Vintage Bead Box Subscription Review – June 2018
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 June 2018 Review
This is my second month receiving a themed box. This month’s theme was “Morocco”:
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.
Sometimes you will get semi-precious beads in this subscription. Often they are chips. I am growing quite the collection of chips from this and other subscriptions and I think in the coming months I am going to seriously focus on ways to use them. These are a nice purple color that goes with some of the wood beads below.
Ooh, these are long. I don’t have too many bugle beads that are this long. But every now and then, I need some. (You’ll usually get some vintage seed or bugle beads with this subscription. These are more regularly shaped than others I’ve seen.)
Vintage Metal Chain
I haven’t used this yet, but I am hoarding vintage chain lately and I’m sure I will think of a way to incorporate it into a necklace pretty soon. I like the texture on the links as well as the metal color. I find the chain in this subscription to be high quality but also much more interesting than the mass-produced chain you can buy new today.
There are quite a lot of these in a few different sizes. They seem to have an AB-type coating on one side, which just adds to the sparkle. This seems like more of a winter color to me so I will probably hang on to these for a while before using them. (On the other hand, the color does work with the other colors in the box.)
These are black glass rounds in a handful of different sizes. They have average-to-small sized holes so although I kind of wanted to string this month’s necklace on cord, I ended up having to use beading wire to accommodate them. But, I like the overall color scheme of my piece and these definitely contributed to that, so in the end, it was a win (now I only have one of these left).
You’ll usually get one type of metallic or metallized beads with this subscription. These don’t have a weight or feel consistent with actual metal, but a lot of vintage glass and plastic beads were coated with metallic coatings, and I think that’s what happened here. At any rate, I like the muted gold of these. I used quite a few in my necklace this month, although I still have a handful left if I want to do something else with them.
Hand Carved Wood Pendant
I think this is a lion but I’ve been wrong before. It’s certainly some kind of big cat. And it is different from anything I have received from this subscription before. I decided to find a way to use it in a necklace since it is unique. (See below.)
These are large-holed wood beads in a purple color. (The holes aren’t real neat, but larger cords should still pass through OK.) They are super lightweight and you can see a bit of the natural grain through the purple if you look closely in real life. I used a handful of these in a necklace this month but have a few left over to make a matching bracelet from. These would also be good in macramé pieces.
Here is a necklace I made with the black glass beads, the metallized beads, the pendant, and the wood beads. I opted for simple stringing, which is not something I usually do, but I actually found some kind of similar pieces through Google image search and I figured that was something I could handle.
Here is a close-up of the pendant.
Here’s the back. That was just a clasp I had around already. I used some of the smaller metallized beads in the back because I ran out of the black glass beads.
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 challenge this month’s items presented for me; I had to get outside my comfort zone a bit as I’m not usually one for big or unusual pendants.
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 July. (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 June 2018 Vintage Bead Box? Do you subscribe to any beading or craft boxes?
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