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Building the Perfect Bead Box

Q: My incredibly cool and adorable husband has gotten it into his head to build me the Perfect Bead Box. He found turn-of-the-century sterling plate hardware from an old cigar humidor and is going to build it out of thin clouded walnut. My question is: OK, you bead heads, if you were building the Perfect Bead Box to be a portable work center and storage space, what features would you want?

A: Experience is the best teacher...if you'll be keeping any small beads in this box, be sure...that's BE SURE that there is a tight fitting lid for each compartment. Trust me, after 4 years of sorting, and still at it I might add. I learned the hard way the day the kids picked up the box upside down. If this box is going to be portable I would think that whatever you put the beads in would seal up somehow so the beads don't mix together if the box gets bumped. You would want each compartment to hold at least 1 hank of beads. I use babyfood jars for storage and carry them in a tote. I put a tag on the top of each jar with the color, size, type of bead and where I bought it (and a reorder number if I have that information). My system of storage isn't too portable but it works! For about ten years now, I have been using containers fisherpersons use to collect and contain their fishing flys. They are made of plastic, are cylindrical and each compartment screws into the next so that I can have one type of bead in different colours separated but together in one unit. If I have to move my beads for any reason, there is no hassle at all. These containers are easy to find (hardware stores, fishing or outdoorsy shops, etc.) and the best of all is that they are totally inexpensive!