BeadCrate Subscription Box Review – December 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. Save with longer subscriptions. You can also buy a single box to see if this subscription is for you. This is a review of “The Enthusiast.”
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: US (free for “The Collector,” $5 for “The Enthusiast”)
BeadCrate December 2018 “Sugar Plums” 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 is a holiday theme but the woman who runs Bead Crate wanted to do something a little different from the usual reds and greens.
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!
8 x 3 mm Crystal AB Dime Beads (Czech glass, 25)
I love flat rounds, and I think the AB coating looks nice on these. I am contemplating making a showy necklace with all crystal (that’s clear glass when you’re talking about Czech beads) beads and these will surely be included.
5 x 6 mm Crystal AB Cubes (Czech glass, 50)
I have a hard time finding this type of bead to purchase, but I’ve received it in several subscription boxes so I am starting to accumulate a collection. Anyway, I used these in a simple pendant this month, which you can see below.
14mm Transparent Bodacious Cushion Rounds (Czech glass, 3)
I love cushion rounds and this color is pretty great, too. You typically use these in patterns, for example as the centerpiece in a flower element, instead of a cabochon or dome bead or something of that nature. These really come in a lot of cool colors.
4mm Firepolished Rounds in Medium Amethyst Luster (Czech glass, 50)
I used some of these in a necklace this month (they are row 3 in the photo down below, counting from the center). I do have some left, but this is a color that matches a lot of other items in my stash so I’m sure they will get used soon.
12 x 7 mm Lavender Garden Leaf Mix (Czech glass, 50)
I think these are lovely although I am not sure what to do with them yet. I think I will have to use them in some sort of a cluster when the time comes because I like the way they look together on the strand.
3mm Tanzanite Rondelles (Czech glass, 100)
This is a type of bead I’ve been collecting lately and I am not sad to see these at all. I wish purples were easier to photograph because these are just lovely. I don’t see too many patterns calling for these but I wouldn’t be surprised if some came along soon as these beads are popping up in more places lately.
3mm Firepolished Rounds in Saturated Metallic Almost Mauve (Czech glass, 50)
Saturated metallic colors are wonderful, I have been collecting them lately. There is just such vibrancy to them (though this is one of the lighter colors in the range). Anyway, these are row two, counting from the center, in the pendant I made this month.
Toho 8/0 Light Lavender Transparent Gold Luster (Japanese glass, 15g)
You’ll get some seed beads in every Bead Crate, usually 11/0 or 8/0, sometimes more than one bag. Anyway, I was happy to get 8/0 this month. I wanted to try brick stitch around a jump ring, which is something I recently learned, but I had been having trouble making it work with 11/0 beads. As it turns out, these 8/0 seed beads were perfect.
10 x 14mm Purple Crazy Agate Oval (1)
BeadCrate is not really a semiprecious bead subscription, but you will often get a few semiprecious beads in your monthly box. This is a simple, relatively small oval, but I think it might be nice as the focal point on a simple chain bracelet.
24 x 20mm Alexandrite Table Cut Diamonds (Czech glass, 2)
These are rather large, too big for earrings (for me anyway). I’m still trying to come up with a good idea for them, because I do like the way they look, and the differences in appearance in the transparent center versus the edge.
9 x 6 mm Milky Amethyst Tear Drops (Czech glass, 25)
There are so many varieties of Czech teardrop beads – top drilled, center drilled, different sizes, faceted, smooth, etc. These would be good earring dangles or would work to embellish a right-angle weave collar. There are quite a few options.
S-Lon Nylon Beading Cord, Lavender
You’ll often get one supply-type item in Bead Crate and this month it was some beading cord. This is a bit thick to use for my standard bead weaving but I have some ideas for using it with a loom that I think will turn out well.
19 x 14mm Quest Antique Silver Angel Wing (USA pewter)
Most months, there will be one or two charms or perhaps a clasp. It will usually relate to the theme of the box (once we got a zombie charm around Halloween, for example). I’m not one to use angels much in my designs but I can easily think of a few people who would appreciate a gift with this item incorporated into it, so that is probably how I will use it.
Here is a necklace I made this month. It is a simple pendant. I took the seed beads, 3mm and 4mm fire polished rounds, and cubes, and did brick stitch around a 10mm soldered jump ring. I am still working out the kinks when it comes to this technique but I think this is not bad for an early effort, and it’s simple enough for day-to-day wear.
Verdict: I did not calculate a value for Bead Crate, 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 $1.84 per item. I liked the purples and the graduated sizes of accent beads, which gave me a chance to play around with brick stitch on a support, which is a technique I just learned and have a lot of ideas for.
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 January 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 $1.84 per item.
What did you think of the December 2018 Bead Crate? Do you subscribe to any beading or craft boxes?