Homeschooling, Life, My Life in Watercolor, Recycling

How I Upcycled My Old Eye Makeup Palette Into A Travel-Size Watercolor Palette (With Full Demo Video)

Dabbling in art, particularly watercolor, can be expensive. I admit, I had to save some moolah in order to afford the brushes and artist grade watercolors that I am currently using now. I’m lucky my sister gave me a set of Daniel Smith Alvaro Castagnet tubes for Christmas and I was able to sell trinkets that I made so I could afford to splurge on brushes and watercolor paper. My commissions from Young Living also helped pay for my art classes.

To live frugally while dabbling in painting is an art in itself. I’ve learned to recycle stuff at home that I could use for my watercolor projects. Today’s project was one such endeavor hence, I am happily sharing this hack here.

A friend gave me an Urban Decay Gun Metal Eyeshadow on my birthday a few years back but was only able to use half of the colors. I had kept it since for sentimental reasons. Yesterday, I promised myself that I will assemble a watercolor kit that fits a small pouch to bring with me anywhere. Lugging around tubes of paints and large mixing palette would be too cumbersome for me. Then it hit me. I could convert this old eye makeup palette into travel-size watercolor palette!

The Process

First thing I did was take out the pans off the palette and scrape off the remaining eyeshadow powders. I then let the pans seat in soapy water for about an hour and then used a sponge to take the gunk out. I allowed the pans to dry on my youngest son’s old nappy.

I cleaned the palette using the same nappy and some alcohol. Once dry, I applied a thin layer of paper glaze all over the surface of the palette. This was to ensure that the palette, which is made of laminated card, will be waterproof during painting session. I then applied “Tack-It” underneath each pan. Once the paper glaze was dry, I placed the pans back into the wells.

The palette has one elongated well that used to contain the applicator. I glazed this thickly with the paper glaze and cut a section of cellulose sponge that will fit exactly into this elongated well. Take note that I use sponge for controlling water in my brush so imagine how happy I was to have a place for it in the palette. It was as if this palette was designed (or destined) to house my watercolors!

I then hand poured my Van Gogh watercolor tubes into the pans, about 60-80% full. This was to make sure that the mirror won’t touch my watercolor when I close it, especially while they’re still wet. I can be OC like that.

I cut a piece of Baohong watercolor paper that’s the same size of the palette’s cover and made a swatch card. I then glued this swatch card on the cover so that I know at one glance what colors are inside (for I intend to do this again in my other expired makeup palettes).

And here’s my makeup palette converted into a watercolor palette. 🙂

By the way, should you decide to do the same with your makeup palettes, be careful when pressing down the pans into the wells. They can be sharp! I accidently cut myself when I pressed too hard. Other than this, I actually enjoyed the whole process. Here’s a full demo video of this project:

Full demo video of how I converted my eye makeup palette into watercolor palette with sponge.

Coming up soon in my YouTube channel is a video on how I was able to fit a complete painting set in a small pouch to bring with me anywhere. I would love to be able to paint on-site while waiting in the bank, Starbucks, grocery lines, anywhere. Hence, I’m really excited to share about how I was able to fit all my painting essentials in a small pouch! See you on my YouTube channel, my dear readerships.



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