How I Organize By Zones in My Polymer Clay Studio

Studio Tour Organized Zones - Polymer Clay TutorVideo #621: Today is a general tour. But if there’s interest, I can do future videos on the individual zones. Let me know where to start.

Topics Covered In This Video:

  • Today I’m going to give you a tour of my Studio and talk a little bit about organizing your craft space into zones.
  • It doesn’t really matter whether you have a tiny little workspace, like your Kitchen table… or you have a super giant one, like a whole separate building.
  • If you have a lot of craft supplies, you need to organize them in a way that you can get access to them, and also be able to put them away properly when you’re done.
  • Otherwise you run into problems like buying the same product over and over because you didn’t realize that you already had it.
  • So, I wanted to show you how I organize my studio.
  • A lot of you have been requesting a studio tour… and I did show you when it was crazy messy a while back.
  • But I have done some clean up and organizing since then.
  • Still not perfect yet, but it is good enough to show you how it is all set up.
  • I have my space allocated into the following zones…
  • Workspace – where I have all the supplies, clay, tools and findings within arms reach for making polymer clay jewelry.
  • Paints – all (or most) of my paints, finishes and liquid clays are stored on a shelf above my workspace.
  • Publishing – Laptop for writing posts, web research and communicating with students.
  • Office Cabinet – Cabinet with manuals, paper and other supplies needed for the office.
  • Inks and stamps – alcohol inks, stamp pads, spray inks, stencils and rubber stamps stored in drawers and trays, in one area.
  • Craft Bins – miscellaneous craft supplies stored in a wall of plastic drawers. Each drawer has a different supply, such a small ribbon bits in one drawer and feathers in another.
  • Office Supplies – Drawers with pencils, pens, rulers, scissors, glue sticks, etc., in one skinny tower of drawers.
  • CD Player and CD’s next to it.
  • Baking Area – Top of metal cabinet has my convection oven and all the baking supplies such as oven thermometer, baking trays, bead racks, tins of cornstarch, etc.
  • Rock Tumbling Area – Rock Tumbler and containers of sanding substrate stored together. There is an electrical plug close by so the tumbler can run, right where it is stored.
  • Metal Card Cabinet – Metal drawers are filled with overflow clay, tools, color recipe chips and other supplies. I would love to paint this cabinet a bright color and reorganize the drawers some more.
  • Dressform – Vintage dress form of my Grandma Edna’s, is a great place to store my lab coat for the PcT Test Lab videos. I didn’t mention it but it is also a great place to test out necklace lengths and to see how the piece will drape on the body.
  • New Products for Demo Bins – In this rolling drawer unit I keep all the new products that I plan to create demo videos for, as well as the product test samples for the test lab videos.
  • Book Case – Stores all my books, magazines and a variety of nic knacks, including my vintage treadle sewing machine that was my Grandma Hanna’s.
  • Cord and Chain Storage – A slot wall units with hooks and rods store all my cording, beading wire, beading thread, needles and similar items.
  • Peg Board – A painted wood peg board on the back of my door, stores miscellaneous supplies that are better off seen, than forgotten.
  • Storage Cupboards – Two tall storage cupboards store items that are used in the studio but don’t need to be seen such as cans of acetone, solvents, buttons, paper, Scrapbooking supplies, die cutting machine and dies, etc.
  • Another shelf unit holds 12″ x 12″ Scrapbooking papers, and there is also a set of drawers for cutters, molds, and texture items.
  • Center Island – A short bookcase and sewing cabinet are pushed back to back in the center of the room to create an island. The bookcase holds plastic bins normally used for storing scrapbook paper, but I store all my different jewelry making wire in them. Each bin stores a different type/quality of wire. Precious metals in one, copper and bronze in another, craft wire in another.
  • Sewing Station – Sewing machine cabinet can open up and the machine pops up. The drawers are filled with sewing supplies such as thread, needles and notions.
  • Metal working – on the sewing machine side of the island I have a metal working station with a heat proof marble tile, soldering board, dapping blocks, disk cutters etc.
  • Polishing Station – On the side of the island there is a lower unit that holds my JoolTool and all the accessories needed for sanding and finishing my pieces. It is easily used by just spinning my chair while sitting at my work station.

