TOP 25 Must Have Art Supplies for Mixed Media, Crafts, and DIY Projects

Artists like me get easily bored with doing just one type of art, so I need to have different art supplies at hand to create a variety of projects. If you also love to create mixed media pieces, love doing various crafts with your children or grandchildren, or enjoy doing DIY projects, then check out my top 25 must have art supplies list!

1. Acrylic Paints

We are kicking off our must have supply list with one of the most essential elements... paint. Without paint, you really can't do much! If you want vibrant colors that will stand the test of time, then the most important factor to consider is the quality of the paints.

Both Liquitex and Amsterdam Paints have a great color selection. Liquitex is slightly cheaper than the Amsterdam brand, but Amsterdam is slightly better in quality. I love them both!

And if you want gorgeous metallic and sparkly looking paints, then you've got to try the Colourarte Prizm Pour paints. These are the most absolutely amazing metallic paints you'll ever find!

Use Coupon Code love621 to get 20% Off any Colourarte product!

2. Pouring Medium

Most children, teenagers, and adults enjoy doing Fluid Art. So keeping a good pouring medium on hand is essential. If you haven't tried fluid painting, here is a FREE GUIDE that will get you started with the fun!

But back to the pouring medium... Floetrol is a good pouring medium for beginners. If you want an artist grade medium, try Liquitex.

3. Mixing Containers

You'll need some containers (preferably with lids) for mixing or storing things like mixed paint, for mixing sand or glitter into resin, or just storing little embellishments. I love these leak-proof specimen cups with screw on lids. They even have graduated markings for measuring.

4. Reusable Stirring Sticks

These eco-friendly reusable stirring sticks are the best! They work great with acrylic paints and resin! Save money and keep our planet cleaner by reusing them over and over. 

5. Paint Brushes

I’ve bought LOTS of paint brushes over the years, but always keep coming back to these two brands... My Artscape and Royal Brush. The paint brushes in these sets have soft but firm bristles. They feel luxurious.

6. Markers

Consider these Posca Pens as your magic wand! They are absolutely fantastic for adding details to geode paintings, drawing embellishments on acrylic or resin fluid art or other projects, etc. The selection of colors is amazing! Did we mention that they even have glitter markers? Start with a Basic Posca Pack that includes white, silver, gold, and black, or go with a Mega Posca Pack that includes 31 colors (24 colors & 7 glitter colors). If you want a more in the medium range pack, then go with this Full Range Bundle Set (14 standard colors & 7 Natural colors).

7. Tape

Painter's Frog tape, masking tape, and colorful Washi tape are a staple around here. I use them for creating patterns in paintings, to protect the back of my canvases when doing resin projects, to add them to sketch books and photo collages, and more.

8. Polymer or Modeling Clay

At times when I have needed to add a 3-D look to my art work, I have used polymer or modeling clay to add dimensional details. But you can also use clay to make your own stand-alone sculpted art pieces. Which one should you choose? Well, modeling clay is a sculpting material that doesn't harden, so you can reuse it over and over. On the other hand, a sculpture made out of polymer clay can be baked into a hard, permanent sculpture. 

9. Paper

Whether you want to print out a label or a design on your printer, want to make a paper craft, or want to sketch or paint something, paper is a must have! I recommend having a mixed media paper pad and some white cardstock on hand. Grab some watercolor paper or some Bristol paper for pencil, marker, pen, or ink sketches. And why not have some colored cardstock just in case!

10. CordTwine, or Yarn

I use these pretty often. From jewelry design to wrapping around the necks of my magic potion bottles, to packaging and more. 

Here are some good options... macrame cord, leather cord, nylon twine, jute twine, paper twine, yarn, twisteez.

11. Scissors

These Fiskar scissors are a solid choice and are even perfect for kids. 

12. Adhesive

Glue is one of those basic materials that you NEED to have at hand when doing almost any kind of project. Whether you need to glue a paper craft, glue down some crystals or gems on a geode piece, make the inside contents of a magic potion, glue down glitter onto an art piece, make easy 3-D designs, gluing jewelry beads, or for decoupage... GLUE is essential!

Use Mod Podge as a glue or sealer, or for decoupage and photo transfer. Use a simple glue stick for paper crafts and some glitter glue for when you need to add some sparkle to your projects. Hot glue is not only great for gluing stuff together, but also great for doing hard glue designs. Clear glue can be used as an adhesive, as a pouring medium for fluid painting, for making slime with the kids, for mixing with cornstarch or baking soda to form a DIY texture paste, for mixing with mica powders to make amazing magical potions, and more! And for gluing down gemstones, crystals, or jewelry beads, use some E6000.

13. Glitter

Glitter is a necessity in my house! I use it to embellish fluid acrylic art, for adding sparkle to resin pieces, for making glitter lines on geodes, for adding that magical touch to my magic potions, etc. I add it to just basically anything that needs glam. I must warn you...AVOID using crafts glitters because they will make my projects look cheap! I recommend that you use high-quality sparkly GLAM Powders from that shine like little diamonds.

