People often write to me asking to know what kind of art materials and supplies I use in the classroom with my students. Below you will find a list with the essential art supplies you will need to run a super art program! This list isn’t limited to a classroom only. Use it for an after school camp, home-school group, etc. Simply adjust the quantities to your needs and budget. At the bottom of this page there is a resources section with links to the art suppliers I use for my school. You can also check my new art shop Art Supplies for Kids with the best products and deals handpicked by me for YOU to make your ordering life much easier :)
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- For general art projects (drawing, marker, tempera, pastel) Sulphite White Drawing Paper and Economy Manila. I buy packs of 12″ x18″, 18″x12″ and 18″x24″ Order bulk as you pretty much will need this for a variety of lessons. I always order from Dick Blick and am very happy with the quality.
- Buy a variety of colored construction paper in different colors. I order 12″ x18″ and 18″x12″ packs. There are a few brands to choose from so it really depends on your budget.
- I suggest getting skin colored construction paper too.
- Order a good amount of Watercolor Paper. Buy 9″x12″ and 12″x18″ size.
- Tissue Paper in an assortment of colors. There are some nice ones with prints on them for those special projects. Of course printing them yourself with your students is even better and more fun! See this lesson I did for inspiration.
Make sure you supply your classroom with a variety of brushes. There are economy brush assortments you can buy in bulk which are great. Just make sure you have small, medium and large round watercolor brushes, stiff large brushes for large painting projects and flat tip brushes in different sizes. Go for bulk because you will go through these like crazy!
Tempera and Acrylic Paint
I use Crayola Paint for most of the painting lessons . I buy one gallon of green, orange, purple and brown and then buy 5 gallons of red, yellow and blue so that my students make their own colors rather than rely on boring store made colors. Have plenty of white and 2 gallons of black.
Have you tried using acrylic paints ? It’s a nice change for kids to use especially on canvas. I am currently using Nasco Bulk-Krylic and I am happy with the results. Don’t limit yourself to canvas. Acrylic is great for wood, cardboard, plastic and material like t’shirts and aprons. Go wild!
I use the tubes, the pan style, water color pencils and watercolor crayons. They are all great for kids to begin exploring the wonderful world of watercolors.
Metallic and Glitter paint– very popular and lots of fun to use for special effects.
Skin colored paint. I don’t buy too much of this so the kids can get used to making their own skin tones by mixing the paint themselves.
I absolutely love pastels! I use Pentel Arts Oil Pastels and Creativity Street Chalk Pastels with 48 assorted colors. These also come in packs of warm colors and cool colors. We do quite a few lessons with pastels so I have plenty of them.
I use Classroom pack of Crayola Broad-tip Markers, Thin Tip and Chisel. Go for the classroom packs that have a huge variety of colors.
Buy plenty of Waterproof black Markers for outlining. Make sure you have thick and thin markers. Sharpies are a must in the classroom and now come in so many great colors.
I buy Crayola Bulk Classroom Pack thin and thick crayons.
Get skin colored crayons too–you will use this all year round.
- Balloons in different sizes ( for paper mache, etc.)
- Scissors–make sure you have some left handed ones
- Decorative Scissors- the kids love these.
- Glue sticks– get lots because kids go through these very quickly. Use the empty bottles for recycled art lessons :)
- White school glue — Get gallon sizes and 16 FL oz size. These you can just refill from the gallons.
- Pencil sharpeners– get good quality ones.
- 6″ x 9″ hard plastic trays
- Plastic 6-well paint trays
- Plastic tubs (for paper making projects)
- Recycled containers for water , paint, crayons, markers and pencils –individual sized yogurt containers are great as well as foam trays from the supermarket
- Yarn in assorted colors and thickness
- plastic needles for weaving
- Classroom loom or better still, make your own with cardboard pieces.
- Stand up scratch-resistant self-portrait mirrors– I LOVE these and use them often
- Buttons, feathers, and rhinestones
- Paper plates in different sizes
- sponges, sponge rollers
- Foam sheets, styro-foam trays, etc for print making
- Glue guns
I am sure there is so much more to add to this list and feel free to let me know if I left out any important supplies that should be listed here. Don’t throw away any cardboard, newspapers, and other ‘treasures’ that can be used in so many art projects.
Art Supply Resources