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About Bargain Bead Box
The Subscription Box: Bargain Bead Box
The Cost: $17.95/month
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.
Ships to: the US (free), Canada for $3.50, Worldwide for a low cost. Contact Bargain Bead Box for affordable international rates.
Bargain Bead Box August 2019 “Desert Sun” Review
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 (“Desert Sun”). The back contained a list of the month’s beads.
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!
7.5” Strand 4mm Matte Picture Jasper Beads
Picture jasper was the stone of the month, I guess. It goes well with the “desert sun” theme. I wanted to use some of these smaller beads in my necklace but the holes were too small to fit on my cord. Instead I think I will use these in a wrap bracelet.
15” Strand 6mm Picture Jasper Round Beads
More picture jasper! It is nice to get a variety of sizes and textures/finishes, as you can stick with one stone type but still get some interesting textural effects. I like the warm colors here.
8” Strand 10mm Dark Red Agate Cube Beads (Permanently Dyed)
These are a little intense compared to some of the other colors this month, although I can see how they work with the Chinese crystal and Saturn beads (see below). I haven’t used them yet but I’m already thinking about ways I might. I kind of think I’d prefer to use these with brass findings instead of the silvertone we got here (but hey, I can do that if I want!).
20 Pieces 8 x 5mm Embossed Bead Caps
This month’s finding color was a silvertone. I would’ve probably chosen brass on my own (thinking sun, warm, etc.) but the silver color ended up looking nice with the picture jasper when I tried it out. I haven’t used these yet but if you are thinking about making a strung piece, these could definitely add visual interest between like-colored gemstone beads.
100+ Pieces 4mm Chinese Crystal Bicone Beads, Magma AB
You’ll get some Chinese crystal nearly every month with this subscription. It adds some sparkle if you want it. There are also just tons of this size, so if you’re inclined towards beadweaving, you can easily complete a pattern or a complicated right-angle weave piece or whatever you want. I’m definitely saving these for beadweaving.
1m 4mm Steel Rolo Jewelry Chain
You’ll get chain every month as well. It’s plated steel chain, so be sure to use some industrial wire cutters instead of your jewelry ones, which should be reserved for non-ferrous metals (i.e., silver, copper, brass, bronze, etc.). Rolo chain is one of my favorite styles but I don’t have nearly enough of it so I am happily adding this to my stash.
6 Pieces 26.5 x 19mm Sunburst Chandelier Components
These could be used for earrings or, the other thing I like to do with chandelier components is use them to switch from one-strand to multi-stranded parts in necklaces.
10 Pieces 19.5mm Sun Charms
You’ll usually receive a few charms and they tend to match in style and color to the other metallic elements in the box. I haven’t used these yet but I’m thinking if I can dig up some more brown cord in my stash, I may make a bracelet to match my necklace, and I think I’d like to try to incorporate these.
3 Sets Sunburst Toggle Clasps
You’ll always get enough clasps for at least 2-3 pieces. I did use one of these, which you will see below. (Mostly you get toggle clasps although I’ve received hook-and-eye as well as lobster claw in the past as well.) It’s really nice to just be able to go to work and only supply minimal items (beading thread or cord, jump rings, maybe headpins or eyepins) to finish a piece of jewelry. That makes this a good subscription for people just starting out.
7.5” Strand 8mm Faceted Round Picture Jasper Beads
Here is the picture jasper I ended up using, mostly because it had a hole size big enough for the cord I wanted to use. But after I got going with my necklace, I decided this was really the best bead size for what I wanted to do, anyway, so everything worked out!
5 Pieces 11 x 9mm Embossed Fluted Barrel Beads
These also feature prominently in my necklace. Now I have just one left, though, so I’m not sure how I will use it…
10 Pieces 10mm Fossil Coral Round Beads
I’ve been trying to work with large gemstones more often and I do have some ideas so these will come in handy. I also have a lot of other fossil coral to match these up with.
30 Pieces 6 x 4mm Chinese Crystal Rondelle Beads, Lemon Chiffon Opal
More Chinese crystal. I like this lemon color, but I’m not sure I would use it with picture jasper. But that’s OK, I have plenty of beads I think it would look great with, and I like having plenty of options, because not everyone has the same taste.
55 x 35mm Picture Jasper Oval Pendant
You’ll usually get one large pendant per month. Maybe two. Anyway, I used this in a necklace, which you can see below. I like the banding pattern on it.
12 Pieces 10.5 x 8.5mm Glass Saturn Beads, Light Magma AB
These are interesting. I like how the ring part has a slightly different appearance. I think these would work well with either the lemon rondelles or the magma AB bicones. I don’t think I’ve seen this shape before.
10 Grams 4.5 x 3.5mm Bumpy Spacer Beads
I used quite a few of these. They had a good hole size for my cord and they provided a nice accent against the picture jasper as well as the cord color. (You’ll usually receive some spacers.)
2 Pieces 24 x 31mm Sun Pendants
These are a little big for earrings, I think, but they might make nice necklaces for layering, or perhaps they would look good to either side of a pendant for a statement necklace. I could make a matching bracelet with some of the sun charms, too, to tie everything together.
There is a funny thing about my beading stash, but I can get the idea that I want to find some type of item that I may not remember even having, and I go looking, and I usually find it. This month, I was looking for some type of brown leather or faux leather cord. This is clearly faux leather as it is a hollow tube, but it works well enough for my purposes (and now I have a cart full of leather cord at Fire Mountain so I won’t have to search too hard in the future if I want to make something like this again). Anyway, my bead choice was entirely governed by bead hole size; the faceted rounds had large enough holes for this cord. This worked up pretty quickly but I managed to use five different items from the box, which is great for such a simple piece.
Verdict: I did not calculate a value for Bargain Bead Box, as explained above. The information sheet gives a retail value of about $59 and I can believe that value if you were to go out looking for similar beads to purchase individually. Picture jasper isn’t the most expensive gemstone out of there, but there was a lot of it (and some other stones, as well) this month. Looking at it another way, you are paying a little over $1 per item since the price is $17.95 and there were 17 items this month. And THAT is a pretty good deal. I tried my hand at making something simple this month and I think it turned out well. I’ve been buying a lot of gemstone beads lately (more than I care to admit) and I’ve been thinking about different ways to use them. This was a pretty successful test run.
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 September 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 $1.06 per item.
Keep Track of Your Subscriptions: Add this box to your subscription list or wishlist!
What did you think of the August 2019 Bargain Bead Box? Do you subscribe to any beading or craft boxes?