25 Creative and Frugal Supplies for Mixed-Media Art

Recently I asked our Facebook friends for their favorite low- or no-cost art supplies for mixed media. In mere minutes our resourceful followers provided a long list of ideassome familiar and some new to me.

Mixed-media collage by Kristen Robinson. Can you spot
all the ‘frugal’ materials she used?

Reading down this partial list, so many art ideas for stamping, paper crafts, and making textured backgrounds come to mind. What art projects can you envision with the creative use of these frugal art supplies?

1. Needle and thread. (A little stitching adds line, texture, and the hand of the artist.)

2. Milkweed pods

3. Packing materials

4. And old toothbrush (for splatter painting)

5. Junk mail

6. Stamps from envelopes, especially from old letters

7. Corrugated cardboard coffee sleeves (stamping)

8. Tissue paper from shoe boxes (mixed media painting and collage)

9. Old school papers

10. Discarded sheet music

11. Used tea bags from red tea

12. Sea glass and driftwood (three-dimension art)

13. Bubble wrap (stamping and printing)

14. Paper grocery bags

15. Kids’ gel crayons (mixed-media painting)

16. Round foil lids on yogurt cups

17. Plastic bottle and jar lids (To use as stamps and mini paint or water containers)

18. Bottle caps (preferably smashed)

19. Raffle tickets

20. Shiny candy wrappers

21. Parts of old and unwanted clothing (Buttons, pieces of the fabric, ribbons or ties, zippers, pockets…)

22. Newspapers printed in a language or alphabet other than one’s own

23. Wrapping paper

24. Old books

Perhaps my favorite response (No. 25) was from Colleen Hilton who said her favorite free art supply is “inspiration.” Inspiration is everywhere, and it just takes a creative eye to see how you can use something as mundane as a toilet paper tube or a teabag to make art.

Speaking of inspiration, Kristen Robinson offers a perfect example of using found papers  and basic mixed-media supplies to make art in volume 3 of our Art Lessons series, Collage Your Story: Layer Explorations.

Kristen’s how-to can definitely be considered frugalyou can download it now for less than the cost of a latte!

P.S. What’s your favorite free or almost-free art supply? Leave your comment below.


Blog, Mixed-Media Supplies


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