I wanted to show a picture of a bunch of Memorial Beads on my improvised drying rack. Now I want to say at the outset that I usually use a wonderful bead drying rack from my friends at Poly-Tools.com; but my pins have gotten clumped up with dried sealant, gotten lost, gotten dropped in the carpet and bent by being stepped on (ouch!!). So until I get myself over to their website and order another set of pins, this is what I’m using.
I want to give credit to my friend, Rochelle Garver, for the idea of using an upright column to dry the large-hole, Pandora-style beads. (Rochelle, you’re more brilliant than you know). She brought me this lovely Styrofoam column, pressed into a 4-inch Terracotta pot for stability. And it stayed that way for almost a year, until I dropped the silly thing on the concrete floor of my studio and broke the pot. Darn. I’ll have to get another one.
However, even without the little pot to steady the rack, this works very well and is less than $5.00 to make, including the pot. The square on top of the column was put there so I could get it all into one photo, but it isn’t connected to the column. It’s a square of florists’ Styrofoam, which I cut from a longer rectangle. I’ve used both the rectangle and smaller squares, and I find it’s more convenient to use the squares because I can put masking tape across the side of the square, and put the customer’s name on the tape with a Sharpie. That way, I’m able to dry a dozen different customers’ beads at the same time, and not get mixed up as to whose beads are whose.
I can do the same thing with the column, just putting the tape at the base and placing it vertically next to the row of toothpicks. Now it just so happens that ALL of these beads are for the same large order, so I didn’t need to mark these racks with a name.
If your beads have smaller holes than will fit in a toothpick, you could always substitute sewing needles or headless sewing pins into the foam, instead of toothpicks. Or, you could order a set of pins from Poly-Tools, which is very inexpensive. But they will get gunked up with sealant, so you would want to have some 400-grit sandpaper around, to sand the sealant off of the needles. Once you do that, though, they will be more prone to rust. So you might want to coat the needles (or PT pins) with clear nail polish before using them again, so that the rust doesn’t get onto your beads. After you sand the pins the next time, just re-coat them with clear nail polish.