The Design and Save ‘n Go by Bead Buddy is essentially 2 beading trays, with a bead mats on each that snap together much like a case for a CD. It opens all the way flat, or you can easily detach the hinge to create 2 stackable beading trays. I was introduced to this handy, combination bead board and project storage system by several members in the Dallas Bead Society. I decided to buy one before the Texas Bead Retreat back in January, and give it a trial run.
I like to work on 2 projects (or more) at once. I usually have a design project that requires lots of concentration and ripping, or a national teacher project that requires following directions closely, or making lots of decisions etc. In other words, a brainpower project. The other project is mindless, and something I could bead in my sleep. I work on one when I need a break from the other. So having 2 stackable trays is a very nice feature, and I just put one on top of the other when I’m ready to switch projects.
It is also perfect for bead retreats and classes. I work whatever I want on the first board during the free beading time. When its time for class, I don’t have to go through the hassle of cleaning it off and putting all the beads away. I can just grab the second board and use it for the class.
but..Will it work for seed beaders?
Yes! I took my tray and loaded it up with 3 piles of seed beads. I closed it up, and shook it really hard. When I opened it again, the beads were in their same places! Honestly, I was a little surprised at how little they moved. If you put your tray in a bag with other supplies, it won’t move nearly as much as I shook it.
Conclusion: I need more of these, and every beader should have one, hehe. It retails for $16.99 at JoAnn, but it is only available in stores as far as I can because I couldn’t find it on their website. I have emailed Bead Buddy to see where else they can be purchased.
What do you think? What is your favorite tray or bead mat to work on? Please share with us in the comments!
Update: I heard back from Bead Buddy, and the trays can also be purchased from Fire Mountain! They also listed Rio Grande, JewelrySupply.com, and Hancock Fabrics but I couldn’t find them on either site, and the Hancock’s near me closed a few years back.