Where to Look For the Best Art Room Hacks

Art Teachers are innately creative problem-solvers and they come up with THE BEST solutions to everyday problems in the art room – a.k.a. art room hacks!

Whether it’s a lofty idea that changes everything, like this curriculum planning tool, or something as simple as wrapping a rubber band around a paint pump to reduce the quantity of paint dispensed, these simple, yet mind-blowing, ideas will improve your teaching experience and leave you wondering, “Why didn’t I think of that?”

rubber band around paint pump

There are many great ideas out there, the trick is to know where to find tried-and-true art hacks from art professionals who know their craft!

Here are three places to find the best art room hacks.

1. Pinterest

AOE's Pinterest site

AOE’s Pinterest site is a treasure trove of everything art room-related. Prepare to be amazed and sucked in! Also, while you are happily pinning away, be sure to check out Donna Staten’s Pin Boards. She just happens to be the #1 Art Teacher to Follow on Pinterest!

2. Personal Learning Networks (PLNs)

Meeting with, or better yet, observing your colleagues in action is a sure-fire way to scavenge new ideas. The art room has specific challenges only art teachers can relate to. How about scheduling an “Art Room Hack Professional Development” event? I would love to walk away from a meeting with a handful of new art room hacks to try!

3. Courses

AOE Courses Icons

If you don’t have a local art department or PLN, create one online through professional development or graduate courses. AOE Courses are designed by art teachers, for art teachers, and our class participants repeatedly comment on the meaningful opportunity to share and work with like-minded professionals. We can be your long-distance PLN and give you the chance to share your art room hacks, too!

Here is a sampling of some killer art room hacks that have popped up over the years from AOE instructors and participants:

  • Use old dentist tools for fine details in clay or wax.
  • Create DIY easels from pizza boxes.
  • Apply dry erase markers to take sharpie off of white boards.
  • Stick pipe cleaners inside paint pumps to prevent clogging.
  • Assign numbers to students to make grading easier.

So, the next time you find yourself racking your brain for a solution to anything art ed-related, reach out in-person or online. I bet there is an art teacher out there who has been in your shoes and has an amazingly simple solution.

What is your best art room hack? Please share in the comments!

Heather Crockett

Heather is AOE’s Dean of the Institution and an expert in differentiation, curriculum development, and assessment. She is a veteran teacher in the art room and at the graduate level.

Related

  • Mel

    Have students label each work of art with their “class code”. I elementary a lot of the little’s can’t write their last name (and their first name is likely illegible).. so I assign each class a ‘class code’.. the first letter of their teachers name and their grade. Mrs. Ashley’s 4th grade class is ‘A4’. Have students put it on the back of their project and circle it. That way it’s easy to sort if they get mixed up on the drying rack or after a hall display.

  • Phyllis

    A time saving hack when doing clay
    Buy one pkg of pasta letters and pasta numbers for imprinting teacher code and student’s initials into their clay project. I barely made a dent in the letters with the 300 students the first year . “Fresh Farms in Chicago or Amazon”
    It takes some organization on your part to figure out a system for choosing the letters and numbers. Use a large jelly roll pan or a lunchroom tray for display. Use older students to separate into individual containers. I found 3 compartment containers with lids at the dollar tree. You’ll need nine. Be sure to LABEL container and lid
    2nd hack for WEAVING WITH YARN buy shoe size plastic boxes at the dollar store. Drill a hole at the end of each box centered in the middle . Place two skeins of yarn with the yarn coming out of each hole. If your skeins are the extra large ones, you will need one per box. Get an old coat rack, give it an update and hang it on the wall so students can hang left over pieces of yearn. Paint each hook or tie a bow with the colors of yarn so students know where to recycle any extra yarn they didn’t use. You could mount the coat rack on a door or hang it on clips. The organizational idea with plastic shoe boxes came from pinterest.