BeadCrate Subscription Box Review – March 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.)
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 March 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 “Hippie Chick” and there are tons of colors with a late ’60s/early ’70s vibe.
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.
16 x 12 mm Matte Crystal Picasso Pear Drops (Czech glass, 3)
These are great as drops in earrings. I know you’re thinking “but there is an odd number of them” but I am almost certain I have a whole bunch more in my stash because I did buy a lot of this type of bead at one point in the recent past and this is totally in the color palette I would choose.
6 x 8 mm Twilight Crystal Flattened Ovals (Czech glass, 25)
I sometimes have a hard time coming up with things to do with beads like this, even though I really like them, but I was able to make use of a few in a bracelet this month. You can see it below.
Toho Bugle #1 Opaque Turquoise (Japanese glass, 2.5″ tube)
Usually in BeadCrate you will receive seed beads. This is the first time I can remember getting bugle beads instead. I had an idea for them and I ended up using almost all of them. I will discuss some ways to make my bracelet for larger wrist sizes down below because it only worked for me since I have 5.25″ circumference wrists.
3 mm Jonquil Rounds (Czech glass, 100)
3 mm rounds are great for use in patterns. I used a few in my bracelet as well. Dainty jewelry seems to be on-trend these days, at least if you look at what people are making and selling on Etsy. These would be a good color for the centers of flowers.
6 mm Firepolished Hyacinth Rounds (Czech glass, 25)
I’ve been into pink and orange a lot lately so I was happy to see these. “Hyacinth” is a pretty standard orange color for Czech glass and I have a lot of other hyacinth-colored beads so I know I have a lot that will coordinate with these.
3 mm Firepolished Rounds, Saturated Metallic Golden Lime (Czech glass, 50)
I am a fan of the saturated metallic colors. There are some new ones just out that I am waiting for in different shapes. But in the meantime, I am always happy to see existing colors showing up in bead subscription boxes. I used a few of these in a bracelet as well.
8 x 3 mm Crystal/Red/White Dime Beads (Czech glass, 25)
I think these are great but I am a fan of flat circles and other flat shapes. I am not sure how to use them yet although I might make dangles out of them on headpins and add them to a chain to make a necklace or bracelet. We will see.
9 x 6 mm Amethyst AB Tear Drops (Czech glass, 25)
I sort of feel like these need to go with a more formal piece of jewelry, I guess it’s the jewel tone that does it for me. They’d work in earring dangles or perhaps in a seed bead collar-style necklace. There are a lot of options.
0.55 mm 10 lb Test Natural Hemp Cord, Assorted Dark Colors (40 ft)
Of course you have to have some hemp cord in a hippie-themed box. I am kind of tempted to do some macrame now although I am about 20 years out of practice. But blue is so much more interesting than the plain brown cord I had when I was in college. This might look nice with some gemstones.
8 x 4 mm Luster Opaque Beige Flowers (Czech glass, 25)
I used a couple of these in a bracelet this month. Not sure what else to say about them except that I have a ton of these in my collection so I hope the ideas keep flowing.
9 mm Olive Flat Squares, Czech Glass (25)
I love flat squares, probably more even than flat circles. (I couldn’t tell you why.) This is great for my standard color palette, as well (which is, loosely, “things that look good with copper”). I think I will use these in a bracelet so they can lie flat.
4 mm Firepolished Hurricane Glass Rounds, Glowing Embers (Czech glass, 50)
Hurricane glass beads are fun and I like the name “glowing embers” although I’ve never seen that anywhere as an official color name. At any rate, these are pretty and I think they would look nice with some brass findings.
Tierracast 12 x 8 mm Antique Silver Small Blossom Charms (USA pewter)
You’ll often get a Tierracast or Amoracast finding or charm and these are the ones we received this month (I guess we get two because they are small). I like to use little charms near the clasps of bracelets (just putting that out there since I want to suggest something other than earrings for once).
Here’s a bracelet I made. The beading wire, jump rings, crimps, and clasp are from my stash. This is very similar to the project from Darn Good Beads for the month (which is where I got the idea). First I added jump rings to all the loops on the clasp, then cut the beading wire (just guessed the length) and crimped three lengths of beading wire on each jump ring on one side of the clasp. Then I just strung beads, crimped the other end, and cut off the extra. Careful with crimping near the bugle beads — I broke one. Oops.
Note: I used almost all of the bugle beads, but I have tiny wrists (5.25″, as I think I said earlier). If your wrists are larger, here are things you can do so you don’t run out of bugle beads: (1) use a clasp with 2 or 3 loops instead of 4, (2) attach fewer than 3 lengths of beading wire to each jump ring
Here is the finished project:
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 am normally not one for doing a lot of stringing projects but this was a bit faster since bugle beads are longer than seed beads. I have pounds and pounds of inexpensive bugle beads from China and maybe a few pieces along these lines would be a good way to use them? Anyway, I like how this turned out and I still have a lot of fun beads to play with.
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 April 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.
Keep Track of Your Subscriptions: Add this box to your subscription list or wishlist!
What did you think of the March 2020 BeadCrate? Do you subscribe to any beading or craft boxes?