Handy Project Boxes – For Free!

Recycled mushroom boxes make great project boxes in your studio for gathering small items in one project. Perfect for beaders and jewelry makers.Everyone loves something for nothing. And everyone loves recycling. So here’s an idea that has been around my studio for the past few months. We eat a lot of produce and much of it comes in boxes and packaging that we end up throwing away. I hate that. But one day I was fixing dinner and the box the mushrooms came in caught my eye. It’s blue (score!) and it was a nice size without any holes in the bottom. So I washed it and set it aside for the studio thinking (and how many times have we all thought this), I’m sure I’ll find some use for it.

Well, I did. It seems that I always have a small gathering of little things sitting on my workbench. They might be beads for a specific project, or something that I haven’t put away yet, or even a set of beads that aren’t finished yet. It seems silly to use a larger, lidded box for these (like these pencil boxes) when it’s not permanent storage. It’s just to keep something together for just a short time.

I use mushroom boxes in the studio to gather small amounts of beads when I'm working on a project.

When you work with polymer clay, your projects often take many steps, and it’s nice to keep the pieces all together as they go through these stages. These mushroom boxes are perfect project boxes for holding a handful of beads for their trip from the oven to the bench. Or to the sink if I have to wet sand them. As it turns out I often have partly finished projects sitting around the place and these mushroom boxes are perfect for that! Another thing about beads is that they’ll roll right off the table if you don’t hold them in something. I’m going to collect even more of these project boxes and have a stack of them waiting for those times when my hands are full of little things.

I also use one to keep my bits and pieces together next to my “thinking chair“. It’s where the notepad, post-its, and pens live. Again, the size is just right. Because the sides of the mushroom box are fairly vertical, as opposed to being angled, they hold a lot without wasted space.

I use mushroom boxes to hold miscellaneous items in my studio.

Where you live, the mushrooms probably come packaged in a different type of container. One brand around here comes in a styrofoam box, in fact. But have a look at the packaging and containers that they do use in your area. Is there something that you could use as a project box like this? I’ll bet there is.

Raw Polymer Clay Degrades Some Plastic

Did you know that you should never store raw polymer clay in a container made from polystyrene? It’s recycle number 6. Always check the bottom of your container to see what kind of plastic it is. Not sure how to recognizer the various types of plastic when there is no number? It’s usually pretty easy to tell. Check out this post about the various plastics and how polymer clay affects them.

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