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 per 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 February 2021 "Spring Rain" Review
Bargain Bead Box always includes a few clasps and other findings in matching metal tones; this month they were in an antiqued 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 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.
36mm Teardrop Chandelier Focal
We’ve been getting a lot of chandelier focals lately in Bargain Bead Box, but they’ve always been unique. I am challenging myself to go a little bigger with my projects lately so I used this in a necklace this month, which you can see at the bottom of the review.
1m 3x2mm Steel Jewelry Chain
Most months you will receive a chain in a complementary color and style to the other items in the box. I used a lot of this for this month’s project so I don’t have much left. In fact, I had to root around in my stash for more antique-copper finish chain because my idea required more than I received in this package. Anyway, I always say this, but don’t cut steel chain with your jewelry wire cutters, as it will mar the wire cutters. (This month I noticed FOUR notches on my wire cutters and had to order a new pair. So this is a real issue! I got some special cutters for electricians that can handle heavy-duty wire, or memory wire cutters may also work.)
2 Pieces 30x21mm Fancy Shield Links
I’m not sure what I want to do with these yet. They are a little larger than the links I usually work with, honestly almost large enough to be focals in their own right, like maybe in Y necklaces. I think they would work with the point either up or down, it’s up to you. Or try both since there are two of them.
25x15mm Faceted Aqua Quartz Teardrop Pendant
This is a nice, simple focal. I used it in my necklace this month. I couldn’t find my bails (and at any rate may not have many in the antique copper finish) but a jump ring worked pretty well for this one, the hole was big enough for that.
4 Pieces 26x17mm Chandelier Findings
Really, there were a lot of chandelier components this month. A lot. But, if this is a motif you don’t use much, you really get a chance to explore it here. These would work in earrings, or as an alternative, you could use them as multi-strand connectors in a necklace.
10 Pieces 13.5x10.5mm Pressed Glass Leaf Charms, Aqua Ombre
I really like these. I don’t know what I will do with them yet, but I am definitely enjoying the color shifting here. These would be good in a piece that combines aqua and clear beads, either glass or semiprecious gemstones (think aquamarine or amazonite with quartz crystal).
6” Strand Top-Drilled Glass Rondelle Beads, Aqua Shimmer
These just looked like drops or dangles to me, so that’s how I used them (see the necklace below). They are quite similar to Preciosa drop beads, maybe in the 2/0 size? Anyway, they’d be good at the end of fringe or on eyepin dangles or any number of other end elements of one sort or another.
7” Strand 4x3mm Crystal Rondelle Beads, Frosted Aqua
This is unusual for crystal beads for this box in that you get a matte or frosted finish instead of a shiny finish. It almost gives them a gemstone look. There aren’t as many of these as usual, which closes off some beadweaving opportunities, but they are a great size for spacers between larger beads, so definitely consider stringing projects for these.
10g Bag of 15.5mm Dagger Drops
There were a ton of metal beads and findings this month. These would work in fringe or even in place of Czech glass dagger beads (the one-hole kind), which are really similar in size or shape. If you do beadweaving with them, though, be sure to use extra thick/heavy-duty thread, because the holes in metal beads like this are usually pretty sharp.
12 Piece Strand, 10mm Matte-Stripe Crystal Round Beads, Blue/Green Iris
Here is some larger crystal. I think these beads would be great mixed in with some semiprecious gemstone rounds in about the same size, just in a necklace or bracelet or something simple. You could again go with amazonite (aquamarine in this size may be too expensive) or possibly synthetic larimar (regular is kind of pricy in this size) for coordinating gemstone beads.
14” Strand 2mm Finely Faceted Natural Apatite Gemstone Round Beads
I’ve been very into tiny gemstone beads lately and I was happy to get these; apatite tends to be on the spendier side in large sizes although smaller apatite beads are usually not *too* dear. Anyway, I’ve been hoarding tiny gemstone beads to use in strung bracelets lately so that is where these will be going, as well.
2 Pieces 16x8mm Handmade Porcelain Oval Beads, Spring Rain
I think these would look nice on either side of a focal or pendant, maybe not right next to it, but like second or third out, with accent beads decreasing in size to either side of the focal, if that makes sense? Or you could probably use them as accents in some macramé if that is something you’re good at.
