I have never met a crystal I don’t like and I honestly wish I could have more. I am such a magpie for anything sparkly and I love coming up with new ways for craft storage. There have been times where I have been caught daydreaming, eyes squinted, whilst staring at something sparkling and mesmerising me with the spectrum of colours.

Crystals, for me, are a great way to elevate your work and allow it to really sparkle. I also believe that when you wear something sparkly you cannot stop feeling absolutely special. Are crystals the sirens of the land?

If you are going to use crystals a lot I would highly recommend you get your hands on the shades cards made available to you by the brands that make them. I cannot tell you how much of an investment this is and talking from experience, the delight a customer shrieks when you show them the shades available, it always guarantees you a smile.

Met with oohs and ahhs, it is totally worth buying them. I also believe it restores faith in the customer that they are dealing with a true professional, designer. It allows your customer to really feel like they are getting a bespoke service with many options.

Check them out here and get in touch with Poppy and her team to place your order for some of these fab Shade Cards.

Now every time a parcel arrives from Crystal Parade I have to admit I have a routine.

I feel the weight of the parcel and get a little giddy at what is inside and then I shake the parcel and giggle. I am pathetic but I honestly love crystals. I then take the time to open my parcel and each packet is opened carefully. By this time my torchlight is on and I am watching the crystals shimmer on the wall or on my face or I am finding a sunny spot in my studio just so I can see them sparkle. It really does make me feel super happy. Now how do I store them?

I hate waste. Despise it and as a result, have become something of an organised hoarder. I actually believe it has saved me a small fortune in my career. Now every time I have a Chinese Takeaway I make sure that the containers the take out arrives in, once devoured of cause, I thoroughly clean and the containers make the perfect way to store my crystals. Or you can go for crystal storage boxes.

I have on occasion had my good friends drop off their containers, unfortunately without the takeout and fortunately clean.

I cut the label from the packet the crystals arrive in and tape it to the lid of the container so I know which ones I am using and when that container gets a little shallow I know what I need to restock.

The depth of the containers varies but this really allows you to not lose many crystals whilst using that particular size or colour. The lid also makes a great tray if you want to practice an arrangement and due to the see-through plastic you can put your project underneath it to get an idea of what it may look like.

You can, however, if times are hard on the pocket, pick these containers up online or at Wilko’s for a price that won’t break the bank. These containers always come in use.

My crystals are then stored in a plastic four-drawer, picked up from the trusty Wilko’s, and each drawer can easily store 20 of these containers in varied sizes if stacked in the below fashion. The remaining containers can fit in the middle. If you have smaller ones for small amounts of crystals, sizes below SS10, they too can be stored in this available space.

I store the crystals I use the most in my headwear designs, www.Julian Garner.com, in the top drawer, so they are readily available.
You can tape one crystal to the side of the container so it does make it easier to find which one you need.

For crystals that come in quantities of 100 per packet, you can still tape the label that Crystal Parade supply to the lid for your reference and storage.

Now I am sure I am not the only one who has dropped a box or packet of 1440 crystals and in utter shock, scrambled to make sure you pick every single one up. I have done this on a carpet, goddess help me, as well as a concrete floor. Time wasted, but, most of the time I have managed to pick them up.

However, one day you will catch a sparkle in the corner of your eye and dart forwards to see, and if at £0.03 pence a crystal, you are going to want to make sure you get it whilst you see it. As they say, every little helps.

A tip for craft storage; I have a container that I keep handy and in my main working area labelled “Odd Crystals.” It is deep and has a lid. I dream of the day I will eventually get around to organising these back into their correct containers. I do, however, when I have run out of a crystal, find myself riffling through this container to find at least one.

Now earlier on I mentioned how useful the shade cards are but what I didn’t mention was that the sheets the crystals are displayed on can be removed from the book allowing you to colour match the crystals to the project you are working on.

Sometimes not all crystals are included in these shade cards so it is worth creating your own.

Tip; taking an acetate sheet, like the ones they use when making the front covers of a presentation folder, you can write with a sharpie the details of the crystal from the packet's label, now stuck to the lid of your container, and then tape one crystals to the sheet.

The acetate sheet acts the same as those in the shade cards and allows you to show off even more crystals to your clients instead of getting out your stack of crystals.

I have these stored in a file and it really does help when it comes to meeting with a client I am working on a bespoke project for.

You can also use the above tip, to create crystal arrangements on, so you can show the client what it would look like in that arrangement. Perfect for nail salons as you can shift the designs over the index fingernail.

I wonder how much Joy would be Sparked if Marie Kondo saw my drawers!

Now next month’s blog post I am super excited about as I will be interviewing another milliner who sparked my passion for hats at a young age whilst watching Titanic.

I hope these simple tips will help you store your sparkle. Now go out and shine your light.

Write soon… xoxo