How to Package Your Designs for Bead Shows or Magazines

Well, I’ve got my tickets and hotel booked to go to Bead Fest Portland. I can’t wait! I get to spend 4 days beading with a bunch of other happy, eager beaders. I don’t know about you, but that’s simply heaven to me.  The fact that Portland is such a beautiful city is just icing on the cake.

I was so pleased when my classes for Bead Fest were accepted because I’ve discovered—especially in the last year or so—how much I really love to teach. So in an effort to get out there even more, I’ve been submitting quite a few class applications lately to shows, shops, and societies. When I sent in one application recently, the store owner suggested I share the way I package my pieces with Beading Daily readers . . . so here it is.

I learned this packaging method from Diane Fitzgerald. It works well for sending your pieces for any reason, such as entering a show or submitting to a magazine. It not only gives you a more professional look, it protects the piece, reduces the “we lost your necklace” factor, and lets you display your work the way it should be seen.

   1. Use a craft knife and metal straight-edge ruler to cut a piece of thin board large enough to fully spread out your piece on, but smaller than a gallon-size plastic zip bag. (I’ve been using painted cork board lately—it’s a good product because puncture holes heal themselves, you can glue stuff to it, it’s fairly cheap, it’s a little easier on the environment than Styrofoam, and although bendy, it still holds up well in the mail.) 
  2. Place your piece on the board. Use a beading awl to make holes in the board, one on each side of the piece in several different spots.  
  3. Use 3" pieces of 28-gauge wire to affix the piece to the board and trim any sticky-outy wires. (You can also use needle and thread for this step).  
  4. Glue your business card to the front of the board out of the way of your piece. 
  5. Glue a picture and description of your piece to the other side of the board. Spray mount glue works well for this. 
  6. Tape a piece of bubble wrap over the top of the piece. Apply the tape so the wrap opens like a door and the receiver doesn’t have to actually remove the tape to undo the wrap. 

7. Slide the board into a gallon-size plastic zip bag, and you’re ready to send! 

If you have other sure-fire ways to protect your work for submission, please share them on the website. And if you see me in Portland at Bead Fest, tap me on the shoulder and say hello—I’d love to meet you!

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