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 U.S. for free, Canada for $3.50, and worldwide for a low cost. Contact Bargain Bead Box for affordable international rates.
Bargain Bead Box December 2020 "Silent Night" Review
Bargain Bead Box always includes a few clasps and other findings in matching metal tones; this month they were in a silver-tone 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 even a slight difference in grading or size or material could result in 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 the materials needed to make the colors.
1m 4mm Steel Rolo Jewelry Chain, Antique Silver
You’ll receive chain in a matching metal finish to go with all of the findings each month. This is a great stash-builder subscription and even more so if you don’t have a ton of chains and such on hand already. Rolo chain is a good general-purpose chain and this seems pretty heavy-duty since it is steel, even though it still looks relatively delicate. Don’t cut it with your regular wire cutters, though, as the steel may mar your tools.
6 Pieces 19 x 14mm Snowflake Charms, Antique Silver
You’ll usually get some charms or links in this subscription. Snowflakes are perfect to go with the blue beads here and I like that they’re wintry without being too tied to any one holiday. (This package was sent on time but came kind of late because of the postal delays that everyone has been experiencing.)
4 Pieces 22.5 x 19mm Snowflake Charms, Antique Silver
Here are some slightly larger snowflakes. These could all go together in a charm bracelet; I don’t think they’re too big for that at all. Or they’d be great in earrings.
2 Pieces 15 x 14mm Crystal Hexagon Beads, Slate Blue Iris
You’ll get a fair amount of Chinese crystal with this subscription and it sometimes comes in unusual shapes, like these. Although I didn’t use them together, there was also a hexagonal pendant sent this month that these would look nice with.
3 Sets 20 x 17.5mm Swirled Toggle Clasps, Antique Silver
You’ll always get some clasps with this subscription, usually toggles. I used one of these in a necklace, which you can see below.
42 x 48mm Crescent Chandelier Focal, Antique Silver
I have made pieces for subscription box reviews with crescent focals before, but for some reason, I just wasn’t in the mood to make loops in a lot of headpins so I opted for a different strategy this time. However, when I find a combination of beads that call out to be used as dangles I will remember that I have this!
2 Pieces 31x28mm Crescent Chandelier Components
Here are some smaller crescents. They could be used in earrings, or another thing I’ve seen sometimes is to hang one of these from a larger crescent to create tiers of dangles. Anyway, there are a lot of possibilities.
7" Strand 8mm Frosted Matte Sesame Jasper Round Beads, Dyed
I would not have expected these to be sesame jasper just from looking at them (more typically sesame jasper is kind of light-colored with some dots that look a bit like sesame seeds). But, the dye seems pretty colorfast (although I wouldn’t test its limits by getting jewelry made from these wet or anything).
8" Strand 6x4mm Crystal Rondelle Beads, Light Sapphire Half Silver
Here are some Chinese crystal rondelles; I used a bunch of them in the necklace I made this month but I still have a few left over if I want to try something else. One thing that’s nice about this subscription is you usually do get quite a lot of the accent beads so you can make some coordinating pieces if you’d like.
14" Strand 6mm Blue Goldstone Round Beads
Goldstone is a manmade glass that is often sold alongside gemstones. (The most common type is brown, but it also comes in green.) I happen to think it is pretty, with all the small, shiny inclusions. And 6mm rounds are always useful.
28 x 25mm Lapis Lazuli Faceted Hexagon Pendant With Brass Bail
I wanted to use this pendant this month because I have a lot of similar pendants in my stash and I wanted to see what I could come up with for using them. I think it turned out well; you can see what I made below.
12 Piece Strand 10mm Electroplated Agate Beads, Matte Blue Iris
Here are some larger gemstone rounds. You see this kind of electroplating fairly often in agate (and druzy agate) and it gives the beads sort of a matte metallic look that’s different from your standard matte gemstone finish. The coating on these is not rubbing off on the baggie they came in, either, which is good (though I’d repeat the advice given above about not getting them wet).
