DIY Perfect Gouache Palette From Harbor Freight Bargain!

Hi friends! See how I used this cheap container from Harbor Freight to make the perfect palette for my gouache paint.

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As you probably know gouache paint can be rewet like watercolor after it has dried so you can paint waste free. The problem with letting big gobs of it dry in a watercolor palette is that the dry paint can shrink and crack and then fall out of the palette or get mixed up with all the other colors. What a bummer! I love the convenience of having all of my paint accessible because I am more likely to use it. Watch the video to see my cheap and easy solution!


  • I found a clear plastic case at harbor freight that had 24 clear flip top boxes in it for $4.79 This is available on Amazon too but it is more expensive. This would also work if you want a smaller set up that holds 28 colors and it is cheap!
  • Here is the Arteza Gouache set I used. Make sure to peel off the color labels before you squeeze out the paint of they wont come off!
  • Tube wringer (optional) I have this one but I wish I had a metal one and this one is cheaper too! *I use a lot of small watercolor tubes and the paint is expensive so I find the tube wringer to be a good investment (A few drops of watercolor can create many paintings) but if your paint is not that precious it might not be worth it. I like to save money and trips to the store:)

1. Remove color label from tube and stick it to the side of the little box. *Or you can make a label with the color name and pigment info/light-fast rating.

2. Fill with paint.

3. Put small containers back in big box for storage. As the containers are not air tight I think you are fine to close them unless you have just used them and introduced any water to the pants, in that case I’d let them dry out a bit before closing. Since I filled them with fresh paint and I know there are no contaminants I closed them.

I think there are many things these little boxes would be useful for and you might even have something in your stash that will work the same way as this. Have fun organizing your palette and til next time happy crafting!


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