Storage of Buttons and Beads

Nothing is prettier than a decorative jar filled with beautiful buttons or beads sitting on a side table or grouped with some family mementos on the mantle.  But, it's really not good for the buttons.  Everytime the jar is moved, the buttons will clink against the glass sides and against each other, causing tiny nicks and cracks. It can cause metal, mother-of-pearl or painted buttons to become badly scratched and glass ones may even break. Large cookie tins or deep canisters used to hold a big collection that have to be poured out or dug through is just as harmful.
Better solutions:
The plastic storage bins with slide-out drawers marketed for nuts, bolts, and small tools.  You can find them in all sizes at hardware stores.  I've also seen beautiful wooden "apothecary cabinets" with very small drawers that would be perfect.
A felt-lined jewelry box with individual compartments for rings and small items.
Clear plastic bead boxes with individual compartments.
Individual "gem jars" -little storage jars with a clear lid and a foam cushion will protect your favorites from just about any kind of damage.
Contact lens cases or plastic pill organizers.
The little metal candy tins available in supermarkets.  Paint and embellish the outsides and line them with a few layers of pretty tissue paper for a nice work of altered art that doubles as personalized storage.  Some fancier chocoates come in nice boxes with partitions that would work nicely, too.
A three-ring binder filled with business card sleeves. Most pages will hold ten or twelve buttons, and several pages can be put into a single binder and still allow it to close.
Give each button or bead an individual plastic zipper bag, and pin them to a corkboard.
Stitch them to a piece of fabric, and wrap the fabric around the cardboard insert in a cute frame.
Stitch them all to a wide piece of ribbon, and tack or staple the ribbon along a wall of your sewing room or creative space.
If you really can't give up the spice rack or the old Mason jars, fill them with inexpensive plastic craft buttons. They are just as colorful and decorative as Grandma's bohemian collection, but without the potential for damage.

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