Successful Jewelry Making Requires Successful “Organization”

Your best friend to creating fabulous bead jewelry pieces is organization skills. Set down to a mess of jewelry components and beads and you will soon find out creativity is not so easily achieved. Keep your beads and jewelry components nicely organized.

I find the simple plastic 12 or so individual compartments boxes ideal. They close shut securely and open up easily so you can SEE exactly what supplies you have on hand. Organizing your tools and jewelry components helps you to work faster and smarter.

Get started organizing by grouping like items together such as by color and design of beads, stringing materials, tools and so on. Create a specific spot for jewelry making and keep your supplies in that one spot.

Ziplock tight small baggies are great to store completed jewelry projects and supplies inside another tightly closed plastic container. You want to keep everything as free from air as is possible for longer life and preservation.

Organize your work space on a clean sturdy desk or table. Just about any kind of round container helps to keep tools in one place and easily accessible for the beginner.

As you progress with jewelry making you will add to your tool supplies and will require fancier organizational devices. Subscribe to a good jewelry making magazine for lots of ideas for homemade devices as well as retailers who specialize in organizational tools for jewelry makers.
Homemade organizational components might include a set of card catalog drawers for alphabetized by color boxes of beads.

Stringing materials can be spooled and hung on old towel racks on the wall.

A bead board can sit ready on top of your desk or table.

Proper organization is as essential in jewelry making as it is anywhere else in your life such as in your closet, kitchen or bathroom. As you go along making jewelry, you will discover more and more ways to help you work smarter and faster.

Carmilita Earrings

dangle earrings rosemary


The “Busy” Single Woman’s Answer to Jewelry Organization

Do you have quite a bit of jewelry? Would you say that you have a collection of jewelry? Is it full of diamond tiaras, precious emerald bracelets and necklaces? If you answered yes to the third question of this series then you need a hidden vault somewhere in your house for storage. If you answered no to question number three you can store and display your jewelry collection in the wide open space for you to enjoy every day of the week!

Who can really enjoy or even know what is in their jewelry collection if it is so valuable it has to be locked away in multiple vault units within a wall with a secret passageway and loads of keys and lock combinations to get to it? Who can remember all the number combinations to the combination locks. If you use combination locks, then you have to store away some place hidden all the combination numbers to those locks. I don’t know about you, but when I hide anything, I can never find it.

If you are reading this article now you are most likely one of millions of people who answered “no” to question three (above), and you probably still got loads of pretty jewelry stuffed away in closets in shoe boxes, in dresser and chest drawers, in the bathroom sink drawers, some lying next to your bed on the night stand and God only knows where the rest of it is stashed away at any given moment in time you are rushing around trying to get ready to go out some place. Suddenly, you realize it is time to put on the jewelry and you have that gut feeling like “I don’t have any jewelry,” when you do have lots of it, you just can’t see it right now so it feels like you have none. Whoops! I forgot about my stash in the little pink trinket box I bought at the Barrel many years ago when I worked there the first time.

Still yet, for me, it is always a problem to find any certain piece to go with anything I wear. The solution to my problem is to not try and match things up, just go with the first piece of sparkling jewels I find and the places they are is everywhere around me in drawers and boxes somewhere.
As you get older it helps to have a little color around the face, takes the attention off the age in the face and onto the sparkling jewels hanging from your ear lobes. The best advice here would be to get your tomorrow clothes ready the night before including the jewelry. Yeah, isn’t that what your mother use to do for you when you were in grade school? However, this is an unwanted task as an adult. After all, mother was the one who did that. Right? Who has the time to gather up their tomorrow clothes the night before when the night before is filled with other have-to items on the list much more important. The answer might be “to display your jewelry,” and not stash it away in the hidden crevices of the comfort den called “your home.” On display, you can see everything in wide open space.

The theory here is if you can see all your jewelry selections in wide open space while on display in your home you will be much faster at choosing the perfect finishing touches to your outfits tomorrow while doing it today. Does that make sense? It makes perfect sense to me!

Imagine this, you are putting on your clothes and right across from you hanging on the wall is a display of all your jewelry in the order in which you put it on, whatever order that might be. If it is anklet bracelets first, then make anklet bracelets first in the wall display left to right or right to left however you read. You will always be reminded of what you have and each time your eyes roll over the display you will begin to get a solid mental picture of what you have until before long you have memorized what is hanging on the wall display.

