DIY: Watercolour Travel Kit – wip

watercolor travel kit

While I was happy with the watercolour travel kit I’d put together, I wasnt ecstatic. I was still lusting after Altoid boxes and dreaming about converting them. Nothing that size (tin box) sells in my part of the world. In my usual scatterbrained fashion I forgot to write and ask my sisters to buy and bring one for me when we met this summer.

You can imagine my delight when my sister opened her bag towards the tail end of one of our many car journeys to share some mints with us – from an Altoid box! I almost grabbed it out of her hand. πŸ˜€ I told her that I wanted it so many times that in the end she just gave it to me with the mints which I did not much care for or want. I admit I acted a bit strangely.

And then it took me quite a while to finish those d… mints. Why I didnt just throw them in the bin is beyond me. I generously offered them to anyone around whenever I remembered. A couple of weeks back they finally finished and the empty box moved to my desk for making. When I started storing my sachets of Splenda in it it became clear that I need to make that conversion quickly.

A few nights ago I had a brainwave about dressing it up. Spent day before yesterday giving the box several layers of gesso on the cover and inside for the palette. Then quite late last night, I used acrylics to paint it. The watermelon seller, lying handy on my drafting table, was used as a reference once more. I even added a coat of varnish to protect the cover. A second coat is needed but the varnish chewed up the brush. Need to locate a disposable brush or a method to clean it before trying again.

It is a WIP because I still need to find a way to divide up the space inside. Styrofoam has been suggested but I just cannot bear the noise it makes when it is cut. There are other options of adapting shelving rails and polymer clay. I’m looking for something easier. πŸ˜› And then I will fill in some yummy M Graham watercolours. All this I’m sure will take me another six months!! As always I shall come back to update this post with the final results.

Watercolor travel kitwatercolor travel kitwatercolor travel kit

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17 thoughts on “DIY: Watercolour Travel Kit – wip

  1. Hi there,
    I was in Trader Joe’s yesterday (an interesting,well-priced wine, beer, cheese and food store that entices you to try new flavors and to experience new tastes) and I was looking at the Altoid tins. I noticed that Altoid mints are now available in a chocolate-coated mint! I was wondering how many people just trash those cute little metal boxes. (I got hold of one and now store my mp3 player in it.) Kudos on coming up with a creative use for the boxes! would you use 1/2 cakes of paint in them? I noticed the last time I was in an art supply store, that there were travel pans of paint–each 1/2 cake sat on a small disc that anchored it to the tin. . . .

  2. Jan: Thank you very much for the links. My Dec post (linked above) on a similar subject contains the link to Nina Johansson’s post. But there were a couple I had not seen before especially for ways to fill them up sans pans. They will come in very handy. I still have not come across any posts with a painting on the lid. Have you by any chance seen one?

    Redstone: I must confess that converting the Altoid box wasnt my idea πŸ˜€ It’s been on the net for a while. I first saw one on the sketching.cc forum and wanted to make one of my own. The travel pans are not available here and so i plan to make my own wells and fill them in with recently acquired M.Graham paints. Jan has provided some excellent links for various such options. Btw, I’m using another similar but narrower tin box to store all my dip pen nibs. πŸ˜€

  3. Ujwala, I have been collecting Altoid tins for some time, converting them into little shrines but I love the idea of a little travel w/c kit. I will keep my eye out for something to serve as separators. Great idea. I don’t know if you belong to Danny Gregory’s “Everyday Matters” yahoo group but there has been a lot of discussion about travel w/c kits and someone there might have some good suggestions for the inside of your tin. Lots of those folk paint in w/c and carry such with them in various containers.

  4. Kay, I am a part of the EDM group but do not post often mostly because i havent been doing the challenges for a while. i do read the digests and based on the emails visit member blogs regularly.

    i’ve been through a bunch of links through edm, surfing and google. The 3 options that i’ve come across are styrofoam or shelving adapted to carry half pans and polymer clay with little wells dug in and baked to make your own wells. apparently the polymer makes the box quite heavy plus it isnt available here neither are half pans.

    i know i could acquire them but having recently bought a dozen tubes of M.Graham I would like to put it to use. i’m hoping to find tiny plastic boxes to put in. planning to go to a toy store to hunt. Thank you πŸ˜€

  5. Hi,
    My W.C. instructor has a neat idea: a child’s 8 pan watercolor box. Just make sure the pans are removable. Soak out the cheap paint, then fill them up with The M. Graham paints. We use the 6 color mixing system, so I use the other two pans for Burnt Sienna and China white or.. She said also to put a long thin (dampened) sponge where the paintbrush would go, to keep the paint from drying out. Works for me!

  6. I do have a plastic watercolour box that I use. unfortunately it is bright red in colour πŸ˜€ Doesnt help at all when i’m mixing on the inner lid. I did find a pill box which had white dividers to use as a travel palette but… the idea of customizing and making your own sounded exciting. I’m planning to use your tip on limited colours. Currently I have 12 put in and I’m going to cut down and just carry more of the 6. Thanks for the tips πŸ˜€

  7. Pingback: Trading ATC’s « draw the line

  8. I read somewhere online (I can’t remember where) that six bottle caps fit perfectly in an Altoids tin, and can then be replaced easily whenever you want to change colors. Try that…

  9. it’s never too late for fresh information : ) you’ve done a fabulous job with your travel box. My box is languishing is a drawer marked for unfinished projects and on a few occasions it’s predecessor, a tiny plastic box filled with M Graham paints has been used. I still haven’t found my “metal caps” Thank you for sharing your creation.

  10. metal caps….i got mine on individual-serve bottles of vodka. snap off, serve the vodka and you can smooth out the little connector teeth with a nail file/emory board

  11. thank you robin. i’m not sure if we have those here but i’m sure the soda bottle caps should be about the same size or the beer bottle caps. will get hold of some to see if six fit into my box. thanks for the tip.

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