Bargain Bead Box Subscription Review – July 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 July 2018 “Free Spirit” Review
Bargain Bead Box always includes a few clasps and other findings in matching metal tones; this month they were in an antiqued brass 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 (“Free Spirit”). The back contained a list of the month’s beads. There’s always a coupon for 30% off their retail website, too.
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!
50 Pieces 4mm Chinese Crystal Bicone in Light Turquoise
You’ll always get some Chinese crystal in Bargain Bead Box. I find that these 4mm bicones substitute for Swarovski bicones pretty well in patterns and cost a lot less. There aren’t quite as many finishes, but they are still sparkly and are a more economical choice. This color fits nicely into my stash, too.
50 Pieces 4mm Chinese Crystal Bicone in Teal Blue
This color really appeals to me; I think it will look very nice with some copper or rose gold findings. This will probably end up in a pattern (Deb Roberti has a lot of nice ones to choose from here).
15” Strand 8mm Sky Blue Quartz (Dyed) Round Beads
I’ve been seeing more semiprecious stones in Bargain Bead Box lately and, while they’re obviously not the most expensive gemstones out there in terms of type, they are interesting selections that you don’t see in a lot of other places. I’ve never worked with blue quartz before, for example. These ended up in a bracelet, which you can see below.
50 Pieces 4mm Chinese Crystal Bicone in “Sun”
Orange! I’ve been into yellow/orange/hot pink color schemes lately so these will go with a bunch of the new acquisitions to my stash, which includes some shaped Czech beads in similar tones (so, great for use in patterns yet again, even though I sound like a broken record at this point…).
15” Strand 6mm Aqua Terra Jasper Round Beads
This is a new kind of Jasper for me but I really, really like it. I used a lot of these in a wrap bracelet (see below) but I would be interested in acquiring more of this stone in other shapes and sizes, for sure.
2 Pieces Infinity Link
The item list said we only got one of these, but there were two in the package. This would work as a bracelet or necklace centerpiece (especially for something smaller that is supposed to be stacked or layered) or since I received two, earrings are also a possibility.
100 Pieces 3.2mm Round Steel Spacer Beads
Metal accent beads are always handy. I used some of these in my bracelet this month, but I have a few left. Even though they’re (plated) steel, they’re small so they’re light and would work in any type of jewelry (including earrings).
2 Pieces 30mm Triangle Pendants
I had several ideas for these, but they involve colors and styles of beads that did not appear in this box, so these are getting appropriated for projects made primarily from materials in my stash.
2 Pieces 18 x 14 mm Manmade Quartz Druzy Pendant
This is a fun inclusion, and probably something you won’t see in other beading subscriptions. This color goes nicely with the other beads in the box, especially the semiprecious rounds. (If you like this style but balk at the price, check out GemMartUSA on Etsy, where there are some affordable options). I’ll probably use these individually on bracelets as charms near the clasps, as alternatives to tassels.
1 Piece 34 mm Manmade Quartz Druzy Pendant
This is the same color as the round pendants above, so if you wanted to use them all in a necklace (I think the three of them together are too big for a bracelet), they would definitely match. Or you could color-coordinate among several different pieces in a jewelry set (like earrings and a simple necklace).
2 Sets Toggle Clasps
You’ll always get clasps with this subscription, which is something that sets it apart from other beading subscription boxes. And they always match the metal tone of the bead caps, chain, findings, etc. of the other items in the box, which is a nice bonus. I haven’t used these yet because of the type of bracelet I made this month, but these are the sort of thing I like to stock up on so I have them available when needed.
1m 6 x 3 mm Steel Figaro Jewelry Chain
We often (usually?) get chain in this subscription, and it is usually plated steel (more on that in a bit), but I think this is the first time we’ve received Figaro chain. Anyway, you may not want to use your regular wire cutters with this, since it is steel and may mar them (the cutters, that is). If you have memory wire cutters or industrial-strength cutters, use those instead.
2 Pieces 19 x 14mm Cut Glass Crystal Nugget Beads
I like these a lot. No idea what I’ll do with them (earrings, maybe? I have some drops that would look good with them) but I think they are very pretty both in terms of shape and color.
40 Pieces 7.5 mm Star Bead Caps
I never had many bead caps in my stash until I started subscribing to Bargain Bead Box. Now I have a ton. I find they work quite well in simple strung designs to add a little interest and shine. I have a couple of different jasper rounds in my stash in darker colors that I think these would offset nicely.
Here is a bracelet I made using the quartz and jasper rounds and the spacer beads. (Also a TierraCast button from my stash and some faux leather cord from the Dollar Bead Box shop.) I am getting better at making these, although I still have a mental block when it comes to the length. I should’ve made this about an inch (maybe two) shorter.
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, including free shipping, and there were 14 items this month. And THAT is a pretty good deal. I am getting better at making wrap bracelets, too! (I could’ve used more styles of beads, I know, but I sort of didn’t feel like “sparkly crystal” went with the “free spirit”/boho look I was going for.
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 July 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 about $1.14 per item.
Keep Track of Your Subscriptions: Add this box to your subscription list or wishlist!
What did you think of the July 2018 Bargain Bead Box? Do you subscribe to any beading or craft boxes?