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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, and worldwide for a low cost. Contact Bargain Bead Box for affordable international rates.
Bargain Bead Box November 2019 “Coffee Shop” Review
Bargain Bead Box always includes a few clasps and other findings in matching metal tones; this month they were in a silver tone 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 (“Coffee Shop”). The back contained a list of the month’s beads. I just want to say that I really like how they're now indicating whether items are lead free (all the metals are) or nickel free (most of the metals are).
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!
50 Pieces 8.5 mm Snowflake Spacer Beads
It is pretty standard to get one type of spacer beads in this subscription, always in a metal tone that matches the rest of the provided findings. I have been wanting to do some more work with semiprecious gemstones lately and I need all of the metal spacer beads I can get. I think these will look particularly nice with some dark green gemstones.
20 Pieces 7.5 mm Dotted Bead Cap
You'll also often get bead caps. These can be really nice to add a bit of visual interest to a strand of otherwise identical or very similar beads (so they will also be good for some of my planned upcoming gemstone work).
100 Pieces Chinese Crystal Bicones, White Jade
Chinese crystal is plentiful in this subscription as well. It is an affordable alternative to pricier name brands and it's great to get so much at once because you can really use it to do some elaborate bead weaving. Plus, this color will go with a lot.
2 Pieces Pewter Alloy Coffee Cup Charms
I am not much for jewelry with words on it. However, these will make part of a great earrings gift for a coffee lover. I have several people in mind already.
15" Strand 3 mm Faceted Black Spinel Gemstone Beads
This is definitely my style. I haven't used them yet but small, faceted gemstones are wonderful to have on hand, especially in black -- they will be easy to match. I like how the facets here catch the light, as well.
2 Pieces 22 mm Cut Glass Crystal Teardrop Beads, Dark Topaz
I am kind of obsessed with these and wonder where I might find more items in the same style. In the meantime, I used these in a necklace (on either side of the "main" pendant) which you can see below.
7.5" Strand 8 mm Jade-Finished Glass Beads, Coffee
Part of the coffee shop theme is actual coffee-related items (you've seen one already, and there are more to come) but the rest is just warm browns that are great for fall. These fall into the second category. I used a couple of them in a necklace this month but still have a lot left over.
7.5" Strand 6 x 4 mm Chinese Crystal Rondelles, Silvered Evergreen
This is a really dark, wintry green. Although Chinese crystal doesn't come in as many colors and finishes as Swarovski, I do like a lot of the half-coated and metallic-coated varieties like these. These would be good in a strung design or in a pattern (I've seen a few that call for this size).
15" Strand 6 mm Polished Agate Round Beads
I like the banding here, and the subtle variations that mark this as a natural product. Black agate is great for me. It's dark enough to look elegant, but not too dark. I'm thinking about stringing these on some silk cord and knotting between them.
1 m Steel Jewelry Chain, 4 x 3 mm
You'll typically get a length of chain in this subscription. Sometimes I use it and sometimes it goes into my stash for later. This is a soldered chain (sometimes it is soldered and sometimes not) and I used a bit of it for a necklace. The plating is nice and shiny. Because this is steel, you should use industrial-strength cutters to cut it.
5 Pieces 24 x 26 mm Caffeine Molecule Pendants
As best I can tell, this is a decent representation of caffeine, with the ring nitrogens being marked by little balls and the ring carbons being marked by vertices. I don't know how many people would recognize this offhand but I suppose it's a fun conversation starter. (I spent a lot of time working with purines, a class of molecules that includes caffeine, in grad school, so my recognition of the structure without having to look it up will likely not be typical.) You could probably make some simple earrings with these since they are quite lightweight.
10 Pieces 17.5 mm Coffee Bean Drops
I may not have mentioned it yet in this post but I am not a fan of coffee. I'm of two minds here. I do have some other plant-themed charms these might work within a botanical sort of piece, or I could use them to make a gift for a coffee lover. Not sure which I will do yet.
2 Pieces 38 mm Hook and Eye Clasps
These are big clasps. BIG. They would hold a pretty heavy necklace. I did go ahead and use one this month since they were right there in front of my face. But I will probably make something bulkier with my second one.
7.5" Strand 8 mm Green Line Jasper Faceted Round Beads
More light reflects off these facets than I would expect. They are really more of a grayish-green and once again, I am really liking the natural variation in colors and patterns.
7.5" Strand 10 mm Iced Mocha Agate Beads
These are very earthy and they are also pretty big. I am trying to decide whether I think they would look good with a shiny gold or brass finish or more of a brushed/matted one. I am also trying to decide whether I'd like to use them on their own or in a more complex piece. I just don't have many beads like these. Maybe they would be a good accent for some fancy lampwork in earth tones?
40 mm Agate Teardrop Pendant
I like this a lot too. It is a little bigger than I typically go for. But I think the banding is neat. I used this in a necklace. (Bargain Bead Box often sends pendants, sometimes quite large. Lately they've been sending a lot of focal gemstones and I am loving that.)
2 Pieces 18 mm Handmade Porcelain Coffee Mug Charms
These are cute. They don't have to be coffee mugs, either -- there are other hot beverages. I think because they are porcelain I'd use them in earrings because I feel they'd be a little fragile for a bracelet or something that got a lot of contact.
Here is the necklace I made this month:
Here are some of my materials. I think the wire is Artistic Wire (coated copper) but I also think I bought it as part of a set and I'm not sure of the gauge. I mostly just picked it because it looked nice and I wanted some wire.
I cut a few pieces of wire and bent them in half.
I put them through the holes of the agate pendant as well as the two crystal teardrops. I wanted to hang these from the chain but I didn't have any suitable bails.
I made messy wraps to get these to where I could easily hang them. I am not great at wire-wrapping but messy wrapped loops like these are easy enough.
I added the clasp to a length of the chain using some jump rings from my stash.
I attached the pendant to the middle of the chain and then I hung it on my necklace model. Sometimes I want to see how elements will hang next to each other before I commit too strongly to any particular course of action.
I also added the crystal teardrops on either side using more jump rings. It took a few tries to get the placement right.
I felt that a little something more was needed so I got some headpins and small silver beads from my stash (I was worried the heads on the headpins would be too small for the beads I wanted to use them with).
I made some dangle elements using the headpins, silver beads from my stash, and some of the brown glass beads from the box.
And I added them to the chain on either side of the elements already there.
Here is what the finished project looks like in the front and back.
Verdict: I did not calculate a value for Bargain Bead Box, as explained above. The information sheet gives a retail value of about $61 and I can believe that value if you were to go out looking for similar beads to purchase individually. Looking at it another way, you are paying a little more than $1 per item since the price is $17.95 and there were 17 items this month. And THAT is a pretty good deal. There was a lot of metal this month, and a fair amount of Chinese crystal, and also some semiprecious stones, so the price seems believable. I thought the color coordination was excellent this month as well.
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 December 2019 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 a little more than $1 per item.
Keep Track of Your Subscriptions: Add this box to your subscription list or wishlist!
What did you think of the November 2019 Bargain Bead Box? Do you subscribe to any beading or craft boxes?