Organize Your Bead Studio

I woke up this morning and the ground was covered with snow. Even after all the signs of spring had come–robins, worms, one robust thunderstorm, and the premature donning of t-shirts and shorts in 45° weather—this is what we get? Yes . . . a big reminder of why Minnesota isn’t over-populated.

Instead of crawl under the covers and groan, though, I’ve decided I’ll do my own version of a rain dance: some mighty Spring cleaning to let Mother Nature know that we’ve had enough winter. First stop? My studio.

I like to call where I work “my studio” so it sounds fancy, but the place is just one of the bedrooms in our 1960s suburban split level. It’s where I do all my freelance work, both writing and designing, so I’ve done my best to make it functional for both the clean, left-brain activities I do as well as the messy, right-brain activities. Since I spend so much time in my studio I’ve also worked hard to make it comfortable and creatively inspirational.

I’m always looking for ways to make my space work better, though, so I sat down and read the Spring/Summer issue of Studios—a magazine filled with really clever ideas for organizing and beautifying your work space. The thing I like most about this issue is the photos of other artists’s studios. It’s enlightening to see how other creative people solve storage, workspace, and display problems.  I definitely needed this creative organizational boost to get motivated . . . maybe you do, too? Get Studios and be inspired!

To-Do List

After studying all the great studios in the magazine, I gave myself a to-do list:
1. Deal with the desk. There are papers and junk everywhere here!

2. Clean the beading table. One way I’ve been able to shut away the mess so I can concentrate on writing or editing is to put my worktable in this well-lit closet. The upside is I only need to shut the closet doors to hide the mess. The downside is it’s easy to leave the mess! Welcome to that mess. Today I’ll put errant beads back into their original containers, recycle old zipper bags and papers, deal with a new storage space for kit-making, and remove anything that isn’t jewelry-design related.

3. Overhaul the bulletin board. I’ve had the same pieces of jewelry, photos, materials, swatches, and notes posted on my corkboard for months. No wonder Mother Nature still thinks it’s still winter.

The Results
It took about a day to whip my studio back into shape:
1. Neat, organized desk. I moved the desk to a completely different wall because my sister-in-law says it’s bad feng shui to have your back to a doorway. I think she’s right, because this setup feels much better. I also organized the junk, placing it in an old set of drawers tucked under the tabletop.

2. Workable, clean beading table. I cleaned up all the mess on the work surface, but the big thing for me here was that I moved the kit supplies I’d been shoving under my worktable to their own location along the wall where my desk used to be. Now I’ll have a nifty, clean place to make kits and I’ll be able to get my knees under my worktable while working, too.

3. Pristine bulletin board. I removed just about everything from the bulletin board and put up just the essentials and a few other things that make me happy. I know it’ll fill up on its own soon enough. (See my new kit-making station? I’m so exited!)

Do you have tips for organizing your craft studio? Share them on the website.

Jean Campbell writes about beading and life every Wednesday on Beading Daily. If you have comments or questions for Jean, please post them on the website.

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Beading Daily Blog
Michelle M.

About Michelle M.

I was the founding editor of Beading Daily (2007-2009) and my now a freelance designer/writer/editor.  My designs have been published in Stringing, Step by Step Beads, Jewelry Gifts for the Holidays, Creative Jewelry, Beadwork, and other magazines. I enjoy stringing, bead embroidery, wirework, metal work, mixed media, beadweaving—pretty much anything that involves beads or jewelry.  I also enjoy exploring new crafts like pottery and felting.  I write a personal blog if you want to see more of my work. 16+ Free Beading Projects: A list of the free projects I created for Beading Daily. Contact Info If you have a question regarding Beading Daily, please contact customer service at or the current editor, Kristal Wick. If you'd like to contact me, you'll find my info on my website:  You can also follow me on Twitter at: Pictured here is a pair of earrings I made for the Spring 2010 issue of Stringing in an attempt to get over my fear of designing with the color orange!

