Traveling with your work: Bead stitching

Traveling Bead Board and cover

With summer vacation season in full swing, we thought we'd take a look at how you can bring your jewelry making on the road!

Knitters and crocheters seem to have the skill mastered; my friend Melissa works on her crocheting while she's sitting at traffic lights! But we jewelry makers have more complex issues facing us than how to carry a hook (or needles) and a skein of yarn. We have heavy tools, teeny beads, boards and jigs and bench blocks, and all kinds of other things. So let's take a look this week at some neat items that can make our jewelry-making journeys less cumbersome.

Earlier this week, we talked about ways to travel with Kumihimo. Now let's see what Connie, a seasoned beader, thinks about traveling bead boards that can keep your Delicas from disappearing and your crystals contained. ~kk


Many of us like to bead when we travel, but trying to organize our beads to take along when we have a limited amount of space can be struggle. This is particularly true when doing a pattern with many colors. One solution is the Travelling Bead Board.

The boards are made out of wood and have a cover that is held on by binder clips. The original version has 36 spaces, and measures 7½ W x 9 L x 1 H in. Because there are so many slots, you may be able to carry enough beads for a couple of projects if needed. Just fill each slot with the desired color. The top is secured with two large binder clips that prevent the different color beads from mixing together. The top needs to be very tight to keep the beads in place, so the binder clips are pretty much exactly the size they need to be. What that means is that the clips can be a little difficult to put on. The manufacturer's website suggests using at least two self-sticking Velcro straps in place of the clips if you find them too difficult to use.

Traveling Bead Board

On the plus side, using the board can save you a lot of time because you do not have to lay out your beads every time you want to work on your project and then put them all away again. Just pick them up from the slots as needed, and close the top when you are done! One disadvantage I found was that it was hard to empty a color out of a slot without them getting mixed with nearby colors. If you’re using bigger beads such as pearls or crystals, this may not be as big of an issue.

The Travelling Bead Board can certainly be handy when traveling or at home, and the time you save can be spent doing other things — like beading! Find them at, where they are available in original, designer, and mini sizes.

FIND MORE: bead weaving

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