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 February 2019 "Love Letters" Review
All Vintage Bead Boxes are now themed. This month’s theme is “Love Letters”:
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.
You’ll often get some acrylic beads with this subscription. Vintage acrylic beads are cool because they come in so many more shapes than anything made today, and are often one-of-a-kind (at least in terms of being able to find them now). I’ve been on a bit of a flower bead buying binge lately and I have some ideas for a vintage/modern mixed necklace using these.
You don’t often receive findings in this subscription, but every now and then you’ll get links, connectors, or a clasp. I think this is the first time I’ve received bead caps. They are a good size to go with some of the many round beads received this month, and they are in really good condition for vintage supplies.
You will receive semiprecious gemstone beads almost every month in Vintage Bead Box. Sometimes they will be rounds or other shapes, and sometimes they will be chips. I have so many gemstone chips. I need to figure out something to do with them. Here is one thing I want to learn. I think something like this could look good with blocks of different gemstone chips, and these garnet ones would definitely be great there (I have some onyx I could use on either side, for example).
These are some pretty basic pink rounds. They are of a similar size to the round pearls (see below) and would work with the bead caps. They should also work in certain patterns as they seem pretty regularly shaped.
Mother of Pearl Beads
I love the natural variation in mother of pearl. Small rounds like this are great to have around, too, as spacers or in lightweight earrings. I think they could work really well in a mostly white and clear piece just to add some visual interest.
This definitely fits the “love letters” theme. I used it in a necklace this month, which you can see below. It is in pretty good condition although it shows a tiny bit of age, which I actually think works really well for this particular item. It wouldn’t be as interesting if I polished it up.
Faux Pearl Beads (Rice Shape)
This subscription comes with a lot of faux pearls but the thing is (similarly to with acrylic beads) that vintage faux pearls came in all kinds of interesting finishes and shapes and textures that you just don’t see any longer. These are lightweight and delicate and I think they will make a nice multistrand bracelet.
Faux Pearl Beads (Mixed Rounds)
These were fun. I love the colors (pink, hot pink, and fuchsia are my favorites these days) and knew I had to use them. They are in a necklace, which you can see below.
I used to do a lot of macramé (back in college) and would like to get back into it. I still have a ton of hemp cord. I always think of macramé when I see wood beads and it actually works up pretty easily if you choose a simple pattern. That’s probably how these will get used.
Here is a necklace I made with the round faux pearls and the pendant. I clearly need to work on my knotting technique, although I do note that it got better up the second side of the necklace, so it’s probably just a matter of practice. I have a couple of sweaters and a dress this matches.
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 $2.78 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 have been buying a lot of pink clothing lately so this month’s beads that I haven’t used yet will be helpful in making jewelry that matches various items in my wardrobe, too!
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 March. (Also, your box might not match mine exactly since many vintage beads are in short supply.)
Value Breakdown: At $25 for this box, you are paying about $2.78 per item.
Keep track of your subscriptions. Add this box to your subscription list or wishlist!
What did you think of the February 2019 Vintage Bead Box? Do you subscribe to any beading or craft boxes?