Vintage Bead Box Subscription Review – July 2019
My Subscription Addiction pays for this subscription. (Check out the review process post to learn more about how we review boxes.)
About Vintage Bead Box
The Subscription Box: Vintage Bead Box
The Cost: $25/month
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 July 2019 Review
All Vintage Bead Boxes are now themed. This month’s theme was “Victory”:
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.
You’ll receive a lot of acrylic beads in this subscription, but I kind of don’t mind. Acrylic beads were more common during the years this subscription tends to cover, and they’re usually unique shapes like these spacers. Plus, they’re lightweight so you can use some of the larger ones in earrings if you want. Anyway, I need to find some round beads in a similar size (I have lots of candidate gemstones) so I can actually use these as spacers, where I think they would look pretty good.
I like this shape a lot (I’ve seen it called “olive” elsewhere). I have some other vintage olive-shaped beads that I could maybe use together with these, assuming they are close in size.
Genuine Bakelite Bead
Bakelite was everywhere back in the day but it is kind of rare now, so Bakelite beads at vintage bead shops are often quite expensive. This is the first time I’ve ever received one in Vintage Bead Box. This one is honestly big enough for a bracelet centerpiece for me and I think I can show it off best using some brass wire.
These are super fun. A few years ago, I went down the rabbit-hole of looking at celluloid jewelry components and I found a lot of fun things, including celluloid bangle bracelets, brooches, etc. These just scream “vintage,” too, but in a good way. I used them in a bracelet this month, which you can see below.
These are sort of irregular rounds/smooth rondelles. I thought they went well with some of the colors of the celluloid fruit, so I used a few of them in a bracelet.
Faceted Glass Beads
You’ll usually receive a few glass beads in this subscription. These are a lovely opaque blue color that you honestly don’t see too often these days. There was a strong blue theme running through my box and I used all the blue-containing beads in a project together.
Lucite! This is like the highest-quality acrylic. (It is actually a trademarked term, even now.) These don’t have any edges where molds joined together. They are also lightweight. And being blue, they fit nicely into my bracelet design for the month.
You’ll usually receive seed or bugle beads in this subscription box. What’s fun about these is the stripes – although some striped styles are being made again, many, many striped seed beads are older. I think these are about a size 8/0.
Here is another type of glass bead. I did use some of these in a bracelet but I picked the small rounds first (they fit with the scale of what I was trying to do) and then went for some of the longer cylinders to finish off at the ends.
I made two bracelets this month. Here is the first. It is a more conventional piece with a repeating pattern using the Lucite beads, the striped seed beads, and some of the faceted glass beads.
And, the celluloid fruits just HAD to be used as they are one of the most authentically vintage-looking items in terms of style as well as material that I have ever received in this subscription box. I thought both colors of glass beads worked with them, so I made another bracelet.
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 this was one of the most “vintage” Vintage Bead Boxes I’ve ever received (olive-shaped acrylic! Lucite! celluloid! Bakelite! striped seed beads!). It was also possible to go either more conservative (as with the blue bracelet) or a little more lighthearted (fruit bracelet), which was nice.
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 August. (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 July 2019 Vintage Bead Box? Do you subscribe to any beading or craft boxes?