I recently attended a button bracelet making class (yes, it is as cool as it sounds) and discovered a creative way to contain a project with small parts. Michelle Wilson of Creative Design often beads using a mat made of Vellux on top of a cookie sheet to contain her project while she is working on it. (Michelle recommends using a beige colored mat because white and black are hard on the eyes). This set-up makes it easy for her to sit with the project on her lap or on a table and to get up quickly if needed without the risk of ruining the project. Consider using a surface like a cookie sheet when clipping coupons too. Again, having a surface that can be moved easily avoids the risk of sudden disaster!
According to Michelle, Vellux mats are becoming more difficult to find. If you are interested in purchasing one, contact Michelle for details.