While I was shopping at the craft store, I ran into a premade bucket full of kids’ craft supplies on clearance for $19.99. Intrigued, I took a gander. My quick superficial inspection revealed that this premium, quality craft kit held a bundle of Popsicle sticks, a bag of googly eyes, lots of paper cut into crafty shapes, pipe cleaners, and a bunch of other cheap stuff that I imagined would never ever get used. The image below isn’t the actual one I saw at the store, but you get the picture. There’s no way the stuff in there was worth $19.99. I didn’t even look to see how much it would have been at full price.
Nerdy friends, we can do much, much better. Find yourself a container of some sort, and start filling it up with awesome crafty pieces that your kids can’t wait to dig into to. Then, hit up the dollar store to round out your collection with pieces that fit your family’s personality.
First, you’ll need glue. Glue sticks and Elmer’s School Glue are great for younger kids, seeing how they’re non-toxic and kids have trouble distinguishing food from non-food sometimes. But if you have older kids, you might want to go for something that holds up a little better, like rubber cement or Mod Podge. Low-temp glue guns are also a great thing to have around.
If you’re feeling green, you’re in luck. Elmer’s now makes a 99% natural school glue with a 25% recycled container. It’s made out of plants, rather than the stuff glue is usually made from.
You’re also going to need paper. You may or may not want to keep this in the bucket, but grabbing a pack of construction paper is the cheapest way to go. Fill up your bucket with paper-cutting tools like scissors and hole punches, and if you’re feeling fancy, get a few pairs of those edging scissors to mix it up.
Whatever beads and buttons you have lying around the house, toss those into the bucket. All of those extra buttons that come with your sweaters and shirts now have a place to call home. Your bucket should also have string or ribbon. And although their status as “essential” craft supplies is probably debatable, if it were my craft kit, I would make sure it had googly eyes. LOTS of them, of all sizes, especially giant size.
Well, maybe not that giant, but you get the idea. Googly eyes make everything better.
You’re going to also want all of the tools of the trade, like paintbrushes, sponges, and Popsicle sticks. I wasn’t much of a Popsicle stick kid myself, but they’re great for gluing and smearing even if you don’t construct anything with them. Other things you’ll want to add are pipe cleaners, colored pencils, markers, and paint. If you’re a family who digs Popsicles, skip buying the sticks and just rinse off, dry out and recycle the ones from your treats, as long as they’re not super messy.
Start thinking about upcycling the things you’re not using around the house, like scraps of cloth, old tshirts, and yarn.
Make Your Own Supplies
Here’s a video on how to make homemade paint:
Add a Little Personality
One item that the nerdiest of us will definitely want in our supply bucket is a perler bead set. These are the beads that you set on a tray to create a picture, then iron flat to stick together. They come out looking super awesomely 8-bit.
Really, rounding out your craft bucket comes down to picking up the cool little items you think your kids will love. Just keep your eyes peeled.
Nerdy gamer vlogger Dodger has a YouTube series called Swords and Stitches where she makes nerdy crafts. Not all of them may be suitable for tiny fingers, but at the very least it’s a great resource for nerdy craft ideas.