Flour, sugar, salt, basic ingredients that most would consider pantry staples. The great thing about having a well stocked pantry is being able to create so many great dishes without a lot of planning and grocery shopping. The same principle of keeping a pantry so that many dishes can be made without a trip to grab supplies can apply to art supplies too. Here’s what I keep in my art pantry, in case inspiration strikes. As a boy mom, I must pounce at the chance when they are inspired. With each “ingredient” I’ve included a project or two that we like to do with the supplies.

Coloring supplies: This one’s a given. We have crayons, markers, and colored pencils. If I had to choose only one I’d go with crayons because my boys seem to believe that markers don’t need caps.

Manila Paper: Instead of plain paper, this paper has a yellowish tint which lends itself to treasure maps, pretend documents. It is a little sturdier than plain copy paper, more like construction paper.

Freezer Paper: My preferred medium for painting. It works great for finger paint. The shiny backing on the back keeps paint from bleeding through to the table. As it comes in a large roll, you can rip off whatever size piece you need. You can also use it as a cover for your work space.

Contact paper: Need to faux laminate something? Contact Paper. Need a lazy craft? Make placemats with contact paper and leaves. My go to all season craft involves making sun catchers for whatever holiday by cutting out an appropriate shape (Christmas Tree, Easter Egg, Shamrock, Heart, etc) and then ripping up tissue paper and sticking on to the contact paper. Voila! Quick and easy craft! My boys love the destruction element of tearing the pieces of tissue paper.

Popsicle sticks: I like the wide ones (tongue depressor size). These guys get a lot of use at house. Some of our favorite uses include glueing them to paper plates to act as either a mask or a paddle to bat a balloon around. You can also create a pretty sweet catapult with two sticks, an eraser and a rubber band.

Egg Cartons. These puppies are versatile and you’ll be recycling when you use them. You can cut them up to make centipedes, aliens and bugs. My favorite thing to do is use them for painting projects. It’s super easy to pour paint into to keep colors separate. Instead of cleaning out a container at the end of the project you can just throw it away.


By keeping these few supplies on hand, you’ll be ready the next time inspiration strikes! No need to plan elaborate Pinterest-worthy projects, instead you’ll be able to enjoy a short little moment of inspiration and creation with your kids!

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  1. Meghan Cooley
    Meghan Cooley April 25, 2017 at 8:32 am #

    I love the picture of the pinchers. I need to remember to make those when my boys are complaining about being bored. Also, I’d recommend stocking Googly eyes. Those can take any project to the next level. LOL

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