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Bargain Bead Box Subscription Review – September 2020

Ragan Buckley
ByRagan BuckleyOct 2, 2020 | 10 comments

Bargain Bead Box
5 overall rating
10 Ratings | 2 Reviews

Bargain Bead Box is a monthly DIY subscription promising over $50 worth of quality jewelry-making supplies every month.

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 for free, Canada for $3.50, and worldwide for a low cost. Contact Bargain Bead Box for affordable international rates.

Bargain Bead Box September 2020 "Fancy Forest" Review

Bargain Bead Box always includes a few clasps and other findings in matching metal tones; this month they were in an antique copper 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.

5 Pieces 18.5mm Round Tree Charms

You'll usually get a few charms, links, or other metal components with this subscription. These are perfect for the theme. They have the same image on both sides, too, which makes them easier to use (you don't have to worry about which way your piece hangs when worn). I used one in a bracelet, which you can see below.

100 Pieces 4mm Steel Spacer Beads

It is pretty standard to get some metal spacer beads in this subscription as well. Sometimes I use them as actual spacers in strung designs, although this month I wanted to do some bead weaving and there were enough for that so I used them in a right-angle weave bracelet. They have large holes that are compatible with a variety of stringing materials.

52mm Leaf Pendant

If you are into big pendants, this is the subscription for you. You will usually get at least one, sometimes two of them per month. This is the first one for this month. I haven't used this yet but what I am thinking I will do is make something to go in front, or layer it with another pendant, to achieve an effect kind of like a bunch of leaves, or leaves and flowers, or leaves and berries, or something of that nature.

3 Sets Bamboo-Style Toggle Clasps

One nice thing about this subscription is that clasps are always provided. (You still usually need to supply your own jump rings, headpins, and eyepins.) I did not end up using one of these in the bracelet I made because the scale was just off, my bracelet was pretty delicate and these are heavy duty. These would be great for heavy necklaces, though.

5 Pieces 14x18mm Oval Branch Beads

I think the variety of actual leaf-motif beads and charms this month was great. I like the look of these quite a bit. I think I'm going to dig up some Venetian lampwork glass beads with oranges and reds and make a bracelet. And if I can't find any in my stash it will be a great excuse to order from Venetian Bead Shop.

7" Strand 8mm Fancy Jasper Round Beads

There were a lot of fancy jasper this month. I don't think this was always the case, but at least in the last few years, Bargain Bead Box seems to be working with a lapidary in India to produce some gemstone beads for the subscription. (India is home to lots of talented gem cutters.) So anyway, you'll be seeing a lot of gemstone beads in this subscription, which is something that sets it apart from other bead subscription boxes. I'm probably going to make a wrap bracelet using these.

1m 5x3mm Steel Curb Jewelry Chain

You will get a lot of chain in this subscription, usually 1m per month in a finish that matches the findings in the package. You will get different styles but they are all typically on the more delicate side. I kind of want to use this to make a chain tassel, maybe mix in some recycled sari ribbon? I think that would be a fun project.

Tourmaline Tree of Life Pendant

This was listed as a bonus item because it has silver-tone metal instead of antique copper. But the information booklet was right, the multi-tourmalines here look great with the fancy jasper. This is just a little too big to use in a bracelet but I might make a simple gemstone chain necklace out of it (like where you put individual gemstones on eyepins and link them together to form a chain).

10g Bag of 16x10mm Round Tree Links

Here are some links that go great with some of the other antique copper charms and beads. These could simply be linked together to form a bracelet or you could do something with a chain on each loop to form an earring dangle where the tree was still in a horizontal orientation.

10 Pieces 13x10mm Glass Leaf Charms, Light Magma AB

I always have trouble coming up with ideas for using glass leaves so I made it a point to use a couple of these in this month's project. FYI, it is really hard to get a jump ring through the holes properly but I managed through trial and error of many individual jump rings as well as a little brute force (but be careful with that last part as you don't want to break the leaf).

50 Pieces 5.5mm Bumpy Star Bead Cap

I never used bead caps much before subscribing to this box but now I appreciate them a lot more. These are great for stringing projects, especially if you want to use a lot of the same type of bead but still provide a little texture difference or visual contrast. These also have large holes so they will work with lots of stringing material including leather or faux leather cord.

7" Strand 6x4mm Fancy Jasper Rondelle Beads

Here is more fancy jasper but in a different shape. I think the variation in bead color offers a lot of visual interest on its own and I might just make a simple strung necklace with these, maybe knotted (I find this can help with the overall drape of the piece). Not sure if I will use metal spacers or not.

7" Strand 10mm Fancy Jasper Round Beads

Here is our third strand of fancy jasper. I think I will use this in a wrap bracelet with the 8mm rounds. I like to change widths at several points in wrap bracelets, I just find I like the way it turns out when I do that. Also, these strands are only 7" so to have more than one wrap you would probably need to use both strands.