53 thoughts on “Organize Your Bead Studio

  1. Thank you so much for your ideas. I’m setting up a new beading space. I have a large room to put it in “but” it has to share space with my knitting, sewing and photography. I’m trying to set it up right the first time so it’s taking me longer than I expected. I hope to get it right, I’m new at beading and enjoying it more than ever.
    Thanks so much

  2. I have reorganized my studio several times but what works best for me are the jewelry organizers with drawers and various inserts that I purchased from Tucson Store Fixtures. I also use their gem jars which fit in the inserts. I can open a drawer quickly and view my beads and findings. I have them organized by size and color. I keep adding the organizers but I can find everything in just moments. Good luck.

  3. I picked up the last 2 issues of Studios, hoping to get some inspiration. I would love to see photos of a beader’s studio, since without all that fibre/fabric, there must be some better ways for us beaders. Thanks for your tips. Gypsyladies

  4. I have a studio in what used to be our one car garage. (the car is in the driveway)I have a shop on Etsy, do alterations plus sell veils and jewelry at a Bridal Shoppe I used three 28 x 62 folding tables against two walls. (not too expensive) I got the metal brackets with supports for shelves and have 10 feet of three layers of shelves. Instead of using the shelving boards you see with these metal brackets I got lumber and painted them. You can choose the depth and length you want. I’ve also found various sizes of plastic containers at yard sales, Good Will, ets. for organization on the shelves. I’ve also found three sets of those plastic drawer units to sit on the floor. My suggestion is to design your area as you go, if you can, by hitting yard sales, GoodWill, and Salvation Army stores. It’s amazing what you can find.

  5. Wow Jean, your studio really looks great, I’m impressed. I don’t have any tips as I don’t have a studio as of yet but I am in need of organizing my bead stuff. I just wish I had the time to do it, that’s my problem…maybe some time soon I hope. I did recently buy a clear acrylic bead container at Wal-Mart that I really liked. It is a rectangular box that holds 24 round little clear acrylic screw cap (like pill boxes) containers. I plan on putting those tiny, tiny crimps and all the little things that I don’t want to get lost or misplaced in this. I can say I am more motivated as spring moves in.

  6. I’m working on a plan for a bead studio in my basement. To start, I’ve been collecting these clear acrylic boxes from Joann fabrics, purchasing each one with their 40% off coupon. They come out to about $4.20 each. I love them. Perfectly clear and they snap shut. There are 3 styles: one completely open (great for my larger items), one with 4 or 5 longer compartments, then one with the smaller compartments (18). My sister and I have also been using these folder type organizers from Craft Mates. They’re like a binder. They snap shut, and contain 4 or 8 (depending on which size you get) containers that are rows. These containers lock. Which if fantastic. They’re great for findings. I believe we got them from Walmart or Michaels.
    I too would love to see anyone else’s photos of their studio. I’ve been working on figuring out how to incorporate these containers in a shelving unit, having an open desk space, and a space for creating the ‘not so clean’ projects, like with clay, painting, soldering, etc.


  7. My husband put up 4-12 cubby shoe containers for me to store my beads in. I have used the Craftmade apothacary locking containers to sort beads by color…5 of the small containers fit in each shoe cubby. I have at least 140 of the containers(small) and probably 70 of the larger Craftmade containers for larger beads. My seed bead collection is in the smaller containers. I have more beads than some bead stores…but you can never have enough…right???

  8. Jean, what a fantastic job you did. I just last week did my hobby room. It used to be a one car garage. My husband enclosed, insulated and carpeted it for me to us. Yes, he’s wonderful. It was his idea. We then went up to Home Depot and bought two cabinets with double doors and lots of shelves, two with all shelves and two with drawers. It has ataken me awhile to get it organized, but I find I work better if my area is not cluttered. I found some low trays, a little bit like cookie trays, only larger. I covered these with the material we use for bead mats I adjusted the shelves on the one cabinet so I have about 4-5+ I can slide these in and out to see what I have on them. I use them for projects in the works and for miscellaneous other things. I have one shelf with labeled notebooks for bracelets, necklaces, etc that I hope to make some day. Most of them I got free off the web or I find pictures iin magazine. I bought three drawer pull out drawer units at WalMart that I use to put my seed beads in. These I have labeled for sizes and types. I use clear plastic shoeboxes, one or two of each, to store my findings and beads in that haven’t been opened yet. I use containers from WalMart that have several individual round boxes in them for my smaller amount of swarowski crystals, I label the boxes with sizes and qty. It saves time wondering if I have enough for a project. I use a larger container with 32 spaces for my larger amounts of crystals, also marking these. It has taken quite awhile to do all this and I have done it over time, It works for me and keeps the clutter organized. I have two work tables. Can you tell I am happy that my husband gave up his workshop/garage for me and it was his idea! He built himself a new workshop out back. I like this because it is connected to the house. I almost forgot, he ran AC out here for me since we live in FLorida. Perhaps some of these hints will help someone. Thanks for allowing me to share.

