Bargain Bead Box Subscription Review – October 2019
My Subscription Addiction pays for this subscription. (Check out the review process post to learn more about how we review boxes.)
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 October 2019 “Foliage” Review
Bargain Bead Box always includes a few clasps and other findings in matching metal tones; this month they were in an antique copper 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 (“Foliage”). 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!
100 Pieces 4 mm Chinese Crystal Bicone Beads, Topaz AB
4 mm bicones are common in this subscription and I have a huge collection now. But what’s great is it is so easy to whip up something sparkly in right angle weave using these (just use Fireline or something thick/durable like that so the edges on the crystals don’t cut your stringing material). I was never sure before what color of findings to use with topaz but after seeing this with this month’s antiqued copper, I think I have my answer.
2 Pieces 26 mm Cut Glass Leaf Pendants, Jade Green
These are small enough that they would work in earrings, though probably too big for a charm bracelet. Or, they could go on either side of a larger focal piece in a necklace. There are a lot of possibilities. Even though they are glass, they do a pretty convincing job of looking like stone (though they do feel like glass if you lift them).
15″ Strand 8 mm Carnelian Round Beads
Carnelian is one of the first gemstones I bought a lot of because it is relatively affordable and I love the warm colors. I like how some of the beads show a banding pattern; I think this adds a lot of visual interest and makes them a great choice for stringing, perhaps with some simple spacers. Although this looks good next to this month’s copper, it would also look great with brass.
2 Sets Leaf Toggle Clasps
You’ll regularly get clasps in this subscription — in a matching color to the rest of the findings, which is something I really like about Bargain Bead Box (no mixed metals here unless you save up items for a few months). These are pretty big and probably best used in necklaces. They’re actually neat enough to consider using as focals or in the front of necklaces, although I used one in the back of the piece I made this month, which you can see below.
7.5″ Strand 6 x 4 mm Chinese Crystal Beads, Matte Green Iris
This matte, greyish green is good for fall. It’s not a spring color, it’s definitely more in line with colors you see this time of year. I also sometimes use Chinese crystal rondelles like these in right-angle weave pieces, but they’d also provide some interesting textures in strung pieces. The hole size is big enough you may even be able to string them on 1 mm leather. I used a few in a necklace, which you can see below.
20 Pieces 15 x 10 mm Leaf Links
I think I have these in other colors already (I went on a leaf and vine and flower buying binge on Etsy a year or so ago). I might try to rivet them to a metal cuff bracelet since I need some practice with riveting, and perhaps add some metal flowers to go along with them. Alternatively, you could connect them to other elements or to each other with jump rings.
20 Pieces 7mm Leaf Beads
These are cute. These are small enough to be used as charms on a charm bracelet, though the holes are quite large so you would have to put a seed bead or something on your headpin before adding these. Alternatively, these could also be strung on 1 mm leather (I think) or possibly be incorporated into macrame.
7.5″ Strand 6mm Silver Leaf Jasper Round Beads
There are so many kinds of jasper. So many. This one has an interesting banding pattern with a nice, greyish green background color. Because these have a shiny finish, they might provide an interesting contrast to the Chinese crystal rondelles from earlier. You could even just make a simple knotted bracelet with them. I think these do look good with copper but would also look good with brass findings.
7.5″ Strand 4 x 3 mm Chinese Crystal Beads, Matte Goldenrod AB
The AB coating is really doing something for me here. I like it a lot. I think it makes these beads much more interesting, and it kind of changes depending on the angle of the light. Plus, since these are relatively small, you get a lot of them. I’m starting to see some patterns that use small rondelles, so that’s one option for these.
20 Pieces 7 mm Leaf Bead Caps
Bead caps show up in this subscription pretty often. These have a leaf pattern that matches the overall theme. When I make strung designs with Bargain Bead Box items, I do tend to add the bead caps in as they can really add some visual interest to the design.
40 mm Oval Leaf Pendant
I like the texture here. I am kind of tempted to wire some seed beads in the empty area, or otherwise pair this with green somehow. You’ll usually get some pendants with this subscription and this one is on the smaller side compared to what you typically receive. (Honestly that is fine by me as I tend to wear more delicate pieces on a day-to-day basis.)
1 m 5 mm Steel Oval Jewelry Chain
Chain is something you tend to get every month as well. This is steel so it may mar your regular jewelry wire cutters. However, the links are not soldered, so instead of cutting, if you want, you can just open the desired link with pliers (similar to what you would do with a jump ring) and no cutting is required. I used some of this in a necklace.
12 Pieces 10 mm Crystal Faceted Half-Matte Barrel Beads, Green Iris
Here are some larger Chinese crystal beads. I love the facets here, that is not a facet shape you see very often at all. These go really well with the greyish green rondelles from earlier, or would also work strung alongside some semiprecious rounds of a similar size.
7.5″ Strand 10 mm Gemstones, Chrysanthemum Jasper or Coffee Agate
I don’t actually know for sure which stone I got. I think agates are more often translucent and jaspers are more often opaque, but it is sort of a continuum, and both stones are closely related, so I’m going to guess this is the jasper but I could be wrong. (Having just Googled both types of stone, I’m pretty sure my guess was correct.) Anyway, I’ve been wanting to work with more large gemstone beads lately so these 10 mm rounds are welcome.
5 Pieces 27 – 40 mm Red Agate Oval Drop Beads
I promise, after the earlier discussion of agate and translucency, that these are actually kind of translucent. Anyway, I love the banding on these, and I knew when I saw them that I wanted to use them in a piece of jewelry this month. You can see the necklace I made with them below. I wish I could find some more of these, or some other stones in the same shape, because I think they are cool.
2 Pieces 32 mm Leaf Pendants
Here are some metal leaf pendants if that is more your style. These would probably work for earrings but you wouldn’t want to add too much or they’d be a little heavy. I think the texture on their surfaces is really cool.
2 Pieces 28 mm Tree Chandelier Focals
There are a lot of stringing possibilities here besides the obvious loops in the trunks. You could, of course, make earrings, but I also like to use findings like this to make multistrand necklaces, Y-necklaces, and the like.
Here is a necklace I made using the agate drops, some of the Chinese crystal rondelles, the chain, and one of the clasps. The only things I added from my own stash were a few jump rings and some headpins. I went through a variety of options for stringing in my head but the headpins ended up working out all right.
Verdict: I did not calculate a value for Bargain Bead Box, as explained above. The information sheet gives a retail value of about $63 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 November 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 October 2019 Bargain Bead Box? Do you subscribe to any beading or craft boxes?