Craft materials are colourful, fun and great but they are also expensive. And as an art teacher, you will need plenty of craft materials and that too in sizeable quantities and preferably those which you can procure without much drain on your pocket or the school’s pocket.
These suggestions might seem like no-brainers but here are nine everyday materials that you can turn into craft materials and also suggestions about what you can do without them.
Flour – When plasticine or modeling clay is unavailable you can teach children how to make their own in class. Any grain flour, when mixed with portions of water and salt will turn into dough with the same consistency as actual plasticine!
Paper Cups & Plates & Straws – Left over paper cups, plates and straws from events, parties etc can be used to create stick figures, simple 3-D settings, masks etc. They can also double as mixing palettes and material holders for small children and be used to draw simple geometric shapes.
Empty Plastic Bottles – You will be surprised at the number of crafts that empty plastic bottles can be used for. They can be used to make simple DIY containers, piggy banks, hanging ornaments, potted plant containers and even as simple art stamps for small children who are not able to handle brushes
Buttons – Rather than using glitter and sequins, which can get everywhere, especially when you have small children using them, you can use buttons as decorative items. They can be used to create simple landscapes, to make flower heads and even simple streamers.
Old Pickle/Jam Jars – Used pickle and jam jars can obviously act as containers but with a little bit of jazzing up, they can be used to make DIY snowflake globes, plant containers, terrariums, and even flower vases. Pickle and jam jars can be utilized by older classes to create crafts rather than younger classes, who might find them heavy to hold or even drop them while handling them.
Sand – Funnily enough, sand too can be used as a craft material. When mixed with dry tempera paint, it can become colour sand which becomes a novelty item in itself. It can also be used to make sand paintings, or put inside containers to act as a firm holder for pens, crayons, pencils etc.
Old CD’s – Old or cracked CD’s can be utilized for craft instead of being throwing away. They can be used to make hanging ornaments, into bugs and creatures and even into pictures frames. Even broken CD bits can be used (because they are reflective and shiny) to make mosaics, however they should probably be handled only by older classes.
Shoeboxes – In additional to storing items and objects, shoeboxes can also double as craft materials in art class. They can be repurposed into attractive containers for knick-knacks, act as the background for miniature dioramas, be made into trains and vehicles, become periscopes and or even be turned into houses and buildings.
Old Socks – Old socks which no longer fit or socks which are missing the other sock can be used to create plenty of crafts. They can be used to create sock-puppets, which can be extremely fun for younger children and they can be used to create simple stuffed animals by older children!
What kind of everyday materials do you use in your art classes? Share your favourites and suggestions with us in the comments below!