Ever try to memorize something that is in bits and pieces in different areas of your home? It is a difficult task. Now imagine this, as you slip on the last piece of garment for the day you swing by the display you been looking at all this time while getting dressed and as you quickly whisk by it you grab what you need and then onto the next room for whatever you need to do there while putting on the piece or pieces of jewelry you just grabbed from the display.

Try having several displays in different rooms you visit as you are getting dressed. This way, you can put on your jewelry one piece at a time as you pass by the displays. Few of us have servants to help us get dressed these days. When you are a one woman show and you have to do it all by yourself, wall, table and over the closet door displays work very well.

Have you ever bought something and forgot you bought it? Jewelry displays will stop that problem. Have you ever bought the same thing twice only to find years later you had one already? Wall or table jewelry displays will end that kind of noise as well. Keeping wall or table jewelry displays will help you “add” to your collection those things in which you do not have and have never had.

Have you ever thought of hanging necklaces and bracelets on a rack on the back of a closet door? Yeah, just open the closet door and there they hang! Be sure and put everything at eye level, so you don’t have to look up or down.

I am certain this type of organization would have made a world of different for Elvis, yet, we all know he had servants who probably helped him get dressed. All in all though, his jewelry collection was so vast, he still had to choose 4 or 5 rings for each finger every time he went out of Graceland. Of course, wearing 4 or 5 rings on each finger meant he always had a special gift to give away on the spur of the moment.

I am certain that had to be nerve wrecking for Elvis from time to time even with all the people he kept around him to hand him things. There is probably no way on earth Elvis Presley knew at any given moment in time exactly what jewelry pieces he actually had.

Elvis probably knew exactly what he had the few minutes after he bought something new, yet the older pieces, I am wondering how in this world did he keep up with it all. I think since his death, Priscilla has ordered it all organized and categorized and put on exhibitions, although some of it is still locked up in secret rooms because I saw Lisa Marie showing Oprah where the secret room was at Graceland on You Tube.

If you get a chance try and find that You Tube episode where Lisa Marie escorts Oprah to Elvis Presley’s secret room vault of jewelry. Oprah gasped as she entered the room!
Elvis probably would have liked jewelry displays hanging all around him. Had I been one of his servants, I would have made this suggestion to him.
See through plastic craft boxes are great for placing individual pairs of earrings. Earrings are one of those elements of jewelry collections very difficult to hang on the wall. The answer here is these plastic see through craft boxes and they are completely stack able!

If you have stacks of clear plastic craft boxes you still have to go through the stacks and open the lids, but once that small task is over, there you have it, a complete display of every pair of earrings you own all laid out in equal compartments.

There is more pleasure derived from being able “to see” what is in your jewelry collection preferably as you are getting dressed for the day. This is one added bonus of owning of a collection of costume jewelry rather than expensive tiaras, diamonds, rubies and emeralds that have to be kept in locked up vaults. You can display everything on your walls, on tables, hanging on racks over your closet doors and more!

Written by: Connie Limon, Bead Jewelry Artisan

Meet Cecelia

cecilia dangle earrings 3
Cecilia is a delicate looking, dainty little pair of dangle earrings, so beautiful she is in the colors of baby yellow and baby pink. Cecilia’s focal point is the yellow and flower beads. I have added her to my Flowers in Bloom Dangle Earrings Collection. She is finished off with silver jewelry findings. Cecilia hangs very elegantly about one inch from hook. I assembled this pair of earrings all by hand from an earring jewelry kit.

Materials used:

2 antique silver plated 11x15mm leverback hooks
2 antique silver plate 0.022 x1.75×0.07 ball pins
2 antique silver plated 4×10 mm Curly 5-leaf bead caps
2 antique silver plated 2×8 mm 6-Leaf bead caps
2 antique silver plated 4×5 mm bicone metal beads
2 pink 7×10 mm acrylic flower beads
2 yellow 6×12 mm acrylic flower beads
6 light rose 4mm swaroski crystal bicones

Meaning to the name Cecilia:

The name Cecilia brings to my mind “royalty,” in the most subtle form (christianity). It is a latinate feminine form of the Roman family name Caecilius derived from Latin caecus “blind.” Saint Cecilia was a semi-legendary 2nd-or-3rd- century martyr sentenced to die because she refused to worship the Roman Gods. They first attempted to suffocate her and when this failed, she was beheaded. Later in history she was known as the patron saint of music and musicians. The name “Cecilia” became popular or common in the Christian world during the Middle Ages due to the popularity of the saint. In England it was common spelled “Cecily,” and the Latinate form Cecilia began use in the 18th century.

