Affordable Arts and Crafts for College Students

Are you looking for a way to have fun with friends while staying on a budget? Well, I have the perfect solution for you: inexpensive arts and crafts. Recently, a new Hobby Lobby opened in Greenbrier, so during spring break, I decided to go investigate their deals. I consider myself an arts and crafts enthusiast, so I chose four craft mediums that would not break the bank for college students: acrylic paints, watercolor paints, pencils and pens, and yarn.


The first art medium that is dear to my heart is acrylic paints. I love working with acrylics because you can do many things with them. You can apply acrylics to household items (like planting pots, picture frames, or tables), or you can paint on canvases and gift the paintings to friends or family members. Acrylics allow the artist to paint a different subject with each painting, whether it is a landscape, an abstract concept, or even a meme. All it takes is mixing paint and then brushing it on your canvas. The supplies listed below will allow you to explore the medium without worrying about your skill level. 

Shopping List:

Grand Total: $32.97 plus tax


I also highly recommend watercolors. Although they are not as forgiving as acrylics, watercolors still offer freedom to move the paint around and explore different yet sometimes challenging techniques. But don’t let that intimidate you because it is still very fun to learn. Most of the time watercolors are pricey, but if you look for the right deals, you can easily find affordable versions of the materials you need to explore the medium. 

Shopping List: 

Grand Total: $40.97 plus tax

Pens and Pencils

Pens and Pencils are most likely the most affordable medium you can work with because you can grab a #2 pencil and a random piece of paper to create a piece of art. However, I find it more enjoyable to invest in artist-grade materials. I’ve found that when you have higher-quality materials, you can further develop the ins and outs of the art form. You can shop for artist-grade pens and pencils and still save room in your budget.

Shopping List: 

Grand Total: $32.97 plus tax


Yarn is an entirely different medium than painting and drawing, and it can be fun to explore if you’re looking for something unique. When I work with yarn, I crochet, but knitting is another great option. Crocheting and knitting are more of a solitary activity, but you can still hang with friends while everyone works on separate projects. It may take a second to get used to crocheting or knitting, but as you keep learning, you will be able to make different items, like stuffed animals or sweaters.

Shopping List: 

Grand Total: 6.98 plus tax

Overall, I hope you’ve found that arts and crafts don’t have to be an expensive pastime. There are many affordable materials out there that will allow you to have fun with your friends while not going down the starving artist track. The shopping lists are simply options for you to consider when searching for your next arts and crafts project. I hope they encourage your creativity while keeping you on a budget.

When I went to Hobby Lobby, they had deals on similar items that I suggested, so you may be able to spend even less. Whatever medium you choose, whether it is acrylic paints, watercolors, drawing materials, or yarn, I hope you have a chance to relax, be creative, and enjoy spending time with your friends.

Note: If you are looking for beginners tips on how to use each product or grow in your skillset,  YouTube has a ton of free videos for you to release your inner artist!