When Your Text Books Are Art Supplies…

The beginning of every semester marks the dreaded time when you have to purchase textbooks for class. Between the outrageous cost of textbooks and the madhouse that is the CU Bookstore, this time of year can be hectic and stress inducing. In Environmental Design, our school supply shopping is a little more fun. While your roommate is picking out a $300 chemistry book, you get to take a trip to buy art supplies! Having been in the program for almost a year and a half, I have discovered some great places to get supplies for Environmental Design.

Meininger Art Materials is the first art store I went to when I was a freshman at CU. There are aisles and aisles of high end art supplies; from paints to papers to pencils. This is a good one stop shop for ENVD students to get supplies for both drafting and model making. It’s a wonderful place that I could spend hours looking around in, though it is a little on the expensive side because of the quality of materials.

McGuckin Hardware is possibly one of the coolest stores I have ever visited. When my teachers told me to go to a hardware store, I probably crinkled my nose a little bit because I couldn’t imagine why I would need to go to a hardware store. I was picturing something like Home Depot or Lowes, but what I got was something completely different. McGuckin Hardware sells literally anything you could possibly need. There are kitchen supplies, dog toys, tools, art supplies, games, and so much more. I walked in last week to buy some basswood for a model and walked out with that and a hula hoop just for fun. The prices at McGuckin Hardware are reasonable and I highly recommend taking a visit.

Michaels is your typical chain craft store. Although it’s in kind of a weird location, it’s worth the trip for cheap art supplies. If you are in search of canvases, sketchbooks, pencils and pens, paints, or other tools for drawing and painting, Michaels is a great place. There are always coupons for big discounts and I have found the prices to be a lot cheaper than other stores.


Last but not least, the CU Book Store is a good place to get general drafting and drawing supplies. Sometimes if I don’t feel like walking too far or riding the bus, I hop on over to the CU Book Store in the UMC to get sketch books, pencils, and pens. Although some things at the bookstore are pretty pricey, these supplies are comparable to other stores. They also sell other drafting supplies like rulers and lead holders.

At the beginning of each semester or when you need supplies for a project, don’t panic because there are plenty of great options in Boulder to buy what you need for drafting, sketching, and modeling and they are only a short walk, bus, bike, or carpool away!