BeadCrate Subscription Box Review – January 2021
BeadCrate is a monthly subscription box for beading enthusiasts. They offer “The Enthusiast” for $18.99 a month + $5 shipping and “The Collector” for $35.00 per month + free shipping. 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 + $5.00 shipping.
My Subscription Addiction pays for this subscription. (Check out the review process post to learn more about how we review boxes.)
The Subscription Box: BeadCrate
The Cost: $18.99 a month + $5.00 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 U.S. (free for “The Collector,” $5.00 for “The Enthusiast”)
BeadCrate January 2021 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 “Chill.”
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.
On to the items:
3mm AB Sapphrie Druks (Czech Glass, 50)
You’ll usually get druks (pressed rounds) in one or two sizes in this subscription. In general they are great for patterns and the smaller ones also work pretty well for simple beadweaving. I used some of these in a pair of brick stitch earrings this month, which you can see below.
8mm Matte Amethyst AB Flowers (Czech Glass, 20)
In case you were wondering, AB stands for “aurora borealis” and refers to an iridescent coating on the beads. AB coatings can cover the whole bead or just part of it. We got a fair number of AB coated beads this month, including these flowers, and I think the coating adds a wintry touch to these beads that would otherwise be quite summery, in my opinion. I need to search out some design inspiration for flower beads in general as I have a lot of them (I keep buying because I like them) and they are starting to accumulate.
6mm Aqua M&M Disks (Czech Glass, 24)
I love flat discs, and these are especially cute because they’re so small. These match a lot of other things in my stash so I know they will get used soon.
10mm Swarovski Crystal AB Heart (Austrian Crystal, 2)
You don’t often see Swarovski crystals in this subscription, and honestly probably won’t again since Swarovski is stopping sales to the DIY market, but it’s nice to get it this one time (I think it takes the place of the usual Tierracast or Amoracast pewter). I used these in some earrings.
Toho 11/0 Transparent Rainbow Foxglove (Japanese Glass, 10g)
This month’s seed beads have a lovely rainbow coating on them (rainbow is subtly different from AB). I used these in my earrings as well but of course I have a lot left over for other projects. (You’ll normally get one kind of seed beads, usually Toho 11/0 but occasionally something else, and once we got bugle beads instead.)
3mm Firepolished Rounds Light Amethyst (Czech Glass, 50)
Firepolished rounds are also pretty common in this box, but they are one of the most commonly-used types of Czech glass beads, and they come in more finishes than any other Czech glass beads. 3mm is a good size for patterns or beadweaving.
8x6mm Alexandrite Nuggets (Czech Glass, 25)
Nugget beads like this are good for stringing projects. Alexandrite glass is fun; it contains a little bit of the rare earth element neodymium, which causes it to look purple in some lighting conditions and blue in other lighting conditions. (This is even cooler if you have like a whole vase made from alexandrite glass, which I do since I collect vintage Bohemian art glass.)
3.75 in Wire Snowflake Form (2)
You can make some fun suncatchers and ornaments with these, either by stringing beads on them or using them as bases for beadweaving. I’m trying to come up with something unique here instead of just adding beads on each spoke. (After you add beads you can glue a half-drilled bead to the end or curl the ends into loops to prevent the beads from falling off.)
2mm Firepolished Rounds Luster Iris Sapphire (Czech Glass, 50)
So tiny! If you are doing beadweaving, sometimes you can use firepolished rounds in this size in place of a size 11/0 seed bead for a bit of added texture. You can make pretty nifty cubic right angle weave tubes with 2mm firepolished rounds, as well — lots of sparkle.
9mm Crystal AB Daisy Disks (Czech Glass, 25)
I don’t think I have ever seen this bead shape before! These say “daisy” but kind of have a snowflake sort of look as well. These would be best in a piece that sits flat (like a bracelet) so they don’t twist and turn, I think.
6mm Firepolished Rounds Sueded Gold Capri Blue (Czech Glass, 25)
Here are some larger firepolished rounds. 6mm isn’t quite as common in beadweaving patterns as 4mm or 3mm but it does show up sometimes. Or, I could string these with some gemstone beads, since I have quite a lot of 6mm gemstone rounds.
10x8mm Matte Crystal AB Leaves (Czech Glass, 25)
I am never sure what to do with leaf beads so I’ve accumulated a lot of them. I am going to spend some time scrolling through the Artbeads tutorial page because, although they may not have something with these exact beads, they have a lot of stringing ideas using Czech glass and I feel like I will come up with some ideas by looking there.
7x5mm Firepolished Alexandrite Gem Cut Rondelles (Czech Glass, 25)
More alexandrite! I saw a picture of some earrings somewhere online that gave me an idea of how to use them. You can see my efforts below.
As mentioned above, I saw a picture of some earrings that gave me an idea. I had originally planned to use Tierracast hammertone drops to bead around but it turns out I didn’t have any in the rhodium finish and I really wanted silvertone here so I found these rings in my stash instead. I have no idea where they came from and that makes me a little sad because I only had 3 and now I only have 1 left. I’m sure I can find something similar if I go looking. I did a couple of partial rows of brick stitch with different beads from the box and then added the alexandrite drops. I used jump rings to connect the earring hooks and Swarovski hearts.
Here are the finished earrings:
Verdict: I did not calculate a value for BeadCrate, as explained above in my note about prices. I loved all the blues, whites, and purples this month, as well as the variety of finishes (matte, shiny, rainbow, AB, sueded gold). There were a lot of great basics here and really a lot of directions you could go with a project, including both bead stringing and beadweaving possibilities (Bead Crate works for both types of projects). Plus, my first real beading obsession was Czech glass so this subscription always makes me happy due to the amount of Czech glass.
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? No, but February’s box is now available. Order by Feb. 6 and your box will ship Feb. 7-13. 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 $1.85 per item.
Keep Track of Your Subscriptions: Add this box to your subscription list or wishlist!
What did you think of the January 2021 BeadCrate? Do you subscribe to any beading or craft boxes?