Saturday, September 12, 2015

Free Paint Palettes!

Freezer paper and heavy plastic sheeting make great palettes for mixing acrylic paints. You can buy these items at the store, but sometimes they're right under our noses and are totally free. Start looking with a different eye at packaging you'd normally toss out. You might be surprised at what you find. Here's an example:

The plastic bag containing these curtain panels yielded four free paint palettes!

Several weeks ago I bought 11 pairs of sheer curtains at Ikea to hang in our three season room. Each pair came packaged in a clear, strong plastic bag that measured roughly 12 x 16 inches. It was the very same weight and type of plastic I use in the studio for mixing my paints on. There were 11 bags, total. Eureka! That's a slew of plastic palettes for free!

Those printed symbols on the empty bag won't harm anything.

To be more specific, that's 44 plastic palettes for free! I'll not only use the two exterior sides on each bag, when they're full of paint I'll cut them apart, turn them over, and use the other two "interior" sides. So, 44 palettes in all. Totally gratis.

These leftover paints will eventually become acrylic paint skins.

But wait! There's more! As a bonus, the leftover paint can become colorful acrylic skins to use in  mixed media pieces. When paint layers build up, they can be peeled off the plastic, cut into shapes, and used in collages.

Spritz the plastic with a bit of rubbing alcohol, wipe with a rag to remove any remaining dried paint bits, and you're good to go with a nice clean palette. Truly, they're the gift that keeps on giving. How cool is that? Thanks, Ikea! At my age, I'll probably never have to buy plastic sheeting again.

Text and images ©2015 Lynn Edwards

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