Seed Bead Storage: Bead Tubes or Bead Boxes?

A couple of my favorite seed bead storage solutions for tubes of seed beads.

Back when I was still a baby beader, I ordered my seed beads from a paper catalog. (Wow. Imagine that!) The seed beads arrived in a small box, neatly packaged in plastic tubes. And what did I do with those tubes of seed beads? Why, I immediately dumped them out into organizer boxes and storage containers, and I ditched the tubes.

I must have been insane, because now, years later, I love it when my seed beads come in those plastic tubes instead of plastic baggies. When I was an owner of a bead shop, we ordered our seed beads in bulk, and they came in large plastic bags – the kind that you can't reseal once you open them. I spent many, many hours sitting at a table, measuring out ten grams of seed beads from plastic bags to put into tubes.

My last order of seed beads from a new company came in boxes. What am I going to do with them?

But recently, an order of seed beads I placed arrived packed in those little square boxes, and I can't say that I was terribly impressed with the boxes at first. Sure, they were fun for my three-year-old son to stack while he was waiting for me to make dinner. But all of my bead-storage solutions up until now revolved around ways to store those tubes of seed beads, not the boxes!

I don't know why I don't like the boxes. They are just as convenient as the tubes, and it seems that the lids of the boxes don't come off as easily as the tubes. (Let me show you the bead soup that resides in the bottom of pretty much every drawer where I store my seed bead tubes.) The boxes don't roll off the table or roll around on my bead tray every time I shift position when I'm beading. So what gives?

I think for me, personally, it's just that sense of nostalgia that I feel when I hold a tube of seed beads in my hand. My first seed beads were all in tubes, and most of the seed beads that I order and buy at shows come in tubes and not boxes, so maybe it's just that I don't want to change over to boxes at this point. The empty tubes are also more readily available from my favorite beading supply companies, and they're not as expensive as the boxes, so there's the convenience factor to consider when I need to transfer a bunch of new colors from plastic bags to another seed bead-storage solution.

What do you think? Do you prefer your seed beads in tubes or boxes? Leave a comment and share your thoughts here on the blog!  

Bead Happy,


One Comment

  1. Cathie S at 11:58 am April 10, 2017

    I personally love those flip top boxes and they are getting harder to find. Michaels and JoAnns both sell some but they are not clear and you have to open them to see color of your beads, does not work for me. So enjoy those boxes.

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