Bargain Bead Box Subscription Review – August 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 August 2018 “Sunset Woods” 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 (“Sunset Woods”). 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 x 30mm Teardrop Gemstone Pendant with Rose-Gold-Finished Brass Overlay
Subscribers could’ve received carnelian or red jasper. I’m pretty sure I got the red jasper. You’ll usually receive a pendant or two in this subscription. They are often pretty large. Right now I am studying this to see if I can make something similar on a smaller scale, using wire and teardrop cabochons I already have in my stash. (My wire-wrapping skills are not so great…)
1m of 3mm Steel Rolo Jewelry Chain
You’ll usually get a chain in this subscription. It is usually plated steel, so you may want to get some memory wire cutters or industrial-strength wire cutters to use on it, since steel chain may damage your usual jewelry tools. Anyway, I used this to form the backbone of a bracelet this month, which you can see below.
24 Pieces 8mm Carnelian Round Gemstone Beads
Carnelian was one of the first semiprecious stones I started working with back in the day (the late 1990s) because it was relatively inexpensive and it had such a lovely warm, red color. We received a couple of different sizes of carnelian beads this month and I used a few of these 8mm ones in my bracelet.
7.5” Strand 6mm Red Agate Round Gemstone Beads, AB Finish
You’ll usually get a few semi-precious stones in this subscription but we really got quite a lot this month. I haven’t used these yet, but I am definitely a fan of red agate and they match a lot of other things in my stash so they will get used sooner rather than later. The AB finish definitely adds some interest, too.
48 Pieces 4mm Textured Frosted Glass Beads, Silk AB
This is an interesting finish and one I don’t come across too often. I do hoard 4mm rounds for patterns, though, and these have something of a resemblance to the etched beads that are popular these days. Anyway, I used a few of these in my bracelet, too.
50 Pieces 4mm Brass Spacer Beads, Rose Gold Finish
Having just a few metal accent beads in a piece really adds to the look and I like to keep some around in every metal finish in my stash (right now, antiqued silver and bright silver, antiqued brass and brass/goldtone, bright copper and antiqued copper, black, and rose gold), so these will be handy. I used a few of these in my bracelet, as well.
10g of 8mm Dotted Cone Bead Cap
If you like bead caps, Bargain Bead Box is the subscription for you. You will get a generous amount of them pretty much every month. Adding just a few can really change the look of even a simple strand of beads. Plus, these are an unusual shape, which is definitely underrepresented in my collection. Right now, I’m thinking about how to use these in some additional projects incorporating the beads in this box.
2 Sets Bamboo Style Toggle Clasp
With this subscription, not only do you typically get chain and bead caps, but you always get a couple of clasps so you can make at least two (sometimes more) coordinating pieces right away. The bracelet I made this month was kind of heavy, so I used one of these (toggles work better than my usual magnetic clasps for heavy bracelets!).
4 Pieces 22mm Leaf Cutout Drop
This month, we received some charms that match the other findings. I think these are fun, and they definitely fit the box theme as well. I used all of them in a bracelet this month. I need to get my hands on some more rose gold-finish charms.
10 Pieces 10mm Carnelian Round Gemstone Beads
Here are some larger rounds to go with the 8mm ones. I have some ideas for these using a right angle weave pattern I found on the internet. It calls for beads in graduated sizes and though it uses glass, I don’t see why I couldn’t use gemstones instead, for a different look.
100 Pieces 4mm Chinese Crystal Bicones in Light Topaz AB
You’ll usually get some Chinese crystal with this subscription. I like to hoard bicones like this so I can do complicated beadweaving pieces with them later, though I did also use some in my bracelet this month for a bit of sparkle.
4 Pieces 14 x 15mm Chinese Crystal Hexagon Beads in Magma AB
I love these. I thought they were a good size match to the charms from up above, so I put these in my bracelet as well, while keeping everything else on a smaller scale. I would be happy getting more of these in a future month.
2 Pieces 36 x 23mm Looped Leaf Chandelier Component
These are super interesting and I’m wondering if I can’t try to make more components like this with wire. I’m hanging onto them for further study. (They do look to be soldered or fused together and points of intersection instead of just formed.)
16 Pieces 6mm Chinese Crystal Cube Beads, Pale Topaz
Here is a third shape of Chinese crystal. I like these cubes in general, they are just fun to work with, shiny, sparkly, and so much cheaper than Swarovski. I used a few of these in my bracelet as well.
Here is a bracelet I made with various items from this month’s box (clasp, charms, chain, and lots of beads). As it happens, I had rose gold jump rings and headpins and wire in my stash because I bought them all last year when Bargain Bead Box sent out a different box with rose gold findings. In a pinch, bright copper would also look OK, I think (I realize that is also kind of rare but I personally have a lot of it and have tried mixing it with rose gold in projects).
Verdict: I did not calculate a value for Bargain Bead Box, as explained above. The information sheet gives a retail value of about $66 and I can believe that value if you were to go out looking for similar beads to purchase individually. This is especially true when the metal finish is rose gold, which is a little more expensive than brass or copper. Looking at it another way, you are paying just over $1 per item since the price is $15.95 and there were 14 items this month and THAT is a pretty good deal.
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 September 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 $1.13 per item.
Keep Track of Your Subscriptions: Add this box to your subscription list or wishlist!
What did you think of the September 2018 Bargain Bead Box? Do you subscribe to any beading or craft boxes?