Bargain Bead Box is a monthly DIY subscription promising over $50 worth of quality jewelry-making supplies every month.
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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 March 2021 "Celtic Inspirations" Review
Bargain Bead Box always includes a few clasps and other findings in matching metal tones; this month they were in an antiqued silver 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.
2 Pieces 18 x 13mm Green Aventurine Teardrop Pendants
With a Celtic theme, of course, there’s going to be a lot of green. And Bargain Bead Box has been sending a lot of gemstones lately. As it happens I had an idea in mind that needed graduated pendant sizes so I used these. They were quite difficult to get jump rings through (I’m sure it’s a mismatch between curvature of the jump rings and drill holes here being straight) but I couldn’t find my bails so I did the best I could under the circumstances.
20 Pieces 7.5mm Three-Petal Bead Cap
Bead caps are a Bargain Bead Box mainstay; they will always be in the same metal tone as the other findings, which is handy for design purposes, especially if you don’t have an enormous stash. These are nice for adding a bit of color and texture contrast between gemstone or glass rounds.
4 Pieces 18 x 15mm Celtic Knot Flat Round Charms
There are a lot of Celtic knots in this month’s package, but they’re all a little different, so they can either be used together for thematic purposes or you can just pick the one that fits what you want to do, design-wise. I haven’t used these yet but they are a good size for a charm bracelet.
2 Pieces 24x17mm Knotwork Charms/Links
These are more pendant-like but might be usable in earrings if you keep the rest of the components on the lighter side. You could hang dangles from the bottom if you wanted, or even get creative and use them as connectors in a multi-strand necklace.
14” Strand 6mm Green Agate Round Beads
This color is probably dyed but it’s very pretty (just test for colorfastness and/or don’t wear jewelry incorporating these if you’re going to swim or in the shower). I’m not sure what I’ll use these for yet but they are nice and basic and you get a lot of them so they may end up serving several purposes. Or you could just make a couple of stretch bracelets.
10 Piece Strand 13.5mm Crystal Disco-Faceted Round Beads, Blue Green
I normally don’t have great ideas for larger crystals but I used most of these this month. I started out with something else in mind but when I got most of the way done, I decided I liked the necklace design as-is, and these are a big part of that.
1m 3mm Oval Steel Jewelry Chain
You’ll nearly always get chain in Bargain Bead Box. It’ll be plated steel, so don’t use your regular wire cutters for this (you will mar them – I did by being lazy). What I ended up doing was putting tape around the handles of the marred ones and only using them to cut steel chain and then bought a new, identical pair to use for non-ferrous metals. Anyway, I used a lot of this in my necklace this month.
50 Pieces 5.5mm Swirled Rope Spacer Beads
You’ll usually get some metal spacers in this subscription. I think these would look nice between the 6mm green agate above, just add one every couple of beads in a strung necklace or bracelet.
2 Pieces 31x27mm Celtic Knot Donut with Loop
I thought these would make nice pendants so I used one that way. I had to kind of hunt to find another bead in the package that was small enough to hang from a headpin in the inner part, but I managed. You can see what I did below.
16” Strand 6x4mm Crystal Rondelle Beads, Teal Green Champagne
These are nice and sparkly and go well with a color palette I’ve been collecting for the past few years, so although I haven’t used them yet, I already know I have plenty of coordinating beads. Probably because there are so many I will end up doing some beadweaving with them.
5 Piece Strand 12mm Hand-Carved Green Aventurine Leaf Beads
These ended up being convenient drops/dangles when strung onto headpins and I used 4 of them in my necklace this month. Not sure what I’ll do with the odd leftover one but I’ll think of something.
8 Pieces 18.5x15.5mm Dara Knot Drops/Links
Here are some more charms. These could go in a charm bracelet with the above charms and would actually look pretty good since they are of a similar size and carry the knotwork motif throughout. Or you could hook jump rings to an open part and make a chain out of them. There are a lot of possibilities.
9 Pieces 10mm Green Aventurine Round Beads
I’ve been wanting to use some larger gemstone beads and have been collecting other materials to use with them (OK, I’ve really been hoarding Swarovski pearls before they go off the market). I think these will look nice as part of a strung design, just a simple necklace. If I ever go back to the office I can wear it with one of several green dresses I own.
4 Sets 16x21mm Ornate Toggle Clasps
Clasps are important for necklace designs (I think these are a little too big to be used for bracelets but they might work that way if you have bigger wrists than I do) and you’ll always get a few here. It’s nice because not every subscription provides you with clasps. Anyway, I used one of these in my necklace this month and the others have gone into my stash for future use.
30x20mm Green Aventurine Teardrop Focal
This is a larger focal. It would work well in conjunction with the other aventurine beads, or as a simple pendant in a strung necklace using some of the gemstone and crystal rounds from this month. I have a lot of green aventurine in my stash and a lot of other green gemstones in general so I’m sure I’ll come up with an idea I love pretty soon.
7” Strand 8mm Faceted English Cut Candy “Jade” Beads
I always thought “English cut” was for firepolished glass and “star cut” was more commonly used for gemstones, but the shapes are similar so I guess it doesn’t really matter. Anyway, one of these was a good size to fit inside the pendant I used this month but I’m still thinking about how to use the others.
2 Pieces 24-27mm Half-Matte Green Agate Coin Beads
These are big and bold and unique, I don’t think I’ve seen half-polished/half-matte gemstones before. Because they are so substantial, I feel like maybe they need to go in some bead embroidery as a focal piece, or possibly I will use one in a multi-strand necklace design.
7” Strand 8x6mm Crystal Rondelle Beads, Metallic Green Iris
Here are some larger rondelles. These are in big enough territory to start talking about making dangly earrings, or I think they would look pretty nice in a bracelet as well, maybe with some of the spacer beads from above.
2 Pieces 29.5mm Triquetra Pendants
These are too big to be used in a bracelet but would, indeed, make good pendants, or they could probably be used in earrings as long as the other components are relatively light. It was really fun seeing all the different knotwork motifs this month; although they’re clearly all related, none are really identical either in terms of the motifs, themselves, or the sizes and configurations of the materials.
The process for making this was pretty simple – it involved a lot of putting things on eyepins or headpins and then connecting them with jump rings. I thought about adding chain loops dangling between elements but I think they would’ve needed to be spaced farther apart than what I ended up making for that to work (maybe another time, though):
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 offering. I thought this month from Bargain Bead Box was a lot of fun. I love all the greens and gemstones and it was a nice challenge to use the larger crystal beads. I was impressed with the variety of Celtic motifs among the charms, pendants, and links – that’s really a commitment to a theme. As for the theme, it was perfect for the month that includes St. Patrick’s Day but it doesn’t feel limited to being useful at only one time of year – you could wear pieces you made from these materials all year long if you have much green in your wardrobe.
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 April 2021 box are sold out. Sign up here to be notified when the May 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 $0.94 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 March 2021 Bargain Bead Box? Do you subscribe to any beading or craft boxes?
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