Bargain Bead Box Subscription Review – January 2020
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, and worldwide for a low cost. Contact Bargain Bead Box for affordable international rates.
Bargain Bead Box January 2020 “Regal” Review
Bargain Bead Box always includes a few clasps and other findings in matching metal tones; this month they were in an antiqued copper 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. 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.
45 x 30 mm Chandelier Focal Component
There were a couple of different chandelier components this month. I have seen some example necklaces using more than one, so I wanted to try that. You can see what I did below.
10 g 16 mm Scrolled Flower Links
Charms and links are fairly regular inclusions in this box. These are small enough to go in a delicate bracelet or even earrings (or both, since there are a lot of them here).
3 Sets 25 mm Teardrop Toggle Clasps
You always get clasps with this subscription, most often toggles. These are on the large side and are better suited for necklaces than bracelets. I used one in this month’s project, which you can see below.
7″ Strand 4 mm Finely Faceted Lapis Lazuli Round Beads
These are cute. I used a number of them in my project this month. I made them into dangles on headpins. I didn’t want to go too large with the dangles because the focal pieces are already kind of big, but these worked well for what I wanted.
4 Pieces 27 mm Teardrop Chandelier Findings
The first thing I think of when I see this is earrings. But they could also work in a necklace as a way to go from one strand to three, or even as pendants. Since there are 4, you can try more than one thing with them, as well.
6″ Strand 4 mm Crystal Coin Beads, Aqua Green AB
Chinese crystal is a regular inclusion in this box. It is an inexpensive way to get a lot of sparkle, and there is usually enough that you can even do beadweaving with it if you want to. I am not sure how I will use these yet but I like getting a slightly different shape than usual and I think the color is great.
5 Pieces 12 mm Crystal Oval Matte Window Beads
These have an interesting faceting pattern and they are somewhat larger than the Chinese crystal we typically receive. They might look nice strung with some faux pearls and maybe a few silver-tone spacers in a bracelet.
38 mm Chandelier Focal
Here is this month’s other focal. (You will often receive large focals in this subscription. I tend to go for daintier jewelry so I don’t always use them for my projects for reviews here, but every now and then I like to challenge myself. I think I came up with something good for this one!)
10 g 4.5 x 3.5 mm Bumpy Spacer Beads
Metal spacer beads are pretty common with this subscription as well. The bumps on these are kind of echoed in some of the other metal beads for the month, and they are a good size considering what else came in the box. Plus there are a lot of them!
7.5″ Strand 8 mm Agate Beads, Royal Blue
You’ll usually get semiprecious gemstones in this box, a lot of agates and jaspers (hey, you’re not going to get genuine larimar or amber in a box that’s $17.95 per month). I like how the dye here brings out the natural banding in the agate.
1 m 5.7 mm Figaro Steel Jewelry Chain
The picture doesn’t show the link shapes as well as I’d like but I did use this in my project this month and you can see that a little better there. Because this is steel, you should use some industrial pliers to cut it as your regular jewelry pliers might be marred by the hard material.
8″ Strand 8 x 6 mm Crystal Rondelle Beads, Matte Midnight Metallic
I really like how the half-silver coating on the matte beads (I’d call these cobalt rather than midnight, but whatever) looks. These are a little big for most patterns but would work quite well in strung designs.
45 mm Agate Teardrop Pendant, True Blue
I love the teardrop shape but I already used two focals in this month’s piece, plus I have been using a lot of gemstone teardrops in previous months’ pieces, so I wanted to try something different and I haven’t used this yet. It might be good for practicing wire-wrapping, though.
9 Pieces 15 x 12 mm Dotted Flower Charms
Although I think these go quite nicely with the copper focals, I haven’t used them yet. But not to worry, I have numerous similar copper focals in my stash so these will get used pretty soon.
5 Pieces 17 mm Handmade Glazed Porcelain Twist Beads
These are a little bigger and I may play around with stringing them on some thicker cord or leather or fake leather as the hole size will definitely permit that. I just need to stock up on some other large-hole beads first!
6.5″ Strand 5 mm Siankiang Turquoise Heishi Beads
Heishi beads are usually discs so getting these square ones was fun. I am probably going to use these along with some similar diameter beads in a strung design to add some textural interest.
15″ Strand 6 mm Agate Round Beads, Midnight Blue
Here’s some more agate in a slightly smaller size with a slightly different color of dye. (This is not a natural color for agate.) Once again I especially love the ones with natural banding showing — I think the dye enhances that nicely.
50 Pieces 5.5 mm Star Bead Cap
And, it just wouldn’t be Bargain Bead Box without bead caps. These are on the smaller side but would work well with the 6 mm agate beads, or probably also with some leftover beads from previous months’ boxes. There are quite a lot of these, which is great.
There’s really not much to this. I found some headpins and jump rings in my stash and went to work. I just made little dangles out of some of the lapis beads, at which point I realized the headpins were really cheaply made, but I guess that gives the piece a bit more of a rustic look overall. Then I connected the two chandelier components together and added one of the clasps. (Also you can see the chain better in these images.)
Here’s the necklace I made this month. I used the clasp, chain, both metal focals, and the lapis beads from this box and only added jump rings and headpins from my stash. (It is good to have both in a variety of metal finishes if you are going to subscribe to this box.)
Verdict: I did not calculate a value for Bargain Bead Box, as explained above. The information sheet gives a retail value of about $66 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 less than $1 per item since the price is $17.95 and there were 18 items this month. And THAT is a pretty good deal. I am not normally one for huge pendants but I actually like what I came up with this month quite a bit, even though it is outside of my comfort zone.
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 February 2020 box as your first one if you sign up before the 9th, 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 January 2020 Bargain Bead Box? Do you subscribe to any beading or craft boxes?