Monday, October 22, 2007

Bead Storage

Hi all - this is not really a BJP entry, but I'm so passionate about my bead storage, I wanted to share it with you. I've tried a lot of storage containers - bags, those round screw tops that stack, the round flip top that have a few attached in one piece and more. But for seed beads (and drops, daggers, smaller stone beads and pearls), I find the best storage is from Out On a Whim - These are rectangular flip top, soft plastic, containers that come in 4 sizes. They fit into a 4x6" plastic box that Whim also sells. When I buy tubes to have around for not-yet purchased beads, I buy more of the largest size as these can be cut to fit your needs.

I like them so much because I can rearrange them according to the project I'm working on, easily take any ones with me when I travel and they take up very little space. Because the 4x6 box is clear, you can put your boxes out and look at all your colors easily. I store in boxes by color, but that's easily changed if you want to store by size or some other characteristic - that's the rearrangeability issue.

24 of these 4x6 boxes fit in the bottom section of the Jewelry Tote from Joann's - on-line or at stores - but wait for a Joann's coupon to get it as it's not cheap.

Okay, so now some info (more than you need?) on my labeling system... I don't label the 11s, but I put a Blue dot for 15s, a red dot for 8s and a green dot for 6s. You can get a box of dot labels at Walmart or other stationery places. On the side of the tube, I put a small rectangular label for where I got the beads and the re-rorder number so I can get them again. Lastly, I put a "more" label on them if I actually have more than fit in the tube (I think the largest tube home 30 grams). I label the boxes, Blue 1, Blue 2, Blue 3, etc. on both edges of the box and keep them stacked on my shelves. In box 1 of each color, I put the non-size 11s so that I always know which box holds the 15s or whatever (but I am spilling over to Box 2 with these!). Now, the only thing I have left to organize is the list of bead numbers I have so I don't keep buying the same beads again! This is TOO much for me to organize now, but one day I hope to have this list.

So, for those of you looking for a stoage system, I hope this is a good tutorial. But again, it's just my opinion and the way I like to work. Hope it helps someone out there. One more thing... there are rip offs of this storage system out there so beware - the one I know about is at Walmart - their tubes are hard plastic, only come in one size and are not fully rectangular as they taper at the bottom and thus don't fit into the box nicely (you have to store every other one upside down).

Two quotes from my local bead store to make you smile:

Just let me bead and no one will get hurt.

I didn't cause your addition, I only support it.

Have a Beady Good Day. Karen, the bead hearted babe


beadbabe49 said...

I love these too, karen...I use them for all my japanese beads, including the delicas, the cubes, the triangles and the hexes as well as the smaller swarovski & czech fire polished crystals...they're neat!

Any Smith said...

I am so tired of plastic bags! Thanks for your help on how to corral our beads into containers - I especially need to record the size (14s and 10s) and where I got the beads since I buy them from everywhere!

vivage said...

LOL, I am a disorganized mess. I have baggies, tubes with plastic plugs, fliptops, pretty much any kind of container that beads come in or I can pour into.

This also means I rebuy beads I already have because I can't find that one color that I was sure I had.

I need to get organized and it's nice to have someone who has a system post a tut. I'm feeling inspired now!

Robin said...

Well, hello from a zip-lock lover... make that a 2" x 3" x 4mil thick zip-locks, please! I've been beading as a career for over 20 years now and have tried nearly every type of bead storage. What's lovely about zips is that you're not storing air. I can fit about 100 of them, each with varying amounts of beads in a 4" x 10" plastic storage tub. If you're interested to read more, go here.

Teresa said...

I'm a converted beader to plasticc bags. I've started to sort these by the type of bead finish. I use to organoze by color but so many are blended colors and I ended up confused. So now I sort by bead family and that helps me know what I have when I shop for beads. I usually shop on the Net. I don't get out to buy beads now that I work full-time. Oh well... so many beads and so little time!
Teresa S.

Ruth said...

So Karen, how many of these boxes do you have? I'm curious because I organized my baby beads, size 12 & smaller into the Out on a Whim system, and I needed six boxes! I do like them, but the cost of converting the rest of my seed beads is prohibitive. My seed bead collection, currently organized along the lines of what Robin uses, occupies a wall system that is 2.5 feet wide and 7 feet tall.

artandtea said...

Hi Karen, I use the storage system from Whim Beads, too, and I love it! I stack the boxes on a wire shelf in my art storage area and I can see at a glance what colors are in what box. There's a vendor at the Providence, RI Whole Bead show called Knot Just Beads. His seed beads already come in those containers so I try to buy from him. Thanks for the tip about the Jewelry tote from Joann's. -Karen

Karen L. Cohen said...

Re: Ruth - how many boxes to I have. Including pearls, stones, seeds, etc. I have about 30 boxes filled right now. I have 4 boxes of purples, 4 of green, 5 of blue, 4 metallics and so on. I like the display this gives me, but realize that Robin and other bag lovers like the touchy feel of the bags. Each to his own, though - it's a matter of how you like to work with them. It was just an alternative, but I looked for so long and finally found these. I guess they can get expensive, but for me it's worth it. Love those beads!!!! Karen