BeadCrate Subscription Box Review – July 2018
BeadCrate is a monthly subscription box for beading enthusiasts. Choose from “The Enthusiast” for $18.99 a month or “The Collector” for $35 a month. You can also buy a single box to see if this subscription is for you.
This review is of The Enthusiast, $18.99 a month, box.
My Subscription Addiction pays for this subscription. (Check out the review process post to learn more about how we review boxes.)
The Subscription Box: BeadCrate
The Cost: $18.99 a month + $5 shipping. Save with longer subscriptions.
The Products: A selection of beads curated around a monthly theme (or beads that are just cool and random)
Ships to: U.S. (free for “The Collector” and $5 for “The Enthusiast”)
BeadCrate July 2018 “Tropical Sunset” Review
BeadCrate is great for stash-building if you are into seed beads and Czech glass, and you’ll also usually get some useful supplies:
This letter/information sheet accompanied the shipment. The theme this month was “Tropical Sunset.”
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!
6mm Aquamarine Firepolished Rounds (Czech glass, 25)
I haven’t used these yet, but this color features prominently in my stash and I know I have a ton of beads in coordinating colors I can use with these. 6mm firepolished rounds are just good, basic beads to have around as they are useful in patterns as well as strung designs.
18mm Backlit Tequila Round Cabochon (Czech glass, 1)
I haven’t worked with flat-backed Czech glass cabs before as I tend to find riviolis easier (since they have pointed, slanted backs) but I really like the overall look of this one and knew I wanted to use it as a centerpiece for a flower-like design. I did come up with something, though I think the final design needs some tweaking. I will have to find some more of these (this US-based website sells them, though I haven’t ordered from there before).
22mm Quest Antique Silver Connector (USA Pewter, 2)
This is a non-lead-containing “pewter” alloy. I have some other silver-tone findings with lots of circle design elements I think these will look good with. I wish the Quest website pointed you to retailers since it is wholesale only and they have a lot of stuff I’d be interested in purchasing. (There is some Quest stuff on Etsy)
5 x 7 mm Alexandrite Gemstone Donuts (Czech glass, 25)
I assume “gemstone” refers to the cut since these are actually glass. These are a nice color that actually does remind me of some parts of the sky during sunrise or sunset and I like the slightly different shape (as opposed to another round or faceted round).
7 x 14 mm Hyacinth AB Fish (Czech glass, 10)
I don’t know what I am going to do with these yet but I absolutely love the color. I’ve bought some other hyacinth beads lately because I’ve been going through an orange/yellow/hot pink phase so when I do come up with an idea, I will have lots that match.
9 x 11 mm Crystal Sunset Tear Drop (Czech glass, 10)
I went through a phase a couple of months ago where I bought a lot of these flat teardrops. I think they will be good petals in floral designs. That is how I attempted to use these, although there are a few kinks to work out in my design. But I think I have a good start.
12mm Aqua Picasso Hawaiian Flowers (Czech glass, 2)
These Hawaiian style flowers are coming out in all kinds of new sizes and colors and styles and I like them a lot, I’m just reluctant to purchase them because they are kind of expensive. So I will never be upset at receiving some in a subscription box. Although I don’t have definite plans for these yet, they definitely match the main color palette that I use so I’m sure I’ll come up with something soon as I have a lot of beads that will go with these.
4mm Honey Shimmer Crystal Firepolished Rounds (Czech glass, 50)
You’ll usually get some firepolished Czech glass in this subscription. This is an unusual color that I don’t really have in my collection, but I can see it in my mind with some brass findings (maybe antiqued) and maybe some red and navy beads in a pattern.
8mm Cobalt Rounds (Czech glass, 25)
I ended up using a few of these to make the chain for the pendant I made this month a little more interesting. But I have some left over and I do have some cobalt in my stash with which to coordinate. These could look good with some 8mm gemstone rounds, I think.
3mm Tango Firepolished Mix (Czech glass, 100)
We’ve received a lot of strands of firepolished and/or druk mixes in BeadCrate in the past year or so. There are enough here to pick out a few matching beads for a pair of earrings, or maybe to make a simple right-angle weave pattern, or any design (like a memory wire bracelet) where using like colors together isn’t critical. These could also work in fringe.
2.125” Beadsmith Large Eye Beading Needle (1)
You’ll usually get one “supply” type item, it could be stringing material or a needle threader or something, or in this case, a needle. The whole needle here is, essentially, the eye. I have not always been a fan of this type of needle, but I recently discovered that these are easier to re-use than twisted wire needles for stringing gemstone beads on thicker cord, so I have actually made use of this already.
2mm Luster Transparent Amethyst Firepolished Rounds (Czech glass, 50)
There aren’t many patterns calling for 2mm firepolished rounds yet, though I am hoping more will come out – I’ve started a collection of 2mm firepolished beads. This color will go nicely with some of what I’ve already collected and I can see using these to add a bit of sparkle to a pendant.
3 x 8 mm Siam Ruby Dime Beads (Czech glass, 25)
I love flat rounds. I don’t have any particular plans for these yet, but I do have a small collection of jewel-tone Czech glass (mostly from 20 years ago when I first started beading) and receiving these is a good incentive to go back through some of my older beads to find coordinating items.
8/0 Toho Transparent Sapphire AB (Japanese glass, 15g)
You’ll get seed beads in every BeadCrate, usually size 11/0 or, as with these, size 8/0. I used some of these to form a bezel around the cabochon pictured up above (and just happened to have some 11/0 seed beads in the same exact color to finish up the bezel). Don’t know that I’d recommend forming beaded bezels with size 8/0 beads, as a rule (I feel like smaller is better) but they were on hand and in the box so I gave it a try.
Here is a necklace I made this month. This is just something I came up with based on a design idea I had. I think it still needs a bit of work, maybe a different attachment point for the hanging loop so it doesn’t push the top “petal” forward so much, and maybe a second row of petals between the first row, to fill things out a bit. I used the 8/0 seed beads to start the bezel around the cabochon and finished with some 11/0 beads I had in the same color and some off-color Delicas (because even though I know I have this color of Delicas, I couldn’t find them).
If you are used to working with rivolis, a flat-backed cabochon is a different experience, as I learned here. But anyway, I have a whole bunch of Lunasoft cabochons I can practice with, and I bought a bunch of these flat teardrops from Etsy a while back (QueenCityBead has them in numerous colors).
Verdict: I did not calculate a value for BeadCrate, as explained above in my note about prices. If you divide the cost of the box plus shipping by the number of items (I counted 14), you get about $1.71 per item. I really liked the cabochon and am going to have to look for more of those. I am also a fan of the flat teardrops but I already had a bunch of those and now I’ve got a number of design ideas in the back of my mind.
Please note that no directions are given and you have to supply your own needles, stringing materials, tools, and findings.
To Wrap Up:
Can you still get this box if you sign up today? No, your subscription would start with the August box. Destash items and excess inventory (and sometimes whole boxes) may occasionally be available in the BeadCrate Etsy shop.
Value Breakdown: At $18.99 a month + $5 shipping for this subscription, you are paying about $1.71 per item.
Keep Track of Your Subscriptions: Add this box to your subscription list or wishlist!
What did you think of the June BeadCrate? Do you subscribe to any beading or craft boxes?