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Beading Resources > Simple Tips

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I like to display strands of beads (especially pearls) on walls. It takes care of storage and decorating at once! I buy cheap yardsticks from local hardware stores (under a dollar) and put very small nails every inch for hanging strands on. Then I use two bigger nails to secure the yard stick to the wall. This does less damage to the wall than putting all those nails directly in, and your beads are spaced evenly. It also works on the backs or sides of book cases. I usually paint the yardsticks before I hang them, but if you don't, you can also use them for measuring strings of beads!

- Tabby from Ohio

My husband used to smoke large cigars that were packaged in glass tubes with cork top closures. These are so nice for seed beads or any beads. What is so nice about it, is it doesn't cost me anything and his cigar smoking friends give them to me also. Happy beading,

- Mary from the U.S.

I use the plastic containers that hold baby food to store my different beads in. They are cheap, grip tightly, and are easily seen through. They also stack nicely.

- Janice from South Carolina

If you use tweezers with very fine points, you know that the points seem to try to get bent. I found a way to prevent this when I went in for a flu shot last fall. The shot came with a plastic cover over the needle, which I grabbed before it was tossed in the wastebasket. It is a perfect fit for my tweezers. The cover is usually thrown out, so a request is probably all it would take to get your new tweezer cover. Just make sure that they know you want the cover, not the needle.

- Scott from Virginia

The plastic pill boxes that hold a week or more of pills works great for holding small amounts of, or single, beads. I can put matching colors or sizes in the same container with seven compartments. You may be able to find the extra large ones or multiple times a day container. I was given one that was opaque and was frustrated that I couldn't see the beads, so I taped one bead to the top or each "day." Now I know what's inside.

- Debra from Oregon

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 make beaded angel pins using the straight bar pins and could never find a nice way to display them. Had a very pretty, but smallish piece of velveteen material and a thick square of styrofoam. Glued some of the material onto the foam, wrapping it around neatly to the back. Now I just push the pin straight down into the block, arranging the brooches attractively. This either lies flat on the table, or can be placed at an angle using an old typing stand.

- Donna Marie from Nova Scotia, Canada

I use an old computer lap desk for working with seed/Delica® beads. The 'flock' finish keeps things from sliding around. I removed the wrist pad and glued down a short plastic ruler and a fridge magnet (the business card size companies give away as promotions) black magnet side up to hold needles, metal beads, etc. Finally, took a length of foam weather stripping with sticky adhesive on one side and stuck it down following the top outside edge of the lap desk. When beads spill, as they always do, the foam 'lip' saves them from rolling onto the floor. We also made one for a friend using plywood, homemade bean bag attached with wide tape Velcro® and fine-knapped fabric covering the top.

- Donna Marie from Nova Scotia, Canada

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

Using foam insulation boards (from DIY stores) and 3M stick-ups, it is possible to "paper" walls with these "boards/panels." The glue on the stick-ups will not remove paint or wallpaper.

Needing to see what pendants, etc. you have to work with is easy IF they are pinned to the panels with 1" brads--call them inspiration boards, if you want ...

Also, the glue (on the 3-M picture tabs--IF you use enough of them) will hold up a panel with finished jewelry so that you can see completed items quickly. I use 10-12 stick-up tabs/panel, otherwise one might find the filled panel on the floor.

- Judith from Virginia

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