Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Bead Storage Box Tutorial

If you are a bead collector or maker you may have found it hard to display your beads in a cheap effective way.  I shared this bead storage box on in 2005 but decided it was worth revisiting since it works so well and you may not have seen it.

Bead Storage Box Tutorial
Here is the finished box full of pandora sized beads. You can use any size box the deeper the box the thicker the beads you can place in it. I find that these thin boxes are hard to find but worth looking for. This one is 8.5 inches x 6.25 inches and 1.25 inches deep that leaves about one inch of inside height.
This is a photo of my supplies since I have an easier time finding things when I know what they look like.

Cigar box
Black sticky-back felt I used presto felt
Black quick count raised grid plastic canvas size 7 
1/4 inch Art Accents terrifically tacky tape
Super firm sponge-rubber tape 1/8 x 3/8, used for sealing doors n stuff I got it at the hardware store.
1/16 inch tig welding rod or mandrels
Wire cutters

Cut two pieces of foam tape to fit the sides of your box.
Cut two pieces of tacky tape the same length as your foam tape.
Cut two pieces of your plastic canvas slightly taller than your foam tape.

The height of the canvas will be determined by how tall your box insides are and how big your beads you want to put in the box might be. 

You can see the layers, foam, tape, mesh and then the felt bottom.
You can put two pieces of foam tape up the sides of your box if you are using a deeper box.
Put the foam tape into both sides of the box placing then tacky tape on top of it and the plastic canvas last as seen in the photo below.

Cut your felt to fit the sides and bottom of the box then stick it in. I find it is easier if I fold the felt for the sides before I take the backing off so it knows where it's going to bend once it gets into the box.

Cut your mandrels just shorter than the inside measurement of your box. You want them long enough that they will fit easily when bent slightly into the holes of the plastic canvas. 

As you can see here I have little silver marks where the mandrels go in this box. The nice thing about these boxes is that the width between mandrels can be adjusted depending on the size of your beads.

Here is the first box I made, it came from Cancun with the glass already in the top. I used bigger mandrels in this box and cut the top of the plastic canvas as you can see. In transit the mandrels can slip from the plastic so that is when I looked into mandrels that bend and leaving the tops on the plastic.



  1. Great tutorial! Thanks for sharing your idea.

  2. I know you posted this quite a long time ago, but I wanted you to know that this is exactly what I was just looking for. It's perfect. I thought I was going to have to carve little holes in my cigar boxes, and then I saw your idea of using plastic canvas instead. I have a lot of leftover plastic canvas from when my mother used to do needlepoint tissue box covers. So, cheap and easy! Thanks!