I’m starting from scratch in an elementary art room obviously on a tight budget with the school system. What are your go to “must have” supplies and where do you like to order from? I have Blick’s site.

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I've learned to save money on supplies over the years. Some tips:
- Washable tempera has a nasty smell, spoils easily, and has a translucent quality--I prefer regular tempera.
- Larger paper stock you cut to size saves money.
- The cheap construction paper fades too quickly, go with Tru Ray.
- Air dry clay can be remoistened if dry, so 25 lb. box is ok.
-A newsletter or note to parents asking for donated needs is a great way to supplement. Businesses or organizations may also donate money or supplies


Would agree with above and add scissors, glue, and a class set of watercolors pallets with the refills (12 will work if you have students share in groups of 2) over tempera if really tight. I also would put a class pack of chubby crayola (or your favorite brand) oil pastels on my must list
Blick can be expensive but good quality ask your administrator there is a local company that has a account with your school for better discounts on the basics.
If you ask for donations you can probably collect at lot of mismatched and half used markers crayons and colored pencils from the community. (I receive so many crayon donations I've never once purchased them) .


Alternatively, organize with classroom teachers to have students bring an art box with the basics: scissors, glue sticks, a pencil, and age appropriate coloring supplies, to your class as they will probably already be purchasing these items


Yarn is always great to have. You can do puppets, weaving, yarn painting, friendship bracelets, etc. very versatile and inviting.


In the short term it hurts budget to buy quality tools, long term it’s beneficial. Less get broken or fall apart in need of replacement. Large paper cut to size, as was mentioned previously. Glue by the gallon and refill bottles. Some classes students get all their own to keep up with, this is cost up front but pays off in the end. Most of my classes have an art fee. Blick is my go to as well. A few exceptions where Nasco on certain materials or brands are less expensive. Cost savings on classroom budget quality paints just are not worth it in the long run as was also mentioned previously.

Watercolor palettes and refills, oil pastels and student grade Blick tempera paint. Cut down large size paper. Ask for donations and classroom teachers often have markers and pencils in droves they will donate. Good luck!!

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