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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 November 2020 "Burgundy Boho" Review
Bargain Bead Box always includes a few clasps and other findings in matching metal tones; this month they were in a 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.
4.5" Strand 6mm Czech Pressed Glass Druks
Czech glass is actually kind of uncommon with Bargain Bead Box so these were fun to receive. This is a good color that will be lovely in a pattern; I have something from a past issue of Beadwork magazine in mind. (Druks are just pressed glass rounds but they are smooth without seams, which is always nice.)
2 Pieces 28mm Floral Chiffon Petal Tassels, Burgundy/Gold
At least according to emails from jewelry supply shops, tassels are still very much in, and we got a lot of them this month. These are the first. This style caught my eye a year or two ago and I bought a bunch of them on Etsy, but I don’t think I have this color. These are pretty lightweight and would be good in earrings.
15" Strand 6x4mm Faceted Crystal Rondelle Beads, Cranberry
You’ll receive a lot of Chinese crystal in Bargain Bead Box. It offers some nice color options and sparkle for an affordable price point. It is not as nicely cut as Swarovski, but seeing as Swarovski is going to stop selling beads and stones for the handmade jewelry market next year it is time to start looking for alternatives. This is a great color and I used some of these in a necklace, which you can see below.
1m 4x3mm Textured Steel Oval Chain
You’ll always get a little chain in this box, typically steel (so don’t use your jewelry-making wire cutters on it as it may mar them; on Amazon I found some meant for electricians that work great for this purpose). I used most of this in a necklace this month.
100 Pieces 4mm Gold-Finished Steel Round Spacer Beads
Spacer beads are pretty common with this subscription and they always match nicely with the findings provided. I used some of these in my necklace as well.
45x25mm Round Tasseled Focal
I don’t think I have any tassels like this? This was a good focal piece for a necklace (that’s how I used it). I attached it to chain with a jump ring (see how below) since it didn’t have any connectors.
2 Pieces 23x18mm Fancy Filigree Brass Links
You’ll always receive some charms or links (or sometimes both) in a matching metal tone. These are detailed enough on their own that they would make good links without beading, or you could add some beads to them if you’re looking to include more color.
31x27mm Fancy Filigree Brass Wreath Pendant
This is the one nod to the holiday season. It is much more delicate than their usual pendant offerings. As with the links, you could do subtle (no beads) or bold (lots of red and green beads to really show that it’s a wreath).
10 Piece Strand 10mm Handmade Matte Lampwork Glass Fluted Melon Beads
Melon beads seem to be trendy although they’re usually just pressed Czech glass; I don’t see handmade ones too often. I used a couple of these in a necklace this month but I still have some left over.
6 Piece Strand 12.5mm Frosted Crackle Agate Barrel Beads
You’ll receive a fair amount of gemstone beads in this subscription; I learned earlier this year that Bargain Bead Box partners with a lapidary in India for at least some items (Jaipur, India, and perhaps some other areas are quite well known for stone cutting). This is a gemstone shape I don’t have much of in my collection so I’m still thinking about how to use them.
20 Pieces 17x12mm Nickel Free Steel Earring Hooks
A lot of the tassels provided this month do lend themselves to the possibility of earrings, so it is nice to receive some earring hooks this month. These are nickel-free but if you still have trouble, just coat them with clear nail polish before wearing earrings you make from them and you should be all right.
7.5" Strand 8mm Natural Rainbow Fluorite Round Beads
Although this is primarily a burgundy box, there is some purple in here, too, and I think it works overall. Also, of course, this is an opportunity for a second type of gemstone. I have a lot of other fluorite because I like the colors and banding pattern so I’ve added this to my stash for now.
7.5" Strand 8mm "Mountain Jade" Dolomite Round Beads, Violet/Gold
I like how Bargain Bead Box is being really transparent about materials this year. It gives me a lot more confidence in the items I receive. That includes indicating when a gemstone is synthetic, manmade, or dyed to look like something else. (There’s nothing wrong with using synthetic, manmade, or dyed gemstones – they can all look lovely – but it’s important to be honest about treatments.) Anyway, I think these are pretty and I may try to use them alongside another purple gemstone.
2 Pieces 15mm Triangle Tassel Drops, Burgundy Poly/Cotton Blend with Brass
These are very small and I think would work best as dangles from a larger earring (perhaps something from a pattern with a rivoli center?). These are pretty cute, I do have to admit.
2 Pieces 38mm Triple Tassel Pendants, Poly/Cotton Blend
This is another tassel style I’ve seen a lot of lately. If you are looking for a place to buy tassels like this, I will suggest Lima Beads and Goody Beads (sign up for their email lists and watch for sales), or some shops on Etsy have them as well.
2 Sets Floral Brass Toggle Clasps
You’ll always receive some clasps in this subscription, usually toggles. I used one of these in my necklace this month.
5 Pieces 12mm Lampwork Art Glass Handmade Round Beads, Violet Petals with Goldstone Swirl
I had an idea for a necklace based on receiving these. I got the idea from an example necklace at Lima Beads, which really does have a lot of good projects, especially if you are into bead stringing and/or boho styles in general.
18" Strand 4x3mm Crystal Rondelle Beads, Violet Jade Simmer
Here is some more Chinese crystal, with a different size and finish. Some of these also made it into my necklace this month.
Here is what I made this month. I made a beaded chain with the crystal rondelles and spacer beads as well as some jeweler’s bronze wire, then made a short strand of larger beads on beading wire and connected it to a chain. I also added a jump ring to the tassel with the ring and added that to the chain, and I finished with one of the clasps from the package.
Here is the finished necklace:
Verdict: I did not calculate a value for Bargain Bead Box, as explained above. This was a fun month. I happen to like tassels and I loved all the different types we received. I thought the color scheme was great and that the burgundies and purples really go well with the brass tones of the findings.
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 December 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 November 2020 Bargain Bead Box? Do you subscribe to any beading or craft boxes?