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Thursday, June 26, 2014

Bead Storage

One of my blog buds (who I've actually met up with in Florida!), Nancy, from Quilting Potpourri, left a comment the other day asking if I'd share sometime how I organize my beads and supplies. Figured I better do that before I forget!!

But before I talk about my  storage containers...I think everyone should have a Label Maker!!!  My daughter gave me one for my birthday several years ago and I love it!  It's well worth the investment or, beter yet,  give to your family for a gift suggestion.  As someone just mentioned (Kay!), Christmas Eve is only six months away!!!!  Anyway, here is how I organize my beads and supplies.

A few years back I purchased two Bead Tube Towers.   The tower contains 3 sections for you to store your seed beads in.  This is a a picture of what the 'tower' looks like...I swiped this picture from the Beadaholic web site.  See how nice it stands up!
You can set up the 'tower' if you are working on a project and want to see all your beads to pick from.

I only keep  #11 seed beads and #8 and #6 beads in these towers.

Each tower has its own case with handles so it's easy to carry if you're going to a class or just working on a project.

I really like the cases as they are easy to store in my bead cabinet (you'll see later in this post).  I just have a small cabinet for my beads supplies so I like to have supplies as compact as possible.

And these cases are nice for traveling back and forth to Florida!  They stash really well in the car!!

I tend to use #15 seed beads and #15 Delica beads more than #11 seed beads...they just seem to work better in the majority of my bead embroidery.  For that reason, I have my #15 beads stored in a container (here's where that label maker comes in handy!).  I mark the container and I even have my embroidery threads stored the same way.

I keep each colorway in small sandwich bags (the same goes for my embroidery threads).  I find this makes it a lot easier to see the beads when I'm looking for a particular color, plus, it's easy to keep them organized by just putting back in the bag(s).  I can just grab reds, purples, whatever color rather than digging through all the different containers.

This is what the baggies look like sitting inside the container.  It looks messy but it's very easy to see and  'grab' a bag of color!Again, these are only #15 seed and Delica's.

My embroidery threads are stored the same way...each color is in a separate sandwich bag.  But that's a whole other post, right!

Yep, here's my good old Label Maker in use!  My son gives me these wood boxes from the equipment they get at his job.  One box holds my beading wire(s) and the other box contains Tila beads, clasps, sequins, etc.

The box on the far right holds my beading threads.

Just a peak inside each box. Again, makes it easy to just grab and put back.  If I'm using wire, etc. I'll just put the entire box on my work table rather than take one item out.  Just makes it easy to 'put things' excuse...the box is right there.

I love these boxes, again, because they store so well in my cabinet.  I just don't have a large enough one to hold my Delica's or I'd put them in one of the boxes!  I have too many baggie!!

I mainly use Silamide beading thread which comes on spools, so this old thread container works perfectly.

And this is my shelf...looks messy but really it's very organized.  The bead tower bags are on the left and you can see my storage containers sit on the right....bead notes on the far right (all my art and bead books are in a different cabinet).  My bead loom sits on top.

And below are my boxes and the containers on top hold jewelry fasteners and charms.

Last but not least, based on a tip from another blog bud, Mary Stori, I use an old embroidery hoop to hold the beads I'm using for a project.   Mary was a guest blogger on And Then We Set It On Fire and gave this tip:
 "I used to place my bead mat on a shallow jelly roll pan, which acted as a lap board....but it got awfully cumbersome.  One day I came up with the idea of securing the bead mat in a small wood embroidery hoop.  PERFECT.....when the thread is long I can bring the needle to the hoop, when it's shorter...I can bring the hoop to the needle!"

If you missed Mary's guest posts on beading, just click here.   Mary has some great tips and pictures...and when you're done reading those posts, just take a another minute or two and head over to her blog, The Inside Stori!!

This is my hoop with the bead mat secured...I could cut some of  the excess may recoginze the beads in this picture!  These are what I'm using for my leaf project...which I did work on some more today!

So, I hope you got an insight as to my bead organization and if so, you can thank Nancy!  If you didn't and thought this was a boring post or you have some better ways to organize please share!!    Now off to bead!!


Roberta said...

Wow! You have a lot of beads! Love the leaf!

Carol- Beads and Birds said...

Great organization.
My beads are pretty organized. Wish I could say that for my fabric!
xx, Carol

The Inside Stori said...

Great suggestions for storage options!! Thanks for the nod in my direction....

Nancy said...

This is a great post- many thanks! It's very helpful. I have the label maker already, and agree it's very handy. I forgot all about all the clasps and findings that need storage, too. I don't have so many of those- just the beads. And I've used Nymo but not Silamide. Will definitely look for it. Ahh... there's the bead loom just waiting for you! Good info. thanks again.

Jan said...

Fun to peek into your storage bins and bags. I like those wood boxes, very classy! I'm pretty well organized too but in a different way. Not as well organized as you but then I don't have as many beads as you. My embroidery threads are stored, color wise, in zip lock bags. Works well and so easy to see and grab. Thanks for sharing this oh and that tip with the embroidery hoop! Never done that but am certain I will in the future!

Cyndi L said...

LUST!! Love those bead towers :-)