Thursday, February 7, 2008

I Heart Tools - Bead Stoppers

The other day I went shopping for some new Beadalon Stringing Wire - as we all know it is a great product, but it can feel sort of expensive when I need to buy several rolls at once. Since I often just need a small piece to create extensions on an earring or add a bit of dangle to a design, I like to keep even small pieces that get cut off the end of a trial necklace or are left on the end of a roll. In the past these small and varied pieces were just tossed into a ziplock bag, which made them sort of all jumble together and it was hard to sort out the small pieces at the bottom of the bag.

All of a sudden it dawned on me - why not stick them into a bead stopper and hang that stopper on the bullentin board? If I gently squeeze the sides of the stopper just enough to barely open the coils, I can slide an individual pieces of Beadalon wire in and out of the spaces without all the other wires falling out. Now, a quick glance reveals the color and length of the odds and ends pieces allowing me to get on with my design without having to rummage through a bag.

Each stopper can hold up to 10 pieces. I also use another stopper to hold longer pieces that I have cut from the spool and not ended up using for that particular design. I find I get less kinks in the wire as it hangs from the stopper, than it did if I tried to rewind it onto the spool or store it in a bag.

Do you have some duel duty tools you can share with us?


*melanie* earthenwood studio said...

This is a great idea Elaine! Thanks so much!

I currently have a big magnet that catches all my short bits of beading wire, but it catches other stuff too, so I love this Bead Stopper idea!

Libby said...

That's a fabulous idea! I've been keeping my ends in a drawer and they tend to get lost and ignored. This is much better. Thanks.

Elaine Ray said...

Thanks, the magnet is also a good idea. Libby, those are nice looking beads, I love the texture.

michelle said...

I've been collecting all my wire bits in a ziploc bag and that hasn't been working so well! Your idea is much neater!