  9. Sandra – You’re exactly right! You can NEVER have enough!

    I taught my 3 year niece this. We were recently in Maui, and our aunts kept buying her necklaces. I told her – Bella, remember, you can never have enough jewelry (or beads to make jewelry)! Later that evening, she repeated this to my mother-in-law! She couldn’t believe she said that, and asked, “Who told you that!!”
    It was very cute.


  11. I LOVE the motto; “You can never have to many beads or supplies.” Now I just need to explain this in a reassuring way to my loving husband!

  12. HI:) I love what you have done with your studio. I just wanted to thank you for posting about the STUDIOS magazine. I was lucky enough to be featured in it. You are so right, its amazing the inspiration in that magazine. I loved the issue.
    Happy Creating… Gail Friend

  13. All this talk of organising/ re-arranging bead studios makes me laugh! I live in a (small) motorhome while I travel around this great country of ours (Australia, that is). My “bead studio” is also my dining room, kitchen, living room and bedroom, so I really have to keep my beads fairly organised otherwise there’d be no room for me. As it is, every available storage space has beads in it – you don’t need too many clothes in Oz most of the time, luckily! I find that having to clear up the clutter between projects so that I can cook, eat and sleep is great for focussing on what beads I need to have handy for the current project. When I pull up somewhere for an overnight stop the first job is to put the kettle on, then I can settle down with my beads. Not a bad life!

  14. I have a tall cabinet with 2 doors. Mosty messy but I”m REALLY TRYING to turn over a new leaf this year. I have 8 fishing supplies (walmart) boxes that hold my chosen categories like: ear, copper, brass, sterling, glass, etc. These stack well and are quickly retrievable. (start laughing) I use small size spinach boxes, stack 4 each on top of each other. I remember where I bought things and file accordingly. “jatayu” Connie Fox goodes, etc. also, I snip a cutout on the spinach lid so I can get my finger in there to flip the lid easily off and on. When the box gets toasted, easily and cheaply replace with new box. (I eat lots of spinach). Also, most importantly, my new mantra for 2009 is to do ONE PROJECT AT A TIME AND PUT EVERYTHING AWAY AFTER FINISHING THAT ONE PROJECT. This is the hardest thing for me to do. ADD brains continually flash and flit from one design to another and I usually have several idea on the table top at once. Impossible to find a space to work. Practice, practice, practice. Anyone else experience this? I’m so inspired by magazine pictures that it’s hard to stay focused on one thing. OH, I almost forgot, I’m also trying to USE WHAT I ALREADY HAVE ON HAND whenever possible, trying to resist the temptation to buy more, or only what I need to finish a project. Since not much is selling, that’s not too difficult.

    Smiles, Joyce

  15. I love the little sconce-styles shelves with busts showing off some of your creations! My necklace rack is sitting on the buffet, and my busts are sitting on the tv. Now I have an idea of how to move them out of there!

  16. Reading over the comments, I am so envious of everyone’s spare room studio spaces. I have a corner of my sunroom. I fit a 4 ft narrow table in one corner and there are small set of built in shelves above it. That is it. All the space I have to store all my beading and wire working supplies. Things are constantly falling off of the shelves(they are narrow) and the space under the table has a create filled with file folders, magazines and books, stacks of mailing supplies and my containers of my finished work.
    The advantage of my space is light. The sunroom has 3 walls of windows and is on the south side of my home. Maybe someday I will have a “real” studio space, but that would involve a new home or one of my kids moving out. Since the kids are 5 and 7 that will not be happening for a long time!

