The 5 Best Bead Organizers Ever

I’ve gone through many different storage systems trying to find the perfect way to organize my beads and projects. Here are my top 5 picks, how I use them, and where to get them.

If you need help organizing your bead stash from start to finish, register for the July 12th online class: Organizing Your Bead Space for a Creative Explosion.

1. Snap ‘N Stack Organizer

These are the best project boxes I have ever used. I label the outside with the project name, and they all stack so nicely on my shelf. They are portable, and many ladies in the bead society use them to take projects and supplies to meetings. You can sometimes find them at Target, here at Jo-ann, and here on Amazon.

2. Screw-top Vials

I like these to hold accent type beads and strands. Without taking the lid off, I can see everything that’s inside and it makes finding things easy. If I’m pulling beads for a project, its easy to take out only the vial I need. You can find them at Michaels, here from Jo-ann, and here on Amazon.

3. Bead Pavilion

These are perfect for holding many tubes of beads in a small space so you can see all the colors. I like to have my whole palette out to inspire my designs. You can find them here from Sova Enterprises and here from Beadaholique.

4. Photo Boxes

These come with 6 cases or 12 cases, and they are perfect for storing beads you have pulled for a project. If the project is small, you can work out of the case and makes great traveling storage. You can find these at most craft stores in the scrapbooking section, and here at The Container Store.

5. Design Save’n Go

These are perfect for storing work-in-progress, and I wrote a glowing review of them a few months back. I like that the mats hold the beads in place so they don’t roll around. It’s 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. You can sometimes find them at Jo-ann stores, but not their website. Fire Mountain also carries them here.

{ 14 comments… add one }
  • avatar Janet July 11, 2011, 2:24 am

    Wow, I’m with you on each of the storage techniques. I used them all, except for the Design Save ‘n Go. That one I’ve picked up, put down, picked up, put down… more times than I can count. But I haven’t taken the plunge yet. The other methods shown I definitely use – I particularly like the photo boxes for packing specific project materials together. Good stuff!

  • avatar Mandi Ainsworth July 11, 2011, 7:02 am

    Janet, I waited until I got a coupon to take the plunge, and now I have 3! I’m glad you have also discovered the awesomeness of photo boxes. Thanks for commenting!

  • avatar Beth Rudy July 11, 2011, 9:51 am

    Those are some of my favorites too! I have been working on some reorganizaiton thanks to your inspiration. And I like to use coupons too!!


  • avatar Mandi Ainsworth July 11, 2011, 11:26 am

    I saw the before and after photos on your blog, and it’s looking a lot more functional for you in there! I’m glad you were inspired and thanks for commenting : )

  • avatar Sheryl July 11, 2011, 2:12 pm

    I have a couple of Bead Pavilions and I love it. I got mine from a wonderful woman at She is the best. I highly recommend her. If she doesn’t have something, she will find it. She also has the Bead Tube Tower which hold more tubes than the Bead Pavilion. As soon as I can clean up my craft room, I’m going to buy one from her.
    I’m strictly into seed beads and bead weaving. Is the Design Save n’ Go seed bead friendly? I’d be nervous about all of my seed beads rolling around. I see in the picture it looks more like it’s geared toward stringers

  • avatar Mandi Ainsworth July 11, 2011, 2:19 pm

    Thanks for that link to the Bead Pavilions, Sheryl! In my review, a placed several piles of seed beads, and one pile was size 15s. I shook it really hard, and when I opened it back up, the beads had hardly moved! That’s why I’m such a fan : )

  • avatar Sheryl July 11, 2011, 2:33 pm

    Thank you, Mandi! I did read your review but wasn’t sure which size seed beads you used.
    You’ve convinced me, I have to order one of those now. My project is on my dresser right now between two bead mats and I’m terrified that I’ll bump into my dresser and knock all of my precious beloved seed beads onto my extra thick rug.

  • avatar Sheryl July 11, 2011, 2:44 pm

    I just wanted to give you Cindy’s link with her storage items:
    I also wanted to say that I don’t get anything for promoting her I just really think she is a great person to shop with

  • avatar Marcia July 12, 2011, 6:21 am

    Very helpful information. I am just getting started and have a mess already. Thank you

  • avatar Suanough July 15, 2011, 8:34 am

    Hi Mandy… I love all your organization techniques. I use almost all myself but haven’t tried the Design Save ‘n Go (yet…) I love dealing with BeadLady Cindy and have bought many storage items from her in the past. Great prices, great service…
    Thanks for all you do!

  • avatar Mandi Ainsworth July 15, 2011, 9:59 am

    Thanks for that info Sheryl : )
    @Marcia, it seems to get worse before it gets better, but always worth it!
    @Suanough If you try it let me know how you like it!

    Thanks for your comments, ladies!

  • avatar shirley July 16, 2011, 6:01 pm

    Wow! What a great post! I haven’t used any of those except the bead and go. I can highly recommend it. I abuse mine horribly, to the extent of leaving tubes of beads in it, and flush cutters when I close it up. It is really a have to for me as a beadweaver. Definitely need another!

  • avatar shirley July 16, 2011, 6:02 pm

    Oops, I meant Save N Go. :)

  • avatar Tara Angel Keels January 20, 2016, 9:50 pm

    I just the stackables for travel. I love them. They make working in the car or waiting at appt’s more fun. I use the screw top vials to store my seed beads. They hang on a peg board. I have velcroed each vial in the tray and can pull them off to use and put them back when finished. They are fantastic. I also use large 3 ring binders to store beads. I use the 9 pocket card protector sheets inside the binders. I have binders for various main colors and then sort be size within the color. I have binders for findings of various colors, The binders are labeled and on a shelf next to my beading table. I also love a multi bin cabinet hanging on the peg board labeled with various items. I love this article. I don’t know about you but I sometimes feel like I am in a perpetual state of organizing. I am excited to look into the photo boxes. Fantastic idea. Thank you for sharing.

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