Best way to organize seed beads?

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Ruth. wrote
on Feb 22, 2010 11:03 AM

What is the best way to organize seed beads. I have a ton of seed beads and would like to organize them somehow. What have you found is the best way to do that? I have been looking into the craft mate purple suede thing at the local Michaels with the little lockable containers in it, but I want to be able to purchase all of the same organizers for when I purchase more seed beads. I hate when things don't match, LOL.

Shippensburg Pennsylvania - about 30 minutes from Gettysburg

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MelindaB@14 wrote
on Feb 22, 2010 11:17 AM

Well Ruthie, I am a stringer but I somehow got my hands on lots of seedbeads so I display/store most of them in Jelly Jars this way I can see all the colors I have at one time.  Maybe I should try beadweaving to use some of them up Embarrassed

There is a Tube Tower that has been talked about but I don't know much about it .  DebW could probably give you more information, she may even have some in her shop. 

I'm sure you will get lots of wonderful ideas from everyone else hereCool

MelindaB ~ Juneau, Alaska USA

When you dream ... what are you wearing?

Life isn't about waiting for the storm to pass... it's about Learning to Dance in the rain!

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LitaC2 wrote
on Feb 22, 2010 12:52 PM


Depending on your quantity, you may want to invest in the tic-tac type boxes and larger containers sold by Fusion Beads and Knot Just Beads.  I find these to be the perfect solution - particularly for 8-15 gram quantities.  They aren't cheap, but you can reuse them and they are very, very secure.  I also like the fact that both the outer container and the little inner boxes are completely clear, so I can always see what I've got.

If you do go this path, DON'T buy the ones sold in Wal-Mart, manufactured by Darice.  The "tic-tac" boxes are cloudy and badly made.  The lids don't stay on, and they are just a tad too big, so you can't really get them all to fit back into the outer container properly.


Please see my projects at Stoneheart Beads

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Ruth. wrote
on Feb 22, 2010 5:42 PM

I have one of the tic tac things and I must say I think that they are a little inconvenient, just because they don't fit enough seed beads in them and you have to have something to organize them in.

Shippensburg Pennsylvania - about 30 minutes from Gettysburg

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LinaG2 wrote
on Feb 22, 2010 6:35 PM

Ruthie, I use the tube tower and it works great!

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on Feb 22, 2010 7:00 PM

I keep my beads in little baggies--those tubes drive me nuts and take up room, though I save them or recyle them. Bags by color are sorted into clear flip top bins, labeled, by size. So--as I accumulate, I have more bins. I have a size 11-8 bin, and a size 6 and over bin, for every color seed bead AND separate ones just for cylinder beads by size and color. I have several bins of my favorite colors, say green size 11-8. I also have larger bins for other types of beads: wood, Lucite and resin, crystals, stone, land ampwork beads are in compartmentalized boxes. This photo here is only one shelf  in a bookcase of 8 shelves, and I have two more cases.

Bins can be found online. I buy them by the carton! But then, I buy beads by the kilo, so it works for me!

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on Feb 22, 2010 10:21 PM

I have my seed beads in the stackabe canisters, for a few reasons, the biggest reason being I can use the beads directly from the cannister they are held. The colors I want to use are selected then they all screw/stack together for that very project. They can even be taken on a trip this way. When that project is complete, I stack them back in their 'numberical order' on a 'molding ledge' surrounding my office, five levels of them. From a far, it looks like photographic wall paper in wild colors! lol

Here is a picture of the cannisters I am talking about

and here is a picture of them being used, right from the same container

The only piece of advice I can give is be sure to purchase the cannisters of the 'same brand', ONLY. They make many, and sold anywhere from Craft deprtments in stores to Sporting Department in stores. However, each brand seems to have a different 'thread of screwing' so mxing up brands will cause the cannisters not to stay together tighty. I have never had a problem with them comming apart and buy them from the same supplier.

One more little trick I do, I always place the label from the purchased bead cannister 'inside' with the beads, so the lable will never fall off or rub off. Then, I put a sticker on the outside of the cannister with the 'Delica #' for quick reference, if I need to find it. Otherwise, I just work with the colors seen through the clear cannister. I have over 600 Delicas, and over 350 other type of seed beads, stored and used this way. My larger beads and gems/stones are stored otherwise. 