  17. Jean, I love what you did with your studio; it’s an inspiration! I don’t have a studio but do have a workspace in our spare bedroom. I have an adequate sized desk with 2 drawers in which I keep findings and strings of new beads. I have a 3 tier book shelf to the right of the desk where I keep see through bead storage boxes with compartments and my beads are sorted by color and type; crystals in one box, glass in another and so on. I keep my tools in an inexpensive but pretty compartmentalized wicker basket which sits on the desk directly in front of me. The desk is under a window with a view and I have a high intensity light also. So far this arrangement has served me well.

  18. Setting up a beadwork studio:
    Step 1: Find a space you can dedicate to beadwork….

    The rest? Easy! Move your beady stuff into it. And lock the door whenever you’re not in… or even if you are, so nobody will mess with things!

  19. The current issue of Studios was wonderful. I just devoured it this past weekend, and then read your post. How timely! At the moment I do not have a specific area dedicated to just beading, and since I also do sewing, quilting, multi-media, paper, polymer clay, and other crafts…it’s not easy to find a “nook” for my jewelry making and beading supplies. And now Spring is here and I’ll want to spend some time with my plants, too!!! However, I did comandeer an unused computer armoir for paper crafts that I just might reinvent for jewelry.
    There were so many great ideas in your post as well as in the Studios mag. I recently bought some craft storage cubes with dividers and shelves that can hold plastic bottles or containers (not included), but I discovered that the short stubby prescription bottles fit perfectly!!! At the moment my beads, wire, findings, and tools are in a variety of containers, boxes, baskets, and zipper totes that are great for transporting them when we travel…(If I ever leave my STUFF at home, that’s when a friend or relative wants me to make them something or repair a piece they’ve bought elsewhere.)
    BUT it’s really hard to locate things quickly. I must get organized !!! Thank you for the inspiration!!! Beth

  20. I don’t have a studio – just the spare bedroom, which also doubles as my computer room (I’m a computer programmer in my day-job, so I sometimes have to work from home in the evenings).
    I don’t have tips for an overhaul, but I have tons of small ideas for keeping organized, and never getting to the mess (my working table looked even worse than yours, before I realized I’m gonna bead for selling; but I only cleaned it once, and it never got messed again 😉
    So, general tips:
    1. Set up one day a week to clean up the “accretions”: never let the mess pile up more than over the week. I usually clean up as part of the Shabat organizing. This also includes putting away your unfinished projects: if you don’t get to finish them up in a week or so, it probably means you’re just not that into them 😉 And this also implies that once a week you should check up what unfinished projects you have laying about: just open the box and look inside: either the project will move you into finishing it, or it may give you an idea for a different project you’re stuck on, or it may beg to be taken apart and turned into something else;
    2. Always keep one shelf/big drawer empty – if you have more stuff than that, it’s time to give something up, or expand your cupboards; you don’t need to throw things out: there’s always first graders, senior clubs or something like that to donate things to;
    3. Everytime you see a metal box from sweets or chocolates that just got empty, take it, or ask for it, to keep your unfinished work in. It is important that they are metal, because the carton ones can’t be cleaned (sweets always find a way to make their container sticky, and you don’t want that on your beads); and they break more easily – lose shape and stability, and your beads, too; They are also usefull for PBEs (public beading events – jean, did I remember that one correctly? 😉
    4. Get hold of a sections notebook (the one that students have, the kind that have 200 pages, partitioned by carboard pages) and one lose-leaf notebook. Write down patterns and designs you have finalized, in the sections notebook, and keep printed material that you find usefull and want to get to one of these days, in the lose-leaf one;
    5. if you have magazine subscriptions and small kids around the house, you can turn cereal boxes into magazine holders: just cut diagonally across the middle of each side (not from corner to corner, but from 4-5 in up the bottom corner, to 4-5 in down the oposite one) and get your kids to cover it with craft-glue soaked paper bits: you save money and get organized and get the kids busy! and they will want you to bead instead of playing with them, because they help you set up your studio 😉

    that’s about it, off the top of my head. Remember: buying new is fine, but upcycling not only saves you a buck (keep in mind in requires time, you may not have if you also have a day-job) but it’s environmentaly correct. If you (or someone in your family) have the time and inclination to turn an old chest of drawers into your filling cabinet that’s fine, but you can also upcycle small items, that is usefull too.
    Good beading everyone!

