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About Bargain Bead Box
The Subscription Box: Bargain Bead Box
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.
The Cost: $17.95/month
Ships to: US (free), Canada for $3.50, Worldwide for a low cost. Contact Bargain Bead Box for affordable international rates.
Bargain Bead Box July 2019 “Starfish Beach” Review
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!
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 (“Starfish Beach”). The back contained a list of the month’s beads.
30 Pieces 5mm Dotted Rope Bead Caps
You’ll receive bead caps with this subscription nearly every month and what’s great is, they always match the metal tone of the other items in the box so you never need to supply any findings except maybe jump rings, headpins or eyepins, and crimps. I really like using bead caps for strung designs.
1m 4.2 x 3mm Textured Steel Jewelry Chain
You’ll also usually receive a length of chain in a coordinating metal finish (this month was oxidized brass/bronze). This is usually plated steel chain. It is durable and the plating tends to last, but be sure to cut it with industrial-strength or memory wire cutters as it will mar your typical jewelry-making cutters.
14” Strand 4mm Chinese Crystal Round Beads, Blue-Green Iris
Chinese crystal is another mainstay of this box. I used to think that Chinese crystal was inexpensive because of how much we receive in this box, but then I went looking to buy some and it can be pricier than you might expect (still less than Swarovski, of course). So I hoard what I receive here because it does have some great sparkle.
3 Sets Rope-Style Toggle Clasps
Clasps always come with this subscription, as well. Usually just 2 or 3, but occasionally more. These are suitable for necklaces or for heavier bracelets (you really need heavier bracelets to make toggles work; if the bracelets are too light, they may not stay closed. I like the oval shape here, that’s unique (usually these are round).
2 Pieces 19 x 12mm Metal Shell Charms
I think these are meant to look like the cut-off front portion of cowrie shells. I think if I can find a lovely focal bead, I might put these on either side of it in a bracelet and finish it off with some chain.
20 Pieces 6mm Chinese Crystal Cube Beads, Teal AB
I love crystal cubes and was happy to see these. I used all of them in a necklace this month. (From a design perspective, I was looking for some beads in a similar size range and there were some other roughly 6mm beads this month as well.)
2 Pieces 20mm Handmade Lampwork Glass Beads
I was happy to see these. I have had an idea for a necklace for awhile that required two beads or components about this size. You can see what I did with them below.
12 Pieces 10-11mm Electroplated Lava Stone Round Beads
I’ve seen some of these plated lava beads around but these are the first ones I’ve had my hands on. I rather like how they look in person. In the information letter, they are touted as an ethical alternative to coral, but FYI, almost all of the coral you see in the jewelry market, if not every last bit of it, is either fake (i.e. resin) or from a non-endangered organism. At any rate, I like the irregular surface here and think these might make a good bracelet with some 10mm gemstone beads.
15.5” Strand 6mm Mother of Pearl Shell Round Beads
Here are some more 6mm beads, which I also used in my necklace. I have recently been reading some books about gemstones and learned that, at one time, mother of pearl was more highly valued than actual pearls, which I would not have expected. Anyway, these are super smooth and lightweight.
35mm Hand-Carved Shell Starfish Pendant
You’ll usually receive a big pendant or two in this box. This one is on the small side compared to some we’ve gotten in the past. I have a couple of organizers full of other natural material beads that I think I’ll use to make a multi-strand necklace with this as a focal.
15” Strand 8mm Blue Quartz Round Beads
These are included more for color than anything else, I think. The information sheet says these are permanently dyed and, unlike in the past, the baggie that contained these didn’t have any color rubbed off inside, so that may be true. These add to the theme based on their color, more than anything else.
7.5” Strand Chinese Crystal Rondelles, Matte Peach Champagne
Here are more beads in the approximate size range I was looking for, for my necklace. I do have a few left over but most have been used. I think the matte finish here contrasts nicely with the AB of the cubes and the shiny finish of the mother of pearl beads.
4 Pieces 19 x 15mm Sand Dollar Charms
There are a lot of charms and metal beads in this month’s package. I think these would be fun to incorporate into a charm bracelet that’s mostly starfish, for a little variety in terms of shape.
10 Pieces 14mm Metal Beads
Sometimes you will receive metal spacer beads, but this month’s metal beads are a bit larger. I can see using these in a strung design, either random or with a repeating pattern, and think they would be especially fun for more casual beach vacation-type necklaces and the like.
14 Pieces 15.5mm Starfish Charms
There are a lot of these and I think they would look great with the sand dollar charms in a charm bracelet or possibly a delicate necklace. Though metal, they’re even light enough to go in earrings.
8” Strand 15 x 13mm Synthetic Turquoise Starfish Beads
I think these may be some kind of resin but that’s not really deceptive because they are labeled as synthetic. (You will never receive real turquoise in a subscription box, it’s just too expensive and rare.) They sort of tie the whole set of colors and shapes together for the month. I actually think I might like to use them to decorate candle holders or other home décor items.
I had it in my head to make something like this and this was the first box that came along that had the sorts of components I was looking for (especially the two lampworked glass beads). I may fiddle with the sari silk more, like sewing it or using a bit of glue on the ends to keep it from fraying, or adding some ribbon crimp ends to the back (although I kind of like that it can be adjusted by how you tie the back, so we will see). You can get similar sari silk on Etsy here (this is where I bought mine).
Verdict: I did not calculate a value for Bargain Bead Box, as explained above. The information sheet gives a retail value of about $71 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 (I mean, above and beyond what I’ve already done). Looking at it another way, you are paying a little over $1 per item since the price is $17.95 and there were 16 items this month. And THAT is a pretty good deal. I was excited to finally get to use my necklace idea; I think the lampworked beads really made that possible, but it was also helpful to have similarly-sized accent beads.
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 August 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 $17.95 for this subscription, you are paying about $1.12 per item.
Keep Track of Your Subscriptions: Add this box to your subscription list or wishlist!
What did you think of the July 2019 Bargain Bead Box? Do you subscribe to any beading or craft boxes?