Although there are some times the Bead Buddy from the Elizabeth Turner Collection won’t work, they are rare and it’s a marvelous, clever, and immensely useful tool for stitchers who use small embellishments.
It is a small (about 1×2) covered plastic box. Double-side foam tape is at the bottom to make a sticky padding base to hold the beads. A pair of rare earth magnets allow you to put the Bead Buddy onto your canvas.
I tried it out with two different kinds of sequins and an assortment of beads. I could easily see the embellishments and get the one I wanted. For sequins, I found them easier to pick up if they were raised a bit from the tape.
When I only poured out a little bit of beads, so they spread out nicely inside the Bead Buddy, it was easy to find and pick out just the bead I wanted. With an assortment of beads, this wouldn’t happen if too many were in the box.
Initially I thought the top was there just to let you carry the piece around. But it’s far more useful than that. Use the top to protect the beads and keep them there whenever you put down the canvas of change its position. The tape at the bottom is sticky, but not that sticky, it will not hold the beads in these circumstances.
There are some places where it won’t work as well.
First, if you don’t hold your canvas pretty close to flat. The more vertical your canvas the less the beads will stay in the tray. If you don’t put too many in the tool at one time, you can probably still use it.
Second if your canvas is small, it takes up too much room. I used it in a very small canvas. The Bead Buddy was just too big to stay out of the way of my stitching.I had to keep moving it. Because the margins on the canvas were narrower, it had to go over already stitched areas. If your stitching is thick, this is hard because the magnets are strong. Even so, it was worth it.
Finally, the tape doesn’t fit completely flush to the sides of the box. Too narrow for beads to fall through, sometimes the flat sequins did. They stuck up and I could still retrieve them. This could be a bigger problem with smaller sequins.
I found this little tool wonderfully handy. It has completed my transformation from a beading-phobe to someone who can bead on canvases with ease. If you bead, add this to your toolkit.