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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 October 2019 Review
All Vintage Bead Boxes are now themed. This month’s theme was “Sleepy Hollow”:
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.
Faceted Glass Beads
There were several different sizes of faceted glass beads in my package this month but they were the same color, a classic black that will be good in lots of different projects. I did use some of them in a necklace this month, which you can see below.
Faceted Glass Beads
Here is the other size of faceted glass beads. These are more of a standard, firepolished round shape, and I haven't used any yet but I think they will be nice in patterns (I'd say they're maybe 4mm rounds, just by eyeballing it).
There were two types of acrylic rounds this month; here is the first set. I'm not sure what to call this color, it's not quite brown but it's not red or orange, exactly. Anyway, this is a nice, earthy fall color. These are very lightweight and the stringing holes are pretty large. I used quite a few of these in my necklace as well.
Here is the second set of acrylic beads; these are sort of a pearlized green and they are a bit larger than the other acrylic rounds. There weren't as many of these and I used them all. This is another great fall color.
This sort of looks like a clasp but it has a dangle in back instead of an easy attachment point. There is one jump ring between the second part and the strand of dangling beads and that works well to put the hook through. I was going to make a 3-stranded necklace but I had some length issues so I stuck with 2 strands. But having this enabled me to only use supplies from the box (other than some crimps and beading wire). You will usually get a bit of metal but not always in the form of a clasp.
These do have the feel and weight of stone. Carnelian is a type of chalcedony and may be heat treated to enhance the red color. A lot of the carnelian on the market today is agate (also a type of chalcedony) that has been dyed or color-enhanced since natural carnelian is rare to find these days (it's been known since antiquity and mined for just as long). At any rate, these are a nice change of pace from the usual rather small gemstone beads and chips we receive in this subscription (but to be clear, gemstone beads are expensive so I don't expect to get large specimens every month!).
There were several varieties of glass beads this month. These are some small, round orange beads. I haven't used them yet but they are a good size to use with the smaller black faceted ones so maybe I will make a seasonal right-angle weave bracelet.
These are unique. They're a citrine color and a shape I don't think I've ever seen before. These really need to be used as drops or in fringe to have their maximum effect. Maybe they would look good in a netted seed bead necklace?
These have a partial AB coating and there are actually several different sizes here, though most of them are the larger ones. I used some of these in a necklace this month but I still have quite a few left over. I like fall colors a lot and I have some reds, oranges, and yellows in my stash that will go great with these.
Here is a necklace I made using some of the beads from the box. This ended up being pretty short. I am no longer trusting my bead design board for layout of multistrand necklaces! It has measurements marked but something went wrong. I can still wear this as I have a pretty small neck, but I decided to forego the third strand as there wasn't really room. I have just ordered a bunch of bead stoppers so I can string strands and add to the ends as needed for multistrand pieces without undoing everything. This is something I've been having trouble with for awhile, actually.
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 November. (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 October 2019 Vintage Bead Box? Do you subscribe to any beading or craft boxes?