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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 June 2019 Review
All Vintage Bead Boxes are now themed. This month’s theme was “Beachy Keen”:
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.
Lava Rock Beads
These are staging a comeback in recent months but I guess they’ve been around for longer than I realized! These are porous and often used in aromatherapy jewelry, because you can dab a bit of oil on them and have it be released from the pores in the rocks all day long. I haven’t used these yet but I do have a lot of others in various sizes in my collection and I think they will all go together nicely, perhaps with some pearl and/or gold-toned accents.
Coconut and Wood Beads
This is a nice little assortment that would look good on a cord with a shell pendant or perhaps in a bracelet with other beads made from natural materials. The coconut must’ve been a popular material back in the day because I do receive it in Vintage Bead Box more often than expected (but always in fun styles, so I don’t mind).
Just an FYI but the coral beads you find are typically either resin (i.e., imitation) or from a non-endangered source. (These do appear natural, with some small shape variations.) It’s probably also a good time to point out that this may not be a good fit for you if you are vegan because I have received bone and shell and mother-of-pearl and similar from Vintage Bead Box in the past, and of course those are all of animal origin. Anyway, I liked the peachy color here and used some of these in a necklace.
Recycled Glass Beads
I’m not sure if these are real sea glass or just older glass that has been tumbled to give them a matte appearance. These are a good size for bracelets, I just have to decide what goes with them (hemp cord and macramé are always options).
This is the first of two types of shell beads we received this month (they are doing a good job of sticking to the beach theme). These are lighter and thinner than the others, with a peach-colored coating on one side. I used some of these in my necklace because I thought the color was a really good match for the coral beads.
You don’t always receive pendants in this subscription, but you do fairly often. I decided to use the pendant this month; you can see what I did below. This is pretty sturdy in construction. Of course, the metal shows a touch of age but it is not honestly all that bad – in fact, I think it adds to the charm.
Here’s the second type of shell bead. These are thicker and have a sort of iridescent coating on one side only. They’re a little heavier than the others, as well. But I like the way they look in the necklace I made – it was nice getting small beads this month since I needed something delicate to balance the pendant size.
Wood Spacer Beads
You’ll usually receive seed beads or bugle beads with this subscription, but this month I received these wood spacer beads instead. I’d put these at about a size 6/0 although of course, they are pretty irregular in shape and size. These did make really good spacers; I used quite a few of them in my necklace.
What a fun and cheery color! I haven’t used these yet because I went in a different direction (peaches and browns) for the necklace I made this month, but last year I went on a vintage bead-buying binge and there was a lot of yellow in what I grabbed then, so I already know I have a ton of coordinating beads to go with these.
Here is a necklace I made with the pendant, the wood spacers, the coral, and the two different types of shell beads. The wood beads are so lightweight, I might try to make some matching earrings with the ones I have left.
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 the people at Vintage Bead Box did a wonderful job of choosing vintage beads with a beachy theme and I’m also happy with how my project turned out this month.
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 July. (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 June 2019 Vintage Bead Box? Do you subscribe to any beading or craft boxes?