Saving Money on Markers: 5 Practical Mixed Media Tips
Written by  Daisie Team
Published on 6 min read


  1. Buy in bulk
  2. Choose versatile markers
  3. Store markers properly
  4. Use alternative materials
  5. Practice regular maintenance

Artists, hobbyists, and educators alike know that the cost of markers for mixed media can quickly add up. But fear not — there are practical ways to stretch your dollar without compromising on quality. In this blog, we'll share five tips on how to save money on markers for mixed media, beginning with the time-tested strategy of buying in bulk.

Buy in Bulk

It's no secret that buying items in larger quantities often leads to cost savings, and markers are no exception. When you buy in bulk, you not only save money in the immediate sense, but you also ensure that you have a ready supply of markers for your mixed media projects.

Identifying Bulk Opportunities

When hunting for bulk deals, keep an eye out for packs of markers from the same brand. Brands like Sharpie, Copic, and Prismacolor often offer sets ranging from 10 to 100 markers. These sets typically cost less per marker than if you were to buy them individually. Don't forget to check art supply stores, general retailers, and online marketplaces for the best deals.

Choosing the Right Mix

While it's tempting to grab the largest set you can find, remember: quality over quantity. Look for sets that offer a variety of colors and types of markers that you frequently use in your mixed media work. This way, you're not stuck with a bunch of markers that don't suit your needs. For example, if you often use fine tip markers for detailing, a set of broad tip markers won't do you much good.

Sharing the Cost

If a bulk purchase still seems too pricey, consider splitting the cost with a friend or fellow artist. This way, you both get the markers you need for your mixed media projects without breaking the bank. Plus, it's a fun way to bond over shared interests and possibly learn new techniques from each other.

Managing Your Stash

Bulk buying can lead to a surplus of markers. To avoid clutter and ensure that you're using your markers before they dry out, establish a system for organizing and rotating your supplies. Label and date your markers, use them in the order they were purchased, and store them in an accessible yet secure location.

In conclusion, buying in bulk is an effective strategy on how to save money on markers for mixed media. It requires some planning and organization, but the savings and peace of mind are well worth the effort.

Choose Versatile Markers

Another effective way to save money on markers for mixed media is by selecting versatile markers. These are the kind that can serve multiple purposes, reducing the need to buy a wide range of specialized markers.

Finding Multi-Purpose Markers

Look for markers that can be used on different surfaces and for various techniques. For instance, alcohol-based markers, like those from Copic or Prismacolor, are known for their versatility. They can work on paper, fabric, glass, and even metal. With such markers at your disposal, you can explore a wide range of mixed media projects without the need to buy additional markers for each material.

Consider Dual-Tip Markers

Dual-tip markers are a godsend for those looking to save money on markers for mixed media. One end of the marker has a fine tip for detailed work, and the other end has a broad or brush tip for filling in larger areas. This essentially gives you two markers in one, cutting down on costs and space in your art supply stash.

Choosing Quality Over Quantity

It might be tempting to opt for cheaper markers, but remember: a versatile marker is only as good as its quality. Investing in high-quality markers ensures that they deliver the desired effects, last longer, and ultimately offer better value for money. Brands like Winsor & Newton, and Tombow are renowned for their quality and versatility.

Experiment and Evolve

As you explore mixed media art, you'll find that some markers serve your style better than others. Don't be afraid to experiment with different brands and types of markers. This trial and error process will help you figure out which markers offer the most bang for your buck in terms of versatility and quality.

In a nutshell, choosing versatile markers is an art in itself. It's about striking a balance between functionality, quality, and cost. But once you've mastered it, you'll be well on your way to save money on markers for mixed media.

Store Markers Properly

Proper storage of your markers can significantly extend their lifespan, helping you save money on markers for mixed media in the long run. Here are some tips on how to do this effectively.

Keep Markers Capped

Exposure to air can dry out your markers, rendering them useless. Always remember to replace the cap tightly after use. You might be surprised how many markers meet an early end because of lost or loosely fitted caps!

Store Horizontally

Storing markers horizontally helps in maintaining the ink flow and prevents one end from drying out. A flat storage box or a drawer can be the perfect place to keep your markers when they're not in use.

Avoid Extreme Temperatures

Markers don't fare well in extreme temperatures. The heat can dry them out, while the cold can cause the ink to separate or freeze. Try to store your markers in a cool, dry place, away from direct sunlight or other heat sources.

Check Regularly

Regular checks on your markers can help detect any issues early. If a marker is starting to dry out, it might be salvageable by adding a few drops of alcohol or marker refill ink. Often, a little maintenance can save a marker from the trash bin.

Remember, markers are an investment, and like any investment, they need proper care. By storing your markers correctly, you can ensure they live a long, productive life, helping you save money on markers for mixed media.

Use Alternative Materials

Stretching your marker collection is all about creativity. Sometimes, the best way to save money on markers for mixed media isn't about buying more, but rather, finding clever alternatives that can add unique touches to your work.

Recycle Old Markers

Don't toss away dried out markers. You can soak their tips in water to create a colorful ink solution. This solution can work as a quick-and-dirty watercolor for background washes or other broad strokes.

Use Pencils and Crayons

Pencils and crayons can often provide similar effects to markers at a fraction of the cost. Plus, they add texture to your work, giving it a unique, tactile feel. Experiment with different hardness levels and colors to discover a whole new range of effects.

Try Digital Art

Ever thought of going digital? Programs like Photoshop and Procreate offer a wide range of brushes that imitate marker strokes. It might take some time to get used to, but going digital can significantly cut down on your marker expenses.

Explore Paints

Watercolor and acrylic paints offer a vibrant range of colors that can expand your mixed media repertoire. They can be more cost-effective than markers, especially when used in larger pieces.

Remember, mixed media is about breaking boundaries and trying new things. Don't let the cost of markers limit your creativity. There are many alternative materials you can use to create stunning pieces while saving money on markers for mixed media.

Practice Regular Maintenance

Another excellent strategy on how to save money on markers for mixed media is by taking good care of the ones you already have. Proper maintenance can extend the life of your markers, saving you from frequent replacements.

Keep Caps Tight

It sounds simple, but it's surprising how many artists forget to replace their caps tightly after use. Ensuring the cap is secure prevents the marker from drying out. Remember, a dry marker is an unhappy marker!

Store Markers Horizontally

Did you know that how you store your markers can affect their lifespan? Storing them horizontally helps distribute the ink evenly and keeps both ends well-saturated. This helps your markers last longer and perform better.

Revive Dried Markers

Don't be quick to throw out a marker that seems to have dried up. You can often revive it by dipping the tip in warm water or rubbing alcohol. Just a few seconds might be enough to get the ink flowing again.

Clean Marker Tips

Cleaning the tips of your markers after use can prevent cross-contamination of colors and extend the life of your markers. Just a quick wipe on a clean piece of paper or cloth can make a big difference.

In conclusion, a little bit of maintenance goes a long way in extending the life of your markers. If you want to know how to save money on markers for mixed media, start by taking care of the ones you have. It's a simple, cost-effective way to keep creating without breaking the bank.

If you're looking for more ways to save money while still being creative, check out the workshop 'Tips & Tricks When Creating On A Budget' by Celina Rodriguez. This workshop will provide you with practical advice and tips on how to create stunning mixed media art without breaking the bank.