Last week we marveled at the Marker Wallet that Ann made from an unused photo album. Although I loved the idea of repurposing something that was laying around the house (or in this case, the trunk of my car) to carry art supplies, I confess that all my photo albums were spoken for – and if you have ever seen my gorgeous daughters, you know why! My CD collection is another story, so I decided to make use of an old CD case to create a traveling watercolor kit.
Back in the day, we all had a lot of CD’s, and the hipsters among us played them in the car. Sadly, my hipster days are long gone, as evidenced by the fact that I found a JUDDS REUNION CD from 1999 in my long neglected CD case.
Unlike my old CD collection, my watercoloring days are here to stay, and I bet yours are, too. Keep reading, and you can make a self-contained watercolor field kit that zips closed and fits into your purse!
Here are the supplies you need to gather to get started:
- CD wallet
- Elastic ( I used 1 inch wide woven type )
- Small scrap of foam board or mat board
- Two lids from plastic baby food containers or other small plastic lids
- Gesso and brush
- Empty travel-sized bottle
- Sheet magnet
- ATC sleeve or snack size zip lock bag
- Staple gun
- Duck brand duct tape
- Pill box with compartments for each day of the week (see photo below)
- Tube watercolors
1. Start by removing any sleeves or dividers from the CD wallet. In my case (hee hee), the plastic sleeves just slid out, but if yours are permanently attached, use an Xacto knife to take them out – carefully! Set the plastic sleeves aside for later use.
2. Paint the underside of the clear plastic lids with gesso and set them aside to dry. I made mine white for two reasons: a) so the magnets did not show through; and b) so that colors I mix up still look true and are not affected by a background color.
3. Place the pill box in the open wallet to get a sense of where you want to make the elastic loop that will hold the box in place. Stretch the elastic across the closed pill box so that there is some tension . You want to be able to take the box in and out with ease, so don’t make it too tight.
Lay the CD wallet on a stack of newspaper or a piece of foamboard so you do not staple it to your table.
4. Staple both ends of the elastic into the CD wallet, then flip the case over and look for any staple prongs that are sticking out. Then use the pliers to push any protruding ends closed and flat against the case.
5. Measure the amount of space left empty on that side. I had a space just shy of 4″x6″ so I cut a piece of foamboard a little smaller than that.
6. Cut the magnet sheet in to four 2″x2″ squares. This is a good time to clean all those weird realtor magnets off your fridge and put them to good use!
7.Rinse out the bottle you want to use for water. I started with a bottle of nail polish remover but changed to a bottle of hand sanitizer since it was nearly empty and I am lazy 🙂 You can make a label for it if you like. I printed mine on the computer and then used clear packing tape to attach it to the bottle.
8.Take the gessoed lids and glue one magnet square to the bottom of each. Put the other 2 pieces of magnet on the foamboard and glue in place. This will keep the little palettes from falling off while you use them or shifting around in the case when it is closed.
9.Using the elastic, make a loop that will fit around the foamboard with the lids on it and the travel water bottle you have chosen . Staple it closed or if you prefer you can sew it for a neater appearance. I stapled mine. I figured if a staple is a good enough solution for an ER surgeon , it is good enough for me!
10. Use the pliers to break the handles of three paintbrushes so that they will fit inside the CD wallet, then sand the ends flat and smooth.
Once that’s done, you can leave the handles as is, or you can gesso and paint them. If you decide to paint them, the trickiest part is finding a way to keep them from touching things while they dry. You can lay them balanced across something, like this:
You can also be a dork and sit with them in your mouth for a while until the paint sets, like this (having a cloud on your cheek is totally optional):
11. To make a holder for the paintbrushes, take an ATC sleeve (or plastic bag) and tape it to one of the plastic dividers you removed from the CD wallet earlier, then slip the plastic back into the little pocket. You can also store small pieces of watercolor paper inside one or more of the plastic CD envelopes. Leave the brushes in the pocket and they can rest in the spine of the wallet.
12. To be festive, I decided to cover the outside of my wallet with Duck brand duct tape. The zebra print was from a 8×10 sheet I bought at Hobby Lobby, and the red is from a roll I already had. All I did was cut the sheet to the right dimensions and then carefully lay it on the case. It is pretty forgiving, so if you lay it askew you can re-position it as needed. I then cut strips from the roll of red tape for the spine to add contrasting trim. You can do it in all one color or even leave the wallet unadorned if you prefer.
13.I had some leftover zebra duck tape from the sheet so I covered the sides and bottom of my pill box and thus camouflaged the name of the pharmacy where I scored the free box!
14.Fill each section of the pill box with the tube watercolor of your choice and let it sit opened overnight so it sets up a bit.
15.Assemble your kit and then get to painting! I found it easiest to arrange the paint box, palette and water bottle on one side, leave the brushes resting on the inside of the spine and tuck a postcard sized pad of watercolor paper on the opposite side.
Voila! Now I have a secure kit that I can use to create art on the go!
Once you make your own cool travel watercolor kit, take a picture and post it to our forum no later than December 7 at 5:00pm, at which time, we’ll let our site visitors vote on which one they like best. Feel free to post a pic of yourself with a drying paintbrush in your mouth too, just so I have some company on the doofus train!
If you are the winner, you will score these fabulous bookends, and that will make your books happy!
You will also be featured on our Home Page. That will make you happy!