Sunday, December 11, 2011

Bead Storage

I have a lot of beads, and a lot of those are seed beads- Delicas, Charlottes, Czech and Japanese. 

My previous storage method- spice racks just wasn’t working anymore.  The spice racks were great for hanks of Czech beads.  They are, however, heavy and large when you have 150+ jars.

A spice rack full of Czech seed beads

I will always believe glass containers are the best as they are more transparent than plastic.  Plastic baggies were not an answer.  I really dislike the plastic tubes many of my beads are sold in so those were ruled out. 

I thought I found the answer in 4 dram glass vials.  These are a generous size for 10 grams of Delicas.  You can get these at bargain prices on e-bay if you wait for an auction.  The glass vials did not work out because the tops came loose when the plastic storage boxes they were stored in were moved.  Not every top came loose, it was always just 1 and not the same top every time nor every time I moved the storage box.  Nonetheless, it was clear this was not going to work out. 
Storage New and Newest
This left two choices: a more expensive glass jar or plastic.  Since money is almost always a consideration I chose plastic. 

More choices followed.  I considered those tic-tac style boxes because you can store them on their side and it makes viewing the colors easy.  However, I read that the tops are not always tight and that is why I gave up on the vials.  As I sometimes travel with my beads I did not want “stacking” jars.  Each container had to have a lid.  I opted for Darice Bead Storage Jars labeled as Clear “EZ” View with Screw Top Lids.  I bought sets of larger jars measuring 47 mm (2 inch) high for my Czech beads and 21 mm high jars for my Delicas.  The 21 mm jar holds about 10 grams of Delicas. 
Lots of Czech Beads
More Czech Beads
They are not as nice as my spice jars, but they are smaller and lighter.  The lids are not well finished.  Nonetheless, I expect the lids to stay on.  I am much happier with these than the tubes the beads came in. All of my seed beads will soon be stored in like containers allowing me to assess my options as I begin a project. 
This is one of the things that has been keeping me busy, moving beads from one jar to another like a mad scientist.

One final note, I create labels for inside each container with Bead Style (e.g. Delica) Color Name, Size, Source, Identifying Number (if applicable) and cost. 
Just another photo of the same Czech Beads


  1. I like your solution to this vexing problem. I too have tried a number of storage methods. The plastic tubes were always a hassle to open, if the tube was full I had to be extra cautious pulling the tops out of the tubes as I could end up with tiny beads flung everywhere (been there done that many, many times).
    You're so right about the flip-top (Tic-Tac style boxes) they are cheaply made and some of the tops fit so loosely that if they tip over the lid comes off and beads go scattering everywhere (again learned from past experience). I use jars very similar to yours, only mine have frosted lids so I do prefer the convenience that your jars would provide of being able to see the color and size of the beads clearly through the lid.

  2. These plastic jars are the best solution at this time. If I had the money I would purchase small glass jars- of course I haven't found any with a see through lid. Almost everything requires compromise.

  3. I can just imagine you pouring your beads from jar to bottle to box to jar. Oh! I mostly just leave mine in the conners they came in. It leaves me with a little more time to bead. Fun post thought your setup looks much nicer than mine!

  4. Gwen that made me laugh. I am not quite that bad. Those spice jars are probably 20 years old and they have been full of beads all that time. It was the addition of delicas and my last move that had me searching for a better solution.

  5. KJ, this is a beautiful blog and pictures. Just looking at the jars with the natural light behind them is inspirational.
    -Eva Maria


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