Tool Time Tuesday – Organize your Chains

Okay, I am finally among the land of the living again. I had my first cold in about a year. That wasn’t fun. We have been so blessed that this is the first illness we have had in our house in about a year, especially with our baby being born 2 1/2 months early. I actually think I got my cold from her. Thank you all for the comments on my Bead Soup post. I appreciate the encouragement.

Once again, I am late with Tool Time Tuesday, but I didn’t want to get on camera with sneezing and all of that. Besides, I mostly hung out in bed. I have a few other videos that I am working on and hope to have a few of those posted by next week, but we will have to see how things go. I don’t seem to meet some of my deadlines now that Kiari is mobile. She is much more difficult to contain and she does NOT entertain herself like the other two girls did. I have actually started to take her to a sitter once or twice a week just so I can get some work done. Though, I have been sleeping so horribly that a lot of the time I end up taking her to the sitter and coming back home to sleep for a couple of hours. So sad, but very true.

I was going through things trying to come up with a quick TTT rather than not do one at all and I remembered something that one of my friends did. My very good friend Valerie showed me a neat little organization trick with her chains. I wouldn’t have thought to do it myself, but once I saw it, it was like, WELL DUH!!!! As she was moving in and getting her studio put together we were organizing her wire and sheet and I came across a shoe box that had a lot of silver scrap and such in it. What struck me though were her chains.

This is what some of my chains look like….


I store them all in small zip baggies to prevent oxidation. You don’t see the little tag in there keeping them “somewhat organized,” but it is there. However, just think about how bad this could really be. It is awful to try to get a chain and find that you have to spend 10 minutes untangling them while trying not to kink or break a chain.

So what did Valerie do? She put her chains through straws. Regular old drinking straws. GENIUS!!!


Here I have actually color coded mine according to their size, but you could also code to their style if you wanted. If you don’t have fancy colored straws, you could just do as I did on the ends, and write their length on the straw.

Now I don’t have to worry about the chains tangling and I can even keep them all in one larger zip baggie rather than a million different little ones. Want to see how I store all of my chains? Well, watch the little YouTube Video I did. It is only about 3 minutes long (My shortest to date.)


So there you have it. Happy Organizing!

16 thoughts on “Tool Time Tuesday – Organize your Chains

  1. Georgette -- Woojoo

    Great job on this post, Melissa! I’m impressed — a cold, an active baby, and you still posted your blog. I love your blog. Thank you for sharing so many interesting ideas and helpful videos. Hope you feel better soon!

  2. Angie Simonsen

    Brilliant!!! I could also see cutting a straw in half to place over each side of a chain so they don’t get tangled in the tumbler… pinning this!

  3. Melissa Muir

    Thank you Georgette. I don’t feel very productive lately and it is driving me crazy. I am trying so hard to not wish away the baby stage, but dang it is a rough one. LOL. I am really glad you are enjoying my blog. Thank you for the feedback. Be sure to pass along the word if you don’t mind.


  4. Angie Simonsen

    I’ll let you know how it works – I have something that I can try it out on tonight! One good idea leads to another!

  5. Angie Simonsen

    I thought I’d follow up about the tumbler idea. It would work, however, if your chain has stones wired into it, or some of the othercomponents are larger than the straw diameter, you’re out of luck. This was the scenario when I went to try this idea. However, my clever husband watched me tussle with this idea for a bit before suggesting using a pipe cleaner. WOW! So easy, all of the chain, wire and stones were touched by the tumbling medium and it worked brilliantly! I just wrapped the necklace around the fuzziness, hooked the clasp, and gently twisted the ends of the pipe cleaner together and threw it in with other items. It came out perfectly.

  6. Melissa Muir

    Thanks for the follow up! So, what about the fuzzy’s from the pipe cleaner? It wasn’t an issue? That is a really great idea by the way.


  7. Angie Simonsen

    I was a bit worried about fuzzy’s, but not enough to stop me from trying. (This after I put seven fine chain necklaces in to tumble and then spent 4+ hours untangling them)
    They were a non-issue. I could probably still use that pipe cleaner again! I told the Hubby I would give him credit – he deserves it on this one!

  8. Stacie Williams

    Thanks for sharing that Melissa- please tell Valerie that it’s brilliant! I’m going to do that to my finished pieces that travel to shows. I’m not good with tangles under pressure. 😉 Keep it up girlie- I always learn something!

  9. Lois

    Stacie, what a great idea. I actually find untangling chains cathartic but it’s one thing I don’t need to do at a show. Thanks for the idea. It’s one I’ll surely use.

  10. Eileen Goddard

    GENIUS. i just spent about an hour trying to untangle chains the other day–can’t wait to try this!



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