If you are an avid beader, your life may get a little difficult each time you bring out your beads. Whether they are out of their containers or you’ve got a box full of different beads, it’s time to organize your materials so that they are ready for use when you need them. If you need ideas for how to organize beads, we’ve got you covered.
How to Organize Beads
Here are some great ways you can easily organize your beads.
Specialized organizers are available for beads, but a tool or tackle boxes can also work, depending on the kinds of beads you need to organize.
Whatever kind of organizer you choose to house your beads, make sure it is strong enough to withstand daily use, has separate compartments for different-sized beads (or space to add smaller containers), and has a secure locking closure. An organizer that has space for tools, such as jewelry pliers and scissors, will let you keep all your supplies in one place.
Separate and Label
Separate your beads in the containers and organizer by color or material, according to personal preference. For example, one organizer tray could be devoted to pearls, while another is exclusively for colored glass beads.
Delicate gemstone beads or beads prone to scratching or breaking should be stored wrapped in cotton or other soft material. Use stickers or labels to identify the kind of beads in each container.
Lids and Storage Ideas
Inside your basic organizer, separate your beads into compartments or containers with lids that will prevent spilling if the container or organizer is tipped over. For seed beads, containers with screw-on lids are better than snap-top containers, as they require no pressure to open.
Organizer boxes work well for larger beads and supplies. Film canisters and other dark containers can be used but will need labels. Clear or transparent containers are the easiest to use, as you can see at a glance what beads are available. One low-cost option is to use plastic zip-seal bags, which can be purchased in a variety of sizes from craft and jewelry supply stores.
I love collecting boxes, especially those made out of glass or plastic because they can be useful for storing small items. For example, when you purchase a fancy box of chocolates, you may get them in a cardboard box or a plastic box. Keep the plastic boxes because you can store large beads in them. The cardboard boxes are useful for those times when you are giving presents away.
Gift boxes are also great for storage. If you are given jewelry in a small gift box, don’t forget to keep the gift box, too. Not only can you reuse the gift box when you are giving away presents, but you can also use it to store your nick-knacks for your jewelry-making endeavors.
Store-bought storage boxes
You can usually find plastic boxes with dividers in arts and crafts stores and in other stores that sell a wide variety of goods. Store-bought storage boxes typically come with dividers that are separated and then slid simply into slots. You can make each section as big or as small as you like.
These are the best materials for organizing your beads because you can easily see your beads once you open the container. Try to find storage boxes that have containers that are sloped. This feature will allow you to easily take out beads when you need them.
Dressers and drawers
Fishermen know them, and arts and crafts people love them. We are talking about small desktop dressers. They are very useful for beaders. Although these “dressers” are not inexpensive, they are durable and hardy and will last for many years.
I love that you can carry them with you and the drawer feature allows you to easily open and close separate compartments. A label on the front of each drawer will also make beading easier.
How to Organize Beads by Bead Type
Organize your beads by color, texture, type of bead or stone, or even size. Mark each container using labels. Do not write directly on the container.
When you have many beads, it is easy to get them all mixed up. If you are working on a project, having some simple organization will make your project and clean-up time move much quicker and easier. By purchasing some storage containers and labels, beads can be organized in the nick of time.
Things You’ll Need
- Storage containers
- Bead collection
- Storage containers
Pour out all of the beads into a stacking tray.
Get out the containers and label each storage container by a type of bead. For example, choose one for glass beads, another for lampwork beads, and perhaps another one for Swarovski crystals.
Place each bead into its corresponding container.
Store beads in a big showcase or plastic storage crate for easy access when it is time for your next project. Only get out the necessary beads to complete your piece of jewelry.
How to Organize Beads by Color
If you are a jewelry maker or bead collector, then you may have a very large collection of beads that get mixed up in their cases, canisters, and your work. It is easy to perform projects when you have everything organized by color so that you spend more time creating, instead of cleaning up and organizing.
Things You’ll Need:
- Bead containers
- Your bead collection
- Storage containers
Pour out all of the contents of your bead collection into one of your bead trays or a big bowl.
Set out a few bead containers. Label containers by color. Have a container and label for each color that you have.
Begin to separate your beads by color. Pour each bead into its corresponding container. You can subdivide your beads into, say, “small red beads,” or “large red beads.”
Store all of your beads in a large shoebox or container for easy keeping and storing. The next time you have a beading project, you will only have to get out the corresponding colors that you need instead of having your workspace covered in beads.
The Best Way to Organize Beads
Beading and jewelry-making are popular and rewarding hobbies, but the items and tools needed for them can take up a lot of space. If you’ve been beading for a long, you probably have a difficult time knowing just where your different beads and supplies are.
Finding a good organizer will not only save you time but also make your hobby more enjoyable, as you can spend more time beading and less time searching for elusive beads or wayward pliers.
As you can see, organizing beads is essential for any beader. Not only will it make your life easier, but you’ll have a lot more fun during the beading process, too.