Our Art and Craft Supplies List

Some have asked what art and craft supplies we keep on hand, so I thought I’d do a couple of posts to tell you about what art and craft supplies we use.  This post is about purchased supplies.  I do make some things by hand and I save lots of materials to reuse that would otherwise be trash.  Those items will come in later posts.  I’ll also do a post on how we organize our supplies for making art project set-up and clean-up as simple as possible. 🙂

Here are the purchased art and craft supplies we always have on hand:


  • washable finger paint
  • washable tempera paint (We use so much that when we ran out of Crayola this time, I bought gallon jugs of a different brand from A. C. Moore for $10 each and ordered pumps for them.  I only bought red, blue, yellow, and white.  This is for economical reasons as well as educational — the kids will get to see how to make colors by mixing the paint!)
  • watercolor paint
  • paint brushes — I linked to some that we use with our paint cups, but we have lots of different ones: natural bristle, foam, and various sizes to choose from
  • paint cups


  • plain white (printer) paper
  • construction paper
  • watercolor/painting paper (thick and textured)
  • card stock
  • crayon pad (large sheets — found cheap at Ollie’s)
  • easel rolls (Ikea has pretty good prices on these…)
  • drawing pad (Luke has one for when we practice drawing together)
  • and I also keep a bin of scrap paper that can be reused


  • crayons — regular, fat, triangular, crayon rocks (these are a choking hazard so not for kids who still put things in their mouths, but the color is amazing!)
  • colored pencils — these Pip Squeaks ones are our current favs
  • washable markers
  • oil pastels — we have Slick Stix
  • sidewalk chalk
  • window crayons and markers
  • dry erase crayons and markers
  • regular pencils with erasers
  • drawing books for kids


  • Do-a-Dot Markers (or bingo daubers)
  • rubber stamps — I have bunches just from crafting that I let the kids use, but we love the Melissa & Doug sets specifically for them
  • foam stamps
  • stamp pads


  • Elmer’s white glue
  • Glue sticks — we like the ones that go on purple and dry white so the kids can see what they’re doing
  • Hot glue gun + glue sticks (adult use only)


  • yarn
  • kid scissors
  • beads — various sizes, colors, materials (use for sorting as well as art)
  • cotton balls — for using to paint with, also to glue onto projects –> making clouds or Santa’s beard
  • Q-tips — to paint with
  • stickers — regular and 3-D foam
  • pipe cleaners / Chenille stems
  • shaving cream — squirt on a tray and use for drawing practice; drive cars through piles of it like snow
  • pom poms (use for sorting as well as for art)
  • googly eyes
  • ribbon (various widths, colors)
  • coloring books
  • stencils

Art Furniture/Big Ticket Items:

A couple of final notes:
This list probably seems like a lot, but keep in mind my oldest is 4, so I’ve been building up over a few years, plus I had a good start on some things since I’ve always enjoyed crafting, and I also had some things left over from my teaching days that I had purchased myself.  Start small and build up!  

We do some sort of art or craft project pretty much every day, so keep that in mind when viewing my list and planning out what you want/need.  You’ll probably want to view my list of what we use most often (further down) if you’re only planning to do art once a week or less often.

I get most of my supplies from A.C. Moore or Michael’s during sales or using a coupon!  Crayola is 40-50% off quite often there. 🙂  

I stock up on the basics (Crayola and other name-brand products) during back-to-school time.  You can get crayons, glue, pencils, watercolors, pencil boxes, etc. for really, really cheap then!

I think it’s a better idea to have a few high-quality materials than a lot of mediocre ones.  For example, I’m sure you’ve probably had an experience before with a restaurant crayon that just wouldn’t color worth a flip!  It can be very frustrating and make you not enjoy the experience.  Go for materials that will give you better results.  Your kids will enjoy it more and thus want to spend more time doing it!

Here’s a list of what we use the most:
(for those of you who want to know what to start with, or for those who will only be doing art once a week or so, I’d get these basic items…)

  • crayons
  • markers
  • colored pencils
  • stickers
  • stamp pads
  • rubber stamps
  • glue sticks
  • finger paint
  • tempera paint
  • various kinds of paper

What art and craft supplies do you use most?

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Genny Upton

A former teacher turned stay at home mom to two preschool aged children. Creator (and writer) at In Lieu of Preschool and Parent Teach Play. Currently publishing my first children's picture book!

  • Sarah says:

    OK, I am very ignorant of these things, so could you tell me, is the tempera paint the paint you use when you are making hand print pictures or fingerprint pictures (like the cute St. Patricks day ones), or the rainbow pictures? I was about to buy washable jumbo stamp pads for my girls to do handprint/fingerprint art, but I love your idea of buying only select colors in big tubs to reinforce the color mixing concept. Please help. Thanks,
    Sarah 🙂

  • Genny Upton says:

    The hand print and finger print shamrocks I posted were with Crayola finger paint (also the car tracks paintings I’ve posted a few times were with finger paint). The rainbows we painted with cotton balls were with Crayola tempera paint. The pic I posted on Facebook today of our salad spinner art was also tempera. You can use them pretty interchangeably because they’re both washable. The finger paints I linked are more like “gel” colors — so kind of see-through if that makes sense whereas the tempera colors are more solid. Just depends the look you want to go for. Hope this helps a little! 🙂

    BTW, L&L love jumbo stamp pads! Have fun!

  • Sarah says:

    I just wanted to thank you so much for responding to my question above. I went back and fully read the posts and realized you actually said what you used in those posts.
    I love your website. I love that you are sharing all these creative ideas. Thank you so much. You rock!!

  • Great list. Now I need a blog post on how you organize it all. 🙂
    I am currently in the process to try to get my craft room / play room in order and have a place for everything. Like you I have a huge craft supply section in my house.

  • […] don’t usually plan out our art project for the day ahead of time, but I do keep an art cabinet well stocked so we can do just about anything at any time.  We have all kinds of paint and paint brushes, […]

  • Art shed says:

    The list of art material is great and thank you so much to tell about which art and craft uses mostly. It helps for selection of art material easily.

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