10 Reasons to Make Your Own Art Materials
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10 Reasons to Make Your Own Art Supplies


10 Reasons to Make Your Own Art Materials

A few days ago, I shared 40+ homemade art materials for kids, including lots of great paint recipes, different ways to make playdough, some DIY drawing materials, and more.

But why make your own art supplies for kids when they are so readily available for purchase?

There are actually many good reasons, if you have the time and inclination.

Here are mine…

Homemade Art Materials for Kids Art - plus 10 reasons to make them

10 Reasons to Make Your Own Art Supplies

1. It’s fun to mix up your own paints or doughs. Children often have as much fun making the homemade art materials as actually using them.

2. It’s economical. Most homemade art materials can be made with the most basic of kitchen ingredients, such as flour and salt.

3. It’s educational. As with cooking and doing science experiments (both closely related), making homemade art materials teaches kids about the properties of ingredients on their own and in combination with others.

4. The quality can be better, for example with homemade playdough.

5. You can make materials that are not available in stores, such as dyed pasta.

6. You can avoid food allergens, if that’s a concern, such as with gluten-free playdough.

7. You can make taste-safe art materials for babies and toddlers.

8. It’s empowering to be able to create something from scratch!

9. You can make the art materials whenever you want or need them, on your own schedule and from the comfort of your own home. No need to wait for a shopping trip or an online order (unless you need ingredients). There’s even a 5-minute playdough recipe you can make in the microwave!

10. Customization. When you make your own art materials, you have control over the colors and quantity. For example, with playdough, a big batch of homemade playdough is much preferable to small containers of the the store bought stuff. You can mix up your own special color palette or add glitter to just about anything you like.

So… Those are my ten reasons. If you can think of other good ones, please share in the comments!

This doesn’t mean that you need to ditch your store-bought art supplies or that you should only create with materials you make yourself. But I do encourage you to experiment with making some of your own materials. It’s kind of like cooking, but instead of eating your finished product, you get to create with it.

Obviously, doing it yourself lends itself better to some kinds of art materials than others. It’s easy to make a large batch of homemade playdough, for example, and the quality is excellent. I don’t know of a way to make your own colored pencils or markers, however.

For a list of children’s art supplies that you can make easily at home, check out my post on 40+ Homemade Art Materials for Kids.

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10 Reasons to Make Your Own Art Materials for Kids Art


  • Reply
    July 13, 2015 at 9:14 am

    My favorite part is that since it’s so much cheaper you don’t have to be as crazy type A about them. (Anyone else get like this?) With store bought materials I feel like we should try to keep them nicer so I only allow one color at a time or something. With homemade? Sure, let’s use them all! We can make more next time!

    • Reply
      Jean Van't Hul
      July 14, 2015 at 4:58 am

      Yes! And another chance to make them usually means we get to do different colors, too! :)

  • Reply
    July 13, 2015 at 9:45 am

    So many great reasons to make your own materials! #2 & #3 are why we often try making our own.

  • Reply
    eileen blau
    July 13, 2015 at 6:39 pm

    I’ve been making materials with and for kids for 30 years. Some more reasons: Kids are much more connected to materials they help make or even ones the adults around them make. They feel the “love” and care that was taken to create the materials.

    It’s ususually more environmentally sound. Less wasteful. You know there are not chemicals or other questionable ingredients.

    It brings out the “mad scientist” in me in all of us :))


  • Reply
    June Mee
    July 16, 2015 at 1:36 am

    Yes, to all these reasons. I love that you can always tinker with the recipes to create a thicker/denser dough or a scented paint or add glow-in-the-dark glitter, make it unique. I just posted our favorite homemade playdough recipe which looks very similar to your’s.

    I would also encourage parents to think outside the box with art supplies and always reuse/recycle – dried up pens in our house go into little jars of water for last ditch watercolors, broken crayon nubs are collected for diy swirled crayons blocks, tissue paper that comes in birthday bags are perfect for making paper flowers and mache projects.

    thanks for the great post & helpful links.

  • Reply
    marble inlay table top
    December 25, 2019 at 5:31 am

    It is a very beautiful and amazing thanks for sharing

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