Vintage Bead Box Subscription Review – September 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: The US (free), Worldwide (additional shipping charges will apply)
Vintage Bead Box September 2019 Review
All Vintage Bead Boxes are now themed. This month’s theme was “Pink Ladies”:
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.
There were lots of acrylic rounds this month, but that just means lots of design choices. I haven’t used these yet but maybe a year ago I went on a vintage bead buying binge so I know I have a lot of other black acrylic and/or Lucite beads that these will be great accent beads for.
Cat Eye Glass Beads
These are a soft lavender that’s almost pink (but not quite, when compared to the rose quartz beads below). I like how the look of them changes with different lighting (the bands move a little). I used most of these in a bracelet this month.
This is maybe choker length on me, so probably what I am going to do is add a few jump rings, a clasp, and a beaded pendant to make a necklace. Then I don’t have to deal with cutting it into shorter lengths (makes it easier to preserve the vintage look).
These are cute, and some of the smallest beads we received this month. I am thinking of making some beaded chain with these and some eyepins and using it to support a pendant. (I like making pendants from patterns because they are quick to work up and you can use leftover beads from other projects.)
These are some more acrylic beads, so they are super lightweight. The largest one is a little bit of a squashed round. The speckles there don’t stand out so much in real life, I guess that was just my camera choosing what to emphasize. I think these will be nice in a bracelet.
These were labeled as metal but I think they might be some kind of metallized or metal-plated plastic. (I am guessing this by the weight and the sound they make when they hit each other.) They are pretty reflective – you can see me with the camera in the photos of them! Anyway, I used most of these in a bracelet this month, which you can see below.
Faux Pearl Beads
Faux pearls are a Vintage Bead Box mainstay and I have received so many interesting sizes and shapes and colors of them. I used most of the larger ones in a bracelet although I do still have some of the smaller ones left to play around with.
Rose Quartz Beads
You’ll usually receive some small semiprecious gemstones or chips and this month it was rose quartz. I haven’t used these yet, but I have rather a lot of rose quartz in my collection (it is one of the less expensive gemstones – you want to see expensive quartz, go look at some faceted cognac quartz sometime). Anyway, these will be easy to match up with other beads and components I already have.
Here is the third type of acrylic beads for the month. These are perfectly round with no visible seams (seams are common in other vintage acrylic beads) and they have a swirling pattern that puts me in mind of semiprecious gemstones. I think I may use these with some semiprecious rounds as their light weight will counterbalance the heavier weight of the stones, and the colors will go well with brown-toned jaspers or agates.
I just started doing right angle weave with some old Czech 10/0 seed beads in a matching color to hide the thread a little bit and stopped when I was almost out of the cat’s eye glass. With a bit of a seed bead loop and a clasp from my stash, this was long enough to be a bracelet (I have tiny wrists, though). It’s a big, chunky bracelet, which is kind of fun and different from my usual style but I like it.
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). There were so many round beads this month! I actually found that to be kind of a fun design challenge.
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 October. (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 September 2019 Vintage Bead Box? Do you subscribe to any beading or craft boxes?