Bargain Bead Box Subscription Review – August 2020
My Subscription Addiction pays for this subscription. (Check out the review process post to learn more about how we review boxes.)
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 August 2020 “Elegance” Review
Bargain Bead Box always includes a few clasps and other findings in matching metal tones; this month they were in an bright brass 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.
100 Pieces 4mm Crystal Bicone Beads, Smoky Topaz
You’ll usually get some Chinese crystal in Bargain Bead Box. I’ve been really into the smoky topaz/smoky quartz color lately so these were fun to receive. You always receive enough for beadweaving but I used a smaller number of these in a pair of earrings this month, which you can see below.
1m 2.5mm Steel Rolo Jewelry Chain
Chain is something else you tend to accumulate a lot of with this subscription, but that’s OK because then I always have something on hand that’s appropriate for what I need. Rolo chain is good for charm bracelets. Chain in this subscription tends to be more on the delicate side than the chunky side and is usually plated steel, so use some industrial wire cutters or memory wire cutters instead of your regular jewelry wire cutters, so as not to mar your tools.
53 x 38mm Teardrop Chandelier Focal
There’s usually a big pendant or two in this subscription. I like all the circles here and have been thinking about ways to embellish this with seed beads. Not quite sure what I’ll do yet but I have some ideas.
2 Pieces 44 x 30mm Teardrop Top-Drilled Hoops
I used these in a pair of earrings this month, which you can see below. They are on the bulky side once embellished with beads but not too heavy, I think. It is useful to have some headpins or eyepins to use with these.
7″ Strand 8-9mm Natural Agate Matte Round Beads
We got lots of agate this month. That’s OK by me as I’ve been wanting to do more work with gemstones. Agate is inexpensive as gemstones go, but there was so much of it that there are numerous design possibilities, which just isn’t going to happen with a more expensive stone and a subscription at this price point. I think we got four strands of agate and some pendants with metal and agate — that’s quite a lot!
16″ Strand 6 x 4mm Faceted Crystal Rondelle Beads, Sea Opal
Here is some more Chinese crystal, which I also used in earrings this month. This was a nice finish for the overall collection but is pretty neutral and would work with a lot of other color schemes as well.
6 Pieces 33 x 16mm Curved Branch Pendant Links
You’ll get a variety of charms and links with this subscription. These are lightweight enough to be used in earrings or as delicate bracelet links. Although it would be possible to embellish them with beads, that’s not really how I see myself using these. Well, we will see.
7.5″ Strand Natural Botswana Agate Pebble Beads
I like Botswana agate. It has lovely grays and reds (and you can sometimes find shades of pink and orange in there as well) and I’ve also been really into nuggets, pebbles, and slabs lately, as opposed to just highly polished rounds, so these were fun to receive. I’m not sure how I will use them yet but I do think they look great with the yellow metal tones for this month’s package.
10 Piece Strand 12.5 x 4mm Crystal Bicone Beads, White Jade Luster Finish
This is a shape of Chinese crystal I don’t think I’ve seen before. These just call out to me to do some beadweaving, like maybe as the rungs in a right angle weave ladder or something of that nature. Be sure to use some thick beading thread with crystal beads (Chinese crystal on up through Swarovski) as they can have sharp edges.
50 Pieces 7mm Teardrop Fringe Beads
These are pretty tiny. I think they would make lovely dangles in a piece designed to highlight motion, but I didn’t have the patience this month to open a bunch of jump rings, so maybe I will use them at some point on down the road as earring dangles or in a very delicate bracelet.
4 Pieces 28mm Teardrop Chandelier Findings
These call out for a little bit larger dangles than the fringe beads above, I think, but there are a lot of possibilities from this month’s selections, especially some of the crystal beads (just add a headpin and make a loop). If you have subscribed to Bargain Bead Box for long, it is highly likely you already have some matching headpins, as they do get sent out every now and then.
100 Pieces 4.5 x 1.5mm Star Spacer Beads
I was actually thinking about buying some of these recently and then what do you know, but here they come? These are great between gemstone rounds to add some variety in finish and texture.
10 Pieces 10mm Faceted Crystal Round Beads, Matte Ice Blue
Even more crystal! These are a super light blue that almost looks gray and they are big. I think I might use them in a simple necklace or bracelet with some gemstone rounds in a similar color; since these are faceted, there is a subtle shape/texture difference when compared to smooth rounds that could be a lot of fun to work with.
3 Sets 18mm Rounded Square Toggle Clasps
This is one of the only subscriptions that consistently sends clasps. These are big and would work well with heavier necklaces, which is great since some of the gemstone beads this month are pretty large!
2 Pieces 22mm Infinity Links
These are more properly lopsided infinity links as both ends are different sizes. But I really like them. I think you could use them as connectors in a bracelet or necklace, or as earring dangles, either embellished with beads or not. There are a lot of possibilities here.
30 Pieces 6.5mm Classic 5 Petal Bead Caps
Bead caps are mainstays in this subscription. I never had many in my collection before but now I have a lot. These will be good with some gemstone rounds to add texture and finish variety. (In general, this is a great box if you like stringing projects, and bead caps are particularly useful for stringing projects.)
7″ Strand 6mm Frosted Red Agate Round Beads
Here’s some more agate with a bit more color. This has an interesting look next to the Botswana agate, which incorporates some of the same reds. Or for a change of pace, 6mm gemstone beads can be substituted into patterns for 6mm rounds or firepolished beads.
7″ Strand 8mm Natural Polished Agate Beads
Even more agate! I feel like I’m running out of things to say but I’m not used to getting this many different kinds of gemstone beads in the same package. (In general I would say the number of gemstones has increased in Bargain Bead Box over the last year or two. If you want to get a subscription box with lots of gemstones, this is totally your box.)
2 Pieces 26mm Brass Edged Faceted Natural Agate Teardrops
I like how the gray in these coordinates with some of this month’s other grays, although I ended up using these in earrings with Chinese crystal rather than other agate. But when I see two of something, earrings are always my first thought.
35mm Brass Edged Natural Gray Agate Teardrop Pendant
Here is another pendant that’s a bit more subtle than the large frame one with all the circles. I think this would look nice in a layered necklace or possibly just a single necklace with multiple tiers.
Here is what I came up with for this month:
I did brick stitch around part of the bead frame, just two rows, with the Chinese crystal bicones and rondelles. Then I made dangles from the smaller agate teardrops and some eyepins from my stash and attached earring hooks. I used 8 lb test thread (i.e., heavy) because I wanted to make sure it didn’t get cut by crystal edges. It was really hard to get through the needle but I found that if I used a size 10 needle and flattened the end of the thread with pliers, I could thread it. Another option would be to use a Japanese needle as those (e.g., Tulip brand) tend to have somewhat bigger eyes.
Here are my finished earrings.
Verdict: I did not calculate a value for Bargain Bead Box, as explained above. This month was all gray and gold (well, brass) with just a hint of red, which I think is a great combination. I was really impressed with the number of gemstone options this month and I will always be happy getting Botswana agate in a subscription box.
Please note that no directions are given and you usually have to supply your own needles, stringing materials, tools, etc. and come up with your own project(s).
To Wrap Up:
Can you still get this box if you sign up today? No, you would receive the September 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 about $0.90 per item.
Keep Track of Your Subscriptions: Add this box to your subscription list or wishlist!
What did you think of the August 2020 Bargain Bead Box? Do you subscribe to any beading or craft boxes?