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BeadCrate Subscription Box Review – June 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 Collector,” which is $35/month + free shipping. 

My Subscription Addiction pays for this subscription. (Check out the review process post to learn more about how we review boxes.)

About BeadCrate

The Subscription Box: BeadCrate

The Cost: $35 a month + free 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 June 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 is “Happy Place” and the selections were lots of blues, pastels, and earth tones.

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.

3 mm Firepolished Rounds, Emerald, Czech Glass (50)

You’ll usually get some firepolished glass rounds in this subscription box, and since we reviewed “The Collector” version of BeadCrate this month, you get more different types of them than you would with “The Enthusiast.” These are a basic shape that will be useful in a lot of patterns, I just need to go through the folder on my hard drive and pick one. There are definitely enough here for earrings or a pendant.

Toho 11/0 Opaque Periwinkle Seed Beads, Japanese Glass (10 g)

You’ll also usually get seed beads in size 11/0 like these (most often) or sometimes size 8/0, which are a little bit larger. I used some of these in a bracelet, which you can see below. This is a nice, happy color for summer.

8 mm Medium Topaz Diagonal Cubes, Czech Glass (25)

I had an idea for these today based loosely on something in the most recent Beadwork magazine, but it involves bending wire, and I’m not very good at that, so I haven’t actually followed through with my idea yet. But I think it will look nice. I’ll probably use brass wire with these, maybe age it a bit with some liver of sulfur.

4 mm Rosaline AB Rounds, Czech Glass (100)

I used a lot of these this month, in two different projects. In addition to getting more types of beads in “The Collector” version of the box, you often get a higher number of some of the individual selections. Getting 100 of anything is great as it allows you to make coordinating pieces, or to do a whole large pattern like a bracelet instead of just a small pendant or something. I used these in two different projects, which you can see below.

6 x 6 mm Crystal/Aqua Bicones, Czech Glass (50)

Czech bicones are great to use if you don’t want the sharper lines of crystal beads but would rather have a softer look. These make me think of clouds in the sky on a summer afternoon so I need to figure out how to capture that in a necklace somehow.

7mm Czechmates Cabochons, Metallic Bronze Copper, Czech Glass (7 g)

You’ll also usually receive a “shaped” or 2-hole bead with BeadCrate and this month, we got these 7 mm 2-hole cabochon beads. I used some of them in a bracelet as I’d been wanting to try right-angle weave with 2-hole beads. You can see what I did with them below.

8 x 4 mm Aquamarine AB Flowers, Czech Glass (25)

Another good bead color and type for summer. I like to use flower beads like this in memory wire bracelets and stacked bracelets but I think I have enough of these in different colors in my stash to try something more complex this time. I’m forming an idea in my head as I type (but sometimes my ideas don’t work out, to be fair, so we will see how it goes).

2 mm Firepolished Rounds, Sueded Gold Amethyst, Czech Glass (50)

2 mm firepolished rounds are very small. I once made a tube out of beads this size, just big enough to go around my wrist, and it took more than a day. They’re barely bigger than size 6/0 or 8/0 seed beads. I like the sueded gold finish a lot, though, so I was happy to see it here. I used some of these in a bracelet.

6 mm Tierracast Antique Gold Happy Faces, US Pewter (3)

These are not normally something I would go for, but I had an idea for them so I used them in a simple bracelet that would be good for casual wear if I ever leave the house again (it’s not looking promising at the moment). At any rate, Tierracast is a well-known national brand and these are good quality.

4 mm Firepolished Rounds, Silver Lined Viridian, Czech Glass (50)

4 mm firepolished rounds are also very useful. These will be even more so because I have a bunch in this color already, having had an obsession with “viridian” beads earlier this year (or was it last year? the time all runs together), so I can make something bigger with them. Two colors were possible but I definitely got the viridian ones.

2 mm Milky Amethyst Rounds, Czech Glass (100)

Here are some tiny 2 mm rounds to go with the 2 mm firepolished beads from above. Both are in shades of purple so they work well together and because these are smooth and the others are faceted, they provide a nice textural contrast with one another. I used a few of these in a bracelet.

16 x 11 mm Tierracast Antique Silver Butterfly Wings, US Pewter (2)

Whenever I see two of something like this, I think of earrings, which is what I did with these. Just add some headpins and earwires (and a few beads, as you will see below). I guess it is a benefit of “The Collector” to get two Tierracast metal items instead of just one?

6 mm Firepolished Rounds, Luster Mix, Czech Glass (25)

I really like these colors and I think what I need to do with them is find some gemstone rounds in a similar palette and string them together. I am thinking the contrast of the relatively transparent glass beads would look great with some opaque semiprecious rounds. Just have to pick my stone but I have a lot to choose from in my stash.

