Monday, January 22, 2018

Save Money & Make Art

I did a post a little while ago about using the right tools for creating art. In this I talked about how you should use better tools rather than inexpensive ones. Using better tools will save you a lot of frustration and may actually save you money. This post will be about things you can do that will save you even more money (hopefully enough to justify those expensive supplies).

While typing this I realize that this post is going to be quite long, so this will be a 30 part series (or less -- likely 2 or 3 parts 😊).

Tiny art brought to you by scrap paper and sale priced
Daniel Smith watercolors!

Saving Money When Making Art

1. Buy Things On Sale 

I know you're thinking, "Well, duh!" This isn't always what happens, though. I'm the kind of person who loves a good sale. It's probably been 3 years since I've made the effort to buy supplies on sale. I usually wait until I urgently need supplies! This is not a good idea. It's better to wait until there is a sale (when possible) to buy your supplies!

BUYER BEWARE: Sometimes a sale item isn't cheaper/better. For example: I got a 50% off any one item at a craft store. I needed paper, but all the paper was damaged. I went to another store and found the same paper for half the price of the other store (and in better condition). This was the stores regular price and it made me very wary about buying supplies from this craft store again.

Be sure to compare prices at local stores and online. Sometimes you can save a lot of money by ordering online. When I lived in the States I loved but shipping charges here in Canada make buying from the USA (and sometimes even Canada) expensive! I can order things from places like and they will deliver free if I spend a certain amount of money. Both these companies have excellent customer service!

2. Never, Ever, Ever, Throw Things Out!

Made from a scrap sheet of Arches Paper.
Each of those squares is 1 inch. 

Okay, you can throw things out -- especially that stinky trash bag. There are art supplies, however, that you should never just pitch! One thing is expensive paper. I have several 22" x 30" pieces of Arches paper that I cut up. I cut out four pieces of paper out of this that were 11" x 13" (8" x 10" with a 1.5" border). I now have several pieces of paper that are too small for the images I want to create, but the extra paper could use to create smaller images, art cards, or be used as test sheets when I just want to try something out.

If your scrap paper is too small to paint or draw on, it could still be used for collage. As could wrinkled paper, or even sketches/painting that just aren't up to snuff. If you are really good you could use your old paper to create new paper. It's a craft that needs to be learned, but the paper you get can be more interesting than the paper that you can buy in st

It's not just paper that can be saved and used again. Watercolor paint once dry is still good even if it's a rock in your tube. Useless colored pencils can be turned into a brush jar

3. Trade it With Your Friends!

Most art supplies tend to go down in price rather than up. You may have trouble selling a half used tube of paint, but you might be able to trade it to your friends. I don't know about you but I have TONS of art supplies that I never use. I may use them some day, but there are many things (like tubes of paint) that have a limited shelf life. Watercolors usually can be used later, but oils and acrylics separate over time. Why not trade these things for items you can use. Don't have friends in the area who have art supplies? Maybe use meetup or craigslist to plan a get together at a coffee house and trade away those supplies you aren't using. 

1 comment:

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