I have recently been inspired to try to seriously sell my work. I've been beading for about a year and a half and as everyone has done, my work has 'evolved' over time. I decided to go back to many of my earlier works and restring and change out some clasps that I have found to be cheap. While doing this I found that many of the wires looked mangled once I took the beads off! I had them stored in the small ziplock baggies sold for storage. Necklaces had to be coiled up to fit and I think this is what caused all the kinking in the wire.
So how do some of you store your finished work while its waiting to find its new owner? I thought of storing several of them in the gallon size ziplock bags (so they could lay freely) , but then I worry that the glass beads will get etched by the other pieces. Should I wrap each one in tissue paper then put it in the larger bag together?
And on a side note, I'm restringing/clasping about 30 necklaces!!!! I haven't even looked at the bracelets to see what needs re-worked. I don't wear much jewelry myself right now because I've been house-bound, but family/friends who do wear it have all had to bring back the pieces with these clasps for repair. I just want my work to be quality if I really want to make this a business.
I look forward to hearing what everyone has to say!
i hang my necklaces and even bracelets on hangers. using the bar for necklaces that have a closure and over the hanger for those that are long with no closure. mame
Thanks for the response, mame. I found a thread about this subject when I did a search. I also got on FMG and saw that they have long narrow bags which would probably work better than the ones I have. If any one else has any other suggestions feel free to post! :-)
We store them in bags, it seems no problem.
CaroleWholesale freshwater pearlswww.youpearl.com
I store some things in bags, especially if it has a lot of silver that may tarnish. I usually put pieces in their own bags if I do that, and usually a 3x5" bag works fine unless it's a larger piece. I also bought a craft tote from either Michael's or Hobby Lobby that has 5 clear plastic containers with no dividers that I store the bulk of my finished projects in. It doesn't take up much space and it's perfect for taking my jewelry to a show in. I just throw a couple of the "do not eat" packets in each container to help prevent tarnish and I lined the bottom of each one with foam shelf liner so things don't slide around too much.
ArtFire Studio & blog | Gallery
I bought a set of wire jewelry display stands from FMG's that I store most of my finished pieces hanging on. But like Jeni, I prefer to put things with much silver into a box (in my case, a drawer) with the silicone packets from pill bottles and things like that to reduce the tarnishing. But you might consider some belt hangers.... you can get those at and discount store, or the big hardware stores in the closet/storage area. Lots of hooks on each one!
Coming in late here, and I haven't read the replies to your post BUT - the part about your necklaces kinking caught my attention. Forgive me if it's already been answered.
What kind of wire are you using? I don't mean the brand, I mean the diameter (would be .015" or something like that on the label) and the number of strands (7, 19, 21, 49 also on the label). The number of strands has a lot to do with whether the wire will kink or will stay soft and supple.
The way I explain it to customers is that it's like thread count on sheets. 300 thread count sheets are like sandpaper compared to 1000 thread count and up, which are soft and silky. The more strands, the more flexible and soft the wire will be. SoftFlex and SoftTouch claim that their wires are flexible enough to knot when stringing pearls. The finest size of SoftTouch is .010" and it is literally as soft as thread, which would be too flimsy for heavy stones, but would be fine for seed beads and pearls. Though probably not as flexible as SoftTouch, the 49 strand Beadalon is probably very comparable to the same size SoftFlex. The difference between the two is that you can get 49 strand Beadalon in many different diameters, but SoftFlex and SoftTouch change the strand count as the diameter changes. I have not mentioned AccuFlex or other flex wires because I don't have any experience with them. I sell Beadalon and SoftFlex/SoftTouch in my store.
So - if you are re-stringing anyway, it might be a good idea to upgrade your wire to a higher strand count of flexwire.
The one thing I've discovered is that it seems whatever brand you first learned to use, you tend to stick with it. Folks who learn on "tigertail" are reluctant to upgrade to better quality, until they've seen the difference in the finished product.
Hope this helps!
Deb - AZ Bead Depot - going to finish reading this thread and will probably find it's been said several times and better!
