BeadCrate Subscription Box Review – August 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 August 2018 “Black and White” 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 “Black and White.”
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!
7mm Matte Jet Cabochons (Czech Glass, 20)
I recently came to the realization that there are 6mm AND 7mm 2-hole cabochons and once I figured that out (I had a mix of both types in my stash), patterns worked a little better…I can now recognize them by sight but if you are not sure, a caliper is your friend! Anyway, I have lots of patterns that use these in magazines and books and this is a good, basic color.
10mm Crystal Crackle Beads (Czech Glass, 10)
You’ll get various glass accent beads in this subscription, usually enough to put in a bracelet (like here) or perhaps as part of a beaded chain, and I’d put these into that category. I always thought crackle glass looked kind of cool. I don’t have an idea for these yet, but it needs to be something where the crackle part actually really shows up.
10 x 8mm Jet Antique Style Faceted Ovals (Czech Glass, 4)
I’ve also seen these called “turbine” beads in various places. Anyway, they are a little bit of a different cut than you usually receive in Czech glass and I like the combination of an oval shape and somewhat sharp angles in the middle.
12mm Two-Hole Alabaster White Sunflowers with Jet Inlay (Czech Glass, 4)
Larger flowers like this seem to be trendy right now and these stand out because, unlike most of the others, they’re not a tropical color. I am thinking of using these in a bracelet; with some smaller accent beads, 4 of these is really enough for me to use that way since I have small wrists. They could also potentially go on either side of a pendant or focal bead in a necklace.
10mm Clear Angel Wings (Czech Glass, 15)
Ah, a shape I don’t actually have an abundance of in my stash. These are one-hole beads (as opposed to Arcos par Puca, which have a similar shape but three holes) so you can’t fix them into position quite as readily. I have seen these used in earrings with a center-drilled drop below and a round bead above to make little angel figures. I will probably do something else with them, as I am not really into religious imagery, but the color ensures they will go with pretty much anything.
3mm Crystal Rounds (Czech Glass, 50)
Here is another basic bead type that can be used in many different projects. There are a lot of great patterns calling for 3mm rounds (or fire polished beads or bicones, either of which these can be substituted for) and these beads would go with nearly any color scheme.
4mm Crystal Firepolished Rounds (Czech Glass, 50)
4mm fire polished beads are pretty common too, but they’re versatile. I used quite a lot of these in a bracelet this month, which you can see below, but the extras will be good in earrings or something similar since they are small and lightweight.
8mm Matte Crystal Firepolished Rounds (Czech Glass, 25)
I tend to work with smaller beads and I am trying to break out of that comfort zone a little. So I challenged myself to use these this month. You can see the results below – most of them are now gone.
6 x 8mm Jet Nuggets (Czech Glass, 25)
I think this is a new shape for me. I feel like these would be best in strung designs due to the slightly unusual/irregular shape. (But they do have smooth edges so they would be comfortable in bracelets and such.)
6mm Jet Rondelles (Czech Glass, 50)
These kind of remind me of lentil beads but with a center hole. They are very regularly shaped and could potentially be used in a beadwoven piece, though I haven’t seen patterns for them. I might buy some more of these in other colors and explore the design possibilities. (For me, learning about a new shape is actually an exciting event…)
6 x 4mm Crystal Rice Beads (Czech Glass, 50)
Here is another bead on the small side in a clear color. I don’t have any immediate plans for these, but I think they might look nice in some earrings with goldtone accents. They’re small enough that you could use quite a few of them without adding too much weight.
9mm Crystal Flat Squares (Czech Glass, 25)
Flat squares make me happy, I really can’t explain why. Anyway, these are nice and big and I think they would work well in angular and/or geometric-inspired designs.
11/0 Toho Jet Seed Beads (Japanese Glass, 16g)
This is probably the most basic bead of all. I reach for black seed beads super often (11/0 often appears in patterns and black is such a versatile color) and am always happy to replenish my supply. I used some of these in a bracelet, which you can see below.
This is a bracelet I made with some of this month’s beads. It’s not exactly what I envisioned when I started out, but I like how it turned out, nonetheless. Plus, it really is better than the idea that I had in mind (where I would’ve run out of beads halfway through).
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 13), you get about $1.85 per item. I found the black and white color scheme particularly appealing, fun, and I learned about a couple of bead shapes I had previously been unfamiliar with, so I am happy!
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 $23.99 for this subscription (counting shipping), you are paying about $1.85 per item.
Keep Track of Your Subscriptions: Add this box to your subscription list or wishlist!
What did you think of the August BeadCrate? Do you subscribe to any beading or craft boxes?