Micro Beads | Part One

I'm working on a post about using micro beads, but it's not quite ready yet.

Until then, I thought some info about how to store them might be helpful. They're frustratingly prone to static, which makes them difficult to work with at best, and at worst? A giant mess. Storing them in a plastic container is safest, since those have great lids that seal securely, but it exacerbates the static issue. Paper containers like envelopes or cardboard boxes would be great - no static - if only they held the micro beads securely! Glass is probably ideal, but the hardest to find.

I work around the static by wiping the container out with a dryer sheet before ever putting the beads in it, and then cutting up a dryer sheet and tucking it into the container. I have clear travel pill containers from Walmart, found in the travel and trial size area of the pharmacy department. I love these because they're shallow (so that I can reach in with my tweezers) and stable (so that I don't knock them over), and the lids screw down TIGHT. No escapees rattling around in my drawers! The best part? They're less than a dollar for a set of two.

I've found that the dryer sheets kill most, if not all, of the static given enough time. I cut a circular liner for the bottom of the jar, and add other pieces as necessary. I have more silver micro beads than colored, for instance, and I found that the silver container required more dryer sheet scraps. 

Now, where to find these micro beads! I don't have a good online source for them - I simply don't use them often enough to buy them online. I've found mine at Hobby Lobby; originally the silver ones were part of a scrap booking/decoupage area, but when I went in last week I found them with jewelry. That's also where I found the colored micro beads and 1.5mm clear and black crystals. They were between $1.99 and $2.99 per package. I haven't seen these at Michaels, but I haven't scoured the store, either. 

If you don't have a Hobby Lobby or prefer not to shop there, I highly recommend touching base with one of the hobby's Arabian costume makers. They use these beads extensively and would probably know of a great place to buy them!