8" Strand 8x6mm Crystal Rondelle Beads, Green Iris

You'll usually get some Chinese crystal beads with this subscription. They are an affordable crystal bead alternative to Czech or Austrian crystal and they do have a lot of sparkle (just not quite the same precise faceting and not quite the same color availability as the more expensive crystals). I think this color is really pretty but I might just use it with some manmade sea glass (you can find that at Lima Beads or Cherry Tree Beads).

4 Pieces 32.5mm Chandelier Components

You could use these to make earrings if you wanted but sometimes I also like to use findings like this to transition from one to three strands in a multistrand necklace. These would be pretty big and bold for either use. (You can even try both since you receive four of these.)

5" Strand 4x3mm Crystal Coin Beads, Blue-Green Champagne

These are quite small and dainty and I think they might be great in bead weaving (some stitches, like right-angle weave, work perfectly well with non-seed-beads). They might look good with some aquamarine or amazonite, color-wise.

41mm Fancy Jasper Round Focal

These may vary a lot because they're large gemstone pendants (i.e., natural materials). I think the one I received is particularly pretty. I'm going to add some kind of bail to this and use it with some matching gemstones probably on leather cord; I just really like the look of gemstone and leather together.

100+ Piece Strand 4mm Crystal Bicone Beads, Peach Champagne Shimmer

Here is some more Chinese crystal. I used this in a bracelet this month but I have a lot leftover because the quantity here was really generous to begin with. Be sure to use thick, heavy beading thread if you're going to do bead-weaving with these, as crystals can have some sharp edges. Miyuki DuraLine seemed to work for me but we will see how it holds up over time.

14" Strand 3mm Garnet Finely Faceted Round Beads

I love these. They are so tiny. I have been really into both garnets and tiny gemstone beads lately so I knew when I saw these that I had to use them in whatever I made this month. You can see below what I did.

20 Pieces 6mm Crystal Polygon Beads, Slate Green Iris

At first, I assumed these were bicones, but they're not, they're actually an unusual cut that I don't see often, which makes me like them more. They are super-sparkly and have an interesting finish. I sort of feel like they need to be the stars of whatever piece I make with them. We will see.

Here is what I made this month:

First I set out the materials I thought I would use. Sometimes as I work on a piece, this changes over time. Then I started doing right-angle weave until the piece was about 5 inches long. (My wrist is only 5.25 inches, which is why I stopped there. There were plenty of beads leftover to make a longer bracelet if that's what you need.) I added a smaller toggle clasp from my stash (I think it was a free gift with an order from Red Panda Beads, not sure where to buy a similar one.) Then on the other end, I added one of the tree charms as well as two charms I made out of the glass leaves and jump rings. You'll also see a small connector in there, that is from a past Bargain Bead Box and I used it because I have decided I am never again putting beading thread through a jump ring, I've had too many pieces fall apart when the thrzead decided to exit the little opening in the jump ring!

Here is the finished bracelet:

Verdict: I did not calculate a value for Bargain Bead Box, as explained above. Autumn colors have always appealed to me and there were so many ways you could go with the items in this box. I can obviously still get several more pieces of jewelry out of the items I received (and even more still if I start mixing in items from my stash). I really feel like I got a lot of items in this subscription and that the value was good, even if I couldn't add up a total.

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 October 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.

Check out my past reviews of Bargain Bead Box and see more of our arts and crafts boxes 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 September 2020 Bargain Bead Box? Do you subscribe to any beading or craft boxes?

Starting at $19.49
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Bargain Bead Box is a monthly subscription box for bead lovers and jewelry designers. Each shipment includes over $40 worth of glass, gemstone, crystal, and/or metal beads & findings for $17.95 per month, curated around a surprise theme.

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).

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Thank you! I have subscribed to this box in the past and paused because of a move. I’m so glad your review was featured in the MSA daily email. It reminded me how much joy this box brought and how inspiring your posts were.
Thank you for mentioning Fire Mountain Gems.

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Ragan Buckley

I have been buying from Fire Mountain since the 1990s and am embarrassed to admit how much I’ve spent there in the past year. Which reminds me, time to start putting together a cart for a new order…but there are new Swarovski items out and I am out of bead storage containers (again).

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Ann McDonald

I am not at all crafty or artistic but I love to see other people’s work they put together. I love your bracelet!

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Amy in KC

So beautiful! I also love reading your plans for some of the other materials in the box. Do you have or would you ever consider making an Instagram account where you can share your work? (And also cat and puppy pictures? Haha)

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Joanne Bargoot

Loved it thanks great kickoff for fall

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This bracelet is amazing! I love how you put the charms around the toggle.. it’s a real autumn stunner!

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OMG, I love everything in this box, and your project ideas are always sooo helpful. Keep the reviews for this one coming!

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Ragan, your bracelet is lovely. I’m a fan of autumn colors as well and these items sure are beautiful this month. I need some of those little connectors!

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Ragan Buckley

I can’t find those on the BeadBoxBargains site (where some items from this box show up) but there were a few kind of similar things on Etsy if you search for “copper links” and narrow to craft supplies and “ships from US.”

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Thank you!