Bargain Bead Box Subscription Review – December 2018
Bargain Bead Box is a monthly subscription promising over $40 worth of quality jewelry-making supplies every month.
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 Cost: $15.95
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.
Ships to: US (free), Canada for $7.50
Bargain Bead Box December 2018 “Evergreen” Review
Bargain Bead Box always includes a few clasps and other findings in matching metal tones; this month they were in an oxidized 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 (“Evergreen”). 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!
40 Pieces 6 x 4 mm Crystal Rondelle Beads in Deep Emerald and Silver
Here is our first Chinese crystal bead for the month (you’ll usually get some every month; it is an economical way to add sparkle). I love the finish on these, it’s a bit different from what we usually receive. And it really makes me think of a wintry forest or something. Anyway, I used some of these in a bracelet this month.
50 Pieces 5.5mm Daisy Rondelle Spacer Beads
There’s usually at least one type of metal accent bead in this subscription and this month, it is these spacers. I used a few of these between some of the gemstone beads and I think they really added to the visual interest of my bracelet (see below).
14” Strand 4mm Glass Beads, Gray Jade Finish
These provided some nice color contrast to all the green-containing gemstones this month. I used some of them in my bracelet as well. If I hadn’t used so many, I’d hoard them for patterns (4mm rounds make a lot of appearances in patterns).
10 Pieces 13 x 7 mm Pine Cone Charms
You’ll often receive a few charms in this subscription. I used a couple of these pine cones as charms on the ends of a memory wire bracelet but I have a few left over so I could make matching earrings or something if I wanted to.
15” Strand 8mm Matte Ching Hai Marble Gemstone Beads
I thought the matte finish was interesting for semiprecious stones. I also really like how the white and green appear together; it totally works with the “evergreen” theme.
15” Strand 6mm Tree Agate Round Gemstone Beads
There were a lot of gemstone beads this month (I am not complaining). These offer a slightly different take on the green/gray/white theme and (you guessed it) I used some of these in my bracelet as well. These do have some irregularities in shape but these are only noticeable on close inspection.
12 Pieces 10mm Tree Agate Round Gemstone Beads
I am still trying to get comfortable working with really large beads. I am happy to have these to play around with, although I am still looking for just the right idea for these. Maybe I can come up with something using these and some of the leftover smaller beads from this month.
42mm Pine Cone Pendant
You’ll usually get one or two pendants with this subscription. They’re often a little large for my taste, but this one isn’t enormous, and it goes really well with the smaller pine cone charms. I haven’t used it yet but I can see doing something where it is attached to chain along with some glass accent beads.
41mm Serpentine “Jade” Gemstone Pendant
Here is the second pendant for the month. I feel like this needs to go in a boho-style design with some silk thread and maybe a tassel. I may have some green aventurine chips that would look good with it, I should check my stash.
10 Pieces 10mm Half Matte Crystal Bicone Beads, Green Iris Finish
I did use some of these (going to assume they are also Chinese crystal even though it doesn’t specifically say); you can see some of them in the picture. I have a couple left over for earrings or something like that.
2 Sets Fancy Swirled Toggle Clasps
This is one of the only subscriptions where you will consistently receive clasps. These are larger toggle clasps that are more suited for a necklace. I didn’t need a clasp for my project this month, but these are definitely going into my stash for future use.
1m 4 x 3mm Steel Textured Jewelry Chain
Most months you will receive some chain, too. It is usually plated steel and comes in a variety of link styles. It is best if you find some memory wire cutters or other heavy-duty wire cutters as steel is pretty hard and could mar the finish of standard jewelry wire cutters. Anyway, I didn’t use chain this time but I am building up a nice stash of it thank to Bargain Bead Box.
2 Pieces 33 x 26mm Pine Tree Branch Pendants
Here are some slightly larger pendants/charms (sort of halfway in size between the two). I don’t think these would be too heavy for earrings if you want to go that route.
50 Pieces 6mm Lacy Dotted Bead Caps
I never used bead caps much until I started this subscription. Now I use them all the time! Anyway, you will see some of these in my bracelet. They were a good size to go with the 6mm tree agate beads.
I thought I would make a memory wire bracelet this month, but I wanted it to look like a set of bangles. I have had trouble with this in the past because I cut my wire to, say, three loops before I started adding beads. Well. Beads change the curvature a bit and make the circles larger, which means three loops turn into two and a half or something. So this time, I started with a super long coil and made sure I was completing full circles of beads before moving on to the next pattern, and it turned out well. Also, the small pinecones were great for the ends. (These are two images of the same bracelet up above.)
Verdict: I did not calculate a value for Bargain Bead Box, as explained above. The information sheet gives a retail value of about $52 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 over $1 per item since the price is $15.95 and there were 14 items this month. And THAT is a pretty good deal. Also, the muted greens this month really appealed to me and I thought silver tones were an excellent choice for metal accompaniment.
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 January 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.
What did you think of the December 2018 Bargain Bead Box? Do you subscribe to any beading or craft boxes?
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