If you enjoy making your own beaded jewellery, there’s a good possibility you have a stash of beads stashed away at home that may earn you the moniker “bead hoarder.”
You’ll surely start accumulating beads and jewellery supplies here and there, storing them in different boxes, jars, and bags, until you’ve built a true jewelry-making mountain that could tumble over at any minute into a craft avalanche!
Don’t allow your growing bead collection overwhelm you. This useful compilation of bead storage techniques can help you get organised!
We asked our loyal Facebook fans and Bling Buzz readers for their finest ideas and tactics for organising their personal bead collections, and they came through big time. Plus, even if you’re already well-organized, these pointers can help you maximise your bead organisation!
Our fans had plenty of clever ideas to contribute, from inventive containers to ideas for sorting beads by colour and type. Here’s some great advise on keeping your beading equipment organised from beaders for beaders.
How to Keep Beads Organized
Tips & Tricks for Organizing Beads
- Beads should be kept in fishing tackle boxes. Everything is evident when you open them up.
- Use dividers and stackable containers. Keep all of the pearls in one container, the crystals in another, the metals in another, and so on. To get an idea of what I’m talking about, have a look at this Bleak to Chic Jewelry Organizer!
- Make a two-step procedure: Sort by colour first, then by size. This will make finding what you’re seeking for much easier.
- Always keep your beads in clear containers so you can see what’s inside without opening them. You’ll forget what you put in them no matter how nicely you label them!
- To keep the box closed and prevent spills, make sure your containers have a lock of some form.
- If you turn the box, the beads will move from one compartment to another if the dividers do not extend all the way to the lid.
- Glass test tubes and test tube holders should be used. They can be found in thrift stores, antique shops, and yard sales, among other places. The Freecycle Network also has them available for free.
- Beads should be kept in empty pill bottles.
- Small quantity of beads should be organised in ice cube trays.
- Beads should be stored in weekly or monthly pill boxes for travel. They’re lockable and ideal for sorting by colour and kind. These can also be used to store minor discoveries (clasps, crimps, jump rings, etc.).
- Glass bottles or clear salt and pepper shakers can be used to store beads, which can then be arranged in a coffee carousel tower (like those offered by Keurig or Tassimo).
- Beads can be kept in cheap plastic spice jars. Only a few beads are released at a time by the shaker top.
- At the dollar store, you can get tiny transparent plastic containers (1- or 2-inch size) for items you just have a handful of. Then, in a large clear plastic box or container, keep all of the tiny plastic containers (1- to 2-foot size). Place the little containers inside the bigger container upside-down.
- A plastic rolling drawer cart can be used to store containers. Put your tools in one drawer and your beads in another. On top of the jewellery project books, use book ends to store them.
- Hang your bead containers on the wall; being able to view everything might enhance your imagination! Consider hanging this Magnetic Bead Storge Organizer on your wall.
- Keep a craft vacuum on hand (in case there are spills)!
- Craftmates lockable plastic containers are ideal for this.
- Use Plano tackle boxes to organise beads by type, colour, and size (for half the price of buying from the craft section!). They are transparent containers that are simple to divide.
- Use 1.75-quart plastic ice cream containers. One for Delicas, another for ordinary seed beads, and so on.
- Keep different sorts and colours of beads in separate cookie sleeves in empty plastic cookie containers.
- Purchase small condiment containers from Walmart for 50 cents per bag. Sort the beads into groups based on colour, size, and shape.
- Use chalkboard paint to cover the sides of an old shelf. Organize your bead containers on the shelf and note what’s on each shelf on the side. This keeps your desk or work table from becoming too cluttered.
- To store beads and findings, use a mechanic’s tool box. Tape the supplier’s bead information (price, product code, etc.) to the bottom of each area, then sort the beads into the chest by colour and type (gem, crystal, glass, acrylic, etc.), labelling the colour on the exterior of the drawer.
- The wide mouth of hummus containers makes it easy to store up to three different types of beads in the same container. They’re simple to separate and come with a lovely cover.
- Purchase small salsa jars with lids. They are relatively inexpensive at Walmart; 200 for less than $3.00.
- Use the container store’s acrylic 1 x 2 x 1.5-inch boxes with lids. These allow you to remove only the beads you’re using without the rest of the beads sliding into the area of other beads.
- Empty Tic Tac containers can be used to store beads.
- Sort bead containers into clearly labelled shoe boxes.
- Large beads should be kept in a hardware store’s nuts-and-bolts box.
- Sort beads by “holiday” or project (for example, group orange and black beads with Halloween/fall beads, pumpkin charms, spider pendants, and so on).
- Place each strand of beads in a tiny Ziploc bag and mark it with the information about the beads. When designing a project, organise little bags in color-coded gallon Ziploc bags so you can readily see all beads of the same colour.
- A Caboodle makeup case is ideal for storing tools.
- For works in progress, use plastic photo boxes.
- Put your beads in little lipgloss containers to keep them safe. It’s easy to see what beads are in each container because they’re clear.
- BONUS TIP: Because pearl beads are so delicate, extra precautions must be taken to keep them in perfect condition.
- They need to be hydrated because they have natural wetness. Unlike other beads, pearls should not be stored in a dry, airtight container. Instead, store them in a protected pouch. You can also keep a tiny cup of water near the pearls to keep them wet.