Let’s Look at School Supplies Differently


School supplies. They are everywhere right now. Today I want to talk about school supplies in regards to our art making. And since this is an Art on a Shoe String post everything I talk about is going to be affordable. And mostly likely on sale right now. I am going to start with the least expensive and work my way up to the most expensive item on my list. All these photos were taken at my local Walmart.

Have you heard of One Card a Day? 1CAD. And please forgive me but I am pretty sure that’s what it stands for. The premise is you use one index card each day to make a piece of art. It can be hand-drawn, painted, collaged, sewn, gelli plated – whatever you want as long as it is a piece of art. And it is based on an index card. At Walmart right now in the school supply section you can get 100 index cards for 48 cents. My math stinks but I think that’s less than half a cent a day for a substrate to make art on. They have lined, graph ruled and blanks. You could even use index cards to build a tangle pattern reference system.

Lots of artists like to add color to their art. Even tangle artists like me enjoy adding color. At 50 cents a box, this set of 12 is a super deal! I am not even going to try to figure out the cost ratio there. Hahahaha! I just know twelve pencils for fifty cents is a steal!

I am sure I’ve shown you this before. My little Harry Potter is actually an eraser. Not one I am going to use because I think he is just too cute! Fifty cents and they had a lot of different characters! I know true tanglers say no erasers but I really don’t fit in with those people. Hahahahaha! I love my erasers!

Want to try your hand at art journaling? These composition books are great for that! Pages are a bit thin so you can glue every two pages together to give extra strength. These books also work great to keep art notes in, to practice tangle patterns for your Getting Sketchy days, to deconstruct your own patterns, oh there are many ways these books can assist in your art endeavors. And at fifty cents a pop they are affordable! Shoot! Even when they aren’t on sale at Walmart they are only 88 cents.

All those same ideas will work in this spiral notebook. And the price is the same – just fifty cents. It doesn’t come more affordable than this in a notebook.

Need something to hold all those pens and pencils and paints and brushes in? These sturdy pencil cases are hard plastic so they don’t get squished inside your kids’ backpacks. And that just means they will protect your art supplies equally as well.

And they come in a bunch of colors. Just 97 cents! And after the school rush is over – Walmart usually reduces these to 50 cents a box.

Need larger storage? Something to keep all those index cards, art supplies, sketchbooks, whatever in? These baskets are about 8″ square and they are just 97 cents. Win/win all around.

Graph composition books at 97 cents each are great for working patterns of a grid nature. Or glue two pages together and turn this into an art journal. You can totally paint over the cover or glue on some scrapbook paper to give it a journal look.

These containers are solid, sturdy, and only 98 cents. And they come in a bunch of different colors. I happen to prefer teal which is why you get this photo. Instead of the pink or black or white or red. Store your paintbrushes, markers, paint pens, colored pencils right in here and it looks great enough to just leave sitting out in the open.

These erasers come three to a package for $1.46. What would you use them for? Carve one flat side into various shapes and make stamps out of them! They are super and you would have a one of a kind stamp that no one else has! I will do a post showing you how very soon!

A few days ago I showed you some projects you could make with kids’ washable paints. Affordable! Here is a set of 16 watercolors for just $1.64. There is no end to the colors you can make by mixing your own using these paints. Beautiful backgrounds? You can totally make them with this set, then tangle up some gorgeous artwork!

Walmart doesn’t carry a lot of sketchbooks or journals but they do have this one. Sturdy and it has 120 sheets in it. That is a total of 240 work surfaces. You can tangle up a lot of art in that space for just $4.27 and if you want some really nice quality pencils for sketching – there is that Derwent set that I didn’t notice at the store and I almost got into this photo. Hahahahaha! Looks like 12 sketching pencils for $7.47. That’s a great price!

Want to try your hand at lettering? Or make some watercolor backgrounds? Or just try some coloring? This set of dual-tip brush pens has 48 pens included and it is just $7.97. No, I do not get a commission from Walmart. Hahahaha! Just trying to point out some good art supplies available now on the school row.

One last item. This set of washable markers contains 64 pens for $8.24. That’s a lot of bang for your buck! And if you are from another country that just means you get a lot of value for your dollar.

School supplies are where it’s at right now for affordable art. Whether you shop at Walmart, Target, Dollar Tree or another economical store – look their product over. Start thinking of ways to make ‘affordable’ fit your budget and your art room!

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10 thoughts on “Let’s Look at School Supplies Differently

  1. No – this notification didn’t arrive, but I started to look at your posts. Can see you enjoyed a trip into those dangerous stationery supplies aisles – but then you were doing research!

  2. *Wards off the evil eye* I MUST stay away from school suppliessss. Otherwise, I’ll buy them all and there will be none left for the schoiol children!

  3. You always have such great ideas ?
    Thank you for caring and sharing ?.
    What would we do without you? ?
    L & H

  4. Some people draw “gems” on their Zentangle tiles. Well, YOU are a rare gem, Alice. Thank you for being so wonderfully YOU. I watch each September for your school supplies blog, and totally enjoy it each and every year. Your joy in just being and creating is contagious. Know that your efforts are appreciated! Your blog brightens my life, and I imagine that of many others.

    • thank you so much for those words. I almost didn’t do my school supply post this year. I am glad I did! <3 and I'm glad I can bring a bit of light into your every day life 🙂

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