Wednesday, June 1, 2011

8 Things (I'm glad I ordered)

I'm Glad I Ordered

I made some purchases with my Art budget this year that I'm really happy with!  I thought I would share.

#1 Glue Pump: I LOOOOVE the glue pump that I bought!  It is more affordable to order glue in gallons but if you are a messy pourer like me, it can be a bit of an inconvenience.  The pump eliminates most of the mess and really doesn't take too long to refill smaller bottles.

*Ok, I'm revising my statement about the glue pump.  It works great as long as the little cap stays on.  If that falls off, the glue hardens inside and it's useless.  I might try ordering glue pumps one more time.  Hopefully the cap will stay on and I won't have any more trouble.

#2 Crayola Color Sticks: I tested this product at the KAEA Fall Conference and decided they were worth ordering.  I do wish that I would have read the description more carefully before ordering.  I saw "classpack" and added to my list.  It includes 10 sticks of 12 colors.  I didn't end up using them this year because I knew my 20+ students in each class would be fighting over the colors.  I am going to order another set in the fall and then I plan to pretty much replace the traditional colored pencils that are in my classroom.  Don't get me wrong, I love colored pencils.  They are just about my favorite supply to use.  The problem with colored pencils in my classroom is that most of the colored pencils are old, stubby pencils that take forever to sharpen.  It seems like the students spend more time waiting in line at the sharpener than actually drawing.  I think that the color sticks will eliminate this problem since they are pure color, no wood.  That means they do not need to be sharpened and there is no waste.  So even though they are quite a bit more expensive than colored pencils, they will last longer and should be make classroom management easier!

#3 Mr.Sketch Markers: I got a tip about these markers from another Art teacher at the KAEA conference.  I was told that the color lasts a lot longer than Crayola markers so after I found out that they come in "unscented" (yes, I loved how the red ones smell like kool-aide when I was in 4th grade but do we really need to encourage kids to sniff markers?) I put them on my wish list!  The colors are vibrant, the markers are sturdy, and I love the shape of the tip.  The tip of the marker is more square than conical so I showed the students how to pretend they are paintbrushes to apply the color quickly and evenly.  I'm a convert.  (Plus the new Crayola markers that are made with recycled plastic have colored lids but everything else is black.  It's easy to see how little ones get the colors mixed up.)

 #4 Prang Paint Pump: I had wanted to order pumps for my big bottles of tempera paint and I am so glad I did!  For the same reason as the glue pump, I am a messy pourer.  I just realized I photographed the wrong pump!  There were a couple Prang pumps at one of my schools but the pumps I ordered were actually Sargent Art Paint Pumps.  The Sargent Art pumps were a just over $2 compared to the $6 Prang pump.  I have mostly generic tempera paint so I decided to take a gamble hoping that the bottle opening would be the same size.  I am happy to report that the pump fit several different brands of paint bottles.  The only thing I'll warn you about if you've never used a paint pump before, is to apply slow, even pressure when you are squirting paint.  I got in a hurry one day, there was a tiny clog in the pump, and blue paint went EvErYwHeRe!  See below...

 #5 Clay Tools: Believe it or not, there were no true clay tools from previous Art teachers.  I did find plastic cutlery which worked OK but thought I should replace them with some sturdier tools.  I am also glad I got a couple wire tools that make it SOOO much easier to divide the clay for classes.
 #6 Crayola Window Markers: I ordered a box of these with my Artsonia money.  They were fun to have around.  There is a small window by my classroom door and I used these glass markers to decorate it for seasons and Youth Art Month.  I got some cool effects by drawing on both sides of the glass to mix the colors.  They hold up on glass a little better than dry erase markers and wash off with water.  (They will smear or wipe off if you have little fingers that can't resist touching everything in line.)

#7 Masking Tape Dispenser: If you have to hang artwork in the hallway with tape, this will save you time!  It's a lot easier to tear tape from the dispenser than off the roll.

#8 Paint Pipettes: These were pretty affordable and a lot of fun to try out with my students.  You can see one project we used them for here:

On my list for next year are....
  • More metal rulers, enough for each student to have their own.
  • A nice stapler!  -The one I had was old and broke all the time.  Then it disappeared.  I wasn't too disappointed.
  • Heavy duty scissors for me to use, bigger scissors for my big-handed students.

Have you made any great supply purchases lately?  Share them if you have!  Let me know if you write a blog post with your list and I'll add it here:


  1. I loved this sharing supply tips! Great idea Katie! After 35 years of teaching art you'd think I know it all when it comes to what's agreat art supply and what's not-not true! I am always learning new ideas reading the blogs. Yours is great by the way. I'm glad to hear that you lioke the color sticks as I have a set but haven't experimented with them yet. I have been using the Crayola twistables to avoid the noise of the electric sharpener but they don't last long when you have a 3of each section 450 kid building. Plus, they tend to break off inside the plastic tube and it's a pain to take them apart to fix them. On the flip side, the 30 ct. sets make for some very colorful artworks. I tried the glue pump and got a lemon! Will try again with my fall order.....

