Lasercut Mini Mint Tin Watercolor Palette




Make a tiny watercolor palette from a mint tin for on the go sketching!

Watercolors in mint tins were not my idea, though I can't remember where I saw them first! My addition is to lasercut the holes for the paints, because I could never make the holes-poked-in-polymer-clay version look nice.

If you're the sort who doesn't like instructions, the files for the lasercut bit are here. :)

Teacher Notes

Teachers! Did you use this instructable in your classroom?
Add a Teacher Note to share how you incorporated it into your lesson.

Step 1: Empty and Clean a Mint Tin

Empty and clean out an Altoids mini mint tin (the lasercutter files for this tutorial are designed to fit that size, but you can also use them as a starting point for your own size tin!)

Step 2: Lasercut Pieces and Glue

Lasercut or CNC-mill a full palette or a palette with sponge/brush area (link to files on Thingiverse) out of 1/4" acrylic. Use E-6000 glue or equivalent to glue it into the tin. I actually used two pieces of 1/8" and glued them together before gluing them into the tin.

Step 3: Paint Inside of Lid With Enamel

Add white enamel paint to inside of lid to create a place to mix colors! The trick I discovered to avoid air bubbles (though I imagine there are many more tips to be found in the tiny-model-painting community) is to start with a very thin coat.

Step 4: Fill With Paint

Use watercolor tubes to fill with paint. If I'm making a lot of these, I put the paint in a little squeeze bottle, along with a little water. Makes it easier to fill them neatly!

Step 5: Add Sponge

Cut approximately 1/2" off a rectangular makeup sponge with a pair of sharp scissors, then tuck the sponge into the tin.

Step 6: Make Tiny Paintbrush

I prefer to carry one of these with a waterbrush for very functional on the go sketching, but tiny brushes are a pretty cute addition. Take a regular paintbrush, cut to fit, taper with pencil sharpener, smooth end with sandpaper.

Step 7: Add Water Bottle

Tiny soy sauce bottles from Daiso make perfect tiny water containers.

Step 8: Decorate

Trace the top of the lid onto decorative paper. Cut a 1/4" strip for around the edge. Attach and smooth down with Mod Podge (decoupage glue). If desired, protect with spray acrylic when dry.

Epilog Challenge VI

Participated in the
Epilog Challenge VI



    • Make It Fly Challenge

      Make It Fly Challenge
    • Stone Concrete and Cement Contest

      Stone Concrete and Cement Contest
    • Classroom Organization Challenge

      Classroom Organization Challenge