PotomacBeads Best Bead Box Review – June 2020
PotomacBeads Best Bead Box is a subscription box from the folks at PotomacBeads. They offer two versions, the Best Bead Box for $25.99 and the Best Bead Box XL for $39.99. (The XL version has two paper patterns and a PDF pattern and about twice the materials. Both boxes have links to video tutorials for additional projects using the included beads.) There is also a pattern subscription where you get 5 PDF patterns for $5 per month.
This is a review of the “Best Bead Box” for $25.99/month.
My Subscription Addiction paid for this box. (Check out the review process post to learn more about how we review boxes.)
About PotomacBeads Best Bead Box
The Subscription Box: PotomacBeads Best Bead Box
The Cost: $25.99 per month on a month-to-month basis; save with longer subscriptions
The Products: Materials and instructions to complete one beading/jewelry project, plus a lot of other fun beads and links to video tutorials with ideas on how to use them.
Ships to: The US (free) and worldwide ($4.99)
PotomacBeads Best Bead Box June 2020 Review
This is still a fairly new box but I am getting to know what to expect by now:
There was an information booklet that included a list of the items and a link to some video tutorials to give you more ideas. This month’s theme is “Serengeti Safari.”
On to the items:
Knotted and Wrapped Summer Jewelry Pattern
I haven’t shown the inside for intellectual property reasons. Anyway, you’ll get a printed pattern every month. This was a little different, with stringing/knotting projects, and 3 to choose from, instead of beadweaving, but it’s good to switch things up every now and then. I chose to make the necklace (the other choices were a knotted bracelet and a wrap bracelet) and you can see it at the end. Normally all the beads meant for the project are packaged together but I used the photo on the front of the pattern for inspiration and grabbed a few other kinds and I’m glad I did, or it would’ve been a lot of cord and not many beads for the necklace.
Waxed Linen Cord
This was useful for making the necklace. One thing I like about this, having never really worked with it much before, is that when you put knots in it, they stay there. (On the other hand, that means you have to get them right the first time…) One thing I’m not so fond of is that it coats your hands with a waxy residue when you’re working with it that even a good scrubbing with soap didn’t 100% remove. You can put this through the holes of firepolished beads without a needle, by the way.
20 Metal Spacers
We got two types of spacers this month, and I used these antique brass finish ones in my necklace because they matched the button and I wasn’t feeling like doing a mixed metal piece this time around, although that is certainly an option. The waxed linen cord was pretty easy to get through these.
10g Miyuki Seed Beads Size 2/0
You’ll get Miyuki seed beads every month with this subscription and these are unusual in that they are not size 11/0 or size 15/0. They are huge, at 2/0. But they have big enough holes to put the waxed linen through. For what it’s worth, a single knot in the waxed linen will fit inside these so what I did was put a bead with a smaller hole on either side when making my project this month.
This is meant to be used as a clasp for your knotted and/or wrapped jewelry this month. It matches the finish of one of the types of metal spacers and was pretty easy to work with. It’s nice to get all the components for a project in one package and not really have to supply anything (besides scissors), at least once in awhile.
20 Metal Spacers
Here is a different color of spacers. They also have holes big enough for the waxed linen. I just wasn’t feeling the mixed metal thing this month so I haven’t used these yet. I may find a silver tone button and try the same type of project with a different metal color. Why not?
5g Czech Faceted Beads, 4mm
I thought I was going to save these and do beadweaving but I ended up using them in this month’s project, instead. Although I am pretty sure I have a strand of these in the same exact color somewhere in my stash. Anyway, 4mm firepolished rounds are always useful.
4g RounDuo Beads
RounDuo beads are a PotomacBeads exclusive shape; you’ll usually get at least one such type of bead per month with this subscription. Sometimes they are for the pattern of the month and sometimes not. Anyway, crystal and metallics are good choices because they’ll go with about any color scheme.
5 Tiny Tassels
With tassels this small, I like to put them near the clasp of a bracelet. As it happens, I found a whole lot of neon Czech glass beads in my stash (as in light up with a blacklight) and also some uranium glass beads (which actually do contain a bit of uranium oxide and also light up with a blacklight) and I think these would go with either type.
2 Potomac Crystal Trillion Stones
You’ll usually get some Potomac crystal and this month we got quite a lot. First up are these trillion stones in settings. You can add these to beadweaving patterns or put wire through the holes on the back for some additional options. This Etsy shop has some good ideas of how to use wire with crystals already in settings.
4g Ginko Beads
Ginko beads are new within the last year or two and are available in so many odd colors, it’s honestly kind of nice to get a rather basic one. (Although don’t get me wrong, I like the odd colors too!) There are a ton of patterns out there if you come across some of these beads. You can filter the free patterns here to find some for ginko beads if you need some inspiration.
7g Czech Faceted Beads, 6mm
These are some summery two-tone firepolished rounds and I used all of these (well, like all but two of them) in my necklace as well. These are also a good size if you opt to go with the wrap bracelet project from the pattern booklet.
1 Silver Centerpiece
This subscription box usually includes some findings (I mean in addition to the button clasp this month). This is new and different for this subscription box. I see this sort of pendant a lot. Just get some chain and some headpins and you have a pretty quick necklace with some of these beads or just about any from your stash.
12 Potomac Crystal Slim Navettes
Here are some more crystals in settings. There are enough here that you could string them on a double-stranded bracelet if you wanted, or make some rings like at the link I put up with the trillion stones. There are absolutely tons of shapes and sizes of Potomac crystal available in settings. Here is the main category page on the Potomac website and the ones in settings are marked.
25 Potomac Crystal Rounds, 4mm
And here are some crystal rounds. I didn’t use these in my necklace but I probably could have. At any rate, this color fits into my stash well and these would be fun in a pattern.
Here are some shots of my work in progress. I tied the knots in random locations and I kind of like the effect. I started with the same beads on each strand but ran out of some by the end so I improvised.
And here is the finished piece.
Verdict: I did not calculate a value for the PotomacBeads Best Bead Box since, although they do sell many of the items in their shop, they are not always in the same quantities. I feel like this is a pretty representative month for the box, with some shaped beads and some Potomac crystals and some findings. The waxed linen cord was interesting but it was a great way to get me working with something I haven’t played with much before, and the project was actually quite easy and worked out well.
To Wrap Up:
Can you still get this box if you sign up today? No, you’ll most likely receive the July box.
Value Breakdown: At $25.99 per box, you are paying about $1.73 per item (I counted the pattern as an item since they do sell those).
Keep Track of Your Subscriptions: Add this box to your subscription list or wishlist!
What did you think of the June 2020 PotomacBeads Best Bead Box? Do you subscribe to any beading or craft boxes?