Comparison of 3 Online Art Supply Stores: Mister Art, Daniels Smith and Create for Less
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Comparison of 3 Online Art Supply Stores: Mister Art, Daniels Smith and Create for Less

In this report

Artists, crafters teachers and hobbyists are always searching for the best deal on art supplies they can get. Not all suppliers of arts and crafts products carry the same brands and items nor do they all have the same emphasis in product quality. If you are a teacher of pre-school children, your needs will be different from those of a professional oil painter. A scrapbook artist and card maker will have different need from that of a sculptor. You may be looking for a great place to browse for kits for the beginning artist or you may be looking for exactly the right clay to use for your next project.

No matter what you are looking for, this guide will give you a reference that will save you some time and frustration when sorting through your online resources for arts and crafts supplies.

#1 - MisterArt   http://www.misterart.com

MisterArt is a comprehensive online art, crafts and hobby supply store. You will find products for the professional painter, sculptors, and fine crafters. They also have a broad range of products for children. The range of products at MisterArt will cover just about any one from the hobbyist to the professional sculptor or painter.

2D artists will be pleased to find brands such as Winsor & Newton, Liquitex and Grumbachers and a variety of well known paper brands such as Canson’s, Bainbridge, Arches and Strathmore. They also have additional substrates, canvas and board. They even have products for the fiber artist.

3D artists will find a large variety of clay, wood and stone carving tools, mold making and casting material, armature wire and sculpture stands.

Whether you are a jewelry maker, a scrapbooker, or you are interested in book binding and making your own paper you will likely find what you need right here at MisterArt. The selection of craft items is enormous.

Be sure to browse the Kid’s Korner on MisterArt. You will find all sorts of activity kits and art supplies that will stimulate learning and creativity for your child or student. You can also browse by age group or price range.

Pricing is at substantial savings over many retailers and fine art stores and you have the opportunity to take advantage of great sales and specials. They appear to be about 15% more expensive on many fine art supplies compared to Daniel Smith but there are some items are substantially less than Daniel Smith. Prices change with the specials that are being run on any one particular date.

Downside

Shipping is expensive. On an order of just over $30.00 the least expensive shipping cost was nearly $10.00. An order of $182 the shipping was 16$. However, once you reach $200 shipping is free. Daniel Smith shipping is only slightly cheaper and also offers free shipping at the $200 mark.

In order to get the very best price for items on Mister Art, customers are asked to join their VIP membership for an annual fee of $25 with the promise of additional savings taking your total savings up to as much as 75%. This might be worth the fee if you buy a lot of art supplies or if you purchase joint orders with friends but it is probably not worth the extra fee if you just buy a few things each year. When looking at the price of your item it is easy to mistake the VIP price for your regular discount price so be sure to look carefully at the price that you will be charged.

#2 - Daniel Smith   http://www.daniel smith.com

Daniel Smith is the place to go if you are primarily a fine artist looking for fine art supplies. They carry products that are traditionally categorized in the fine art fields of painting, printing and drawing encompassing all of the various media and tools used in 2 dimensional (2D) art.

At Daniel Smith you are likely to find any type of paper or substrate you need for your fine art project. You will easily find the proper paper for your needs whether you are a water colorist, a pastel artist or a print maker. Fabriano and Arches are two well known paper brands or you can choose a fine Japanese paper from among 38 varieties carried on the Daniel Smith website. They also carry a wide variety of board and canvas substrates including scratch board and clay board.

Paint pigments include Winsor Newton, Golden, Sennelier and Daniel Smith's own brand. Drawing supply brands include Prismacolor, Conte, Letraset and a variety of other well known fine art brands. You can find anything from pastels to ink and everything in between.

In addition to the wide selection of painting and drawing supplies, Daniel Smith carries a line of luxury supplies that include high end easels, storage cabinets, sable oil brushes

Downside

The weakness of Daniel Smith is the lack of supplies for sculptors or artists working in 3D. They do carry some armature wire and gouges for carving but do not carry artists clay or clay tools. You will not find any products for the artist working in fine crafts, fiber arts, scrap booking or jewelry making.

 Price

Winsor Newton Artists' Oils are approximetely 15% cheaper at Daniel Smith than Mister Art.  

Prismacolor pencils however, are about 30% cheaper at Mister Art.

You definitely have to check the prices between Daniel Smith and Mister Art because you will get significant savings due to the frequent specials and deals that each website runs at different times. You can find excellent value at both places but just be aware that discounts run at different times on different products.

#3 - Create For Less   http://www.createforless.com/

Create For Less is an online craft and hobby store. They have everything you need for scrap booking, sewing and quilting, knitting and crocheting, jewelry and beading, wood working and cooking just to name a few.

We all know how important it is to choose the correct adhesive and Create for Less has an impressive 675 items to offer in the glue and tape category.

A quick look around the beading and jewelry section will give you superior results with over 100 selections in Swarovski Crystals alone. The beading and jewelry section at Create for Less is significant and it is likely that you will find what you need from upscale beads and embellishments to just the right tool or finding.

Another distinctive of Create for Less in online craft and hobby stores is their cooking section. Not only will you find books on every sort of cooking and baking project you will also find accessories such as the series of unique Fox Run Craftsmen cookie cutters and silicone baking cups. If you like giving your home prepared food as gifts you will want to check out the Karen Foster Kit Bottle It Up for unique labels and packaging options. You will have more than 100 items in the cooking and kitchen section.

Pricing when compared to Mister Art are very similar. Upon checking several items most things fall within a 10% price range of Mister Art unless you sign up for the Mister Art VIP membership which will give you additional savings.

Shipping

Create for Less has a much more reasonable shipping fee with free shipping on orders over $100 and an economy shipping option.

Downside

Create for Less does not offer fine art supplies for professional artists. However they do not present themselves as a fine art supply store but rather as a craft store.

The Bottom Line

MisterArt is a very good comprehensive arts and crafts supply store. You can get just about anything from high quality fine art supplies to arts & crafts and hobby supplies. Everything from painting to sculpture to scrapbooking and everything in between including a nice variety of gift items for the creative person. Their prices are excellent and they have good sales and a VIP Member plan for $25 a year. This membership would be a great option to increase your savings especially if you buy as a group. You will also save on shipping if you order $200 plus which is another incentive to order with a group of friends or your art association.

If you are shopping for fine art supplies for painting and drawing and other two dimensional art processes then Daniel Smith is superior in offering a wide variety of materials you could need. They offer high end professional art supplies as well as student grade and some supplies for a younger artist where you may want to buy good but economical supplies. Daniel Smith is not the place for the hobbyist or crafter. They carry a few things for the hobbyist but it is not the emphasis. Prices on tube paints and other fine art supplies tend to be cheaper by as much as 15% but you must pay attention to what is on sale at Mister Art and compare prices using the Mister Art VIP discount if you choose to join. At Daniel Smith you can get luxury, high quality professional fine art supplies.

Create for Less is really a site just for crafters and hobbyists. They have an excellent selection of items in just about every craft and hobby discipline. Their selection includes items for knitting, crocheting and cooking kitchen arts that Mister Art does not carry or carries only to a very limited degree. The number of items in jewelry making far exceeds that of Mister art as well. Because their focus is crafts rather than trying to be comprehensive, you will find a significantly larger selection in each craft area. Their prices are similar to Mister Art and you will again want to check sale and clearance items for the best prices available. You will also get a better deal on the shipping at Create for Less.

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Comments (4)

Interesting readind and useful information..........Thanks Judith for sharing

good article thanks

Excellent comparison of these art stores, Judith.

Excellent article. Well done! Voted you up as well deserved!

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