How to Save Big on Art Supplies

How to Save Big on Art Supplies with Target and Amazon

Artisans Gallery Art Supplies

Many artists complain that shopping for art supplies is expensive. When you get to the store it's hard to resist the temptation to purchase more than you initially planned. If you practice this shopping strategy you are unlikely to become profitable. Whatever your sales are it's always smart to be budget conscious. Staying on the budget doesn't mean sacrificing the quality of the supplies you need. Whether you are a beginner or a well established artist you can take advantage of awesome deals on a wide range of art supplies. All you need is just a little time for research and some prudent shopping. Well, you can skip the first step as we have done the research for you and narrowed down the best ways to save money on art supplies.

1. Be a Repeat Buyer

If you regularly shop at the same art supply store, you may be eligible for a discount for loyal customers. Typically stores reward customer loyalty with store credit and this is an excellent way to save money if you are going to shop at this store often.

If the store where you regularly shop doesn't provide such discounts, consider finding the one that does. But make sure you first find out whether it offers the supplies you need. If you have to spend more just to get something you don't actually need it is not a good deal.

2. Don't Overdo It on Paint

You can significantly decrease your paint costs if you use just the amount of paint you need without wasting it. Effective paint saving strategies include mixing colors as you go and reusing the paint you've mixed for previous works, if possible.

Also it's cheaper to buy tubes of glazes than impasto. Since glazes are thinner they will last longer. If you need more texture, you can use texture paste or experiment with collage. You may even use student acrylic paint to achieve a certain effect without overspending.

3. Buy Online

Online shopping offers a great opportunity to take advantage of various deals without leaving your home. We recommend purchasing from bigger stores like Target or Amazon as they have a bigger volume of products and consequently can charge lower prices. Plus they do offer a larger selection and often run sales. For example, Target offers a wide assortment of canvases, paints, brushes and more at extremely low prices. Currently Target features a great selection of Crayola watercolor paints on sale. When you shop Target for art supplies you need you can take advantage of free 2-day shipping if you spend $35+ or use your REDcard.

Among Amazon's most popular arts and crafts products are Apple Barrel Acrylic Paint Set, 18 Piece (2-Ounce) that can be applied to all surfaces including wood, styrofoam, plaster, terra cotta and tin. These paints apply smoothly, dry quickly and don't fade. Many artists also love Amazon's Paint Brushes 12 Set Professional for Acrylic Watercolor Oil Painting by Crafts 4 All. This fantastic brushes are perfect for watercolor, oil, acrylic paints and come in a full range of sizes and shapes most artist rely on. They are a real must have for both amateur and professional artists.

Another way to buy art supplies online at the very low price is check private sellers. There are many auction sites where artists sell art supplies they don't need. Also you can sell your old or outdated supplies online and get some cash to be invested in something you really need.

4. Use Coupons!

The easiest way to save money on quality art supplies is to use coupons or promo codes offered by major national retailers, art supply chains or craft stores. You can often come across really great deals if you check coupon codes at various coupon sites. For instance at, you will find tons of coupon codes and promo codes from the leading national retailers, including Target and Amazon. Just apply target promo code during the checkout when you order art supplies of your choice at Target to get an additional discount.

Or consider signing up for the store's email newsletter to get access to member exclusive deals and coupons not available to the general public.

5. Stretch Your Own Canvas

We all know that pre-stretched and primed canvases cost a lot, but you can save by stretching your own canvas. If you don't know how to do it search the web for video tutorials. Looking for quality but affordable canvas? Target features some of the best canvas, such as Rectangular Canvas White from Hand Made Modern made from a combination of canvas and paperboard. This durable canvas has smooth and clean finish that ensures your pieces of art look beautiful and realistic.

To decrease your art supplies expenses you may consider reusing old canvases. If you don't like some of your works you may just flip it over or prime it with gesso.

Finally you may stop using canvas at all. You may paint on wood, glass or properly prepared paper. In fact, any material primed with gesso will turn into a quite paintable surface.

6. Buy in Bulk

Artists who know how to store art supplies properly can keep them for years. If you have enough room in your studio and are absolutely sure that you will use the product, consider purchasing in bulk to save.

7. Keep Your Current Supplies in Good Condition

Your art supplies like paintbrushes or pallet knives can last much longer if you keep them in good condition. It is important to carefully clean your supplies with soap and water or turpentine (for oils only) after each use. Or you may use Iwata-Medea Airbrush Cleaner available at Amazon. This effective general-purpose cleaner will easily remove any paint from your airbrush or any other artist tools, including synthetic and natural-haired paint brushes.

After washing make sure you shake water out of the brushes and pat dry with a towel in the direction of the bristles. Then check if the paint lids are on securely. Never mix paintbrushes! If you used the brush with oil-based paints, never use it with water based paints.

Try to keep your work place neat and clean. This will help keep your art supplies well organized, easy to reach and put away. Consider laying down old sheets or plastic tablecloths to prevent smearing the furniture and floor with paint. It would also be a good idea to have several trashcans on hand.

8. Don't Miss Garage Sales

As we said before, canvases are pretty expensive, and so are wooden easels, high-quality pastels or pencils. You can find really precious gems on the cheap on garage, estate or moving sales. And what's really important, you can carefully examine the products for defects before buying.

For example, primed mass produced prints can serve as blank canvases and an old easel can be easily fixed with a couple of screws or wood glue. Be creative and you will be able to save up to $100 dollars on basic art supplies!

9. Figure Out What You Actually Need

If you want to be profitable you need to differentiate between the supplies you actually need, the supplies you want and the supplies artists usually need but you can easily do without. For instance, if you prefer to paint with your canvas lying on a table, there is no need to purchase an expensive easel. Instead of buying an artist palette consider using clean, dry Styrofoam plates from the butcher or produce stand. They are really nice and easy to wash.

10. Splurge Once in a While

It's hard to be budget conscious all the time. Some supplies just can't be substituted by cheaper alternatives. When you buy items like these focus on quality and durability. If money is tough it's better to invest in quality materials, but purchase them in smaller quantities. When you get more profit you may gradually build your supply. Splurge on simple but valuable art supplies and your artworks will sell well.