Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Organizing Your Bead Working Supplies

A beadwork hobby can be a wonderful way to spend your time. This hobby is great because the pieces you need to work on the hobby are very inexpensive. Although if you keep the hobby, you will want to develop a large cache of beads, you do not need many when you are just starting out. One of the few drawbacks to bead working is storing the beads. Because the beads are very small, as are the wires and other supplies, you may find that you have trouble storing the beads. There are plenty of choices out there for you, however.

If you are willing and able to spend big bucks on your hobby, then you should consider a bead working kit. You can purchase holders for your beads. The benefit of these holders is that they often have pull-out trays and other contraptions that will make it simple for you to put your beads exactly where you want them. The downside is the expensive. These kits are pricey.

Shopping on a budget for bead working supplies can be simple and fun. When you get started, you may want to start with zippered sandwich bags. These bags are a really low-tech way to store your beads. Instead of putting them everywhere, you will be able to find exactly the beads you will need as soon as you need them. The benefit of these bags is that they are super cheap. They also are see-through, so you will be able to see what you have before you start opening bags.

Once you are ready to move up from the bags, you can try fishing boxes or hardware supply containers. As with clothing, men can purchase the same items for less. The same bead working kits that will cost you big can be found for little money. You often can find these items at the dollar stores if you keep your eye out. You basically are looking for a plastic or metal storage container that has small spaces for storing the beads. Be sure that you keep your eye out to be sure that there are no holes that the beads could fall through.

You also will want your storage container to have a place for wire, clippers, and other supplies that will be much larger than the beads themselves. If you work at it, you can find a storage container that will hold all of the beads you have. Otherwise, you will find that you can have three or four storage bins. Either option works well; just be sure that you find what makes you comfortable.

Another storage option is to use craft dividers. These plastic dividers have a number of spots for you to organize your supplies. While you may have to mix and match beads because the compartments are a bit larger, you will find that you will be able to find everything in these dividers easily. You can purchase small drawer sets intended for organizing that will fit these dividers. Then you can pull out a drawer, get what you need, and be on your way. These dividers can be great if you will have a large number of beading projects going on.

If you are really serious about organizing your bead working supplies, then you will want to label your crafts. There is nothing more frustrating than to be working on a craft project and find that you cannot find the beads you need. Mark them with easy-to-identify labels, such as large letter beads or small iridescent beads. Be sure that you can remove the labels in case you do not purchase more of this type of beads in the future.

These quick tips will help you to organize your bead working supplies so that you can work on your craft instead of just your organizing. There are so many choices out there that you are sure to find something you want. What is most important is to find something that works for you. Do not settle and do not rule out anything for storing your beads. Keep your eye out everywhere you go; you never know when good bead working systems will pop up in unexpected places.

By Julia Mercer

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