It’s that time of year. Decision time.
Toss or save?
What to do with all that left-over paper, paint, broken crayons and bits of chalk pastel can contribute to massive overwhelm for most budget-conscience art teachers.
But not to worry. With just a small plan of action, you can turn your leftover paper and paint into the building blocks for next year’s stunning art projects.
In a recent Facebook Live, I shared my strategies for sorting through the end-of-year paper box (see video below) and today, I’m sharing strategies on what to do with the paints.
And trust me, the combination of these two is a beautiful thing.
What you might be dealing with…
If you have adopted the strategy of mixing colors into clear plastic food containers, by the end of the year, they will be ready to toss.
But before you toss any good paint, grab a stack of used placemats, old papers and anything you can get your hands on and start using up the paint.
Brush old leftover papers with a fresh coat of paint. There’s no need to be too precise. Your goal is to use up whatever paints you might have otherwise thrown away and cover perfectly usable paper. You can get fancy by adding a sprinkle of drippy white to add texture or add some texturing with sponges. The point is to create stacks of paper that will be ready for next year’s bounty of beautiful projects.
If the paint smells bad, you can still use it. Best apply the paint yourself and keep away from children–just in case of some intolerance to the smell.
Don’t forget about the tubs…
If the paint tubs are in good shape, you can keep these as well. Place the dirty tubs in a very large bucket. Fill with soapy water and allow to sit for a few hours.
Remove tubs and shake off excess paint. Put in a dishwasher or clean by hand.
If you are struggling with old watercolor pans, be thankful if you order the kind that has removable pods. If you didn’t, just chalk this up to a learning experience and make sure to buy replaceable pan sets next year.
Both Crayola and Prang offer replacement watercolor pods. It’s good to stock up on blue, red, yellow and green.
To clean the pans, simple remove the trays from the covers and soak in hot, soapy water. Then rinse under a tap, loosening up the extra bits with a medium stiff brush.
Lay flat on a towel to air dry.
Look familiar? I can’t tell you how many Chinese food container tops my daughter tossed before I showed her how to peel away the dry acrylic.
Yes…you can peel the paint away to reveal a perfectly good palette. And this way, the plastic acrylics won’t go down your drain.
Better yet, avoid palettes in the first place and use thick magazine sheets or tear-away sheet palettes.
HOW TO SORT YOUR PAPER BOX
PROJECTS THAT USE PAINTED PAPER