Mixed Media Supply Budgets

I’ve been thinking lately about my go-to supplies. And the supplies I’ve had for years and can’t seem to part with. I’ve been thinking about how I do mixed media and art journaling and painting and just art in general. I guess you could say all that (over)thinking is really me figuring out my style. I’ve been creating in some form or another for well over ten years. That’s kind of a long time. It’s actually about a third of my life so far. And really I would say I’ve been creating since childhood. But anyway. Last week, I shared about finding free supplies for your mixed media projects. Today, I thought through different budgets and created supply lists for each. This is totally my opinion and based solely on how I create. I suggest you use it as a way to determine what you want to spend your money on. 

I’m going to assume you have a basic kit of a ruler, scissors, paper, and pen/pencil. 

If I only have $30 to spend where should I start?
$5-Paint. Start with a red, yellow, and blue, any shade that speaks to you. Get black and white (maybe in a larger size). Then fill in with other colors that you love. When you start on projects, experiment with color mixing and keep notes of the colors you like. I’ve worked up a collection of colors, but I still mix almost every color I use. This adds depth to a project.
$3-Paintbrushes. Get a large flat, a small round, and a fine tip one. In some stores you can get an assortment pack for a few dollars. This will help you decide which size brushes you use most often and you can begin to replace those with better quality when you need one.
$10-Acrylic Medium (not Mod Podge. This is the one place I suggest getting an art supply instead of craft supply. In the end, I’m always happier with my results with Acrylic Medium over Mod Podge.) 
$5-10-Stamps. I suggest bold lined floral sets that can be painted and cut out. 
$2-5- Permanent Dye Ink pad. Black is probably the most versatile. 
$1- Brads, Buttons, Trims, stickers. Fill the rest of your budget with these items.

If I only have $75 to spend where should I start?
Start with the basic supplies above. 
$15-Stencils. Get a few basic patterns that you love.
$5-10-Stamps. Pick up an extra stamp set or two. You could consider background stamps here.
$20-Gel Printing Plate. It’s so much fun and will make the best printed papers for your projects.
$5-White and Black Paint or Gel Pens for doodles and journaling.

If I only have $100 to spend where should I start?
All supplies listed above
$10-assortment of glitter because who doesn’t need a bit sparkle
$10-texture/molding paste to add more texture to your projects. These work great with stencils.
$5- Stencils. Stamps. 

Where you’ll want to go from here?
Canvas
Mixed Media/Watercolor paper
Heat Gun
Embossing Powders and Ink
Colored Pencils/Pens/Markers
Paper trimmer

What you didn’t see:
-Patterned Paper. You have the supplies to make your own
-Colored Cardstock. Paint a white piece of paper the color you want it. 

What are your go to supplies? 

Free Mixed Media Supplies

As I'm sure you know, arts and crafts can get pricey sometimes. Those supplies add up fast. But today, I wanted to share with you a list of free (or almost free) supplies that you may already have!

-Magazines. I love using home goods catalogs. They usually have swatches of colors and patterns that can be cut up and added to your project.
-Books. I’ll admit it took me some time before I felt comfortable ripping up a book. I told myself I had to read it first. Then I got over myself. 😃 Book text is so great for backgrounds, stamped or drawn images, die cuts, anything really. Just have fun with it.
-Telephone book. I don’t think they deliver these to doors anymore, but you can find them at the phone company usually. 
-Digital Images/fonts to print
-Cereal/Cracker Boxes. I love these for journal covers or in place of canvas.
-Gift boxes. I like to paint the front as if it’s a canvas then you can still use it as a box.
-Buttons from clothing. You save those little bags of extra buttons that come with your clothing, right? You can use those bags too.
-Fabric from old clothing. Chances are you have a box of clothes you don’t want anymore. This is a great place to find fabric that can be added to your mixed media projects.
-Shopping Bags. Not the plastic ones (Although you can do some cool stuff with those.) But the ones that you get at boutiques and fancier stores. 
-Junk mail. The envelopes are cool to create pockets on your projects. The letters are fun the print over. 

I keep supplies like these in a box under my work table. It's easy to grab a small piece when I'm working on a project or wanting to use up leftover paint. 

What free supplies have you used in your art?

Current 5 Must-Have Supplies for Mixed Media

As I've been creating more mixed media projects, I've noticed I'm reaching for the same tools and supplies over and over. So I thought I would share those with you today. 

1) Blick Matte Acrylic Paint
Why I love it: It is thicker than cheap craft paint, but not as expensive as heavy body paint. It also comes in so many colors, but mixes well to make even more colors. I really like that it dries matte but I can mix it with a gloss medium to make it shiny. This gives me more dimension when I do a combination of both in a painting.

2) Heavy Gloss Medium
There are many brands that make a heavy gloss medium. This one just happens to be from Michaels. As I mentioned above, it works great with matte paints. But it also works great on it's own to give some texture and shine.

3) Small canvases
I most like painting on large canvases, but I've enjoyed stretching my creative muscles by painting on a few small canvases at once. 

4) Plastic Palette Knife
This is a fun tool for scrapping paint and mediums across the surface for a cool texture. I also use it scrap leftover paint off my palette or when applying texture pastes through a stencil. It's a versatile tool. You can also use an old hotel key card in a pinch!

5) My Junk Journal
I have a few of these that I work in spontaneously. When I'm painting, I like to keep one close by for any left over paint. I'm constantly wiping off my paintbrush in it or smooshing it on my palette to pick up some paint I'm not planning to use anymore. It gives me the start of layers for later when I want to art journal. 

What are your must have tools and supplies when creating?