How to Organize Beads: What Are Your Best Tips and Tricks?

Veteran beaders know best: If you want to be successful in the art of beading (and maintain your sanity while doing it), you’ve got to keep your bead stash organized. As you start to create your own jewelry, you’ll begin collecting more and more beads. Before you know it, your bead stash has gotten out of control!

Keeping your beads organized can help save space, time (“Now where did I put those crystals?”), and money (“Whoops, I already bought these briolettes!”). It can be quite a task keeping all those tiny beads, findings, and other assorted bits and baubles in order, especially once you become a full-fledged “bead hoarder.” So it’s best to develop good organization habits early on.

All beaders have their own special tips and tricks they’ve picked up over the years, from the best containers to use, to categorization systems by color and type. So why not share them and help out a fellow beader? Pass on your wisdom and experience to your fellow jewelry-making enthusiasts by leaving a comment on this blog post with your best bead storage tips! Then, we’ll pull all your awesome suggestions together into a handy tip guide for so other beaders can benefit from your wisdom!

So, what are your best tips and tricks for storing and organizing beads?

Leave a comment below and share your suggestions!




  1. Roberta Carter says

    I use plastic containers with dividers. I usually then separate them by color. There are a few that use more often that are separated by type of bead and then by color.

  2. says

    I use “7 days pill boxes” to store and organize (small amounts) jewelry findings (clasps, crimp beads, jump rings etc to and small containers to store beads and pearls.

  3. Patricia Surrey says

    I have a rolling cart with 8 drawers. Each drawer has the same type of bead (Euro, glass lampwork, Et cetera). Then I further divide the beads in snack size zip lock bags by cooler or pattern, or size.

  4. says

    I love the plastic storage boxes from Joann’s that hold individual plastic jars with lids. These are wonderful for sorting and storing beads by color and/or type.

  5. Hester van Schouwenburg says

    I collect clear glass bottles and use them to store large quantities of seed beads.Then its quick and easy to coordinate colours. Expensive bicones and crystals I bought small plastic containers to keep them organised.Everything must be see through to spot the right bead at the right moment

  6. Chryl Omstead says

    I use inexpensive plastic spice jars. They are clear to see what is in them and I like the shaker top. Not too many beads come out at once. I started storing these in large shoe boxes that I clearly labeled with the type of beads. Then I graduated to the plastic shoe boxes from the dollar stores. I finally ended with a rolling plastic 4 drawer cart. I keep all my findings, tools, wires and cording and threads in one drawer and the bottles of beads in the rest of the drawers. I found a nice set of book ends and have all my bead books sitting on top of the drawers, so everything I need is in one place. I still use the plastic shoe boxes to carry just the items I need, if I decide to go outside or to a friends home and work on a project. Sometimes I will teach kids simple beading and then I get out my fishing tackle boxes and put what is needed in them. It’s easier carrying and keeping everything organized.

  7. Rachel Verdi says

    Here’s my recipe for Rachel’s CUTE, CRAZY CHEAP, and HANDY bead/mini craft item storage.

    Well, there’s certainly fancier ways to do it, but I was looking for CHEAP ways to organize my beads and findings… and it came out surprisingly CUTE! I loved all those tackleboxes and multi-compartment storage options, but they’re all so pricey, and really take up a ton of space, and are heavy and cumbersome for this fibro-addled girl to lug around. I knew I couldn’t afford that as an option for all of my beads, and quite frankly, needed to put my limited money into craft supplies… not into craft storage. So I thought for a while, and this is what I came up with. The whole thing cost under $15, and ended up being rather adorable bead/finding storage/wall decor that takes no space at all. Hope it helps another broke-ish crafter! šŸ˜‰

    I got some flat top pushpins, some natural jute twine, a few packages of miniature wooden clothespins, and a few packages of small ziploc bags (with the write on strip). Whole thing cost about $15. Then I glued darling little black and white gingham bows to the tops of the flat pushpins. I started at one end of my craft room, and did a ‘bunting drape’ with the twine all along the length of the wall. At regular intervals, I’d pin up the drape with a cute bow pushpin. I did a few rows of bunting, each about a foot below the one above it, and arranged the draped bunting so it was cutest. Then I put each type of beads into a ziploc baggie (seems to work best if you have a few sizes of the mini ziploc baggies… some charms are much larger than others, etc.) and wrote the place/website where I bought it, size, and part number in the write on strip. It makes for easier reordering when you start to run out. Then I hung each baggie from the twine bunting (turn them around so the write on strip is toward the wall so you can see the beads easier) using 1 to 2 mini clothespins. So eventually, there’s a few rows of bunting each holding a number of small baggies in mini clothespins. Whole thing looks pretty darned adorable, if I do say so myself, especially since I’ll randomly pin up a fun postcard, or photo that I find inspiring, or any cute lil thing amongst the beads. Best part? The cost was about $15 to hold HUNDREDS of types of beads, charms and findings. Another benefit is when I want to make a piece of jewelry, I just go ‘shop’ along the wall, and can easily see what works well together, then just grab the baggies I need. No more lugging a bunch of heavy huge multi-storage containers, when I might need just one type of bead from each. I plan to do something similar with tons of smallish craft supplies. You end up with a rather adorably decorated wall in your craft room, and it takes ZERO space!

    *Miniature Clothespins (multiple bags, about $1 each at michaels or on amazon)
    *Mini Ziploc Baggies w write on strip (multiple sizes… find em anywhere, box of about 50 is around $5)
    *Roll of natural jute twine, or some similar twiney-type-thing (about $3, anywhere)
    *Flat top pushpins…I decorated mine with tiny bows, but you can leave em plain, or adorn them how you see fit. You could also use cute decorative pins, but they’re pricier. ($2)
    *Empty wall or chunk of wall space. Also looks really cute in wall space over a desk or craft table!

    Hope that helps someone out! Happy beading!

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