Usage:English, Italian, Spanish, Swedish, Finnish, Dutch, German

One of my most favorite songs using the name Cecilia was sung by “Simon and Garfunkel.”

Cecilia’s Price is $15. This includes shipping charges.

Purchase Cecilia here: Carmilita’s Earrings

Beads and Jewelry Component or Bead Jewelry Collections Storage Ideas

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

Meet Pandora:

dangle earrings pandora

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.

Materials Used:
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

Jewelry Collections Organization and Display Ideas


If you collect jewelry you know very well how difficult it is to find what you want when you want it or need it. I like to think I am well organized, yet, the truth is only in a small number of “things” in my life is in which this is the real case. The rest goes extremely undone and unorganized just waiting for a time for me to organize it, which is a time I rarely take time to mess with.

Small pieces of jewelry such as rings, earrings, pins, necklaces and just jewelry in general can end up just about anywhere in your living envrionment, perhaps on the night stand next to your bed is a good catch all place for the times you forgot to remove it while washing your face before you suddenly crashed into bed.

I have even tried putting jewelry in the last place I will be before going out the door. As you can see I am not very organized in some areas of my life. Jewelry organization is one of those areas so I read a lot of different ideas and view a lot of photographs of how to organize  jewelry pieces, of which, then I just store away in the backlog files of my brain and never get to actually making some of these neat things I see and read about.

Here are a few of those jewelry organization ideas you as the reader of this post may be much better at creating for organizing your collections of jewelry pieces.

Handmade wood displays of any design you choose. You can place handles and knobs in any spot you desire to hold rings, necklaces, etc. You can make these with discarded knobs and handles you just might already have stashed away somewhere in one of the kitchen cabinet drawers after you decided to change the old ones. Remember, don’t throw away anything like this, you might be able to use it on some kind of display later on for your jewelry collections, that is, if you can remember where you stored the ones you took off your cabinets. I usually stash them away in some drawer within the kitchen cabinets unit.

Any type of vintage work gets my attention. What about using an old picture frame to organize and display your jewelry collections? If you have several pieces you might end up with one wall just full of several of these picture frames. Check out the Goodwill stores and garage sales for purchasing old pictures, take the pictures out of the frames and use those frames to hang on your wall from one end to the other filled with your jewelry collections. Once up on the wall, it will be difficult to not find exactly what you need quickly and if you never change the organization of the frames, you will soon memorize just where everything is when you need it the fastest.

Use a frame to hold rings, the next one to hold your necklaces, and you might have two or more frames for one category of jewelry pieces all hanging together in a row then further organized by color, shape or style of jewelry pieces.

When you are ready to pick out your jewelry pieces for the day or evening, you will soon have those picture frames memorized in such a way you will be able to go straight to the piece you are looking for. This ends up a much more organized and qicker way of retrieving jewelry pieces than rummaging through drawers or swiping across a dresser, shuffling this piece and that piece until you find the one you want or had in mind to find,  not to mention how hard this is on your jewelry.

Then of course will come the time in which you will have to clean all that jewelry you got hanging on the wall in “vintage style” picture frames. I will leave that process up to another article writing. That is just too much for me to think about in one article.

Specific jewelry stations “somewhere” in the vicinity of the steps in which you take when getting dressed is another neat idea I have seen in different photographs. These types of displays or ways to organize your jewelry can sit on a counter top, dresser top, chest top, table top, etc. Keep your eyes open when you look around at different shops, thrift stores, and Goodwill stores for neat looking boxes or what have you to create a nice well organized jewelry display.

Did you ever think about using a wooden clothes hanger to organize and/or display jewelry? This is another creative jewelry display option I have seen here and there and looks easy enough to start using right away. Wooden wall hangers can be painted, by the way, just any color you need them to be unless you are like me in which you put off painting the hangers until suddenly you realized you still need the help with organization and the hangers are not yet painted, then just them without painting perhaps or set aside a rainy day to sit and paint your jewelry display wooden wall hangers.

I am always looking for new ways to organize and display my jewelry collections, I probably will write articles along the way as I see more ideas to share. These I share with you in this article are a few I have seen.

Written by: Connie Limon for Carmilita’s Handmade Jewelry