  21. I just wanted to say the start of your article made me smile as I wake up this morning in the shorts and t-shirt I put on yesterday. We had a warm 40 yesterday here in South Dakota, but after the blizzard we had on monday of 18 inches it feels like spring, so I should welcome it in right ? lol! Something only midwesterners could understand I think.

  22. Using plastic boxes w/small sections, I just reorganized my glass beads and crystals according to the ROY G BIV system. Starting with clear, white, and black beads, then sorting through reds/oranges/pinks/yellows/greens/teals/then going into the blue range from dark to light and then into the purples dark to light. I get so tired of SEARCHING for stuff, so this way at least I know generally where to start looking!

  23. My “studio” is in the front room. The up side is that I can work on jewelry and not be shut away in the back of the house–the down side is that it’s the first thing people see when they come in, so I need to be practical and somewhat attractive. I use a computer desk (the keyboard drawer is perfect for tools), a combination of flip-top storage boxes and bags, and, after a lot of research, a wooden map chest. Lots of shallow drawers, allowing me to separate beads by color or type. It’s so much easier to find what I need!

  24. I have a suggestion for Heather M. with the beading area in her sunroom and the problematic shelves: Both myself and a friend of mine use small rolling drawer units to store beads in. You can buy them at the office supply store. Mine is about 2 feet high, has 6 clear drawers, four shallow ones and two deep ones. It holds A LOT. And I can move it around and store it under a table. I pull it out to use it and can also set books or extra stuff on top of it while I’m working, then when I’m done, I roll it away. I highly recommend one of these as your space is tight. But it sounds very sunny and nice. Good luck.

  25. Stacy from Iowa here – I also have a rolling cart with drawers to store my beads – I splurged and bought an eight drawer! I roll it out to the kitchen table, bead away and roll it back into the coat closet when I’m done. The only trouble is…..I keep adding stuff to it so now I need another one….lol

  26. Hi Jean….I have nothing helpful to add, and no ideas that I took away from your article because sadly I don’t have a studio or even a studio space. I am a 20 year beading veteran and currently (due to downsizing) all I have is a corner in my bedroom with a small table, some shelving and some totes. However, I wanted to thank you for showing pictures of your workspace. I no longer feel that I am alone. I always felt the dissarray of every workspace I’ve ever had was due to limited space and a non-tidy personality.
    I now realize it is more likely due to the chaos of the creative process. Thank you for sharing and letting me feel that I’m not alone! LOL ~Leslee

  27. The rsponses have been very interesting. I do have a couple of suggestions. My favorite too is a P-touch labeller. Things are so much easier to find if the container is labelled. Containers that are the same size can easily be stacked. Trays, which can also be stacked, are good for unfinished projects. I also use a tie /belt rack for holding strings of beads as well as finished projects.

  28. Here are a few money-saving tips:

    1. Befriend a watchmaker! The repair parts come in wonderful and durable plastic containers, perfect for storing beads. Watchmakers usually throw the containers away. I’m fortunate… I’m married to a watchmaker, so I have access to wonderful bead storage containers to keep them organized.

    2. Another reason to befriend a watchmaker… they have wonderful work benches with lots of drawers for tools and supplies.

    3. Can’t find a watchmaker to share with? Buy a shoe rack at Bed,Bath&Beyond and store your beads in shoeboxes on the shelves. You have to put the rack together yourself, but the shelves slide in and out for a neat appearance, and it’s not as expensive as bookshelves.

    4. Can’t find a watchmaker’s or jewelers bench and don’t want to spend money on a workspace? Look for someone who is replacing their kitchen counter tops. Place the used counter top on top of two 30″ high filing cabinets (these are the ones with 2 drawers). This gives you plenty of work space and storage drawers at the same time. I found a damaged 10′ long countertop on sale when a local hardware store went out of business. I can do all my projects there and still have plenty of room for my printer and sewing machine.

