Sunday, October 14, 2012

Upcycled Art Supplies

Even though it's important for artists at any level to have good quality art supplies to work with, I also think there is great value in being creative and using items that you might be tossing into the wastebasket and finding ways to utilize ordinary household objects that can have a dual purpose. I'm always amazed to be standing behind someone in line at an art supply or craft store and watching them stock up on items that are costly and will ultimately not offer any choice as to how the finished product turns out. Googly eyes come to mind. When I was printing the little bird pictured above I noticed how interesting the image looked on the newspaper that I had spread out to protect my work area.
Here are a few suggestions for re-purposing items for art projects:


1) Keep a box with scraps of wrapping paper, pages from magazines, fabric, yarn, buttons, use for collage material. 2) Cereal boxes are great for making the covers of handmade books. 3) When you get a package in the mail, flatten the box and save the corrugated cardboard. It's a very sturdy, lightweight surface that remains stable for any number of projects. 4) Newspapers offer an interesting printing surface, although I realize many people read all their news online. 5) Kitchen sponges can be turned into ink pads. 6) Items with interesting shapes and textures can be turned into stamps for printmaking. Things like old keys, doilies, the bottom of an egg carton, leaves......can be printed.


Please feel free to leave any of your suggestions in the comments section. I've even re-used supplies left over from household re-modeling projects. The leftover grout from tiling one of our bathrooms was used to make a mosaic tray. I hate throwing stuff into a landfill.

1 comment:

  1. I read all my news online, but I sometimes snag the newspapers my firm purchases for the lunchroom and reception area. I also save all wrapping paper for projects (although I generally gift wrap using cloth napkins, dish towels, and pillow cases). I've been considering an envelope template for use on some tourist maps that I don't want to save and some old wrapping paper.

    My favorite recycled paper material is occasion cards. I receive a lot of store bought cards with just a signature. The front makes wonderful postcards or pieces of the card can be cut out to use as gift tags. However, it never occurred to me that I could use them for collages. D'oh! Thank you!

    PS: I just found your blog today via