Revolving Storage Bins for Your Polymer Clay Studio

Revolving Craft Bins - Polymer Clay TutorVideo #737: How to use less than 1 sq foot of studio space, to store over 4 sq feet of inks, finishes, paints, glues, stamps, and more!

In today’s video I am going to show you how I use revolving bins for craft storage in my polymer clay studio.

I have been getting several request from viewers as to what the black storage unit on my desk was, so I thought I’d show it to you in more detail.

This style of revolving bin storage has been around a long time. In fact when I was a kid, my grandparents lived in the small town of Rocky Mountain House Alberta, and they owned the only gas station and service garage in the community. My grandpa had a huge version of one of these revolving bins in his shop. It was probably 2 feet round and maybe 5 feet high, made of galvanized steel and filled with various automotive parts. I remember turning the bins so I could see what was inside.

I kind of have a nostalgic feeling toward this kind of storage unit. So when I saw that Tim Holtz had just come out with a supply spinner in this vintage style, for storing inks, tools and paints in, I really wanted to have one.

Though they are extremely cool looking, the Tim Holtz version is fairly pricey… especially if you want one shipped to Canada. So I set it on the back burner, to maybe get one down the road.

Then this past Christmas I was shopping for tools on the Harbor Freight website, and found a much more affordable four tier unit.

It took me about an hour to assemble because there were a million nuts and bolts to screw together.

I find that the unit can hold a lot of weight, and the trays spin very smoothly, but the base seems a little thin which causes the whole thing to rock a bit when loaded down with a lot of supplies.

As you will see in the video, I have stored absolutely tons of bottles of glue, ink, paint, finishes, stamps and more. The unit only takes up One square foot of desktop space but gives almost 4 square feet of storage.

I like the black industrial look, but I have seen others who have painted their revolving storage bins with great success. Overall I found the quality to be good, especially considering the price, and will buy another unit in the future, if needed.

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.

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Looking forward to hearing from you!

Cindy Lietz SignaturePolymer Clay Tutor
  1. Lynn Campbell Behnke, 06 June, 2016

    I really enjoyed this storage suggestion. It looks rugged, practical, and affordable. And, being at Harbor Freight, sounds like something my husband might enjoy buying for an anniversary present this week!

  2. Cindy Lietz, 07 June, 2016

    Happy Anniversary Lynn! Maybe he can assemble it and put some chocolates in the bins for you too? That would be fun! :)

  3. Dixie Ann, 07 June, 2016

    I have struggled over whether to purchase a couple of these or not. I would love to re-vamp my whole craft area as it has gotten so full every single area is covered. So the question is do I go UP in storage or continue to cram stuff in plastic drawer units? I will probably pay Harbor Freight a visit since we have a large store here in town but even if I had them shipped, the freight charges are very minimal. They only charge $6.00 anywhere in the USA and thats for 2 units! Thanks Cindy, I think you might have just tipped the scales!

  4. Cindy Lietz, 09 June, 2016

    You’re welcome Dixie Ann! You guys are so lucky too have such good rates for shipping. My friend and I just walked down to the post office to mail her Mom’s phone charger back to her. (Her mom had come for a visit and forgotten it behind.) Anyway, it cost her $12 to send it about a 3 hours drive from here, within our own Province! It was a tiny box around 3″x2″x1″ and must have weighed practically nothing… and it was $12!! I recently mailed a pair of earring to the US and it cost $16. Geez! And you get to have two relatively heavy boxes shipped for $6. It feels very unfair. We don’t even have it near as bad as folks in Europe or Australia. With taxes and shipping and such, they can easily be charged 3 times what we get charged. So you are very fortunate indeed! *end of rant* LOL

  5. Dixie Ann, 09 June, 2016

    Some folks don’t understand what a good thing they have here in the states and constantly complain about the shipping costs in the USA. Our shipping rates have increased again this spring but with the one box ships all anywhere stateside it’s still pretty reasonable. They need more open trade rules and cheaper rates to ship anywhere in the world, especially between neighboring countries. It boils down to the same old adage “the grass always looks greener on the other side of the fence” sometimes it is, sometimes it is not! I feel your pain…..

