Stash Busting Beading Projects


The early part of the year always feels like a time for new beginnings. I think one of the ways a lot of beaders make a new beginning is by looking at their beading stash. Let’s face it, you’re a bit short of cash after Christmas. So, maybe it’s time for some stash-busting beading projects…

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Of course, you can try the reverse and make this time of year the time to try out some new beads. If that’s what you’re thinking about, then this link could help you to discover some to try…

But let’s get back to those stash busting beading projects…

Bead graffitti pattern, stash busting beading projects, Katie Dean

What are stash busting beading projects?

You might be surprised to learn that stash busting beading projects come in two forms.

The first type

First, maybe you have a large stash of one type of bead. So, you might want to reduce that. That would mean you want to look for beading projects that use that type of bead. Now, it could just be basic seed beads. Or, it might be that you got carried away and stocked up on a lot of one of the novelty shapes. Now, you’re wondering what to do with them.

Arguably, it is harder to find a lot of projects for using up some of the shaped beads. So, you can simply do a google search for ‘beading patterns using xxx beads’. (Obviously, replace the xxx with the bead you are wanting to use!)

You can also try the same search on Pinterest. Or maybe, ask around among your beading friends at bead groups (both in real life and online).

If you want a quick search right now, then this website has organised beading patterns by the type of materials. So, you can see if there is something suitable in that collection.

Hexagon patchwork bracelet, stash busting beading projects, Katie Dean

The second type

The other type of ‘stash’ that needs busting are all those tubes with just a handful of beads left in them.

The tubes or bags take up space, but how do you use them up? Most of the time, you get a new project and find you don’t have quite enough beads left to use. So, you end up buying new.

Well, I have good news for you. There are loads of bead projects that are just great for using up a few leftover beads. Maybe you can see how that will work with seed beads. But I’m going to show you how you can find these stash busting beading projects for any type of beads.

Beaded beads stash busting beading projects, Katie Dean

How do you find stash busting beading projects

Well, this is surprisingly easy once you know what you’re looking for. So, let me explain how you can spot a project that is likely to be good for getting rid of leftover beads.

Beaded beads

Yes, that’s right. Have you ever thought about trying beaded beads for getting rid of leftovers?

You can probably find beaded bead patterns for a lot of shaped seed beads, as well as your traditional seed beads.

Typically, a beaded bead will require only a few of any type of bead. So, it’s great for stash-busting. If that sounds like a plan, then follow this link to browse a fabulous collection of beaded bead patterns.

What if you want to make a whole necklace with your beaded beads? Well, no problem. Yes, you can make a necklace with one type of beaded bead. But you can also use lots of different beaded beads in one piece of jewellery. Just think about making a link between them. For example, colour.

If your bead stash is pretty typical, then you probably have a favourite colour palette. So, you may not have loads of beads in any specific colour. But you do have loads of leftovers in, say a range of blues. Well, find beaded beads to use up these leftovers, and you’ll end up with a stunning necklace!

If you want to find out more about beaded bead jewellery, this link has loads of helpful information and ideas.

Rivoli beaded box pattern, Katie Dean, stash busting beading projects

Beading projects that use a mix of beads

Yes, that’s right. If you have no stash, then a project that uses a mix of lots of small quantities of beads can be really annoying. You end up buying loads of new beads.

But if you have a bead stash to clear, then this is just the kind of project you need. This kind of project can make anything. So, it might be jewellery, or ornaments or even a beaded box…

In time, you’ll get to spot which designs might be helpful for stash busting. Some designers will even tell you this in their product description. So, make sure to check out the product description before you buy the pattern!

For now, I’ve hand-picked a few projects for you. You will have seen them scattered throughout this blog. So, just click on any of the images to find out where to get the pattern.

Two patterns for using leftover seed beads, Katie Dean, Stash busting beading projects

Rings and earrings

Like beaded beads, projects for rings and earrings often need just a small quantity of materials. So, these can also be excellent stash busting projects.

Again, you can search for projects by looking at ‘earring patterns that use xx beads’. Or have a look on Pinterest for inspiration. You might also try this link for some earring ideas.

geometric beadwork, beaded earrings, stash busting beading projects, Katie Dean

Over to you…

So, I hope that has helped to give you some ideas for making way for new beads. After all, none of us wants to clear our stash really, do we? No – it’s just a way of making space for trying something new! (But don’t tell anyone…)

If you have some great stash busting beading project ideas, then please share them in the comments below.

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