10 g Bag of 8mm Dotted Star Spacer Beads, Antique Silver
You’ll usually get some smaller metal accent beads with this subscription. This month they were flat spacers, but you may receive rounds, faceted rounds, or other patterned beads of various shapes. I used some of these in a necklace and I thought they looked nice between the darker gemstone blues.
20 Piece Bag 8mm Pressed Glass Star Beads, Crystal AB
I am assuming these are Czech glass although the item list didn’t specify. When I went back and thought about the box contents I was surprised there wasn’t more white or clear, but we did get these. This was a banner month for star beads from beading subscriptions and I sort of want to come up with something that uses a bunch of different shapes and colors of star beads all together. Time to start looking for ideas online.
10 g Bag of 7.5mm Fancy Spacer Beads, Antique Silver
Here is the second type of spacer, these are more three-dimensional. I used a fair number of them as well. As an aside, I like how the metal tones match each month in this box. It makes coming up with ideas easier, and I don’t usually have to dig through my stash to find matching items.
10 Piece Strand 9 x 8mm Hematite Snowflake Beads, Blue Iris
Most hematite on the market is actually manmade (though it has the same chemical composition as natural hematite). Because it is usually manmade, they can form it into all kinds of different shapes and you’ll also see some different finishes. These beads provide an interesting contrast to the snowflake charms – the same design element but totally different look.
14" Strand 4mm Crystal Bicone Beads, Silver
I have a lot of Chinese crystal bicones from this subscription but that’s fine – you usually get enough to complete even complicated bead weaving patterns, if that’s your thing, and I’m kind of hoarding crystals now that it looks like Swarovski may not be selling beads to retail consumers any longer. This is a pretty neutral color that should work in a lot of different color schemes.
24 Pieces 35mm Brass Headpins with 1.5mm Ball, Silver Finish
If you were needing headpins to go with the crescent focals, here you go! I have a lot of headpins but not so many ending in balls, so it’s nice to get these to add to my stash.
7" Strand 8mm English Cut Faceted Round Sesame Jasper Beads, Dyed
Here is more sesame jasper. I would probably not call this “English cut,” which I tend to associate with a slightly different shape and fire-polished glass, but would rather call it “star cut,” which I associate more with gemstones. But that’s splitting hairs, really. I do like this shape and I found a way to use some of these in my project this month.
50 Pieces 5.5mm Star Bead Cap, Antique Silver
I have a lot of bead caps thanks to this subscription. Even when I use them in projects, I seem to end up having leftovers, but sometimes they’re just nice to have to break up the monotony of same-color gemstones or glass. I used some of these in my project this month.
7" Strand 3x2mm Finely Faceted Lapis Lazuli Rondelle Beads
Tiny gemstone rondelles seem to be pretty trendy right now, at least based on what is available from many bead suppliers. I have an idea for at least some of these – an adjustable bracelet – but I’m looking through old Fire Mountain Gems catalogs for ideas for the rest of them.
This is a simple stringing project. For once I got the lengths of the different strands just where I wanted them (this is something of a challenge for me, normally) and I didn’t even use a bead design board although that probably would’ve made things easier. Everything except the crimps and the stringing material came from this box (actually I think the stringing material came from a past month of Bargain Bead Box…).
Here is the finished necklace:
Verdict: I did not calculate a value for Bargain Bead Box, as explained above, but I was definitely happy with this month’s Bargain Bead Box offering. I like the blue and silver-tone color scheme and there was a nice variety of gemstones. We definitely got enough beads and findings to make several different pieces of jewelry and some of the bead caps, headpins, and clasps will be useful in unrelated projects down the road as well. (I am a firm believer in having an enormous stash.)
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) with this box.
To Wrap Up:
Can you still get this box if you sign up today? No, you would receive the January 2021 box (if you signed up before the 9th) or the February 2021 box as your first one (if you signed up now), 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 $0.85 per item.
Check out my past Bargain Bead Box reviews 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 December 2020 Bargain Bead Box? Do you subscribe to any beading or craft boxes?
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