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 March 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 "Sunrise."
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:
12mm Firepolished Rounds, Jonquil (Czech glass, 2)
There’s really a mix this month in terms of the colors but this color does show up twice (see the rondelles below). Yellow is a nice color for spring and these would be great above some elaborate dangles in a pair of earrings.
15x7mm Jet Azuro Owls (Czech glass, 5)
This month I challenged myself to do a project with bead types that I don’t normally use. I noticed there were 5 of these and a finding with 5 holes so I started thinking about that. Anyway, I think it turned out pretty well; you can see what I did down below.
3mm Amethyst Rounds (Czech glass, 100)
Although I didn’t use these in this month’s project, 3mm rounds are super useful for beadweaving projects and you get a lot of them here. Plus, this is a color that matches a lot else in my stash. So these will be put to good use.
4x4mm Rosaline Hearts (Czech glass, 48)
Hearts are another bead type that I like (and keep buying! there are some in my Etsy cart now!) but rarely think of ideas for. This month I used a couple of these in a necklace, though, but there are plenty left for other projects.
3mm Firepolished Rounds, Topaz (Czech glass, 50)
3mm firepolished rounds are also very useful in beadweaving. As luck would have it, I already had this exact color and size in my stash, so that opens the possibilities for larger projects and patterns, since I sometimes find that it can be difficult to complete an entire bracelet with only 50 of a given bead type (though earrings are usually possible).
10x3mm Czechmates 2-Hole Crescents, Amethyst (Czech glass, 4g)
You’ll usually get at least one or two shaped or multi-hole beads in Bead Crate. This month it is these crescents. There are a lot of free projects available for these beads (here is one, or you can pick two free Starman Trendsetter patterns with any order from Red Panda Beads, and some of those use crescents as well).
19x24mm Tierracast Antique Pewter 5-Hole Large D-Ring (USA pewter, 1)
I’m often at a loss as to what to do with a single Tierracast element (which sets me to buying additional ones) but this month I had an idea for this one and I think it turned out pretty well and doesn’t look like what I usually come up with. It’s nice to expand my creative efforts in other directions.
8x3mm Silver/Blue/Crystal Dime Beads (Czech glass, 25)
I’d probably call these “backlit” or something of that nature to shorten the color name a bit (backlit is a pretty common word for beads with a silver finish on one side and a color under clear glass). At any rate, I used a few of these in my necklace this month.
6mm Firepolished Rounds, Luster Mix (Czech glass, 25)
Because of the mixed colors here I am more likely to use these in a stringing project than a beadweaving project (where repeated patterns can be important). Still trying to decide exactly what that will look like, though.
6mm Sapphire Rounds (Czech glass, 50)
6mm rounds are also great for patterns, or for stringing with similarly-sized gemstones and/or pearls. This sapphire color would look good with either silvertone or goldtone findings, as well. Lots of possibilities here.
14x4mm Long Tubes, Matte Topaz AB (Czech glass, 25)
I feel like these would be best used in parallel, as some kind of ladder or in right-angle weave or something of that nature. Maybe as part of a wrap bracelet? I’ll keep thinking about it for now.
4mm Jonquil Rondelles (Czech glass, 100)
Here are the other jonquil beads. I have a lot of 4mm smooth rondelles in my collection but not in this color. I have not seen a ton of patterns with these, but one thing that is kind of fun is to use them in peyote stitch in place of a few seed beads here and there.
Toho 11/0 Light Amethyst/Fuchsia Lined (Japanese glass, 2.5” tube)
You’ll almost always get seed beads in Bead Crate (once we got bugles instead), often size 11/0. I made a square stitch ring with these to use as a bail for a pendant. But you’ll see what I mean below.
For this month’s project, I wanted to do something a little different from usual. I wanted some kind of bail to turn the D-ring into a pendant so I made a square stitch one. If I had it to do over again I’d probably make a strip and close it into a loop later because it was a little hard to get in there with the D-ring in the way. But, it turned out all right. Then I made some dangles with the owls, hearts, and dime beads, using headpins and eyepins from my stash. I added a chain and a clasp from my stash as well.
Here is the finished necklace:
Verdict: I did not calculate a value for BeadCrate, as explained above in my note about prices. I love Czech glass so opening Bead Crate is always a happy time for me. I have a tendency to stick with beadweaving projects but there are really a lot of other possibilities with each month’s shipment and I challenged myself to do something a little different this time. That’s the nice thing about bead subscription boxes, sometimes they include items you wouldn’t necessarily have bought for yourself, but you really get to exercise your creativity to use them (or to use standard items like firepolished rounds or druks in different ways). I liked the color palette this month, as well – it was great for a sunrise-themed box.
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 May 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 March 2021 BeadCrate? Do you subscribe to any beading or craft boxes?