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Review: American Crafts Travel Watercolor Set

Do you love of the hottest trends in scrapbooking, card making and planning? Or are you wanting to dabble but don't know where to start? We have the answer when you are ready to jump in!

American Crafts has released a fully portable watercolor palette that is versatile, adorable AND affordable with the MSRP at $16.00! You can't beat the value for this price and as you read on you will see why!

The palette is about 7 1/2 by 4 1/2 inches and made out of a durable plastic making it lightweight and easy to store in your bag! This is what it looks like when it is removed from its box:

When the palette is opened you see all the luscious paints with the 0h-so-cute accessories:

18 paints for $16??? Are you kidding? One 15ml tube of watercolor can run $10-15! That's for one color!

Let's take a closer look at the accessories:

You will find a waterbrush, a sponge which can be used for cleaning paint off your brush (or adding texture with paint) and a porcelain tray.

The cute little white porcelain tray is fabulous for mixing up your paint as it does not stain the tray and you see the true color.

So, really....all you need once you fill the brush with water is paper! (In general, you will want to use watercolor paper as it holds more water....but regular paper can be used as long as you use little water.)

Something I always do when I receive new paints is to swatch them and use a piece of watercolor paper that will fit in my palette when it's closed. I absolutely love using my Waffle Flower Watercolor Stamps and Die Set (MSRP $42.00) It is also available with the stamps only (MSRP $20.00). I have used this set dozens of times to swatch out paints, inks, pens, etc. This set makes it so easy!

I drew a line through the top boxes with a Sharpie (any waterproof pen can be used) to see how transparent the paints are. (Note: with watercolor you generally build up shades or value changes with layers so most watercolors have some level of transparency.) If they are transparent we should still be able to see the line after they are filled in with paint. Transparency can be very important in watercolor.

Next I just painted in the squares....the rectangles are filled with full pigment and then water is added for the smaller boxes to show more of a "wash" (that's a watercolor term!). By the way, the waterbrush in this set gives excellent water control! I was quite impressed with it....some waterbrushes give little control as the water gushes out making A BIG MESS!

Here is my completed swatch card and you see it can easily store in the lid of the palette so I can always refer to it. And here you will definitely see that what shows in the palette is vastly different from the color once it's activated with water!

It's always a good idea to swatch out your colors! Trust me!

Another thing that's very fun to do is to mix colors....remember how you learned red and blue make purple? Yellow and blue make green? Red and yellow make orange?

I selected the 2 yellows, 2 of the blues and 2 of the reds (one was the deep pink) from the palette to mix together to see what hues I could come up with.

I made myself a grid:

I painted in the full pigments on the diagonal so that Light Yellow is the top left square and full strength of Medium Blue is the bottom right and so on.

Then I made pools of paints like this (here are 5 pools of light yellow) to be mixed with the other 5 colors.

And proceeded to finish my grid out with the mixed colors:

So basically with those 6 colors I am showing 18 full strength colors on the diagonal on the right and those same hues with more water on the diagonal on the left for 36 total colors. Look at the pretty greens, oranges and purple colors. If you were to swatch out all of the colors in your palette by mixing 2 you could have 324 colors to choose from! Wow....!

What do you do with all of these beautiful colors? You make stuff, of course!

Here are a few samples done with some Julie Nutting stamps. The first was completed with the Julie Nutting Planner Stamps Craft Day set.

I took a piece of watercolor paper....brushed some clean water on it and then dropped in pigment trying to preserve some white space but letting some of the colors blend. When it dried I cropped it to 4 1/4 by 5 1/2 (standard A2 size) and added a cover die cut I had on hand. And then I colored the cute little doll and paintbrush with my paints. I swooshed on some paint with a very dry brush onto the die cut and stamped the word "Paint". This doll is telling you to paint!

Here's another card also created with the Julie Nutting Ivy stamp set. Isn't she adorable?

All done with the American Crafts Travel Watercolor Set! And you can see by simply adding layers you can achieve shading and the look of dimension. Easy Peasy!

This is a great palette for the crafter. The colors are vivid and mixable. The accessories that come with it ensure that you have everything you need to get started. The value is incredible! $15 for 22 pieces!

Grab your next project and your American Crafts Watercolor Travel Set and join us at a Let's Get Creative Y'all event and start painting!

Note: If you wish to purchase any items that are out of stock or not currently available in our shop, please contact us at or leave a comment here and we will work to get these products in your hands.

Thanks for reading...and Lets Get Creative Y'all!!!

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