My Messy Polymer Clay Studio Quickie Tour

What A Mess Polymer Clay StudioVideo #548: Messy or chaotic… which one are you? Or a better question… which one are you more often than not?

Topics Covered In This Video:

  • Lately, I’ve received quite a few requests for me to do a Studio/Craft-Room Tour Video.
  • But truthfully, I have been putting it off because my place is an absolute mess!
  • That being said, I know some of you may enjoy seeing the chaos of a busy studio like mine.
  • So this is a quickie video tour to at least get a bit of a glimpse into my world.
  • I am responsible for creating a lot of creative content every single week.
  • Doug and I produce 5 new YouTube Videos a month – Studio Tips, PcT Test Labs, Product Demos, Mini Tutes, etc.
  • We also do 1 full Paid Tutorial series per month, with 6 Videos which adds up top about an hours worth of tightly edited content.
  • In other words, it is a lot that needs to be done in a small amount of time.
  • Sometimes it can get completely out of control.
  • I have a very small studio… 10 feet X 10 feet.
  • Interestingly, one side of my personality is highly organized… everything has a place.
  • But the other side (which often wins), is completely chaotic, random, super creative. Just spinning all over the place with ideas.
  • It is always a struggle to achieve some sort of balance between these two opposite traits.
  • The more stress I’m under, the more it gets kind of crazy.
  • Doug pans around the messy studio so you can see what I’m talking about.
  • When it gets hectic I just shove stuff to the side and continue working.
  • As you can see, it gets hectic often.
  • When it gets to the point that I just can’t think anymore, that is when it is time to clean up and restore some order and peace into my chaotic surroundings.
  • I promise to do a real tour sometime soon (once I clean up), and will show you what’s inside all of those drawers and cubby holes.
  • I bet there are others out there with messy studios too!
  • I’d love to hear your stories…

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. Hermine R, 24 July, 2014

    I agree with you . Being organized is one thing I can do but where I am working is a mess. I need to see everything, it has to be near me so sometimes I push around like you do. I try to clean up at least twice a year. It doesn’t last more than five minutes being clean though!
    Does you clean up last more than mine?

  2. Cindy Lietz, 29 July, 2014

    Hi Hermine, well I clean up my worktable every week for filming, and when I am working on a new tutorial but within a day or so, stuff starts piling up! In regards to that center island area, that is rarely ever clean. That’s because I dump all the stuff from my worktable onto the island when I clean up. I have always dreamed of having a large clean center island (4’x4′) for bigger projects, but my guess it would then just become an even larger dumping ground!

  3. elaine faulks, 14 August, 2014


    What is it with a Crafter?
    We can’t be always neat
    To keep our “Space” real tidy
    Is a Herculean feat!

    So many tools to pack away
    Then hunt to find again
    I’ll get stuck-in tomorrow
    As long as it doesn’t rain.
    ( Then I’ll probably be on the beach!)

    Once in a Blue Moon
    (And that’s quite rare)
    I’ll whizz round, like a Bee
    Putting all back in it’s proper place
    Just like it really should be.
    (Then no one visits)

    But bet your bottom Dollar
    When it’s all in a right old mess
    The doorbell will chime
    panic sets in
    Oh! no who’s that?
    (To tidy there’s no time)

    I blame it on my Star sign
    I’m one of the terrible twins
    We Gemini take on many things
    All done at the speed of light.

    I really need a Robot,
    Programmed to come when I call
    To clean and cook and tidy up
    And also refill my coffee cup!

    So glance up at the sky at night
    Watch out for that old Blue Moon
    You then will find my place” Spick n Span”
    So hope to see you soon. xx

  4. Leslie G, 14 August, 2014

    LOL high 5 Elaine :)

  5. Cindy Lietz, 15 August, 2014

    Elaine you are FAB-U-LOUS!

  6. Sandra j, 24 July, 2014

    Glad to know that there are others out there with a messy workspace! I usually only clean up when I can’t find something I need.

  7. Maureen Houston, 25 July, 2014

    Well … obviously, out of chaos comes great PC projects! You do great work! Every horizontal surface in my hobby room has stuff on it … Many projects just need to “stew” and evolve (ie. make it up as you go along). I need to see my tools and do-dads and works-in-progress – or I forget about them!

    Where did you get your great mini drawers? Are they still available?

    Thanks for all you do!

