When you’ve been beading for a while, you build up quite the collection of supplies. Tools, stringing materials, findings and of course, the beads themselves take over your crafting space.
Organizing your supplies makes it easy to find what you need while you’re working. It also saves you money. Have you ever purchased something only to find it at home a while later? I certainly have and it’s annoying, to say the least.
It took me a really long time (I’m talking years) to come up with an organization system that I really like for my jewelry-making supplies. I’m going to share some simple organizing tips with you in the hopes that it helps you to organize your beads etc. as well.
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How To Organize Your Beading Supplies
What You Will Need
Below is a list of organizing supplies that you may find useful. My top recommendations are listed in my Amazon Store.
- Small clear containers
- Clear storage bins with multiple compartments
- Ribbon organizer
- Resealable zipper bags
- Drawer rolling storage cart
1. Organize Your Beads
I have a ton of beads at home, probably way too many. (Wait… Is that an actual problem?) In an effort to see what I have so I actually use them, I find it better to sort beads by size, type and colour.
So for example, I take my pearls and place each colour and size in separate containers. So, I would have a container filled with 4mm pink pearls and another for 6mm pink, 8mm pink etc. Then, I continue on in this manner with each type of bead I have.
After all my beads are sorted into containers, I group all my 4mm pearls together in one area and all of my 6mm pearls in another area. Storing them like this makes it really easy to grab what I need.
The only time I mix various colours, sizes and types of beads in the same container is if I cut apart unfinished beading projects and couldn’t be bothered to separate the beads.
2. Organize Findings
I organize findings in a manner similar to the beads.
Sort findings according to metal finish and type. For example, I like to place all of my earrings findings in one area and the silver and gold ear wire hooks go into separate containers. Then, the clip-on earring findings are stored in different containers but in the same drawer. When I need earring findings, they’re all in one location.
Repeat this process with your other findings e.g. various types of clasps, bead caps etc.
3. Store Tools Within Easy Reach
It’s really frustrating when I’m beading and I have to stop what I’m doing to hunt for a tool I need. I usually think ahead and take out all the supplies I want before I begin a jewelry project but there are times when I need something unexpectedly or I forgot a tool.
Keep your tools within easy reach. You don’t want to have to reach on a top shelf or dig around the back of a drawer somewhere to find them. Place them up front in your storage unit or better yet, on top of your crafting surface.
This simple idea for storing jewelry-making pliers around the edge of a recycled tin can is brilliant! I love the two-toned look as well which is really easy to accomplish with some tape a little spray paint.
4. The Containers You Use Matter
When you’re trying to organize your beads and findings, the containers you use make a big difference. Use clear containers with tight-fitting lids.
Being able to see through makes it easy to identify the contents. Tight-fitting lids are important so your beads don’t spill out of the container or worse yet mix with each other if there are compartments.
Use tiny containers like these especially if you have a small craft space or you like to travel with your beads. Storage boxes with multiple compartments like these are another great option.
5. Storing Stringing Materials
Storing chain, ribbon and other stringing materials can be challenging. If you have spools, they can simply be stored on a Ribbon Organizer or get a wooden dowel from the hardware store and hang it on two cup hooks for a DIY solution.
Place smaller pieces of chain or ribbon into small resealable zipper bags. Hang these on hooks, on the same wooden dowel I mentioned earlier or store in an area dedicated to these items.
Hopefully, these simple tips will help you organize your beads and other jewelry supplies. If you need more organization ideas, read How To Organize Your Craft Space & Get It To Stay That Way.
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