If you’ve started on beadwork, you’re probably thinking of the best ways of organizing beads. However, a more organized workspace is essential if you want to have an easier time designing and creating charm bracelets, necklaces, and other jewelry types.
Organizing Beads with the Right Storage Containers
A system of transparent plastic boxes with six or more sizes of clear flip-top rectangular tubes is among the best methods for organizing beads. This applies especially for tiny beads, from seed beads to pearls to strands of Czech glass.
You may organize the little tubes carrying your beads by color, shape, or size within the 4″, 6″, and 12″ transparent plastic storage boxes. It’s simple to browse among the boxes for the desired bead, hold the box up to a window to admire the gorgeous colors, or check how many of each bead you have.
When a crafter is going to design a new piece, being able to go through the beads and categorize them is an excellent place to begin thinking about new designs. Reacquaint yourself with your bead supply will stimulate your imagination and make it easier for you to conceptualize a new project. The fact that this system is modular adds to its appeal. If you are accumulating many beads, you can add even more storage boxes as your bead collection grows. You’re guaranteed to never run out of bead storage.
Your choice of container for storing your beads is, like everything else, personal. The size and number of beads you have will determine what works best. There are a few alternative possibilities outside the transparent, rectangular storage boxes:
Individual sections and snap closures are included in this portable plastic storage box (a drawback: it can be hard to remove beads from compartments without dumping them all out)
Clear, circular containers with separate snap lids or screwed together in a stacking manner for more significant numbers of beads (available in several sizes). A plastic shoe box, a fishing tackle box, or a make-up tackle box all stack comfortably on a shelf (practical for larger beads).
The essential concept isn’t so much the method you use as it is the basic notion that having things ordered will assist in clearing your mind and inspire creativity.
Keep your beads out of direct sunlight in a safe, dry spot that is easily accessible, regardless of how you store and organize them. Moisture can wreak havoc on bead finishes, which isn’t perfect for metal findings. Safety is also essential, especially in households with children. Because beads can be a choking danger for little children, keeping them out of reach is best.
The rectangular tubes used to store beads are known as “tic-tac boxes,” after the plastic candy boxes that inspired them. Teens were saving Tic-Tac candy boxes to use for keeping their beads, according to the tale I’ve heard, and someone came up with the idea to make the boxes expressly for bead storage. I’m not sure whether it’s real, but it makes for a beautiful story (and was a great business idea).
Local bead businesses typically have a stick-on label system for organizing beads that provides information such as the color number, bead size, manufacturer, and price to help customers identify the beads. Carefully peel off these labels (they won’t shred if you do it carefully) and place them in the flip-top tubes. Then, you’ll have all the information you need if you need more of a particular bead in the future.
Adopt your labeling if the container your beads arrived in doesn’t have it. For tracking needs, write down the color, size, manufacturer, price, and code numbers on a white address label sticker.
Storing Stringed Beads
You may store strands of beads, such as semiprecious stones or pearls, by hanging them on a wall on a man’s tie rack (particularly if you don’t have a lot of storage space). Examining what you’ve got is simple, and trying out other color combinations. You may appreciate the strands on your wall long before you utilize them in a piece of jewelry if you arrange them artistically. Tie and coat racks with wooden pegs are also excellent for displaying and storing finished necklaces and bracelets.
Are Beading Dishes Any Good?
Some folks enjoy beading from their dishes. Any variety of single round glass or plastic plates, or the 50-cent metal triangle dishes, are frequently referred to as “honey pots.” A “bead sorting dish,” which is usually a giant ceramic dish with a circular area in the center and numerous additional sections fanning out around the center circle, is another dish choice (like those used by watercolor artists).
The vertical edges of dishes, on the other hand, seem to get in the way of my needle, causing the beads to move about too much. Picking up beads from a nonslippery fabric surface, such as Velux cloth, is my preferred method (used to make lightweight blankets). A placemat-sized piece of imitation suede, felt, velvet or a terrycloth towel are some more fabric alternatives (my last choice because the needle can catch easily in the terry loops).
You may just put a little pile of each color or kind of bead onto the cloth surface instead of having a separate dish for each color or type of bead. Then, when you’re through, use a triangular metal dish to scoop up each bead pile and use the corner to drop the beads back into their flip-top storage box without removing the lid.
The choice of a beading surface is, once again, personalMake sure to experiment with numerous approaches before settling on the one that works best for you.
What is a bead board, exactly?
A bead board is a design tool with a soft, flocked surface for experimenting with bead and color combinations. The surface of the bead board contains grooves and inch markers to assist you in planning a piece to the required length. Before you start putting the item together, use it to lay out beads, examine what looks nice together, get a notion of length, and make color and design considerations.
What can I do to catch my errors sooner?
Let me remind everyone to “pause and enjoy their work.” Put another way, take frequent breaks and double-check your work to ensure everything is in order. If a pattern or sequence doesn’t seem or feel correct, it probably isn’t!
You want to catch any mistakes as soon as possible so that you don’t have to do too much tearing to rectify them. You’ll feel more secure about sailing ahead if you practice pausing periodically and double-checking your work.
It’s fantastic to have something to do with your hands. You fill those idle minutes with something creative and find you don’t mind waiting at the doctor’s office. It’s easiest to bring your beads with you if you select a simple project to pull out and put away. You must also correctly organize your materials.
You don’t want to haul large plastic luggage with half your beading supplies. Once you’ve gotten everything out and set up, it’ll be time to put things away. I keep my beading in a sandwich container made of solid plastic. It’s the ideal size for a small beading project and will carry all your equipment. You may always have a portable project ready to go.
A crocheted rope bracelet is the ideal craft for on-the-go beading, especially if you have 10 or 15 minutes to spare. Never worry about picking up individual beads or putting them on your lap when the hygienist announces your name because the beads are already strung.
When you’re ready to end beading, attach a safety pin to the final crocheted stitch to keep it from unraveling in your bag. Keep track of little beads by squeezing a small amount onto a sticky note’s adhesive strip at a time. Please don’t laugh! The beads stay in place, and the glue doesn’t leave any residue.
A plastic glasses case is a terrific way to store and transport your bead crochet work. They’re accessible in drugstores, department shops, and your local eyewear shop, and they’re both unbreakable and water-resistant.