  8. Marianne H, 25 July, 2014

    Hi to All;

    Maureen: I bought mine on Type Stack-On DS-60 60 Drawer Storage Cabinet in the search box on Amazon. They also have other size organizers if you type in “Stack-On Organizers”. Don’t type in the quote marks when you do your search.

    I also picked out an 8 foot countertop from Home Depot and two short bookcases from Walmart. My brother-in-law mounted the counter top to the wall and the bookcases and mounted the organizers above the countertop. My Studio/second bedroom is about 10′ x 11′. It also has a twin bed and 2 nightstands.

    The total cost wasn’t too bad. The countertop was $115, the short bookcases were on sale for $19 each and the organizers were $24 each. I also have 4 three drawer rolling carts (two stacked on top of each other) and one plastic 4 drawer dresser/chest/organizer in the closet. I also have my old dresser from my teenage years that I will empty out and use for craft storage. I would post pictures, but I’m still moving things from the ranch house with full basement (which is being sold) to my new 1,200 square foot condo. I moved last month and have til the end of August to move or get rid of the rest of the stuff. All my craft stuff is in big storage bins and boxes. Can’t wait to organize and start playing and claying!

    Even with all the storage that I added, I’m sure I’ll still be what I call “an organized mess”!

    Have fun organizing everybody!!


  9. Maureen Houston, 26 July, 2014

    Thank you for the info on the storage .. I will check it out. btw – I have found some great rolling storage with mesh baskets at Michaels (use the coupons or wait for the sale). I have 2 and move them around as needed. Added benefit, the open side shelves hold a Chinese Soup takeout container very nicely – which, of course, holds all kinds of small items. Happy Claying!

  10. Cindy Lietz, 29 July, 2014

    Hi Maureen, those mini-drawers were purchased in the tool department at my local hardware store, Canadian Tire. I did a video on it a while back. If you use the search box at the top of this page and type storage into it, you should find it real quick!

    And thank you to Marianne, for the storage suggestions. The more ideas that come in from everyone, the better this resource becomes!!

  11. Leslie G, 25 July, 2014

    I TRULY believe the most creative, artistic, idea, inventive laden minds are ADD. Einstein, Michaelangelo, Pollack etc….and most great minds are basically out of control, disorganized on one side and super organized on the other. Our brains would drive most “normal” people nuts because of how they function. You are in good company LOL
    Best Wishes and thank you for taking the time to do all these tutorials for us :)

  12. Gerri McCullough, 25 July, 2014

    I work away in 3 different crafting mediums and am usually working on them over the same time period therefore, my work area is definitely messy/chaotic. I usually tidy/clean up when I simply can’t stand everything everywhere anymore or when I come to a point where I don’t know what to do next with something I am working on…sort of a method of avoiding having to make a decision right away. :)

  13. Patt W, 25 July, 2014

    Oh Boy -you opened a can of worms. Talk about messy. Where is my what-ever , look under some stuff and still can’t find it. That is my normal way of working !!! I start out organized -then chaos strikes. I’ve talked to many people about this. They all agree THIS IS NORMAL ( whatever that means ). So we are all in the same boat and loving it!!!

  14. Gina Adrian, 25 July, 2014

    Did I like the video? I think you may have saved me the cost of therapy.

    I am a teacher, and my classroom is spotless. I plan my entire school year out, and have single copies of all the worksheets, handouts, tests, etc, printed out for copying before I ever enter the classroom. Then there is my home office/studio. It looks like Hobby Lobby caught a stomach bug!

    Before I became a teacher, I had another life/career. I was the assistant to the director of an organization with an annual budget of $140 Million. I was the queen of organization there. It is where my husband and I met, so he has seen me function within the perimeters of two careers. He has often asked me, “How can you be so organized at work and so messy at home?”

    When I was in high school (way back in the late 70s), my art teacher gave me a piece of advice. She said, “Remember. Truly creative minds are rarely tidy/” Those words have comforted me over the years. Hmmmm…I should make a sign for my studio. Where did I put that canvas…

    Right now I am working on my very first DESIGNED BY ME tutorial. I hope to publish it in PDF form and make a little money to support my craft habit. It is part engineering and part art. It is a dragonfly with wings that a super delicate AND super strong. I couldn’t have figured this out without my two mental soul mates (Miss Organized and Miss Creative).

    I think we are normal. Thanks for the video!