Do you have any suggestions for videos on tips, techniques or products you would like to learn more about? Let me know in the comments section below!

My goal is to help you to learn quicker and easier ways to bring up the professionalism in your polymer clay art.

Oh and don’t forget to give these videos a Thumbs Up click at YouTube if you are enjoying them. The more Likes a video gets, the higher it rises in the searches. And that means even more people will be able to join in on this polymer clay journey of a lifetime.

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Looking forward to hearing from you!

Cindy Lietz SignaturePolymer Clay Tutor
  1. Mary Morris, 02 February, 2015

    Thank you for the wonderful tour of your work area. I just reorganized my area and now I realize that I too created zones. I also love the pieces from your grandmother. I have several pieces from family members that make me smile.

  2. Cindy Lietz, 06 February, 2015

    You are very welcome Mary. The neat thing about those pieces are that they were from grandmothers from both sides of the family. The dress form was from my Dad’s Mom and the sewing machine was from my Mom’s Mom. I am luck to have had creative woman in my lineage. My Mom, Sister, my Aunts and my cousins are all very creative… I think they have had a great influence over my own creative life. It’s neat to see my children and my nieces and nephews doing creative things too. I hope that never gets lost!

  3. Kelli Nelson, 02 February, 2015

    THANKS SO MUCH for this studio tour Cindy!!! It was very helpful to see how you store all the different items for mixed media creating!!!

  4. Cindy Lietz, 06 February, 2015

    You are very welcome Kelli! Happy to be of some help!

  5. Dawn B, 02 February, 2015

    Thanks Cindy and Doug; that was great. The zones are a great idea and I’m getting those together now that I have a space (an actual room) to work in. I’ve still had to replace a few tools and supplies that I KNOW I have here somewhere. Work in progress…

  6. Cindy Lietz, 06 February, 2015

    Congrats on getting the new space to work in Dawn! Let us know how the Studio set up goes!

  7. Hermine R, 04 February, 2015

    Great discovering more of your studio.
    I envy your straight wall for all you clay. Do you use big format of clay or only the 2 pounds packs?
    I prefer them because they don’t dry as much. How would you keep them?
    My studio has slanted walls on both sides.So not as much space as you do.
    I don’t have my oven in the studio because the smell gives me headakes. That is downstairs.
    Thank you for the neat tricks I have found here today.

  8. Cindy Lietz, 06 February, 2015

    Yeah the angled ceilings look cool but they do limit the amount of storage you can get out of the space. When I move to Willow’s room, the walls are all straight and I’ll be able to get a ton more storage in there. As far as clay goes, I make sure I have 2 of the one pound packs of all the colors that they come in and 6 of the 2 oz packs of the rest, but I do go through a lot of clay. I know some Po’s have more and most hobbyists have less. I keep about 4 oz of each color in those drawers at the back of my work station, so they are right at hand. The rest, including the larger blocks are stored in that metal cabinet.

  9. Dixie Ann, 04 February, 2015

    Wow you are so much better organized in your 10×10 than I am in my 12x 24 space. Well one of my New Years Resolutions was to get it all organize and the video has really helped. I would never have thought of zones but it sure makes a lot of sense. Thanks Cindy for the tour. It really helped.

  10. Cindy Lietz, 06 February, 2015

    I find that, as long as I have the time for it, organizing your space it kind of fun! It lets you touch all those cool supplies you’ve got and makes you feel inspired and at peace when it all has a place to go. It’s a great time to put on some music and get lost in the supplies! It will make you feel better. Let us know how it goes and if you come up with some cool studio organizing tips of your own.

  11. Mags Bonham, 06 February, 2015

    Great video Cindy. You do a lot with your space. Very inspiring!

