Tuesday Tips and Tricks!

tuesdaytipsandtricks-520x210A large part of my creative process is making an absolute mess. Sometimes it seems like I have to get out every tool and supply I own just to make a pair of earrings! Today’s trick is one I use to keep my crafty mess under control during projects and to make clean-up easier afterwards.

Having a place for everything, even the trash, helps keep the mess under control and helps you keep track of important supplies and tools! I always keep three containers out on my work table. This first one is for projects I’m planning or currently working on. By separating out supplies for specific projects, I keep from accidentally grabbing the jump rings I need for a commissioned necklace when I’m doing quick repair on something else.

T&T 01.21.14The second container is where I put leftover supplies that need to go back in my stash. Once I’ve used as many head pins as I need or if I decide a certain bead isn’t quite right for a project, those go into the restocking box. This keeps me on track while I’m working, focused instead of constantly digging back into my supply stash. Once every few weeks I unload this box and put everything back where it belongs.

The third container is the most important – the trash basket! I have a separate container for broken beads, loose threads, wires and all the other scraps that jewelry making creates. Not only does this help me keep my work surface tidy, it’s the first place I look for missing beads and supplies.

How do you organize your beading work space?

Happy Tuesday! – Gretchen

6 comments to Tuesday Tips and Tricks!

  • I love this tip! I am working right now to organize my work space, and this idea is a great way to help keep it organized once I get to that place. Thank you!

  • I am not too sure that I have one. I have always been almost anal about cleaning up after after project except lately. For some reason I have been being really lazy. I haven’t put away some art beads that have arrived :(

  • Brenda

    The must haves that I keep on my desk all the time are containers for my jump rings and clasps, a cute box I mod-podged to hold my wire supply, a big round organizing tray (dollar store find) that holds jewelry pieces I’m working on, round & square paper punches I use a lot, thrift store jewelry finds and little odds & ends. I keep my glues & resins in small baskets and I have a wooden holder for my jewelry tools. And lastly, I’ve also got that “3rd” container…the all important trash can. lol :)

  • I sort of have a similar setup at my work space however yours looks MUCH neater than mine. I need to get bigger containers for in progress projects and go backs. Right now the in progress and go backs are overflowing into my actual work space – very frustrating. Looks like there’s a trip to the dollar store in my very near future. ;-)

  • I have a tiny work area, which always seems to be piled too high to actually work on. I think I’ve got it solved now, though – I bought 3 stacking bins for the lefthand edge, in which I put upcoming projects, restocking stuff, and odds and ends. On the right, I have a small freestanding wire CD holder, on which I hang my pliers, and a mug that holds pens, scissors, and other tools that won’t hang. To the right and left of the desk are rolling 3 drawer cabinets, in which I keep supplies, extra tools, labeled containers of jump rings, ear wires, bead caps, earring cards and plastic bags, etc. The work area itself now holds a tray, on which stuff is set that need dealt with (stray supplies, new orders that have come in, purchases that need put away, etc.). When it’s time to work, the tray is lifted off and set behind me on the bed (my studio is also the bedroom), giving me a clean falt surface to work on! So far, it’s worked out well.

  • Mary Weiss

    I love trays with assorted size interior containers. I use an empty tray with a bead mat in it for a work in progress. The little containers keep my beads and findings visible and organized. When I’m done It is quick and easy to put my ‘stuff’ away. It’s also really helped me with pricing. I hate looking up how much I paid for items to dtermine my cost. I work with a customer in the studio occasionally. I used to get very anxious and just pull a price out of the air quickly. Now, when an order arrives, pricing goes on the container as I put it away.

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