Bead Organization?

Today is all about bead organization. 

A walk down memory lane for bead storage today.  I’ve tried lots of different ideas through the years.

As a crazy quilter, I like to use beads.  Fortunately beads don’t take up a lot of space UNLESS perhaps you are a beader.  Or, you have a large collection of beads!

Initially I purchased beads in small bags which I used to stand upright in a box. 

Not the best solution.

At one point I came across Pat Winter’s studio photos.  Pat is a talented crazy quilter.  She showed photos of her beads stored in plastic test tubes.  Her husband had built a wall rack that held all the tubes.  Looked fabulous and I tried this but didn’t find they worked well for me in the long term, especially as my collection grew.

These days beads are usually sold in small tubes like pill dispensers.  These are great but they seem to come in all different sizes depending on the manufacturer.  Because of this I find they are harder to either stack or organize BUT I found a solution.


One day as I was browsing the dollar store, I came across these plastic containers available in two sizes. They came in packages of eight so I bought one package to test and see how they worked.  I ended up going back and buying all they had and ordered more. 

It took time to put all the beads in the containers but saves me so much time when I am stitching. 

After this I had a neighbour woodworker make some drawer trays which I painted white.  These were made smaller than the drawers so I can remove the trays as required. 

They were painted white so I can visualize the bead colours well.  Each tray fits easily in the drawers and are about 2 inches in depth. All the bead containers were flipped upside down and arranged in similar colours.

What I like about this system is I can easily pull out the trays and sort through the colours I may like to use.  

Have you seen the Darice bead box? I am not sure the bead containers would be large enough but perhaps worth a try?

So, that’s my bead storage system. 

What works for you?

Some links below. My favourite bead mat and scoop. AND my favourite beading thread – Silamide.

Next up is lace and trim storage.

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