  12. Cindy Lietz, 06 February, 2015

    Thanks Mags! You have been in this industry a long time… I bet you have some really cool supplies and tools in your stash!

  13. Debbie Beechy, 06 February, 2015

    thanks so much for this video

  14. Cindy Lietz, 06 February, 2015

    You are very welcome Debbie!

  15. Tina A, 07 February, 2015

    Thank you for sharing, I am looking at a move from work to Cincinnati and I will have to give up my many rooms and get all that I want to take with me in a spare room. I loved seeing how you put yours together !

  16. Sara Cockrell, 07 February, 2015

    The best thing about this Video was seeing you in your stocking feet! Now I know why your projects look so much better than mIne. I didn’t know iit’s okay to kick your shoes off! What a relief…..I expect to do better work now! In case you don’t realize it, this is my attempt at humor.
    I wish I had the storage that you have!
    Keep up the good work.

  17. Cindy Lietz, 09 February, 2015

    Hi Sara, how funny! I got a few comments about my socks over at YouTube too… In Canada, most people do not wear their shoes in the house. We take them off at the front door so we don’t track dirt into our houses. Our Asian friends often even keep the shoes outside the door if there is a protected porch. I noticed when we were traveling through the States, that most people keep their shoes on all the time, even in the house. And from the comments, seeing me in my socks was almost as if you had seen me in my housecoat or pajamas, which would be just a little too casual for us here! Every country and culture has a different way of doing things. I think it is cute… makes the world a more interesting place! :)

  18. Catalina, 10 February, 2015

    I noticed your socks, too! :) But, being from Ohio/Michigan area we usually take our shoes off when entering the house. (easier too keep the floors clean) but most importantly, sooooo much more comfortable! House shoes/slippers are very common.
    My hubby and I are trying to reorganize my studio so when it is done I’ll have to share some pics. Best part is an electric heater fireplace!! Basement can get cold when outside temps are near zero!!

  19. Janice W. Armistead, 07 February, 2015

    Thanks so much for your studio tour. Half of my bedroom is my studio, stove and all…lol! I have rearranged quite a few times…helps me with the right inspirational feel :-). Your studio
    is great and gives wonderful ideas.

  20. Chelsea H, 15 February, 2015

    Thank you for another look into your studio organization. When you had done your original studio tour I had wondered then, and still wonder now – Where you were able to find your wall storage drawers. I have looked at multitudes of places (sears, Harbor Freight, Northern Tool, etc) but I seem to only be able to find sets of drawers that have like 8×8 drawers. I was hoping to find maybe a 16×16 and put them together myself.

    What size drawer cabinets did you use?
    Where did you find them (if you are able to share that?)
    How many of the drawer units would you say you currently use on the wall there?

    My resolution this year is to reorg my craft space so that I can actually use it better and some of your ideas I think would really help me in my room. After all, one thing you said surely rang true for me – I know it is in there, but I keep buying duplicates because I have either lost it or I don’t remember where it is. (Or in some cases I just don’t remember buying it at all.)

    Thanks again for this vid and for responding when you have time.

    I would surely welcome anyone else’s sources for their drawers (lol – I mean cabinets) if they should have any!

  21. Dixie Ann, 15 February, 2015

    Hi Chelsea, have you looked in at any Farm Stores? We have a Thiesons store here and thats where I found the 36 drawer cabinets. They also have 60 drawer ones too. Also sometimes you can find them in Walmart,

  22. Chelsea H, 15 February, 2015

    Dixie Ann,
    I have not tried a store, but I know that my boyfriend knows of one in the area (or at least within 30 to 40 minutes from us.) I am still relatively new to this state so I am still learning where things are and what stores are what but I will check with him on that.

    I may check Walmart, but I just have the worst time finding what I am looking for and their sales associates are so unfriendly (though, I realize it is from being overworked and underpaid.) But I may bite the bullet and check there if looking at a Farm Supply doesn’t pan out.

