November 19, 2021

2021 Bead and Jewelry Maker's Holiday Gift Guide

 This week, I figured I would share some of my favorite recent bead and jewelry related purchases. Who knows, maybe these are perfect gifts for someone on your list, or perfect for you to add to your holiday wish list.

First up are some favorites to help bead organized. Finding materials is a huge challenge for me since I love to buy supplies and tools. I've recently stumbled upon these hanging jewelry organizers that are perfect for storing tubes of beads, spools of thread, findings and other supplies.

Bead organizer

  This first one is the BB Brotrade HJO80 Hanging Jewelry Organizer,80 Pocket Organizer for Holding Jewelries(Beige).  I love finally being able to see my beads in single file so I can see all the colors. I've purchased several of these and have been slowly filling them and organizing my seed beads.

Bead and jewelry organizer

These are double sided, so I used the other side for my beading thread and needle collection. I am finding it super convenient, but most of all, I know that I don't need to buy any more FireLine for a little while since I have more spools than I could even fit in here!

Organizing beading supplies

These jewelry organizers are available in several styles and colors. I also purchased this BB Brotrade Hanging Jewelry Organizer,Double Sided 56 Pockets&9 Hooks Accessories Organizer for Holding Jewelry(Beige-56 Pockets) because it has some velcro hangers where I can put strung beads and it has slightly different sized pockets.

Some of my beads came in plastic baggies instead of tubes, so I broke down and bought two different types to help me organize them. I purchased large tic-tac like boxes 3" Clear Flip Top Containers and Caps (50).  The small round tubes with caps are similar in size to the 7.5 gram tubes of size 11 delicas in the first picture  Craftdady 100Pcs Transparent Clear Plastic Small Empty Storage Tubes Bead Container Set Test Bottles Organizers Boxes with Lid 2.16x0.59" (55x15mm)

Organizing beads into containers

I've found both of these bead containers to be sturdy so far. It's taking me a bit of time to move my beads from their old plastic baggies and add labels, but the effort is definitely worth while. I have been able to bead more and spend less time digging for beads since I started this project.

I still have a way to go in organizing, but another great buy has been these storage shelves, Amazon Basics 5-Shelf Adjustable, Heavy Duty Storage Shelving Unit on 4'' Wheel Casters, Metal Organizer Wire Rack, Chrome (30L x 14W x 64.75H).  

My bead collection doesn't look too bad here - but I assure you there is waaaay more on these shelves now. I also purchased these hooks 30 Pack ESFUN Heavy Duty S Hooks Pan Pot Holder Rack Hooks Hanging Hangers S Shaped Hooks for Kitchenware Pots Utensils Clothes Bags Towels Plants and I'm using them to add bead strands and rolls of wire to the side of the shelving unit.

bead storage shelves

So, that covers it for organizing. I already have a lot of other caddies and storage solutions, but these few new items are making a big impact for me.

From a supply perspective, one thing that I love are Tulip beading needles. They're a bit expensive, so I imagine any beader would appreciate the Tulip Needle Assortment. It is a bundle of 3 different sizes of Tulip Beading Needles Size 10, Size 11 & Size 12 - 1 pack of each. I always ask someone to add a pack or two as a stocking stuffer.

Tulip Needle Assortment for beading

When I'm not using Tulip's, I use John James beading needles. They're very economical, but don't last as long as Tulip's in my opinion.

Beading thread and a thread burner are also necessities. I've recently tried SpiderWire from Fire Mountain Gems and I really like it. It's a fishing line style of thread, but more supple than FireLine. Interesting that I just noticed that it is more expensive than FireLine - so that might dampen my enthusiasm for it very slightly.  

My favorite thread burner is the Berkley Hot Line Cutter.  I had to buy a new one this year, but the old one lasted a long time - probably 8 years since it comes with an extra tip. I also use it for fishing on occasion. 

Line cutter

When it comes to beading around the house, I like to be able to work in different areas. I have found this inexpensive lightweight portable kid's lap desk from Michaels works perfectly for my beading,  Assorted Kids Lap Tray by Creatology

I keep tools in the side pockets and it's easy for me to move my beadwork to where ever I want to work. It sits on my lap when I'm in my favorite chair or over my legs when I sit on the floor. The small lip keeps beads contained. When I leave the room, I place a bead mat or cloth over the work to protect it from my cat. 

beadwork lap desk

Last are a few books that I recently picked up, even though they are not recently published.

The first is one that I checked out of the library ages ago by Mortira Natasha vanPelt and I recently decided I needed to add it to my own library - Ancient Worlds, Modern Beads: 30 Stunning Beadwork Designs Inspired by Treasures from Ancient Civilisations

If you're not familiar with Mortira's work, visit her website Inspirational Beading. She has lots of free tutorials for basic stitches and her colorway and vision are unique. Unfortunately, she no longer updates her website, but it is a great resource and source of inspiration. 

Ancient World, Modern Beads book

I love her brick stitch flower clasps, and the instructions are in the book. These are really fun to make and once you see them in use on her website or in her book, you'll probably be smitten with them too.

Brick stitch flowers for clasps

I also admire Margee Deeb's analysis and insight on beadwork. I already owned The Beader's Color Palette and recently picked up The Beader's Guide to Jewelry Design: A Beautiful Exploration of Unity, Balance, Color & More

They aren't project books (even if they do have projects, I don't think that's their focus) - more color theory and design resources, but there is a lot of eye candy and beautiful work. Both of these books are great for design reference.

Margie Deeb Beadwork Books

I'm also going to add one more Margie Deeb book because it really compliments these other two. The Beader's Guide to Color lays the groundwork for the color palette book. 

OK - so those are all of the goodies that I've purchased this year that I recommend.  

I'm struggling a little with what I will put on my own holiday wish list. Apparently, I'm real good at buying things for myself!  But - if you have suggestions, please add them in the comments.

Happy shopping and almost black Friday! 

For your information - some of these items are affiliate links that I may receive a commission on if you purchase the item. This in no way affects the price you pay or influences my opinion of the item. 

4 comments:

  1. Hanging jewelry organizer, display all wire and thread art once. Brilliant!

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  2. My beads are organized in numbered cases that I keep on carts. However I have a couple of these hanging pouch things which will be perfect for some of my excess stuff! Thanks for the ideas!

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  3. Thanks for all the tips. Your organization is inspiring.

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