14. Mica Powders/Resin Pigments

If you think you'll be doing resin projects, then you better get some resin pigments/dyes and mica powders. Let's Resin is a solid brand for concentrated epoxy dyes, opaque resin dyes, and translucent pigments.

For gorgeous sparkly mica powders specifically made for resin, checkout the Rezin Arte product line from Colourarte. 

Use Coupon Code love621 to get 20% Off any Colourarte product!

15. Cute Small Embellishments

Little embellishments like these micro pearls can add some lovely enchantment to your crafts and projects. You can find them in many different colors and finishes. Glitter sand is also a great embellishment for seascape paintings or for adding texture to any type of art.

Try other cute embellishments like seashells, glow in the dark gravel, moss, and crushed glass.

16. Silicone Molds

Silicone molds are awesome for making resin pieces, soaps, candles, and even culinary treats. So having some cute molds always comes in handy. These jar molds are sooo adorable! Check out these alphabet resin molds. Aren't these dagger molds so cute?

Find plenty of silicone molds for all your resin needs at the Angel Wings shop. And for a variety of soap, resin, chocolate, candle, and fondant cake molds, check out the YSCEN shop.

17. Texture or Modeling Paste

Of course, if you are doing mixed media, you need some sort of texture or modeling paste. I love making my own Homemade Modeling Paste or DIY Texture Paste for adding 3-D texture to paintings. But you can also purchase the Liquitex Professional Modeling Paste or US Art Supply Modeling Paste if you don't feel like making your own.

18. Varnish or Top Coat

Almost any project needs some sort of protection from the environment and adding a top coat of spray varnish, liquid varnish, or resin can help you preserve your project(s). 

19. Protective Equipment for Working Space

Some art projects can be pretty messy. Get some protective equipment, like this oversized silicone mat, to protect your working space and make cleaning a breeze.

20. Protective Gear- Gloves & Apron

Some types of artwork can be pretty messy. Use some gloves and an apron when working with resin, fluid art, or any other messy craft. This apron is sturdy and made of very high quality materials. The Safeguard nitrile gloves work great for my project.

21. Torch

Torches are not only great for getting rid of pesky bubbles in resin projects or acrylic pours, but they are also great for creating a burnt wood finish or for melting stuff for certain projects. Just make sure you are careful when using it so you don't light something accidentally on fire!!! I use the Bernzomatic TS8000 torch and I love it! I pair it with the Standard Propane Fuel Cylinder. If you are scared of using a very powerful torch and would much rather start with a culinary torch, then Jo Chef has a great one that already comes with 2 cans of butane fuel.

22. Storage Containers

Storage containers are essential on this list. I use them for storing brushes, glitters, paints, little embellishments, markers, my shipping supplies, etc. Here are some of the different sized containers that I personally use.

Mini Storage Containers or ArtDot Storage Containers for small embellishments like beads, sequins, and diamonds, or for jewelry accessories.

Stack and Carry 2 Layer Box for storing shipping supplies, paper, scissors, labels, markers, tape, etc.

Bigger Sterilite Boxes for storing glitter jars, paints, resin bottles, torches, etc.

23. Good Lighting

You can't create awesome art in a dark room! There needs to be plenty of light to clearly see the colors and the details of what you are working on. This Neewer Ring Light is the best!!! It's not super expensive, but it is also not a cheap light so it will last you a long time. It is also perfect for those who like to record their own art videos. To learn how to record top-down digital art videos, check out this other article.

24. Craft Table or Hobby Desk

I have to be honest here... I use my kitchen counter when making my crafts and artwork, BUT I do have a craft table where I keep my supplies. Whatever your situation is, you'll most likely need a surface to paint or craft on. Here are some options for you.

If you don't have that much space at home and want an affordable folding table, try this Flash Furniture folding table. Put it up when you need it, tuck it away to regain your home space.

For a more permanent solution, try this fancy, Ameriwood Home Hobby Desk.

For a more compact craft table with lots of storage space, check out the South Shore Craft Table featuring a scratchproof surface and with interchangeable modules (4 baskets included).

25. Recording Equipment

Maybe you don't record your own art process yet, however, you might want to consider this idea to simply document your techniques, your fails, and your successes. Share these videos with the world or keep them for yourself for future reference when trying to refine your techniques or to simply see how far along you've come!

Recording Equipment - Digital Camera (or use your own phone) and a Phone/Camera Stand.

Here is an article that talks more about recording top-down digital art videos and goes into more details on all the recording equipment options. 

I hope that all these suggestions make your artist life easier and help you create more amazing projects. Keep your mind open to new possibilities, push yourself out of your comfort zone, and try new techniques! Creativeness doesn't have any limits!!!

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