One of my goals for this summer is to learn to paint outside–en plein air. I looked into wooden pochade boxes and decided they were too expensive for an experiment, so I thought about making my own, but ran out of time. In the end I more quickly made my own version from an old shoebox. It’s working out pretty well!
I attached a ribbon to the sides and across the outside of the lid, using staples and strong glue. The ribbon stops the lid from flopping backwards (ie in an upright easel position). There is another ribbon attached to the center of the lid that wraps under the box and attaches with velcro to the bottom front of the box, which stops the lid flopping forwards.
I glued in 2 blocks of wood inside to support my palette (disposable gray paper palette taped to a piece of stiff card), leaving room on the floor of the box for brushes, paper towel, and water in a baby food jar (with lid). I could also fit tubes of paint and masking tape in here. I prefer to set up my palette before leaving home, to minimize weight.
The ‘easel’ is an old piece of stiff cardboard glued to the inside of the lid. I attach the canvas to this with masking tape.
The whole thing was made entirely from materials I had on hand and cost me nothing!