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JSmaz wrote
on Feb 23, 2010 4:07 AM

I organize kinda-sorta like Leslie.  I prefer 2x3" zip top baggies, or 3x3" for larger quantities.  I use the typical tackle/tool box divided organizers you can get everywhere.  I keep either the original label from the company or a piece of paper with the size/color/price per gm on it-whatever info I need to remember.  Then I order them by color.  I have Delicas together, then regular seeds are organized by size: 6,8, 10/11 & 15, in different boxes.


Oklahoma City

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LinaG2 wrote
on Feb 23, 2010 7:49 AM

Erin...I like that...I have a few canisters with nothing in them and neve did the idea occur to put seed beads in them.  What a clever idea.

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Lody wrote
on Feb 23, 2010 9:40 AM

Erin, when I look at your beads collection - I can see art already! LOL What a great way to store all your beads that way! I'm in awe of your collection. LOL

My beads are organized similar to all you mentioned... LOL 

I have sterilite clear boxes with beads in (mostly) 3x4 zip lock baggies, original labels inside. New and open ones are on separate boxes. The beads in tubes are in separate boxes, same thing with my delicas and Mill Hill beads (they're in shallow boxes).

I find tic-tac style convenient for travelling. I only have a couple but don't use them at home, they're easy to grab when I have to go somewhere for a day or 2. I always fill them up whenever I get back home.

The most commonly used are the ones in clear top tin containers. I bought these tins supposedly for my scrapbooking supplies (i.e. brads, mini cut-outs, etc.) but ended up using them with seed beads. They don't have screws like what Erin's, but they serve their purpose very well. Here's a photo of my work-in-progress. 

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Sheila H wrote
on Feb 23, 2010 10:14 AM

I have a few seed beads and I have them in the screw type containers like Erin does. Although not nearly that many! WOW! 

Althought, I have to say, that I also have one for crimps, lobster claws, head/eye pins etc. Most of my findings will fit in those so I have a stack that I can pick up to work on projects. These are great if you have a four legged furry friend that likes to "help!". I can take the cap off, place it between my legs so that she can't knock it over. 

I have several sets of these and really like them!

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Cindy Daniel wrote
on Feb 23, 2010 11:26 AM

The el-cheapo ones from Wal-Mart can be rescued. I heat the top (the open part, with the lid off) of the container with my hair dryer, and pinch all four sides of the open end until it looks a a bit like an hour glass. Once it cools and hardens again, the tops fit as tight as a drum!

I like to use the plastic boxes that they come it as project boxes - I keep all my boxes of beads in scrapbooking drawers.

Find my tutorials at:

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Beader68 wrote
on Feb 24, 2010 9:17 AM

I've always used bead tubes but after reading this post, I'm thinking of switching to the screw tops. Can you bead right out of them?

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Ruth. wrote
on Feb 24, 2010 2:33 PM

Leslie - Just to make us all insanely jealous you'll have to post a pic of your whole beading shelves, LOL.

 Erin - I love the seed bead pics. They  look like round containers of makeup! Do you have a certain size that you go with? I am certain that they aren't the tiny ones I keep seeing in the craft store. Plus I wanted to keep them labeled with the color, size, type and place of purchase.


Shippensburg Pennsylvania - about 30 minutes from Gettysburg

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Evalie wrote
on Feb 24, 2010 4:05 PM


I use the same containers as Erin three different sizes. They are really wonderful because like Erin said, you can bead right from the container, and you can always SEE what colors you have. I found out the hard way ( luckily early on in the organizing ) about buying them from the same place all the time....nothing worse than having a top come off unexpectedly !!!!! I get mine from FMG...their prices are really good and I've found that the large, medium. and small sizes work for me. Some of the beads you buy in small quantities like fringe drops, are nice in the small size, and if I buy multiples of a color...the large ones work. Otherwise, most of the ones I have are in the medium size. It's also really easy to work up to that higher discount level. LOL

And Erin is right about the's like looking at artwork......very inspiring !


Massachusetts Coast 


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