Wednesday, February 17, 2010


I saw this today.  "Resourcefulness" is definitely a word that characterizes Art teachers!

Do I want some coffee cans?  Sure!
Can I use old calendars?  Definitely.

I had enough money in my budget for supplies this year, but I know it's going to get worse.  That's why I am stocking up and trying to think of as many projects as I can that use donated or recycled materials.

I now have quite the stash of cardboard tubes, old CD's, and 1980's computer paper.  I am planning to use the tubes for cardboard sculptures with my 4-6 students next fall and make Totem poles sometime this spring.  I haven't decided what to use the CD's for, there are so many possibilities!  I love to get boxes of old computer paper.  The paper is great for free draw if a student finishes early.  (Free because the student can draw whatever s/he wants and free because it doesn't affect my budget!)

To get materials, I sent out an email to the staff, put a note in the newsletter that goes home to parents, and posted a list of desired supplies on my classroom page.  I am always finding toilet paper tubes, etc. in my mailbox or on my desk and have teachers and parents asking me if I can use whatever it is that they have.  I don't think I have turned anything down!  I also asked the custodians at my school to save paper towel rolls for me.  When the paper towels get close to the end of the roll, a new roll is switched out.  I will put partial rolls at tables when we are painting and then save the tubes.

I know that others are interested in recycled projects and I think it would be WONDERFUL if we could compile a list of ideas!  If you have an idea for a great recycled project or some other free/recycled materials that you have found a use for, please share it!


  1. Hey, I did a post on our blog last night and linked it to this post that you have here. It is titled....GREEN-O-WEEN. Yes, I do believe all art teachers are resourceful! Great post!
    Kim / 1969

  2. I use old CD's for the support of a 3D cake, inspired by Wayne Thiebaud with my fifth graders. My stash came from our computer lab :) The CD is the top, then a sentence strip (or long piece of tagboard) makes the sides, and I use paper clay (or paper towels in paper mache paste) for the "icing".

  3. That's awesome! Love Thiebaud, thanks for sharing!