    Oh, and I apologize if this is a repeat…my server blipped while I was typing this the first time.

  15. Kris S, 25 July, 2014

    I love your space. Right now all my crafting stucf is packed up while we build a new craft room. It is so hard to get the room organized as I do polymer clay, stained glass, and also kiln fired clay. None of which are very compadible with each other. Matter of fact I am trying to figure out how to separate them from each other. So if anyone has any ideas I sure could use them. .. lol

  16. Leslie G, 25 July, 2014

    Kris, if I may suggest something have work stations for each of your crafts and make one station your main one with your computer etc., orrrrr get or make a rolling cart to put your computer or laptop on. I am thinking you are making your new room bigger, so I am assuming you will have the space to work with. If you keep things separate each “mess” as it happens will be contained ( hopefully lol ) to the craft you are working on at the time and you wont be wondering where did I put this or that.
    The other suggestion I thought of is to have the separate supply areas and have three or four work tables in the middle of the room dedicated to each craft( provided there is space ) . Have a tote of some kind either wooden or whatever with the most used tools in it so that you can just cart it to the center tables. I have seen these neat wooden tool caddies that I bet if you google you could find pictures your husband or you can build for yourself.
    Take your time …the worst thing is rushing and doing something you wont like down the road.
    I have a very small craft room and when I was designing it I put in a stainless sink that was donated to me because i also work with stained glass and you need the water and best you have it at hand instead of running back and forth to the kitchen, also you work with clay so if you are using a wheel,you need water for the clay and to make slip.. if you use a wheel are you considering what kind of floor ?
    I could go on but I think you have the gist of things. Break everything down into what you want basically for each craft and separately and then put it all together on paper or if you have a program on your computer, to see if you like it. You can always add as you go. If you try to look at it all together sometimes it gets to overwhelming….good luck.

  17. Rose Mary Abbott, 25 July, 2014

    Organization is one thing but you obviously need MORE ROOM! Also it is obvious that your husband is very understanding and attuned to your creative needs. Have you given thought to expanding your space?

  18. Aims, 25 July, 2014

    Funny that you just posted this one Cindy. I just spent all day yesterday cleaning my studio. And it’s almost the same size as yours – maybe a few feet bigger. But yes – it gets out of control – especially if I’m focused on something – then I let things lay. But it gets to a point where I can’t go on and I can’t create anything when it is such a state.

    To me a messy studio equals a messy mind and I must clean it up! Then all is well again until the next time.

  19. Brenda M, 25 July, 2014

    I try to stay organized as well, But honestly I think all great artist are messy. It is the creative side of us. I’ve not Clayed in awhile and my area is still a mess just like I left it. The space is probably 6×6 area off of my laundry room. I had my husband to build another counter space to hold my ovens, I have two. The other is where I work. Originally it was a counter for folding clothes :) It doesn’t have good lighting in there, so I normally clay from the kitchen Island.

    I have many hobbies such as claying,wire sculpting, painting, sketching and sewing. If I get ore with one I move to another. My sister often tells me that I can do anything and never seen anyone like me. I am sure there are many creative people in this group like me. One of my problems is normally when I start a piece of art, I want to rush and get it done. I’m in a hurry to see the finished piece and show it off.

    My friends all tell me that I need to quit my daycare business and open a shop. Haha….. I wish I could play all day with my toys!

  20. Dixie Ann, 25 July, 2014

    We all know creative minds are messy minds. What really jumped out at me with this video was the photo of the fun loving smile that makes you look like you are really enjoying your mess! Ya just can’t help not smiling back!

  21. Ginny M, 26 July, 2014

    I love it! We are all in the same boat here. :) I’m trying to figure out how to reorganize my studio and I am getting some good tips here.


  22. Jocelyn C, 26 July, 2014

    Leaving work in progress on the bench is great, I think it’s the only way to work, LOL! But, you don’t want the cat fuzzies and stuff getting on fresh clay, so I’ll either bag a project in a big plastic bag, or use a small clear tablecloth to through over the surface until I get back.

  23. Cindy Peterson, 26 July, 2014

    I loved to see your space. I have a large desk where I put my jewelry together. I lean it at least once a month. then I start laying out pieces that would be a great necklace or bracelet. That is when the mess starts all over again. My husband just laughs as he has the engineering mind. My 2nd desk is where I worked on my polymer projects and where my ovens are. That desk also starts out clear and then I start making things with polymer. I am getting better with my polymer with all the practice I do. The 3rd desk is where there s a computer, but I have also used that desk for varnishing and painting. I am sharing this room with my husband who has a corner desk.

