My darling husband bought me a new set of Terry Ludwig soft pastels for Christmas–YAY!
The problem: I have outgrown my Heilman Backpacker pastel box and had no where to put these lovely new pastels–BOO!
The solution: Create my own studio storage tray!
Before I set off to the local craft store for supplies, I did some brainstorming. I decided that I HATE working out of individual sets and boxes of pastels. I like having all of my pastels together and within easy reach as I sit and paint. I knew I would not be picking this box up or moving it, so it didn’t need to fold up or close snugly. However, I did want my pastels to be covered to protect them from dust, bugs, etc.
Also, I needed more ROOM! If you have worked with pastels, then you know that you never have enough colors 😉
So off to the craft store…..
I came up with these 12×16 inch wood painting panels from Hobby Lobby!
Turn them over and they are a neat lightweight box that can be lined with memory foam or foam sheets cut to shape. I decided to join three boxes together using little brass mending plates found at any hardware store.
Next, I found some lightweight craft wood panels that I cut to size and then lined with foam sheets to serve as protective covers when not using my pastels.
If I ever need to move these boxes, I would first unscrew the mending plate connectors and support each box from underneath, as they are not really meant to hold weight. I use my tray/box on a piano bench, but in a house with young children or very active pets, you might want a more secure location for this type of set-up. You might also consider adding some sort of closure to keep the lids secure, but this works great for me.
Now my Heilman box is freed up for plein air use, and I have all my sticks where I want them 🙂
More about how I organized my pastels in my next post!
I hope this helps someone who is looking for ideas about how to create an inexpensive, attractive, functional pastel studio tray. Enjoy!