Hey beautiful! In today’s video, I will share another important section of my bead and jewelry making supply storage: how I store my seed beads. I utilize the top three shelves of one of my 10-drawer rolling carts for all types of seed beads (round, cube, hex, bugle, etc.), and a cute, portable purple and black storage case for my delicas. Watch the video for all the details, and feel free to share below how you store your seed beads. I hope you enjoy, and stay tuned for the next installment of my bead storage series, which will be coming soon.
Why this Organization Method Works for Me...
- Since I already use the flip-top storage containers in my acrylic wall organization system, it makes sense for me to use the same type of containers, which I already have a lot of. The flip-top containers are very secure and crystal clear, so the beads will not easily spill out, and I can tell exactly what color is stored inside, without distortion.
- The drawers of the rolling carts are not only interchangeable, but I can remove an entire drawer of seed beads (carefully). A drawer can be brought over to my workspace, so I can decide on colors without having to bring over multiple single containers at a time.
- This storage system is very compact. It’s pretty amazing that my entire stash of 11/0 Japanese seed beads fit in one drawer of the 10-drawer unit! In one layer, no less. All I have to do, is open up the drawer, with contents sorted by color family, and it makes seeing what I have on hand a breeze.
- Using the cart system, and the various clear plastic storage containers within, makes this storage method easy to adjust as more beads come in, or different types of seed beads enter into my collection. Storage is constantly evolving based on need.
These secure containers come in a variety of different heights. I like to have a mix of the following heights:
The 1.25″ and 1.5″ tall containers can be stacked on top of each other on the acrylic wall shelving unit; making these are great storage option for smaller quantities of beads. You could also stack a 1″ or 1.25″ on top of a 2″ container. By stacking them, you can squeeze more containers onto each shelf. Other things I love about these containers are (1) they are completely see-through, and (2) the flip top lids are very secure.
TIP: Not all flip-top containers are created equal. Some are cloudy, and are not as sturdy. I specifically recommend purchasing a listing like the one I have linked to in this post.
I have also started to implement a system of colorful dot labels, which I place on individual plastic bags, flip-top containers, etc. The dot color corresponds to a particular bead box, or online shop, so I know where the item came from. You can also write details on the dot, such as the date you received the material, how much it cost, brand, what it’s made of, etc. I like that the color gives me an immediate heads up about where I acquired a material, without even having to write anything.
I use this adorable purple and black storage case to house my Delicas. Since Delicas make for a great type of bead to travel with, I store them in this portable unit, which is a hard-sided carrying case, covered in fabric, and includes 60 screw-top vials. Additionally, the pocket at the top is large enough to house two more clear 4×6 containers with lids, and multiple flip-tops within. All of my delicas fit neatly, and safely portable inside. This case is advertised for Diamond Painting storage, but there is no reason it can’t be used to store many other things.
These rolling carts are so handy! I have one of the 12-drawer units pictured, and later added two of the 10-drawer units, which are taller and have a single stack of drawers. The thing I like about these storage carts the most are the following:
- The drawers are interchangeable, even between units. I can move drawers around as much as I want, without any effort.
- The drawers are completely removable. Sometimes I choose to pull out a drawer of material, and bring it over to my work space, without bringing the entire cart.
- Easy to assemble, and very sturdy.
- The fact that these carts are on casters makes moving them a breeze. You can roll an entire cart, full of supplies, over to another workspace if you’d like, without much trouble
A Message About Bead Storage
Bead storage will be an ongoing process of trial and error while you determine which methods are most effective for YOU. Because your situation is unique, these are some questions you may want to consider:
- What is the size of your space?
- Should your storage be permanent or portable?
- How much are you willing to spend?
- What kinds of supplies do you regularly use?
- How much do you have to store?
- Do you have a style/aesthetic?
- Will this system be flexible for my needs?
It has taken me more than two years to share more about my methods for bead storage because it is constantly evolving. It’s my goal to put a lot of thought into what I eventually share with you; therefore, I put these storage methods into personal use over a period of time, in order to feel comfortable recommending them to others.
The methods I personally use will not work for everyone, and that’s totally understandable! I encourage everyone to find their own favorite methods of bead storage and organization, which meet your own unique circumstances. On that note, if you try one method, and it doesn’t seem to work for you, try something else. Don’t feel obligated to stick to a method that you aren’t keeping up with, or isn’t effective for you. Expect a period of trial and error, and actually putting systems into use over time, to see what is working, and what needs to be tweaked.
TIP: Use storage products that you have on hand first, if possible.
Get creative with storage solutions; scour your home for bins, baskets, carts, shelves, that you could utilize more effectively in your creative space. You don’t have to sink a lot of money into organization, unless you want to. In fact, with effective organization you gain the ability to know exactly what you have on hand, and exactly where it is. You will save money by not having to purchase repeat supplies, unnecessarily. You will also save time because you won’t be hunting down “lost” materials that could be jumbled in piles of random supplies.