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BeadCrate Subscription Box Review – July 2020

BeadCrate is a monthly subscription box for beading enthusiasts. They usually offer “The Enthusiast” for $18.99 a month  + $5 shipping and “The Collector” for $35 a month + free shipping. However, as of publication, only “The Collector” is available. 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.)

About BeadCrate

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 July 2020 Review

BeadCrate is great for stash-building if you are into seed beads and Czech glass, and you’ll also often get some useful supplies:

This letter/information sheet accompanied the shipment. This month’s theme is “Beachcomber” which I guess is popular this month because Bargain Bead Box had the same theme! But the beads were different.

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.

1 mm Natural Waxed Cotton Cord (2 yards)

I haven’t used much waxed cord in the past but I thought I would try something with this. My original idea didn’t end up working because the cord diameter was too thick to go through the firepolished beads. However, I came up with something else that I ended up liking quite a bit — you can see some pictures below. One thing about this stuff is, it knots really well, so you don’t need to use glue or crimps to keep things in place.

9 mm Aquamarine Fluted Firepolished Beads (Czech glass, 5)

I used a couple of these in a pair of earrings, which you can see below. The rest will go into my stash where I do have quite a lot of this color since it matches my preferred color palette of late (called “things that will look nice with copper”).

20 mm Crystal/Beige Matte Picasso Coins (Czech glass, 2)

I have not seen these before and I do a lot of bead shopping on Etsy and elsewhere. It is always fun to discover new things. These have one hole so you could string them, or you could bead around them like they were cabochons as they are a good size for a bold focal component.

13 mm Matte Topaz AB Cinnamon Buns (Czech glass, 4)

I have also not seen these before although it is impossible to keep up with all of the new pressed glass shapes coming out. I took the picture with one upside down so you could see the AB coating was only on one side. I realize these are called “cinnamon buns” on the information sheet while this box has a “beachcomber” theme, but I think they kind of resemble spiral shells, so they fit in.

19 x 18 mm Brass Plate Shell Charm (USA pewter, Tierracast)

You’ll usually get one charm or clasp or maybe some earring hooks. This time it is a shell charm. I like to include a single charm like this in some right-angle weave bracelets, near the clasp, just for fun, and I also have a lot of other sea-themed beads I could use with it if I decide to go a different route. (“Pewter” here refers to a lead-free alloy, of course.)

3 mm Firepolished Rounds, Saturated Metallic Ceylon Yellow (Czech glass, 50)

You’ll always get at least a few strands of Czech glass including firepolished rounds in a few sizes. I used some of these in a bracelet but I have plenty left over. These will be good in patterns.

6 mm Charcoal Glass Pearls (Czech glass, 25)

These are really pretty (I think) and would work in patterns or even just strung with some simple spacers (I think they’d look nice with silvertone spacers). Or I could string them along with some gemstones in the same size.

40 x 9 mm Blue/Pink Swirl Pendant Drop (Czech glass)

Here is another item I haven’t seen before. It is not always standard to get a pendant with this subscription (although you certainly will sometimes) but I feel to use this to its fullest effect I need to incorporate some beads into a necklace with it that match both of its colors. Maybe I can do kumihimo with some matching seed beads?

6 mm Firepolished Rounds, Matte Smoky Topaz (Czech glass, 25)

Here is another size of firepolished rounds. I also used these in a bracelet. I like the way they look with brass more than I thought I would so I may make a coordinating pair of earrings or something with a few more of these.

11/0 Toho Transparent Rainbow Gray Seed Beads (Japanese glass, 2.5″ tube)

You’ll almost always get seed beads (once it was bugle beads) with this subscription, usually size 8/0 or 11/0, usually Toho. This month we got size 11/0. I think the rainbow coating here makes these look a little blue, so I thought they went pretty well with the rondelles (see below) and the aquamarine beads from up above. Plus there was something I wanted to try with some earrings and these worked pretty well for that.

4 mm Firepolished Rounds, Sueded Gold Black Diamond (Czech glass, 50)

Here are some more firepolished rounds. (I know it says “sueded black gold diamond” on the information sheet but “sueded gold” is a finish and “black diamond” is a bead color so I think I’ve got it right here.) Anyway, I used a few of these in a bracelet, which you can see below.

4 mm Light Sapphire Rondelles (Czech glass, 100)

There are really quite a lot of these. I think they would make good spacers between gemstone beads in a related color family and I am starting to see some beadweaving patterns for them as well. I used a few in a pair of earrings this month, also.

48 x 13 mm Brass Plate Bamboo Link (USA pewter, Tierracast)

This is the second Tierracast item for the month. I really liked it and used it in a bracelet. I think it must be from a somewhat older collection as most of these were on back order or out of stock from places that sell them (I found a few in another color at Fire Mountain and a few on Etsy).

I made two projects this month:

 

I used Nymo (the spool) instead of Fireline because that tends to be more flexible for fringe. First I made a little loop of four seed beads and one rondelle, then I added an aqua fluted bead, and then I made looped seed bead fringe. After that I put a jump ring through the rondelle and added an earring hook. Gold-plated because it was in the first organizer I grabbed. You have to add all the beads before the jump ring because you can’t fit a needle through the rondelle with the jump ring already in place. But I was glad my jump rings fit through the rondelles because I don’t like using jump rings with loops of thread — too much of a chance for the beads to just fall completely off.

Here is my other project:

 

I had something different in mind when I started this but quickly realized that the 1 mm cord is too thick to go through the holes of the firepolished beads, so I came up with something different. This cord is pretty good for wrap-style bracelets because of the wax; the wrapping cord (well, Fireline here) can’t slide around. So I just tied cord to each side of the focal, then made a short wrapped segment, then finished off with a button and a loop. I did have a button in the same style as the link in my stash but it was the wrong finish so I found another Tierracast button with the antique brass finish instead. Also I gently bent the link to be a bit round (it was flat) so that it worked better in a bracelet for a small wrist. The “pewter” is pretty soft. Of course don’t repeatedly bend it, but a little one time is fine.

 

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. I ended up keeping the blues and the browns separated in my two pieces, but there were really a lot of different directions you could go with the box contents and that was fun. Plus, I learned about a couple of bead shapes I hadn’t noticed before!

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 August box. 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.

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 July 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 | 2 comments

Comments (2)

  1. Nice work on both pieces—I especially LOVE the earrings!

  2. I’m a raw beginner and am really enjoying beading. Always look forward to your reviews.

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