My favourite art supplies

5:10 PM

I get asked quite frequently where I get all my art supplies. It's an easy enough question to answer when it comes from people living in my neighbourhood. We are blessed to have a well stocked stationery and art supply shop that pretty much sells everything.

I also sometimes have some people who do not reside in India but visit the country frequently enough being amazed at the fact I manage to do craft project. Those who fall in this category are usually married to Indians but only visit for vacation and have in-laws who aren't particularly crafty or art inclined.
Doing serious crafty things is something that has become more "mainstream" only fairly recently, and yes, when I was still fairly new to India, I did feel a tad bit frustrated trying to find art supplies. This post from 2006 sums up this particular frustration I had pretty well.
I followed up with a rather brief post in 2014 about where to find basics craft supplies (A post I will have to revamp soon).

What I never did though, is giving you a rundown of my favourite brands and art supplies items.
To make this post easier, I am going to tap into my Amazon affiliate program and give you links of items you can easily find on Amazon, but know there are many other shopping source for those items (including your local stationery shop).

So, are you ready to know what I consider a good buy when it comes to arts and craft supplies?

Let's dive in!

Acrylic paint

Acrylic paint is my ABSOLUTE favourite paint. Most of the paint project featured on this blog have been done with Acrylic paint, and my favourite, cost effective and easy to find just about anywhere brand is Camel
I usually buy each tube separately in the large or medium size because I use it enough to make it worth it. If you are new to painting and wish to stick to just paper and canvas painting at first, I recommend getting yourself a set like the one in the picture above. If you like it, you can still build on it and graduate to bigger tubes, or even pots. 

Note though that Poster paint and Acrylic paint are two VERY different paints. Acrylic paint becomes waterproof once it has dried up, poster paint remains water soluble. 
If you are confused about paints and their uses, I created a very handy little guide to artists paints last year. 

3D liner / glitter glue

If you've been following this blog long enough, you know I am totally addicted to the stuff, especially the gold liner and gold glitter liner. 
This stuff really holds to just about any surface. The best quality one is from Fevicryl (a brand that belongs the Pidilite, the maker of Fevicol). The other brand that is giving excellent results (at par with Fevicryl) is Camel. Seriously when it comes to pain and art supplies Camel, or Camlin Kokuyo which is the same brand is pretty much a name you can trust for quality. 

Paper punchers

If you are into journaling and scrapbooking, these cute little paper punchers are going to be your best friends. 
They exist in a huge variety of shapes and sizes, some more expensive than others. The cheap ones are still decent enough and I own a few. I think the most famous project that involved a paper punch was Ishita's fairy house.
Be mindful though that the cheaper, non branded ones tend to become a bit rusty and aren't quite sharp to begin with. You'll need to punch really really hard at time (great stress buster though).

If you have a significantly big enough project or find yourself using a shape more often than not, invest in a quality puncher. I have seen the Fiskars ones in action, some are pricier than others, but Fiskars is a leading international brand when it comes to cutting tools. 

Washi tape

Is there anything that cannot be embellished with Washi tape? Judging by what goes on Pinterest, the answer is a resounding NO.

You can do pretty much anything with this tape, the sky's the limit!

I use mine mostly in my journals, including the Summer of 2016 project. I acquired quite a few over time, most of them from my local stationery shop, but a few of them were purchased online as well.

Fineliner pens

I've been using these pens since I was a teenager, long before Pinterest and all the "bullet journalers" and Midori travel notebook addicts out there told you they were the coolest thing ever.

I used them in every colours possible to make the notes I took in school easier to read, that is how awesome they are!

Back in the days we were all using the Stabilo brand. Right now I use these in addition to Maped and Staedtler, all equally awesome.
Know tht you absolutely can't go wrong with those brands, even graphic artists use them. They can be used to draw, write, and colour in adult colouring books. 

Patterned craft paper

Those sets of papers are also known as "scrapbooking paper" and exist in a huge variety of size and patterns. 
Two of the most notorious project of mine involving that kind of paper were the Christmas Wreath and more recently the Felt traveler's notebook inserts.  

I cannot recommend that type of paper enough of you are going to do a lot of paper craft project. A warning though, it's addictive and you'll find yourself wanting to buy them all and then some more. 

These are pretty much the arts and craft supplies and tools I use the most frequently. Note that all the links pointing to Amazon are affiliate links, if you purchase anything, I get paid a comission (at no extra cost to you). 

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  1. Anonymous1:27 PM

    Fantastic information. In our times we hardly had anything other than skech pain and oil paints. Crafts was a small part of the curriculum.

    Meanwhile we got hit by viral with body pain. Wife's chuckenguniya test came negative. It is viral with similar symptoms. I remembered your advice drink drink so we are drinking fluids.


    1. Oh god, I hope you guys are on your way to a speedy recovery. There are plenty of viruses doing the round this year. I am coping with a cold right now myself. Keep the fluids coming indeed!

      As an art major, I did try my hands at a variety of mediums and technique, oil painting has to be my least favourite of all :-)

      In Ishita's new school they asked us to send kids to school on the first day with sketch pens, crayons, colour pencils, water colour and poster paint. They have a proper art workshop and teacher there and they work on all kind of techniques, I think it is really great to see a school devote that much importance to arts, it can really unleash a tremendous amount of brain potential.

    2. Anonymous6:02 PM

      She was coping with cold which turned into viral. When she called me in the office I do had developed symptoms on my way home. Both went to the doctor. One night I had body pain. Second night she had horrible pain so much so that the doctor recommend the test which came negative. My Son Had Fever With Rashes. I had frequent fever. I smelt of medicine. We all have recovered with niggles and pain. Can eat food or fluids causing stomach upset. Quiet an adventure. I have tried learn to cook, under supervision.


    3. Well the common cold IS a virus :-) it can either turn into a bacterial infection when it moves down to the chest later on, or it opens the door to another viral disease because the immune system has its hands full battling the cold.

      Glad you guys are fine now and it was nothing serious like Dengue or chikungunya. I have too many friends who caught Dengue in Mumbai this year :-(

  2. Plus arts & crafts are such a great way for parents & children to share quality time!

    Fevers & chills made the rounds here in the last few days. Dear husband had a bit of a cold but no one else got it. The dry winter season is usually when respiratory viruses make the rounds up here, during the Monsoon it's usually amoebiasis, Hep C & B, typhoid, & all things poop related. Some new strain of typhoid started up here too.

    1. Yeah we get all those water borne diseases too. Respiratory viruses make the round during both the monsoon and in the Winter in Mumbai, probably because they thrive in warm and humid environments and people tend to stay indoors more.

      Arts and crafts are super fun activities for families indeed.

      Ishita is pretty much bitten by the scrapbooking bug after our Summer Journal project. One of her friend gifted her a scrapbooking kit for her birthday. It comes with a pretty photo album, and tons of stickers and pretty paper. Needless to say she has put my canon Selphy printer to good use already.

      I told hubby that I am going to start keeping a year book in 2017 :-) It's way too sad to see all these fun and candid pictures never leave the phone or making it straight to Facebook or Instagram where we will pretty much forget about them.

  3. This post came at a perfect time for me! I just bought my first adult coloring book and was not satisfied with my color pencils but was not sure about what else to use! I'll have to get those markers! Thank you Cynthia!

    1. Those fineliner pens are just perfect for adult colouring books with intricate patterns. I use them in my adult colouring book all the time.

      I bought mine piece by piece at my local arts and craft supplies store, but I have the Maped set on one of my Amazon Wishlist as it is much cheaper to buy a set :-)


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