The art supplies at our house are WAY out of hand. We used to have an art cart, now we have an art bookshelf. Filled! I’m not tooting my own horn, it’s more of a confession. Here are the main categories that I would get if you are starting from scratch – Watercolor/Acrylic Paint, Watercolor Paper/Construction Paper, Craft Bin (explained below), Colored Tape (lots of it), Air Dry Clay/Soft Clay/Play Dough/Model Magic, Markers/Crayons/Colored pencils, AND the Recycling/Treasure Bin!
Okay, I have to start with the last item. The recycle bin or the Treasure bin! And it’s free!! Designate a bin, box, or basket for extra bottle caps, random pieces of cardboard that you cut off of Amazon boxes, old jewelry, random ribbon, tags, leftover aluminum foil, old (clean) medicine bottles, small boxes you get BeautyCounter products in, really anything that has a lid or fun shape or normal shape that they can use their imaginations and create something pretty epic. Combine these items with glue or tape and this will be their favorite box. Guaranteed. Now, on to the purchased items…
Watercolor Paint – Buy a good set of watercolor paints:) The ones pictured above have good saturated colors. That means that if your little one doesn’t put enough paint on their brush, the color will still show up well. If your little one puts lots of color on their brush, then the colors are so brilliant! Loretta has a light touch and needs this set. Elsie has a heavy touch and can use almost any watercolor set, although her favorite ones have the most colors, like this.
Pro Tip for littles – have them use a different brush for each paint color until they get used to really cleaning their brushes – this keeps all the colors from turning dark blue, or whatever color they’re into:)
Watercolor Paper or Multimedia Paper – People, go ahead and invest in decent watercolor paper. The computer paper is not going to cut it and it will wrinkle and tear… IYKYK. Watercolor paper seems more expensive, but you can cut it in half or fourths to make it last longer. I always have my girls paint on both sides (once one side dries) bc they go through paper so fast. This paper from Amazon is only $10 for 50 (or 100 paintings if you are doing front and back!)
Acrylic Paint – Get a variety of colors from Michaels or Amazon, always great to have handy. We put the paint in palettes from Michaels and the Dollar store OR use an old egg carton or paper plate!
Watercolor brushes or these brushes – It actually does make a difference what kind of kid brushes you have. The hard bristles do not yield great results, even if your child just wants to scribble all over. Some of my favorite art from my girls has been scribble or when they are just playing with colors. Both of my girls know the ‘good brushes’ and fight over them. They always have sales at Michaels if you are stocking up on art supplies too.
Paint Sticks – We just discovered these and They. Are. Awesome. They dry almost instantly, no smearing, no mess… so good!! These would be amazing stocking stuffers, well, really anything on this list would be great for stockings as opposed to a bunch of tiny toys that you are just going to throw away eventually!!
Construction Paper – Pick some up next time you are at Micheals, Walmart, or on your weekly Target run!
Craft Bin – These are a must! Get a plastic bin or cute wooden basket and pile in all these goodies! I will include links to mamas giving you great ideas for art and craft projects… you have enough going on to not have to make another decision! Buy the one linked from Amazon or make your own and fill your bin with pipe cleaners, googly eyes, wooden sticks, glue sticks and liquid elmer’s glue, pom poms, stickers, BEADS, string, rhinestone stickers, COLORED MASKING TAPE (these are a huge hit at our house), and glitter pens that you can get from the dollar store (we don’t do glitter here).
Paint holder – This little plastic tray and cup set from IKEA has been SO great for us!! It keeps the water from spilling everywhere! The paint is great too but we love the tray the most.
Final thing – Order some of this Craft Paper and it will save your table and make clean up so much easier! We tape it down to our table on painting days!
Okay, that’s it! Ha!! A tiny list of art supplies for you and your family to enjoy!
Check post on my Instagram account for art project ideas!!