How You Can Store and Organize Your Beads
by Lisa Yang.
(Lisa Yang Jewelry – West Hills, CA)
Beginning Beaders, Beware
From the day you start beading, you need to consider what to do with the beads, gemstones and findings that you start collecting (or in my case, hoarding).
Those little plastic baggies the beads came from the store in seem fine at first, since they are usually labeled, and you can write additional information.
But pretty soon, you need a box to store the bags of beads – and then there are more and more bags of beads, and bags of wire and bags of findings to sift through.
Soon, you spend more time trying to find the beads and supplies, than you do actually making the jewelry!
But, keep reading, because there are solutions!
My Bead Storage Solution:
Clear, Individual Labelled Containers
The cases I use to store my beads are from Darice. They are officially known as Darice 6-1/4-Inch by 4-1/4-Inch Bead Container with 24 Flip Top Canisters.
You can see two of them stacked in here:
I have a lot of these – for gemstones, spacer beads, small findings and seed beads.
These are superior to my old storage containers because I can see everything without ever opening the case.
I also like the consistent size of the containers and how snugly they fit in the box.
No, not everything fits in them, but I use a lot of rondelles and rounds in smaller sizes or focals that are purchased in smaller amounts, so my guess is at least half of my beads will fit into these cases.
(I haven’t finished sorting and moving my collection yet though).
All of the individual bead containers are labeled. I use a Brother PT-70 Personal Handheld Labeler to label the individual containers with the type of bead, size and cost.
I love this P-Touch labeler! The label tape lasts forever (well, not really, but it lasts a long time), it is small and portable, provides multiple different fonts and font sizes, and has all the options I need.
It is an organizer’s dream.
When I am working on a project, I can either take the entire bead case with me, or I can just pull out the individual bead filled containers I am working with.
On the review of these cases on Amazon, someone said they find the lids come off the cases easily. I have never found that to be a problem. They stay closed.
Sometimes, I need to pull the entire top off to get the beads in and out, but I think that is a plus rather than a minus.
If the lids didn’t pull off, I could only use them for the really small beads that fit through the ‘pour spout’.
If you are trying to picture the top of these containers, just think of a package of Tic-Tacs. They are the same.
You can find these containers at Amazon.com and also at Michael’s craft stores. There are probably other stores that carry them too.
I hope you find my bead organization and labeling information helpful.
Good luck and let me know what works for you!