...how the heck do I store my treasures in a way that's organized, compact, yet allows me to see what I have?  I took a simple spice rack idea, and enlarged it about 1000%!  I've gotten a couple questions from readers whenever I have shown pictures of my "studio" (heavy emphasis on the air quotes) so thought I would share how I built my bead storage solution - the first ever Beads for Busy Gals tutorial!

Let's start with a picture of the final product - an entire wall of beady goodness that inspires me every day:


NOTE:  this is a post-clean up picture.  My desk almost never looks this way!

Supplies you need are dependent on the space you have on the wall, so what follows is what I did for the approximately 8'x8' space I had over my desk.  I started with four 36"x24" pieces of sheet metal, found at the hardware store in a bin with metal rods and other odd ball stuff.


 It's pricier than you think it should be :-)


You will also need sixteen fender washers and lag bolts.  I don't know if these are the exact sizes you need - I just wanted you to have a picture of what I was talking about.  The bolts have to go through the wall and into the studs, so longer is better.



Now here is the really really important part:  figure out where the studs are in the wall where you are hanging the sheet metal, and then sketch out how you will orient the pieces of sheet metal and where to drill the holes, in both the sheet metal and the walls.  Notice in these pictures how we didn't put the hole all the way in the corner, plus overlapped the pieces in the middle, to help maximize strength and surface area:


We used two bolts per corner in the center where two pieces of sheet metal overlapped, and one bolt in each of the "edge" corners.  Now you are done with the hard part! 

Magnetic bottom, clear top spice tins are easy to come by, but it gets expensive if you want hundreds of them.  For example, you can get 3 for $5.99 from the Container Store.  But I knew with a little research there had to be a better way, or at least someone that sold in bulk.  I found a great company that I highly recommend, Specialty Bottle.  I ordered a hundred each of their 4 oz and 8 oz deep Tin Containers with Clear Top, and with shipping it worked out to about $1 a piece.  To make the tins magnetic, I bought a roll of stick on magnetic tape (1" wide, approx 1mm thick) from MagneticSupplier.com for about $20.  It sticks pretty well and is easy to cut to shape with scissors.  I would recommend a little thicker tape - if I drop a tin or it slips as I grab it off of the wall, it often creates an avalanche of cascading bead tins.  Thicker magnetic tape might solve this problem.  The good news?  The tin lids magically stay on!

To get extra points for over-organization, arrange your beads by color.  All fun aside, it does help to have all the say, greens, in one area as you are trying to put something together. Happy Halloween everyone!


14 Comments

  1. This really is a great idea! I love it!

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  2. Love this! You did a great job.

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  3. Very cool, always interested in seeing organization tips! Thanks!

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  4. that is so cool! I thought about doing that for my enamels, but chickened out and did the shelf instead.

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  5. I so love this! When I have the space this is what I want! thanks for posting it!
    Happy Halloween!

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  6. Great organisation! Thank you for showing!
    Have a nice day, greetings Doris

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  7. What a feat, thank you for sharing. My problem with organization is that I find it very hard to stay organized..... I like to think there is a method in my madness, but I must admit that I spend way too much time looking for some particular bead that I know I have and need right now.

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  8. this is a brilliant idea..thanks for the supplier lists..
    one thought..don't know if it would work..but perhaps adhereing the metal sheets to plyboard might give a little more flexibility lining up to studs

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  9. Totally magnificent & inspiring. Space is always a problem for me.

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  10. I am the coordinator of an Indian Ed program and we have beads in boxes all over our room. I've been looking for a cool way to sort and display them for easy access and this idea is amazing. I just put my ourchase order in for the supplies! Thanks for the idea!

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  11. I dont understand about the lids. what do they look like?

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  12. What a wonderful way to organize your beads. I love it. Just to let you know I posted a link to your fantastic tutorial on my blog.
    http://mixedkreations.com/blog/2012/07/beaded-wall-of-storage/
    Thank you for sharing.

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