Many readers have had questions about the art supplies we use for our art projects and crafts. Where do we buy our art supplies? Which art supplies do we use most often? What are some good supplies to buy when just starting out? I’m hoping this list will provide some answers for you! (Some of these are affiliate links. We are super appreciative for all your support!)
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Our Most Used Art Supplies
I do purchase a few different papers depending on the activity we’re doing.
- Construction paper in a variety of colors always comes in handy for crafting, creating, and even for making books. Lately I’ve been finding a good deal on construction paper at our local Costco. I also find this construction paper to be a good price on Amazon.
- Watercolor Paper: When painting with watercolors, you do want a pretty good paper to hold all the liquid, especially with young children since they often use a LOT of paint. And we use watercolors very frequently. This is one of those items I mentioned before that I buy with my coupon at our local craft store. This watercolor paper on Amazon is also a decent price. (You can see how we use watercolors with this tide pool art project for kids.)
- Easel Paper: Even if you don’t have an easel, easel paper always comes in handy. You can tear it to any size which I love. (We used long pieces of paper for this DIY stamp mural.) The best deals I’ve found on easel paper are from Ikea (if you’re lucky enough to live near one) or use a coupon and buy it at your local craft store. You can also buy easel paper on Amazon.
- Newsprint: We always have newsprint around. It’s a very inexpensive paper that the kids use often for simple projects like coloring, crafting, drawing, and writing. We always buy our newsprint from Discount School Supply.
- All-Purpose Art Paper: I just recently tried The Ultimate Art Paper and LOVED it! It’s so inexpensive and even holds up to watercolor paint!
Next up is glue. I always tend to prefer liquid glue to glue sticks. We mostly use Elmer’s Glue. And I always stock up on it at the back-to-school sales in August! (Did you know you can color liquid glue to create fun art projects like our monarch butterfly art?)
It’s also nice to have some Glue Dots on hand. These have saved me many times when you have to glue something together in the middle of a project, and you don’t want to have to wait for it to dry before finishing the project.
We also always have Tacky Glue within reach. It holds tricky projects really well. They even make a Turbo Tacky Glue that dries more quickly. (We used it on our homemade bird feeders.)
3. Coloring Tools
- Crayons: Crayons are always something you want to have. I really think the kids use these almost daily. I always stock up on regular Crayola crayons during the August back-to-school sales. (We also LOVE our Stockmar Beeswax Block Crayons. These are great for little hands and fun to do crayon rubbings. I do consider these a splurge though because of the price.)
- Oil Pastels: We also use oil pastels quite a bit like in our watercolor and oil pastel flowers. You can buy these at your local craft store or on Amazon.
- Chalk: Chalk is also a fun material to use! We just used it recently in our heart collage project. It always looks so vibrant on dark construction paper! You can use regular chalk or chalk pastels.
- You’ll definitely want a pair or two of kid scissors. You can find these are Target or online.
- We also love using paper punchers like a single hole punch or a large circle punch. We cut out shapes to use in projects often like with our toddler fall art.
- I love the Martha Stewart Craft scissors and use them when I’m cutting out things myself. They’re very sharp though, so not for kids.
- This Swingline single-hole punch is a lifesaver. It can cut through up to 20 sheets with hardly any pressure.
5. Tissue Paper
I’m a huge fan of tissue paper! There’s really so much you can do with it! We crumpled up tissue paper squares to create texture on this flower craft. We also used it to make our these tissue paper flowers. You can buy the tissue paper already cut into squares or in full sheets. We get our tissue paper squares from Discount School Supply and full sheets of tissue paper I buy when I see it on sale at local stores.
- Watercolors: Our most frequently used paints are our watercolors. I have some watercolor cakes on hand when I just want to whip out a quick painting activity. Lucy is also able to get these easily on her own when she wants to paint. And we are also HUGE fans of liquid watercolors! They are such great quality, so convenient, and can be used for so many things. We just recently used them in our salt and watercolor activity.
- Biocolor Paint: We also have a set of the BioColor paints from Discount School Supply. Now what I like most about this paint is it doesn’t have the odor of tempera paint. We’ve used it for simple crafts like our homemade kazoos and stuffed apples, but it can really do so much more!
- Tempera Paint: This Crayola Artista Tempera Paint is our absolute favorite! The colors are very vibrant, and it’s washable.
- Tempera Cakes: Our newest art supply to have on hand are tempera cakes. They’re kind of like a mix between tempera paint and watercolor paint. (You can read my review of tons of tempera cake brands to see which would work best for you.)
- Paintbrushes: It’s also good to invest in some paintbrushes. You can really get these anywhere. I try to be sure I have a wide variety of sizes for the kids to explore using.
- Sponges: And sponges are so fun to use for stamping. You can just buy regular old sponges from any store and cut them into shapes for stamping paints like we did in this Christmas craft.
All the little extras like glitter, google eyes, craft sticks. pom poms, feathers, sequins, pipe cleaners, beads, ribbon, and buttons are really fun to use as well, but we definitely don’t use them all the time. I just keep my eyes open for deals on these items at our local dollar store or Target.