  2. Thank you for this post. I have been wanting to see what someone thought about the art sticks. I think the class pack number made me not buy them this year as well. Window markers! Love them!! I had also forgotten all about those Paint Pipettes things. And I also had no idea that the masking tape dispenser existed. Where do you get that from?

  3. Hi there,

    I'm wondering whether I can purchase any of these awesome her in Australian.. don't think I've seen the glue pump but I will definitely try and find it.
    Thanks for the ideas.

  4. This year I ordered all my supplies from the School Specialty catalogue. (

    It was great because my school (I'm assuming all schools do) got an additional discount so the secretary put the order in and told me I had MORE money to spend!

    @Phyl- I think my glue pumps are Elmer's brand, I don't know if that makes a difference?

    @Becca Ruth- I had never seen the tape dispensers either so I was excited to find them from School Specialty!

    @Anna- I don't know if they ship to Australia, you might check their website. Sorry I'm not more help!

  5. Great idea for a post. I'll have to contemplate what my best bets were for ordering this year. jan

  6. I love my glue pump, too. But the funny thing about it is...the little tip at the end of the pump keeps falling off and I have to keep putting it back on. I think this is so strange because the little thing is covered in GLUE. Why it won't stick itself back together is a mystery to me.
    Kids love those colored pencil sticks because the colors are so much brighter. I bought a couple of sets of NU Pencils brand to try them out and LOVE 'EM.

  7. Thanks for the post!

    My favourite order this year would have to be my set of ten liquid water colours - I use them all the time (was very pleased to be able to find them in Australia).

    @ Becca Ruth, I have my masking tape in an ordinary tape dispenser and it works fine. I also squeezed a double sided tape roll into an ordinary tape dispenser, which is very handy when mounting artworks.

  8. Thanks for sharing your new supplies!! Good to hear how you liked the color sticks...I've got a set coming in for next year. My primary kids can destroy crayons like a herd of locust, so I am planning to use them more than crayons this year. Now I want to try the Mr Sketch markers too! Best, Vicki

  9. I actually blogged about a stapler that I got earlier this school year. I absolutely love it. I have to staple into walls as well as bulletin boards and it is super easy and doesn't jam. I was even able to staple through 25-30 pages of regular photocopy paper when my kids did flip books.

  10. Thanks for this post. Now I am thinking about trying the Mr. Sketch markers next year and the Colorsticks when it comes time to replace my colored pencils. My splurge for next school year is liquid watercolors. I am so ready to be done with messy pans!

  11. I keep looking at the color sticks and wondering if they work? Do they break easily? That would be counterproductive, so I hesitated.

    I want to try dry wax paper like Kathy Barbro does in Art Projects for Kids. It sounds great. The liquid watercolor sounds good, too.

    I don't have a kiln, so air dry or oven baked clay is on the agenda. Any suggestions?

    Last year was my first year of teaching art [loved it!] and I have learned so much from all these wonderful blogs that generous teachers have taken the time to write.
    Thanks a million!

  12. I haven't used the color sticks with my students yet but I tested them out at the KAEA conference and they seemed pretty darn sturdy to me.

    I also do not have access to a kiln. I used Crayola air dry clay with my older students and even though it was more expensive, it did dry very hard. I had been told before that air dry clay is no different than using regular clay and not firing it. Not true. The crayola air dry clay was very strong when it dried. I'm going to try a different brand of air dry clay this year that is considerably cheaper and see how it compares.

  13. I know this is an older post but I wanted to make a couple of comments and see if anyone else is having the same problem...

    1. I used a glue pump for awhile but it was constantly plugging itself up b/c the glue wants to keep coming out. There was a little cap but I could never get it to stay on. I finally got frustrated enough and threw it away.

    2. My new Mr. Sketch markers (chisel tip) have differently shaped tips this year and seem to be getting dry right away. I have always loved the Mr. S markers b/c they kept their color so well. I'm very disappointed in the performance of them so far. Has anyone else noticed?? I was planning to contact the manufacturer.

  14. Hmmm... I haven't had mine long enough to see if it's a problem! I know some people use vaseline on glue bottles so I don't know if there would be a way to use it on a pump? And as far as the markers go, I would definitely contact them if I were you. Maybe they would at least send you some markers or coupons to make up for it! The reason I bought them is because I was told how long they last without drying out!