Hello! And welcome to My Art Lesson’s Product Talk section. In Product Talk, I will discuss the products art teachers recommend in the art room as well as why teachers recommend them. Nothing worse than ordering a product and finding out the quality is subpar. Ordering supplies is no small part of our job. So, let’s join forces by talking about what we like, why, and how we use products in the classroom. Plus, let’s talk about how we can stretch our budget as well.

I decided to launch Product Talk this week to accompany a blog post about destructive students. One supply that all art teachers struggle with is rulers. There is no end to the abuse middle and high school students can dole out on a ruler.  Nothing is more demoralizing than seeing a new ruler bent in half. Or used as a sword. Or the numbers being purposely scrubbed off. Or the cork being torn off.

A recent FB survey recently showed that art teachers generally prefer metal rulers. 41% metal to 31% wood.

So, have you ever thought to yourself, “Someone must make an indestructible ruler!” If so, stop buying the aluminum rulers. One teacher spoke highly of these H Steel Combination Squares. She takes off the square part and finds the steel ruler part to be indestructible. It’s a bit pricy at 12.99 but if it last forever, maybe it’s worth it.


Or you can also buy steel rulers with etched numbers so kids can’t simply rub off the numbers and they are pretty resistant to bending.

Another art teacher recommends these flexible rulers. You can’t harm them by bending them. You can’t use them as swords. Sounds like a win-win situation. Beware, one teacher says they can be cut!  Another teacher reports “They can’t slap them against the tables because they’re on the floppier side.”


Some teachers prefer quantity over quality. Give your intros these inexpensive plastic or wooden rulers and replace them as needed. One teacher recommends these KEILEOHO 200 Pack of rulers). Two hundred rulers for 28.99 should provide enough rulers and replacements for occasional breaks. And for those in the 31 percent who prefer wood, here are inexpensive wooden rulers you can buy in bulk.

Obviously, some teachers forgo bought rulers completely. You can print out rulers onto oaktag or cardstock and laminate them. Or simply cut up scrap matboard or pick up pain stir sticks at the local hardware store to use as straight edges.

Join the conversation in the comments to let us know how you manage rulers in the art classroom.