Skip to main content

Teaching & Learning Art Online: Home Art Supplies

There are art supplies in your home, waiting to be found. 

Limitations can be inspiring, here’s your change to transform mundane objects from your home into artwork!  Search your kitchen, bathroom, and pantry, there’s a lot to find.

Show us what you make!  Tag us on Instagram with #artprofshare.

-Prof Lieu


Painting with Kool-Aid

Kool-Aid dissolves fast in water and gets bold colors similar to liquid watercolors.

Painting with Turmeric

Mix turmeric with a bit of water and you’ll create am earthy yellow ochre.

Home Art Supplies: Painting with Matcha Powder

Matcha Powder
Dissolve matcha powder in water to get a subtle pale green wash.

Home Art Supplies: Painting with Balsamic Vinegar

Balsamic Vinegar
You’ll get beautiful brown wash with a touch of red with balsamic vinegar!

Home Art Supplies: Eye Shadow

Eye Shadow
Eye shadow blends well and can be rubbed with your fingers to get a soft, painterly patches o f color.

Finger Painting with Kool-Aid

Rub your wet fingers into Kool-Aid powder to create dry and patchy marks!

Painting with Icing Coloring

Icing Colors
Icing colors can be used exactly like watercolor cakes, and have intense colors.

Painting with Kool-Aid

Apparently Grape Kool-aid looks like a grey India ink!

Painting with Saffron

Let some saffron threads soak in water and you’ll get a soft yellow ink great for light washes.

Home Art Supplies: Painting with Mustard

You’ll get a soft yellow tone similar to Naples Yellow with mustard.

Painting with Jello

Jello can be like watercolor; just be sure to heat the water so the jello dissolves.

Home Art Supplies: Painting with Tea

Tea makes a lovely soft ink wash that is delicate and subtle!

Home Art Supplies: Painting with Cocoa

Cocoa powder creates a warm brown ink wash!

Home Art Supplies: Painting with Beets

Cut a beet slice, dip your brush in water, and massage your brush on the beet slice like a watercolor cake! You can boil beet slices to make liquid ink too.

Finger Painting with Toothpaste

Toothpaste spreads easily, is translucent, and sometimes sparkly!

Painting with Soy Sauce

Soy Sauce
You’ll get a soft subtle brown ink from soy sauce, similar to Walnut ink. 

Painting with Food Coloring

Food Coloring
Intense and bold colors are what you’ll get from food coloring, add water to create a range of gradients/

Painting with Paprika

Mix paprika with water and you’ll get a light wash similar to burnt sienna. 

Home Art Supplies: Nail Polish

Nail Polish
With all the colors, shine, and sparkle, you’ve got all the painting tools you need with nail polish.

Painting with Coffee

Coffee produces a subtle raw umber color that can be used to create the effects of ink wash.


Home Art Supplies: Drawing with Beet Sticks

Beet Sticks
Cut up sticks of beets and draw! Dip the beet sticks in water to get the color to flow more.

Drawing with a Plastic Knife and Ink

Plastic Knife
The serrated edge of a plastic knife creates a beautiful texture reminiscent of cross-hatching. Works well with liquid inks and acrylic paint.

Bleach Pen Drawing

Bleach Pen
Get any dark colored fabric and draw with a bleach pen. Wash the fabric and you’re have a lovely range of gradients in the fabric.

Homemade Art Suppliess: Drawing with Shoe Polish

Shoe Polish
Shoe polish feels painterly and slick. Gesso your surface to create a juicer, more luscious mark.

Drawing with Shoe Polish

Shoe Polish
Shoe polish feels painterly and slick. Gesso your surface to create a juicer, more luscious mark.

Drawing with Mascara

Mascara has a thick intense black tone, and the applicator makes beautiful textured marks!

Homemade art supplies: charcoal

Natural Charcoal
If you have a fireplace, you’ve got natural charcoal in it. Natural charcoal is more crumbly than manufactured charcoal, and is like vine charcoal. 

Drawing with a Twig and Ink

The uneven tip of a twig produces a broad range of marks. Dip into any liquid ink to draw.

Drawing with a Fork and Ink

Plastic Fork
Plastic forks create a beautiful set of marks that cover paper quickly, play with the speed of your marks! Works well with liquid inks and acrylic paint.


Drawing on a Banana with an Etching Needle

Banana Drawing
Use an ice pick, an etching needle and draw into a banana peel. Your lines will ripen and turn brown!  (we stole this from Song Kang)

Sewing Pins Sculpture

Sewing Pins
Find any soft flat surface: styrofoam, foam board, etc. and push pins in varying directions.

Toilet Paper Tube Sculpture

Toilet Paper Tubes
Using a single toilet paper tube, cut, curl, and fold the tube into an abstract sculpture.

Paper Bag Sculpture, Darinka Arones

Brown Paper Bags
Versatile and sturdy, any brown paper bag has sculptural potential. Bags with handles spice it up!

Carving an Acorn Squash

Acorn Squash
Use a linoleum cutter to carve a design into an acorn squash. Small shavings means you can still eat the squash later. A paring knife works too.

Aluminum Foil Sculpture, Hema Somaya

Aluminum Foil
Aluminum foil is incredibly versatile, create delicate petals of form or twist and crunch the foil to create structured forms.

Corrugated Cardboard Sculpture, Kira Held

Corrugated Cardboard
Tear apart corrugated cardboard sheets and reveal the textured pattern inside. Cut, curl, fold, twist, anything is possible!


Toilet Paper Sculpture, Luna Yuan

Toilet Paper
There’s a lot you can do with a single sheet of toilet paper: twist it, fold it, tear it! Use glue or water to dramatically transform the toilet paper.

Outdoor Sand and Rock Sculpture

Sand & Rocks
Use rocks and sand to make a pattern. Layer colors and textures over each other. Look at Andy Goldsworthy for inspiration.

Q-Tip Sculpture, Evan Young

Bend, fold and twist Q-tips and then assemble them together.

Carving an Eggplant

Eggplant Carving
Cut a thin piece of the skin of an eggplant, (eat the rest!) then use a linoleum cutter to carve a design. A paring knife works too.

Nail Sculpture

Find any soft flat surface: styrofoam, foam board, etc. and push nails in varying directions.

Home Art Supplies: Carving Watermelon

Watermelon Carving
Cut a piece of watermelon rind, then use a linoleum cutter to carve a design. A paring knife works too.


Links on this page are Amazon affiliate links that earns from qualifying purchases.

Submit Your Art for a Free Live Critique

Purchase a critique or Skype Session

Support us!