BeadCrate Subscription Box Review – May 2020
BeadCrate is a monthly subscription box for beading enthusiasts. They offer “The Enthusiast” for $18.99 a month + $5 shipping and “The Collector” for $35 a month + free shipping. 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 May 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 “Just Because” and the selections were pretty random.
14 x 10mm Luster Iris/Gray Pineapple Textured Ovals (Czech glass, 4)
I haven’t seen this particular shape before but I’ll bet it won’t be long before it starts popping up in different online shops. BeadCrate often has an item or two that is fairly new to the US market. I think the texture here is quite interesting and would provide great contrast with some smooth glass beads.
Toho 11/0 Transparent Light Amethyst (Japanese glass, 10g)
You’ll get seed beads in pretty much every box (well, once we got bugle beads instead). Size 11/0 is most common but you’ll sometimes receive other sizes. This is a good color for my stash and I used some of these in a bracelet this month.
3mm Firepolished Rounds, Peridot Vitrail (Czech glass, 50)
This is an unusual color/finish combination. Vitrail (the reflective coating on part of each bead) turns up more often on clear (aka “crystal” colored) glass beads. At any rate, this is a good size for patterns and, as an added bonus, the unusual color scheme may help tie some blues and greens together that you might otherwise not think of pairing up.
Aluminum Sort Trays (2 count)
It never fails, whenever we get these I don’t notice we received two until well after the photo session is complete. Haha. Anyway, these are always useful to have, especially in the midst of working on projects where your beads might roll away. Also I don’t mind getting them again because I can never find the ones I already have when I need them.
14 x 14mm Crystal White Flat Shells (Czech glass, 4)
I haven’t seen this shape before, either, but these have kind of a vintage feel. They remind me of givre finish beads, which you don’t see too often in new manufacturing today (and that’s too bad, givre beads are neat looking!). These are summery, too.
6mm Firepolished Rounds, Light Topaz (25)
Topaz is a color I don’t use often but I’ve been warming up to it lately. I am sort of picturing these with faux turquoise and faux coral as a third almost-primary color in a color scheme. We’ll see if I can find where I’ve put my faux turquoise, or possibly some real turquoise although I don’t have much of that.
10 x 6mm White Picasso 3-Cut Teardrops (Czech glass, 10)
I have not seen this shape before but these will go great with other items in my stash. The palette I’ve been collecting lately has a lot of Picasso finish beads and these look like they would be perfect in some fringe or as dangles.
8 x 3mm Luster Crystal Dime Beads (Czech glass, 24)
I really like flat circles for some reason, and this is a nice, basic color with a bit of an iridescent finish that could work in a winter design or as an accent bead at any time of year. I am picturing them with some silver-tone chain.
Color Eyes Beading Needles, Assorted Sizes – Retail Value $1.99
My favorite Tulip beading needles (size 12) seem to be in short supply these days (plus they’re also over $5 per needle) so it is nice to get some other needles to try. One thing these have going for them is that different sizes (10, 11, 12) have different colored eyes for easy identification. (That is a drawback of the Tulip needles, I have to line all the ones from my multi pack up together and try to decide which one is thinner.)
4mm Firepolished Rounds, Sueded Gold Lame (Czech glass, 50)
I used a bunch of these in a bracelet this month. 4mm firepolished rounds are classic and also quite useful in right-angle weave, beadweaving patterns, etc. I am a fan of the sueded gold finish; I have a lot of other sueded gold beads (with different base colors) as well.
6 x 4mm Montana Blue Rice Beads (Czech glass, 50)
I also used these in my bracelet. I liked the look of the 4mm firepolished rounds and the rice beads together when I took the photo of all the items for the box, so I challenged myself to use them together. You can see the results below.
9mm Alexandrite Flat Squares (Czech glass, 24)
Ooh, alexandrite glass. This has a little bit of the rare earth element neodymium in it, which changes color in natural versus fluorescent light. Anyway, in addition to neodymium glass, I am also somewhat obsessed with flat square beads, so I like these for two different reasons! Not sure how I will use them yet but I have been accumulating some other neodymium glass and maybe I can use it all together.
4mm Matte Cobalt Rounds (Czech glass, 100)
These are simple and basic but very, very useful. I have bought a fair number of semiprecious gemstone beads lately, some of which are 4mm rounds, so these would be great spacers in strung designs with similarly-sized beads. They’re also good in patterns, for example, where they can be used when called for or as substitutes for 4mm firepolished rounds and/or 4mm bicone crystals. Also this color is just pretty.
Here is something I tried this month:
I wanted to do right angle weave but that (just the sueded gold and Montana blue beads together) is kind of plain so I thought I would try to embellish it. I think the size 11/0 seed beads are a little too large for the effect I wanted, but I had to try it out to see that. Anyway, it was good practice and I have learned a few lessons. Also wire guardians are great for ending strands like this — your jump rings can’t fall off the thread.
Here is the finished piece.
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. Even though the selections were all over the place, I was able to put together a decent color scheme and play around with a technique I’ve been wanting to try, and also I have such a massive stash I am guaranteed to find items to match everything, so I am happy.
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 June box, which is now open until 06/06/2020. The shipping window is June 7th-13th due to COVID-19 delays. 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 May 2020 BeadCrate? Do you subscribe to any beading or craft boxes?