Organizing Your Crafting Supplies! (A Crafter's Nightmare!)

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What is the most difficult and challenging aspect to crafting? This is not a question I get very often, but if I did... the answer would be: ORGANIZATION!

Beads and bead making things tend to be small and numerous and everywhere! There are many, many solutions to these problems out there. I'll show you some of mine :)

I should also note that while it may seem easy to head out to the store and buy every sort of nick-nack bead and craft organizer, I have kept my eye on re-usable and upcycleable options. I find that most of these fun organizers look neater (since my crafting room is also my bedroom) and they tend to be much cheaper or even free.

For most of my bead making supplies, I am using an old jewelry box my Mom gave me several years ago. About a year back, one of my darling kitties managed to break one of the glass doors on the top. I didn't want to throw it away, so I stashed it in the back of my closet for a while and then it hit me - these little compartments were perfect for storing bead supplies! If you don't have an old jewelry box of your own, check out some second hand shops, or consignment shops. You might even find a good deal at an antique shop.

I found this beauty at a consignment shop - it's an old type drawer. Granted, it's also much, much smaller than the average ones, but this one could fit right into my desk drawer, and only rang in at a measly $8. I was thrilled with the find, and, as you can see, it fits all the little stuff - not to mention that it provides a use for this drawer that  Iwasn't using at all. You can still faintly see the letters makred on the bottom of each little compartment. I think it's pretty darn cool.
This is another one of my upcycled sort of organizational finds, altough, it clearly isn't all that organized, at the moment. This is an old cabinet, which was rescued from my Great Uncle's barn after he passed away. I actually think it's a very interesting peice, though it could use some sanding and a fresh coat of paint. Right now it serves to hold my larger art supplies. Hmmm. I really should take the time to clean that out. See what I mean?

Well, I am just as susceptable to the easy, affordable plastic organizers as the rest of the world. :-/ I store my smaller beading organizers on a shelf in my closet. These three plastic guys hold my organized "natural beads" "glass and ceramic beads" and "gemstones" (this one is fantastic, because each compartment is removeable, with it's own cover and everything). The top yellow one is actually and old tackle/bait box that someone gave me ages ago and now serves to hold all of my base metal, copper and brass findings.

Right next to the beads, I keeps this mini three drawer organizer, which holds all of my plated and stirling findings. Notice how each drawer is labeled (I was going throug a phase). Inside, I have little plastic containers - purchased from the Dollar Store - which further break down the findings into what type they are (jump rings, clasps etc). You can't really see it, but next to the three drawer organizer, I've stashed an old Mancalla board. Do you remember this game? I used to love it! Well, sadly enough, the wooden board broke, however, it is perfect to use when setting out your beads for designing a project. I happened to have one at home, but you may be able to find one at a yard sale or a used/consignment store.