usually get a few larger pendants in this box. I haven’t used this one yet, but there are a lot of possibilities here since there are loops for making connections on both the top and bottom (or just add some dangles to the bottom).
5 x 4mm Steel Twist Jewelry Chain (1m)
You’ll often get a chain in Bargain Bead Box, as well. Please note that this is actual steel chain that is plated. Why this is important is because this is super difficult to cut, and you may want to use some heavy-duty cutters (or memory wire cutters, if you have them) on this. This is because, over time, it will mar your standard jewelry wire cutters, which were designed for softer stuff (i.e., copper, silver, brass, etc.).
Butterfly Toggle Clasp with Charm (2 sets)
You’ll also usually get clasps (mostly toggles, sometimes others) in Bargain Bead Box, which is a nice touch compared to other bead subscriptions. These are cute and they fit the box theme wonderfully, and I did use one in a necklace.
6 x 4mm Chinese Crystal Rondelle Beads, Copper Rose (48)
These are some of my favorite beads from the box; I really like the partial copper coating over the rose-colored crystal. I haven’t used them yet only because I am looking for the perfect project to showcase them.
35mm Rhodonite Gemstone Pendant
There were a fair number of semiprecious beads this month, including this pendant. I made a necklace using this and some matching rounds, which you can see below.
47 x 57mm Filigree Butterfly Pendant
This is quite a large pendant but I decided to challenge myself and I made a necklace with it this month. I am actually pretty pleased with how it turned out, and I don’t think it’s too big for my personal taste (some of the pendants in this subscription are quite large).
12 x 17mm Fancy Butterfly Beads (8)
Wow, they found a lot of antique copper butterflies this month! These are actually beads where the stringing hole goes up the butterfly’s body. I haven’t used them yet but they are not too heavy and should work for just about any use (including earrings and charm bracelets).
4mm Chinese Crystal Bicones, Light Rose (100+)
Here is our second set of 4mm bicones for the month (a common shape and size to receive). This pink goes nicely with all the coppers, or you could use it in a spring design or in place of 4mm fire polished beads in a pattern.
8mm Rhodonite Round Gemstone Beads (24)
Here’s more rhodonite. I used these in a simple necklace with the rhodonite pendant. I am trying to work more with larger (i.e., >6mm) gemstone beads lately so I appreciated getting these.
6mm Rose Quartz Round Gemstone Beads (15.75” strand)
Even more semiprecious beads – I feel like there are more than usual this time around, but then, this is one of the only bead subscriptions that will send you very many semiprecious beads, so I am not going to complain.
4mm Copper-Finished Steel Spacer Beads (100)
These are pretty basic but useful as spacer beads, as a substitute for 4mm glass beads in patterns, etc. I used a few in a necklace this month but I have plenty left over.
10mm Copper Plated Glass Round Beads (10)
I rarely see metal-plated glass except in Bargain Bead Box. I think it is a great way to get a metal look (in this case, almost a “Stardust” finish) but maintain a lighter weight (solid metal beads are heavy). I haven’t used these yet but I have some 10mm gemstone rounds that would look nice with them, perhaps in a bracelet.
Here is a necklace I made using only the rhodonite beads. I do think these would’ve looked fine with antiqued copper findings but I didn’t have any bails (the piece holding the center pendant) in that color, so silver-tone it was.
But I did want to explore the possibilities with some of the browns and coppers this month, and I wanted to challenge myself to use one of the larger pendants, so I also made this necklace.
Verdict: I did not calculate a value for Bargain Bead Box, as explained above. The information sheet gives a retail value of about $57 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. So THAT is a pretty good deal. I liked the colors this month (I have had multiple articles of clothing in the past with both pink and brown in them, I think this is an underrated combination) and I was surprised to see just how many different antique copper-plated metal butterflies the folks at Bargain Bead Box could find.
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 June 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 May 2018 Bargain Bead Box? Do you subscribe to any beading or craft boxes?
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