    I also thought of checking ULine after I posted. They often have such great storage solutions at good prices and don’t require large orders either.

    Thanks for your suggestions!

  23. Marianne H, 16 February, 2015

    Hi Chelsea;

    I ordered mine at Amazon. Search for Stack-On DS-60 60 Drawer Storage Cabinet. They have cabinets with different amounts of drawers. I think that Cindy had said in a post that she got hers up in Canada at Canadian Tires???

    Good Luck.


  24. Deb P, 20 March, 2015

    Thanks so much for the studio tour! I’m a little disabled and stairs are difficult for me–mt painting and jewelry studio was upstairs and my clay and clay-painting studio was the dining room table. My dear husband and step daughter just finished setting me up in my husbands unused ex-office so at least my everything is on the same floor. My husband and I both do big paintings as well and I have shelves of beads, a bench, and a giant easel in the “studio” now and he works on my canvas stretching table. Being able to clay on the same floor as all my wire and beads is going to be great so I can tell what to make by having a peek at my Czech beads, pearls, findings, etc and the best part is not having to run up and down stairs and lose stuff all day. We may even have a dinner party one of these days! Organization is essential to an artist, at least a female one!!
    Thanks, Cindy–going to the dollar store for those buckets soon!
    Capt Deb

  25. Jocelyn C, 21 March, 2015

    Like you Deb, it’s tough for me to get around, and I have to use my “living space” to work in, lol. It’s a challenge…I so envy you folks with finished basements.

    Two things work for me…..first, buffet/bureaus that double as work surfaces. Hide stuff in the drawers when company comes for tea. Roadside tag sales and second hand furniture stores, especially the Habitat folks, make them easy to find and cheap. Local high school has a community service program (lots of boys with pickup trucks) and I do use them.

    The second is the closed cabinets, have three units, just open the door, and all my stuff is sort of grouped in clear containers like Cindy’s. The closed door I treat like a wall and hang art work on them. The inside of the doors, I line with corkboard tiles so I have easy access to pin boards, color wheels, jewelry (most hangs fine with a regular needle or pin pushed in at an angle).

    Another thing I have found to be great is folding tables. Using coffee cans, etc., I adjust the height for me. Hunt thrift and antique stores for fabric to drape and cover all, then I add tops of clear plastic/acrylic sheets or clear table cloths over the top. If I spill, easy clean up, and trust me, you can store a lot of stuff under those cloth covers. Plus it’s great to be able to display old time prints or tablecloths…and top them with crocheted lace toppers. The plastic covers all, and one a year, I wash and iron the fabrics.

    Most folks, upon visiting, have no idea I am a sewer and/or crafter and/or polymer clay freak. And I like that, rofl…..though it is getting crowded in here.

    Great sources for storage goodies, even if it’s just for ideas:
    ContainerStore and Ikea

    Good luck and all best….

  26. Jocelyn C, 21 March, 2015

    Bleep! Sorry Doug. I do know better!!!!!

  27. Doug Lietz, 21 March, 2015

    All fixed :-)

  28. Peggy B, 21 March, 2015

    I enjoyed this so much. I am trying my best to do some spring cleaning not only inside my house but in my studio which is 1/2 of my garage. My husband built the room out there for me several years ago when I started to take over the dining room. I love my room and my grandkids love it even more. My problem is over the years I have dabbled in so many different crafts and have supplies for all them. I have my room sectioned off into table areas for polymer clay, painting, jewelry making, quilling, rubber stamping, woodworking, etc. etc.. My main goal is to increase the areas I use the most and combine the areas I use less often. You have given me some ideas. My biggest problem is letting go of some of the tools and craft items I haven’t used in several years. I tell myself I might need it someday. I know I need to downsize at least in the areas I haven’t worked for a long time.

    I am the true definition of CRAFT HOARDER!! AKA CRAFT ADDICT!! AKA ME!!

    I know I am not the only one but I do need to cut back. Any and all suggestions appreciated.

