Professional Learning

Where to Look for the Best Art Room Hacks

rubber band around paint pump

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!

Magazine articles and podcasts are opinions of professional education contributors and do not necessarily represent the position of the Art of Education University (AOEU) or its academic offerings. Contributors use terms in the way they are most often talked about in the scope of their educational experiences.


Heather Crockett

Heather Crockett is AOEU’s Chief Academic Officer and a former AOEU Writer and art educator. She is an expert in differentiation, curriculum development, and assessment.

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