BeadCrate Subscription Box “Lucky Charms” Review – March 2019
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.”
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 March 2019 “Lucky Charms” 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 St. Patrick’s Day theme and there were lots of rainbow colors in addition to some green.
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 mm Firepolished Rounds in Jet California Violet (Czech glass, 20)
I’ve been collecting a lot of beads with the California coating lately and these will be nice to add to that little stash since it consists mostly of ripple beads at the moment. I’ve also been wanting to do more with larger firepolished beads since most of my work thus far has been with 3mm and 4mm rounds, and now I have these plus a lot of coordinating beads in my stash so I need to find a pattern (or make one) and get to work.
9 x 10 mm Iris/Purple/Gold Inlay Oval Clovers (Czech glass, 5)
I haven’t seen this style of pressed glass bead before. I’m probably going to hang on to these until I’m thinking about St. Patrick’s Day for next year because they came just the week before and sometimes I need a little more time than that to come up with a good idea. But in general I’m a fan of the goldtone inlay in pressed glass beads; I’ve seen a lot of neat beads that use this feature and I’m always happy to have more.
8 x 3 mm Tanzanite Dime Beads (Czech glass, 25)
This is a good, basic shape in a color that fits well with a lot of my collection. I find these to be best in strung designs because they don’t really stay in place for patterns. They are also good if you want to kind of make your own beaded chain with eyepins.
8 x 15 mm Emerald Gold Inlay Vintage Style Drops (Czech glass, 6)
I think this is only the second time I’ve ever seen this shape of bead; the other was in Vintage Bead Box and presumably, those were actually vintage. These are giving me an excuse to go look at pictures of old beaded jewelry to come up with some ideas to use them. But I do like the green color a lot and think these would look good with some bright brass findings (I rarely want to cough up the money for gold-filled or gold-plated findings).
4 mm Firepolished Rounds, Olivine (Czech glass, 50)
I can always find a use for 4mm rounds, I have a huge collection of patterns that use them and this color also works well with my most-used color palette (best described as “things that look good with copper”). I used a few of these in earrings this month.
15 x 15 mm Clover Connectors (USA Pewter, 2)
I like this shape because it reminds me of the Alhambra motif from Van Cleef and Arpels (something I love but will probably never be able to afford and/or justify purchasing). I haven’t used these yet and may try to find more of them before I do use them.
3 mm Rainbow Firepolished AB Rounds (Czech glass, 100)
You’ll often get one mix of druks (smooth rounds) or firepolished rounds in BeadCrate so if you like to do work with random mixes you are in luck. I didn’t use these in the earrings I made this month, but they would have worked in that design and I may try another pair for practice with these instead.
6 mm Firepolished Rounds, Amethyst (Czech glass, 25)
I used a few of these in my earrings this month, but I have plenty left over for use in patterns or strung designs. This color fits pretty nicely into my standard color palette, as well, so I already know I have a lot of complementary beads on hand.
7 x 6 mm Siam Ruby Sparkling Diamonds (Czech glass, 25)
When I first started beading, I could not get enough red glass. It’s not what I work with most of the time now, but I do still love it, and I think these are pretty. I used a few of them in my earrings this month, as well.
7 x 5 mm Firepolished Montana Blue Gemstone Donuts (Czech glass, 25)
Just to be clear, these are glass. “Gemstone donuts” refers to the shape, which is sometimes also just called a faceted rondelle. At any rate, I thought this color looked nice with some of the other beads I was planning to use this month, so I used some of these as well.
5 x 6 mm Firepolished Alexandrite Small Rosebuds (Czech glass, 25)
I discovered this shape on Etsy a few months ago. I’d have done a close-up for you but I don’t quite have the hang of using my macro lens just yet, and that is really what is needed for detail. These look like firepolished rondelles (and can be used in all of the same ways) but the ends are carved or pressed into a rosebud shape.
Toho Size 8/0 Transparent Hyacinth Seed Beads (Japanese glass, 15g)
You’ll get seed beads every month with this subscription, almost always Toho (once or twice they’ve been Preciosa), usually size 11/0 or 8/0. I love this bright orange color and have been buying some bright orange lately so I have a lot of coordinating beads. I used some of these in my earrings this month; you can see a picture below.
9 x 6 mm Jonquil AB Teardrops (Czech glass, 25)
This is a good, basic shape. I have some vintage yellow beads that I think would make great earrings in combination with these used as dangles, so that is how I will use at least a few of them.
Here are some earrings I made with some of the items in the box. I clearly need practice with my wire work. This idea came from Creative Beading Volume 12 (it’s the last project in the book) and when I saw it, I knew it would be perfect for a BeadCrate shipment. Someday you will see this project again only I will have a better technique by then!
Verdict: I did not calculate a value for BeadCrate, as explained above in my note about prices. If you divide the cost of the box plus shipping by the 13 items, you get about $1.85 per item. All of the colors were colors I like and will use (even the bright orange!) and a few of the items (i.e., vintage style drops) were new to me, which is always fun.
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 April box. Destash items and excess inventory (and sometimes whole boxes) may occasionally be available in the BeadCrate Etsy shop.
Value Breakdown: This box costs $18.99 + $5 shipping, which means that each of the 13 items in the box has an average cost of $1.85.
What did you think of the March 2019 BeadCrate? Do you subscribe to any beading or craft boxes?