BeadCrate Subscription Box Review – October 2016

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BeadCrate is a monthly subscription box for bead enthusiasts. Every month you’ll receive a curated collection of beads, findings, and other goodies to enhance your beading creations! There are three box sizes – Hobbyist ($7.99), Enthusiast ($15.99), and Collector ($35) [prices don’t include shipping] to choose from. This is the Enthusiast Crate!

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The theme of this month is Royal! Every month, the inside stamp changes to reflect the theme. The crown makes me think of a treasure, so maybe that’s what’s hidden underneath all that packaging!

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The beads always come neatly packaged inside individual well-labelled plastic bags inside a cute organza bag. We also have a curator’s notee explaining the theme. And this month, it’s all about a Royal Treasury and its precious gemstones! I’m expecting a lot of jewel-toned beads! Also, you can share your creation on their social media for a chance to get a little surprise in next month’s box.

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The crate comes with a chart that tells you exactly what you’re getting. This month was worth about $33.

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Ruby Reds!

3 Ruby Chunky Table Cut Diamonds. These are quite interesting as they are thick with a matte finish on the side, but clear otherwise. They would be perfect as a central piece on a truly royal necklace, or on a bracelet.

10 mm Fire Polished AB faceted rounds. I love AB finish, it gives so much spark to a bead! They would be perfect in a woven design with seed beads all around them.

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Emerald Greens!

7×6 mm Emerald Sparkling Diamonds. This is a nice leafy green, perfect for any fall design. The cut is quite interesting as it doesn’t have any sharper edge, it’s all in curves. Like little nuggets. They would be lovely with copper findings.

6mm Fire Polished Emerald Faceted rounds. I love the teal/green color on this, guys! Fire-Polished beads are great in woven design as they have no sharp edges to cut through the thread, but they keep the sparkles from having a lot of faces.

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Sapphire Blues! (My favorite color!!!)

6×8 mm Sapphire Nuggets. I think these are my favorites in this month’s box. I love the unusual shape! (And the color. I love love the color.) They are like thick triangular-ish little nuggets. I’m not sure yet how to showcase they shape in a design, but it’ll come.

6mm Sapphire Rounds. Simple, these beads are so useful for a stringing project to add a little bit of color accent to more spectacular beads.

Toho 8/0, 18grams. Nice seed beads with a large hole, perfect to be used in a weaving project, on a loom or free hand. I like the consistency they have and only a couple of them were not perfect. Because my favorite color is blue, I need to finally use seed beads in a project. Really use them! So these guys are my main inspiration for this month’s project.

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Diamonds!

Crystal AB dime beads. They are gorgeous! I love the colors from the AB coating. Simple earrings with some silver findings would be great for a winter-inspired design.

6mm Fire Polished double AB rounds. The picture doesn’t do them justice. They SPARKLE! I love how they look with the blue beads, so they’ll join them in the design!

6mm Crystal Renaissance Fire Polished Faceted. Unlike most of the fire-polished beads in this box, these little guys have a lot of facets, making them light and shiny! They don’t have an extra coating, so they add a much-needed respite in the middle of all the other beads!

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The last two items are not beads, but they are useful to anyone who likes beads! The Silamide is a waxed nylon bead string, perfect for bead stitching, loom beading, and can be used with a lot of small hole beads. It’s pretty strong and the color is a perfect neutral one for the beads in this box.The beadswax thread conditionner is soooo useful! I use it all the time as soon as I need to straighten a piece of thread or to get the end of the thread in a needle hole, be it for beading or for hand sewing!

The beadswax thread conditioner is soooo useful! I use it all the time as soon as I need to straighten a piece of thread or to get the end of the thread on a needle hole, be it for beading or for hand sewing!

SOCIAL MEDIA BONUS

Every month, people can share their creation on BeadCrate’s Facebook or Instagram. BeadCrate will then choose their favorite ones (no need to be professional, they are looking for something fun, original, showcasing the beads from the box) and will give them a little extra in their next box. Last month, I’ve shared my bracelet and my necklace through my Instagram and I (with five other participants) received 6 more beads. They are 6mm faceted lavender agate.

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With this month’s beads, I’ve decided to try a Kumihimo Braiding design, choker size. (This is my first time at this technique, I received my kumihimo disk only a couple of days ago!)

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I’ve only added silver 8/0 beads and a magnetic clasp. I really wanted to use the blue Toho 8/0 as well as the double AB fire-polished beads!

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This month’s box was fun and colorful! Usually, an October box would be either about Halloween or Fall, but this box was a nice pop of color in my mailbox (and on my bead mat). I’m happy to see that the curator thought of adding fun and useful tools. And the beads fitted the theme perfectly with a bit from all four “precious” gemstones! Like last month, I really like the Curator’s note to have a better understanding of the inspiration behind the bead choices.
Also, I usually use wire in all my design, but BeadCrate’s boxes forced me to try new and different types of design, even if there is no instruction, design or tutorial provided with it. It’s just the way this box is, with all the smaller beads and the feeling I get every time I open the box!

What do you think of this month’s BeadCrate box?

Visit BeadCrate to subscribe or find out more!

The Subscription: BeadCrate
The Description: BeadCrate wants to be a springboard to your own creative journey. Each month we will send the latest curated collection, could be a specific theme, could be things that inspire us, or some really cool random bits we had to share. Each box contains a varied selection of beads and styles (and possibly a few extra goodies).
The Price: $11.99 per month

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  • Cindy

    To make the choker, did you first sting the beads and then use the wheel to twist it? Or how was the disk used? Lovely work!

    • Catherine

      Thank you!
      First of all, this is the video I watched to set up my threads with beads: https://youtu.be/AyvC6Qc5kjU .
      I used 8 threads and I strung beads on each. 5 beads on each strand (so 40 beads total) will give you a 3/4″ length. I used only one colour of beads per strand, then I alternated the coloured strands on the wheel (so one silver strand, one blue, one silver, etc.)
      I separate the choker in three sections.
      – For the first and last one, I used four blue and four silver strands. I counted the number of beads to strung on each to get the sides the same length.
      – The middle one was a bit more challenging I replaced one of the silver strand for a white beads only strand. (So I worked with three silver strands, 4 blues and 1 with the white beads). Instead of braiding one seed bead at a time, I added three seed beads for 1 bead.
      Also, I added about 1″ of no bead braid on both sides of the choker to glue a magnetic clasp.
      Kumihimo braiding is very fun and once you understand it, it’s easy to experiment with different design and beads.
      I hope I was able to help you!

  • PA Anna

    The choker is beautiful.

    • Catherine

      Thank you! I might do more kumihimo braided chokers in the near future, it was so fun to do (and easy to carry around in the car). And this box gave me enough seed beads that I still have half a tube of blue ones!