Wednesday, November 29, 2006

My take on the Altoid box pallet

UPDATE: It seems that the people at Home Depot rarely know what they have as products. I have received many emails saying that they don't carry shelf edging. NOT TRUE! The do. They are usually kept in black piping that is hug from the bottom of the wood section in the shelf isle. For your convenience, I stole a bar code so you can print it and take it with you and ask them to scan it and maybe that will alert them to the FACT that they have it!! Here it is:

In preparation for the 12th Sketchcrawl which takes place on December 9, I have made this pocket size pallet. There are many takes on how to make this pallet. Please see here and here. Mine is a bit more elaborate, but I injoyed doing it and want to share the method with my readers:
You will need an Altoid box or a similar box with an attached lid. Empty the box from the mints (don't eat them all you will get sick!) and clean it well.
The first thing I did to my empty Altoid box was to paint the inner lid enamel white and the outer lid enamel black. The inner lid white enamel color was for a functional purpose. It will serve as a good mixing ground. The outer lid enamel color was for fun and to imitate my favorate Winsor and Newton box. These enamel paints take some time to dry so count on leaving each coat a full 2 days to rest and harden.

In the meanwhile, go to your hardware store and buy a length of Shelf Edging (3/4"), a peal and stick white tile and a box of staple gun staples. You will not need the staple gun. I will tell you why soon.

Measure the inside of the box carefully and cut a piece of the tile to fit in the box. These tiles are made of a soft material that you can cut with scissors easily.

Now cut two lengths of the shelf edging that are a tad bit shorter than the box length. These shelf edgings are plastic and you will need a sharp knife to score them and then bend them to cut. Believe it or not, I suspect that the 3/4 size shelf edging was made to hold full and half pans in place. They are the perfect fit!

Now drill or punch tiny holes in the edging and the tile piece together. You will be threading the staples through these holes and folding them on the back of the tile to hold the edging in place. You can't use a staple gun for this. There isn't one strong enough to go through the plastic of the edging and the tile. Once you have the holes done, thread the staples in and tighten from the back to hold the edging snugly in place on the tile piece. No, glue will not do. You need the strength of the staples to allow for some movement without getting the edging dislodged.

Now place the tile piece with the edging on it in the Altoid box and put your pans or half pans in the edging. Like I said, it holds the pans and half pans very well. You can place up to Ten half pans in the box this way. You will also have room in the middle for shortened brushes and a golf pencil. The edging allows you to replace the half pans very easily depending on your mood or the destination. I hope you enjoy making this project.
If you have any questions post them here, I will try to help.
Since I posted this Altoids box "how to", I have added a flat plastic mixing tray to the box. I have also worked on a smaller version of the Altoids box here.


  1. Don West11:28 pm

    Great solution and very ingenious! Thanks for mentioning my version but yours is much better. More paint in the same size box!

    I've since made a very tiny box of wood and will post it later in December. It's a more complicated solution so not desirable by some.

  2. Anonymous2:11 am

    Hi there. What a terrific idea!!!!!!!

    You are every clever.. **smile**


  3. Yours is the best variation on this theme that I've seen! I couldn't do without a white mixing area, even if small, and the shelf edging idea is brilliant!

  4. there was a quote Erma bombek once said: “When I stand before God at the end of my life, I would hope that I would not have a single bit of talent left, and could say, "I used everything you gave me.”

    It looks like you will be able to say that you are so amazing! Your talent and cleverness amazes me every time all over again!

    Great work!

  5. you're such a great guy to share this! i wonder what type of enamel paint to use and how do u paint it so evenly to the surface?

  6. Pang,

    I use the enamel paint that comes in those tiny tins. They are mostely used for painting model airplanes and ships. I just drop a generous amount move it around using gravity and leave it on a shelf covered with a box (to avoid dust) for a week or so. Made sire the surface is flat when you leave it. You can actually take the cover off the boc so you can lay it flat. Just undo the hinges.

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