Vintage Bead Box Subscription Review – April 2019


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Vintage Bead Box April 2019 - Box

Vintage Bead Box is a monthly DIY craft 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.)

Vintage Bead Box April 2019 - Inside Vintage Bead Box April 2019 - Review

About Vintage Bead Box

The Subscription Box: Vintage Bead Box

The Cost: $25

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 April 2019 Review

Vintage Bead Box April 2019 - Wrapped

All Vintage Bead Boxes are now themed. This month’s theme was “Titanic”:

Vintage Bead Box April 2019 - Booklet Front Vintage Bead Box April 2019 - Booklet Back

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.

Vintage Bead Box April 2019 - Chain

Vintage Metal Chain

You’ll receive some chains in this subscription every now and then. This one is interesting because it is in excellent condition and because it has a clasp already attached. I am saving this for the next time I make a beaded pendant as it would be excellent for hanging the pendant from.

Vintage Bead Box April 2019 - Cloisonne

Cloisonné Beads

I have a lot of cloisonné in my collection but not any that’s oval or egg-shaped. I like to use cloisonné in strung designs to break up a long region of something else (like here, I would insert them among rose quartz beads, since these beads have a bit of pink in them to coordinate, or possibly green aventurine). At any rate, these are perfect for spring projects.

Vintage Bead Box April 2019 - Findings

Vintage Clasp and Connectors

I’ve received several clasps in Vintage Bead Box. This clasp is *probably* brass. I don’t think I’ll try to polish it as it would lose some of its charm. The necklace I made this month was rather heavy and this is more delicate, so I think I will hold on to this for a bracelet. As for the connectors, I started planning a design for them in poor light and when I saw them in better light, halfway through my project, I realized they were not a color that matched the findings I’d already used. So, they’ve gone back into my stash to be used another day, with silvertone findings.

Vintage Bead Box April 2019 - Flowers

Glass Flower Cup Beads

This is a bead shape that’s been around for a long time and is seeing something of a resurgence now, although most of the ones being made these days are a bit smaller. These are good in dangle earrings or used as drops in a necklace, etc.

Vintage Bead Box April 2019 - Headpins

Glass Leaf Head Pins

I love these. I once looked at buying a bunch of fancy, glass-terminated headpins on Etsy, until I saw how much they usually cost. I was super happy to receive some in this box. I have to do a lot of thinking about how I want to use them since I only have these five.

Vintage Bead Box April 2019 - Obsidian

Obsidian Drop Beads

I used one of these in my necklace this month and have two remaining. I am probably going to use them with some of the topaz-colored faceted glass beads (see below) to make a pair of earrings to match the necklace (also see pictures of that below).

Vintage Bead Box April 2019 - Opalite

Opalite Beads

These have a milky, translucent-to-opaque finish. I had a need for rounds about this size (maybe 4mm?) for my design this month so I used quite a few of them. I do have some left if I want to make a coordinating piece. They’re a great size to be used in either earrings or delicate bracelets.

Vintage Bead Box April 2019 - Seeds

Seed Beads

You’ll usually get some seed or bugle beads in Vintage Bead Box. These are a little irregular (vintage seed beads often are) and appear to be roughly a size 8/0, with a square hole, and to be a clear color that is dark-gray-lined. It’s not a look I see on websites often these days but definitely something you would’ve seen decades ago (you can still find vintage seed beads on Etsy with a similar appearance).

Vintage Bead Box April 2019 - Topaz Faceted

Faceted Glass Beads

We received two colors of faceted glass beads this month. These were a topaz color with an AB or rainbow coating. There were a lot of different sizes here and I had to break out my digital caliber to make sure I sorted them into the proper compartments of my beading design tray (my design called for some symmetry so I wanted to not put a 7 mm bead across from a 9 mm bead, etc.). I am planning to use some of the largest ones with the remaining obsidian drops to make earrings to match my necklace.

Vintage Bead Box April 2019 - Turquoise Faceted

Faceted Glass Beads

And here is the second set of faceted glass beads. These are all one size (6mm?) and they have an AB coating as well. Not sure how I will use these because I’ve really had a ton of ideas, everything from use in a pattern with contemporary beads, to a delicate bracelet, to something with right-angle weave, etc. There are a lot of possibilities!

Vintage Bead Box April 2019 - Necklace 1 Vintage Bead Box April 2019 - Necklace 2

I ended up using a chain from a past Vintage Bead Box (along with some new chain I had in my stash). The chain provided this month was a perfectly functional necklace as-is and would be great with just a beaded pendant, so I’m saving it for that purpose. I originally intended to use the connectors from this box but when I looked at them in a better light, I felt they were actually a silver color and not gold, and I was already pretty far along with the goldtone headpins and jump rings, so I found some others in my stash that worked well enough. I used one of the obsidian tear drops, some of the opalite, and some different sizes of the topaz-colored faceted glass beads in a multistrand Art Nouveau style.

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 $2.50 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 everything went together really well and there were a lot of options for what to do with this month’s beads. I also liked the Art Nouveau theme; every now and then I just enjoy putting together something elaborate and multistranded.

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 May. (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 $2.50 per item.

Check out my past reviews of Vintage Bead Box or see more of our best arts and crafts boxes! 

Keep track of your subscriptions: Add this box to your subscription list or wishlist!

What did you think of the April 2019 Vintage Bead Box? Do you subscribe to any beading or craft boxes?

Written by Ragan Buckley

Ragan Buckley

Ragan stumbled across My Subscription Addiction in late 2013 and immediately subscribed to way too many beauty boxes. She’s now focused on boxes for her cats and dog, vegan/vegetarian food boxes, and craft subscriptions (and she didn’t give up beauty boxes entirely).

Posted in Craft Subscription Boxes, Subscription Box Reviews, Subscription Boxes for Women, Vintage Bead Box Reviews| Tags: vintage bead box | 7 comments

7 Comments

  1. Lovely. Would love to see something done with the cloisonne beads and the rose clasp. The clasp would look great on the side of a necklace. I agree with Claire. I would love to subscribe to some of the bead subs just to admire the colors and shapes.

    • Good luck. I had such a horrible customer service experience with the woman who runs it. I tried telling about it, but MSA hasn’t posted my comment (I was factual and unemotional – no idea why it was deleted).

  2. Dang! You make some beautiful jewelry! I absolutely love that necklace

  3. Gorgeous necklace as always. Very regal! I hope you’ll show what you do with those pretty cloisonné beads.

  4. This is an interesting subscription and thank you for the review. I have a friend that makes jewelry so I will let her know about this one. I am tempted to sub. just for the beauty of seeing and feeling old beads and jewelry pieces. I just might sub. for a month for that experience!

    • Good luck Claire! I tried to sub once. The system took me through the entire signing-up process, accepted my credit card number without a hitch, and then gave me a curt message that said, essentially, “This box is currently sold out. So nothing will happen. You just wasted your time. You can email so-and-so with questions”. So I emailed so-and-so, and boy was that woman (Alexis) rude and abrupt. Excuse me for trying to give you money. She may know vintage beads, but not the connection between politeness and business success. That was a major disappointment and turn-off for me.

      • Im sorry you had such a poor experience. The bead boxes are very limited and it’s also impossible for me to see when someone is in the process of signing up. We open up new subscriptions at the beginning of every month, and are currently accepting new subscribers.

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