Monday, June 9, 2014

Amuse Your Muse - Bead and Studio Storage - with Rebecca of Songbead

Hello June-Bugs! Can you believe we are almost halfway through 2014? I really and truly can't. I have about 7 weeks left until we leave Northern Ireland - I'm trying not to count down the days too much, but live in the moment and enjoy the time we have here - but planning ahead is of course necessary so I can't simply stick my head in the sand, tempting as that is. 

With that in mind, I decided that this was the month to dedicate my weekly post to bead storage. Last week, I spent a small fortune  on some new boxes and containers for my beads - necessary and very functional but not exactly the most aesthetically pleasing solution to my bead storage problems. I thought that with your help, we could collate a mixture of the practical and the beautiful storage solutions here on Art Bead Scene throughout June. I invite you to send pictures of your best - and even your worst! - bead storage. Let's pool our ideas and get inspired. I am sure I am not alone in saying that my design work is greatly driven by the beads themselves, so how I store them has a huge effect on that. I want to see your beads in their homes! 

First up, these cute wee glass vials from In The Clear. I am not sure they would work for your art beads(!), but if you use seed beads, these would be a very lovely - and very visible - way of storing them. They have a real vintage vibe which would go nicely in my fantasy studio - I can see them on a small shelf in rainbow order. Yum!

This very vintage unit from Chicky Doddle is 'designed' for storing washi tape - something many of us have a few spools of. It works perfectly for tape - but could also be used for spills of ribbon or even small spools of beading wire.

I am sure I am not the only one who likes to bead on the go. Whether you are planning to stash a few beads for a forthcoming summer holiday, or whether like me you can barely get on a bus without knowing you have a project with you - you know, 'just in case' - it's worth having a dedicated carrier for them that is beautiful as well as functional. This lovely bag from Gerda Bags is so pretty, it could inspire jewellery designs in itself. 

Lastly for today, something a little more fixed for your studio - a vintage sewing basket/table from Berlin Attic. I have a real thing about these little sewing storage units - I was fascinated by my Mum's as a child, I inherited one from my Grandma and I even picked one up on ebay a couple of years ago. OK, you can't see what's in them - but a couple of these for storing beading essentials  - spools of wire, findings, tools - would look great in my fantasy studio. 

I would love to know what's in your fantasy bead studio! Or even what's in your real bead studio if yours is closer to your own fantasy studio than mine is. Leave links here or email me with photos so that I can share next week. 

And now for the BeadBlogger Links. Have a great week!

Rebecca is a Scottish jewellery designer, currently living in Belfast, Northern Ireland. You can read more about her and her work at her blog, and see more of her jewellery at She also has a supplies shop at


Divya N said...

I use a regular spice box to hold all my spacer beads - not the prettiest storage but its quite efective

Maneki said...

I always drool over beautiful bead storage solutions as wish I had that too, but either they don't fit my budget (which is minimal) or they don't fit my needs -- especially the need to be easy to carry with me from room to room.

Earlier this year I got so fed up with my severely overflowing seed bead storage that I just gave up, bought a plastic box with lid and a package of 1 litre plastic bags with zipper locks and sorted the seeds by colour and -- for everything other than rocailles and cylinders -- shape respectively. Not pretty, but more useful than my earlier system -- and it isn't quite as much of a disaster if a ziplock bag of 15/0 seeds rupture anymore. Pics (of poor quality) can be found here:

The rest of my beads are stored in Raaco handybox drawers (two units stored on top of each other and I want one more). Here's a pic of what it looks like inside one of them: And this is my storage solution for beading wire: (As for beading needles, I'm right in the middle of planning a needle book and a maschma for bead emboidery on the go.)

My sis doesn't have as many beads as I do and therefore store them differently. Once she bought Gütermann beads on a sale and stored them like this in a cat bowl.

I collect pics and ideas for bead storage (and more, like other storage and workspace ideas) on this pinboard: Maybe there's some useful ideas for other beaders to be inspired by too? Both for newbies with few beads and experienced beaders with serious overflowing bead stash issues.

salla said...

while the tiny glass vials are very cute, the idea of storing seed beads in them - at least for a seed beader - is hysterical! My seedbeads come in 6 inch long tubes (about 25 grams). And I know many people buy them 100 to 250 grams at a time! They are best kept in the tube the come in. I do put the tubes into a storage box - the fishing tackle kind that is slightly opaque.

Rebecca said...

I totally agree Salla - I used to be a seed beader, and have been doing a lot of weaving again recently, and they certainly wouldn't work for me either! But for someone who uses them as spacers here and there, I think they would be very pretty :-)

Ann Schroeder said...

This is something in my fantasy bead studio. Erin Siegel's wonderful pegboard system - good looking and great storage: Someday!

Tinfoil Halo said...

A couple of years ago I got a few cheapy screw storage bins and some Christmas lights for back lighting. Pictures here:

and here:

I LOVE it. It works great and 2 years later I am still organized!