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Beading Resources > Simple Tips

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I use old screw and nail containers to organize all my findings. I also buy small clear plastic containers from the Dollar Store® to organize my beads and wire and other small things. For my assortment of feathers I use an old science fair board to tape the plastic bags onto, so they are displayed nicely and easy to reach.

- Kathleen

When doing mass production of earrings (i.e., 24 pairs for a cheerleading squad), I put all the beads on each headpin and line then up "assembly line" style. I place a rubber earnut to hold the beads in place until I go back to form the loop and attach it to the earwire. There is no reason you couldn't do this for any pair you're making; doesn't have to be for a large number. I find them easier to use than beadclips.

- Karen

My mother had an old spice rack that spins. I use it for my clasps and such.

- Vikki

You can stain white plastic focals and pendants with a container of just brewed black tea. Let it cool to warm so the plastic doesn't melt and soak it for 2-3 hours.

- Sydney

When threading a small needle for beading seed beads, the one thing that I find works is to take a small drop of clear fingernail polish and dab it on the end of the thread. Then take your forefinger and thumb removing the excess polish and making a fine point tip on the thread.

- Yvonne

I was at a festival today and saw a wonderful way to display earrings, using a small mesh garbage can inverted on a turntable. It allowed for a very classy rotating display with a space on top for a larger piece or price tags.

- Matthew

I use plastic shrink tubes used to cover electrical repairs which are easily found at hardware stores to cover my needle and bent-nose pliers. I cut a small piece for each tong and blow dry it to fit snug. They last for a project and can be easily removed. They are also very inexpensive.

- April

To help in picking up small beads use finger cots. You can get these at your local pharmacy. They are used to protect finger wounds. Put one on your index finger and thumb.

- Lynn

When I have a project that I have decided to make, I gather EVERYTHING I will need, and I mean EVERYTHING and put it ALL in a gallon plastic bag, including the pattern, if using. I mark the outside of the bag, which project it is, and if I will be needing to order more from Fire Mountain before I start. That way when I have decided to work on the project, I can pick up the gallon bag and it is all ready to go. I find I work on a few projects at a time, and this makes it easier to find, and keeps me organized!

- Lisa

I use the clear plastic egg cartons from the grocery store to store my beads and findings in. I then just stack them up on my work table and can easily find what I want.

- Sheryle

I like to use an old coaster with cork lining to hold my seed beads. It has just enough of an edge the beads don't run off. A nice mini beading board.

- Anna

My grandma gave me a padded lap desk with a light, cup and pencil holder. I am planning to apply VELCRO® to the top surface and attach the other side of the VELCRO to a deviled egg platter for organizing beads while in use. For storage, I like the spice racks and baby food containers. I would like to build a rack that holds rows of 7 to 10 baby food jars with 4 to ten columns in a spice rack style for mounting to the wall above my desk. If anyone has made racks like these, please let me know!

- Julia

Magnetic clasps on bracelets--I've found that when your clasp comes into contact with metal, i.e. shopping carts, etc. that it will come off and stick to the item and you don't feel it come off. I solved the problem by attaching a two-inch safety chain with a jumpring on each end and attaching the jumprings to the two jumprings on the clasp. The bracelet won't come off of your wrist.

- Sydney

Instead of a knotting tool I use a bead-tipped straight pin. After inserting the pin through the knot I push the end into a small piece of soft wood, gives great control and tight knots.

- Donald

I keep a chunk of regular wax around not just for keeping my thread from fraying, but heat it up just right, thread the wax like a bead, and it's a great bead-stopper! Just make sure it's cooled off enough not to melt to your needle!

- Victoria

When buying components online to match a component I already have, I like to take a picture of the one I have, then upload the picture onto my computer to compare it to the one I want to buy, incase my monitor isn't displaying colors correctly.

- Carly

Some wire spools have plastic holders to keep wire from unraveling. This makes a cute bracelet. Can be wire-wrapped, strung or glue flat back beads ... use your imagination.

- Nancy

I made an inexpensive bail using a 3" eyepin. I uncurled and straightened the end, measured the length and folded the wire in half using my round-nosed pliers. At this point I added a jumpring to the bend. Holding the assembly by the jumpring I measured up about 1/3" from the jumpring and used the round-nosed pliers to bend the two wires forward 45 degrees. Then I bent both wires into a large curve backwards with the round-nosed pliers until the wires met the jumpring. I draped the wires over my necklace after I spread the wires apart in a "V" so that each wire lay on either side of my center bead on the necklace. I grasped the necklace at the center bead and used my flat-nosed pliers to wrap one of the wires around the bail above the jumpring in a downward wrap. This traps the second wire. I then wrapped the second wire in a upward motion over the previous wrap. Clip both ends if needed. The bail looks good from front and back.

- Denise

Dropped some beads on the floor? Here's a quick way to pick them up--just take a piece of tape (duct tape works best) and turn it inside out and make a loop of it then pick up the beads! Also works for picking up small bits of thread or paper from your work area! Here's a tip to store your hook-style earrings: Make a "box" out of plastic canvas any size you want. Just take 2 pieces of the same size for the front and back, then cut strips about 1 1/2" for the sides. Then sew or hot glue the edges together to make the "box." If you use the piece of the canvas that has the hanging tab on the top-you can use it for the back piece--just center the tab in the middle on the top for hanging. Otherwise you can just hang it on a nail. I have one hanging in my bathroom and can see my earrings at a glance and they stay organized! You could also use one to hang your earrings on when making several pairs (a place to park them)!

- Queen Jodi

I use tiny, less than 2oz, rectangular, clear storage containers with white lids, that are available at Dollar Tree® stores, 10 in a package for (obviously) a dollar. They fit perfectly stacked on their short ends 10 deep and 4 wide in the rolling plastic and chrome caddy I picked up on mega sale at Jo-Ann's, the ones with rainbow-colored drawers. The bottoms are clear so you can see inside, but I often also add a little tag. The tops are almost the perfect size for the current rectangular, rounded corner FMG labels.

- Cristine

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