Sometimes I think those of us with very limited funds get discouraged because we can’t buy the latest and greatest stuff out there. We go on you-tube and watch other people making amazing things with stuff we cannot afford. We think the products used is what makes the art work beautiful.
No, no, NO!
Creativity trumps money every time.
Let me repeat that:
Creativity trumps money every time.
If you are brand new to arting, here are some quick and easy ways to build a stash you can use today:
Gather all your junk mail. You will use this for all sorts of things, which we will cover in a minute.
Grab old magazines and books-these are essential items in a craft stash. Old music books from piano lessons. Old maps. Postcards and greeting cards. Multi-language instruction sheets from electronics. Old cook books. Dictionaries, encyclopedias and old school books.
Kids books have wonderful pictures you can use. Coloring books are great too. Kids stuff is really one area where you can get a lot of great supplies for your stash. Go through your kids outgrown/old toys and look at everything with an eye as to how you could use it for art. Maybe something would make a good stamp or has great texture or has wonderful colors-use it. Puzzles are wonderful. Card games are perfect. Board games often have little pieces you can use…
Break down all your food boxes when they are empty. Cereal boxes, mac and cheese, any clean boxes will work. Wash out plastic pudding cups to use for holding paint or glue. Grab sponges and old, ratty towels. Spatulas and plastic utencils-once you confiscate them for your art they can never be used again for food. Unused food processor or chopper. Cheese grater. Wooden Kabob sticks. Toothpicks. Plastic swizzle sticks. Plastic paper plate holders. Drawer liner. Under rug anti-slip mats. Thin plastic cutting boards. Disposable aluminum cookie sheets. Plastic bakery cake box. Used dryer sheets.
Clean out your junk drawer and gather everything that might be useful. White out. Plastic bags. Instruction manuals. Ziplock bags. Twist ties. Erasers. Paint brushes. Decks of cards.
Before you toss anything, look at it to see if it is something you can use in your art practice. Empty pill bottles-wash them out and use them to make textures and stamps on your projects. Bubble wrap. Anything plastic with texture. The flat plastic from kids toy packaging-I use these as palettes, to cut into stencils, cut them up really fine and make textured glitter, etc. The boxes the kids toys come in-they often have patterns or shapes on them. Cut out the shapes and make into stamps and use the negatives as stencils. Toilet paper and paper towel tubes. Cardboard boxes. Shoe boxes. Plastic bottles from ketchup, mayonnaise, etc. Larger plastic containers from icecream and pickles. Cottage cheese and sour cream containers. Egg cartons. Plastic cups, styrofoam plates.
Wrapping paper and tissue paper. Old Christmas decorations. News paper. Paper bags. Gift tags. Price tags from clothing. Ribbons and twine. String. Thread. Straws. Keep your spray bottles. Wash them well and keep them handy you will use these for everything…Rubbing alcohol. Baby powder. Napkins, paper towels, baby wipes, make up sponges, eye shadows, lipstick, hair spray, kids crayons and art supplies, pens and markers, school glue, tape. Dry wall tape, Spackle, flat latex house paint, latex primer, kids side walk chalk, rubber bands, old gift cards or credit cards, finger nail files, paper clips. Old tooth brushes and q-tips. Plastic and paper doilies.
Let’s move on to your closets: Old purses-remove the hardware and cut the purse up at the seams, use the material/leather and the hardware. Old sweaters-unravel them and use the yarn. Old shirts-remove all the buttons and put them in a container. Save lace and ribbon. Cut up the fabric. Old belts, coats, jeans-any article of clothing can be scavenged.
Old jewelry is on of my favorite places to build a stash. You can bust apart a necklace and have jump rings, beads, findings, chain, all sorts of treasures. Be ruthless and save every single piece. A busted watch will hold gears that are very expensive to purchase. It will also have a watch band, buckle and clock face. Rip apart everything and anything you have that is broken. Metal pieces are particularly trendy right now.
Look outside in your garage. Plastic fencing, spray paint, washers and small metal objects, empty tackle boxes or tool boxes, wood scraps, masonite, soda pop cans and bottles. Latex paint. Zip ties. Sand paper.
If you go through your house and gather everything I have listed-and there is so much more that I haven’t-you will have built yourself a large stash of materials to use in your art work. Next up: what to do with some of this stuff…