    But downstairs in the kitchen is my tumbler for polishing my round beads. Duane keeps teasing me that I am taking over the house. I told him he could insulate the garage and I could have everything out there and in one space. Not sure if he wants to give up the garage.LOL

    I am right there with the rest of you Messy one minute and organized looking pretty another minute. the messy is more than the clean.

  24. Fran V, 30 July, 2014

    Ha! I have long since given up worrying that my messy/organized mind split is crazy, but it sure is great to see so many others share it.

    I start out clean and neat and, as everyone else, soon get incredibly messy. But i find that if my space is too messy and disorganized, my mind gets that way, too; to me there is a clear difference between a mind busy and swirling with ideas and one that is confused and unclear, but the slide from one to the other is often subtle. So i have to keep a sharp lookout for when i start moving into that state of confusion, and that’s my clue (hit me over the head?) that i need to clean my work space. The trouble is, of course, that sometimes that confusion can be a source of ideas, so, as everything else in life, it’s a balance.

    i live in a tiny cottage (3 rooms) so i have no dedicated work space. So i bought a metal 3-shelf rolling tool cart from Harbor Freight for $50. (the ones at Home Depot and Lowe’s were plastic, 2-shelves, and much more $$) It was a horrible orange/red, so i painted it black. And it is positively stuffed with tools and supplies. Sometimes i work in the kitchen, but then i find I am eating off my lap in the living room for weeks on end. So I am working on setting up a [movable] space in the living room or bedroom.

    Thanks to you, Cindy, for bringing this topic to light, and to all of you who have spoken up and given me ideas and inspiration.

    OT I do have one suggestion/request for you, Cindy. Often I am interested in a thread but do not have anything specific to say about it; so it would be really great if there were a way to sign up to be notified of new comments (subscribe?) even though you haven’t yourself contributed. Is that possible?

    Happy claying to all of you.


  25. Cindy Lietz, 31 July, 2014

    Hi Fran, thank you for your great comment! As far as being able to read the comments without having to comment yourself (though please don’t stop commenting), you can use a blog reader. I use one called Feedly. (Just Google it to find out what it is.) I subscribe to our blog and our comment feed. That way I can see everything at once in one place without skipping around and missing anything. You can also subscribe (this is all free btw) to other peoples blogs and see everything in one place. If you have never used a Reader before, you are going to have to Google how to do that as well, for it would be too tricky for me to explain it in the comment section. It is a great way to see all the new posts on all the blogs you follow, without spending the day trying to hunt them down! :)

  26. Marion Rayner, 31 July, 2014

    I have some reassuring news for you Cindy, in my career as a questioned document examiner I came across a lot of “untidy” minds as seen in their handwriting, but these people were always the most creative. Those who constantly have to tidy up don’t devote the same amount of time to their creations and often lack imagination. One famous example of very arrhythmic – or ‘untidy’ writing – was that of Beethoven. His writing was like a spider had jumped in the ink well and … I guess you know the saying. But he was brilliant! He often confounded handwriting analysts because his writing didn’t follow the rules, he was creative and a one-off. That’s how I see you Cindy, a real ‘one-off’ with such a brilliant creative mind that you’re still coming up with new stuff every month, just as you assured me you would!
    Way to go Cindy! Marion

  27. Cindy Lietz, 31 July, 2014

    Wow thanks for saying that Marion! That makes me feel much better about my chaotic side! :)

  28. Aims, 31 July, 2014

    Oh My goodness! Is there somewhere on here that I can delete my comment? I didn’t realize that I would create such a controversy with my statement!

    Just my opinion folks. And how I feel when I look at my own studio. I CAN’T work in a messy studio.

    And YES! I create one on a regular basis!

    I also can’t live in a messy house. Again – just my opinion.

    Glad it’s got everyone typing away though! :o)

  29. Dixie Ann, 31 July, 2014

    Aims, controversy is what it’s all about! We love getting opinions and ideas from everyone!

  30. Cindy Lietz, 31 July, 2014

    I AGREE Dixie Ann! Never worry about having a different opinion Aims… if we all thought the same way… this world would be a boring place.

