Vintage Bead Box Subscription Review – October 2019


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Vintage Bead Box October 2019 Box

Vintage Bead Box is a monthly DIY craft subscription box providing you with beads and findings manufactured between about 1930 and 1970.

My Subscription Addiction pays for this subscription. (Check out the review process post to learn more about how we review boxes.)

Vintage Bead Box October 2019 Review

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

Vintage Bead Box October 2019 Wrapped

All Vintage Bead Boxes are now themed. This month’s theme was “Sleepy Hollow”:

Vintage Bead Box October 2019 Booklet Front

Vintage Bead Box October 2019 Booklet Back

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.

Vintage Bead Box October 2019 Large Black

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.

Vintage Bead Box October 2019 Small Black

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).

Vintage Bead Box October 2019 Brown Acrylic

Acrylic Beads

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.

Vintage Bead Box October 2019 Green

Acrylic Beads

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.

Vintage Bead Box October 2019 Connector

Multi-Strand Connectors

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.

Vintage Bead Box October 2019 Carnelian

Carnelian Beads

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!).

Vintage Bead Box October 2019 Orange Glass

Glass Beads

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.

Vintage Bead Box October 2019 Glass Drops

Glass Beads

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?

Vintage Bead Box October 2019 Crystal

Crystal Beads

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.

Vintage Bead Box October 2019 Necklace 1

Vintage Bead Box October 2019 Necklace 2

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.

Check out my past reviews of Vintage Bead Box and see more of our best arts and crafts boxes!

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?

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Written by Ragan Buckley

Ragan Buckley

Ragan stumbled across My Subscription Addiction in late 2013 and immediately subscribed to way too many beauty boxes. She’s now focused on boxes for her cats and dog, vegan/vegetarian food boxes, and craft subscriptions (and she didn’t give up beauty boxes entirely).

Posted in Craft Subscription Boxes, Subscription Box Reviews, Subscription Boxes for Women, Vintage Bead Box Reviews| Tags: vintage bead box | 6 comments

6 Comments

  1. Ragan, once again you’ve made such a beautiful piece. With so manner earthy tones this month, a lot of the beads remind me of food LOL especially the reddish brown acrylic beads. They remind of berries you see in the woods in the fall of the year.

  2. Those green acrylic beads are SO pretty! I’m always impressed with what you come up with. Are you self-taught or have you taken classes? I’d love to learn but don’t know where to start.

    • Never took a class. Mostly look stuff up online. (Or rather, did look stuff up back in the 1990s when I started, not so much now.) Sometimes read books or magazines. Can’t stand online videos although I understand there are a lot of instructional ones out there these days.

      • You’re bad reviews are my favorites. I would love to do this. I’m going to look up instructions (not video!).

        • ‘Bead’, not bad!

      • Ragan, another great necklace!

        Ha ha. I agree about instructional videos! I can read so much faster than watch a video, and if I only need one question answered, it’s much easier to skim when reading than try to locate something in a video. And besides, most are done very poorly!

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