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BeadCrate Subscription Box Review – February 2020

BeadCrate is a monthly subscription box for beading enthusiasts. Choose from “The Enthusiast” for $18.99 a month or “The Collector” for $35 a month. You can also buy a single box to see if this subscription is for you.

This is a review of “The Enthusiast,” which is $18.99/month + $5 shipping.

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

About BeadCrate

The Subscription Box: BeadCrate

The Cost: $18.99 a month + $5 shipping. Save with longer subscriptions.

The Products: A selection of beads curated around a monthly theme (or beads that are just cool and random).

Ships to: The US (free for “The Collector,” $5 for “The Enthusiast”)

BeadCrate February 2020 Review

BeadCrate is great for stash-building if you are into seed beads and Czech glass, and you’ll also usually get some useful supplies:

This letter/information sheet accompanied the shipment. This month’s theme “Candy” and there are tons of fun, bright colors.

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!

10 mm Firepolished Rounds, Opal Pink (Czech glass, 4)

Love this bubblegum pink color! I’m not sure what I’ll do with these yet but I have several sorting trays full of pink beads that I can use them with. I have been wanting to work with larger beads lately so 10 mm is a great size for me since I usually go with 3, 4, or 6 mm beads.

Heavy Weight White Nylon Thread (USA made, 14 yards)

There was a note on the information card that this thread won’t fit through the needles (see below) but there are still a lot of possibilities for it, like warping a bead loom or possibly making wrap bracelets. I like to keep lots of different types of threads and cords on hand because you never know when one of them will be just what you’re looking for.

14 mm Etched Jet Sliperit 2-Hole Coins (Czech glass, 2)

I really liked these a lot and thought I should get some more and then I was organizing my stash over the weekend and realized I had had that thought at some point in the past because I already had a whole bunch of these, including some in this color. I used these two in some earrings and may go back and make something matching with the remainder from my stash.

12 mm Mango 2-Hole Sunflowers (Czech glass, 4)

I have a few other 2-hole sunflowers but I think none in this color. I sometimes struggle with how to use larger 2-hole beads but one simple possibility is just using them as spacers in a 2-strand bracelet.

6 x 10 mm Amethyst Twisted Barrels (Czech glass, 20)

This is a pretty color but I haven’t used these yet. They would be very easy to just put into a strung design but I think I’d like to come up with something more interesting for them. They kind of go with the smaller firepolished beads this month, as well (see below).

3 mm Firepolished Rounds, Light Amethyst (Czech glass, 50)

You’ll usually get a full strand or two of firepolished rounds in this subscription. I used a good number of these in a pair of earrings, which you can see below. (Lest you get too concerned at all the beads I’m using in earrings, I made three pairs, so there won’t be any monstrous combination of all the items in the box into one item.)

4 mm Firepolished Rounds, Matte Jet (Czech glass, 50)

Somehow matte jet beads look blacker than shiny jet beads. Anyway, these proved to work nicely in the earring idea I had for the 3 mm rounds just above. These are a handy shape, size, and color to have in one’s stash.

Jelly Bean Mix Quartz Ovals (Czech glass, 14 g)

I thought these were wonderful and had an idea for them almost immediately. I wish I knew where they came from so I could get my hands on more.

4 mm Matte Brown Sugar Glass Pearls (Czech glass, 50)

Here is another basic bead. These will be good in patterns, where 4 mm rounds can often be used in place of firepolished rounds or bicone crystals. This color needs to go with some vibrant blues or greens to liven it up a bit, though.

10 x 8 mm Rosaline Leaves (Czech glass, 25)

I’ve been collecting a lot of beads in this shade, lately. I need to look around for some new ideas for leaf beads (I’m open for suggestions). In the meantime, these might work well in beaded fringe.

8 mm Lemon AB Bicones (Czech glass, 25)

I have a bunch of colors of these in 6 mm but I didn’t even know they came in 8 mm. Now I’m going to have to go off searching for them in 10 mm to add to my collection. The AB coating does make them pretty candy-like, doesn’t it?

Toho 8/0 Metallic Iris Purple (Japanese glass, 2.5″ tube)

You’ll typically get one type of seed beads with this subscription. Often they are size 11/0 but every now and then you will get 8/0. One nice thing about 8/0 is that a jump ring will fit through the hole, and I did use that to my advantage in the projects I completed for this box. This is a great color, too, or at least I think so.

