Workshop Prep

Sourcing Materials

Mohawk-Keaykolour Sample pack
Mohawk-Keaykolour Sample pack

If anything gets me out of the business of doing workshops before I’m ready, it will be the shifting ground of finding the materials that I need for my workshops. Not only have places vanished that I used to just stop by and get materials (ExPedex), not only have some of the materials that I’ve loved and relied on change dramatically for the worse (UHU Glue sticks) but the papers that I rely on the most have at least doubled in price. No exaggeration AT LEAST doubled in price. Even at these elevated prices I feel lucky to get what I want. Sometimes I don’t get lucky.

Blue Copy Paper
Blue Copy Paper

Yesterday I got lucky. I needed some bright blue copy paper. I checked on-line at Staples. It said they were out of stock. I checked Amazon. Yesterday I couldn’t find this on Amazon unless I bought it by the case (over $100). I checked the Mohawk paper site. Nothing. Checked Walmart. They had it, but it was about $34.00. I used to pay about $9.00 for this paper. Since I needed some other things, I drove an hour to Saratoga Spring Staples. They had it on the shelf for about $16.49. But then today I checked Amazon again and they had a comparable paper by Astrobright for a better value, $14.99 for 650 sheets. If I had used Astrobright as part of my search I would have found it, but I didn’t know to do that.

Card Stock and Cover STock, white
Card Stock and Cover Stock, white

I made a mistake on one purchase because I wasn’t clear about the difference between 67lb cover stock and 65lb card stock . I’m clear now. It’s not a huge mistake, and I will use what I bought, but I don’t want to make this mistake again.

Let me explain. It would seem the the 67lb is heavier than the 65lb, but you can’t go by that. For a better weight comparison you have to look at the g/m-squared weight. You will notice that the 65lb is heavier. While this seems to make so sense, it has to do with the fact that the card stock pound measure is determined by a different base than the cover stock pound measure. Yes this is sounds crazy, but remember this is the land of inches and feet,

It’s not the weight of the paper that bothers me: it’s the feel of it. I like the toothiness of the COVER weight paper, because I like that crayons and colored pencils feel better to use on the toothier paper. The cover weight cost about about $3.00 less than the card weight.

What’s uncomfortable about these Staples purchases, though, is that the instore prices were more expensive  than the on-line prices. In-store the items were about 15% more than on-line.

from Nicole's papercrafting collection
from Nicole’s papercrafting collection

I made a stop at AC Moore too. I happened to see pack of 50 sheets of 65Lb card weight paper on sale from from Nicole’s papercrafting collection, for $3.33. There are five colors to a pack, which comes to about 7 cents a sheet, which is about standard. What attracted to these is that I liked the selection of curated colors in each pack. I will probably buy these again. I can get curated colors of Astrobright colored paper,  (for closer to 10 cents a sheet) but I like the Nicole’s colors better.

The downside of the Nicole paper was that it kept jamming in my copy machine. Not all but some, which is an oddity for my machine

Stardream Paper
Stardream Paper is a place I’ve frequently bought paper from, especially when I’m looking for Stardream paper.

Also, I’ve been happy to discover I can buy full sheets of paper, without having to buy a full box, from Mohawk at  I’ve invested heavily in buying many of their sample books, like the one in the photo at the top of this post. I absolutely love buying the papers that I’ve been getting from Mohawk.

My biggest problem has been glue sticks. I am not happy with any glue stick choices.

sing Gel Markers when they were good, 2013
sing Gel Markers when they were good, 2013

I used to buy some cool colored pencils by Crayola (Fx pencils) that worked great on black paper. Then they disappeared from the market. Then I bought Crayon Gel Markers for black paper projects, but then they stopped working well. I now use Prismacolor pencils with kids when we are using black paper, but I still miss great Gel Markers.

I used to also do many projects using 36″ shoelace tipped yarn. My supplier stopped selling them, and any others that I found were more expensive, but worse than that, were not made of the lovely, thick soft yarn that I was used to. Now when I want to use yarn with kids I nailpolish the tips myself. It works.

There’s probably more to be wistful about, but it’s time for me to get back to prep work for this weekend’s workshop.









10 thoughts on “Sourcing Materials

  1. I still default to Avery fat glue sticks – they haven’t changed – love them. I’m a Staples business plus member so they’re quite inexpensive as one of my custom picks. I can’t stand most other glue sticks!


  2. Similar problems here in UK. I find a paper I like, buy a ream, and then my new printer jams or spits it out in disgust. I find another paper, the printer and I love it, I order more and they send me the last pack, saying it’s been discontinued. And not all glue sticks are the same! “Pritt”, apparently, is made from potato-starch and is more reliable than cheaper generic glue-sticks.
    Thank you for your posts – a constant source of wonder and inspiration!


    1. A bar code on every sheet? Unbelievable. Next thing you know there will be a bar code on here Cheerios…
      Did they peel off easily, are was the corner of the paper irretrievably useless? BTW I’m not familiar with the Canford paper. Just looked them up. They look lovely, but are only offered in a fairly heavy weight paper. What do you use them for? I love hearing about what other papers people use.


    1. For years I hadn’t found any affordable Prismacolors. But I love how they look so much that I would use them anyway. Crazy. At about $2.00 per pencil, I’d collected a fortune of supplies in Prismacolors. Then a couple of years ago there was a special deal at AC Moore. It was unbelievable: they were selling the boxes that generally run for about $60 for $10. You can’t imagine how many I bought. Gave some away as presents but kept enough to use in classrooms for a good while.


      1. Speak of the devil…on Dick Blick they have a new 60-color set on sale for $21something – and they forgot to earmark it as the “lowest price available” option so I just bought a couple of sets with their latest 20% off promotion, bringing the total to $17something – .30 per pencil! Granted, probably 1/3 of the set is shades of gray but considering that’s cheaper than the set of 24 – I’d call that a score!


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