There are (literally) millions of ways in which you can drum up money and/or free materials for your classroom. Candle/Candy/Stuff fundraisers, ticket revenues from student performance shows, goal-based fundraising, sports-based fundraising etc. etc. etc.
My yearly budget is $500. I teach approximately 950 students each year. It doesn't take any great mathematical skills to understand my numbers far exceed my money.
Mostly, I used my allotted budget to purchase "must have" materials like colored pencils, crayons, oil pastels, paint, and paper. Unfortunately, that doesn't leave a lot of room for things like ceramics, sculpting materials, glue, markers, printmaking materials, and other materials needed for specialized projects. I, like you, am creative and know how to push my materials (and other people's garbage) pretty far. . . But, sometimes, you just really need metallic acrylic paints.
And, I fund raise through a variety of pre-planned, timely, activities throughout the year to fund my more expensive projects. But, well, I'm going to call myself out right now and admit it: There has been no white paper in my Art room since December. I was not generous in my purchasing, my kids are paper-wasteful (show me one who isn't and I'll be shocked), and well, we just used a lot more than last year.
So, I need to do a bit of quick fundraising.
My mom recently brought back a lot of wearable art items she purchased from the Maasai tribe in Kenya. Whenever I show my students items from Africa they are always transfixed. So, I decided to donate some items for a raffle. Instead of having to track raffle ticket numbers and/or deal with students losing/stealing their raffle tickets, I decided to make some instant-gratification scratch-off tickets.
My students are thrilled about winning these prizes, and voted to set the raffle ticket cost at $1.
The whole process of making tickets from start to finish took me about 1 hour. I made 150 tickets.
1. I used the free templates from here to create a page of raffle tickets (one for winning tickets and one for not winning tickets). I then printed out ten pages of not winning tickets and just enough winning tickets to cover my prizes.
2. Next, I laminated each page of raffle tickets. You could also use contact paper and just cover the area you intend for the scratch-off.
3. I cut out my raffle tickets.
4. I used the recipe for scratch-off paint from here (1 part liquid soap to 2 parts metallic acrylic paint) and painted just the part of each ticket I wanted to obscure.
5. I allowed to dry (about 2 hours).
6. I shuffled my tickets and was ready to sell!
7. I promoted the raffle using these fliers and word-of-mouth.
Stay tuned for the results!