BeadCrate Subscription Box Review – July 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. You can also buy a single box to see if this subscription is for you.
This is a review of “The Enthusiast” box for $18.99/month + $5 shipping.
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 Products: A selection of beads curated around a monthly theme (or beads that are just cool and random).
The Cost: $18.99 a month + $5 shipping. Save with longer subscriptions.
Ships to: US (free for “The Collector,” $5 for “The Enthusiast”)
BeadCrate July 2019 “Magic Carpet” 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. This month has a lot of jewel tones.
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!
4mm Amber Druks (Czech glass, 50)
These would be good stash-building beads except that I used most of them in a bracelet this month. Druks are pressed glass rounds and these are 4mm in diameter, which is an excellent size to have on hand for patterns as they can substitute for any size of 4mm bead including bicone crystals, firepolished rounds, etc.
3mm Sapphire AB Druks (Czech glass, 50)
I used most of these in a bracelet as well. There were a lot of good, basic beads this month that made it easy to come up with a beadweaving idea. One thing I like about this subscription is you will get a variety of shapes and sizes of beads so you can make graduated size pieces with some texture/visual interest if you want (although that’s not the direction I went this month).
20 x 21mm Quest Antique Pewter Genie’s Magic Lamp (USA pewter, 1)
You’ll often receive a charm or finding. As it happens, this month, charms and tassels (see below) came in handy. I used this in a bracelet (it’s a great size for that).
8 x 4 mm Siam Ruby Flowers (Czech glass, 25)
I have recently begun collecting flower-shaped glass beads for a project. There are really a lot of flower shapes coming out these days. These are perhaps a bit more basic, but will be good for delicate summer designs (and even some moving into fall, since they are red).
3mm Olivine Firepolished Rounds (Czech glass, 50)
You don’t get through a month of BeadCrate without some firepolished rounds. These would’ve made a great stash builder except I also used most of them in a bracelet. I am loving all of this month’s jewel tones.
8 x 10 mm Matte Light Sapphire AB Leaves (Czech glass, 25)
The variety of Czech glass flowers available is closely followed by the variety of leaf beads (in all colors). Leaves make especially good dangles and charms. To me, these are sort of wintry (reminding me of leaves covered by ice or snow or something) so I will probably hang onto them until later in the year.
8mm Matte California Violet Firepolished Rounds (Czech glass, 20)
I’ve been wanting to work with some larger firepolished rounds and I’ve also been collecting a lot of California-finish beads lately, so these come in handy and I have a lot to coordinate with. I haven’t seen too many in a matte finish, which really gives a different look, since most California-finish beads are shiny and metallic.
5 x 7 mm Ruby Gemstone Donut (Czech glass, 25)
When I first started beading, I had a thing for red glass, and I am reminded of that just looking at these. I think they’re beautiful. (For what it’s worth, I don’t really notice a difference between beads labeled “gemstone donut” and beads labeled “rondelle” so I think it’s just a marketing term for the same item.) I used every last one of them in a bracelet this month.
Toho 11/0 Transparent Rainbow Medium Amethyst Seed Beads (Japanese glass, 2.5” tube)
You’ll get one (sometimes two) type of seed beads per month with this subscription, usually Toho (occasionally Preciosa), and usually size 8/0 or 11/0. As it happens, I used these in each of the three bracelets I made this month. Although the rainbow finish shows up a lot in the picture here, it doesn’t overshadow the larger Czech glass beads I used in the bracelet. (The triangle tray was from a past BeadCrate. I used it for the photo to attempt to avoid spillage and to avoid picking up beads off my beading mat, but naturally I knocked it over and I am still finding seed beads everywhere in my photo area…)
8mm Lumi Amethyst Baroque Swirl (Czech glass)
I had bought some of these off Etsy awhile back but this is my first time receiving them in a subscription box. I used most of them in a bracelet but I have a few left over if I want to make some coordinating earrings. I used them essentially the same way you’d use 8mm druks or firepolished rounds and they seemed to work pretty well that way.
35mm Plum Nylon Tassels (2)
Subscribers could have received either this color or a navy color. I am never really sure how to use tassels that come this way but what I did was CAREFULLY slide them off of the holder without messing up the loops and pass them over eyepins. One of them needed a bit of work as some strings came loose and I’m not quite satisfied with it (I think you’ll be able to spot it in the images of bracelets below) but I think it is fixable with a bit of effort.
16 x 12mm Garnet Pear Shaped Drops (Czech glass, 4)
I have quite a large collection of this shape of bead, but none in this color. I have a wire-wrapping book that shows how to make dangles out of these, and once I get good at that, I think these would make great earrings. I have some huge (12 or 14mm round) actual garnet gemstone beads that will look great with these.
6mm Light Topaz Firepolished Rounds (Czech glass, 25)
Here is another size of firepolished rounds. These are slightly different in color from the amber druks up above, but really quite close. I used these in a bracelet as well and don’t have too many left.
I made some right-angle weave bracelets this month and used the tassels and charms to add a bit of interest (so you could wear these showing the bead weaving or showing the dangles).
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 number of items (I counted 13), you get about $1.84 per item. I went back to an old favorite, right-angle weave. I originally wanted to make a larger cuff incorporating all the beads I put into these bracelets, but I couldn’t quite work it out considering the sizing differences. I think these could be worn together or on their own, depending on how much jewelry I want to wear on a given day. I am a big fan of jewel tones, as well, so I was happy to see the selections this month. This is also a great box if you want to practice a variety of beadweaving stitches.
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 August box. Destash items and excess inventory (and sometimes whole boxes) may occasionally be available in the BeadCrate Etsy shop.
Value Breakdown: At $23.99 for this subscription (counting shipping), you are paying about $1.84 per item.
Keep track of your subscriptions: Add this box to your subscription list or wishlist!
What did you think of the July 2019 BeadCrate? Do you subscribe to any beading or craft boxes?