1. Plastic cupcake containers come with lids that can help with distribution and storage of painting supplies.
  2. Glad Press’n Seal Plastic Wrap can be a helpful product  in many ways around the art room. Put it over a palette to keep paint wet until the next day. Got a messy station? Put Glad Press’n Seal down first and peel it- and mess- up when done. 
  3. Yarn Organization and soda bottles, recycling at its finest. Clean and dry a soda bottle. Cut the plastic at the bottom with an x-acto knife. Place yarn in and put the string that comes from the middle of the skein through the opening of the soda bottle. Use clear packing tape to seal it back up. Thanks to art teacher Ashley Gustavson Pollay for the idea and photo. 
  4. Skewers to keep glue bottles unclogged. 
  5. Seating Charts! Take a picture of each table holding up a sheet of paper with their name printed clearly and large. Place photos for each class on a 8.5×11 inch piece of paper and print out. This should help you do attendance quickly and help connect names and faces as well. 
  6. Standing paper towel roll to store masking tape. 
  7. Using tracing paper to show a student what you mean, rather than drawing directly on their artwork. 
  8. For media/paper that curls paint an x on the pack. The media will pull and help count the curl.
  9. Dirty white erasers? Just rub an emory board on them to shave off the dirt and reveal the fresh white. I have to admit, we used the cinder block walls to do the same.
  10. Early finishers? Yes, the bane of our existence, I know! Amie Martin had this idea. “The kids love this! When they are finished early they draw one of these whacky things to draw. Gives their imagination a workout and it’s fun too!”
  11. Pencils going missing right and left? Two ideas for you. First, ask the custodian if he would collect them for you. Honestly, when they sweep a school as the end of the day, do you have any idea how many pencils are being thrown away? It’s gross, so give them a wash but you will have so many. Just be sure to take care of your custodians with some home baked goodies. This great system of borrowing and returning pencils is thanks to Art Kelsey who says this system has been going strong in her classroom. You can check out her blog here.  
  12. X-Acto knife covers keep getting lost? For younger folks, just use pen caps as a nifty substitutes. For older students, turn the blade so the tip is inserted backwards at the end of the class.
  13. And sharpies that go missing? Stop that in its tracks with this ingenious idea. I have seen this so many times, I have no idea where it originated, but they are genius. Photo credit to Kristin Ann Flock

Do you have art room hacks to share? If so, mail us your hacks. And. did you know that there is now a FB group called, “Art Teacher Life Hacks?” Look it up!