DIY Watercolour Palette


Wanting to make a DIY Watercolour palette, but not sure how? You are in the right place. If you are anything like me, then you like to have your watercolour paints with you whenever you might suddenly need to paint a sketch on the go. 

I find a lot of the ready-made palettes are either too big or just have a lot of additional fluff that I don’t want or need. Especially as the intention is to use it as a travel watercolour palette.

So I made my own mini watercolour palette out of this cute little tin I received some stickers in. 

My Travel Watercolour Tin

Isn’t it cute? It’s also compact and completely customisable. Finally, it took less than 5 minutes and didn’t involve a glue gun, which is just how I like my travel watercolour sets.

My Watercolour Travel Tin Side View

Let me show you how to make a portable watercolour palette yourself as quick as a flash.

Items Needed to Make a DIY Watercolour Palette:

Items Needed
  • A Tin
  • Some Sticky Tac
  • Half Pans for Paint

Step 1: Choose Your Tin

You might not have a tin lying around and will need to source one. Consider that a funky shaped one might be more difficult to fit half pans in.

I love the idea of a really tiny watercolour palette so I am picking the little heart tin today.

Possible Tins

Step 2: Clean your Tin

I’m not talking hazmat here, but give it a quick wipe over to make sure it doesn’t have mint dust or random sticky areas. 

Step 3: Acquire Some Half Pans

This step can be done in 1 of 3 ways. 

The first way is to steal from a pre-existing kit and empty them. This is what I did for the demo pictures for this post, so don’t judge me on my unclean pans!

The second way is to steal them from existing kit and leave the paints in, which is what I did when I originally made my travel watercolour tin.

The third way is to just buy a bunch of them for dirt cheap on amazon. Sure you’ll have way too many but sometimes amazon is just the easy answer. 

Step 4: Put Sticky Tack on Bottom of Pan

Whether it is blue or white, you know what I mean. I told you this tutorial wouldn’t involve glue. 

Sticky Tack On the Bottom

If you want to get fancy you can buy little stick-on magnets which stick to the bottom of the pans…  but I don’t see the point of this really. It’s an extra bother and doesn’t work as well as blue-tack for actually sticking the pans to the tin without any permanence. 

If you are like me, your palette will evolve over time so you will want to move, remove and discard every once in a while. 

Step 5: Stick Half Pan to Tin with Sticky Tack

Yes, it’s really that Simple 

Stick Pan into Tin

Use the Sticky tack to stick the pans to the tin in the configuration that suits you.

DIY Watercolour Palette Done

Step 6: Fill the Pans with Paint

Either from tubes or as previously mentioned by stealing full pans from other sets when you started putting your minimal watercolour palette tin together.

Et Voila! That is it. 

Bonus Step: Spray the lid white with enamel spray.

This makes it a more reliable palette for mixing the paints on the go as the background colour doesn’t change the perceived colour of the mix. 

I was too impatient and I just mix my paints in my metal coloured lid and that works fine most of the time.

That’s it folks. Hopefully you make one yourself after realising that it is really a doddle! 

If you make your own versions of these on the back of what I’m loosely going to call a tutorial, then drop me a line. I’d love to see them.