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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 May 2020 "Sea Breeze" Review
Bargain Bead Box always includes a few clasps and other findings in matching metal tones; this month they were in a gold 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.
15" Strand 8mm Frosted Amazonite Round Beads
I seem to remember from a recent update on shipping status that Bargain Bead Box is pairing with a lapidary company and I have definitely noticed more semiprecious stones showing up in this subscription lately. Frosted (usually referred to as matte) rounds are on trend based on what I've been seeing in promotional emails for bead companies, too. I opted for smaller beads this month but am looking forward to coming up with something to do with these as well.
5g 35mm Brass Eyepins, Gold Finish
You'll usually get some findings with this subscription. They may or may not be enough to make a finished piece. These would be good in a handmade beaded chain, or could be incorporated into some earrings.
10 Pieces 18 x 13mm Scrolled Links
I like hooking these together with jump rings and some smaller beads. (The eyepins might work that way, too.) You can make a bib-style necklace that's actually pretty lightweight that way. That's probably what I'll do with these.
17" Strand 4mm Crystal Bicone Beads, Blue Iris
You'll get some Chinese crystal pretty much every month with this subscription. This is one of several shapes we received. I used a lot of these in my necklace because I was looking for smaller beads to stay within a 1-2 mm size range for what I was doing. You can see them in my necklace below.
5.5" Strand 14 x 16mm Crystal Faceted Teardrop Beads, Turquoise AB
This is a crystal shape I don't think we've received before. I think they would make good earring dangles, perhaps with the chandelier components we received this month?
4 Pieces 14.5 x 13mm Fancy Chandeliers
Although these are called chandelier components on the information sheet, I used them as 1-to-3 strand (well, 2 strands in my case, but they have 3 loops) connectors, which you can see below. I do still have two left over that could be used for earrings.
1m 5.7 x 4mm and 3.2 x 2mm Steel Figaro Jewelry Chain
You'll get chain most months. This is a fun chain although very lightweight so I didn't use it in my necklace as I needed something more substantial. I think this might make really good chain tassels, though, so I'm going to try that.
7.5" Strand 4-5mm Semi-Round Cultured Freshwater Pearls
We don't receive pearls too often in this subscription so these are fun. I used them in my necklace this month although I do still have a few left over.
12" Strand 6mm Crystal Round Beads, Caribbean Blue
Here is yet a third type of crystal. I think I might like to string these with some 6mm round gemstone beads and, as luck would have it, I've been collecting a lot of 6mm gemstone rounds lately, so I will have my choice of coordinating stones.
30 Pieces 6.5mm Scalloped Bead Caps
Bead caps are a mainstay in this subscription and are especially good for adding some color contrast and shine if you like making simple strung designs. I went with smaller beads this month but these might be good either with the amazonite rounds or the Caribbean blue crystal rounds.
10g 3.5mm Faceted Barrel Spacer Beads
Metal spacer beads make frequent appearances in this box as well. These were right about at the diameter I wanted (I was going for 3-5 mm or so) so I used a bunch of them in my necklace. They have the shape of firepolished rounds but are a bit heavier.
2 Pieces Steel and Synthetic Druzy Links, Teal and Gold Finish
These are fun and I think I might make a simple chain bracelet or two with these as focals, or perhaps a matching bracelet and necklace (just trying to think outside the box as I don't always want to do earrings when I receive two identical items).
2 Pieces Steel and Natural Freeform Round Freshwater Pearl Links, Gold Finish
I really like these but they didn't have any for sale in the Bargain Bead Box shop. So, I only have these two to work with and I am trying to think of exactly how I want to use them. One of these days I will buy an electroforming machine and then I can make my own using coin pearls!
4 Sets 18.5 x 19.5 Classic Rope Accent Toggle Clasps
You'll always get clasps with this subscription and these will be easy to use in a lot of different projects. Of course I also used one in the necklace I made this month.
41mm Brass-Edged Natural Amazonite Teardrop Pendant
You'll usually get a big pendant or two. I don't always use the big pendants as I have trouble coming up with ideas for them, but I had a good idea for this one this month and I used it. You can see what I did below.
7" Strand 4 x 2.3mm Faceted Dyed Quartz Rondelle Beads, Teal
I've been really into small gemstone rondelles lately and was happy to see these. I'm not sure how colorfast the dye is so I would try not to get any jewelry made from them wet (or else spray them with a fixative from time to time). I used some of these in my necklace as well.
7.5" Strand 6mm Electroplated Agate Round Beads, Blue Iris
These are a little darker than the rest of the colors this month but still, I think they look really good against all the goldtone findings. I also kind of think the electroplating looks good with the finish on the bicone crystals, so I might try to use those together in a piece. We will see.
Here is a necklace I made this month. I just made it two strands. I put a jump ring on the pendant (would've preferred a pinch bail but couldn't find my bails) and then made a random mix of the pearls, bicone crystals, metal spacers, and quartz rondelles and strung even amounts on both sides. Then I attached it to the connectors. After that I made a shorter strand with just the random mix and attached that to the connectors as well. Then I cut some thick chain from my stash and attached it to the connectors and the clasp.
Here is the finished piece.
Verdict: I did not calculate a value for Bargain Bead Box, as explained above. The color palette really worked for me this month as it is one I have been collecting for awhile. I liked that there were a lot of small beads because that really allowed me to do the bead mix thing, which is a look I wanted with these colors, this month. There are still a lot of beads left over that I can use to make another piece or combine with my stash to expand the possibilities, too.
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 June 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 May 2020 Bargain Bead Box? Do you subscribe to any beading or craft boxes?