Bargain Bead Box Subscription Review – March 2019
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 ranging from crystal to glass to 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 March 2019 “Explorer” Review
Bargain Bead Box always includes a few clasps and other findings in matching metal tones; this month they were in an antique silver 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 (“Explorer”). The back contained a list of the month’s beads.
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!
15” Strand 4mm Chinese Crystal Bicone Beads, Aqua
You’ll get a lot of Chinese crystal in this subscription. It doesn’t have quite the regular faceting or quite the same number of colors and finishes as Swarovski, but it still provides a nice level of sparkle at a really good price. 4mm bicones are a standard inclusion for the box. I used some of these in a necklace this month.
1m 4mm Steel Curb Chain
You’ll usually get jewelry chain in this subscription as well. It tends to be on the delicate side, like this. It is usually plated steel, so be sure to use some industrial strength pliers (or memory wire cutters would work) because it will mar your standard jewelry pliers. I needed chunkier chain this month so I’ve put this in my stash where I will use it for a future project.
2 Pieces 29 x 17mm Fancy Jumbo Lobster Claw Clasp
You’ll always get at least a couple of clasps in this subscription. These are big enough that when I do use them, I think I’d like to feature them in the front of a design instead of the back. So I’m going to look up some examples online for inspiration. For what it’s worth, all the metal toned items in a month’s shipment matchup (this month it is a bright goldtone).
28mm Compass Pendant
The theme of this package is “Explorer” and this is the most obvious item relating to that. This is a little bigger than a quarter; probably too big for a bracelet (unless it was a focal point) but good for a delicate necklace.
24 Pieces 8 x 6mm Chinese Crystal Rondelle Beads, Teal Shimmer
Here is some Chinese crystal in a different shape; you can see some of these in the necklace I made below.
8 Pieces 14mm Embossed Diamond-Shaped Metal Beads
These are cool but I have a different idea for them involving some charms I have in my stash and some larger sized, mixed-finish seed beads. But one of the nice things about this subscription is, there’s enough material to make several pieces of jewelry.
7.5” Strand 8mm Electroplated Agate Beads, Deep Blue Iris
These are a lovely color and wherever the surface isn’t smooth, you get a druzy look which is kind of fun. You’ll usually get a few semiprecious beads in this subscription, often rounds (like these) but occasionally pendants or other items. I haven’t decided how to use these yet although I do have a pattern calling for 8mm rounds in which these might be really interesting.
40 Pieces 6 x 4mm Chinese Crystal Rondelle Beads, Sky Blue Shimmer
Here are some slightly smaller rondelles. You can see these in the necklace I made this month, as well.
50 Pieces 4mm Chinese Crystal Round Beads, Steel Blue Shimmer
And here is a third Chinese crystal shape; these are actually a faceted round rather than a bicone or rondelle. It’s not as obvious unless you look closely, but I do like getting a variety of shapes and colors.
2 Pieces 34 x 20mm Faceted Glass Links, Steel Blue
We got two different pairs of links this month. These have faceted glass and I think they will look good either alone as bracelet centerpieces, or on either side of a pendant or focal in a more statement-like necklace.
50 Pieces 4mm Round Metal Spacer Beads
You’ll usually get some metal accent beads in this subscription, simple rounds or cubes or something. This month it is basic metal rounds but I ended up using almost all of these as I liked the contrast they provided and I needed something relatively small.
2 Pieces 16 x 22mm Sky Blue Opalite Round Links
Opalite is a manmade mineral that looks a bit like opal. I used these in my necklace this month (I thought using both types of links would be a little too much, and I felt these matched my colors a bit better).
54 x 32mm Embossed Pendant
Large pendants are another feature of Bargain Bead Box. This is really quite big and I think I’m just going to use it in a strung necklace where the other beads are smaller and less showy (like some muted jasper or agate gemstone rounds, as an example).
32 x 25mm Faceted Quartz Pendant with Gold-Plated Brass
I think these are trendy at the moment, or at least, this Etsy seller has a TON of similar items. This would work really well with this month’s chain in a simple necklace (or one designed for layering).
5 Pieces 10 x 8mm Chinese Crystal Skull Beads, Steel Blue AB
I knew that you could find Chinese crystal in some standard shapes like rounds, bicones, and rondelles, but I had never seen anything really shaped like these. I have a growing collection of skull beads of various types (Czech glass, magnesite, and now these) and I think it might be fun to hang on to them for a few months and make something for Halloween with mixed materials.
10.5” Strand 6 x 4mm Opaque Glass Rondelle Beads, Denim Blue
Here is another rondelle but this one is smooth (and glass as opposed to Chinese crystal). I think these will look lovely with some blue and white porcelain or some gemstone rounds in a strung design, and they’re a good size to go in a bracelet.
Here is a necklace I made using some of the links, a lot of the Chinese crystal, and some hammered chain and circular components I had at home. I felt that the scale of this necklace required a larger chain than was provided in the box. You can see a lot of Fireline showing if you look closely; it is probably best to end these circular elements with a smaller row of beads, but I was trying not to add too much stuff that wasn’t from this box.
Verdict: I did not calculate a value for Bargain Bead Box, as explained above. The information sheet gives a retail value of about $58 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 about $1 per item since the price is $15.95 and there were 16 items this month. And THAT is a pretty good deal. I had it in my head that I wanted to make something kind of like this and it turned out that this month’s beads lent themselves to this project really well.
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 April 2019 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.
Keep track of your subscriptions: Add this box to your subscription list or wishlist!
What did you think of the March 2019 Bargain Bead Box? Do you subscribe to any beading or craft boxes?