Friday, September 27, 2013

An Artroom Tip: No More Wasting Paint

Have you ever had a problem that bugged you and bugged you...and then suddenly you found a simple solution that really worked?  Isn’t that the best feeling in the world?
To me, there is nothing more satisfying than identifying a process that solves a problem.

That’s what this little tip did for me...

Like every other art department in the vast universe, we live on a limited budget.  I can’t complain too much because I am mostly able to purchase what I need within my budget, but I don’t do anything too extravagant and supplement my supplies and curriculum with items I purchase myself.  

(A big shoutout to my school:  this year they replaced my 20 year old tables and 15 year old kiln with new...I am in heaven!!!)

I was struggling to get my students to use smaller amounts of paint - waste waste waste was pouring out of those bottles!   They needed a fraction of what they poured and ended up with styrofoam/paper plates/trays of paint that went in the garbage.  Even when they tried to save them from day to day, we ended up with stacks of them being wasted and unused. 

One night, while making a quick pasta dish for my family, I was rinsing out a spaghetti sauce jar and the lid.  Something clicked...these little lids were the perfect size to hold paint (but not too much paint!)  They were sturdy, easy to clean and I did enough cooking with jarred items (mushrooms, pizza sauce, pickles, olives, etc...) that in a short amount of time, I had enough to use in my room...and I keep replenishing and replacing continually, as I save all of my lids now.

I tried it out with the kids and it worked like a dream!  Suddenly there wasn’t enough room to waste too much paint and it really reinforced my demonstrations of how much they needed.  

It also works well with older students who are mixing colors and need to keep paint from day to day.  They can keep a few lids in a container with a lid or on a plate with a ziploc bag and it seems to last longer than other items we have tried.

Try this for yourself!  Or share another easy tip you that has solved a problem for you...

Happy Painting!