Save On Your Next Art Project With These 10 Items At The Dollar Store!
An Example Of My Own Art Using Dollar Store Items
Darn Those High Prices!
Art supplies can be costly, particularly from stores like Wallacks, DeSerres, Michaels, and even Walmart. Sure some of these stores may offer coupon deals and sales, but costs can sure add up; especially when indulging on a new art project. 'Tis a sad reality that us artists live in... But hey, we didn't choose the art life, the art life chose us! So lets get right into it.
As both an artist and ex assistant manager at the Dollar Tree, I have a few tricks up my sleeve (or smock) to saving a few bucks on paintings and other art projects and it involves Dollar Store items! Here's my list of 10 art supplies you can get at the dollar store!
All items can be found at either Dollar Tree where everything is either $1.25 CAN or $1.00 US or Dollarama where items vary in price but are all $3.00 or less.
I know what you're thinking. A good brush is key to a good painting. You don't want to leave gross bristles trailing all over your painting! So what makes a dollar store brush worthy of this list? Well I've done a lot of experimenting with dollar store brushes and there is a type of brush that not only handles paint well, but is easy to clean and doesn't shed! It's a rainbow brush set similar to an old Crayola style of paint brushes. As displayed in the photo, the handles are a translucent plastic, with very soft plastic bristles held together with a ferrule of metal and come in a variety of sizes. These brushes carry paint very smoothly over a canvas and are great for achieving an even blending while painting. This set can be found at both the Dollar Tree and Dollarama!
Tarp is great for those projects where you are full aware you're going to make a mess. Whether you're on the easel, spray painting or using mod podge its a great tool to keep any floors, tables or carpets you may have clean! Tarps come in a variety of prices, for example, Walmart's price varies anywhere between $7 and $50. So getting a cheap tarp is great, knowing that if it gets too messy it can be easily replaced at your local Dollar Tree for only $1.25. The thing about the dollar store is that if you think a tarp is too thick or bulky, just get a see through table cloth or one with a cute colour and or pattern!
3. Painters Tape
It's hard making a painting, or even a charcoal portrait while trying to maintain a clean white boarder or a straight horizon line. Thank goodness for painters tape, and like everything else on this list, it is available at the Dollar Tree. "Keep your paint lines clean and crisp. Perfect for painters, contractors, and home remodeling projects-" They have a variety of tapes to choose from, but your best bet is as illustrated in the photo or a thinner green tape they also keep in stock. You can't go wrong with a price like $1.25!
4. Watercolor Pencils
I was very impressed to see the watercolor pencils at the Dollar Tree for a few reasons. When it comes to pencil crayons at the Dollar Tree, they don't exactly step up to plate so to speak. Usually the brand of pencil crayons they supply don't have an overall vibrant pigmentation. Which is good for children's drawings or crafts, however for a more professional use, they just don't really cut it. "Professional quality watercolor pencils are long lasting and come pre-sharpened!" So to see a cool and interesting art tool such this being sold at the Dollar Tree is very pleasing.
5. Crayola Pencil Crayons
Now, as mentioned above, Dollar Tree isn't the best place to go for finding good pencil crayons, however what I do recommend is visiting your closest Dollarama, it sells a lot of Crayola products such as markers, the famous crayons and pencil crayons. Now I'm not sure if any of you have noticed but I sure have, and that's the fact that stores have really jacked up the prices of Crayola pencil crayons. So seeing a pack at Dollarama for only $3.00 is a steal!
6. Sketch Book
Sketch books can be pricey and not all that worth the price if you like to doodle. I know I feel bad if I've wasted an expensive book on concepts and doodles. Luckily for $3.00 you can get a really nice black coil bound sketch book at the Dollarama. These books are great, I pick them up all the time! The 9"x12" paper is a good size (well the only size) and the paper quality is firm and holds graphite and charcoal very well. I use it all the time for my commissions!
I am still blown away by this because one of the down sides to painting a commission for someone is knowing that I am going to have to jack up the price of my painting due to the price of canvas. Except, I now know that if I go to Dollarama I can get a variety of sizes, from a 2"x2" that comes with a mini easel, to a 16"x20" and the most I'm going to have to pay is $3.00. Although, depending on the size, it can be less. Dollar Tree also stocks canvas, however sizes do not get nearly as big as 16"x20", the largest you can get is 11"x14" but only for $1.25 which isn't bad. Which ever store you shop, it's definitely going to save you bucks compared to other stores like Michaels and DeSerrres.
This is where you can be creative because you don't have to go with a traditional palette. Both Dollarama and Dollar Tree offer different options for a palette. For example I use a large white serving tray I got from Dollarama and currently serves as the best paint pallete I have used. Dollarama and Dollar Tree both also sell those chip and dip servers with various sections, they make effective large palettes as well, but if you are leaning towards a regular ol' painting palette than yes, the Dollarama carries these for you too.
Impressively enough the Dollar Tree has a wide selection of fames. From small, to their largest which is 11"x14", coincidentally the same size as the largest size of canvas they carry. They have very nice styles, colours and you would never guess they were purchased at the dollar store! They're great for any work made on paper such as a watercolor, graphite, charcoal, pencil crayon, or even acrylic if you purchase a thin canvas. Easy to hang, easy to work with and with so many to choose from, it'll be easy to find just the right style to frame your masterpiece!
Finally we are at the end of the list, but it sure isn't the least. Personally in my opinion, this is one of the best things you can get at the dollar store. Now I'm not talking children tempra paint, poster paint, or those little paint pods. No, I am talking about a nice acrylic paint. Now what I'm going to tell you is the truth, all of the paintings I make, (unless I have been given a more expensive paint for my birthday or Christmas) I make using dollar store acrylic paint. These paints come in quantities from 2oz, 4oz and 6.8oz. Personally I don't like the 6.8oz from the Dollarama very much. But the 2oz and 4oz work like a charm and are available at both Dollarama and Dollar Tree depending on the location. They spread very nicely, blend smoothly, dry fast and both stores offer a huge selection of colours! The other thing that wins me over is that you can use them similarly to watercolors in order to blend by diluting the still wet paint with water. Now you don't only have to use this paint for canvas, it's great for fun crafts like painting pots, frames, birdhouses and so much more!
The End Already?!
Well thanks for joining me and I hope you are a little more knowledged on the cheaper but quality options you have come your next art shopping trip! It's been a pleasure and I had a lot of fun sharing with you guys!
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If you'd like to share your own dollar store art discovery, please comment in the comments section bellow, I'd love to hear all about it!