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My 9 Best Art Supply Splurges (that are worth it!)

I think as art teachers we tend to be cheapskates!  But that’s because we have to be!  I have a REALLY limited budget so I’m forced to be creative to make it work in my classroom.  However, there are a few Art Supply Splurges I have purchased that are really worth the price!  Here are a few of the items I have loved in my classroom.  Please leave me a comment with your favorite art supply splurges below! 

Note that some of these links are affiliate links to Amazon.  If you shop using my link it doesn’t cost you anything but it gives me a small portion of the sale price.  Thanks for supporting my blog!

My Favorite Art Supply Splurges

This set of black and white POSCA pens has a variety of sizes.   I love POSCA pens but you will use the black and white a lot more than the colors. So, if you can’t afford to buy all the colors, just get this set! It has a great variety.   These paint markers are really amazing and versatile. They can be used with regular acrylic paint.  I like offering these for my upper level art students.

art supply splurges  posca markers

Canson Mi-Teintes Paper is my FAVORITE paper for colored pencils.  My favorite is using the light gray paper and that makes the white highlights really pop!  Canson has a big variety of color choices.  They come in 9″ x 12″ or 12″ x 16″ pads with different color families.  I like all of them, but the assorted and gray tone are probably the most used in my classroom. 

For my Art 2 classes, they might get to use a smaller sized sheet of these for one or two colored pencil or charcoal lessons.  Usually my Art 3 and up students like to use these if they like using colored pencils and I let them use the paper freely.

I’m not sure if it qualifies as an art supply splurge but this is my favorite drawing paper.  I use it for just about every art project using dry media in my Art 1 classes.  It may not be exactly a splurge but it feels like a really nice quality paper for a good price.  I buy like 12 of these 500 pack reams of  9″ x 12″ paper a year from Dick Blick.

These silicone bottomed ice cube trays with lids are AMAZING for storing paint.  The best part is that when the paint dries you just have to press on the bottom of the trays and the paint just pops out!  It’s really fun to do and the kids love cleaning them!  They are a little pricy but if you buy a set or two each year pretty soon you’ll have a classroom set.

I also love the Tombow brand Dual Brush markers.  These will bleed if you put wet media over them, but that’s okay! They work really well like watercolor markers! I love these markers so much and I have found a lot of use out of them for my own personal artwork.  I use these with Art 2 and up. Sorry Art 1, you get the Crayola Super Tips!

We all know that Prismacolor Premier Colored Pencils are a great Art Supply Splurge! They really are just superior to the student grade ones.  Crayola pencils are great for what they are and you can’t beat the price!  If you can’t afford to buy all Prismacolors for your students, maybe you can just get the white ones!  I did a test last year of white colored pencils on black paper.  I tried Crayola, Blick Studio, Koh-i-Noor Woodless and Prismacolors.  The Prismacolor were SO much better on the dark paper than any other brand I tried.  You can buy just white on the Blick website and I found this set on Amazon.

Have you tried Gelli Plate printing?  It’s so much fun! I’ll make a blog post about it in the near future because I just love it.  These are expensive, but they do last a long time if you take good care of them.  I would suggest that you get at least two or three of the 9″ x 12″ size and maybe one of the larger 12″ x 14″ inch size.  I use it in stations or as a choice option in my Art 2, Art 3, or AP art classes.

I bought some of this Tombow Mono Multi Liquid Glue to try last year.  I have only really used it for gluing lightweight papers together so far.  However, it works GREAT for that!  It doesn’t wrinkle up the paper like Elmer’s typically does!  It’s a good option for upper level art students.

I’ve also used Nori Paste in the past with good results.  I like how it’s in a tub and you can apply it with a brush.  It also does a good job when you are using lightweight papers and/or magazine pages.

I hope you have enjoyed my list of Art Supply Splurge recommendations.  Let me know if you have any products you like to splurge on in the comments!


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Hi, I’m Erin!

I’ve been a high school art teacher at a rural school in WV for the past 14 years. I teach Art 1, AP Art + Design, Art 2 and 3. 
I’m a little obsessed with my sweet husband. Together we have FOUR kids and a rescue dog named Boomer! 
I love a bad pun and terrible dad jokes. I spend time looking at MBTI memes, cooking, listening to serial killer podcasts and Harry Potter audiobooks on repeat. I also teach yoga and indoor cycling. Click the button below to learn more about me. 

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