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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 March 2020 "Cherry Blossom" Review
Bargain Bead Box always includes a few clasps and other findings in matching metal tones; this month they were in a silver 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.
10 Yard Spool 0.38 mm Nylon Coated Steel Beading Wire
This is new and different for Bargain Bead Box. Usually we get chain but this month we got a stringing material. In an effort to clean up my living room I had put most of my beading wire away in an upstairs closet and it's not easy to get to, so this will be handy to have around. I did use some of it in a necklace this month and it worked well even though it is unbranded.
40 Pieces 6 x 3 mm Steel Rhinestone Rondelle Spacer Beads
I just bought a whole bunch of these with Swarovski crystals but the nice thing here is you can do more with them since there are more (the Swarovski ones were expensive so I only have a few of each style). I used quite a few of these in a necklace this month. All the stones stayed in place during shipment from what I can tell.
4 Pieces 31 mm Floral Branch Drops
There are usually some charms in this subscription. These are a bit large for charms but might work as small pendants or earrings. They are definitely theme-appropriate.
7.5" Strand 8 mm Cherry Quartz Matte Glass Round Beads
Cherry quartz is a trade name for a particular color of glass. These are interesting because the variation in color makes it resemble actual gemstone more closely. Matte finishes seem to be trendy these days, too. I used some of these in a necklace.
15" Strand 6 mm Cherry Quartz Glass Round Beads
Here is more "cherry quartz" but in a shiny finish. I also used some of these this month. (You can see my necklace below.)
50 Pieces 2.5 mm Brass Crimp Beads
These go nicely with the wire. They are the right size for it (this matters) and they seem to hold well because I used a couple in my necklace.
20 Pieces 8.5 mm Flower Bead Caps
You'll get a lot of bead caps with this subscription. I want to find some decorative headpins and make little dangles out of these with brightly-colored centers, perhaps in a charm bracelet or some earrings.
5 Sets Modern Floral Accent Toggle Clasps
You'll get clasps pretty much every month with this subscription, so it's good as a stash-builder. I used one of these in my necklace this month. These are a good size for necklaces but might also work for heavy bracelets.
12" Strand 12 x 10.5 mm Pressed Glass Leaf Beads, Crystal AB
Here are some leaves to go with all the petals and flowers. These have an AB coating that looks particularly pink or orange to me but it may be reflecting off the paint in my dining room (where I take photos), which is red. Not sure how I will use this yet but the color makes them pretty versatile.
4 Pieces 14.5 x 13.5 mm Textured Rose Coin Beads
You'll usually get a few metal accent beads. Often they are smaller and you receive more, so these are kind of nice, just for something different. I have some bracelet ideas involving these, perhaps with some pink glass disc-shaped beads in between. We will see.
5 Grams 35 mm Steel Headpins
These are handy, too. The heads are a little off-center but they work well enough. I used one in my necklace this month and I made about the best dangle loop I've ever done with it!
20 Pieces 19 x 16 mm Nickel-Free Steel Hook Earwires
This is a month with a lot of findings, but that's OK. If this is a new subscription for you, it can be very helpful for building your stash, because you get a lot of things in the same metal tone that automatically go together. As it happens I accidentally purchased 500 pairs of silver-plated earwires from Fire Mountain Gems not too long ago (oops, haha, meant to get 50) so I may not need these for awhile, although they are a slightly different color, so they may be useful depending on what other bits I want to use to make earrings.
15" Strand 6 mm Natural Rhodochrosite Round Gemstone Beads
Here are some real gemstone rounds; you'll usually get at least one or two types of gemstone beads in this box, sometimes more. I used some of these in my necklace as well.
10 Pieces 13 x 17 mm Dual-Sided Blossom Charms
These are very lightweight. It turns out they are some kind of coated resin; Bargain Bead Box promises to not send plastic so they sent out a whole email about this, letting us know the factory sent the wrong ones (the factory also makes metal ones, which were ordered, though these apparently have the same retail value). I appreciate the honesty. I don't mind the light weight because it opens up possibilities for these like using several in earrings, whereas that might not have worked if they were heavy.
3 Pieces 29 x 22 mm Flower and Vine Connector Components
These can be used as multi-strand connectors or possibly even chandelier earring findings. I've also seen these used to make pendants (just add dangles to the loops). So there are a lot of possibilities.
10 Piece Strand 12 mm Hand-Carved Shell Flower Beads
I like these, but I've been into shell beads lately. These are sturdy but still delicate. I used one in my necklace but I have plenty left to play around with.
1 Piece 36 mm Cherry Quartz Glass/Shell/Rhinestone Focal
You'll usually get a large pendant (or two) in this subscription. This is actually pretty small by Bargain Bead Box standards. I haven't decided how I will use it yet although I do note that it looks good with the other cherry quartz from this month.
7" Strand 10 mm Cherry Quartz Glass Faceted Round
Here is some larger cherry quartz. I've been trying to work with more beads that are large lately, and 10 mm is pretty big. I also like the faceting. I haven't used these yet but there are enough for me to make a bracelet, perhaps with some spacers for visual interest.
Here's how I made my necklace this month. Note that I don't remember where the chain came from but it was probably an Etsy purchase. Anyway, first I added a clasp to the wire using one of the crimps, then strung beads in a straight line in a pattern I liked. I made a dangle with a headpin and one shell flower and attached it to the end of the strand. Then I attached my chain to the other end of the clasp (it was unsoldered so I just opened and closed and didn't need a jump ring) and also to a point midway down the beaded strand.
And here is the necklace since it might not have been obvious from the project photos what I was going for. I saw a picture of something like this recently and thought I would try it. It's a little tricky to get the lengths right since the chain and beaded strand don't hang exactly the same way, but I think it turned 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 $59 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. The box was a little different this month, with crimps and beading wire and earring hooks, but I think that is all right. It's different enough to be interesting, but it's still useful for lots of projects. I thought the overall color scheme was definitely springlike and seasonally appropriate, even though I'm sure a lot of us are stuck inside at the moment.
Please note that no directions are given and you have to supply your own needles, stringing materials, tools, etc. and come up with your own project.
To Wrap Up:
Can you still get this box if you sign up today? No, you would receive the April 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 less than $1 per item.
Keep Track of Your Subscriptions: Add this box to your subscription list or wishlist!
What did you think of the March 2020 Bargain Bead Box? Do you subscribe to any beading or craft boxes?