10 Pieces 12x6mm Crystal Teardrop Briolette Beads, Teal Champagne
These are great as single drops, like in earrings or similar. I’m always looking for new crystal beads since Swarovski is getting out of the DIY market; although I don’t think anyone would mistake these for Swarovski, they are nicely sparkly nonetheless.
10g Bag of 5x4mm Fluted Rondelle Beads
Here are some metal spacer beads in a more traditional style. They’d be great in a strung design with some similarly sized round beads, of which there are several choices this month (see the stardust textured rounds below or the light aqua crackle agate rounds below for examples).
5 Pieces 32-38mm Agate Top-Drilled Beads, Crackled Aqua
I tried something with these and I’m not sure how I feel about it. You can see what I did in the necklace below. I was going for bold and I do think I achieved that. However, I was also thinking these would be good in wire-wrapped designs, so that is an alternative possibility if wire wrapping is a skill you have.
10” Strand 6mm Stardust Textured Round Glass Beads, Blue/Green Metallic
These remind me a lot of druzy agate beads although probably at a lower price point since they’re glass. But they have the same look. (I’m talking about the whole rounds, where you can’t see all the crystals inside.) These might look nice with the bead caps (shown below), which are about the right size for these.
50 Pieces 7mm Teardrop Drops
We got these beads in another color a few months ago. I guess they are more properly charms than beads. Anyway, these would also be excellent for fringe, perhaps in combination with some of the chandelier components that came this month.
50 Pieces 5.5mm Bumpy Star Bead Caps
Bead caps are a Bargain Bead Box mainstay. There are several beads this month that would work with these, including some of the gemstones and the stardust glass rounds. I never used to use bead caps that often but this subscription has got me thinking about ways to incorporate them into my designs. These present a nice textural contrast with some of the smooth rounds from this package.
3 Sets 25x14mm Teardrop Toggle Clasps
You’ll generally get a couple of clasps with this subscription. I find these to be a good size for necklaces; they seem a little large for bracelets for me. The shapes vary but they are usually toggle-clasps in about this size range.
4 Pieces 17x16mm Fan Chandelier Links
Here are even more chandelier components. I think these might go particularly well with the small metal drops because they have loops but not a lot of space between the loops. Just get some small jump rings (look on Amazon for multi-size jump ring packages; you can get some in this finish for not too much money and they will come in handy with this subscription over and over again).
7” Strand 6mm Crackle Agate Round Beads, Light Aqua
Here is some quartz that reminds me of flower amazonite or black gold amazonite (I’m not entirely sure those are two different things or just two names for the same stone). I used some (all or almost all?) of these in my necklace this month. I like how they tie the teal with the browns of the antiqued copper. The crackle look is derived from heating followed by quick cooling.
14.5” Strand 8mm Quartz Round Beads, Aqua Waves
This is a good color for coordinating with a lot of the other teals this month, especially if you don’t want to shell out for other semiprecious stones. I feel like this color is deep enough to hold its own with the darker coppers of the findings and focals.
I added some chain and drops to one focal. Then I added a jump ring to another one and made a beaded chain with the crackle agate rounds. Finally, I connected the large agate beads with eyepins. I attached chains to each (not long lengths in the case of the beaded chain) but had to supply some from my stash because there wasn’t quite enough from the package. (You can buy bulk chain in this finish for fairly cheap on Amazon. So far it is holding up for me in the projects I’ve used it in.) I spent a little bit of time adjusting lengths, as well.
Here is the finished necklace (in retrospect it might've worked better as three different pieces, but it is a simple matter to remove one or more chains from the clasp and separate them into multiple necklaces).
Verdict: I did not calculate a value for Bargain Bead Box, as explained above, but I was definitely happy with this month’s offering. There were just a ton of directions you could go with this month’s Bargain Bead Box, from simple stringing designs with similarly-sized beads to chandelier earrings and multi-strand necklaces to bold statement pieces. All of the colors went together very well. For maximum benefit, I would suggest getting some antique copper finish jump rings and wire or headpins and eyepins as you will reach for them again and again if you subscribe to this box (this finish pops up a few times a year). I loved getting so many gemstones (especially the tiny apatite), as well!
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, this box and the March 2021 box are sold out. Sign up here to be notified when the April box becomes available. However, you can sometimes find past boxes here, and individual items might be available for purchase from Bead Box Bargains.
Value Breakdown: At $17.95 for this subscription, you are paying about $0.82 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.
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What did you think of the February 2021 Bargain Bead Box? Do you subscribe to any beading or craft boxes?
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