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Beading Resources > Simple Tips

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I found that a pillbox organizer works wonderful for many little items, like thread, beads, findings and other little odds and ends. They come in different colors and sizes. I use the 7 day organizer to carry certain items in my purse and I use the month organizer for a number of items for use at home. The tops snap closed tight so items stay where you place them. Just be careful and don't get your medication pill organizer mixed up with your beadwork organizer. If you buy one, just look at it to make sure the tops stay closed tight. I bought one at a dollar store that didn’t snap tight, I still use it, I just put larger items in it like thread. I also use some of my husband’s plastic tackle boxes; they work great! Happy beading!!!

- Mary from California

I use the plastic containers that hold the instant drink powders (ie. Crystal Light and Wylers). You can label them easily and they are translucent. I received my late Grandmother's sewing basket from the estate and I can store approximately 30 upright containers in the bottom. Labeling the containers on their lids gives me a complete view of the materials stored and the sewing basket tray fits easily over the top and holds threads, wires and findings.

- Denise

I use seedling starter trays from the garden store for keeping beads. I get those sturdy deep ones. This way, I can quickly and easily compare colours and sizes to choose the best coordination. When I am done, I use a sheet of cardboard cut to the size of the top of the tray and strap it down snuggly with rubber bands. A pen with a ball of sticky tape at the top is a great picker-upper, especially for the tiny beads!

- Suresh from Florida

Find a turntable in the kitchen department of a store near you. Then get small cup hooks from the hardware store and a log from your back yard, any length you want. Insert hooks into log and set log on turn table. Instant spinning display any size or shape that can hold a few earrings or bracelets to hundreds!

- Alicia from Ohio

When looking for a nice storage bin, go to the tool section at WalMart and look for the bins with the pull out drawers. Or another cool idea is go to the fishing department and look for the containers used to put hooks and such, in.

- Elaine from the U.S.

I like to order mixed beads, however they often only have one or two beads alike. Sorting this stock could take up all the little slots in by bead drawers, so I sort the bead into likes, similar, or same pattern. Then I loosely sting in groups, all the beads onto cheap bead nylon thread. I make stop beads of the mis-shaped beads in the mix. That way, when looking for that perfect green bead, instead of digging though a mix of green beads--I pull out the string, locate the one I need and cut it off the string. I can then bend the string with a couple of doubled back loops!

- Artie from Texas

I am writing in response to a recent request about keeping tools accessible, yet out of the way. I like to use a desktop organizer caddy that was intended for office tools, such as pens, pencils, scissors, letter openers etc. It is about six inches tall and five inches square. It has three openings with the center one taller than those on each side. As I finish with a tool, it is easy to set them in the side slots, with one handle inside and the other one out, rather than laying them on the work table where they can get buried. They are easy to identify because the "business" end is upright, and they are accessible with just one free hand. The taller center section holds items that do not have plier-type handles, like rulers and scissors and solder picks. Best of all, the caddy is on a swivel base, so I can spin it to access the tools on the backside. It is heavy enough to keep from tipping over, even if the tools are not evenly distributed. The caddies are available in many places, but I found mine in the decorator desktop items of a hobby store, it matched my other leopard-print items and looks great on my workbench.

- Elaine from Colorado

New product idea: Little soy sauce dipping bowls work much better than beading trays for working with seed beads. The curve of the side of the bowl is perfect for catching a bead on a needle, and using individual bowls makes putting beads away very quick and easy.

- Karen

I often bead on the go or on the couch. I found tin gift card containers at the craft store on sale for a dollar. I use these tins to put my beads in. I added self-stick nonslip elements to the bottoms of the tins (the things people apply to their cupboards to keep them from slamming). I have a small plastic container from the office store that the tins fit in perfectly, along with my scissors and FireLine®.

- Christina from Florida

I use small circle and rectangle plastic storage containers for small beads. They are avalible 10 for $1 at most dollar stores. Medium size mason jars work for most of my beads. They easily fit in to plastic containers purchased at a local store. Two of these larger containers fit in one square of a wooden cubby wall I have set aside for my crafting. BONUS: Any size mason jar makes giving loose beads or a finished project as a gift super easy!

- Brandy from Texas

Another storage method for seed beads to store my seed beads (sizes 15, 13, 12, 11), I've been using spice bottle sets (16- and 20-ct, wooden and metal 'towers') per bead size. Each bottle is marked with size, color, cut/type, price, supplier, and date-of-purchase. The clear glass makes inventory easy and the tower rotates on its base. One bottle per tower contains needles of the appropriate size.

Recycling plastic containers for 'pony' beads I recycle the plastic containers from my cockatiel's food supplements to store pony beads (regular size and mini) along with other supplies. The clear plastic (after removing the label) makes for easy viewing and the screw-on caps fit snugly.

- Sarah from California

The small side dish bowls from KFC work well too.I have some of them in my kit for the really small beads.

- Wendy from Massachusetts

If you have a small amount of different beads, use the weekly pill sorters instead of wasting valuable space in bigger organizers. These can be found in most dollar type stores.

- Ayshea from Virginia

I use an angler's tackle box to store all of my beading supplies. It comes with few storage containers with dividers and plenty of space for wires and thread (considering they have it for fishing pole wire) and my tools fit nicely. Although, I must admit this is probably best for the beginner jeweler, but it is handy for transporting all of your supplies at once.

- China from Indiana

Bean Cushion

I made a bean bag tray to use while beading in bed or watching TV. It sits nicely on your lap or whatever as the beans help to form a cushion that fits anything. It has helped a lot for not spilling, which is everyone's dread.

- Barb from Idaho

Kitchen Raid

First of all, I am only three weeks into beading and wow! The bead box system I finally settled in with had 58 boxes contained in the carry box. I do ALPHA beads so things have to be lined up. I raided my kitchen cabinets for the step shelves for storing soda cans. I used VELCRO to secure my tiny bead boxes in place on the shelves. I now have three sets of steps with perfectly organized and displayed bead boxes. The boxes can be closed and the system can be neatly and quickly put away.

- Lynda from South Carolina

Bead Leftover Soup

When I am finished assembling a necklace, I bag every little bead left over, including a few more from the original bead selection, and then place the bag in a basket. When I feel like making earrings, I take out each bag and create as many earrings possible that would match that necklace. I use every bead from one batch to make an assortment of earrings, bracelets, and accents that would match the original necklace.

- Veronica from Oklahoma

Planning Ahead

When you have a design idea, but not the time to get to it right away, put the components in a small container (like a plastic medicine bottle) and label what it will be. If you have a photo or directions, put them in there too. This can save a lot of time, and hair pulling, if you have everything ready to just pick up and go!

- Ronnie from Florida

Waste Not - Want not

For cheap and creative earring display, simply use a wire mesh wastebasket turned upside down. This works exceptionally well for hook earrings and if you look in the right places you can find rubber coated wire mesh bins in neat colors.

- Christie from British Columbia

Keep Spice and Everything Nice

I use empty clear spice jars. You don't need to write what is in them since you can see what's already there. It is a great time saver.

- Kaz from Australia

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