Traveling Watercolors and Vintage Paintboxes

Here’s a fun little project using watercolor paints. I bought a traveler’s water color set last year made by Winsor & Newton. The paints are good, but I hated the box — it was all plastic, too fat, and yet there was no real room inside for anything but the half-paint pans, which although were form fitted in more plastic, still always stuck to the lid when I opened the box.

The vintage paint box below is one I found somewhere (probably Ebay). Since it came to me empty of contents, I had been using it to carry paint brushes.

So I took the Winsor Newton paints out of the plastic box and put them into the vintage tin. And there’s still room for a real size paint brush and a pen! The paints slid around though when I tried to wet them, so I used a hot glue gun to stick them in place. Russ, the glue gun pro in the house, told me I needed to warm the metal of the box first, for the hot glue to really stick. So actually he warmed the tin over the stove, then the glue gun worked it’s magic.

Now I can even add some colors to the palette — I think I’d like to add a few more, and you can order or buy the little pans of paint from online or good art stores.

Here’s another vintage box I thought about using, but the corners are too sharp, and the shape is wrong. I like the long paint box because it’s flatter and about the same length as my moleskein sketchbook, so they are easy to stack together and slide into my purse.

It’s still cute though, and look inside — it only cost $.29 at S.S. Kresge Co. back in who knows when!

6 thoughts on “Traveling Watercolors and Vintage Paintboxes”

  1. As an unrepentant customizer and repurposer, I say braVO!! Most inspiring solution to an all too common problem (I anchored my same WN pans in a multi-level wooden box). Make it work, no? ;0}

  2. Oooh! I am drooling! I love the idea of putting your paints in a cute, vintage tin. And thanks for the tip about warming metal before using hot glue. I was trying to hot glue something onto metal just a few weeks ago, and didn’t know why it wouldn’t work.

    1. Hi Trisha,

      Russ said the problem is the metal tends to be cooler than the glue, so it cools the glue too fast before it has a chance to bond. I wanted to use a glue that wasn’t permanent, so when I use up one of the colors, I could pop it out and replace it.

      So he heated the metal to warm (but not hot) and the glue held. He said I could warm the metal back up when I need to pry out an empty paint pan if I need to.

      Good luck on your other project too!

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