Real Supplies for Real Creators

Real Supplies for Real Creators

© John Morgan

Listen. I love crayons. This is not about crayons.

But crayons are everywhere:

  • Art class
  • Math class
  • Car trips
  • Holiday-themed homework (answer the problems then color in the pumpkins!)
  • Restaurant placemats

So when it comes time to do some artwork outside of school, I prefer to bring out some different kinds of art supplies.

In our house, we have amassed a collection of acrylic-covered paintbrushes, rich, chalky pastels, and, yes, a full set of Prismacolors.

© Celeste Lindell/Art Supplies Series

I have a firm rule in place for when we visit Michaels® or A.C. Moore®.

After we goof off in the foam cutout aisle
(where dd insists on wielding a massive foam sword while dressed in a foam cowboy hat),


after touching every pom-pom of every conceivable color,

we must visit the grown-up’s art supply aisle.

I want her to browse all of the tools of creation: T-Squares, silkscreen sets, mechanical pencils, charcoal. And I always buy one little thing.

Here are some recommendations for low-cost, genuine supplies.

Note: this is not a sponsored post. But when I love something I have to share it.

Kneaded rubber eraser: Fun to smush into interesting shapes, and it erases those little areas that are hard to reach.


© Rob Marquardt

Eraser pencil: Throw one in a box of colored pencils. Gets into those corners, and it is easy to spot.

Smudge stick: We use this to smudge areas on a pencil drawing. Great for experimenting.

Drafting triangle: Makes those diagrams your student creates feel so official

Chalk pastels: Chalky, rich and colorful, and fun to smudge

A metal pencil sharpener: No little plastic, falling-apart thingy that looks fun but only lasts, like, a week

Water-soluble pastels or crayons: This one is a little more expensive, but we have gotten a lot of good use out of it. It is also great for playdates, as it keeps children occupied for quite a while

A genuine sketch book: Again, a little more expensive. But I often see them on 2-for-1 deals

There are many, many, more I could list. But this is a start. I can’t think of a way to end this, so I’m just gonna stop. Wishing you a lovely day.

Note: if a product is designed for an adult user, please supervise your child during use. Wash up carefully after use and take all proper precautions. And keep out of the hands of the under-3 set. The small sizes and bright colors will be tempting. Practice safety first – and enjoy some creative time!

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