I've recently had several e-mails from people ask me about the papers we use, including another one this morning! So I decided it was time to do a post on the variety of papers we use for our art and craft making.
Paper for drawing, painting, and collage:
We buy this heavyweight (80 lb) white sulphite paper and use it for a lot of our drawing, painting, and collage projects. It's our general all-purpose paper. I keep a stack of this in the studio and also have a basket of it near the dining table.
And I often purchase large sheets of poster board from Target for 33 cents each. Sometimes I cut them down to smaller pieces and sometimes I keep them whole. I love letting Maia work large, and this is a cheap way to provide this size (2 x 3 feet).
For a free option you can ask a mat and frame shop to save their mat remnants for you. They are thick and great for painting or collage. We use these quite a bit! You can also re-use paper grocery bags (just cut them open) and cardboard for art.
Paper for watercolor painting:
For watercolor painting I use this watercolor paper from Discount School Supply or I buy a pad of Canson's Biggie Jr. watercolor paper (usually when I have a half-off coupon to AC Moore). Both are decent quality for a decent price. You can also use any paint (like tempera) on watercolor paper, but it's more expensive than other paper so you might not want to. We've also painted with watercolors on poster board and mat board.
Note: If your family is really into watercolor painting and you have the money to spend, try out some of the better quality watercolor papers.
Paper for the easel:
I like the roll of easel paper offered by Discount School Supply the best so far of the ones I've tried. The paper is sturdy enough to paint on, unlike the easel paper from Melissa & Doug, which I think is on the flimsy side.
Paper for working big:
I buy this brown contractor's paper at Lowes for about $10 a roll. It's super economical! We use this for big projects such as body tracing or when we want to cover the table with paper and have a family draw fest.
Paper for the writing table, Maia's room, and the travel bag:
Besides the basket of white sulfite paper mentioned above, which travels all over our house, I also keep inexpensive spiral bound sketchbooks at Maia's writing/art table, in her bedroom, and in the car. I know some people believe in buying nice moleskin sketchbooks, but at the rate we go through paper, it's hard for me to justify the price! I pay about $2 per sketchbook (at Target or the drugstore) and then don't worry when Maia uses it for all sorts of drawing, writing, cutting, and taping projects.
Recycled and upcycled paper:
I LOVE Susan's idea of keeping a collage box of bits and pieces of interesting papers! I've been keeping a stack of papers and cardboard that was destined for the recycle bin, but Susan's collage box takes that idea to a whole new level. Time to start one. In fact, it's time to start one right now, while I'm thinking about it!
Other fun papers:
We use contact paper and colored tissue paper quite a bit, often for various stained glass projects. Colored construction paper is a childhood staple, but it doesn't get used much in our house for some reason. Perhaps because I haven't bought the good stuff. The cheap pads are pretty bad quality.
Update: We've found colored construction paper that we really like. It's called Tru-Ray Sulfite construction paper and is sold by Discount School Supply in two sizes (and is very inexpensive to boot). The colored paper that IKEA sells is also good.
One paper that we don't use is newsprint. I can't stand the stuff! It's so flimsy.
What papers do you use the most in your house?
If you enjoyed this post, please share your thoughts in the comments, share the post with your friends, or subscribe to receive blog updates through e-mail or your reader. Thank you!
Note Some links in this post may be affiliate links. I only use affiliate links for products we use and love. If you follow an affiliate link and place a purchase, I will receive a small percentage of the sales price and will send you virtual hugs.