Sunday, March 7, 2010


I'm often asked how I organize my beads......these method works well for me.

First of won't use them if you can't find them, so take the time to gather them from all your hiding places, organize them, and then put them in a convenient matter how many or few you have.

A location away from sunlight, heat, and excess moisture is best.

Because there are no closets in my studio, my teaching materials are stored in a large walk in closet in a guest room nearby. The bulk of my workshops in recent years have focused on beading techniques or projects that incorporate beads. Therefore, I purchase a LOT of beads in bulk from a distributor for my classes. They generally come as strung kilos, which I repackage into kits and store in boxes and plastic bins.

Above is my own personal stash...... One entire side of the closet is fitted from floor to ceiling with shelves...and almost all are used to store my embellishments. I could consolidate them if the space was needed for other things, but as it is now, I'm easily able to walk in and quickly find what I'm looking for without having to dig through dozens of items stacked on top of each other.

I like to use plastic fishing tackle boxes, or embroidery floss containers. Beads are stored by style and color in see-thru plastic tubes or small bags. Here you see some seed beads.

Besides using beads, I utilize many other embellishments, trinkets, charms, buttons, found objects into my work. This unit has plastic pull out containers with large divided sections which are more suitable for these items. It too goes on my shelves in the closet.

If tubes or small bags aren't handy for you....try storing beads in small containers such as film canisters, pill bottles, or metal breath mint cases. If you glue a bead to the'll always be able to quickly know what's inside!

Another big key to making your environment comfortable during the task. A table top or floor model Ott light will save on eye strain. As will a pair of 'cheater glasses'. I always tell my students that one of the biggest secrets to successful beading is 'spacing'....and the ability to see the bead and to judge the placement of the needle into the fabric is vital.


1 comment:

Robbie said...

Great tips, Mary. Thanks for sharng. I just purchased some bead tube tower(s) which store the tubes and I do love those. I also saw some canister's at JoAnn's that are round cases that join together. I saw a lady keep her beads in colorways in these. also, a good idea. thanks again!