Vintage Bead Box is a monthly subscription box providing you with beads and findings manufactured between about 1930 and 1970. Vintage Bead Box formerly offered a themed box and a surprise mix box.
My Subscription Addiction pays for this subscription. (Check out the review process post to learn more about how we review boxes.)
About Vintage Bead Box
The Subscription Box: Vintage Bead Box
The Cost: $25
IMPORTANT NOTE: Vintage Bead Box has moved to a new website. If you are a current subscriber, you’ll need to sign up for a new subscription on their new site ASAP as they have stopped processing renewals on the old site. If you want to sign up for a subscription, the links in this review have been updated to lead you to the new site.
The Products: Beads and findings made from a variety of materials (glass, wood, semiprecious stones, metal, acrylic, etc.). Most were manufactured between 1930 and 1970.
Ships to: US (free), Worldwide (additional shipping charges will apply)
Vintage Bead Box January 2019 Review
All Vintage Bead Boxes are now themed. This month’s theme is “The Studio”:
There isn’t a traditional information card with this box because, owing to the nature of the contents (i.e., limited supply), every box could be a little different.
A note on prices: Because these beads are vintage, they can’t be purchased separately from any sources. Further, materials, country of manufacture, and more can be a little difficult to determine precisely. Thus, I have opted not to provide prices in this review.
Please note that no directions are given and you have to supply your own needles, stringing materials, tools, and findings.
It is rare to find oblong/rectangular crystal beads, especially vintage ones (you can find some contemporary Chinese crystal in this shape). These are a light pink color with some nice faceting and a little bit of sparkle. I have a ton of other pink beads in my collection so these will be easy to match with other beads in a project.
Tiger Eye Beads
You’ll often receive some semiprecious gemstone beads in Vintage Bead Box and this time I received these lovely tiger eye cylinders (one is larger than the others). I used every last one of these in a necklace, which you can see below.
Faceted Glass Spacers
These are interesting. (Yes, I know how dry my hands are…) These will look great in between some darker colored, similarly sized beads. I’m going to raid my collection for some black onyx for that purpose, I think.
There are usually some metal beads in this subscription. These are really fun and I used every last one of them in my necklace this month. I think the texture is interesting and unusual and the color worked with what I was going for.
Faceted Glass Beads
I received a couple of different styles of faceted glass beads this month. These are totally appropriate for a disco-themed box. I love vintage glass beads in general because you see so many styles that aren’t made anymore. These have a nice amount of sparkle, too. I think they would look good in a piece with other vintage and contemporary glass in grays and maybe branching out into Montana blues.
I also love vintage acrylic beads; there were tons and tons made and they are just so interesting and unique. (And yes, cats walk across my background and you see an Angus hair there…) These have little silvertone flecks in them that make them sparkle and also rather large holes. Not sure how I will use them yet but they might look good in a bracelet with some silvertone spacers.
Metal Mesh Beads
These were the highlight of the box for me. I am now wondering if I can recreate this look with some large beads and wire (I have various wire “knitting” implements that might serve to make the mesh). I used them in my necklace this month, of course.
You’ll usually receive some seed or bugle beads with this subscription. I thought the brown of these bugle beads looked great with some of the gold tones and other browns this month and I wanted to use them in whatever I made. I started out by making an icosahedron, but it ended up collapsing on itself. It needed something inside supporting it but I couldn’t put something in after I closed it up. Oh well, a lesson for next time I guess. Anyway, I came up with a different strategy for using them, which you can see below.
Faceted Glass Beads
This month, I received a second set of faceted glass beads. I haven’t used them yet but I have a ton of purple in various shades in my collection (I’ve been collecting a lot of purple the last few years). I think these would look good with either brass or copper findings (probably silvertone as well).
There were a lot of golds, browns, and earth tones in this month’s box, and I wanted to use them together. I also wanted to figure out a way to incorporate the bugle beads. So here is a necklace I made with several of the different bead types from this month’s box.
Verdict: I did not calculate a value for Vintage Bead Box, as explained above, but if you divide the total cost by the number of items, you are paying about $2.77 an item. This seems quite reasonable to me. If you browse Etsy or eBay, you can find similar groupings of vintage beads and findings for prices ranging from $2-$7 (and beyond). I thought the nod to the 1970s and disco this month was fun (although it also makes me feel kind of old, when “vintage” things come from or are inspired by the decade I was born…).
For what it’s worth, everything arrives clean. I suspect at least some of it is from deconstructed vintage jewelry (but honestly, that is OK by me – I get fun beads and things stay out of the landfill). It is all clean and, so far, manufactured pretty well. Some beads show a little wear but that is part of the charm of working with vintage beads. Plus, a lot of the items are unusual and you’d have a hard time finding equivalents made from modern materials.
To Wrap Up:
Can you still get this box if you sign up today? This subscription ships very early in the month, so your first shipment if you signed up now would come in February. (Also, your box might not match mine exactly since many vintage beads are in short supply.)
Value Breakdown: This box costs $25 + free US shipping, which means that each of the 9 items in the box has an average cost of $2.77.
Check out the Craft Subscription Box Directory for more great craft supply and DIY project boxes!
What did you think of the January 2019 Vintage Bead Box? Do you subscribe to any beading or craft boxes?