Where I buy art & craft materials in Manila

Years ago National Book Store was the only easily accessible place where you can buy arts and crafts equipment here in Manila. Well there was Joli along Espana and Artek in Delta but they were quite far, and online shopping — let alone the internet — was unheard of at the time. So by default NBS was The Mothership and to be fair, selection wasn’t bad. It’s just that compared to today, we had a very limited range of art materials to choose from.

And now — okay I don’t know when exactly the local arts and crafts movement boomed but it sure happened when I wasn’t looking. Very pleased though that I don’t have to turn to DickBlick or Amazon for supplies anymore since I can now easily get them locally and from within the comforts of home, no less.

If you check my Instagram feed, you’ll see that I’ve been into honing my analog art skills since late last year and I’ve explored everything from rubber stamp carving and shrink plastic crafting to watercolor painting and even lettering. Here are the stores I’ve been getting all my crafty goodies from. There may be more out there but I find the following shops’ inventories sufficient for my needs.

(Updated on May 3, 2015)

ARTWHALE an online store that carries beautiful not-so-commonly-available paints like Korea-based Nicker fine art gouache (a.k.a. the brand that Ghibli Animation Studio uses), Japan-based  Turner Colour Works Acryl GouachePeerless Watercolors (a vintage American brand known for bright pigments in sheet form), and Shin Han Art Korean Watercolours. The proprietor Kuki is very friendly and knowledgeable about their products and customer service is top notch. (Please refer to this newer post for the full story. :D)

art-whale-philippines

They have pop-up stores every once in a while so I recommend following their Instagram account to see if they’ll be in a bazaar soon.

CRAFT CARROT – an online store based in Loyola Heights, Quezon City. They stock artist paints & paper, calligraphy tools and inks, sketch markers, and rubber stamp carving supplies. I got my two-tone carving blocks — 4″x 6″ and 2″x 2″ round and square blocks — from them (see below). I also purchased a few of the inexpensive “Craft” brand ink pads. I don’t think they’re archival though so I just use them for testing my stamps.

craft carrot ph

I’m not sure if they have a physical shop since their website says you’ll have to set up an appointment before visiting their office but ordering online is quick and painless. I’ve already purchased from them twice and both times I received fast and friendly service – “friendly” meaning there is actual communication from the shopkeepers, not just automated replies. 🙂 Also, they use Xend.com for shipping so you’ll be sure to get your items within 24-48 hours upon receiving confirmation for your order.

HEY KESSY – another online store with an HQ in Loyola Heights which I believe is a physical shop. They sell washi tape, chalk markers, air dry clay and a good variety of fun crafting supplies. They’re the only place I’ve found that carries Tsukineko VersaCraft Fabric Inkpads (pigment-based, archival, and acid-free) and Speedball Speedy-Carve Carving Blocks, currently the biggest (and priciest) ones that are available locally. These blocks carve like butter — no, wait. Like konnyaku jelly! Soft and jiggly! — so I use them for special, intricate designs.

hey kessy

I can also say that they know how to make their customers feel special. Aside from the friendly correspondence, they sent me that adorable postcard on the left. Look at how the items were packaged too. It was like opening a gift. (It’s all in the details. 🙂 ) I’ll definitely buy from them again — but first, I need to use up my blocks. As with Craft Carrot, you can receive your items within 24-48 hours.

CREATE CRAFTS – a.k.a. CreatebyTLF is another online store based Quezon City. There is no physical shop but they have a display at Mrs. Graham’s Store in Scout Rallos which is restocked twice a month. So far I’ve bought 1.75″x 3.5″ eraser blocks (sold by the dozen!) and Japanese keshigomu carving blocks (smaller than the ones from Craft Carrot and Speedycarve but they carve just as smoothly), Kuretake ZIG Clean Color Real Brush markers, and Speedball Lino Cutter spare blades.Create Crafts PH

When you buy from their site, you have the option to create an account which facilitates ordering in the future since you won’t have to input your details all over again. Becoming a site member also entitles you to occasional perks like free shipping — just keep your eyes peeled for promos (I was able to avail of that last December.)  I’m not sure if they really don’t update customers with tracking numbers via e-mail but my purchases appear at my doorstep right on schedule which makes up for the lack of communication.

