Today I want to share with you some of my favorite handmade and store bought storage ideas, plus a few more that I’ve discovered along the way. Many of these handy tools help to keep beading supplies together in a single limited space, and organized enough to know exactly where everything is. The less time you have to spend looking for things, or finding a home for new beads, the more time you can spend creating!
It’s interesting to note the little things that all hobbyists have in common, and one trip through a tackle shop or sporting goods store will give you a sense of connection with fishermen and fly-tyers. This is one of the best places to find affordable and reliable storage solutions for beads and jewelry components.
My personal favorite is the compartment tray, especially those with a variety of compartment sizes. These little trays can hold a lot of beads, don’t take up a lot of space, and are very stackable. Clear trays allow you to easily grab the beads that you need, but there’s always plenty of room for labels along the sides. One tiny spill can be a huge disaster though, so I like to store beads in their original packages, and use the compartments for organizing by size and color.
Traditional tackle boxes, like those with hinged, stacking trays inside, are also excellent for materials, tools and larger beads. The locking lids and handles also make them ideal for traveling and beading on the go. Smaller tackle containers like space saving jars are very handy for sorting and organizing small quantities of beads.
Anyone who has ever visited an elementary school has probably seen magazines stored in cereal boxes, which help keep the flimsy booklets upright and easy to browse through. All you have to do is remove the top flaps and cut out a wedge from one side to make a handy book receptacle for beading magazines.
This easy upcycled solution is also great for storing and sorting supply invoices, tutorials and printouts, and packing materials like envelopes and tissue paper. The leftover box tops can also be cut and taped together, making handy bracers for storing beaded bangles.
Food containers of all shapes and sizes can make ideal homes for our materials and tools. Once they are thoroughly washed and dried, baby food and spice jars, dairy tubs, and even cookie trays can make a little space go a long way. To make containers absolutely spotless for bead and jewelry storage, I triple wash them with hot soapy water and a generous amount of baking soda. It works as a mild abrasive that also deodorizes and disinfects.
For a more professional feeling craft space, there are a wide variety of bead storage options available to choose from. Personally, I find a lot of them too fiddly for my taste, and each one has it’s limits for bead sizes and quantities. But for beaders who are on the move a lot, storage totes can provide both organization and security.
I can’t say enough good things about these upcycled beauties. Even though we all know hanging isn’t good for beaded jewelry, it’s hard to resist these pretty little compartments. Something about them is just ideal for the magpie in all of us. In a studio, these refurbished printer drawers would make great displays or storage space for bead strands and hanks.
Jewelry Display by Blue Bird Heaven
Other fun vintage and upcycled options include commercial baking trays, science lab accessories, and sewing kits - thoroughly cleaned, of course.
If it has cubbies, hooks, shelves, or drawers, chances are it can be used for storing craft supplies. Any bed and bath or home improvement store will have a treasure trove of storage options for beading and craft spaces. Paper towel racks are great for spools of ribbon, cord and thread. Shoe caddies are just waiting to be filled with tools and other miscellany.
If you’re thinking about an overhaul of your craft space, the Crafty Storage blog might help give you some ideas for how to get organized. There are lots of great images of studios and storage ideas to get inspired with.
Do you have a fun or unusual way to store beads and jewelry?
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