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1. Clever Art Awards!
High school art teacher April Eason recycles old trophies for my Art awards each year.
2. Ruler Skills Hack
Middle school art teacher Jackie Dehring is on a quest to teach ruler skills! Don’t we all know how necessary that is! Dehring uses scrap vinyl to created a ruler on her board. She usually keep it blank until she measures with her class. If you have a space on your board, this is a great visual to help with the measuring steps. If the class is measuring to 5.5”, she will put a 5 and 6 at the black marks to assist students.
3. Make those dried on used and forgotten palettes like new again!
Are you wondering how to get those dirty acrylic paint palettes clean? Here are some tried and true art teacher hacks.
• Soak in warm to hot water and the paint often loosens and lifts easily.
• Pour glue or acrylic medium on the tough spots, allow to dry and peel off.
4. Affordable art teacher (or any creative person) present ideas
Need a parting gift for a student teacher? Art teacher colleague? Special senior? We love these.
5. Quick improvised display stands
Middle School art teacher Vanessa Scott discovered this great way to present student classwork for a gallery walk and critique! just flip your storage bins upside-down and prop student art.
6. Dried bag of clay? You can remedy that! Here is a YouTube video or check out this step-by-step instruction here.
7. If you are like me, you keep a stash of bandaids in your desk. Here is a bandaid hack. Wish I knew this before I became a parent.
8. Ever need to thread a needle. Here is a video made by art teacher VA Scorps.
9. Use a wine rack and glasses to store your pens and pencils.
Artist Maureen Wong (via My C.A.S.E. Studies) found some stackable wine racks at Pier One and cheap plastic cups from Walmart, and I’ve got a great storage system that I love and has plenty of space for more markers! And if I really want to, I can just keep adding more racks and cups to store even more!
*To secure the cups to the racks, Maureen drilled 2 really small holes in the bottom of each cup and then wired the cups to the back of the rack.
10. Find Your Local Art Supply Donation Center
Free Supplies. Ummm… YES! These centers recycle donated art supplies, typically for cheap or for trade. Here are some regional ones but google your state and “Local Art Supply Donation Center.” A List Of Resource Centers World-Wide (* not necessarily just art nut materials at large).
New York City
11. Inexpensive damp box for ceramics
Ceramic Teacher Daisy Maestas uses this to keep pieces from drying. Sometimes we’ll put the pots on bats and have a little moisture at the bottom but other than that it’s just your average cooler with no modifications. The cooler will keep them from drying for up to a few weeks if needed.
12. Save those brushes you thought were ruined
Are you ending the year and realizing how many brushes you have to throw out because some student was too lazy to clean properly. Wait, there is hope! An old art teacher’s favorite hack is to soak in murphy’s oil or fabric softener for 24 hours to revive those brushes to a usable state.