    I hope these tips help you set up your dream workshop.

  29. You lucky ladies! I don’t have a studio or a table to work at, just my bedroom floor. But today I’m going to haul up some kind of table or cabinet from the basement and put it up in the corner of the upstairs hallway, there’s tons of light up there! I’ve got nearly every bead and peice of jewelry sprawled out on the floor right now.
    Otherwise I’m an organized beader. 😉

  30. I was blessed when we bought our home to have a “contruction-site” trailer left on the property. The former owners were contractors. My studio is has AC/heat, a locking door, and windows.. so I can go in, mess the place up and leave it undisturbed until the “clean it up bug” hits. But I do find the before I start a new project, I have to start with a clean bench, and I put everything in its’ place. By the time I’m done with the project, it looks like they should have issued a tornado warning! So I guess my tip would be start clean, and wreak havoc! But most of all, enjoy your craft.

  31. Hi Jean….good job organizing! looks great when you clean up eh. my idea is just a picture of a chair. my studio is in my girl-garage, with lots of counter-top….but, oh, the knees…where do you put them so they don’t get bumped? you go to Bed Bath and Beyond store, and for $60.00, you buy it and save your back and knees! it’s called an airlift stool, and goes up to 31 inches. it’s soo comfortable, and easy to adjust to the perfect height. perfect for beading!! it turns easily also, so you can grab a tool from over there –> 🙂 here is the link.

  32. It is definetly spring – I have plans to reorganize my Studio (ie basement room). Love the ideas, I too have to share this sace with my sewing & laundry & storage area. We live in a rental so I cant paint or do a lot of attatching to the (cement walls).
    BUT – I am investing in 2×2’s to atatch to the rafters along the wall & am attatching peg board to it. I have several light weight plastic shelfs to reorganize. I am a big recycler & found two hollow core doors and hinged them together to make a GREAT cutting table. Currently it is ontop of my ironing table – so I need ot get legs to attatch so I can free up my table (the ironing board just doesnt cut it!
    I currently have 3 sewing machines down there & would love to find room (magicly) for my beading & jewelry making. We will see what this next week brings! Spring Break yah right! LOL
    PS I am going to also be helping my mom design her studio this week… I am so jelouse of her space it is a HUGE room in her trilevel home… same thing about 5 different hobbies going at once. (Our cure to ADD) LOL

  33. I dream about having a studio to organize, right now my beading space is my bed (hard on the back) this also means that everything has to be put away each night so that we can use the bed for sleeping. The upside is I’ve become VERY organized – trays, the unfinished kind from Hobby Lobby or Michaels are great for stacking multiple projects – those clear boxes with the tic tac boxes inside are great, sticking with the same storage systems means that you can always add on and your boxes will stack perfectly – the clear boxes also make it easy to find the colors you’re looking for – I have boxes stacked seven deep and five wide at one end of my dresser with my table top photo studio at the other end – I use the 3 to 4 drawer plastic rolling storage things and have them pushed against every wall in my bedroom, they work really well for hiding tools, wire, all the extra “stuff” you need for beading – I stack my books and magazines on top of them. This arrangement doesn’t seem to annoy my husband too much because necessity forces me to clean up every night. I love all the responses, it seems we all have something to say about storage, there must be enough info here to write a magazine article. Those of you with studios count your blessings – having my own space with a table and a chair is one of my primary wishes.

  34. Must be in the wind… not the snow… the organizing! I started four days ago and still am not finished. One trick for me was to let go of some stuff, as in take it to the thrift store. Not easy to do… I am taking fabric, spools of waxed thread and some beads… about two plastic tub’s worth. But it feels good. Now I can get more current items off of my work space and into the storage tubs. Yay! Thanks for this topic, Jean!

    Robin A.

  35. Okay, here’s my 2 cents worth…I also work from a closet in a guest bedroom, but I placed a desk in front of it and I use the closet space to store my bins, carts, supplies, etc. The desk is parallel with the closet and my chair is between the two, so I can just swivel around to get supplies, and swivel back to work at the desk. (I think the feng shui issue is covered because I am facing outward!) Then I can close the closet door and leave the room looking fairly neat (except for all the projects I have going on the desk,… but that’s another story :).

