When things start to look like this... it's time to get organized!
Inspiration and maniac wire bending can be so much fun that I move from one project to the next... never mind cleaning up until my creative mood has had it's fill of creating!
But when it's time....
Here are some simple and inexpensive ways to get organized....
- What to do with tools? Use something handy to store them for quick 'grabbing'. Some wire benders have found very creative ways to handle tool storage without spending oodles of money. What I use are those little wire racks from the local 'Walmart' store. They're the snap together storage shelving. The units are usually less then $20.00 and not only hold the tools, but also make great shelving for beads and what-nots. Tool storage is essential to the well keeping of your investments also. Notice how I praise and how I use, Lindstrom RX tools? Well, they're a decent penny when you start collecting them so... storage always keeps tools, not only handy, but in good shape.
- What about storage and easy access to 'wire' or ribbons or ropes or other 'string' type materials? Well, if they come on a spool... then normally I use a dowel, slip it through one of the metal storage units and store the spools there. Those wire storage units are great for all kinds of things and a dowel at the local hardware or hobby store is just about a buck or two.
- Hanging almost finished project pieces (like earrings...?) WIRE STORAGE UNITS. Great for slipping tools into, great for slipping dowels into and great for hanging earrings all over also! And if your necklaces or bracelets have a hook for a clasp, then these are great for hanging those on also. Just because those wire squares come designed to 'snap together' into a shelf doesn't mean you HAVE to use it that way. Get a few extra, get some coffee hooks (if you're a true DIY personality, your walls have holes). Screw the coffee hooks into the wall, use one of the wire squares to hang on it and then hang your finished or mid project jewelry there for temp storage.
- And what about bead project management? Well, see that wooden tray? I get those from the local hobby shops. I find them on sale and have purchased them for less then $3.00 each. I also pick up some really inexpensive felt which I cut to fit the inside of the treys. This way, I can lay out the beads for any given project and they don't slip away all over the place. This also makes for really quick clean up. When company comes I can easily and quickly just grab the tray, the beading board and dash them off into the studio closet. My beads, tools and project wires are all 'right there'. I get tons of these and keep larger or more complicated beading projects on them. This way, I can also just as easily grab the project I want with all things ready and go to town.
- Certainly you'll use beading boards when laying out a design (for length and organization). These also are not that expensive and can be found either online or at the local hobby stores. I get a few of these also because if you are in love with jewelry making... you have more then one project going on at a time. It sucks to remove beads from the board, layout another design, etc. Just get a few (at least a couple).
- The other thing I love using for bead management are those wonderful little compartmentalized plastic bead or project boxes. Sometimes, you can find those at a local hardware store for less than the hobby stores. They can be used to hold all kinds of small goodies like beads, findings, wire... anything. The limitation is that normally, the compartments are small so while they're great for BEADS BEADS AND MORE BEADS... some beads are too big. So, for those, I spend an extra buck and get the version of storage box that allows for adjustable compartments.
- Need a 'table space' to declare as your workbench? For this one, I say 'know thyself'... I'm one who doesn't always clean up project after project and who works on more then one project at a time. So I use banquet tables. Yep... those 6 to 8 feet long, plane, no frills, no drawers, banquet tables. You can find these anywhere... Home Depot for example. They range from $40 to $80 bucks, are wide, long and durable, not to mention, easy to move around for when you're ready to reorganize again and add to your creative space!
updated 5 / 19 / 2014