12 mm Mixed Stone Rounds (4)

These are big. I’ve been wanting to use more large gemstone rounds lately so I was happy to see these. I’m just not sure what I want to do with them yet. I have tiny wrists so they’re probably not size appropriate for a bracelet (for me anyway) but they may work in a Y necklace or layered necklace.

12 x 10 mm Matte Milky Alexandrite AB 3 Petal Flowers, Czech Glass (8)

Some alexandrite glass changes color under different types of lighting but this doesn’t happen to be that kind of alexandrite glass. I know, because I always check in natural light versus fluorescent light. But some of the finishes on Czech glass beads make it hard to see the color change, or else “alexandrite” is being used for this shade of purple rather than color shifting glass with neodymium oxide in them. Anyway, I used a couple of these in some earrings.

Light Multi Mix, Czech Glass (100, various sizes)

Most of these are about the same size but you will notice some tiny yellow ones next to the regular-sized yellow ones. At any rate, I think I found about 7 different color/size combinations and I used them in some earrings with the 3-petal alexandrite flowers above.

4 mm Ethereal Mix Rounds, Czech Glass (50)

4 mm rounds are always useful, of course. These have an interesting ceramic look to them, almost like stone. I think these might look nice in a simple, multi-strand bracelet with some similar-sized metal rounds (brass?) in between.

4 mm Flower Jade Rounds (50)

“Jade” is often used as a trade name and isn’t really jade (which comes only as nephrite and jadeite varieties, which are both green), although I’m not sure what it actually is. However, I find this earthy mix of stones to be very pretty and I think these would look lovely with some brass chain and findings in a simple strung design.

I had some extra time on my hands so I made four things this month:

 

This is just a simple strung bracelet. I made sure to buy a bunch of gold-plated and sterling silver findings so that I would always have matching crimps, jump rings, etc. I put the beads on the stringing material first so I could make sure the happy faces were in the middle, then I added the clasp.

 

Here are some earrings. Most of the pink beads are the 4 mm rounds but the slightly larger ones at the top are from the multi-mix. Not much to say about the process of making these as you can basically see it in the images.

 

Here’s another pair of earrings. This time I cut a couple of short lengths of chain and made a bunch of dangles, which I then attached to the chain. I finished off with some leverback earwires from my stash.

Here I just did some beadweaving. I started with right-angle weave but decided it was plain so I added the seed beads for embellishment, which I think helped, although I probably would’ve chosen a different color if I didn’t want to stick with items from the box for this review. But, as you might have guessed, I have tons of other beads in these shapes in my stash so if I want to pursue this further I can just pick a different color combination.

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 18), you get about $1.94 per item. I had a lot of fun making things, as I think you can see, and I came up with both stringing and beadweaving/stitching projects this month. There were a lot of really different jumping off points, this month, but the collection still had a cohesive feel, I thought, and you could opt for easier/quicker projects like the first three I did, or something more time-consuming, like the last bracelet. You are really only limited by what you can come up with on your own and that can be as simple or as complex as you’d like.

Please note that no directions are given and you have to supply your own needles, stringing materials, tools, and findings.

Also good to know: BeadCrate shipped very late for June due to UPS losing track of a package that had a good portion of the month’s subscription box contents. But BeadCrate was proactive in responding to this by keeping subscribers up to date and pushing out renewals so you didn’t get charged for June and July before you’d even received June.

To Wrap Up:

Can you still get this box if you sign up today? Your subscription would likely start with the August box, since the July box shipping window closed July 6th. Destash items and excess inventory (and sometimes whole boxes) may occasionally be available in the BeadCrate Etsy shop.

Value Breakdown: At $35 for this subscription (counting shipping), you are paying about $1.94 per item.

Check out my past BeadCrate reviews and visit the Craft Subscription Box List for more great beading, craft supply, and DIY project boxes.

Keep Track of Your Subscriptions: Add this box to your subscription list or wishlist!

What did you think of the June 2020 BeadCrate? Do you subscribe to any beading or craft boxes?

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Written by Ragan Buckley

Ragan Buckley

Ragan stumbled across My Subscription Addiction in late 2013 and immediately subscribed to way too many beauty boxes. She’s now focused on boxes for her cats and dog, vegan/vegetarian food boxes, and craft subscriptions (and she didn’t give up beauty boxes entirely).

Posted in BeadCrate Reviews, Craft Subscription Boxes, Subscription Box Reviews, Subscription Boxes for Women| Tags: beadcrate | 1 comment

Comment (1)

  1. You are so creative. Always love to see what you come up with.

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