  36. It’s interesting seeing how people get organised, and am rather jealous of the space some of you have. 🙂

    I am forced to be very organised as I live in my bedroom. I am pretty much bed-bound due to illness so everything I need throughout the day is crammed into the bedroom. This incudes lots of books, laptop, somewhere to make hot drinks and store food during the day and, of course, all my beading supplies.

    The latter are stored in 2 laptop bags, which are left on the bed when my partner goes to work and then can be easily slid down onto the floor when I’ve finished with them. Inside the bags, everything is put into bags and then into clearly labelled plastic sandwich boxes (to cut costs, most are the boxes that take-away rice was delivered in). I only have 1 box specifically designed for beading use, and this is used for findings.

    One laptop bag contains beads and the other findings and tools. Any finished items are stored in a separate box, in individual bags, although I don’t have many: as money is tight, I’ve given almost everything away as presents for Christmas and birthdays, and the few that have been kept are in my jewellery box for personal use.

    I’ve only been beading for a few months and hope to sell my creations once I feel what I make is worth buying. lol I’ll have to arrange more suitable storage for finished pieces when that happens, although I hope to make most to order to cut down on the stock levels of finished pieces.

    The one invaluable thing I use is my large wooden tray on short legs. I use it for everything, such as resting the laptop on it when I’m able to sit up, using it as a proper tray at mealtimes, and it is also great for beading. I lay a couple of bead mats onto it, and I’m away. 🙂

  37. I have 6 10 drawer plastic sets of drawers, (yes that sounds redundant!). They are all labeled and generally sorted by type of stone or bead or crystal. I think my most effective way of keeping the studio organized is to put materials away after I finish a piece. I have a bad habit of just moving materials to the side and then I can’t find them if I need them. Another time saving tool is to enter the piece into the data base as soon as it is completed. That way I have all the materials I used right on hand with their codes, etc. Thank you, Beading Daily, for all your helpful hints!

  38. Unfinished projects are my bug-a-boo. I have a large studio but my work surfaces are old tabletops atop sawhorses, so I have little storage. My UFOs, as I call the projects that get interrupted mid-stream and that lie around on my tables for months, seem to wind up taking over the space. And they share it with plastic boxes of beads and trays of findings. I’ve finally come up with sturdy paper plates as a temporary solution. I scoop my UFOs onto the paper plates, and stack them in the corners. It’s a poor solution: I can’t see the projects and so never finish them–plus I tie up the beads that I might do better to use in another project. Now I have to move and must pack it all up, somehow, and find it again where ever I wind up. That may just be a good thing. I will probably put all the beads back in their original containers…and I’ll have so many new choices, once I start unpacking, LOL.

  39. I have set up my beading table in my sewing room (master bedroom). I have half the room dedicated to sewing and two tables to beading. One 4ft table has three hardware bins with multi sized drawers. I keep my gemstone beads in one 18 drawer set. I have all my metals (findings, spacers, clasps, chains, etc) organized in a 30/9 drawer set. The third one is a 60 drawer set organized in colors of seed beads and other misc beads.
    They set nicely on the back of the table against a wall. My second table is set up for fusing and soldering, soon to add an oven for polymer clay (possibly more unfinished projects?).
    I too have a hard time keeping my desk clean and would try to follow the advice of RobinE. Unfortunately for me, my love of beading has expanded into my living room being done on a portable laptop craft table. This now resides on my cutting table when not in use with similarly unfinished sewing projects/excess fabrics from finished ones.
    Thank you for Beading Daily! I find inspiration everywhere, especially in the comments section here.

  40. Hi Jean, What a fabulous and inspiring article. As a result I went from a cramped, clutter dining table to a wonderful 6 foot table top I purchased from Ikea. It sits on two “shelf legs”. These are two cool adjustable level shelving cabinets that double as the legs to hold up the table top. All my plastic beaded boxes sit there.

    I never thought about a separate box for my bead kits till I saw yours in the photo. Great idea. And the bulletin board is super too! I can have my grandgirlies photos there, one of my honey too, and lots of bead idea photos for easy reference.