BEE HAPPY CRAFTS – is a crafting and party supplies store in Caloocan, open to customers on Saturdays but you can also order from them online. They stock a lot of scrapbook and journal-keeping goods like stamps, stickers, scrapbook sheets, punches, cardboard stock, ribbons, etc. They’re also the only place I’ve found that stocks unbranded shrink plastic locally. I’ve ordered a few sheets of the Inkjet shrink plastic and have found that they hold ink well and shrink almost exactly like the Shrinky Dinks-branded ones that I bought from Amazon (please see my Instagram feed or the previous post for examples of what I’ve done with the material).

bee happy

The Inkjet sheets are a little pricey at P90/piece but I’m glad to have an option to ordering them from overseas. I’ve also bought some cardboard stock from them for mounting. The site is easy to use and you will receive email confirmations for your order. You may also follow up with them through sms.

… and finally DEOVIR

I love that they have physical stores in malls which means that I can get my materials on the same day I need them. The selection in their SM North Edsa outlet is impressive and Arnold has been buying his Micron drawing pens, watercolor paper, and comic tools from there for years. You can also buy from them online but I haven’t done so yet since SM is close by. Also, there are items in the physical stores that aren’t on the site so it’s more advisable to swing by the actual shop and see the merchandise first hand.

I’d love to know where you shop for your art materials. And if you know of other stores that I may have missed (or don’t know about yet), do let me know in the comments!

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40 Comments

  1. Very helpful post Ms. Cynthia 🙂 I was actually looking for stores with carving blocks and ink pads. Thank you

  2. Mikki – you’re very welcome! I also discovered BeadsPH.com and have bought some jewelry findings from them. Beats going all the way to Quiapo to buy materials! 🙂

    Connie – wow thank you for telling me about these (new to me) stores — I can’t wait to check out what items they have! 🙂

  3. Hi Louise, oooh thank you so much for the tip! I’ll check them out. 🙂

  4. so happy to read your blog! very helpful!!!

    BTW, do you know where I can doily papers? TIA!

  5. Hi Jade! Thanks for your feedback, I’m glad you think the post is helpful. 🙂 I Googled and found that Craft Central sells lace paper doilies in sets of 50 pcs for P120.00 🙂

  6. Hi! Would you know where I can buy Polychromos Faber-Castell pencils? Thanks.

  7. Hi Cynthia! How are you? I hope and pray all is well with you. My gosh! It’s been soo long na, we haven’t seen nor spoken to each other after graduating from UP College of Fine Arts:) I’m super proud of you! Great works from what I’ve seen of your blog/ site!

    As for me, I only worked for about a year in the Advertising industry in Lintas:Manila and in Campaigns Direct & Design then on to Motorola Phils. where I met my husband Arnold. Same name pa ng husband mo:)

    Anyway, I was looking for art materials and where to buy them for my daughter Nicole, who is taking up painting in her GIFT Class (Grade 10) in St. Paul Pasig. Then suddenly it showed me your sight. Btw, this is such a nice and friendly site Cynthia:) I needed kasi to find a Kolinsky paint brush for her. I tried National but they don’t carry this brand. Would you know where I can buy one?

    I really hope I hear from you! I miss you my friend!!! Take care Cynthia and have a blessed day!!!

    Marge

  8. Bingle – so sorry for my late reply. Deovir has Polychromos! At least the branch at SM North Edsa does, as far as I know. I asked them just a week ago. 🙂

    Marge!!! So happy to hear from you. E-mail sent 😀 😀 😀

  9. Hi Cynthia!

    Saw your comment about where to buy Polychromos. Do you have any idea how much is one set?

  10. Nice Info , but i maam can you please tell me where can i buy INK JET SHrink Film in Manila?

  11. This is really helpful! thank you dear n_n

  12. Hello!

    I would like to ask as where you bought your watercolor palette.
    In local stores, I only see the round palettes… and they only have few spaces for colors.

    Thank you!

  13. Sarah — so sorry but I have no idea! Best to call the store 😀

    Christian — I bought mine before at Bee Happy https://www.whizorders.com/beehappycrafts/order/index) Also try Hey Kessy! http://www.heykessy.com

    Marwin — thank you for your feedback!

