Monday, November 19, 2012

Bead organization options

Yes, I know I said it was going to be bead organization porn, but I really didn't want people stumbling onto my blog when they were looking for something else.

This is all from the trip that Steve and I took to Madison, Wisconsin for our anniversary.  We were only gone for one night, but we packed quite a bit into those two days!  The chief thing we did was to go antiquing.  Neither of us had done this before, and we found it to be quite a bit of fun, once we got past the "Oh, my goodness - how does one find anything in all of this?" feeling:

Imagine this multiplied again and again and again, and that's only one half of one aisle!  We quickly started poking around and found a number of neat items - old dominoes with lions on them, skeleton keys, and other things that I would love to use for my business, such as this card rack:

I think this could be used to hold my tutorials when I do bead shows, but the price is $84!  That seems a bit ridiculous to me, and I'm not positive it'll work.  When I'm in Madison next I'll bring some tutorials along to see if they'll fit (provided the rack is still there) and see if I can dicker the price down.  I think this would give a lot of character to my table plus provide a needed service.  Ah, well.  I can do without.

This rack got me to thinking... what other things would antique stores have that could be used for displays or for bead organization?

I found plenty of items in many shapes and sizes.

This is a watch/crystal case for $325:

Cabs and art beads would feel right at home in this case!

The brown one below is a spice cabinet for $165, and the green one is a 10 drawer cabinet for $89:

We saw many, many spice cabinets.  A number of them were smaller than the one above.

This one is a spool cabinet for $195:

Can't you just imagine all the tubes of Delicas you can store in this?

I'm not sure what this cabinet is - the picture I took isn't clear enough to make out what it was originally for.  I do know that it's about $445:

Tubes and bags and spools, oh my!

I didn't have foresight to take a better picture of the tag of this next one, but it even has colors listed to help with sorting:

This next one is a rolling parts organizer for $180:  I imagine it'd be nice for books or magazines or a number of other things:

Heck, it could even be used for yarn for crocheters and knitters!

Here's another watch/clock crystal case for $48:

This would lend quite an interesting look to one's studio!

I've saved the best for last.  The one I drooled, squealed, and generally went nuts over:

Steve says it's taller than I am, but I'm not so sure.  It's about $3400, if I remember correctly (I didn't get a good picture of this tag, either).  The base has drawers along three sides.  I don't think the top part spins, but I was afraid to try.  Here's what it originally was:

It appears to be a turn of the LAST century piece!  It's in beautiful shape with sizes of bolts and screws burned into the wood, and just take a look at these drawers:

Some of the drawers even have dividers in them!  I can never look at this enough, so here's another picture:

So... the moral of the story, er, point to this blog is that you can find bead organization and storage options in many different places.  Yeah, most of what I showed you here is out of a normal person's price range (or that bolt and screw case would be sitting in my studio right now - I could NOT talk Steve into it!), but with enough digging and creative thinking, you can find some perfect pieces to make your space pretty while you're storing your beads or other craft items!


  1. LOVE the bolts cabinet!!! I think the one you didn't know was an old fashioned apothecary cabinet. They came in many different styles, and drug stores were lined with them. I've always wanted one. I like your ideas, and yes, they expect you to haggle.


  2. Is the American Bolt still for sale?