Making a Pastel Box

I have been organizing all my art supplies. My pastel collection has been growing and I need a way to store them, use them and be able to take them into the field for en plein air. My search of commercial pastel boxes that were within my budget was not successful. If you have known me for a long time you know that I am cheap, like to repurpose and if all else fails DIY.

It didn’t take long to know that I am at the DIY stage. I looked at all the pochade boxes I have as well as vintage art boxes and they were not going to work out. They were like Goldilock’s bears, either too big, too small but none were just right.

I looked at buying a couple of letterpress drawers/trays from old print shops but none were exactly right. So I started looking on Amazon which is the next best thing to thrift shops for odd purchases. I found these great lightweight divided trays. The size is perfect with a little tweaking. I plan to attach 2 together to make a larger tray. Then after the glue is dry on the 2 larger trays I will hinge them together to make a box.

Next will be adding a latch and a leather handle. The individual areas will be lined with foam in the bottom to cushion the pastels. Then I will need to make a foam lined lid for each side so the pastels don’t get too jostled around when I transport them.

While waiting for these trays to be delivered, I spent some time on the patio making my own sanded pastel boards. I have one more purchase of pastels coming and then I will be ready to get to work.