"A Faithful Attempt" is designed to showcase a variety of K-12 art lessons, the work of my art students, as well as other art-related topics. Projects shown are my take on other art teacher's lessons, lessons found in books or else designed by myself.
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LAND ACKNOWLEDGEMENT I acknowledge, with deep respect, that I am gathered on Treaty 7 territory. I acknowledge the many First Nations, Métis and Inuit whose footsteps have marked these lands for generations. I respect the histories, languages and cultures all the Indigenous peoples of Canada, whose presence continues to enrich our community.

Monday, August 14, 2023

Dollarama Art Room Favourites


Dollarama is a Canadian dollar store retail chain headquartered in Mount Royal, Quebec. Since 2009 it is Canada's biggest retailer of items for five dollars or less. Most items are $1.25. It's also one of the most profitable retailers in North America!

Where I work, there are three Dollarama's within 7 minutes of me!  It is a super handy place to shop and I find lots of bargains for the art room. Dollarama used to be known for being super low quality, but I have to say, the quality has steadily improved over the years. If it's a new product I'm buying, I only buy one so I can test it out first. I always compare the prices in Dollarama to what I can order from my local art catalog. Often times, Dollarama is a better price for the same quality.

I'm sure many of you use these products as well, but I thought I'd round up some of my favourites and why.

1. Basket style Coffee filters

I used these for this beautiful Poppy project for Remembrance Day. You get 100 filters for about $1.25.

A cheery sunflower project- perfect for a September Van Gogh inspired project.

Tie-dye snowflakes- make pretty windows decorations for your room!

2. Air Dry Clay

This brand is really good!!  We make abstract sculptures out of it. Each student gets one pack.

3. Acrylic Paint

We painted these sculptures with this acrylic paint. I love these because they don't distribute a lot of paint because the squeeze hole is so small!  There is so little waste with these smaller bottles. There is a large colour variety and they are decent quality. I particularly like the white. There is also silver and gold that are decent with two coats. The neon paint isn't good.


I just store these on the counter in box lids and my older students help themselves. They like to memorize the colour names, lol, like "Copenhagen Blue! The lids themselves tend to snap off after a while, so I save any lids from empty bottles as replacements. 

4. Plasticine

The Dollarama plasticine is cheaper than in my art catalog. It's soft and easy to work with and comes in a wide variety of colours. I love it!!


Plasticine Pictures: Seasons

5. Tissue Paper

Super cheap and every colour imaginable. I always buy the black.

I use the black tissue paper for this project: Low Relief Cardboard Design

6. Shaving Cream

Used for the ever popular Fluffy Puffy Ghosts project!
My kids LOVE this lesson!

7. Spray Bottles 

These are really good quality spray bottles- we use them for cleaning the tables after each class. I just use Dawn dish soap and water. It cleans really effectively. 

*this photo was during Covid, so they replaced my regular cleaner with some weird chemical one.

8. X-acto knife and mini cutting board

This is one of my all-time favourite Dollarama purchases. I've bought about 15 of them now to use with my older students. The mini mats are so convenient for small detail cutting projects. 


Stained Glass Art Project

9. Hot Glue Sticks

The hot glue guns are honestly not great quality but I do buy the hot glue sticks at Dollarama. They come in both the small and large sizes which is fantastic. 

We also use these fantastic silicone hot glue gun mats to protect our tables. 

10. Beading supplies

I've done a number of jewelry/beading projects with my classes and Dollarama is a good source for a variety of inexpensive beads and beading supplies. 

11. Wooden Dowels

Their craft dowels come in a variety of thicknesses.
We use the thin ones to create our Ojo de Dios projects.

12. Ultra Fine Glitter

Really fine and nice colours.

Glitter glue is also nice for just painting onto projects as a shimmery glaze. 

13. Scratch Art Paper

This scratch art paper is surprisingly good quality! Comes in a variety of finishes.

14. Wet Floral Foam

This is sometimes a seasonal product in Canada- I find it hard to find in the winter time. 
It's in the craft section. 

15. Bingo Daubers

I use these with younger students- they are fun to play around with and made great dots! 
It's in the school supplies section.

16. Canvas boards and canvases

Lots of different sizes and shapes and affordable. 

I used these canvases for our Embroidered Canvas art project. 

17. Embroidery Thread

This isn't your traditional embroidery thread that you can split. But it's a nice thin coloured thread that we use for all our embroidery projects. I buy tapestry needles at Wal Mart.

18. Watercolour Paper

This is a new product as of last year. Is it the greatest quality? No. But it's thick and holds alot of paint well. My kids don't mind it. It's very textured so some might not like that. 

19. Cotton Balls and Q-tips

I'm always surprised how often I'm asked by students if I have cotton balls and q-tips!!  Anyone else??!!  So I always keep these on hand. 

We use the cotton balls for our Hot Chocolate project

Use Q-tips for Pointilism Paintings!

20. Drip Tray Dish Drainer Mat thingy

I have one of these beside each of my sinks.

We flip out water cups upside down on it to let them air dry. Throw them in a dishwasher to clean them once in a while. 

21. Sandpaper

These are handy and come in a pack with a variety of grit. We use them to sand any sculpture projects, especially with plaster. 

22. Wire coat hangers

These are SO hard to find!  I've actually stocked up because I'm afraid Dollarama will stop selling them. It's the only store I've been able to find them at!

We use these coat hangers to make our classic Stocking Sculptures- such a classic project.

23. Sink Strainers

I buy these every year to put in the art room sinks. They're great for straining out globs of acrylic paint, etc. By the end of the year they need replacing!

24. Bamboo sticks/skewers & Toothpicks

These are SO handy- we use them with any carving sculpture project, for Scratch Art paper, for any clay work and for applying ink and black glue.

Hundertwasser Houses project using bamboo sticks and black glue.

25. Cheesecloth

In Art School, I had a sculpture professor OBSESSED with this stuff. We had to overlay it on many projects then do a paint effect on top. I have yet to use it with students but I can't wait to try it. 
It's a great way to add texture to both paintings, collages and sculptures. You can find this in the kitchen section. It's a really ethereal, loose, open weave thin cotton fabric. 

26. Clear Containers with Lids

I use these exact containers to store most of my commonly used art supplies: markers, pencil crayons, rulers, sharpies, scissors. etc. They are sturdy enough and have lids. I peel off the label and add my own using packing tape. Because they are clear and all labelled, my kids can easily find the supplies they need. They stack nicely as well. 

When we use specific bins, the kids pull them out of the shelves, take off the lid and put the lid under each bin, as you can see below. 

So there you go!  I hope maybe you learned about a new product or two!  Do any of you Canadian art teachers shop at Dollarama?  Any products you love?  Please share in the comments. 

When I travel, I love visiting Dollarama/discount type stores abroad. Probably the best one I've ever found is Søstrene Grene in Copenhagen. It's like if IKEA and Dollarama had a baby! It's more expensive but still inexpemsive (for Europe) and has a variety of unique and interesting products including art supplies. Do you have a Dollar store in your country?


ecokidsart said...

Such great ideas! I've wanted to go into the store and do the same, but I'm so glad you did it! haha, I'll share your blog to my parents and teacheres!

Miss said...

ecokidsart: Thank you!

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