Friday, October 19, 2012

Art Material Management, Duct Tape, & a Glue Gun Caddy

I've always held by the old adage, "duct holds the world together."  But, I'm really becoming a hard-core believer that a little bit of duct tape can solve a multitude of issues (especially in the Art room!).

Remember, my marker caddy? Remember how a reader suggested adding duct tape, and I did?  Well, I kinda got to wondering how else I could use this duct tape? Thanks to the popularity of the duct tape wallet and prom dress, we now have a multitude of colors and patterns from which to pick when it comes to duct tape.

Recently, using the same concept applied to the marker caddy, I made an eraser caddy!  I LOVE how I can see if all the erasers have been returned with just a quick glance.

Then, I got the idea of tagging all my pencils with tape (just like my permanent markers).  It also works. . .And, when one does accidentally wander off, they come back to me. I'm forever having teachers and students say: "I found/borrowed this and think it belongs to you."  Love. Love. Love.

Then, this week, I had the dreaded 75 person Art club. I shouldn't say dreaded, but it is a lot of people to manage at once. Fortunately, a few volunteers took charge of the 6th graders which brought my numbers down. But, only 5 students have paid dues, and that didn't leave me with much of a budget for any activities. I decided to spend the money on reusable resources and bought seven mini glue guns with about a pound of glue gun sticks. I collected all the old cardboard in my building and told the kids to get creative. Boy, did they!  I think this was the most popular Art club to date.

My concern was making sure all seven glue guns made it back to me. . .So, I made a caddy using foam and duct tape.  I was worried the foam might melt a bit when the guns were stored, but it did not. I think since these are mini guns, the heat isn't enough to mark the foam.

I'm really loving the duct tape when it comes to materials management. For a few dollars, I can really track my materials!


  1. Excellent idea! Thank you, thank you, thank you!!!
    I am so over sorting markers and pens - I have never thought to color code them! Why didn't I think of that?

  2. Years ago, when I taught in a middle school, my rulers, scissors, utility knives and more were borrowed frequently, often without asking, BY OTHER TEACHERS. So I got a can of horrific fluorescent green spray paint, and sprayed a blob of green on every tool I wanted to track. Often I would walk into another teacher's classroom, and see a green-splotched utility knife sitting on the desk. "Um, that's mine!" I would say, and point out the green blob. Guilty looks, and returned tools! Yippee! When we moved into our new building over a dozen years ago, I stopped teaching the middle schoolers. But when I retired last June, those rulers and knives and scissors with a green blob marking them were still there! Marking your stuff works!

  3. I am so going to use these ideas! As a "traveling" art teacher, I lose quite a lot of materials, being able to see at a quick glance if everything is returned sounds great. Kids also love reorganzing materials and this will help us be on the same page as to how best to do that!

  4. What a great idea! I've used duct tape on the floor to mark out my 'line up here' lines and will have to get more creative with all those great patterned tapes... My erasers frequently wander off so will have to try out that idea too - thanks so much for posting!