  29. Cindy Lietz, 22 March, 2015

    Peggy how wonderful to hear from you!! I have missed you and think of you often. Hope you and your family is well. I personally don’t think there is much of a problem having supplies that you haven’t used in a while… as long as they can be organized in a way that you can find them, should you eventually need them and you aren’t tripping all over them… but then again I am a craft hoarder’s enabler… ;)

  30. Peggy, 22 March, 2015

    Thanks Cindy it is great to be posting again. I might of been absent in posts but everyone here have continuously remained in my thoughts and prayers. My health has kept me away but I am going to try my best to get back into my crafting as much and as often as I can.

    So you are one of my enablers hehe for some reason I don’t remember you twisting my arm to buy all those supplies and tools and if you are one of my enablers than I am going to say that is a good thing. Believe me I will be giving it deep thought and consideration before getting rid of anything. My church youth group and the art department in my towns school district will be happy I have decided to let go of some of my hoarding materials.

    Normally I dread spring cleaning but I am looking forward to it this year. I plan to clean some of those spider webs out of my head while I am at it.

    I am looking forward to catching up on all the great advice I have missed out on during my absence. I hope I don’t drive you nuts with all my questions, comments and well meant opinions.

  31. Jocelyn C, 21 March, 2015

    Crafting And Jewelry Supplies Destash

    Seems like a fast moving site. Good to see you back around Peggy! Happy Spring!

  32. Jocelyn C, 21 March, 2015

    Crafty Closet Buy Sell Trade Art Supplies

    Another poly clay and craft resale site on Facebook.

  33. Peggy B, 22 March, 2015

    Thanks Jocelyn I hope to be around more. A lot of new faces but so nice to see the familiar ones that are still posting.

    Crafty Closet has been part of my hoarding problem lol no not really. I have bought from that site and need to get more organized so I can sell on it also. Haven’t checked out the other site will try to do that without buying anything. Please wish me luck.

  34. Jocelyn C, 22 March, 2015

    Hee hee….part of our “addiction.”

  35. Terry D, 14 June, 2015


    Thanx for the great video. I, too, organize in zones. Luckily, I have a sewing room & a studio. My studio houses my very large work desk with a pc/ printer/fax & general office supplies/equipment. The rest of my studio is similar to yours.

    I have a question regarding the wall of polymer clay storage you have at your work area. Do you store your raw canes directly in the plastic drawers or do you need to wrap them in something first? I have found that polymer clay will fuse with or melt the plastic I want to store them in. Are your drawer organizers a special plastic? It’s hard to tell from this video. Anyway, thanx again for all your wonderful videos. I always learn something new.


  36. Cindy Lietz, 17 June, 2015

    Hi Terry, yes I store my raw clay and canes directly in these plastic drawers and yes it does have to be the right kind of plastic. Watch this video to learn about how to test your drawers to know whether the plastic is compatible or not.

  37. Maria, 17 June, 2015

    Hi Terry,

    It depends on the type of plastic. The hard plastic cases which shatter easily are not compatible. Many tackle boxes are made of this type of plastic. “Sterlite” drawers, which are pretty much transparent, are fine with polymer. I have used them for years without any problems.


  38. Monika D, 23 August, 2015

    Wow Cindy,

    How cool is that.
    Oh my!
    I have a crafting area… And my dad is a jewellery so he has a lot of amazing tools and machinery.
    Technically he is retired. But I think I am going to be asking him to teach me some of what he knows.

    Just seeing your crafting area makes me appreciate what possibilities I am not taking advantage of.

    My dad is 75 now and I just lost my mom after looking after her for 11 years post stroke. So am still missing her most terribly.
    I have her organisation skills and so it would be fantastic if I can walk in my fathers footsteps too.

    Thank you for the wonderful inspiration.

    So many nooks of your studio are deemed exciting by my creative brain and so I shall happily devour your videos on your cool gadgets.

    Thank you again

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