I wanted to share a picture of these awesome little trays I found on Ebay that are just perfect for my beading projects! These are children's size cafeteria trays...they have 4 compartments and are made out of lightwieght yet sturdy plastic. They measure 13.5"x 8.5" and they stack nicely, even with projects on them!
In this photo, I am working on a project using the Spinal Tap rope by Mikki Ferrugiaro of Mikki Ferrugiaro Designs and her blog The Beaded Carpet...it is an awesome design and the rope is super flexible and has an amazing shape to it!
I love these little trays...and with their rounded corners, I never snag my thread on the edge...and that used to happen all the time with my old system! And when that happens, it spills all the little piles of beads into each other and is especially irritating!
I lined the little compartments with pieces of bead mats. I always order several of these with any bead purchase, so I have a lot of bead mats in my stash. They are so great for lining any and all bead working surfaces...I even have one lining the bottom of my Loom!
But these trays come in packs of 4 for around $8 with shipping...so I bought 2 sets and shared some with my mom for her beadwork. I always have several of them stacked up with projects on them, and I just use another small piece of bead mat to cover the center section with all the piles of beads, and then they don't roll around and get mixed up!
I also have some little 11"x 8" white plastic trays made for food service by Mozaik. They don't have the separate compartments but they do have the nice rounded edges and they also stack very well. These also came from Ebay in a pack of 8 for around $12 with shipping.
I use both styles of my new beading trays all the time...I guess the choice just depends on the mood I am in! But I searched for a long time to find nice little trays that I could use for my beadwork instead of just putting a bead mat down on my work surface. With that method you can't move the project without a big mess, or without putting all the beads away.
And for a while I just put a big piece of thick cardboard under the mat so I could move it around, but this was not an ideal solution. My thread was always catching the corner of the cardboard and making a huge mess, plus I could not easily stack and store my projects with that system! Not to mention my bead mats did not like to stay in place without sliding around or being taped down!
The mail man just arrived and he delivered a package from Fusion Beads! I love getting beads in the mail! They are discontinuing their line of Cubic Zirconia Beads so they were 50 percent off! Which means their 18mm x 7mm CZ Drops were $1.44 each! They sold out very quickly! But I managed ti get several sets of them in 5 colors so I can make more pairs of Marcia DeCoster's Medici Drop earrings for Christmas presents!
This size is a little smaller than the ones I used in my first pair of these...those were 28mm x 7mm CZ drops that I purchased at Beadaholique. I love those longer drops...they are stunning!
But I have had many people tell me that they can't wear such long earrings, so these 18mm drops should be perfect for shorter versions of the Medici Drop Earrings! And who knows, maybe I will use them in some other earring designs as well!
Well, I guess I need to go work on some of those pairs of earrings! And I wish you lots of luck getting all of your beading projects done before Christmas! I know I am going to have a lot of sleepless nights in the next week or so!
Happy Beading and try to get some rest before Christmas!