    Besides I agree with you… although I do get myself in a terrible mess when I am creating, I do not feel at peace until it is tidied up again… which of course means that I often feel quite rattled since it is in a mess most of the time.

    That is why it feels so nice when at least my worktable is clean and organized. I do have to ‘pretend’ that the space directly behind me isn’t as bad as it is though, or I’d go completely insane! :)

  31. Anna Y, 31 July, 2014

    Love this video!

    I don’t have an actual studio or a “clay room” as of yet, so I’m stuck working at my kitchen table with very little space to organize my materials. By my table, I have a three-drawer storage container. I have my clay in the top drawer, tools in the second, and any other materials/large clay boxes in the 3rd. I try my absolute hardest to keep organized but it’s SO difficult when I’m in the process of working. By the end of the work day, I’m so darn exhausted that I don’t have the willpower to even think of organizing my space.

    Whenever I’m not working/have minimal orders to fulfill, I’ll devote that “off time” to cleaning up my items. I currently organize my clay in plastic sandwich bags, and they tend to get really bunched up and messy so I’ll replace all of the baggies and it makes my space look and feel so much cleaner and more organized. That, and washing up all of my tools, and of course, vacuuming the rug underneath my work space.

  32. Ken Hamilton, 31 July, 2014

    Love your workspace, don’t worry if it’s cluttered, I’m a gypsy in my own home when it comes to my claying, by the time I pull everything out and get set up, the moment has passed, Can’t wait to see more of how you set up everything

  33. Rose Mary Abbott, 02 August, 2014

    I know you mainly use Premo clay and do demonstrations for that brand but I and a growing number of others are picking up an interest in Pardo clay. You did a segment a while back on their Pardo Translucent clay which was wonderful. I have seen people complain about getting old crumbly Pardo Art clay and not knowing what to do for it. It is manufactured from beeswax after all. Perhaps beeswax could be added to soften it back up? Something else more readily available perhaps? Could you investigate this and do a segment for it? I’m disabled and have no extra money to check this out or I would do it myself. By the way Viva Décor has opened up a new website in the U.S. so their products are available again. Thank you.

  34. Cindy Lietz, 07 August, 2014

    Hi Rose, thank you for your suggestion! I will add it to the list of future test labs and demos!

  35. Carla L, 07 August, 2014

    Hi Cindy, I love your tutorials. I’m new to the clay world and would like to eventually work my way into PMC’s. I have made buttons from Polymer Clay (Premo) and have baked them twice and they are still pliable, is this common? If not what am I doing wrong? I have tried this before and the same thing happened so I gave up. It seems to be popular and I have seen so many interesting things made from clay ….and obviously they aren’t rubbery like mine. Help if you can, thanks…Carla

  36. Cindy Lietz, 13 August, 2014

    Hi Carla, yes the flexibility is normal. If you type flexible or bend into the search box at the top of the page there is a video that will explain that better. As far as buttons go, just make them thicker and they won’t be as flexible.

  37. Rebecca Chisenhall, 05 September, 2014

    I can honestly say my entire house, not only my studio, looks like a hurricane swept through it! Oddly, I can pretty much remember where most stuff is located, with a few exceptions (can’t for the life of me find my wire stripper!). I create on a round table with 1 leaf down to fit against the wall, with a small marble used-to-be-a-tabletop as my work surface. I create, then push the “refuse” off to the side, and keep on working! Eventually, when my work space is TOO small, lol, I’ll clean up some. Usually not all, so I am uncertain what nifty tool is lurking underneath all the junk. Really ought to go and see….I like the thought that a lot of very creative people were also junky…:)

  38. Cindy Lietz, 05 September, 2014

    We just got back from another Road Trip, and had the opportunity to visit with another member who manages her creative space a lot like you Becky. I think this “polymer clay hurricane phenomenon” is more common than I had originally thought… lol!

  39. Nancy H, 10 June, 2016

    OMG I just love you to bits!! So happy to know I’m not alone in my creative messy chaos!! LOL
    My niece gives me a hard time about my mess and my “warehouse” of supplies all the time — so glad to know we both go through the same process! Hahaha!!

    I have started organizing in bins but keep adding way too much to the pile so am constantly shuffling things around. I am determined to get it organized — one day!

  40. Cindy Lietz, 13 June, 2016

    You will Nancy! I will keep sharing whatever tips I can for organizing, so we can get our messes under control together! :)

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