The Last Construction Paper You’ll Ever Need

Construction paper is the best investment an art teacher can make.  Every single project (minus the 3D stuff) is reliant on the quality of the construction paper. Have you ever seen a project done with old, faded construction paper? It changes the entire look and feel of the artwork.  Paint doesn’t spread nicely on construction paper that is too cheap and thin, or worse, too thick and porous. You know what I am talking about. I could go on and on.

If you spend your hard earned art budget on one thing, it should be quality paper.

I spend over half of my yearly budget on construction paper, and manage to cut corners other ways. It makes me think of the show “Survivor.”  They are only allowed to take one thing on the island with them. If I was on the art teacher island, I would take this paper. 

So, what construction paper has me coming back for more, year after year, no matter what it costs?  (Nope, I’m not paid or perked for writing this, just love this product)

It’s Blick 80lb Construction Paper, from Dick Blick.  Ringing in at 2.35 for a package of 9×12 and 4.75 for a 12×18 it’s not the cheapest on the market, but it’s worth every penny.  I can usually get a good dollar off the price when I order out of the “Spring Sale” catalog each year. Plus, you get a discount when you buy 12 or more packages, and with white and black I definitely do.


See how bright and bold the colors are?
Paint flows nicely on this paper, with minimal wrinkling

I should also mention this paper is fade-less.  I’ve had a bulletin board up for 4 years in my art room, and the colors still look as good as day 1.  It makes me feel good to know I am sending projects home with kids that will last until their high school graduation. :) Paper is a deal-breaker in the art room, so don’t skimp on it!

What is the one product you would take with you on “Art Teacher Survivor?”

Do you have a particular paper you like or dislike?

Jessica Balsley

Jessica Balsley is the Founder and President at AOE. She is passionate about helping art teachers enhance their lives and careers through relevant professional development.


  • My favorite brand of paper is Tru Ray Construction paper. It sounds very similar to the paper you buy- bright, fadeless and sturdy! 

  • Edwardsl11

    I also use the Blick papers, and when I taught elementary I loved them too. I still order drawing paper and some construction paper from them now for my high school kids.  As a matter of fact, most of my supplies are their brand. The only thing I have found after 12 years of teaching that I have bought from Blick and will not buy again is their ceramic glazes. Don’t mean to sound like a Blick commercial but you cant beat their quality and prices, and I even get 15% off my orders through the school.

    • Cool! I am glad I am not alone.
      I agree about Blick. I order my glazes from Speedball, I think, and they are really nice, bright colors. Glazes can be tricky.

      • I just tried Speedball last year, and I am so impressed with them. 
        1. The prices are fantastic. Unlike other brands, some colors are twice as expensive as others. 2. The colors are less garish than other brands of low-fire glazes. (especially Sax) 
        3. They stay blended and don’t separate! 
        4. The containers are the best! Nice wide mouth, made of sturdy plastic, stacks easily on the shelf, and brushes reach to the bottom of the jar.

    • Hope Knight

      I have been a Blick customer for many years and buy lots of their brand, and I tried their glazes last year for the first time and was very impressed with them. Maybe they’ve upgraded, but I’m sold and ordered lots more for next year. Here’s a link to a post of mine showing a range of Blick colors on a red clay body:

  • Artmuse67

    I like Tru Ray as well, its a bit cheaper and it comes in 18×24″ sizes which is all I order, that way I can cut the paper to any size I may need.  Tru Ray is fade resistant and its 76lb weight.  I highly recommend it, especially in dark colors like black, red, and blue which in cheaper brands can fade super fast.  

    • You know, I think I got some lime green in Tru Ray when Blick didn’t offer that color and it was good. Thanks for the tip!

  • Wendy

    I also like Tru-Ray though I have not tried Blick–I may need to do so because it is probably less expensive than Tru-Ray.

    • I like the idea of 18×24 so you can cut it any size you want, but I wonder if it would be a beast to store?

  • My favorite is Tru-Ray but I have have not been able to purchase it for a couple of years now due to budget cuts. I used up the last of my Tru-Ray stock pile this past school year. There is such a difference in quality! I can’t pick just one item to bring! Sharpies, watercolors, oil pastel,….how could you possibly choose!

  • Pstevens

    Tru Ray is my go to product. Love the quality and color intensity. Sharpies would be my island choice and I use all sorts of glazes. Always looking for something new though, just to keep it fresh.

  • Julileighton

    Thank you for the tip!

  • Jdavis

    My building principal FORCES us to order from “The Bid Sheet” which is essentially the worst thing to ever happen to my classroom-EVER.  For example, If i order red construction paper, I will get paper from whatever company will sell it to the school for the cheapest price….and it is usually total crap.   My former principal used to let us order the majority of our art supplies from specific catalogs, but with the new guy, those days are gone.  We have been able to get some brand specific items incorporated into the dreaded bid sheet, so I will try to get the construction paper to be Tru Ray or Blick, but I have a feeling I will be shot down.  Oh well.  ‘Tis better to ask for forgiveness over permission, right?  :)

  • Marni Oberpriller

    The Store Manger at our local Blick here in MN a few years back; took time to seek me out, came to my classroom, showcased Blick products and left me with an array of samples.  He and his Assistant also offered to me an anytime 20% off any order — good for personal shopping in the store as well — because I am an Art Teacher.  So give you closest Blick store a call and get in their system as an Art Teacher and don’t forget to request the discount!

  • Juliagthomas

    I couldn’t agree with you more. My school administrator laughed when I sent article to her. I said what you said almost to the “T”.