    Elaine — do you mean the one in the first photo? I got it from Amazon.com — lots more choices there compared to the stores here. 🙂

  14. Hi do you know where i can buy Sakura Micron Archival Ink pen the coloured ones. In national bookstore only black is available, i was only able to buy abroad pa before, Thanks!!

  15. Hi! I’m new to calligraphy. I buy stuff from Deovir in Megamall. The stuff available is very limited. I wanna know where I can get stuff like the Pilot Parallel pen here in Pasig or somewhere near. Thanks 🙂

  16. BTW, your website looks pretty neat, really nice. 🙂

  17. Janine Thundr,

    Hi, I am just starting an online shop and I suppose you are into calligraphy. I do have a supply for brush pens. Please feel free to contact me at 0930-204-4578/0912-043-3094 😀

    Anna May

  18. Hi All ! I would like to ask where to find Cuttlebug and Cricut machines in Manila ?

  19. Hi, I would like to ask where I can buy Liquid Chalk Markers? Thanks! ?

  20. Hii. I am looking for an online store who sells fabric paints. Uhm I just want to ask if you know any stores that sells those?

  21. Oh yass! I was looking for shrink plastic sheets.
    This is a really useful list since I’m interested in quite a number of art and craft hobbies: polymer clay sculpting (got everything from Deovir), crochet, coloring and I would like to try watercolor painting and calligraphy, whew.
    Thank you!

  22. Hello, where can I buy lace paper/paper lace. Thanks

  23. im looking for puncher like a flower style do you have this item ?? I need big size plsss

  24. hi . Thank you for sharing the information. Is there a craft store in QC or Manila where we can buy scoring pads, stamping and paper materials . I hope to hear from you soon 🙂

    TIA – Malou

  25. Hi. Your blog was really really a big help. Thanks! 🙂

  26. Hi! We are Arts and Books Philippines. We are selling brand new and slightly used art materials. We also sell art guide books and some adult coloring books. Feel free to visit our Facebook page and Instagram account. We give discounts. 🙂

    Brands we sell: Faber-Castell, Prismacolor, Zig Kuretake, Letraset Promarker, Pilot, Sargent.

    -Arts and Books Philippines

  27. Hi :)! This thing was really helpful :’) But I just want to ask where I can buy the best supplies to use for an explosion box and other personalize gifts. I’m practicing it in normal construction papers and now is the time to do it using the real materials . Thank you!

  28. Hello! Where can I buy the “Glassine or acid-free archival paper” ? Thank you:-)

  29. Shrink plastic??? Ohmygod I’ve always wanted to try one but since I’ve can’t buy online I never thought I could but ohmygod I’m going there ASAP

  30. Hi!
    I saw that you also bought your Shrink plastics from Bee Happy.
    I bought mine from there too, and asked them if the one I ordered was printable and they said yes.
    I didn’t see any other option other than White, Clear, and Matte…

    However when I tried printing on it, ink doesn’t stick well to it.

    Some posts on the net suggest using sandpaper on its surface before printing…

  31. Hi everyone. Can anybody help me where to find craft stores in San Juan and Laguna? I just really need it for my wedding next yeat. Any help? 🙂

  32. Wow! Your article is really helpful! Thanks so much!

  33. hi do u know where to buy shrink plastics here in ph aside from bee happy?

  34. hi I was wondering if I can use the transparent paper (the one used for the old projectors at church) as shrinky dinks??? have you tried it ???

  35. Hello Ms. Cynthia!
    Do you know where to buy plastic canvas sheets? 🙂

  36. where i can buy a sponge foam paper or foam paper in manila but i need a bigger sizes

  37. I am inspired by your work. I wonder when you are going to have another workshop. keep up the outstanding wonderful super artistic work!

  38. Hi! Thanks for sharing this with us! I was actually searching for art supply shops that has Epoxy Resin/Hardener (A&B). I’m doing this for my project proposal in making Resin Art. But I realized it was really hard to find these kinds of materials.

    So I came to your site and was hoping if you know any shops that has it?

    Thanks!!

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I'm Cynthia Bauzon-Arre, a Filipino watercolor artist & graphic designer. I live in QC with my talented graphic novelist husband Arnold and our friendly marmalade tabby Abbas. This blog has been chronicling my life, likes, and loves since 2001. [ more ]

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