Sunday, December 14, 2014

Practically Free Sketchbooks

To be able to give my 4th and 5th grade students sketchbooks, is expensive and not very practical, on my budget. So, last year I wrote a grant and for the first time was able to give out sketchbooks. I bought them from Sketch for Schools. They are always giving out freebies at conventions and are very reasonably priced.  My students were thrilled, especially when told they could take them home at the end of the school year. They did all sorts of planning and experimenting in their books.

Wasn't sure that I would get another grant to do this........ HOWEVER, my son has a close friend who is the vice president of a printing firm. AND he had all this paper that he couldn't use, I'm talking 10,000 sheets that filled 5 boxes! Along with covers and backs enough for 200 books! BUT the company is in Nashville, Tennessee and I live in Spring Hill, Florida! However, it was my son's turn to have his parents visit for Thanksgiving............

So, across the back seat of the car is 5 boxes of paper, enough for 200 sketchbooks. Along with the paper is a ton of baby stuff, for my daughter, who is expecting in April. The trunk had our luggage and bags of baby clothes. It's amazing what a determined art teacher can fit into a small SUV.

I researched how all this paper would magically turn into sketchbooks and found out we have a production lab, at district, that would do it for free. On the Monday after break, I drove it down to district. All I needed to pay for were the plastic coils to bind the books. A whopping $13.
The books were done in less then a week and since I still had classes who had not yet printed their logos....
Amazing, right?  I fixed up the boxes to store each class separately and added the classroom teacher's name. I can't wait to see what fun my students will have with them.
I was so fortunate to have all the connections to do this for my students! I can't begin to tell you how wonderful it was to get such a generous donation of paper from my son's friend. (BTW I may even be able to hook some of you up with scraps from time to time, in you live in the Nashville area. Let me know if you are interested and I will pass along the information.)
So my practically free sketchbooks cost me a little time and trouble, but was SO, worth it to see how excited my students were. Am I the only one who does this stuff for their students? Let me hear from you, what really nice, crazy things you do.
Thanks for reading!

For a free list of art center suggestions go my store at Teachers pay Teachers .


  1. Replies
    1. Thank you! And thanks for your comment! Hope you are having a good year!

  2. I love when free stuff can be recycled into a great help for your class. I'm going to look into this in my area....

    1. I would be interested to know if you get connected with a local printer. Thanks so much for your comment.

  3. Replies
    1. It is pretty awesome-and your daughter will get one!