Action Tips: Revive Old Art Supplies

art supplies
Feel like you don't have access to fancy shmancy art supplies? You don't need 'em to make great art.


If you have a bunch of markers that are all dried out from leaving the caps off, you can revive them with a little bit of water.

  • Soak the tips in warm water for a minute or so, let them dry, dip them again quickly, and cap them. Wait overnight to use them again.
  • If they're still dry, see if you can use them like paint brushes. Dip them in water and draw while they're wet.
  • If that doesn't work and you think the marker is gone for good, crack open the plastic and use the ink stick! The ink is super concentrated, so be careful not to stain anything! Take the ink stick and, wearing gloves, squeeze the ink out into a bowl. You can use it kind of like water color paints, adding as much or little water as you want to change the intensity of the color.


If you're annoyed that your crayons don't have a point any more:

  • Draw with the sides of them. You can make big strokes across the paper and layer colors. Make a piece of crayon art where you don't leave any white space left on the paper. Then, grab a paper towel and gently buff the surface of your art. It turns shiny as glass!
  • Melt them down and do all sorts of cool things. Since crayons are made of wax, you can use an old marker cap or container like a cupcake tin or anything else that can be used as a mold and cut open with scissors. Take a bunch of crayons of the same color. Melt them into layers into your mold. Make sure the paper is off the crayon! Once the wax dries, you have a multicolored crayon.
  • You can also melt crayon wax to make drip art.

Pencil nubs

Instead of drawing with the pencils, make pencil sculptures. Pencils are really just multicolored wooden sticks of different lengths. Sounds like a crafts project to us. Especially if you throw in some paint brush handles that have lost their brushes.

Crumpled or torn paper

Never throw away even the littlest scrap of paper. Every little piece can come in handy for a collage or scrapbooking.

Dried paint

If you have dried acrylic paint, don't send it to a landfill. It dries in cool and interesting shapes inside the bottle. Make sculpture out of it. When tempera paint dries, it gets flakey. Use it like you would use glitter. Sprinkle the colorful flakes onto some glue.

& More

There are tons of other art materials sitting around a classroom that will be thrown away and wasted unless you save them. What can you do with tangled string? An old stamp pad? Share your ideas with us below, and think outside the box.