BeadCrate Subscription Box Review – February 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 February 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 “In the Pink.”
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 with 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 the materials needed to make the colors.
On to the items:
6mm Crystal AB Rounds (Czech glass, 25)
If you like a mix of Czech glass basics, this is a good subscription for you. 6mm rounds are definitely a basic and because these are clear with an AB coating, they do a pretty good job of reflecting the colors of nearby beads, so they will blend into many different designs. A fair number of patterns call for 6mm beads as the central elements of motifs so there are a lot of possibilities for these.
15x15mm Crystal/Pink Heart Window Beads (Czech glass, 2)
There were a couple of pairs of larger beads this month. Of those, these are the ones that seem most like earring beads to me. I have some leverback earwires with a peg for a half-drilled pearl, and I have some half-drilled Swarovski pearls that I think would match these, so that’s probably what I will do here.
6x8mm Silver/Pink/Crystal Flattened Ovals (Czech glass, 25)
These are relatively small and not a bead type often called for in patterns, so they will be used in a stringing project of one kind or another. Like the AB coated rounds, these reflect colors from nearby beads, though they have a stronger color on their own than the rounds. I think rows of these with spacers between or on memory wire would look good.
27x12mm Light Opaque Pink Squiggles (Czech glass, 2)
It is unusual for me to come across a bead type I’ve never seen before, but this shape is new to me. This color is also a little unusual for a larger bead! Because of the curve of these, I think they will be used on either side of a focal in a necklace.
Tierracast Copper 2-Hole Hourglass (USA Pewter, 1)
I believe you could have also received a goldtone version of this. You’ll often get one Tierracast (or sometimes another brand of pewter) finding in BeadCrate. It can be a fun little charm or connector. This is more like a spacer and I think it might be fun to adapt it for use in a pendant element of a necklace. I kind of like receiving individual Tierracast components as I can try them out and really get a feel for how big they are before ordering a bunch of them.
2mm Firepolished ColorTrends Sueded Gold Fuchsia Red (Czech glass, 50)
I am very excited about these because this is a really new color – just released by Starman this year, and I barely have any other beads in this specific color (I started checking my usual sources once I got the email from the wholesaler because I don’t have a resale certificate so I can’t buy wholesale so I have to wait until some bead shop starts offering them…this time it was Bello Modo who had them first). Anyway, I like to use 2mm rounds in beadweaving either on their own or occasionally in place of seed beads for some added texture.
24x20mm Rosaline Chunky Table Cut Diamonds (Czech glass, 2)
Here’s the final pair of larger beads. Although they *could* be used in earrings, they strike me as a little large for that, and they’re more likely to end up in a necklace, perhaps as accents between some Venetian glass beads I’ve collected over the years. (Here is a great source for Venetian glass if you’re interested.)
9x6mm Rosaline AB Vertical Hole Tear Drops (Czech glass, 25)
You’re probably thinking, I haven’t mentioned using any of the beads so far in my project. It just so happens that the ones I did use ended up near the end of the list of items this time, starting with these teardrops. (Actually, I used some of the 2mm firepolished rounds as well.) I don’t often make collar-style necklaces but I tried it this time and used these as drops.
S-Lon Bead Cord, Size D, Pink (USA nylon, 82 yards)
You’ll often get one supply type item in BeadCrate and this month it was beading thread. This was useful as this is a color I like but don’t have, and it worked well with the colors that came in this box. I used it in my necklace this month (with a size 10 needle, I used a free needle that came with a Bobby Bead order but any size 10 needle should do).
4mm Firepolished Hurricane Glass Rounds, Matte Sweet Pink (Czech glass, 50)
4mm firepolished rounds are probably the most common ones used in beadweaving patterns. I use 4mm rounds a lot, so I challenged myself to use *other* beads this month, but these are a nice addition to my collection (I do have a lot of pink but did not have any 4mm rounds in this precise shade).
6x4mm Medium Amethyst Rice Beads (Czech glass, 50)
I immediately thought these would be great in a right-angle weave with this month’s seed beads, so that’s what I did. And it turned out nicely; I actually like the negative space in the weave quite a lot, which was an unexpected benefit. I used most of these in a necklace, which you can see below.
Toho 6/0 Transparent Rainbow Ballerina Pink (Japanese glass, 2.5” tube)
You’ll get seed beads every month in this box (well, once it was bugles), usually in size 8/0 or 11/0, so seeing size 6/0 is a little different. But I had an idea for these and I like how it turned out, plus I have some more leftover for other projects (pretty sure I have this color in at least one other size).
6mm Firepolished Rounds, Halo Regal (Czech glass, 25)
Here are some larger firepolished rounds. The halo finish is, for some reason, kind of expensive lately, so I’m always happy to receive halo finish beads in a subscription box. I think this will look nice with some gemstone rounds as a way to add a bit of texture.
For this month’s project, I did a right angle weave with the seed beads and the purple rice beads. I added end loops of seed beads and I embellished with the teardrops and the 2mm firepolished rounds. Then I put jump rings through some of the seed beads (you can do this with sizes 6/0 and 8/0) and attached a chain and a clasp. (Copper was randomly chosen as it was the first color of chain I grabbed. The clasp is the free gift you get from Red Panda Beads if you choose “copper-colored clasp” at checkout. The jump rings are from one of the multi-size sets you can buy on Amazon for cheap.)
Here is the finished necklace:
Verdict: I did not calculate a value for BeadCrate, as explained above in my note about prices. This was a wonderful month for me from BeadCrate. I have been very into pink lately for reasons I don’t understand, so the color theme this month was welcome. I made an effort to use bead types I don’t normally go for and I think it turned out well, so that’s encouraging. I was very excited to receive a new-to-market color of bead as well as a favorite finish (halo). And receiving several pairs of larger beads has got me thinking about how to work with small numbers of large beads in a way that’s not earrings – not that I don’t like making earrings, but I’d like to be a bit more creative than that.
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, your first box would most likely be the April box. 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 February 2021 BeadCrate? Do you subscribe to any beading or craft boxes?