Vintage Bead Box Subscription Review – May 2019


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Vintage Bead Box May 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 May 2019 - Inside

My Subscription Addiction pays for this subscription. (Check out the review process post to learn more about how we review boxes.)

Vintage Bead Box May 2019 - Wrapped

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

 Vintage Bead Box May 2019 - Review

About Vintage Bead Box

The Subscription Box: Vintage Bead Box

The Cost: $25/month. Save with longer subscriptions.

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 May 2019 Review

Vintage Bead Box May 2019 - Booklet Front Vintage Bead Box May 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 May 2019 - Blue Acrylic

Acrylic Beads

These are pretty neat and not a common style (or at least not one I’ve seen before). They are like beads and bead frames in one. I need to hunt through my stash to find the perfect centerpieces for these (or else it will be a good excuse to go bead shopping as if I need one of those).

Vintage Bead Box May 2019 - Crystal

Crystal Beads

These are vintage crystal rounds in a couple of different sizes. They appear to have an AB coating on at least some of the facets. I have this idea that one day I am going to take a ton of white and clear and translucent beads from my stash and use them all together in the same necklace where the focus is really shape and texture and these reminded me of that idea. Vintage crystal often comes in shapes that are hard to find these days, although these rounds are probably not super rare.

Vintage Bead Box May 2019 - Faceted Glass

Faceted Glass Beads

I absolutely love these. This is a shape I don’t think I’ve ever seen before. I don’t know quite what I’ll do with them yet but I’m almost certain they’ll be part of a statement necklace due to the size.

Vintage Bead Box May 2019 - Glass

Glass Beads

These are glass and the black streaks on them almost make them look a bit like howlite, but they are a lot lighter in weight. I used most of these in a necklace, which you can see below.

Vintage Bead Box May 2019 - Hematite

Hematite Beads

These are super heavy, which makes sense since they are hematite, which is an iron-containing mineral (most hematite sold as beads today is synthetic but with basically the same crystal structure as the natural mineral). You’ll receive some semiprecious beads most months in this subscription, and as you can see from these, they’re not always chips, either.

Vintage Bead Box May 2019 - Metal

Metal Beads

I saw these and knew they needed to go between rounds and that I wanted to use them right away. These dictated the color of metal I used in my necklace this month, but as it happens the first necklace memory wire I grabbed was a gold tone so it all worked out. You can see the necklace I made below.

Vintage Bead Box May 2019 - Peach Acrylic

Acrylic Beads

These are huge but, being acrylic, they are lightweight. I love vintage acrylic beads because there are just so many styles, and they are totally things you don’t see being produced currently. I want to put these in a necklace and I am trying to figure out how to incorporate some white ribbon because that just seems like something that would look good with these.

Vintage Bead Box May 2019 - Pearl

Faux Pearl Beads

Most months you will also receive some faux pearl beads. You’ll get a variety of shapes, sizes, textures, and colors. These match in color but are a couple of different sizes, and they are lightweight and in good condition. I think the outer color is much better quality than some of the contemporary faux pearls I’ve purchased.

Vintage Bead Box May 2019 - Stone

Stone Beads

These are heavy for their size and definitely stone. I’m not sure which stone, possibly a variety of Jasper (I’m not as good with stones as I’d like to be, but I’m working on my identification skills). I used quite a few of them in a necklace this month, which you can see below.

Vintage Bead Box May 2019 - Necklace

Here is a necklace I made with the round glass beads, the metal beads, and some of the stone beads. I had thought about making the dangles longer but I didn’t have the patience to do a bunch more eyepin links with the stone beads. This is on necklace memory wire which is why it is so circular in shape, but I added a clasp in the back for extra security.

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 thought everything went together really well and there were a lot of options for what to do with this month’s beads.  I often stick to monochromatic pieces for this box when that is an option; I couldn’t tell you why but I usually like how they turn out and this month is no exception.

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 June. (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.

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!

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Written by MSA

Posted in Craft Subscription Boxes, Subscription Box Reviews, Subscription Boxes for Women, Vintage Bead Box Reviews| Tags: vintage bead box | 6 comments

6 Comments

  1. Ragan, another great review, thanks!

    I’m trying to re-organize my bead collection – I have a lot of different of beads, though I’m sure it’s nothing near the stash that you have. I’m curious as to how you sort yours. I just can’t make up my mind as to what would be most useful. I’m currently thinking about type (eg – seed beads, 2-hole, metal) then by color then shape, size? I keep changing my mind as to what is most practical. Can you offer any advice?

    • I have several things going on.

      For shaped beads (1-, 2-, 3-, 4-hole) and seed beads I organize by type and/or size in Elizabeth Ward Bead Storage Solutions (Amazon usually has good prices). The tiny containers are the ones you need most of and don’t pay more than $30 for one tray (I got my last ones at $24). Retail is $50 and lots of online bead-only stores will charge that much, but Amazon (and I think Walmart) are much better deals. I am also in the process of putting my crystals in these.

      For metal beads and findings, I organize by color/finish (bright brass and gold finish because I don’t really have much actual gold or gold plated, antiqued/oxidized brass, bright silver/rhodium, antiqued silver, bright copper, antiqued copper, gunmetal, black, and rose gold, plus one for anodized aluminum and electroplated brass in colors and another for metal flowers which I bought a lot of) in “Darice Organizer NO Spill 32COMP 13.7X8.6X1 Clear” (search everything in quotes on Amazon). Sometimes more than one item per space so I can cut down on the number of storage containers. But like I probably have 3 or 4 just of bright copper. (For non-antiqued copper and silver I do put those little black 3M anti-tarnish squares in the spaces with them. It seems to help.)

      I also have these Darice organizers for faux pearls, Chinese crystal, natural material beads (wood, shell, MOP, bone, etc.), and some for a particular color palette I use. And I have a couple for one-off/odd/small numbers of beads (maybe I only have 2 of something, or a single pendant, etc.). I also have some crystals/cupchain, cabochons, etc. in some of these. And I have a couple just for different kinds of jasper because I have a LOT of jasper. I have one just for jump rings for chainmaille (other jump rings are randomly strewn about, when I don’t know the gauge/ID/OD/aspect ratio).

      Then for the rest of the collection, it is sorted by color (white and light gray, black and dark gray, orange and yellow, red, green, blue, purple, pink, brown) in the Darice organizers.

      I have a few old random organizers for large things, too. And then everything is piled precariously high on just about every flat surface in my living room and dining room.

      • This is amazingly helpful. Thanks so much!!

  2. That necklace is fabulous! It’s so unique! You make me want to learn how to make jewelry. Unfortunately I probably don’t have the patience. I’ll just keep enjoying your reviews and lovely creations.

  3. Very pretty necklace, unusual. The stone beans could be sodalite.

    • They could be, although honestly they are a lot more gray in person (though the picture does make them look blue, doesn’t it?).

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