I love making these little boxes. They are so easy and inexpensive that I have several in use. I have a few boxes that store some of my favorite sets. When I am looking for a challenge, I will take out one of these boxes and paint exclusively with the colors in the box. When I am making a box for a plein air trip I will fill it with pastels that I think will suit the landscape I will be painting. I have been testing my new Southwest plein air box this week in preparation for the Plein Air Convention in Las Vegas. Today's little painting was painted with this SW box on Pastelmat.
- Cigar Box. I look for a lightweight wooden box that is not too thick. This box is 12 x 8 x 2.5 which is perfect. If you scour second hand shops you can find cigar boxes and other boxes that can be used. You can also find cigar boxes at your local cigar shop. Many times they will sell you empty boxes or even give them away. I did a search on ebay for empty cigar boxes and found a big selection.
- Foam: I use a square of Poly Foam that I get at Hobby Lobby. You can get a 1" x 14" x 14" square for $2.99. Any fabric store should carry the foam. 1" is the perfect thickness. You need enough for the bottom and inside the lid of your box.
- Glue: Any craft glue will work. I use Elmer's Craft Glue.
- Brass Hardware Catch: This is optional but for security I like to replace the flimsy cigar box catch with a more substantial catch. You can get these at any hardware store. I found mine at Big Lots!
All you do is measure the foam to fit snugly in the bottom of the box. Cut with exacto knife or scissors and glue into place. For the lid I cut the foam about 1/8-1/4" smaller than the lid so that the lid will close. Test it before you glue the foam in place. Let glue dry. Replace catch and fill the box with pastels!
My finished cigar plein air box that I have filled with Terry Ludwig's Arid Landscape set and a variety of other colors I think I might need for the Southwestern Landscape. I will also be bringing a smaller wooden box that I fill with Nupastels and Giraults which will help round out the set in case I find I am lacking something.