 

ColorEyes #11 Beading Needles (6)

Beading needles are always welcome (you do often receive one or two supplies in BeadCrate). I like the color coding here, because it’s a way to tell at a glance whether they’re the size you want for a project. I happen to be a #12 Tulip needle gal, myself, but Tulip needles are expensive and I tend to lose track of them so these will see a lot of use.

 

I made three pairs of earrings this month. I used some of the pressed oval beads for the first set. I just added them to headpins or eyepins and made loops, then added jump rings to connect the loops, and put some earring posts on them. These are TierraCast earring posts and can be found in many beading stores although a sticker on the package tells me they are from Fusion Beads (out of stock now, but other styles are available).

 

Here is a second pair of earrings. I started just stringing and then added the coin bead, went around the bottom, and back up through the second hole. Then I did it again but skipped the middle bead on the bottom so it would stand out more. The project was completed by attaching the earrings to the earring hooks using a jump ring as shown.

 

I got this idea from a blog. The earring hoops came from Goody Beads and are still available in at least two colors. Other than that it’s just brick stitching around a circle. Here is a basic tutorial for going around a circle; with these, just stop a little sooner!

Verdict: I did not calculate a value for BeadCrate, as explained above in my note about prices. If you divide the cost of the box plus shipping by the number of items (I counted 13), you get about $1.84 per item. I wear a lot of bright colors, so this month’s beads were perfect for me. I will have to see if I can find more of those ovals, too, because I have a lot of ideas for them.

Please note that no directions are given and you have to supply your own needles, stringing materials, tools, and findings. 

To Wrap Up:

Can you still get this box if you sign up today? Your subscription would likely start with the March box. Destash items and excess inventory (and sometimes whole boxes) may occasionally be available in the BeadCrate Etsy shop.

Value Breakdown: At $23.99 for this subscription (counting shipping), you are paying about $1.84 per item.

Check out my past BeadCrate reviews and visit the Craft Subscription Box List for more great beading, craft supply, and DIY project boxes.

Keep Track of Your Subscriptions: Add this box to your subscription list or wishlist!

What did you think of the February 2020 BeadCrate? 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 BeadCrate Reviews, Craft Subscription Boxes, Subscription Box Reviews, Subscription Boxes for Women| Tags: beadcrate | 3 comments

Comments (3)

  1. Ragan, I really enjoy your reviews of this sub. You take great photos of the beads. I love your description of each and every item and the ideas that you present as I read along. I feel like you’re taking me along on your beading journey with you. I can’t see to bead anymore but I spent decades doing it and I miss it. Thanks for letting me enjoy your creativity and enjoying you unveil what comes in BeadCrate boxes, they do send beautiful beads.

  2. As someone who has been collecting beads and making jewelry for over two decades, this is not the best deal. Nor are these anywhere near the best beads you can get. Go online and check out bead shops. A lot of them have no cost for shipping and the variety is awesome.

    The nylon thread shown here won’t last long and will split and break. If you really want to bead get Nymo thread or fireline thread.

    • If you would prefer to pick out your own beads then subscription boxes probably aren’t for you. I spend hundreds of dollars per month on jewelry-making supplies of my choice but I still like getting surprises every now and then and I also like the challenge of coming up with a design using colors and shapes I wouldn’t normally be drawn to — I think it expands my creativity.

      The nylon thread isn’t meant as a replacement for nymo (which does split and which also doesn’t last decades, as mine from the late 90s is not in good shape) or Fireline, as noted in the review — it’s far too thick for that, which is why I offered some alternatives (micro-macrame would also be a good suggestion for it).

      The beads are generally Preciosa, sometimes Matubo, sometimes Starman/Czechmates, and Toho, as well as occasional TierraCast items (thought not this month) so they are good quality and known brands.

      Most bead shops won’t give you free shipping for under $20 orders. Fire Mountain doesn’t do free shipping at all, Shipwreck Beads has a handling fee and only does free shipping for newsletter subscribers, and it’s a $35 minimum at Goody Beads and usually a $75 minimum at Potomac.

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