Bead weaving is one of the many joys of life, but organizing all your materials can be incredibly frustrating. From losing a package of glass beads you know you had to spilling tiny seed beads all over the floor, storing beads can be trickier than you think.
Fed up with the mess and the chaos, AllFreeJewelryMaking asked our Bling Buzz readers, “What is the absolute best way to store your beads?” Their genius responses didn’t let us down! Every DIY jewelry maker should check out this list of storage tips and tricks.
We heard this one over and over again, so it must work! Sandwich bags are clear and flexible, making them great for holding beads of all different sizes and colors. You can keep them in a larger storage container or bag for on-the-go projects, or you can hang them up on a cork board in your craft room with a thumbtack.
Old pill bottles. Recycling at its best.”
Hundreds of readers suggested using medicine bottles as a bead storage solution. It makes complete sense, when you think about it. The bottles are inexpensive (since you can use them as soon as you finish your prescription), translucent (so you can see what each one contains), and secure (hello, childproof caps).
Save your money by buying fishing tackle boxes. I use these for all my beads.”
Clear tackle boxes are a great way to keep your beads organized. There are so many little compartments to separate your materials, and it packs up nicely for space-saving storage and travel.
I find that the clear storage cases with multiple drawers at multiple sizes meant for nuts and bolts and such work great. You can easily see the contents and they’re very inexpensive.”
Ah, yes. Every jewelry maker knows that the hardware store is her friend. Like tackle boxes, hardware drawers are compact and designed to hold various types of small materials. Plus, hardware drawers are often clear with a space for labeling, so you can quickly find exactly what you’re looking for.
Baby food jars!”
Small, lidded, and clear—baby food jars, canning jars, and other glass jars are a good-looking option for bead storage. Glass jars are a timeless decorating idea, and you can see the colors of your beautiful beads inside them! Place a row of them on a shelf in your craft room for both design and function.
Keep like colors together. Simple but good tip.”
There is a lot of wisdom in this idea. No matter what funky organization system you come up with, it’s hard to beat the tried and true method of separating your beads by color.
I like the round containers that screw into each other.”
Listen to this: apparently, there are clear, round containers that screw together to make a stacked tower of bead storage heaven. We had never heard of this magical solution until reading these responses, but now we must have them. One reader described them as “twist off, stackable, pill containers, where each twist off section is the size of a tealight candle and you can stack them as high as you want!” Some say they can be found in craft stores, and others found similar containers at the dollar store. We will definitely be on the hunt for these.
As a bonus, here are a few of the most unique storage solutions we saw:
I like to hang my strings of beads on clothes hangers with binder clips.”
“I bought a package of empty travel containers for makeup and hair products to use for air travel. I use these for small amounts of color/style beads.”
“I use containers that Crystal Light powdered drink mix comes in to store each color of beads. The container is plastic and semi clear, about 8 inches high and 2-3 inches across so you can see the contents, and several will fit into a container.”
Hopefully, there will be something in this list that gets you out of the dark place of bead chaos and brings you into the organized light of day. When inspiration strikes, your storage solutions should help you—not hinder you!
Thank you to our spectacular readers for all these wonderful tips and tricks! For more ways to organize your beads, check out AllFreeJewelryMaking’s complete list of Bead Storage Tips and Tricks.