I actually have work on all types! LOL! And yes, the tigertail ones were the worst kinked. I generally used Beadalon's 7 strand . 012 or .12 diameter. I noticed that it would kink on things with heavier beads, or especially metal beads. I decided ealier today that when I make my next order I'm gonna move up to a higher strand count. So far I haven't had anything break from too much weight.
The general guideline for stringing on beading wire is the heavier the beads, the thicker your wire should be. As Deb said smaller wire like .014 is good for seeds, pearls & other lightweight beads or beads with small holes. For heavier stone or larger beads, you'd want thicker wire, say .019 or higher. Strand count is dependent on both preference and what drape you want. I tend to keep lots of different ones around depending on what I'm making.
Deb is sort of right (for me anyway). I tend to stick with Accuflex, but I have tried lots of different brands to decide which one I liked the best. Beadalon is my 2nd favorite, SoftFlex my least favorite. I still have some of the first tigertail I ever bought and I really should throw it in the trash because it's so useless. I've restrung just about everything I've ever made with it.
Glad to see that you are upgrading the wire. It will make a difference in the look of your pieces. I wouldn't worry so much about the wire breaking, unless you have something really heavy with a badly drilled hole to abrade the wire. I would worry about having the crimps done well, as that tends to be more of a problem than broken wires.
When we started the store, we had lots of beads to temporarily string. My first thought was to get tigertail because it's cheap and metal, instead of fishing line (which we've since switched to using). Mike and I went to a "Wholesale to the Public" (retail/wholesaler) store to get some of the gold and silver plated Beadalon because nobody locally had it and we hadn't set up an account with Beadalon yet. They had 5000 ft spools of 7 strand, but I wanted tigertail. So I asked if they had the same size spool of tigertail. The sales person tossed her head and sniffed haughtily, "we DON'T carry tigertail." As if I'd asked her if they sold manure! Sheesh! I always remember that encounter whenever someone comes in and asks for tigertail, and I explain the difference to be sure they understand and get the right product.
I was digging through my stash at home and found a spool of "beading wire". It's about 30 ga (or smaller) silver colored wire, kinks if you just look at it funny, and is a real pain in the behind. I remember using it many years ago to do some "genuine Indian beading" - ladder stitch with seed beads to make a belt. Not a happy experience - too many kinks and frustrations. This was even before tigertail was invented. I also have an old beading magazine with a black & white ad for tigertail as "The best thing for beading" when it was new! Sometimes these old treasures of beading wire and tigertail are good for strolling down memory lane.
I'm going to have to see about adding AccuFlex to our flex wires. I've had a few customers ask about it. We're close to dumping SoftFlex/SoftTouch anyway, because we sell much more Beadalon than SoftFlex. I'd rather put something that sells in that space.
Have a great day!
Deb - AZ Bead Depot
Stepheny you might consider using ziplock bags that are 2 mil thick or greater. Most of the store bought ziplock bags are very thin (less than 1 mil) and don't give any protection to your work other than from water and dust. You can also find white block ziplock bags that give you a white block to label the bags.
You can find a large variety of ziplock bags at DiscountPlasticBags.com at discount prices, however, you do have to buy them in bulk. Some people will buy a big box and then actually make some money selling the rest on ebay or spliting a box with friends.
Hope that helps!
I feel your pain about wire that kinks up too much Deb! I still have what's left of my tigertail, mainly because I can't bear to throw something away that might have a good use. I'm just not sure what that use is. I think when I first started beading that's just about all anyone carried. I didn't see any of the other brands until several years later.
Jane, thanks for the link to the discount bags site-I'll have to check them out. I usually buy the sizes I use most often in bulk anyway.
I just hit the 'Back to Scool' sale and got some of those plastic pencil cases that have a drawer and a snapper to keep it shut....59c at Walmart. They are great for my chunkier pieces and a few fellow beaders have borrowed the idea.
I got in my long plastic bags that ziplock longways. They are great! Most of the necklaces fit in perfectly, and the bags fit perfectly into the box I use to store them all in! I ordered 100 and only have 15 left! Eeek! I need to check out the website Jane suggested for my next order.
Whoa-you go girl!