    The table top itself has a giant wicker rectangualr tray filled with tins of all kinds that fit each compartment and hold tubes of beads, scissors, crimping tools and the like. 1 Small 9-box wooden cabinet sits on the desk top and the little compartment hold clasps and findings, misc decorative beads, dozens of little tubes of delica beads, etc. Also purchased at Ikea. Other decorative “special” items also are there, a neat decoupage jewelry box with bracelet samples, a soup can covered with a digital collage of some of my published works acts as a pencil holder.

    This area gives me great pride now, and I work at it a little each day tidying it all up before bed so can sit there in the early morning with a cup of coffee, my little mini-studio has given me so much joy.

    Thanks Jean for inspiring us, and to let us see your “mess”. I was so thrilled to know that a professional and busy mom and career woman such as yourself also fights the battle of the cluttered and disorganized bead table.

    Cathi Tessier

  41. hi all! this is the “virgin”!!! lol ive never beaded a bead in my life but here i r!!! i lost my only bio child– a daughter– 8 mos ago and im hoping that this will be my salvation!!! i love beaded jewelry– jewelry period — so im hoping that will b my motivator 2 continue w/ this endeavor. ive certainly had fun shopping!!! esp. at thrift stores as im a tree hugger and want 2 do my part. i have no idea what seeding/seeds is– can someone explain that 2 me. im feeling like that might b a good start. but whadda i know??? im just doing this as therapy and dont have any money 2 invest as a business so ill feel blessed if at my darkest moments i get some comfort at this site. thank u all 4 sharing– i appreciate it. have a God Blessed Day. kalyna

  42. I would love to have a larger space to set up a studio but I have a mini 1 bedroom that my hubby and I live in.. But I still managed to set up a mini studio/creative space.. I bought a small long table ( A sofa console actually) with drawers and an large storage ottoman to put some of my creative stuff in ( I have a shelf in a “hall” closet that I have some things for my creating too. For inspiration I have a shelf or 2 dedicated on my bookshelf and a few binders with sheet protectors that I have put clippings from jewelry mags and any magazine that the jewelry, color inspired me.
    So I would say even if you only have a little bit of space you can still fit it in there if it’s something you really want to do. I ended up getting rid of some things that were in that space I now.

  43. I would love to have a larger space to set up a studio but I have a mini 1 bedroom that my hubby and I live in.. But I still managed to set up a mini studio/creative space.. I bought a small long table ( A sofa console actually) with drawers and an large storage ottoman to put some of my creative stuff in ( I have a shelf in a “hall” closet that I have some things for my creating too. For inspiration I have a shelf or 2 dedicated on my bookshelf and a few binders with sheet protectors that I have put clippings from jewelry mags and any magazine that the jewelry, color inspired me.
    So I would say even if you only have a little bit of space you can still fit it in there if it’s something you really want to do. I ended up getting rid of some things that were in that space I now.

  44. I work with a lot of very small beads, I buy glass tubes for my beads and store them in a typeset cabinet I bought for $40 at a garage sale. Great find!

    It has about 20 1″ and 2″ deep drawers. I think that someone should make these for sale!
    NowI just wish I had more time to bead!

  45. I woud like to see a more panoramic view of your studio. I know, that woud be a lot of trouble for you, but we would all LOVE you forever if you would take more pictures.

  46. Jean, it is great to see someone who can be organized. I have a question about how to keep a record of the Delicas, or other seed beads that I have purchased. I wonder if there is a list of the beads that can be updated. I used to have a card that I carried with me with all the floss color numbers on it, and it helped me not buy multiples of the same thing. Every time I bought a new color I would put a check by the number, and know that I already owned that color. Have you ever heard of such an item for beads? I would most use it with Delicas, but it could be helpful as a sort of inventory control for other beads as well. Anyone out there have any help?

  47. Have just found this site and your post.
    How wonderful!
    I tell my better half to clean up his mess so I can CREATE, lol
    I will share this with him
    I have such a beautiful place to create beautiful things but when I walk through his MESS of tools and clutter to get to my space I loose my ENERGY, lol.
    I know I need BLINDERS lol