Tips for Traveling With Your Beads

My well-loved soft tacklebox is perfect for carrying lots of beads to shows and classes.

It's summer, and that means that lots of people are hitting the road for a vacation. I'll be packing up my beads and heading to a couple of beading classes this summer, too, so I thought I'd share some tips for storing and traveling with your beads!

The first summer that I did any serious traveling with my beads was the year I did farmer's markets every weekend. Because I had a lot of down time, I found myself bringing along beading projects to keep myself busy. Each week, I'd grab another bag with a set of beads for a project in it and toss it into my tote bag. Pretty soon, I discovered that I was hauling around a rolling carry-on suitcase, stuffed full of beads and beading projects! Needless to say, this method was less than ideal, and since then, I've discovered a few ways to make it easy to travel with my beads.

For moving my beading projects from room to room around the house, my favorite solution is my Deluxe Bead Traveler from Diane Hyde of Designer's Findings. This is a standard jewelry tray fitted with one of Diane's fabulous Designer's Workpads with a clear lid. When my son was a toddler, this tray saved my life on many occasions because it allowed me to work wherever my son wanted to be around the house. If he wanted to play outside, I could grab my tray and sit in the sun while he tore around the backyard. Now, my Deluxe Bead Traveler makes it so that I can make the most of the precious minutes I have to bead and spend time with my family.

If I'm going to be spending time at a friend's house, I usually stuff my String Me Along Beading Mat and Project Organizer in my tote bag so that I can work on little projects. It's the perfect size for a beading class, too, and it's big enough to carry a spool of beading thread, a pair of scissors, and all the beads I need for two or three projects. The String Me Along Beading Mat and Project Organizer is also the perfect size so that I can bring a small stiff-backed work pad with me so that I have a stable surface on which to bead.

When I travel to a show or for an extended visit, my tote bag of choice is my favorite soft-sided fishing tackle box. The one I currently use was purchased from my local sporting goods store for around $30 and came with four wonderful plastic storage boxes with adjustable dividers! I carry an assortment of seed beads, findings, beading thread wrapped on cardboard bobbins, thread cutters and even cabochons and bead embroidery materials in each box so that I'm never without a beading project!

A few things I never leave home without: a small ruler, my sketchbook and a small color wheel.


A few other things you might want to include in your beading travel kit:

  • A small ruler
  • A color wheel
  • A small sketch book or pad of paper for jotting down ideas
  • A set of travel pliers
  • A small card-shaped magnifier

Another item I like to bring along when I travel are my copies of Beadwork and Stringing magazines. But if you want to travel light, three or four magazines can weigh you down. One easy solution is to subscribe to Beadwork and Stringing through Zinio and get your magazines delivered digitally! You can download them to your PC, laptop or tablet, or store them in your Zinio account on the web and access them from any computer with web access, anytime! Subscribe to Beadwork and Stringing magazines through Zinio and enjoy the convenience of being able to access your favorite beading projects from anywhere.

Is there something that you absolutely have to have when you travel with your beads? Leave a comment on the blog telling us what it is, and share any advice you might have for those of us who travel with our beloved beads!

Bead Happy,


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