New Mini Watercolor Palette

Last  week as I was cleaning my studio, I ran across two small eyeshadow compacts that I’d intended to turn into watercolor palettes. I have a tiny palette made from an Altoids tin, which I use often, and somehow forgot about these other palettes.  Click the link to see that story.

Two small empty paint palettes

The one on the left was my first attempt at modifying an eyeshadow box. I used strips cut from the lid of a butter tub and glued them using hot glue. Clearly, my gluing skills need work.

The second is fine as is. Eight happy little wells and a curvy shape. Lovely.

Somehow, Santa forgot to stop at the art supply store on his way to fill my stocking, so I’ve been browsing around supply websites to find myself a treat, and have been drooling over mini watercolor palettes – Bijou boxes and sketcher’s sets and travel half pans. They’re just so tiny and cute and handy.

But the pre-made boxes are colossally expensive. I mean, $35 for an empty box? Twice that for a filled one ? Yikes. I’m all for splurging, but that seems crazy.

New eyeshadow compactsBecause the Altoids box has worked out well, I decided to give crafty-improvised route another go.

My local discount drug store had these two eyeshadow compacts, which look like they’d make wonderful watercolor palettes. Both were priced at $4.99, but the small one was on sale for $1 off.

The store even had another one for $3.99 that held 30 wells – THIRTY! It was about the size of a CD case. I didn’t buy it because it seemed too big for my hand. But for that price, I might have to go back and get one anyway. Just because.

empty eyeshadow compactsScraping out the eye color took only a minute, then a quick scrub with some soap and a small toothbrush to clear out the crumbs. All nice and clean and shiny.

The little one needed dividers so that it could hold 8 colors. I may leave the larger one alone. None of my palettes have full pans, so I may give this one a try as is.

Now, we’re on to hot gluing again. I cut a little divider from a butter tub lid and cut slots into it to fit the dividers in the box. I also cut two little dividers to go in the tray at the bottom. Then glued the pieces in place with my hot glue gun. Not ever box needed dividers.  Note to self: look for compacts that have the right number of wells.

Here are pics, except for the final glued step:

Cut a slice from a butter tub lid

Marking the dividers

Fitting the dividers

Then, all of them got a couple coats of spray paint to make them pretty (white inside, silver outside). Be sure when you’re buying spray paint to get one that is labeled for plastics.

Before spraying them, I rubbed them with a green pot scrubber thingy to scuff up the surface so that the paint would adhere. I tried sand paper (too rough), an emery board (couldn’t get in the corners). The pot scrubber got all the spots and left the surface just lightly scuffed.

And, ta da! Here are the four palettes, all ready for color.

new homemade watercolor palettes

The small skinny one looked just awful. My glue job was pathetic, so I pried out the glue and redid it. Turns out, the wells are so shallow that they didn’t need plastic dividers – a line of hot glue was the right size and shape to be a divider. Much easier and looks better. It needs a spray paint touch up, so I’ll post when it’s done.

filled watercolor palette

Here’s one finished palette, filled with color and ready to go. I added a bit of sponge in the bottom tray; seemed like a handy addition.

2 Responses to “New Mini Watercolor Palette”

  1. This is fantastic. What a brilliant idea… and wow, Santa DOES have an awesome workshop to come up with these!! :~)

    I am visiting from Creative Every Day today… and I am so glad I did!

    • Karen Koch says:

      Yeah, Santa is pretty cool. And those elves – awesome! 😉

      Thanks for stopping by. I’m having fun with my new little palette…will have to post pics soon.

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