Jewellery Supply Display : Finally One I Like

by Linda Finnie.
(East Mountain, Nova Scotia, Canada)

I have been beading for over 10 years now and have gone through at least a dozen storage ideas, from basic tubs to custom designs. I think I have finally found the one that truly works for me.

My Storage Tower

My Storage Tower

It is not ideal – yet – needs a few tweaks here and there, but is definitely a keeper!

The shelving is just three $7 shoe racks, but you could use anything you like that has shallow shelves as that is all you need. This one fits my storage tubs well and is compact.

The bead cases are $6 ones out of WalMart which are great because they are rounded and so easy to get your beads out of. They are also semi transparent so I can see the beads inside without opening the lid.

I recently changed from type of bead to colour of bead organization and find that suits me better. The only beads I still have in type is seed & tube beads.

For the larger beads I have bought a few deeper bigger compartment cases $2, again from WalMart.

And Finally for some of the smallest beads (seed beads) that would be a nightmare to pick up if I dropped them, and my sterling silver beads, I have some small individual lid cases. Mainly from Michaels $3-12, I have them positioned right beside my desk so I only have to swivel round on my desk chair to reach.

My sometimes messy desk!

My sometimes messy desk!

My tools I have on an old chopping board to the right of my workstation and I have the ones I only use occasionally in the desk drawers. I have two carousel units on top of my desk for bigger items like my hammer, files and some glues amongst other things.

And lastly I use a couple of embroidery meshes to sit my beading tray on, that way if I drop a bead off the tray it stays put.
I find all of this has worked the best for me out of everything I have ever tried. It is convenient, practical, safe & it encourages production.

I hope this gives some of you ideas.

Linda Finnie
East Mountain Ranch

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  • Autumn says:

    *sighs in envy* One day I’m going to have a room, or part of one, devoted to jewelry making. Like you, I’ve found a very simple solution for bead storage and shelving. I’m glad you found one that works! How big is your desk by the way? It looks around 5’x3′.

  • Hi Linda, your workspace and shelf system look so organized and tidy! Looks like a good way to store a lot of beads in a small space – while also making it easy to find the exact beads you want to use. The embroidery mesh to trap dropped beads is a clever idea, too. I think our storage ideas are always evolving! Thanks so much for sharing your great jewelry supply organizing ideas and your very inviting workstation! 🙂

  • sue runyon says:

    Looks great, Linda. I use a roll of the rubber mesh-like drawer liner stuff you can buy to spread over my work table to keep beads from rolling away.

  • Mary Wong says:

    Wish my work area were that clean. 😀

  • Bonnie says:

    What a great idea. I keep changing mine also. Hopefully I will get it one day LOL.

  • Diana says:

    Fantastic idea.
    Where did you get those great shoe shelves? 7 bucks is quite a steal!!!
    Thanks for sharing.

  • Elaine King says:

    I love your ideas. My shelving is similar, but mine is from a surplus office supply store. (Less than 10.00 each) They call it a “mail sorter” or something similar. I have seen them in real estate and govt offices, with a slot for each employees paperwork. They generally have 3 to 12 slots and stack together for whatever number will fit your needs. The slots are the perfect size for plastic storage containers so that each box has its own shelf. I used to stack them on top of each other, but the one I wanted was invariably on the bottom. Another useful office item is a desktop pencil/pen/scissor/etc holder that is on a swivel base. I use it for my tools, with the handles straddling the box edge. It is compact and I can easily spin the box to find a tool, even if I have only one hand free.

  • Deborah Blake says:

    I love this idea. However my work area is never ever that clean. Somehow each time I start a project by the time I drag out all the things I need my table is a wreck.

  • Linda Finnie says:

    Thank you for all your great comments.
    My workspace is actually an old double sided desk (approx 6’x5′) from a railway company. It has 6 drawers on either side and pull out extra workspace (2 on each side)
    My husband does leather crafting and he uses the other side!
    I have since changed my shelving to a metal bakers rack on wheels which can hold up to 600lbs. It is bigger, adjustable and I like this much better as it is moveable. Perfect, as everything is within reach, but stays off the desk. (which isn’t always this tidy by the way.)

  • HI every body my name is Claire meaddows I have been making jewellery for 2 years now, I love it and wish I could spend more time doing it ,but with being at work and looking after my daughter I’m finding it hard, its my hobby and would like too make it my business 1 day, any tips would be great. I have a wedding fair coming up soon and really want too do well with it, .I’m on facebook and have a jewellery page .ps I keep my beads in little round tubs and they all link together and I have some wedding favour bags which or good for keeping tiny beads in, thanks peeps xx

  • I have been making jewelry about 3 years now after retiring from a commercial/residential stained glass business. We recently remodeled our home built in 1970 and after raising 2 boys I took the middle bedroom for my office and small bead studio. My dad always told me ‘everything in it’s place and a place for everything’ and I try to practice this everyday, but not the best at it. I have used the same Walmart bead boxes and have inserted them into paper sorting trays. It’s very compact and they sit on my work table (5 ft. x 30 in.) in front of me, which makes it very handy. I also have those crafting floor racks (10 drawers) at my side where I have additional supplies. My space is very compact (6″ x 6″) and easy to work in. All the space you need for jewelry making.

  • Marnet, it sounds like your creative space is a lovely jewelry-making heaven! 🙂

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