Monday, July 07, 2014

the great reorganization

Is there really a good way to organize a large volume of beads?
I can remember nearly 10 years ago back when the Bead and Button forums were live and active seeing huge threads dedicated to the forever task of organizing our bead stashes.  It's a never ending always evolving struggle.  Not only are there hanks of beads which in my opinion work best in craft/embroidery floss boxes.  But it's the tubes of seed beads that throw a wrench into my system.  Although after searching the Internet 10 years later, there are lots more plastic boxes you can buy but really not any new wonderful ideas for bead organization.
 This past May my grandmas moved into an independent living apartment.  She was a beader too.  Ok, no, lets face it, I'm pretty sure both my Grandma and me are both bead collectors first and beaders second.  We love to have a stash of beads.  We need to have what we are looking for in person and on hand for when we need it.  It's just the way we work. 

It's been years since her arthritic hands have been able to string a seed bead, and with the move to a smaller living space she gave her collection to me.  It was a bit overwhelming because her collection is a lot larger than mine is.  She stored her beads in plastic drawers like the ones hardware stores sell to organize screws and bolts.  She had 5 boxes of plastic drawers filled with beads plus a few other piles of boxes and other miscellaneous crafty goodness collected over the past 20 years. 

With 2 lil boys in the house I have visions of those drawers crashing down and the nightmare of a mess it would be to clean up.  So I decided to stay with my box method of organization and go by color.  Seed beads are organized by color.  Gemstones and glass beads are separated from each other and roughly organized by color.  It was a lot of work.  I was really enjoying the process though.  When I was done I was actually a bit disappointed, partly relieved, and part of me doesn't want to touch it because I know it won't stay this organized!

I've posted some peaks of my new bead stash.  It's a bit overwhelming in all honesty.  Although it's great for when I have a project and I'm looking for just the right thing.  Most likely it's in the stash somewhere! 


Mimoza-Blooming said...

Hm. For the bead tubes, maybe a hanging fabric rack would work (and could be DIYed) - kind of like a shoe rack, except with narrower shorter pockets, so the tubes would stick out and you could see the bead colors?

Or something like a marker pouch?
These are intense, but convey the idea:

Or - paint brush roll-up holders:

:) Yeah, I have a total of two tubes of seed beads, so I've never really ran into this problem before :)

Crymson Flower said...

Thanks for the comment. Those are some great ideas that I hadn't thought of. I was at hobby lobby the other day and found a plastic box for markers and paint brushes and I'm using that for my tubes of beads. So far I'm happy with it. =)