There continues to be increased growth in handmade jewelry, beads, bead-work and jewelry component sales online and elsewhere throughout the world. People all over the world are discovering the beauty in handmade jewelry art.
I am fascinated with “beads.” In this article I will give you some tips on bead storage as this continues to be a growing problem for me as I add to my collection of beads and bead work jewelry art.
Beads come in a vast variety of assortments in sizes and shapes. Not every bead fits into the same hole or corner of every kind of storage area or box. We must find ways to store our supplies in which is easy for retrieval as well as easy on the life of the bead.
Tiny seed beads can go just about anywhere. The larger more ornate version of beads get a bit more tricky to find homes for while in storage. I venture to say the worst problem you will have with the tiny seed beads is “loss.” One little bead can fit inside a fingernail and roll off top your work area in record time never to be seen again! Organization also continues to be a problem as we need to organize our supply of beads and other jewelry components in ways that we can find them quickly.
Time stands still for nobody and this is especially true when working with bead projects. You can waste as much as an hour in your labor time just searching for supplies. Organization is a strong key to creating projects on time if you have a time schedule to keep such as for bulk wholesale orders and so on. Even if you are just sitting down for a few moments of relaxation to create, it helps to be able to see and find quickly what you want to start out using.
An excellent way to accomplish bead storage organization is using bead storage boxes. This is also the safest way to guard against accidental loss. I am not the world’s best when it comes to organization, but there are times when I have to really try hard or either risk unnecessary loss. I have found these bead storage boxes that are specifically designed to house loose beads to be a life safer. I have read some people start out using fishing tackle boxes. Fishing tackle boxes can be purchased at any fishing supply retail outlet online or in building.
If you will look closely at the fishing tackle boxes you will see how the compartments seem to be made more for bead and jewelry components supplies than for fishing tackle supplies. I suppose an experienced fisherman would see much different than a beading artist.
My first vision of a bead storage box was in a craft and hobby shop. I bought my first plastic bead box from Hobby Lobby. I also found some cute little plastic storage boxes on E bay with 10 to 15 tinier compartments than what I found at Hobby Lobby. The smaller ones can be used to house individual earrings of the same collection or color or however you want to arrange your collection if you are not using the boxes for bead supply storage.
I use my little boxes from E bay in several different ways. They all stack very nicely on top of each other. As time goes on for a beader or a handmade bead jewelry collector, you will find these little plastic boxes to be indispensable.
Have you ever noticed that for everything in this world any of us venture to do there is always somebody in this world with an idea of how to “help” us do whatever we are doing? It is what helps make the world go round economically.
It never ceases to amaze me at how clever people can be to design products especially with “you” in mind. The creative minds of this world designs storage boxes made especially for me and you the bead artist. How would you ever guess there would be someone out there watching the artist and trying to take care of their needs? Or is it the other way around watching the bead artist trying to take care of their needs.
Whatever it is, there are perfect solutions for every bead artist’s need for organization. There is just no excuse to keep using the old tackle box. There are products created especially for YOU and ME, the beading enthusiast as well as the collector of our creations. These special bead storage boxes also make great places for the handmade bead jewelry collector to store their collections.
These organizers are made of different sized compartments and drawers. Oh Goodie, you say! Well, that is what I say. You guessed it! The different size compartments are perfect to house the different sizes and shapes of beads and jewelry components any jewelry artist would ever dream of having or does have. Some of these special bead organizing boxes also come with scoops and tweezers. Now why would anyone need a pair of tweezers as a bead artist? Trust me, you will need a pair of tweezers in your stash of supplies. Tweezers are perfect for handling the small beeds such as the seed beads.
Seed beads, I might add, also sometimes come in their own plastic tubes in which you can keep using if you desire. The plastic tubes can be purchased separately if you end up with a supply of seed beeds you purchased at wholesale that arrived in bags instead of tubes.
Small plastic “snap bags” having a top that can be re-sealed are excellent storage and protective bags for beads and jewelry components. These see-through bags are ideal for allowing you to see immediately what is inside the bag.
Special design bead cases are often an acid-free, sticky surface that provides an ideal resting place for loose beads. The bead cases help you not allow the beads to roll off the surface. You will have much more control over your designs when using a surface that “traps” the beads and holds them in one place. It is always nice to be able to lay-out your design first so you can make changes before stringing the beads and then deciding later, you would have like to made some changes along the way before the finish line. This type of bead case is ideal for at home use and for times you travel and want to continue working on your bead projects.
Some of the bead case designs have magnets attached to hold needles (there you go again, creative minds keeping YOU in mind for their creations to help YOU, or is it the other way around, creative minds to help them.
Either way, it is a win-win situation. Maybe it would be better to say “invisible team work” always going on while creative minds are observing YOU the artist to create products for YOU the artist which in turn helps them the creator of the product. Creativity comes in many forms!
For some of us, like me, we are a buy as you go kind of person, buy as you need kind of person in that the beads and jewelry components came first and then the boxes became a necessity one could not live without. I usually find what I need after I learn I have the need. Others can foresee what they might need right at the beginning of their journey of beading or collection. If you are a person who can foresee what you need and even with the help of this article you might be able to foresee the additional items you will need as a collector or a beader, then you are ahead of the game and might be able to pick out the best jewelry storage option for you without the trial and error of starting with a fishing tackle box and moving on to better things.
Next comes “space storage.” This will be according to how far you go into your beading projects. Does your hobby require bead looms? Bead looms take up a lot of space. A large fishing tackle box with a spacious area underneath could be ideal for you. Small items such as needles and pins need to be stored away safely to prevent loss or damage and don’t forget all your jewelry making tools.
Every item in your collection or beading jewelry supplies will require a specific space or home. Whatever your requirements rest assured there are plenty of options available that suits almost any budget.
Your goal for bead and jewelry component or handmade jewelry collections is always an environment to keep everything safe and easily accessible…….organized.
Written by: Connie Limon
Pandora is a pair of dangle earrings I added to Carmilita’s Flowers In Bloom Collection of dangle earrings. She dangles about one inch from the hook.
2 Antique Bronze 11 x 15 mm Leverback earring hooks
2 Antique Bronzed Ball Pins
2 Antique Bronze 2 x 9 mm Scalloped Bead Caps
2 Antique Bronze 4 x 14 mm 5-Leaf Bead Caps
2 Antique Bronze 3 x 8 mm Bead Caps
2 Antique Bronze 2 x 6 mm Beaded Rondelle Metal Beads
2 Pink AB 12 x 9 mm Glass Crystal Rondelles
2 Purple Crazy Lace Agate 8 mm Semiprecious Rounds
2 Malachito 6 mm Semiprecious Rounds
Pandora’s Price: $15 (includes shipping, and a FREE gift)
Purchase Pandora here: Carmilita’s Earrings