Jewelry making is great, you get to create lots of pretty things and play with all things glitzy! Along with the glitz and glimmer comes a chaotic, tornado looking mess. I have been making jewelry as a hobbyist jeweler for about two years now. I love everything about it, including the messes that accompany it.
Whilst on your jewelry making journey you will encounter a need for storage of all your tools and supplies. Storage has been a huge deal for me, I was struggling with organization and always losing tools, beads, stones and chains. Being in a constant state of #mombrain left me with a mess.
Once I added all other craft making to my workspace I knew I had to take control of the chaos so I went on a hunt for the most durable and efficient storage options I could find without breaking the bank, some even include DIY projects, you know upcycling!
There are different storage options for all the various supplies and tools you will use, I am going to go over the storage products that I used daily for everything.
For my tool storage, I use a storage cart that I purchased many years ago for something other than my crafting. This is the exact one I have but in black. I have the white one and it has been really useful and well loved (as in beaten and abused by a toddler twice over) so it is very durable.
I really like the different drawer sizes, this allows me to utilize the top drawers for tools that can lay flat and the deeper bottom drawers for my bigger tools like rubber mallets and such. Currently however mine is being stuffed to the brim with a mix of jewelry tools and other crafting tools. Either way, it gets the job done!
For your pliers, you can always make a pliers stand or purchase one off Amazon for a few bucks. A pliers stand like this one keeps all of your pliers (easily the most used tool in your workspace) insight and quickly accessible.
My amazing husband printed me this one with his 3D printer, I have to say it’s pretty cool and holds all of my pliers and then some quite perfectly! If you have access to a 3D printer or know someone who has one, get a plier stand printed, you can customize them to fit your exact tools. You can check out his 3d printing site 3D Printscape for more cool stuff.
Beads, beads and more BEADS. They are everywhere!! I am the crazy person that every time I step into a craft store (either physically or virtually) I have to look at the beading section! I love all the pretty colors, shapes, sizes and styles available and it is even worse when they are all on sale.
Bead storage was the first thing (aside from my tool storage that I already had) I needed to find storage for. All beads typically come on a string or wire and once you remove one you have to find something to place the rest in or it’s game over. At first I was using those little zipper bags, I know you know exactly what I am referring to so I will not go into explanations. After a while and a thousand or so little zipper bags later, I decided I needed a more permanent solution.
One day the hubs and I were browsing the isles of our local Home Depot and we came across these tool storage bins. These were made to little nails, screws, nuts and bolts but I had a better use for them. They were PERFECT. Not only do they connect and lock in place for portability but they also have the little removable slots for changing sizes of the compartments! I was in heaven! I started with one and immediately filled it and went back for another. You can find it here at Home Depot or one that is similar if you don’t want to leave your house for it here on Amazon.
Inexpensive and absolutely perfect for the task.
Storing stones is an entirely different story, say that three times fast. Stones have energies, can be fragile and you just want to keep them stored separate from your beads and each other. Having them in the same container as other stones is fine, just make sure there is a divider in between the two types.
I love being able to see my stones, so these clear plastic storage bins are a perfect fit. Plus it keeps me from buying too many at a time, Ha! I have recently become very fascinated with lava stones, when we traveled to Rome and Italy a few years ago I was able to hike active volcanoes (seriously awesome adventure) and while hiking I became more and more drawn to the real beauty of this naturalistic beast.
I won’t delve too much into it, getting to my point here, lava stones are not fragile by any means but they can definitely ruin other stones by wearing on them and scratching them. So I like to try to keep all of my lava stones separate from all other semi precious stones. Here are some examples of what I use.
Cording, wire and chains are a major necessity for jewelry making, finding proper storage for it has been quite a tedious task. Eventually I will get something more organized but for the time being I use cute baskets. It is messy and can get tangled often but it holds all of my cording and then some.
I do tend to keep my wire separate, there is no specific reason for this other than it is a different material and my slight OCD feels it needs to be in a different location. I keep my wire in one of the drawers that my tools are kept in, metal with metal. So it is organized in a sense I guess.
I will be purchasing a few of these MOOCA Plastic Multipurpose Arts & Craft Supply Case Wire Spool Tool Storage Containers in the near future to get a bit more organized. They are pretty neat and fairly inexpensive. They even have handles!
Findings are basically almost anything that is metal, a closure or any making component that is not a bead, stone or stringing material. Most findings are relatively small and very easy to lose track of. I have a good collection of jump rings, crimps and other findings all over my craft room floor every time I sweep.
Having good storage for these little pieces is essential, otherwise you will have more than just a collection on your floor, to me, findings are like glitter, hard to see and a menace to keep track of. The best storage option I have found for my findings are actually the same storage bins I use for my beads! I love these bins because they are secure enough that you can tilt, drop and flip and not stress over everything getting mixed up.
To save you from scrolling back up you can find the bins here at Home Depot or here on Amazon. To recap these awesome bins lock and connect to each other so you can stack them and they also have little dividers that can be shifted around to accommodate larger findings. You will find them very useful in your workspace and will use them on a daily basis.
For all of my miscellaneous jewelry making supplies like ribbon, other tools, random charms, watch faces etc., I mostly use the open space in the plastic drawer storage I have from Target, you can purchase these on Amazon too for a more convenient option. This storage is great for so many things and they fit seamlessly under my workspace so there is no taking up extra room.
Be sure to check out some other nifty functional craft ideas through our other posts here on Craft-ILY as well as checking out some videos on DIY and How To’s over on YouTube. Look for “Crafting Unedited” to see!