  6. Roni Bancroft, 17 June, 2016

    Hi Cindy, I love your site and just worked out you are Canadian not American, LOL. I am sorry but to the Australian ear. it is hard to tell the difference. But i think you guys still have it lucky for shipping rates compared to us. For the same thing here we have to pay over $14. and our mail service has decided even regular mail will now take up to 1 week unless we pay for express post, and this is regular letters we are talking about here, which used to be next day delivery. Parcels can take nearly 2 weeks to ship it with our own country. I think the pony express could have taught them a thing or 2. But the USA is so lucky with there in country postage rates, but I just can’t afford the postage if I want to buy something from there. And they have access to everything they ever want to buy, not like us here in OZ.

  7. Cindy Lietz, 17 June, 2016

    Yeah I have heard that shipping is pretty bad in Australia. I feel for you. I get it why it would be expensive to ship something. I mean, I wouldn’t be willing to take a package 3 hours away for only $12… but it sure does elevate the price of something, when the shipping is so high. They definitely have it good in the states when it comes to shipping.

  8. Chrissie F, 19 June, 2016

    Roni, I think carrier pigeons would be faster than Australia Post. I live out west and it takes forever to get a parcel sent from the east. Not to mention the flamin’ cost! I am not prepared to pay for Express Post. I can wait :-)

    The Left Coast

  9. Anna Stratton, 10 June, 2016

    Cindy, You need to buy a bunch of these, stop them with you logo and resell them for half of what Tim Holtz charges. !!!! Do you get free shipping through Amazon Prime in Canada? I imagine your friend did not realize the shipping was going to be $12.00 until it was already weighed at the post office. OUCH.

  10. Cindy Lietz, 13 June, 2016

    That is a decent idea Anna! Who knows, down the road we might be able to do things like that… but for now we need to focus on getting the website done. Yes we can get free shipping in Amazon Prime in Canada, but doesn’t have the selection that does, plus everything is usually way higher… even if you factor in the exchange rate. We are just a smaller country, so things are always more expensive for us. Perhaps one day there won’t be as big a difference, but for now there is.

  11. Natalie Herbin, 03 July, 2016

    Hi Cindy
    Not sure that you got my message about the carousel… I did rewatch the test lab … It gave some good ideas of what to place on it. are pinata inks the same as alcohol inks… Plus I used a 20% coupo. So it cost only $16

  12. Cindy Lietz, 03 July, 2016

    That’s great Natalie! Yes Pinata inks are actually alcohol inks. They are made by Jacquard. The other ones you have seen me use are called Adirondack Alcohol Inks. They are made by Ranger. They are quite similar products and are used exactly the same way.

  13. Karen Field, 03 July, 2016

    Hi Cindy

    After the review you gave I went straight to Freight Harbor and they are not shipping to Canada! Did they ship it to you as a special order or how did you get around it? I am so sad that I can’t get this :'(

  14. Cindy Lietz, 04 July, 2016

    Hi Karen, sorry about that. I had it shipped to an US postal box. You can also get them on Amazon. You should be able to get them shipped through them. The link is right under the video if you need it.

  15. Sadaqat H, 26 September, 2016

    Good Article Cindy, Your blogs are helping me to organize myself more and more. Thanks

  16. Elizabeth Phillips, 21 July, 2017

    I don’t know about anyone else but I keep getting kicked off (I suspect that there are others as I see the number of viewer go up and down a lot) even though I have a 5 Ghz connection, so by the time I get it working the hour is up. I know you are very busy, but in order to reach the 150 watchers. Maybe if you have the time you could think about extending the Live Q&A to an Hour and a half.
    Thank You so much for all the help and knowledge you so generously give to beginners as well as people who have been working with Polymer Clay for a long time. It is really appreciated and not just the Q&A, but all of your free YouTube Videos I have found very helpful, but I haven gotten past my fear of getting started until I get my Craft Area perfect.
    Thanks again for all that you do…
    Elizabeth Phillips

  17. Cindy Lietz, 24 July, 2017

    Hi Elizabeth, I am sorry you’re having issues with losing the LIVE stream for the LIVE Q&A Broadcasts. Being cut off is happening on your end, (though it can break on our end too and stop recording and I have to start again), even though you have a high speed connection, there could be a lot of people using it at the time in your area, or a few people using it in your home and causing the wi-fi to not be at full speed. When I watch LIVE broadcasts I close down all my tabs and make sure the family isn’t watching Netflix or downloading games, etc. That usually helps. If all else fails I watch the replay later. It is frustrating but one of those things that can happen with LIVE. Nothing beats the LIVE aspect of LIVE though. It is cool to all be together, from all over the world, at the same time and be able to interact with one another!

    Thank you so much for coming to the events and being part of our community! It means a lot to have you here!

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