Bargain Bead Box Subscription Review – October 2018
Bargain Bead Box is a monthly subscription promising over $40 worth of quality jewelry-making supplies in each package.
My Subscription Addiction pays for this subscription. (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 Products: Designer-quality beads in materials like crystal, glass, and semiprecious gemstones, plus metal beads and findings. Bargain Bead Box does not send any plastic beads or seed beads.
The Cost: $15.95
Ships to: US (free), Canada for $7.50
Bargain Bead Box October 2018 “Autumn Leaves” Review
Bargain Bead box always includes a few clasps and other findings in matching metal tones. This month they were in a silver-tone 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 (“Autumn Leaves”). 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 questionable 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!
45mm Hand-Carved Indian Agate Leaf Pendant
You’ll usually get at least one (sometimes more) centerpiece or focal bead with this subscription. This month it is a semi-precious hand-carved leaf. I haven’t used this yet, but I feel like I have some other carved leaves in a similar style that might go well with it, so I need to raid my stash for them.
10 Pieces 8mm Fancy Bead Cap/Cone
You’ll also usually get bead caps. I never used to use bead caps until I started this subscription, but now I am a fan. I used all of these (truthfully, kind of wish there had been more) in a necklace this month.
40 Pieces 8 x 6 mm Chinese Crystal Rondelle Beads in Matte Bronze
Chinese crystal is another mainstay of Bargain Bead Box. It doesn’t have quite as many finishes as, say, Swarovski products, but it is super affordable even for extensive bead weaving projects. I used some of these in a necklace this month.
3 Pieces 43 x 40 mm Branch Pendants
Here is a second pendant style. You’ll notice all the findings, charms, etc. in this subscription match every month, which is not the case for every beading subscription. You’d need your own jump rings and headpins/eyepins if required by your designs, but pretty much everything else is provided. These are super lightweight, as you might imagine, and I think they would look nice embellished with some gemstone chips.
10 Pieces Chinese Crystal 6 x 4 mm Coin Beads, Green Jade Finish
This is a pretty color that totally works for autumn but could also work for spring. These are potentially adaptable to use in beading patterns, as well, though since they only have one hole they could flip on you a little bit. At any rate, it’s nice to get a non-round/rondelle/bicone shape on occasion.
10g 15.5mm Leaf Drops
These are a good size for a charm bracelet or earrings and wouldn’t be too heavy in a necklace, either, even if you used all of them. You’ll usually get some charms in this subscription, and I think they do a really good job of picking ones that match the theme *and* have a matching metal tone for everything else.
40 Pieces 4.2mm Bumpy Spacer Beads
I wanted to do a simple strung piece this month (I had three bead boxes come in the same day, which may be part of it…), and these provided a nice tie-in to the antique-copper-colored clasp, as well as some interesting texture since a lot of the necklace was rounds.
1m 3 x 2mm Steel Jewelry Chain, Copper Finish
You’ll nearly always get chain with this subscription. This is a very delicate chain. But it is steel, so you will want to use heavy-duty wire cutters for it as it could mar your standard jewelry wire-cutters, which are probably meant for non-ferrous metals (e.g., copper, brass, silver, etc.). I think I might try making some chain tassels with this, which is something I’ve been wanting to do for a while.
30 Pieces Orange Jade-Finished Glass Beads
Oranges are definitely important for anything with an “autumn leaves” theme. I used these to provide some color contrast in my necklace, but I have a few left over.
20 Pieces 8mm Green Jade-Finish Glass Beads
These were a good size to use with the bead caps, so that’s what I did. I do like the jade finish here, as these look kind of like semiprecious stones but with a lighter weight, which comes in handy.
4 Sets Fancy Toggle Clasps
You’ll always get clasps with this subscription—different styles but often toggles, and usually enough to make at least 2 (maybe more) pieces. You can see below that I used one of these in a necklace. This is one of the only subscriptions where I consistently get clasps, so I always have some on hand for other projects, too!
5 Pieces 10mm Lampwork Glass Round Beads
I am collecting lampwork rounds from subscription boxes for a necklace project I’ve had in mind for a while. I’d been collecting mostly blues, but I think greens could work well, too, so these are heading off to a particular tray in my stash for later use.
7.5” Strand 8mm Indian Agate Round Beads
I got two different sizes of Indian agate rounds this month. I mostly used the smaller ones in my necklace (see below), but I do have some left and may try to do some bead weaving with the graduated sizes, like a right-angle weave bracelet with some coordinating seed beads.
4 Pieces Leaf Drops with Rear Loop
These are fun—they’re links but instead of being two-dimensional, there is a loop on the back, so your strand or dangle or whatever coming off it kind of looks like it is hanging behind the link.
15” Strand 6mm Indian Agate Round Beads
Here are some smaller Indian agate rounds that match pretty nicely with the larger ones. I used a few in a necklace, but I have a few more left over to make some matching items if I want.
50 Pieces 4mm Chinese Crystal Round Beads, Turquoise Green
This is a color that’s very much welcome in my collection. Actually, this color family (turquoises, greens, etc.) is probably overrepresented because I’ve gone on, ahem, several buying binges over the past year or so. Anyway, it means I’ve already got lots of coordinating beads, and it won’t be too difficult to come up with an idea once I pull some of my storage trays out and start looking.
It’s a pretty simple necklace I made this month. But I was thinking about how one of the necklaces I wear most often is a longer one with very similar colors, made with items from a previous Bargain Bead Box, and how I might like to have a shorter one to wear with necklines where the longer one falls into my shirt. (Well, that, and I ran out of bead caps.) I have both orange and green items in my wardrobe to coordinate this with.
Verdict: I did not calculate a value for Bargain Bead Box, as explained above. The information sheet gives a retail value of about $51 and I can believe that value if you were to go out looking for similar beads to purchase individually. There is definitely enough here to make several pieces of jewelry, too. Looking at it another way, you are paying just under $1 per item since the price is $15.95 and there were 16 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 November 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 per item.
What did you think of the October 2018 Bargain Bead Box? Do you subscribe to any beading or craft boxes?