Bead Storage Solutions on a Budget

Tins, tubes, and tackleboxes are smart bead storage ideas

loose beads
kavu / Getty Images

Is there such a thing as ever having too many beads? Collecting beads is as much a part of beadwork as learning the basic bead weaving stitches and how to weave beads on a loom.

Whether you have just started with beadwork or you have been doing it for years and accumulated vast quantities of beads, finding suitable storage is an issue. 

While you may not have vast quantities of beads, there are a few things you can do to keep your beads organized as your collection grows. There is nothing more frustrating than not being able to find the beads you want for a project—especially when you know you have them!

Review these bead storage options to start getting organized. Just remember that what works for someone else may not be right for you. The bottom line to getting and staying organized is to find what works best for you.

  • 01 of 06

    Bead Organizer Boxes and Caddies

    Beads Stored in Photo Organizer
    Lisa Yang

    There are so many different types of organizer boxes and caddies available in craft stores that you will most likely find at least one type that works well for you. Some styles are made to fit into tote bags to make it easy to take your beads with you.

    Try venturing beyond the bead aisle and into the scrapbooking section. This photo caddy is a great storage solution for tubes of seed beads, thread, and other beadwork supplies. Meant to store 4x6 photos, there are 16 individual containers in a portable case. It's a great way to store supplies or organize the supplies for projects you are working on at the moment. You can even make a travel beading case with one of the containers.

    Buy Photo Storage Containers at

  • 02 of 06

    Plastic Tubes to Store Beads

    Beads in Tubes
    Lisa Yang

    Clear plastic tubes are great for storing seed beads. In fact, most bead stores sell their smaller seed beads and cylinder beads packaged in plastic tubes. Plastic tubes work great for storing smaller gemstone and glass beads as well. 

    They are easy to organize by color, size, and shape and easy to select the ones you need when working on a project or when taking your beads on the road. It is also convenient to print labels for the tubes.

    A word of caution: make sure that the tops on the plastic containers stay firmly closed to keep your beads from spilling. For loose-fitting caps, a small piece of clear tape can ensure that you won’t have little seed beads all over your favorite tote or in the bottom of the drawer.

    Buy Plastic Bead Tubes at

  • 03 of 06

    Storing Beads in Plastic Bags

    Beads in zip bags
    Lisa Yang

    Whole hanks of seed beads, larger gemstone and glass beads, and long strands of beads can be stored securely in plastic zip-top bags of all sizes. Plastic bags also work well for transporting these beads.

    Beads are often sold in zip-sealed plastic bags since it is an economical and convenient way to sell, ship and store beads. On the negative side, it can be difficult to put beads in and out of these bags without spilling them. Also, the older the bags get, the more likely they are to split at the seams, so you need to make sure you monitor the bags for any signs of wear to prevent unexpected accidents.

  • 04 of 06

    Flip Top Boxes to Store Beads

    Mothers Birthstone Pendant Materials
    Lisa Yang

    Flip top boxes are a great way to store smaller quantities of seed beads, cylinder beads, and crystals. They come in a range of sizes and there are even totes designed specifically for storing and taking your beads with you. 

    Labeling them with the size, type and cost of beads will make sure you always know how to price your projects.

    Buy a Brother Label Maker at

    Continue to 5 of 6 below.
  • 05 of 06

    Tackle Boxes to Store Beads and Tools

    Bead Storage Tackle Box
    Lisa Yang

    Tackle boxes aren't just for fishing gear anymore. Along with beading threads like Fireline and Power Pro, beaders have discovered that these storage boxes and soft-sided carriers are great for storing beads, supplies, and tools. The carriers make it easy to take your beads with you, and the adjustable compartments in the plastic storage boxes make it easy to customize your storage.

  • 06 of 06

    Space Saver Jars

    Heringbone stitch bracelet materials

    Lisa Yang

    Space saver jars are great for making the most of a limited amount of storage space. The clear plastic jars make it easy to see what's inside of them, and they are a great way to store larger beads.

    These are available in a variety of sizes, including ones that stack together so you can store similar types or color beads together. To buy in bulk, look for cosmetic or lip gloss containers.

    Buy Cosmetic Container Pots on